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Old 11-20-2006, 01:53 AM   #1
alpnwhite96
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Default center channel options: what has been done?

i was thinking of using a set of woofers/tweets from an a/d/s 346is set, run them active off the pxa-h701 using a tbd amplifier for the center channel, and then two cheap coaxials for the rear surrounds.

but also thought about using the alpine single DIN center channel speaker, and using the 346is as nice rear surrounds...

what do you guys think - what has been done in wrx's as far as dd5.1?
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:24 AM   #2
thedavel
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http://david-smyer.magix.net/

Click on the link for my center channel pics... at the time it had a focal access 5.25 and I have since upgraded to a focal poly-glass 5.25... I think that I will end up with something a bit more high end, more than likely a seperate ... I am currently powering mine with and xtant 1.1
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Old 11-20-2006, 08:36 AM   #3
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It depends on what you want to accomplish with your 5.1 If you want to go full out it should really be all the same drivers for the "5" portion of the setup. At least make sure the center is like the other fronts because you can notice some serious lack if it's a smaller/crappier driver.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:23 AM   #4
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I prefer to just build a great center image with a properly installed set of components up front and spend the money saved on better drivers, more power, etc.

If you are building a 5.1 system into a car be advised it can only be tuned for one seat at a time, stereo can make every seat occupant happier when done right

Sincerely,
Rick
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:29 PM   #5
thedavel
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agree with both comments listed... 5.1 is pretty cool for one person...
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Old 11-21-2006, 02:23 AM   #6
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I beg to differ....

The following is MY opinion.... and I know a lot of 2 channel guys are going to differ in opinion, so read on and take it for what it's worth. Further, I'm no engineer or audio genius and what's here is the condensed version of what I've picked up from various sources over the years. If anyone knows better regarding the particulars, feel free to correct me.

The object of five speakers is to allow a fuller soundstage from multiple locations vs. stereo. With stereo, you have only two sources of sound, which depend on aim point, orientation, spatial positioning, and maybe time delay to try to reproduce a complete soundstage. Depending on how much you wish to modify your car to equalize path lengths or place your speaker in just the perfect spot is going to determine how sucessful you are at getting a good image. Using stock locations, you're probably not going to get audiophile results. Add in some time alignment and maybe you might be able to pull things together a bit better, but only for ONE location. And sucks to be the poor SOB in the passenger seat....

5.1.... in a car? Well, two terms that are used interchangablily are Dolby 5.1 or DTS. But another good processor that also works is Dolby Pro Logic. They really are two completely different animals.... 5.1 is what you're used to in DVD playback, 5 discrete channels of information are recorded on the media (ok, it's 6 since the .1 is for the sub) and designed to be played back on a five channel system. Maybe you've heard an improperly set up 5.1 set up? If you don't have a center channel.... NO DIALOGUE!! When they record 5.1 and you set your system to play back in 5.1 specific parts of the recording are "steered" to specific speakers. Center channel gets dialogue, music is played across the front stage, special effects thru the mains, or sometimes to the left/right + subs... it's all up to the engineer who makes the final mix on the DVD. But what if you want to play regular audio CD's? Most CD's on the market are NOT recorded in 5.1.... in other words, if you want five channel in your regular audio listening experience.... no dice, cept for a few CD's out there.... Telarc comes to mind along with a couple of oddballs in the industry.

But all is not lost.... how do you make 5 channels out of a regular two channel CD? This is where Dolby Pro Logic shines..... a processor "derives" a center channel signal from the original two channel signal, then the rear channels are derived electronically, and work to give a little depth to the recording, often referred to as rear fill. Since now you have three speakers in the front, your path lengths are equalized to a fair degree.... you don't get so much of the on/off axis effect you get with stereo pairs since the center can take up some of the slack of the distant speaker. A center channel tends to fill in the "hole" I hear in a lot of two channel systems, right smack in the center of the dash high towards the rear view mirror area.... I've been impressed with the fullness of sound you get with just factory locations and center channel in PL mode.

Is it perfect? Nope, but if you aren't ready to do extensive modifications to your interior to make the car suit the soundstage, this is certainly one direction to consider. Frankly, I'm not terribly impressed with 5.1 in the car either, I think PL2 is the best all around compromise for music listening and movie watching. Further, you can defeat most of the processing and listen to your system in straight up two channel mode, and most PL processors allow you to set time delay. So you really get the best of both worlds.

So.... IMO Pro Logic gives you a lot more flexibility in system design when dealing with stock locations. If you're not going to mod the hell out of the car you might want to give it a shot. I've been playing with center channels of one kind or another in my vehicles for years.... mixed mono, audio control ESP-3, and now PL2/5.1 My main concern when designing a system is how BOTH driver and passenger sound since I've always held a firm belief that music is better shared..... Maybe my ears aren't IASCA "golden ear" standard, but for 99.9% of people, it's the best thing since sliced bread....

Last edited by couchflambeau; 11-21-2006 at 02:35 AM.
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Old 11-21-2006, 02:38 AM   #7
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I've posted em before so sorry for the redundancy....





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Old 11-21-2006, 02:47 AM   #8
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BTW, I've only spoke to one other guy who's used the alpine center channel, and he wasn't terribly impressed with it. Besides. if it's mounted down in the double din stack, I can really see it dropping your soundstage into your lap.

I use a/d/s 345is's and an A4im for the center. I had to swap the crossover on the IM for one from a 235is since the standard IM crossovers only highpass the tweeter, the woofer runs full range. After swapping the crossovers which put a lowpass on the woofer, I'd say the front stage blends almost seamlessly.....
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:29 AM   #9
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I would agree with couchflambeau with nearly everything he said...
my only reason for the comment "5.1 is pretty cool for one person" is that not to many people out there do it correctly... therefor they do not reap the benefits... I firmly believe that when done correctly a center channel completes a system and brings it all together...
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:58 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedavel View Post
http://david-smyer.magix.net/

Click on the link for my center channel pics... at the time it had a focal access 5.25 and I have since upgraded to a focal poly-glass 5.25... I think that I will end up with something a bit more high end, more than likely a seperate ... I am currently powering mine with and xtant 1.1
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Pretty sweet center channel install though. What did you use to make the main part?
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Old 11-21-2006, 11:53 AM   #11
raamaudio
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OK, there is an exception I must conceed and had not even thought of PL for several years now. If I was going to run 5.1, it would be PL and nothing else!

I agree for those wanting to use stock speaker locations it would be best.

But I still believe a simple two way system up front with mids in the doors and pillar mounted tweeters(firing right at each other) is very simple, cost effective and can sound incredibly good.

If you want 5.1, go with the couch method, if you want two channel that is easy, well proven, etc, go for door mids and and pillar tweeters.

---------------

Great to have an alternative that can actually work in a car posted here, thanks!!!

Rick
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Old 11-22-2006, 12:09 AM   #12
thedavel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrx614 View Post
no vacation
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Pretty sweet center channel install though. What did you use to make the main part?
not to sure if those comments were intended for me... for the install... i used mdf and then touched it up with some bondo, wrap in vinyl called it a day... took about 45 min...
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedavel View Post
not to sure if those comments were intended for me... for the install... i used mdf and then touched it up with some bondo, wrap in vinyl called it a day... took about 45 min...
In your website there are slide shows by those names and there are no pictures in them. That's what he is referring to.
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Old 11-23-2006, 03:00 AM   #14
thedavel
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I am a complete retard... maybe I deserve an insult... thats for sending a clue my way
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Old 11-23-2006, 12:13 PM   #15
alpnwhite96
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meh... getting a rainbow center channel will be epxensive...
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