Is a centre channel speaker requiried for to get proper sound from movies? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Is a centre channel speaker requiried for to get proper sound from movies?

01-23-2005, 10:32 AM
I have hooked up only front speakers to my Yamaha 5370 receiver and am wondering whether I should hook up a center speaker? Does having a centre speaker improve the sound when watching movies?

01-23-2005, 10:50 AM
Can't I use a bookself such as Paradigm Atom (which I have)instead of buying a centre speaker?

01-23-2005, 11:22 AM
Absolutely! There are some that buy 3 pairs of the same speaker for 6.1. The center channel is used to anchor the dialogue to the screen to add more realism. If you are going to put the speaker close to a CRT the speaker will need to be shielded.

01-23-2005, 11:52 AM
Granted, a center speaker does "anchor" the imaging but many receiver manufacturer's realize that for some, HT is a growing process and may wantto put off purchasing one for now.

That's where the "phantom center" mode comes in. This mode (RTFM) will create a "phantom" center speaker from the front right/left speaker. IT's not the end all and be all but it should suffice for the time being.

I'm an adherent to the school that says that the center should be of the same manufacturer and family as the right/left pair. This assures "timbre matching", which assures an aural continuity across the front soundstage.

But, in a pinch anty speaker will work as long as it's magnetic field doesn't interfere with the TV (CRT's are vulnerable to this) and you're not too fussy about the sound.

01-24-2005, 10:40 AM
The center speaker is desirable because a 5.1 movie soundtrack has the center output as a separate discrete channel. However, I would add that you should install a center speaker only if you can find an appropriate match with comparable tonal characteristics. If you install a center speaker that does not match, then it will stick out from the mains, which is exactly what you DON'T want.

It's definitely possible and even desirable to go with a speaker that's identical to the mains, but the main reason for the horizontal center speaker is because your TV typically sits exactly where a third main speaker should go. The horizontal center speakers were originally designed to sit on top of a TV cabinet, but the horizontal alignment assures that the voice match will not be perfect. So, it's basically a compromise necessitated by the reality of how most of our rooms are setup.

Going with a third Paradigm Atom could work, but only if you have a TV mounted such that you can put the center Atom speaker about the same height as your mains. Keep in mind that those speakers are not shielded so they could create interference with the TV, and depending on how high up your TV is, the tweeter might be too high.

Typically, you're better off without a center speaker than going with a mismatched model. So, if you add the center speaker, make sure that it's done right.