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  1. #1

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    Question Center vs No center speaker

    I use Monitor 10A's for my front speakers. They are approx 10 feet apart from each other (with a 56" projection TV in the middle). With a separation of only 10 feet, would it be of any value of buying a cs400i to place on the TV, or am I not going to see any enhancement in the surround effect? Since the Monitors are on the original Polk stands and are toed in the recommended 10 degrees (viewing distance ranges from 10 to 16 feet), I am wondering if the center will go unnoticed? I would rather spend the money on rear surrounds if I don't need the center. I only have enough money (barely) to get one or the other. I already have a pair of RTi28's for the side surrounds.

    If the recommendation is No center, how do I wire so the center channel is distributed to the two front speakers?

    If a center channel is recommended, any places to shop for them besides E-bay? Folks here say a used cs400i should go for $175 plus shipping, but E-bay prices get ridiculous (I am sure there is alot of bid rigging going on).

    TIA

    mgd99

  2. #2

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    Well let me put it simple as this....

    My main speakers are so center focused in their soundstage that a center is not needed. Only reason i actually have a center channel is the fact my dad let me use it and i got another amp out of it...lol

    Its clearly up to you, as long as them voices match up and suit you, I wouldnt eff with it
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  3. #3

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    Default Re: Center vs No center speaker

    Originally posted by mgd99

    If the recommendation is No center, how do I wire so the center channel is distributed to the two front speakers?
    ...

    mgd99
    mgd99,

    Most AVRs will let you specify your speaker setup/configuration. If you specify no center, then the receiver will route the center channel info to the mains. No fancy wiring on your part required.
    You'll probably have to check you reciever manual for such info.

    My friend has some massive PSB stratus golds and he uses the phantom center settings on his processor and I'm hard pressed to tell the diff.

    Good luck

    Dave
    Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.

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    If you use your system for a lot of HT stuff, then I'd say DEFINITELY get a center. MOST of a movie is coming from your center with regard to voices etc, and sound effects can't properly 'move' across the front stage if they're just moving left to right or vice versa. What budget are you working with on getting a speaker?
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  5. #5

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    and sound effects can't properly 'move' across the front stage if they're just moving left to right or vice versa
    I respectfully disagree. I have my system setup with a phatom center (RTi70's as mains) and I think it sounds BETTER than it did when I was using a center channel. This is mostly because the center channel I had was CRAP and didn't blend with my mains, but after removing it from the equation I am enjoying HT much more than before. I am going to get another center later on, probably an CSi5 or CSi40, but that will wait until I get a bigger TV, right now I have no where to put a center. The key to running phantom center is sitting in the sweet spot though. It is PARAMOUNT to sit in between the mains in order for this setup to work properly, but it DOES work very well...
    I am Jacks complete lack of surprise...

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    Of course it is better without the crap center. Try a Csi40 and then decide.

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    Originally posted by Topher
    It is PARAMOUNT to sit in between the mains in order for this setup to work properly, but it DOES work very well...
    It might work 'well' but it is never going to be as good as a properly matched system using a center channel. Gatemplin already made the point about a comparison with an admittedly crap center........
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  8. #8

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    I find that center speaker adds a level of precision and clarity to dialog in particular -- I would vote for having a center speaker. I have RTi8s as my fronts and a CSi5 as the center. The result of this combination is that the center speaker matches the fronts near perfectly. This latter fact is important. I think a lot of people work on the assumption that the center speaker can be a weak, cheaper speaker. To make the center speaker set-up work properly, the center speaker should match the fronts as closely as possible. If you are going to low-ball your center channel, you would probably be better off just sticking with just your fronts alone.

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    I don't use a center either. Oddly enough though, I happen to have one sitting on top of my TV. Remind me to put that thing in the closet will ya. In fact remind me to put my rears in there too.

    I set the center and rear to - NO.
    Make it Funky! :)

  10. #10

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    Post Sounds Great, But Less Filling

    I did the phantom center for a while but stopped for the following reasons:

    1. My SDAs generated a strong center image. However, the quality of the center image was dependant on where I was sitting.

    2. A good quality center channel really anchors dialog to the viewing screen.

    3. A dedicated center is going to have more sonic impact simply because the listener is affected by acutal air being moved in front of the screen rather than an aural illusion.

    4. Unlike audio CDs, most DVDs are sonically mixed to be reproduced with a dedicated center speaker.

  11. #11

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    Thumbs up

    Try a Csi40 and then decide.
    Okely Dokely Neighborooney! Just send me yours, I will test it out for a while and then get back to you! :D

    Just kidding, I admit my comparison was poor, however a strong argument can be made for going without a center channel, if it is the best for that individual case. I will probably be picking up a CSi40 soon, but I probably won't have anywhere to put it (TV isn't large enough) so I will probably just have to go without a center until I get some space. I do enjoy the way it sounds now though, although I am sure a CSi40 would match really well with my RTi70's.
    I am Jacks complete lack of surprise...

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    The 40 will match well, you could try making a shelf above the TV or in the stand below and using shims you can aim it at the listening position if you like.

  13. #13

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    My view is this,
    there is actual recorded sound directed to that channel being the center.If you want to recreate the entire sound track correctly,then a center is needed.

    Dolby Digital and DTS soundtracks use the center channel.If your running laser disc and VCR tapes then a center isn't cridical.

    You can play stereo recorded music using 1 speaker,but why would you?

    Dan
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  14. #14

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    Worst value in home theater is a center channel...

    i can go on EBay...

    Get a pair of RT5 or RT35i for like 100-150 or so......then get an amp for 170 or so, thatd be around 300-350, less than the CSi5, and it will smoke it.
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  15. #15

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    Its not about quantity of sound its about quality. Get the rears first set avr to phantom and get a good center as soon as possible. That way you can get the feel for movie.
    Wish I was a polkologist then I could call my self Dr.warviper.

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    It all depends on the seating arrangement. If you are the only one watching, and you are in the sweet spot, a phantom center will work OK. If you have anyone sitting closer to either main speaker, the voices and other sounds that a dedicated center channel would produce would be heard out of whichever main speaker they were closest to and, therefore, would not be anchored to the screen.
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  17. #17

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    Post

    Originally posted by Topher
    I will probably be picking up a CSi40 soon...
    From what I understand these are becoming hard to get. I recommend getting one soon, while you (probably) can.
    Mains: polkaudio RTi70's (bi-wired)
    Center: polkaudio CSi40 (bi-wired)
    Surrounds: polkaudio FXi30's
    Rear Center: polkaudio CSi30
    Sub: SVS 20-39 PC+
    Receiver: ONKYO TX-SR600
    Display: JVC HD-56G786
    DVD Player: SONY DVP-CX985V
    DVD Player: OPPO DV-981HD 1080p High Definition Up-Converting Universal DVD Player with HDMI
    Remote: Logitech Harmony H688

  18. #18
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    It's a matter of preference. If you have the extra cash and want to experiment, try a center by all means.

    You certainly don't want a CS400i with M10A's. That center will stick out (musically) like a sore thumb.

    You might find the M10's have enough imaging to not warrant a center. As you know, I put away my CS400i in favor of no center with my Monitor 10's.

    Dan

  19. #19

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    Dan t

    Really? The Polk Vintage Matching chart shows the CS400i as the perfect match. Polk e-mailed me to say a Cs40 or Cs 30 would also match.

    http://www.polkaudio.com/home/faqad/...rticle=vintage

    mgd99

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    The CS400i is hardly a perfect match. Polk has to find some center in their current lineup to go with the M10's.

    I went by the same chart before I purchased my center. The center sounded 'loud', very noticable. After experimenting with large, small, padding the sound by about -3.5dB, I finally disconnected it and have had better results. I set the center speaker to off or none can't remember, on the pre/pro.

    If you want, try using a center. I'm not saying not to purchase a center speaker, just my opinion on my findings when I had one.

    Dan

  21. #21

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    Dan,

    All ya have to do is adjust the volume level on your receiver to, for example, -6.5 to get it to balance with your other speakers. Either that or adjust your speakers to a +5.5 to balance them out. An AVIA disc should alleviate any sort of balancing issues for you to calibrate all of your speakers.......
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  22. #22

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    Buy a center channel is my vote.

    HBomb
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  23. #23

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    whoops....wrong post....lmao

    sorry!
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