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  1. #1
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    center channel most important?

    I have an outdated home theater system consisting of a JVC Dolby Pro Logic Receiver, Design Acoustics PS 1010 Front Speakers, PS55 Center Channel and Surround Speakers. I am looking to upgrade with limited funds, and to my ears, my center channel seems flat, decent bass, not bright enough...Would upgrading the center channel solve anything, or is upgrading the receiver to a Dolby Digital DTS the wiser 1st step? Also, is listening to a center channel speaker w/o your equipment a sufficient way to test it? Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Forum Regular hmmmm's Avatar
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    Center channel most important?

    Good question! I was just going to post something similar. I just upgraded my center channel but was wondering the whole time if maybe I should upgrade the left and right instead. I listen to a lot of music so I was leaning towards the right and left but opted with the center for now. Again, it is a budget issue. Part of my question is that the center channel is huge in my opinion...26 inches long and about 9-10 inches deep and tall. I was told that a center channel shouldn't be setting flat on the top of a t.v. because it kills the sound (maybe this affects yours) but this thing is so big that I think setting it flat on top of my 47" t.v. is my safest bet. Also, this center channel goes down to about 50hz and the manufacture recommends 14 gauge wire. I have 18 gauge and it is only about 5 feet away. Would this make a difference?
    If I were you, I would upgrade to Dolby Digital/DTS first. When I did this, I heard a huge difference. My wife even noticed-amazing! It's funny because my new receiver cost less than half of my old dolby receiver.

  3. #3
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    NJ, FIRST, run...don't walk to your nearest dealer and purchase a DD/DTS receiver. You will not completely understand the improvement until you hear for yourself....i mean it, run!!!
    Once you have the receiver, be sure to connect it to your DVD player with either a coxial or optical cable...the cable passes the digital signal from the DVD player to the receiver. Then, listen to your speakers and decide at this point if they need upgrading.

    hmmm, a center speaker is designed to be placed horizontal, especially your size center. A few tips i've picked up on this board and put into practice with good results are....
    1) place the front of the center speaker in line with the front of the tv. Meaning, looking from a 90 degree angle, both speaker and tv should form a straight line from the floor to top of center speaker. 2) Tilt your center toward the listening position. I used a few DVD covers and placed them under the two rear speaker corners which angled the speaker slightly downward. This really helped my former Polk center with imaging. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
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    Question Running

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel_
    NJ, FIRST, run...don't walk to your nearest dealer and purchase a DD/DTS receiver. You will not completely understand the improvement until you hear for yourself....i mean it, run!!!
    Once you have the receiver, be sure to connect it to your DVD player with either a coxial or optical cable...the cable passes the digital signal from the DVD player to the receiver. Then, listen to your speakers and decide at this point if they need upgrading.

    hmmm, a center speaker is designed to be placed horizontal, especially your size center. A few tips i've picked up on this board and put into practice with good results are....
    1) place the front of the center speaker in line with the front of the tv. Meaning, looking from a 90 degree angle, both speaker and tv should form a straight line from the floor to top of center speaker. 2) Tilt your center toward the listening position. I used a few DVD covers and placed them under the two rear speaker corners which angled the speaker slightly downward. This really helped my former Polk center with imaging. Hope this helps.
    OK, now that we've decided it's the DD/DTS that's important, any recommendations for about $400 or less

  5. #5
    My custom user title This Guy's Avatar
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    I love my Marantz receiver (sr-5200 $300) which is a couple years old. Great receiver for the money, I got it refurbished from accessories4less.com and it plays and looks like new. If you want a brand new receiver, they just released there 2004 models.

    http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/s...400&type=store

    This is basically the same thing as any other $400 receiver, but most of them in this range DON't have pre-outs (this lets you add an external amplifier for more power). This feature was very important to me so I bought it. If you don't think you'll need more power in the future, you can look at Yamaha, Onkyo, Harman Kardon, and Denon (various models may have pre-outs). Good luck.

    -Joey

  6. #6
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ1Dolfan
    I have an outdated home theater system consisting of a JVC Dolby Pro Logic Receiver, Design Acoustics PS 1010 Front Speakers, PS55 Center Channel and Surround Speakers. I am looking to upgrade with limited funds, and to my ears, my center channel seems flat, decent bass, not bright enough...Would upgrading the center channel solve anything, or is upgrading the receiver to a Dolby Digital DTS the wiser 1st step? Also, is listening to a center channel speaker w/o your equipment a sufficient way to test it? Thanks for your help!
    I wouldn't necessarily say that. The important for the front three speakers is that they need to voice match and you need to set them up properly, with the correct levels, positioning, and delay timing.

    If you're limited on funds, you're best served by first upgrading your system to 5.1. The difference between the monophonic limited bandwidth surrounds in Pro Logic and the full range discrete split surrounds in DD/DTS 5.1 is one of the few in home theater that I would consider "night and day." If the center channel still doesn't sound right, then you're best off switching that channel off altogether. The thing about center speakers is that ideally you should not even know it's there. It should not call attention to itself, and its role is to anchor the middle, and seamlessly integrate with the L/R mains.

    But, given a choice between a 5.1 receiver and a center speaker, definitely upgrade the receiver.

  7. #7
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    thanks for the input folks

    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    I wouldn't necessarily say that. The important for the front three speakers is that they need to voice match and you need to set them up properly, with the correct levels, positioning, and delay timing.

    If you're limited on funds, you're best served by first upgrading your system to 5.1. The difference between the monophonic limited bandwidth surrounds in Pro Logic and the full range discrete split surrounds in DD/DTS 5.1 is one of the few in home theater that I would consider "night and day." If the center channel still doesn't sound right, then you're best off switching that channel off altogether. The thing about center speakers is that ideally you should not even know it's there. It should not call attention to itself, and its role is to anchor the middle, and seamlessly integrate with the L/R mains.

    But, given a choice between a 5.1 receiver and a center speaker, definitely upgrade the receiver.
    I truly appreciate all the input, i'll ley you all know how it turns out

  8. #8
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    Just a minor tip from me. Before you RUN, not walk, to your local hi-fi dealers :-),
    please consider on-line purchase of second-hand componet. There are a lot of
    excellent deals to be had online. Most of them are being sold on-line for half of
    the original cost. You can get extremely good receivers from reputable makers
    such as Arcam, marantz, rotel for half price. These usually come from owners
    who are moving from all-in-one box to separates so they simply have to get
    rid of there current receivers. One well known online site is AudioGon.com
    which I bought most of my stuffs and found it to be very trust worthy.

  9. #9
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    The only thing I'll tell you, is that you need to be VERY careful with the surrounds upgrading from a Dolby Pro Logic to a DD/DTS receiver. In a ProLogic system.. they don't generally drive nearly the wattage to the surrounds that you will get in a discrete 5.1 surround system (DD/DTS). If those speakers were intended for ProLogic surround service.. you could very easily blow them with a new 5.1 receiver.

  10. #10
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    thanks for all the advice

    I recently purchased an Onkyo TX-SR601 receiver, and it truly woke up my speakers...HOWEVER, since i don't have a sub, unless the source is true DTS, i'm missing some bass, so now the hunt begins for a sub...I suppose the upgrading never ends??? TRUE or what?

  11. #11
    Forum Regular hmmmm's Avatar
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    upgrading never ends

    I think you're right that upgrading never ends-- unless you're married Oh, by the way, I'd check out Hsu Subs. You won't be disappointed.

  12. #12
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    there are some great subs out there. Check out the review section of this site for ideas. HSU, SVS are the regulars, especially for price considerations. I choose the Def Tech 15TL+" sub for $799 retail. It really rattles the walls, but with a 10month girl in the house, i haven't discovered it's full potential. Glad the receiver delivered as promised.

  13. #13
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    i agree with tarheel, check out the reviews on this site. read through them all, but take the overall review. remember that you'll always have a couple people who are not happy with a certain product.

    i just picked up a def tech ps80 for $275 (i didn't need something huge- also didn't want to spend a bunch of cash). this sub sounds great! it definitely fills my room (20x15)- if your budget isn't very big and you still want nice sound, go with the ps80
    good luck!
    ez

  14. #14
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    IF you are going to buy a DefTech sub I would go with one of their new Supercubes. The bass seems to be tighter and even the smallest one goes lower than the PF 1500TL for not that much more money.
    Definitive Technology Fan, Owner and Advocate!!!!! never paying retail IS half the fun of buying audio products!!!! Good shopping!

  15. #15
    DIY Dude poneal's Avatar
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    No Bass?

    If your main speakers go down to say 40Hz you should hear bass. Your receiver should have a setting so that you can send the full signal to your mains, and at set crossover to the sub for all other speakers. Read your manual to find out how to do this if you haven't tried.

  16. #16
    ride a jet ski Tarheel_'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chimera128
    IF you are going to buy a DefTech sub I would go with one of their new Supercubes. The bass seems to be tighter and even the smallest one goes lower than the PF 1500TL for not that much more money.
    Chimera, trust me on this one, the supercubes are rated lower than the 1500TL. but those numbers must be fudged. I listened to their entire line in one room for an afternoon and there is NO way the smaller cubes go as low. At least for Def Tech size of the cube and woofer matter.
    This sub is an absolute home theater steal, a new 15" sub w/ a 500 RMS amp for $799 retail. A bit slow for music, but for HT....oh yeah!

  17. #17
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    Depends on how you set it up. Reviewers of the Supercube Reference were able to get 12 hz in their room. That is only 1 hz off the rating of it.
    Definitive Technology Fan, Owner and Advocate!!!!! never paying retail IS half the fun of buying audio products!!!! Good shopping!

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