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703 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 152053 14-Sep-2014 15:43
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Hi there, I have a pair of Kef C5 floor standing speakers, I'd like to add a centre speaker as I already have a couple of surrounds and a sub. The matching centre speaker for the C5 is the Kef C6clr. This unfortunately will not fit in the space I have in my cabinet for a centre speaker. Also very budget conscious for now, so looking on TM for something secondhand.

Am I able to use an unmatched centre speaker, maybe from the same brand? another Kef that has smaller dimensions and will fit. My Sub and surrounds are different brands but that docent bother me, although I understand there could be a noticeable difference with an unmatched centre.

Any advise would be appreciated :)

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  Reply # 1128370 14-Sep-2014 15:49
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Why not just phantom a centre.

Cyril



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1128374 14-Sep-2014 15:59
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cyril7: Why not just phantom a centre.

Cyril


How do I do that? Just googled. It would appear I am already running a phantom centre by having the centre speaker set to none on the Denon x-1000 receiver.

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  Reply # 1128379 14-Sep-2014 16:08
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All depends on your setup, but most amps will ask if what speakers you do or not have, if you tell the amp that is has no centre speaker then it will take the centre channel signal and apply it equally and inphase to both front L&R, this will present the centre channel just as capably as a real one.

The plus's, this will give you a much better sound stage especially for music, it also totally eliminates any sound quality and timbre differences that can occur with different front and centre speakers (hence you original post). From personal experience a phantom presents a superiour sound stand on music. 

The minus, the centre channel may not seem quite so anchored to the screen compared to a real speaker being there, from my experience this is only really noticable if sitting well off axis.

Cyril

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  Reply # 1128397 14-Sep-2014 16:42
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Yes you can run an unmatched speaker. You can either manually calibrate it to fit in with your other speakers or use your auto calibration (if your amp has this).

I ran a B&W centre with my Wharfdale fronts and rears for a few years for the exact same reason you are looking to do the same.




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  Reply # 1129052 15-Sep-2014 14:14
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i second cyril's suggestion if your viewing habits can support it and if you are willing to re-position your main speakers.

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  Reply # 1129600 16-Sep-2014 08:25
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ilovemusic: i second cyril's suggestion if your viewing habits can support it and if you are willing to re-position your main speakers.


Horses for courses... personally, I'd rather have a centre speaker - even if it doesn't match the sound perfectly - than run a "phantom" centre. I'm yet to hear a system where any off-axis positions don't produce a noticable shift in the location of the dialogue within the sound field - and I find that much more off-putting than the tonal variation across the front three speakers from using an un-matched centre. (The exception I've noticed are systems such as sound bars or where the L and R speakers are so close to the TV the stereo separation is already impaired.) I agree an unmatched centre speaker can be an issue for music, but one can always shift to a "phantom" mode for that purpose.

My suggestion is try it both ways and see which you prefer - if you're able to sit perfectly on-aixs or don't worry about this effect then you may be happy to continue without a centre, but do give a (decent) centre a go to hear the difference. Are there any centres from the same brand that run similar (even if smaller) drivers?

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