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What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

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  • What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

    I'm debating what my next project will be. I finished a pair of Overnight Sensations MTM a couple months ago, and am now planning to either tackle the center channel edition or two floor standing subs to use as speaker stands for the ONS MTM's. My current stands consist of a pair of Polk Audio M20's. I have no center channel at the moment, but due to the layout of the room I'm currently using, the distance between the L and R channels is only 4 to 5 feet (tucked beside TV). My sub is a Klipsch RPW-10, and while not astounding, it works okay.

    I think I'm answering my own question here.

  • #2
    Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

    Subs.
    " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

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    • #3
      Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

      +1 the sub.......

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      • #4
        Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

        I'm going to vote for the center channel. I have noticed that not having a center channel in one of my setups has become a big issue, as a lot of the dialog gets muddled when the DSP sends it to my L/R speakers.

        You can get a $100 sub, a cheap microphone, and an EQ and get fantastic results.

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        • #5
          Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

          I would go subs first, for movies there is nothing like some good bass to wake things up. then the center will make a nice little project for the spring time.
          craigk

          " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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          • #6
            Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

            How about a pair of digger 8's with the AE PR?

            I use them a speaker stands for my OS MTM's and it works great.

            Kevin
            Shaken, not stirred...

            Classix II
            OS MTM's
            Digger 8 sub
            Overnight Sensations Center Channel
            Sprite Build
            Wolf's PC Speakers
            Minions III with Voxel Sub

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            • #7
              Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

              I'll 5th the subs. Heck, if you take a typical flat screen today (3', 4', 5') with its very poopy teenie speakers, just adding a sub to it is almost the FIRST thing I'd do.

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              • #8
                Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

                I chuckled at the thread title because I'm going to build a center channel subwoofer all-in-one deal for my new theater setup Why not have both? :D
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                • #9
                  Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

                  Sub. It makes a world of difference for music and movies. I just recently repurposed a Paradigm Titan bookshelf speaker and used its tweeter (Vifa D19TD-04) and crossover with two Dayton 5.25" woofers (dc130bs-4) that I had lying around and had a total of about $15 invested and it sounded surprisingly well. So I would say pull the trigger on a sub, and try to find a goodwill or thrift store speaker to hold you over on a center channel.

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                  • #10
                    Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

                    Not to discourage you from building a sub, but I found an energy 8" sub at the salvation army for $17.95 that actually sounds great and shakes my bedroom.

                    Filling in the bottom end makes a big difference and I am just running my two Classix II's and that sub in my bedroom. They image very well and the dialog sounds like it is coming from the TV. The speakers are about 12 feet apart and sub in the center. I really like the way it sounds. So maybe your OS MTM's with a sub and some OS MT's for surround duty would work?

                    Just food for thought...

                    Kevin
                    Shaken, not stirred...

                    Classix II
                    OS MTM's
                    Digger 8 sub
                    Overnight Sensations Center Channel
                    Sprite Build
                    Wolf's PC Speakers
                    Minions III with Voxel Sub

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                    • #11
                      Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

                      Another for the sub. Only poorly mixed movies will sound bad in stereo downmix. I currently only have stereo 2.1 and aside from one example off the top of my head, I can easily hear the dialog without a center channel. Now having a center helps in situations like that because you can always boost the db level on the center when needed.

                      Overall, I think you will get more enjoyment out of a sub then you would a center channel. It sounds like you're doing things in stages and you will end up with a center at some point anyway.

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                      • #12
                        Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

                        Originally posted by JasonP View Post
                        I chuckled at the thread title because I'm going to build a center channel subwoofer all-in-one deal for my new theater setup Why not have both? :D
                        One more vote for a big subwoofer.

                        I almost did that as well, but I found that I could hide a really big sub in the closet. This made the room feel more spacious than having a 10 cu-ft speaker ten feet in front of me. Right now, I don't have a center. I will eventually build one (again). A potent sub really adds some excitement to many movies, and even to some TV shows. If I had trouble with understanding dialog, then a center would be built pronto, but dialog has not been a problem. I do want a center, I'm just in no hurry to make one. I want to finalize my mains first.

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                        • #13
                          Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

                          Originally posted by greyson View Post
                          the distance between the L and R channels is only 4 to 5 feet
                          Sub, and that's the reason. With the L/R that close a phantom center works about as well as dedicated.
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                          • #14
                            Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

                            +1 on the phantom center for most "normal" size tv sets. lots of articles state that unless you are in the 60 inch plus range phantom center is a viable option.
                            craigk

                            " Voicing is often the term used for band aids to cover for initial design/planning errors " - Pallas

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                            • #15
                              Re: What's more important? Center channel or sub woofer?

                              Sub.

                              I've been running a phantom center for ages and don't notice any lack of intelligibility. If the left/right mains are competent speakers with clean midrange delivery, there should be no problem making out dialogue sans center channel.
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