how important is a center channel for music? 2.0 vs 3.0
Sep 16, 2009 at 6:02 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

koven

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hey guys, i made a thread somewhat recently about bookshelf speakers... and i ended up going with the energy RC10's which should be here soon

i paid $300/pair for the rc10's at vanns.... they also have the RCLCR matching center channel on sale for $300

i might add in a cheap sub, but how much do you guys think a center channel would improve a 2.0 setup? is it worth the price? for $300, i could get another pair of rc10's.... is it worth it for a single center channel?

i would say it'd be for 80% music, 20% movies
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 6:06 PM Post #2 of 16

iriverdude

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A stereo system doesn't have a center speaker. A home theatre does. Or if you use some kind of DSP ontop of stereo, or if you watch a multi-channel audio DVD such as a concert or SACD/DVD-Audio.

What amplifier do you have?

A quality center speaker is incredibly important. I spent $1100 US on center alone and it's worth every penny.

Don't buy a cheap sub either, I've said it before and I'll say it again a cheap low end subwoofer can make your system worse.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 6:15 PM Post #3 of 16

RicHSAD

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The center won't be used at all for music unless you use some kind of DSP to route stereo sound to it. If you want a good Energy sub for cheap, the Energy ESW-V10 is currently on sale for $300 at wwstereo.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 6:34 PM Post #4 of 16

koven

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thanks for the help

yeah, i'm actually thinking about an 8" ESW sub, since the room is only about 11x11

as for the amp/receiver... i have an old onkyo tx-sr500 that im going to feed w/ my comp/pico

so two questions..

a center channel would only benefit for movies? it's not worth adding if i'm mainly going to be listening to music?

should i put the money into a better amp/receiver? do you guys think an integrated amp would be a better choice? or should i upgrade the receiver? FWIW, ive heard the RC10's are pretty easy to drive
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 6:58 PM Post #5 of 16

RicHSAD

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Well the center would definitely not see much use if you mostly listen to music. Whether it is worth it or not is up to you. Personally, I would just save the money and get a better sub and/or amp, but that's just me.

Since you already have a receiver, I'd say get the speakers first and see how it sound. You can decide after if you need a better receiver.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 8:28 PM Post #6 of 16

DeusEx

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center = dialogue and stage for movies.

RC-10s have pretty high sensitivity (88dB), I'm driving them right now with an Onkyo integrated amplifier, they sound fine, but looking to try something else (perhaps, an Arcam, NAD, or Cambridge Audio, or, if I can justify a Simaudio or Bel Canto...)

Also, IMO RC-10s @ msrp are a great deal - @almost half the price, they're outrageous...
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 8:33 PM Post #7 of 16

grawk

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For music, you're almost always better off spending your money on 2 channels, and maximizing that. To the point where I'd have a separate HT rather than spend money making the HT good for music.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 8:46 PM Post #8 of 16

iriverdude

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Quote:

To the point where I'd have a separate HT rather than spend money making the HT good for music.


Nothing is stopping you having a nice sounding (in Hi-fi terms) home theatre most people when they think of home theatre is loud, brash lots of bass. Not so. If you've got a Hi-Fi it's easy enough to keep what you have but add the rest of the speakers and amplifiers. Although have to spend quite a bit to get a nice sounding av pre-amp.

The onkyo tx-sr500 is a av amplifier so you build a home theatre around that. What I'd do is buy the rest of the speakers then perhaps fit a stereo integrated amplifier to take off stereo duties (send pre-outs from the Onkyo left & right to the stereo amp)

Put as much money as you can on a single component, it will work out more expensive but it's better to do it this way, when you complete your HT.

Quote:

since the room is only about 11x11


That's quite a sizable room I'd look at something better than a weedy 8" subwoofer.

You can use a DSP on stereo, I've found most pretty lousy it's only when you go into high end DSP it's worthwhile. Lexicon's Music Surround is very good. Things like rock, pop etc are just horrid DSP. Newer AV amps have Pro-Logic IIx Music you could try that. My unit has that but haven't tried it.

A quality home theatre can cost thousands, plus you want a quality screen not a 14" 4:3.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 8:55 PM Post #9 of 16

koven

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hi guys, thanks again for the advice

i'm not looking to expand to a home theatre right now.. maybe in the future, but for right now, a 2.1 setup is more than enough for my room

like grawk suggested, i think my best option right now is to maximize my 2.1 setup

iriverdude, i like the suggestion of adding a stereo integrated amp to my receiver.. how much would this improve SQ vs just using the receiver?
do you have any particular brands/models in mind? im not sure how much a decent one costs, but my budget for this is about 300-400.. i dont want anything that's overkill though, ie. paying for functions ill never use

also, do you think an 8" sub is too small for a 11x11? again, i dont want ground thumping/booming bass.. just something to fill the lows in... whats subs could you recommend that works well with carpet?
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 9:09 PM Post #10 of 16

skyline889

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HSU STF-1 is the sub for music. It doesn't plunge down into the low frequencies and shake your fillings like the ESW however, since that's not what you want anyway, the HSU is probably the best deal you can find for the price. It's very musical and doesn't boom like many other subs in the under $300 price range (It's $254 plus $25 in shipping).

P.S.-AFAIK, the ESW sub for $299 is sold out.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 9:13 PM Post #11 of 16

iriverdude

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Quote:

i dont want ground thumping/booming bass


A higher quality subwoofer will sound better than a lower quality subwoofer, end of, regardless if you're playing at low volume (and obviously high) People assume because they have a smaller room it's automatically ok to cheap out on the sub. It's like buying a sports car then fitting £30 tyres. Lower end subwoofers don't actually go that low, and you want a "fast/musical" subwoofer not something that plods out boomy notes that virtually goes as low as the Energy speakers.

If you don't need house destroying class bass, I'd recommend the SVS SB12+ I'm using on in the Hi-Fi. Buy one second hand if possible to save money. If you really want to pound the walls I'd look into the larger cylinders, they're far more effortless reproducing higher spl's and go far lower.

As for adding a stereo integrated amplifier yes this'll improve sound quality that was the first upgrade I did adding one to replace my av amplifier, well worth it. I won't recommend brands because never heard Energy speakers so don't know what'll go well with them. If you're into 2 channel this would be the first upgrade I'd do unless your existing speakers are absolutely horrible.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 9:14 PM Post #12 of 16

pcf

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Just a thought- having a center speaker means that you can listen to the Beatles mono albums the way it should be listened to- from one speaker.
I can only do it through my Meridian 565 though...
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 9:20 PM Post #13 of 16

iriverdude

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Quote:

Just a thought- having a center speaker means that you can listen to the Beatles mono albums the way it should be listened to- from one speaker.


I've found it's actually pretty difficult to just have a single speaker from anything greater than a mono soundtrack (ie DVD that is "1") Lexicon has Mono Logic but my av amp had no "stereo downmix to center" DSP.

Most mono movies are now dual mono, or even worse have a terrible 5.1 mix. I usually select mono logic and just switch the center channel poweramp on.
 
Sep 16, 2009 at 11:28 PM Post #14 of 16

DeusEx

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Quote:

Originally Posted by koven /img/forum/go_quote.gif
iriverdude, i like the suggestion of adding a stereo integrated amp to my receiver.. how much would this improve SQ vs just using the receiver?
do you have any particular brands/models in mind? im not sure how much a decent one costs, but my budget for this is about 300-400.. i dont want anything that's overkill though, ie. paying for functions ill never use



Generally speaking, integrated amplifiers will have better sound quality than most comparable receivers. NAD, Cambridge Audio, Rotel, and Arcam integrated amplifiers are all very respected. I'm looking to find one myself, if I decide not to save up for a Simaudio, Creek, or Bel Canto...
 
Sep 17, 2009 at 2:52 AM Post #15 of 16

grawk

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if you're going to be attaching it to the preamp outs on a receiver, you'll want apower amp, not an integrated amp. But really, if music is your focus, you'll still be happier with spending all the money on a good 2 channel setup, and use that for movies too, or go cheap on everything but the main 2 channel rig. Focus on what you're focusing on, compromising makes everything worse.
 

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