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  1. #1

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    Default phantom center channel - center channel

    just want to hear from anyone who has gone from

    - phantom channel to an actual center channel and
    - if anyone who has done the reverse, to a phantom channel.

    thx!
    my 7.(1x4) HT setup
    TV - Mitsubishi WD-65734
    AVP / Amp - Onkyo PR-SC885P / D-Sonic 2500-7
    Front - Emerald Physics CS2
    Center - JTR Triple 12LF
    Surround L/R / Back - Polk RTi4 / Polk FXi A4
    Sub - 4 X Hsu ULS15 playing nearfield
    DVD / CDP - Sony PS3/40GB / Sony SCD-XA9000ES
    Belkin PURE AV PF60 / UPS
    Buttkicker

    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60612

  2. #2

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    Default

    I removed my center to go phantom and never looked back.

    Information always seemed localized, it didn't blend well even though the speakers were timbre matched with my mains. Plus the fact I didn't like having a large object between my speakers.

    If you have a large sweet spot, a phantom setup should work for you. Have you tried it yet?

    I believe Gaara is also a big proponent of using a phantom center.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    I removed my center to go phantom and never looked back.

    Information always seemed localized, it didn't blend well even though the speakers were timbre matched with my mains. Plus the fact I didn't like having a large object between my speakers.

    If you have a large sweet spot, a phantom setup should work for you. Have you tried it yet?

    I believe Gaara is also a big proponent of using a phantom center.
    I am in this crew too. No center. Just make sure that your fronts are setup for the best stereo imaging.
    Ben
    Please. Please contact me a ben62670 @ yahoo.com. Make sure to include who you are, and you are from Polk so I don't delete your email. Also I am now physically unable to work on any projects. If you need help let these guys know. There are many people who will help if you let them know where you are.
    Thanks
    Ben

  4. #4

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    I tried my Gallos w/ a LSiC for a few months after I sold off the rest of the LSis. I eventually tried a phantom center and much preferred it. Fast forward a year, I bought the matching Gallo Center and tried that for a week and liked it, but when I went back to phantom center it had to go. Therefore I have gone from a center to phantom and back.

    PROS:

    1. Sound quality. With properly setup fronts you can get much better imaging and panning with a phantom center. Most have a center above or below the screen. This causes panning from L-C-R to go from ear level, up/down a couple feet, then back to ear level, very unnatural. With a phantom center the sound stays exactly ear level, so now it it centered around the tv not only horizontally but vertically to, adding realism.

    2. Cost. You can sell of your center+amp+wires. For your situation just the 9+wiring.

    3. WAF. IMO and a TV looks much better alone on a stand, plus it is less distracting when watching a movie. Not to mention less cables so less mess.

    CONS:

    1. Hass Effect: If you have a center channel it doesn't matter where you sit, the sounds come from the center, but with no center things get tricky. If you sit closer to one speaker the sound actually pulls to that side, so the sweetspot is smaller for a phantom center.

    2. DRC: Some receivers have DRC that automatically kicks in when you drop below 5.1. In some cases it is not deflatable, so using a phantom center would cause a loss in dynamic range.

    3. "Gelling": Some have issues with peaks using a phantom center where everything gels together. It is generally with hard to drive receivers being run of rcvrs. With L/R it isn't as much of an issue, because the sound is still localizable, but with a phantom center it can cause the center image to fall apart.

    CONCLUSION:

    I use a phantom center mainly for the gains in sound quality, and with my listening area I don't hit any of the pit falls. My advice to you would be to try it for 1 week. Don't cheat, don't go back to using a center even if you hate how it sounds. Then after that week try using the center again. You might be surprised, it is a very different sound.
    Last edited by Gaara; 07-18-2008 at 08:50 AM.

  5. #5

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    I haven't tried it yet, but it would seem SDAs might be a perfect choice for running phantom center

  6. #6

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    Phantom center for the win. I went from 5.1 to 2.0 (may go back to 4.0)... and I've never been happier.
    Currently listening to:

    Marantz SR5004
    Sony BDP-S370
    Apple TV V2
    Audio Technica AT-LP120
    Mirage CMD-5 x 5
    Bic H-100

  7. #7

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    I use to run my set up with no center, got one ran ,sold it ran no center and miss the center and got another one. I understand what Gaara is saying but at the same time depends on what your running and how much you can do to blend the system into one, and that is why i pick pioneer over Hk anytime i have much more options. i am only comparing this to hk avr347.

    I perfer a center.
    - This your Bush?
    Harman Kardon AVR-2600.
    Polk LSI9's, PSW1000

  8. #8

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    I've gone from center to phantom (didn't have room for it) and back again. Right now I am running a center.

    I think Gaara is right on the nose - everything flows much better WITHOUT a center, though this is more because the mixes on a lot of movies are poor and tend to rely on the center too much.

    However, the reason I stuck with a center is when going phantom I always had to strain to hear dialog, or play with the volume a lot during movies, where with a center I didn't have this problem. Could have been my equipment at the time - this is before I went to separates - but I'm still willing to sacrifice a bit of the organicness (probably not a word) of phantom mode for ease of hearing dialog.
    If you will it, dude, it is no dream.

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