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  1. #1

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    Default How much do I loose by not having a center channel speaker?

    I have a pair of RTi7's coupled to an onk 809. I just spent several hundred dollars to run speaker wires through the ceiling to the back wall for surrond speakers. I added a borrowed pair of Mk 150 for the rear speakers.

    I have been trying to hold out buying anything more until I have heard a pair of LSIM 705's.

    Should I just go ahead and add the CSiA6 to the center and be done with it or should I continue to wait until I can hear a LSIM system? The onk adds the center to the right left speakers and I usually sit in the suite spot. It works ok for home theater.

    For music the RTi7's are better than most but not quite where I want to be.

  2. #2

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    Honestly, if your mains are set up to image well and you're only concerned about one listening position, a center channel is optional. Not saying you should NEVER add one, but... it isn't necessary to enjoy your rig.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

  3. #3

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    The choice of adding the A6 or not depends are your plans. If you are happy with the preformance of the A7's, then add the CSI A6. If you already know that you would be happier with the LSIM line of speakers,don't add the A6. Save the money for whatever you think you are going to run for your front mains, and but them first. Then add the center.

    You've already said the Onk can do a virtual center fairly decently. There is no sense buying the CSI A6, if you're going to the LSIM line, and sell it a short time for a loss. You'll neb\ver get what you pay for ir new. The RTIA line and the LSIM are not timbre matched.

  4. #4

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    I don't think a center is needed in most situations. I recently added one to mine and I really can't tell if its added anything to the experience or not. I think the only time it becomes REALLY evident that you don't have a center speaker is when you're way off axis from the screen. I honestly feel that 2 channel HT is a bit under-rated nowadays, especially when those two speakers can fill the room completely with sound.

    If you're running all speakers off your receiver, I could see a possibility of it actually decreasing the overall experience by dropping the power given to the other speakers.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  5. #5

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    Asked this on another thread, but did not get a reply. And, sorry to thread jack, but it is somewhat related.

    My question is; Any reason it would be a bad idea to use the LSIM703 as a Center, while using the same as my fronts?

  6. #6

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    It all depends on what your end game is. If you don't want to hear the entire soundtrack as engineerd by the studio's with all the steerng they masterfully recorded then leave out the center. If you want the whole HT experience you owe it to yourself to run at least a 5.1 channel set up. As far as listening to a HT with 2 speakers, well that's about as exciting & accurate to listening to your 2 channel system with only one speaker. You wouldn't dream of doing that now would you. So why cheat on the HT listening experience.
    "2 Channel & 11.2 HT "
    Panny 65" 3D Plasma
    Yamaha AVENTAGE RX-A3010 AVR
    D>SONIC M2-600M mono's / mains
    Rotel RMB-1095 / 5 channel amp
    Rotel RMB-1075 / 5 channel amp
    TEAC UD - 501 DAC
    Oppo BDP-93
    SONOS System
    KEF Q900 / mains
    KEF Q600 / center
    KEF Q800 / surrounds
    KEF Q100 / rear surr.
    Def Tech ProMonitor 1000 / front & rear presence
    Velodyne SPL-1200R subs / dual pair
    DSPeaker Anti-Mode 8033 sub EQ
    Equitech Balanced Power Son of Q 1.5R
    Extensive room treatments

  7. #7

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    You need a good center for H/T.

  8. #8

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    I really don't understand the center thing. You don't "need" the center at all, especially if you're in the sweet spot. This is the same concept as 2 channel stereo, where they eliminated the center channel with the intent of the listener sitting in said sweet spot. You're not losing information, and in many cases, you're probably getting the material handled by more capable speakers. If your speakers are able to "disappear" as intended, there is no added benefit to a center unless you're a good ways out of the sweet spot. If you've got a less than ideal setup, it might be beneficial.

    I won't argue rears/surrounds because they can play significant roles, but I stand by my statement. People nowadays think its a MUST to have 5 or 7 speakers and a sub to run a decent HT and it just flat isn't true. Especially if you're on a budget, you should consider a more consolidated system with higher quality components. If done right, many probably wouldn't fret over the missing channels, much less a center channel. Hell, I don't even run a sub because it simply isn't needed. There's a pretty high chance that the center I just bought will be moving down the road here soon because it adds nothing to the experience.



    David, if you feel you're missing "something", then you could try the center out. I don't see the point since you plan on moving up the chain. How are your seats set up in your movie area?
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  9. #9

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    Not everybody sits in the sweet spot when watching a movie. You need a center.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for your comments. My home theater came alive when I added the Mk's and properly set up the onk.

    I had one sent up with a onk 609, rti8s, csi4 and rtia7 (rear) and I am sure that i didn't have the input output right on that onk. All sent to my brothers except the 7s.

    I am hoping to some day hear the LSIM's. I heard the LSI's in FRY's but the set up was terrible. The ring radiator was great but the rest was un-listenable.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post

    David, if you feel you're missing "something", then you could try the center out. I don't see the point since you plan on moving up the chain. How are your seats set up in your movie area?
    I don't think I am missing anything for the HT. I am impressed by the A7's full range. I feel I may be missing something for music.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by DSkip View Post
    I really don't understand the center thing. You don't "need" the center at all, especially if you're in the sweet spot. This is the same concept as 2 channel stereo, where they eliminated the center channel with the intent of the listener sitting in said sweet spot. You're not losing information, and in many cases, you're probably getting the material handled by more capable speakers. If your speakers are able to "disappear" as intended, there is no added benefit to a center unless you're a good ways out of the sweet spot. If you've got a less than ideal setup, it might be beneficial.

    I won't argue rears/surrounds because they can play significant roles, but I stand by my statement. People nowadays think its a MUST to have 5 or 7 speakers and a sub to run a decent HT and it just flat isn't true. Especially if you're on a budget, you should consider a more consolidated system with higher quality components. If done right, many probably wouldn't fret over the missing channels, much less a center channel. Hell, I don't even run a sub because it simply isn't needed. There's a pretty high chance that the center I just bought will be moving down the road here soon because it adds nothing to the experience.



    David, if you feel you're missing "something", then you could try the center out. I don't see the point since you plan on moving up the chain. How are your seats set up in your movie area?
    iof you want to talk about this more , make a thread and we can go down that rabbit hole. In short , yes you need a center IF you want to recreate a movie sound track as intended. Proper calibrated center channel in a matching system is magic.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    iof you want to talk about this more , make a thread and we can go down that rabbit hole. In short , yes you need a center IF you want to recreate a movie sound track as intended. Proper calibrated center channel in a matching system is magic.
    I definitly would like to add a center but if the LSIM's are significanty better for music I would like to match the timbre of the LSIM and not get the CSiA 6.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    I have a pair of RTi7's coupled to an onk 809. I just spent several hundred dollars to run speaker wires through the ceiling to the back wall for surrond speakers. I added a borrowed pair of Mk 150 for the rear speakers.

    I have been trying to hold out buying anything more until I have heard a pair of LSIM 705's.

    Should I just go ahead and add the CSiA6 to the center and be done with it or should I continue to wait until I can hear a LSIM system? The onk adds the center to the right left speakers and I usually sit in the suite spot. It works ok for home theater.

    For music the RTi7's are better than most but not quite where I want to be.
    I suggest hearing the LSIM's , they are probably the best sounding speaker Polk ever made IMO. I use to think that of the LSi's until I heard the LSim's . I very impressed with what I heard and I would be proud myself to own a full 5 or 7 channel system.

    With the RTi7's , you really can't buy a new center channel that will match correctly. I suggest building a full matching system. If the Lsim's are on your mind , then hold out till you can hear them. This is a issue many times with polk as it is with other brands of speakers. I'm no fan of buying anything without a proper demo first.
    Now if you can check out the RTia series , you will be surprised how much better this version of the RT series is over all older models. This is not a bad place to be as if you can get a RTia demo , it might be something you might enjoy.

    Maybe a forum member will have a system you can go check out. There is a LSIM demo program , I'm not sure if it's still in effect as I wanted to hear the LSIM707's or LSIM705's.
    Good luck with your quest.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conradicles View Post
    Not everybody sits in the sweet spot when watching a movie. You need a center.
    My point being, what if this is a 2 person household with the "movie seats" being ideal. Is there really a need for a center then? If he is the only one in the house who cares about the audio and is already eying new speakers, what's the point of getting the center if he has first choice of seating? So still get the center, even though you're going to be cutting power to your mains by adding it, thus reducing their overall impact, and still not making much (if any) audible difference when sitting in the sweet spot?

    I just don't like blanket statements. Saying a HT isn't complete without surrounds makes more sense. Saying it isn't complete because you don't have a center is completely dependent on the situation.



    Not trolling you Con, just a different viewpoint here. My Usher's are fairly good at disappearing. When I got the center, it took me a week to figure out how to get it to work because of decoding issues. Every time I thought I got it, I sat back and watched the movies and became curious if it was actually on. Even with my head a foot away, I still couldn't tell if it was on or not. I had to physically touch the speaker to know. With a 120" screen in a 14x12 room and a lone 8' couch in the room, center stage just doesn't shift that much from seat to seat. After finally getting it to work, I still can't tell a difference.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    I definitly would like to add a center but if the LSIM's are significanty better for music I would like to match the timbre of the LSIM and not get the CSiA 6.
    Like Mantis said, the LSiM is the best they've made, only possibility is an argument from the SDA crowd. Leaps and bounds above the RTi line, and voiced much better than the LSi line was for double duty.
    Usher CP-6311, Shuguang S200MK, Shuguang S845MK, Pioneer BDP-51fd, Douglas IC's, AQ cv-8 SC's, Pangea/Douglas PC's, Epson 8100

  17. #17

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    If you never had something, can you lose it?
    Do you hear that buzzing noise?

  18. #18

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    I respect Phils view on this, but to each his own. By not having a center channel, your not losing any information as the receiver re-routes it to the front left and right.

    I ditched my center long ago and never missed it and that was an SRT center. If your front speaks image well and are placed properly, good speakers can make you think the sound is coming from the center. This is purely a personal preference thing. You can try it without, if it doesn't float your boat, get the LSIM center. Not like they aren't going to make anymore.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by David R View Post
    I have a pair of RTi7's coupled to an onk 809. I just spent several hundred dollars to run speaker wires through the ceiling to the back wall for surrond speakers. I added a borrowed pair of Mk 150 for the rear speakers.

    I have been trying to hold out buying anything more until I have heard a pair of LSIM 705's.

    Should I just go ahead and add the CSiA6 to the center and be done with it or should I continue to wait until I can hear a LSIM system? The onk adds the center to the right left speakers and I usually sit in the suite spot. It works ok for home theater.

    For music the RTi7's are better than most but not quite where I want to be.
    Are you referring to the rti a7's or rti70's? Owned the RTiA series and was disappointed with music playback. IMO the LSiM's are a big step up for music and HT. I myself have tried running without a center and it didn't last long. My system sounds much better when running a center.

  20. #20

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    I'm a firm believer in center channels for HT. I don't use one in my living room setup because we use it for music or basic tv shows that aren't important to hear in 5.1. However if it's a movie or video games I won't watch it unless it's in the Theater Room. Depends on what you watch and your personal preferences.
    Theater Room: Pioneer Elite SC-35, RTi12's, Csi5, Fxi5's, Fxi3's, ED A5-350 sub, Optoma HD20, 92'' Elite Screen, Sony BDPS790, Xbox One, APC H15, MIT Exp 2 SC's, Pepster PC's

    Living Room: Martin Logan ESL's, Peachtree Audio iNova, Zu Mission SC's & IC's, Pepster PC, Sharp Aquos 60'', AEX

    Bedroom: Panasonic AX200U projector, 110" screen

    Outdoor: Polk Atrium 5's, Yamaha Rxv371

  21. #21

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    Yea but having each speaker cover less area allows it to focus on a dedicated area. Kind of like having a speaker with multiple drivers. The less frequency range each driver has to cover the better.
    AVR: Onkyo Tx-NR808
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  22. #22

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    When listening to a movie without a center, it can sound nice, but the tracks are downmixed and are of lower quality. A timbre matched center is the way to go if you want the highest quality sound and most coherent soundstage.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by leroyjr1 View Post
    Are you referring to the rti a7's or rti70's? Owned the RTiA series and was disappointed with music playback. IMO the LSiM's are a big step up for music and HT. I myself have tried running without a center and it didn't last long. My system sounds much better when running a center.
    I have the rtia 7's.

  24. #24

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    When I started using my SDAs in the HT I stopped looking for a center. Previously I had used a CS2. Using just the SDAs sounds like I am running a center anyway.
    _______________________________________
    TV: 52" LED Sharp Aquos Quattron
    Fronts: Martin Logan Electromotions --- Center: Martin Logan Motion 8
    Front Heights: Polk RC65i --- Rears: Polk RC85i --- Sub: BIC America F12
    Tactile Transducers: Aura Pro Bass Shakers powered by Pyle Pro 2x15 Amplifier
    Onkyo TX-NR818 --- Emotiva XPA-3 --- Oppo BDP-103

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