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Short and not so deep center channel?

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  • Short and not so deep center channel?

    Newbie here. I've been surfing DIY speaker plans and forums for a little while. I built this center channel out of parts I had laying around. It has a generic Dayton 3 way crossover. See photo. I made it as I wanted a brighter sounding center for voice mainly and a vertical orientation for off axis listening...where the love seat is. It sounds quite nice likely by dumb luck. Excellent clarity. Problem is it is too tall and interferes with the TV remote sensor. TV is above the fireplace and I don't really want to move the TV up any higher. It's high enough. The center channel sits on the mantel and space is limited in height and depth. So, my question is, what can I build that would be no more than 7 inches tall and deep? I was considering a nested type MTM, like the Overnight Sensations MTM, but even that's a tad deep. If I make it less deep and wider keeping the same volume would that work? Any other ideas? And that being said, why not just use the Dayton MK442 and perhaps substitute a better tweeter and call it good? Or just get a matching Boston center channel but then I wouldn't get to make anything. My front left and right are Boston HD7's. Thank you.

  • #2
    I made this into L/R pair. Originally a small center speaker. Nice sound.


    • #3
      I was going to make a similar coaxial suggestion to djg but citing the budget SBAcoustics coaxial drivers. Suggested crossovers given on the SBAcoustics website. There are likely to be other suitable budget coaxial drivers around as well.

      A 4-5" coaxial sitting between a pair of 5" woofers should offer a higher performance but at the cost of a higher price and more complexity.

      As you seem to appreciate an MTM arrangement will have horizontal off-axis dispersion issues over the T/M crossover frequency range the importance of which will vary with seating arrangement and sound quality requirements.


      • #4
        Thank you. I have accepted doing an MTM and I understand that the midrange drivers should be close together as possible to improve off axis listening. Or so I read on Audioholics. I will perhaps be looking for plans like that. I can solder and build a basic cabinet, but I haven't advanced enough to design a crossover from scratch like Djg. I want to learn that

        This article and YouTube Video takes you on a tour of the most common center channel driver arrangements and discusses their strengths and weaknesses to help make the best selection for your needs.


        • djg
          djg commented
          Editing a comment
          The design i linked is by forum member BOBinga. I merely changed the box a bit.

      • #5


        • #6
          Oh yeah. That's the ticket. Thank you. Not sure if I am ready to blaze new trails yet, but that might be even better with the Dayton Audio TCP115-8 4". And considering the required box sealed volume, with the Daytons the box could even be a tad smaller.


          • #7
            I have a couple ideas, but I'm not seeing how the speaker interferes with the tv remote sensor. Where is the sensor located?

            Idea one. Replace the tweeter with a smaller tweeter, and cut a 1" bevel on the top edge.

            Idea two. Locate the tweeter and mid in the center. Slope the top downward towards the sides.

            Idea three. Build the box 2 or 3 inches deeper, and slope the baffle back towards the tv.

            Idea four. Shave 1/2" off the bottom at the back edge, and taper the cut to nothing at the front. Now the baffle will slope toward the tv.

            Idea five. Remote extender


            • #8
              The sensor is right at the center bottom of the TV. It's that white thing I believe Since the speaker sits a tad higher than me on the mantle I have to raise my arm overhead to use the remote. A smaller tweeter would work yes. Maybe one of those small Dayton ones that press/glue into place like the ND20FA-6.


              • #9
                Maybe experiment with a small piece of reflective material, like tin foil bent around the top edge of the speaker, Or maybe cut a beveled section out right under the sensor.


                • #10
                  I understand. But I kind of feel like that is cheating. I’m considering learning X-Sim or Vituix and build something proper.


                  • #11
                    I might build a center soon too. The hard part for me is deciding how much effort to put into the project. Something simple would work OK, but a 10" 3-way would work even better. I have a projector screen, and lots of room for a center. I look at my unused drivers, and I have lots of options, but I will someday want to build another pair of speakers, and I don't want to limit them by using a needed driver in a center. Some of my drivers are no longer available, or just too expensive to purchase again down the road.