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todd.brust

Center Channel Upgrade For The Parents

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For Christmas, me and my brother went in and replaced my parents old Sony POS receiver. We were on a budget and got them a Yamaha RXV-365 receiver and it works well for what they need it for. The biggest problem they have is their center channel. Small sony center that came with the receiver. Probably a 3" speaker and nothing else, no tweeters, not bass just terrible.

What I want to do is a simple 2 way center channel for them. Obviously an upgrade that won't break the bank. I would just like a center channel that be more full sounding. I was thinking 2 5 1/5" and a tweeter of some sort. I want to keep the height of the speaker as low as possible without risking losing too much low end. I am under the impression that a center channel is the most important speaker in a multi channel audio set up. No idea how valid that is but that's why I am here.

Here's what I'm thinking.

Maybe a set of these

Parts-Express.com: Dayton DC130BS-8 5-1/4" Classic Shielded Woofer | woofer dc130bs-8 5-1/4"woofer midbass shielded woofer dayton dayton audio dayton loudspeaker

and a tweeter like

Parts-Express.com: Tang Band 25-1719S 1" Ceramic Dome Tweeter | Tang Band 25-1719S tang band tb speakers dome tweeter ceramic dome hard dome non-metallic dome

or

Parts-Express.com: Dayton DC28F-8 1-1/8" Silk Dome Tweeter | tweeter dc28f-8 silk dome tweeter dome tweeter soft dome dayton audio dayton loudspeaker dayton dayton silky daytweet-41108 daytontweets090109

Those are just some thoughts, but I am down for any suggestions. What I will need a little help with is going to be crossovers. I can figure out how to build them, i just don't know how to choose good crossover points for drivers that I match up.

Thanks in advance.

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It was a home theater in a box so it is some small Sony speakers. Just more junk. I was told that the center channel was the most important part of a HT. So I figured that upgrading the center would be a good starting point then work outwards.

Correct me if anything I have been told is wrong. Home theater is completely foreign to me. I have done the car audio and 2 channel stereo thing but never anything more than 2 speakers and a sub.

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Hmmmmmm.....In that case, would you recommend using all the same woofers and tweeters? Why or why not?

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It was a home theater in a box so it is some small Sony speakers. Just more junk. I was told that the center channel was the most important part of a HT. So I figured that upgrading the center would be a good starting point then work outwards.

Correct me if anything I have been told is wrong. Home theater is completely foreign to me. I have done the car audio and 2 channel stereo thing but never anything more than 2 speakers and a sub.

Check out the (controversial) thread and "forum member review" at Where are all you experts now? - Page 4 - Audioholics Home Theater Forums then see the source for the cheap (<$70) upgrade for your center channel at BioLinks® Audio � HDSS®/ETL™ Store - You don’t have to be an audiophile to appreciate these products It's self-serving, but will work for you, I believe, without spending a lot of money.

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Hmmmmmm.....In that case, would you recommend using all the same woofers and tweeters? Why or why not?

Generally speaking yes, you want to use the same woofers and tweeters and ideally in the same alignment across atleast the front 3 channels. Reason being is it can throw off the sound if the left, center and right have identifiably different sound.....you'll be able to "hear" the change.

For as many people who use them, horizontal MTM's are actually really bad acoustically. If you were looking for a cheap and simple upgrade, you might look at something simple like these Dayton Bookshelf Speakers for $30 a pair. Buy two pair for $60, use 3 of them for their LCR....no fabrication require, simple plug-n-play install. I wouldn't expect award winning sound....but they could be an upgrade over cheap HTIB speakers.

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For as many people who use them, horizontal MTM's are actually really bad acoustically.

Indeed, sort of like adding an arbitrary tweeter. I sort of assumed that the speaker needed a horizontal layout which is a terrible assumption.

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Hmmmmmm.....In that case, would you recommend using all the same woofers and tweeters? Why or why not?

Generally speaking yes, you want to use the same woofers and tweeters and ideally in the same alignment across atleast the front 3 channels. Reason being is it can throw off the sound if the left, center and right have identifiably different sound.....you'll be able to "hear" the change.

For as many people who use them, horizontal MTM's are actually really bad acoustically. If you were looking for a cheap and simple upgrade, you might look at something simple like these Dayton Bookshelf Speakers for $30 a pair. Buy two pair for $60, use 3 of them for their LCR....no fabrication require, simple plug-n-play install. I wouldn't expect award winning sound....but they could be an upgrade over cheap HTIB speakers.

I saw those but they might be too cheap. Look kind of cheesy, but I am sure they have performance advantages over the parents current set up.

What exactly is so bad acoustically with using a MTM design?

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Horizontal lobing creating many hot and null locations throughout the room.

Considering what they are replacing though it would still be a huge step up. Preferably doing a MMT in all three locations is better, but perhaps you could also get away with just an MT.

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Would You suggest vertical MMT or horizontal for the left and right channel?

I very much liked the Zaph speaker, could I use that design and just rearrange the speaker in the enclosure?

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Would You suggest vertical MMT or horizontal for the left and right channel?

I very much liked the Zaph speaker, could I use that design and just rearrange the speaker in the enclosure?

If you change the front baffle at all you need to change the whole crossover.

If you can stand a vertical center (which would be the best) then something like this would work:

Zaph|Audio - ZMV5 - MCM / Vifa 5" System

Going with a full range setup would also be a solution. Many more of course depending on the budget. I was trying to stick to lower cost diy stuff.

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That's what I was afraid of. I might just go with the initial Zaph speaker you showed even if it is MTM. It will be an upgrade regardless, and I highly doubt my parents would ever know the difference. Then hopefully make them set of fronts later.

Thanks for the help.

Todd

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Sort of why I recommended it. If you have to do horizontal, WMTW is the right alignment with the mid under the tweeter and a woofer on each side but that takes a way more expensive crossover and isn't as easy to pull off. In particular for a low budget. Zaph's MTM should blow any MTM anywhere near its class out of the water, but the response across the room won't be as nice as just a MT place in the center.

You could use a full range driver with nearly no crossover and then just add a super tweeter on top of the box. Something like a Tangband W4 ($30) and HiVi TN28 ($17). Not really such a good tweeter, but allows you to keep the box profile of the 4 and just have a top mount tweet. If you could make the box a little taller an Aura NT1 tweeter would work well and be easy to integrate with the W4. (ie hardly any components in the x-over)

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Hmmmmmm.....In that case, would you recommend using all the same woofers and tweeters? Why or why not?

Generally speaking yes, you want to use the same woofers and tweeters and ideally in the same alignment across atleast the front 3 channels. Reason being is it can throw off the sound if the left, center and right have identifiably different sound.....you'll be able to "hear" the change.

For as many people who use them, horizontal MTM's are actually really bad acoustically. If you were looking for a cheap and simple upgrade, you might look at something simple like these Dayton Bookshelf Speakers for $30 a pair. Buy two pair for $60, use 3 of them for their LCR....no fabrication require, simple plug-n-play install. I wouldn't expect award winning sound....but they could be an upgrade over cheap HTIB speakers.

I saw those but they might be too cheap. Look kind of cheesy, but I am sure they have performance advantages over the parents current set up.

What exactly is so bad acoustically with using a MTM design?

Vertical MTM's aren't bad. Taking an MTM and laying it on it's side (horizontal MTM) like 90% of commerical center channels seem to be is bad. There are huge peaks and dips in the response off axis as Sean pointed out.

I recommended those Dayton's because I wasn't sure how cheap you were looking to keep things and they were the cheapest speaker with acceptable performance I could think of and you could keep all 3 fronts matching for under $100.

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