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  1. #1

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    Default Can I use Soundbar as Center Channel speaker?

    I am having issues in my family room with hearing sounds when playing a movie.

    I have a receiver in a separate room running HDMI to my family room with left and right speakers.

    I've been told I need to purchase center channel speakers. However, the space above my fireplace where the 52" LCD is located is quite tight.

    Can I purchase a soundbar and use as a center channel connecting to my reciever?

    They seem to be longer and shorter which would work better as I have to place on the same mantle as my TV is sitting on. I don't want the height of the center channel to cut off the TV screen.

    Please let me know. Thanks.

  2. #2

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    I would wire the left main and left surround in series - which would give you something like a 16 ohm load...

    Wire the right main and right surround in parallel which would give you a 4 ohm load...

    Wire the right side to the center in series which should give you a 12-14 ohm load?

    Then wire those both together in paralell for like a 6-8 ohm load total.

    No guarantee that was work - just fun to think about.
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  3. #3

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    I am a novice and don't understand any of that.

    I was just going to buy a speaker and have my AV installer hook up the speaker when he comes back to my house.

    Most of the center speakers I am looking at too tall to sit on my mantle with the TV.

    The soundbars have a lower height and would not interfere with the TV.

    That's the only reason why I was asking...

  4. #4

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    In theory it could work.

    I wouldnt do it without having an external amplifier as my most receivers would probably cry with that load attached to it...

    Either way - my above math may be off, but just make sure you dont get some dumb dumb who just wires everything together positive to positive negative to negative as that could create some fire starters :)

    And again my above thought process could be flawed as well..
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  5. #5

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    I think you are misunderstanding him Trey. You can use either the SurroundBar or SurroundBar50 as a center channel because you connect speaker wires into it just like a regular speaker(because it needs external amplification). If you don't have rear speakers and you have the ability to run those wires as well you might as well hook up the connections on the SurroundBar to give you that surround sound effect!

    Good luck!

  6. #6

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    The SDA SurroundBar IHT has an internal amplifier and a wireless sub, it would give you a lot more than just a center channel. I just bought one to make momma happy, she wanted a cleaner look (without floorstanders) and I got my own dedicated room. If you have preamp outputs for front speakers, that's all you need. The sound bar sounds much better than I imagined it would before I heard it.
    David

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    Not all the sound bars are amplified. The IHT is because it's just that - "integrated home theater"

    the other ones are made to be powered by a receiver. You could simply hook all the leads to the center channel if wired correctly to present a decent load and it would function as one big channel.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by edbert View Post
    I think you are misunderstanding him Trey. You can use either the SurroundBar or SurroundBar50 as a center channel because you connect speaker wires into it just like a regular speaker(because it needs external amplification). If you don't have rear speakers and you have the ability to run those wires as well you might as well hook up the connections on the SurroundBar to give you that surround sound effect!

    Good luck!
    Exactly, I don't have rear speakers and don't want them. My only interest at this point is improving the spoken dialogue when watching TV or Movies.

    I have a Sony STR-DA3500ES receiver and left right speakers wall mounted in my theater room.

    I see there are several "Surround Bar" models within polk audio. How do I determine which one to purchase?

    I am new to this. Please let me know. Thanks.

  9. #9

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    The more I read about "Surround Bar", the more confused I am getting.

    I don't want all of the effects that rear speakers would provide. I want this "surround bar" to function as my center channel only.

    Is this something specific in the configuration that needs to be done for center channel only with this product?

  10. #10

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    Don't think you can, the soundbar wasn't made for that purpose.

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    If you get either the SurroundBar 42 or 50, you will need external amplification(which it sounds like you have) and you can just connect the center channel speakers up. This means that you are only using a small portion of the speakers included in the SurroundBar, but it fills your need. Later on down the line you may have a better theater and can purchase a real center channel and then the SurroundBar can be moved to the bedroom and fully utilized.

    Hope this helps!
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  12. #12

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    If you just want to improve dialogue, just route the center channel signal in the avr to the front left and right speakers. Another option is to look at center speakers that are made for on wall use, they tend to be smaller.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    If you just want to improve dialogue, just route the center channel signal in the avr to the front left and right speakers. Another option is to look at center speakers that are made for on wall use, they tend to be smaller.

    I want to keep my existing left/right in-wall speakers in my setup so I don't think this would work.

    Are center speakers made for onwall use in a similar shape to a soundbar?

    I'm having a hard time finding something small enough that would work.

  14. #14

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    Check my post. You can do it and just have it function as a center channel.

    Otherwise Polk offers the VM20 and VM10. Click here for info on the VM10!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    If you just want to improve dialogue, just route the center channel signal in the avr to the front left and right speakers. Another option is to look at center speakers that are made for on wall use, they tend to be smaller.
    Quote Originally Posted by atomarchio View Post
    I want to keep my existing left/right in-wall speakers in my setup so I don't think this would work.

    Are center speakers made for onwall use in a similar shape to a soundbar?

    I'm having a hard time finding something small enough that would work.
    What Tony means is to go into your AVR setup menu and turn OFF the center channel. This is called a phantom center and works well for a lot of people. If you haven't already done this, your AVR thinks it's sending dialogue to a speaker that doesn't exist. A phantom center setup has the center signal split between your mains.
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  16. #16

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    Mine has a GUI interface. I have it set to 2/2. Which must mean 2 speakers 2 channel?

    Does selecting only left-right as my 2 speakers turn off the center channel? Or are you referring to something else?

  17. #17

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    haven't read the entire post but if your only looking for a small center that won't block your tv screen, why not look into Polk's new small speaker satellite range - the TL Blackstone series.



    http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/blackstonetl/


    Alternatively, if your set on a surroundbar, why not just let it handle all the speakers chores of the system (L/C/R along with SL and SR) and use your current stereo speakers somewhere else in the house (like on zone 2)

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Don't think you can, the soundbar wasn't made for that purpose.
    If he has preamplifier outputs....grab a sound bar that is amplified, and put all of the connectors for the sound bar in parallel and connect them to the center channel preamplifier out. Right? No impedance issues to deal with...no nasty business. If he has preamplifier outputs. But its not a cheap center channel, I'll say that.

  19. #19

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    I am hiring an installer to hook up the speaker. I know there are center channel speaker wires in the wall behind the TV.

    I am fine with either center channel or sound bar, my primary concern is size (namely height) and how to install.

    I am thinking the sound bar shape would look bette sitting on my mantle in front of the TV as compared to the center channel speaker shape you reference above.

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    Well, I guess our work is done here. Good luck!

  21. #21

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    Do not get the Suroundbar. It is not designed to do what you want. Find a center channel speaker designed soley for that specific purpose. There there are lots of companies that make them and there surely is one out there that "looks good" for you.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by shack View Post
    Do not get the Suroundbar. It is not designed to do what you want. Find a center channel speaker designed soley for that specific purpose. There there are lots of companies that make them and there surely is one out there that "looks good" for you.
    Got it.

    If anyone happens to come across a center channel with a "Soundbar" shape, please let me know.

    I am still looking. Thanks.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3 View Post
    I would wire the left main and left surround in series - which would give you something like a 16 ohm load...

    Wire the right main and right surround in parallel which would give you a 4 ohm load...

    Wire the right side to the center in series which should give you a 12-14 ohm load?

    Then wire those both together in paralell for like a 6-8 ohm load total.

    No guarantee that was work - just fun to think about.
    No, won't work unless the surround bar is modified to eliminate the SDA circuitry )mixture of inverted rear drivers along with replacing their Xos which are slightly differently engeneered than the front or center Xos)

    Quote Originally Posted by atomarchio View Post
    I am a novice and don't understand any of that.

    I was just going to buy a speaker and have my AV installer hook up the speaker when he comes back to my house.

    Most of the center speakers I am looking at too tall to sit on my mantle with the TV.

    The soundbars have a lower height and would not interfere with the TV.

    That's the only reason why I was asking...
    Wrong speaker for your specific use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vr3MxStyler2k3 View Post
    In theory it could work.

    I wouldnt do it without having an external amplifier as my most receivers would probably cry with that load attached to it...

    Either way - my above math may be off, but just make sure you dont get some dumb dumb who just wires everything together positive to positive negative to negative as that could create some fire starters :)

    And again my above thought process could be flawed as well..
    After modification is performed, external amp is recommended as the mix and match of impedance would do more worse than any good.

    Quote Originally Posted by edbert View Post
    I think you are misunderstanding him Trey. You can use either the SurroundBar or SurroundBar50 as a center channel because you connect speaker wires into it just like a regular speaker(because it needs external amplification). If you don't have rear speakers and you have the ability to run those wires as well you might as well hook up the connections on the SurroundBar to give you that surround sound effect!

    Good luck!
    NO, an SB is NOT just like an ordinary speaker, in order to use solely as a center channel the SDA technology interfers with the process...

    Quote Originally Posted by atomarchio View Post
    Exactly, I don't have rear speakers and don't want them. My only interest at this point is improving the spoken dialogue when watching TV or Movies.

    I have a Sony STR-DA3500ES receiver and left right speakers wall mounted in my theater room.

    I see there are several "Surround Bar" models within polk audio. How do I determine which one to purchase?

    I am new to this. Please let me know. Thanks.
    None of them suits your requirement unless modified for that purpose.

    Quote Originally Posted by atomarchio View Post
    The more I read about "Surround Bar", the more confused I am getting.

    I don't want all of the effects that rear speakers would provide. I want this "surround bar" to function as my center channel only.

    Is this something specific in the configuration that needs to be done for center channel only with this product?
    The only way would be to modify it and add proper external amplification for each single speakers (IE; 7 channels external amp).

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Don't think you can, the soundbar wasn't made for that purpose.
    Exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by atomarchio View Post
    I want to keep my existing left/right in-wall speakers in my setup so I don't think this would work.

    Are center speakers made for onwall use in a similar shape to a soundbar?

    I'm having a hard time finding something small enough that would work.
    What brand/model in-wall speaers are you presently using? You have to keep in mind the center must match your present speakers as much as possible for the best SQ/soundstage possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by atomarchio View Post
    Got it.

    If anyone happens to come across a center channel with a "Soundbar" shape, please let me know.

    I am still looking. Thanks.
    This one from partsexpress could do the trick for you if you provide the bar with seperate amplification for each of the 3 speakers. http://www.parts-express.com/pe/show...#windowcontent

    Disclaimer; I do not know what is the quality of that brand NOR do I know if it will be a good match for your existing in-wall speakers. Another option could be to go with in-wall for your center, any thought?

    BTW; welcome to Club Polk


    I addition, this question of interest has popped up on many occasions through the year on the forum and I wonder why Polk couldn't consider modifying some on request for their client? I believe all that qould be required is to remove the rear Xos and replace them with the typical Xos that are used in the center, LR fronts and RM10s & RM20s... Would that be sufficient or something else needs to be considered? Any feed back from Polk on this as this could mean some more business that is actually given to competition? The bar could then be used as LCR or solely as a center depending on the users needs...

    Cheers!
    TK
    Last edited by TECHNOKID; 01-04-2011 at 09:15 PM.

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