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Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

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  • Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?


  • #2
    Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

    Originally posted by xsilverjag View Post
    Greetings,

    I currently have a pair of Selah SSRs. I’ve been running them with a phantom center for about 6 months. I’m considering buying the 3 way Selah Sardonyx kit but I’ve been hesitant due too the cost and its not really a timber match to the scanspeak in the SSR. I picked up the SSRs used at a good price, so if it makes since to timber match and go towards a different build completely, I’m not opposed to changing. I will probably change to a full size tower anyways since I’m moving my system to a larger space. I have built a few DIY speakers in the past, but simple builds such as encores and overnight sensations; however I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty and have the tools required to build a more complicated system.
    First question: does timber matching matter?

    Second: I’ve been considering building ER18MTMs with the ER15 center… however the center is only a 2 way? Am I better off picking a build using a 3way center like CJD's Khancenter, Swope Center or other suggestions? (Statement center would be sweet… however I don’t have a open space for it)
    I’d appreciate any suggestions, my budget can go up to 1,500, these speakers will be used for 50% music 50% ht.
    Thanks for your help
    It helps to have matching speakers across the front, but it's not mandatory. And the use of a MTM laying on its side for a center can work just fine. However, if you're prone to sitting more than 15 degrees off axis, you'll start to get response issues due to the pair of woofers cancelling each other (comb filtering). If you want wider coverage, you'll want the tweeter and mid in a vertical alignment and cross well below 1000Hz to the pair of woofers.
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    • #3
      Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

      I don't know squat but, FWIW, I'll be using an acoustically transparent screen with three identical front speakers. The surrounds will be full-range but I'm not compelled to worry about those being timber-matched to the front three. The front three will all be behind the screen with the L/R toed in a bit... all drivers facing the primary sitting position (me). Hey, I'm single so I get the best spot. Appropriate EQ will be employed to compensate for the screen material. The surrounds will all be bounced off the ceiling to help diffuse and disperse the sound (some will argue this is bad) but it works for my ears.
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      • #4
        Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

        Why not see if you could just order a single and use it as a center on its side? http://www.selahaudio.com/id124.html For a center, I'd DIY a square box, not a curved box.

        A lot of sources suggest having at least the three front speakers matching. If not identical speakers exactly, probably at least the same tweeter and sensitivity and hopefully the same family of woofers. I'm sure examples of mixing speakers have had great success, but matching speakers should pretty much guarantee success. I know when I built my first surround sound setup many moons ago, I mixed and matched speakers and worked my way up to a matching set all around. IMO, they did not work well all mixed up.

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        • #5
          Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

          You can buy a single SSR (as I have done), but Rick from Selah Audio recommends using it vertically not horizontal.
          -Mr.Ed

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          • #6
            Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

            If your watch movies where the characters walk across the screen, you WILL notice a difference if your center is not timbre matched to the mains. I've used both matched and unmatched centers in my setup and much prefer matched.
            A 2way MTM is always a compromise due to what Pete mentioned, off axis response. Placing the woofers as close together as possible helps mitigate the cancelations, but most MTM center designs don't get them close enough. A 3way is more optimal, but only if the tweeter and mid are vertically centered.
            You can't use the SSR laid down due to the ribbons directionality (unless you only plan to sit exactly on front of it). You CAN buy the kit for a single speaker and orient the ribbon 90 degs.
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            • #7
              Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

              + to above. Will the SSR fit? Rick also sells kits, so that will save you some $$ if you want to build your own.

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              • #8
                Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

                Originally posted by jsr View Post
                You can't use the SSR laid down due to the ribbons directionality (unless you only plan to sit exactly on front of it). You CAN buy the kit for a single speaker and orient the ribbon 90 degs.
                That makes perfect sense. I've yet to build a ribbon tweeter speaker. With dome tweets, you can lay a two way on its side from a center no problem.

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                • #9
                  Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

                  + to above. Will the SSR fit? Rick also sells kits, so that will save you some $$ if you want to build your own.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

                    Originally posted by Mr.Ed View Post
                    You can buy a single SSR (as I have done), but Rick from Selah Audio recommends using it vertically not horizontal.
                    -Mr.Ed
                    I bet rotating the ribbon tweeter 90* and then placing the speaker horizontally would work well. You may need to consider baffle step though, but that can probably be worked around with a simple reduction in inductor gauge size. I'm sure Rick will do that for you. Or enjoy the bit of extra bass.

                    That or ask Rick about a custom design that would meet your goals. If he has time, he'll work with you.
                    - Ryan

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                    • #11
                      Re: Center Channel 2 way vs 3 way does it matter?

                      Originally posted by ---k--- View Post
                      I bet rotating the ribbon tweeter 90* and then placing the speaker horizontally would work well. You may need to consider baffle step though, but that can probably be worked around with a simple reduction in inductor gauge size. I'm sure Rick will do that for you. Or enjoy the bit of extra bass.

                      That or ask Rick about a custom design that would meet your goals. If he has time, he'll work with you.


                      Thanks for the advice, I ended up just calling rick and dropping the $$ on a center.. its just easier Im doing sardonyx with the scanspeak drivers.. should be exciting.

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