View Full Version : 3 Channel Stereo?
11-16-2007, 07:04 PM
I have been looking around at some different vintage tube amps, thinking I might like to get one just to tinker around with. I am an oilfield electronics technician, so home audio equipment is a little removed from my area of expertise, and I have only recently (1 year?) taken this up as a hobby.
I have seen several of these vintage amps that have a "center" speaker output, controlled by a switch rather than a potentiometer. What is this? Could it be used to drive something like a passive subwoofer? If not, what do you do with it?
My McIntosh MX115 has a L/R pre out along with the usual L and R. I had a sub hooked up to it briefly. The signal worked fine, but had other problems with the setup.
Back in the day -- when you had speakers designed to be in corners...
Sometimes they were spread apart real far -- and needed a center speaker to fill in the center...
Klipsch was one of the first to use it --
And now its used in HT of course
11-16-2007, 07:34 PM
IMO, 2 channel is where it's at for critical listening.
11-16-2007, 07:48 PM
I am wondering if this output could be used to drive a mono passive subwoofer.
Anybody ever done something like this before??
11-16-2007, 08:00 PM
It would be OK if you had the full signal going to the center channel with lower frequencies not cut out*. It also depends if the center signal is taking away from the mains. If that's the case, then no.
It would assist us to assist you if we knew the particular amp you are referring too, as different gear is not always designed to do the same thing.
*there's more to that, but just trying to K.I.S.S. for now.
11-16-2007, 08:11 PM
One amp I was looking at is a Fisher KX-200. There was another one, a Fisher receiver that has the same type setup on it, but I can't remember the model number.
As long as you have a crossover somewhere between the pre and sub, give it a try.
11-16-2007, 08:25 PM
These appear to be speaker-level outputs, not preamp outputs.
11-18-2007, 02:59 AM
Trey hit it correctly but there is more. Alot of music especially classical was recorded in three channel "stereo." As a matter of fact some of the Living Stereo SACDs are recorded with both the 2 ch layer and the 3 ch layer. I was thinking of giving them a try on my HT just to see if I get more of that sense of hall presence more then I get with my 1.2 TLs. The 1.2s really are great for giving that sense of presence.
11-18-2007, 10:10 AM
+1 Joe, the way RCA did the recording the three channel was intended, I believe there is something to this, one of my first pre/pro's had a 3 channel mode and it really did sound good. I remember the vocals on some cd's had some added presence and depth.
If you can try just a center channel, experiment a bit and see what you get.
11-18-2007, 06:45 PM
I'm curious to know if the center channel is a full range output, reduced power or what. I am also wondering if it will alter the power or sound going to the main speakers.
11-19-2007, 05:26 AM
It would really have to tell on the make and/or model. Most likely the center is a blend of some sort between the left and the right. It might be equal to left + right, (left-right) + (right-left), or something else. Different manufacturers used different methods.
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