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Marco
24-03-2018, 14:03
Well, I've been having a play with centre speakers again, in my home-cinema system, and thanks to DarrenHW (who sourced a single one for me in great condition) I've now added a 15XR as a centre speaker, replacing the existing UL6. So, I've gone from this:


http://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/1024x768q90/921/9zDSvT.jpg

...to this:

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/1024x768q90/924/ZBDkwB.jpg


I also took the opportunity of having the new centre speaker re-capped (with Jantzen Silver Z-caps) and fitted with Cardas solid-copper binding posts, which Darren kindly did, the same as was done on my fronts. Both these high-quality items notably improve the sonic performance of the Celestions:


https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/1024x768q90/922/IXow65.jpg https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/1024x768q90/924/FZ619m.jpg


https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/1024x768q90/924/FifNtc.jpg


Some more images of the overall speaker set-up:

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/1024x768q90/924/V4tsGx.jpg


Nice and cosy in the lounge, with the wood burner roaring away, on a cold and rainy day in Wrexham... This is the view from my comfy recliner chair, as I type:

https://imagizer.imageshack.com/v2/1024x768q90/924/FNTgCV.jpg

So what difference has employing a centre speaker with an 8-inch bass driver and ABR made? A LOT! Darren, who has an excellent home-cinema system himself, has always been a keen advocate of having 'power at the centre', enabling all information there to be rendered with the requisite detail, depth and scale, giving voices in particular convincing projection and realism...

Yup, yup and YUP - it does all that and more!

The "more" bit being the entirely seamless nature of how the front and centre speakers now, being all the same type and modified the same way, when teaming up with the stunning 'reach out and touch me' picture clarity of the superb Sony UBP-X800 Blu-ray player, deliver a truly mesmerising and immersive viewing experience with all types of movies, making you feel almost 'wrapped around and inside' every film.

And when the three ABRs (contained in the fronts and centre speakers) combine to augment bass frequencies, along with the twin Yamaha 12-inch subs, say with explosions during action movies, the CRUNCH and SLAM is truly palpable!! :wow::eek:

I've still to try some music DVDs and Blu-rays, recorded in 5.1 surround sound, where I expect the 15XR, doing centre duties, will really come into its own. So am I delighted with this latest addition to my home-cinema system? You BETCHA! It's now grin-inducing good:D

The final part of the jigsaw will be to replace the Gale surrounds with Celestion Ditton 11s, which are from the same family as the 15XRs, thus sonically and visually synchronising with the existing centre and fronts, which I expect to provide another nice upgrade. Then it'll simply be about adding to my Blu-ray collection, particularly the 4K HDR variety, and sitting back and enjoying movies through a very realistic mini-version of your local Odeon, minus the crunching of popcorn from others you're forced to share the same space with! :cool:

Marco.

Macca
24-03-2018, 14:10
I like the 'ye olde equpipmente racke'

Marco
24-03-2018, 14:15
Lol - it just goes with the rest of the furniture and 'feel' of the room. It's solid oak and retails for nearly £500, but we picked ours up on ebay for £80. It belonged to an old couple, from new, and it's mint :)

Does the job, although it was a bit of squeeze getting the Sony AV amp in! Anyway, next time you're here, I'll play you some movies. I think you'll like it...

Marco.

Macca
24-03-2018, 14:22
Cool. we still have to sort out that trip to Frank's. I guess after Easter now though.

Roy S
24-03-2018, 14:24
ĎOld Charmí? Got my telly on one, ĎHome cinemaí only runs to an smsl amp running jbl control ones at the moment.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180324/a7724808b661c97d826acc569ec6042e.jpg

DarrenHW
24-03-2018, 15:39
Glad you're happy with it!

I look forward to hearing it once the cap's burnt in and it will be interesting to see how well the 11's integrate. One thing's for sure, they'll go lower than your Gales, meaning the sub crossover point can be lowered which (as we found out the other day) will tighten up the already impressive performance of the Yamaha's.

Marco
24-03-2018, 16:58
‘Old Charm’? Got my telly on one, ‘Home cinema’ only runs to an smsl amp running jbl control ones at the moment.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180324/a7724808b661c97d826acc569ec6042e.jpg

Hi Roy,

Yup, the AV cabinet is part of the 'Old Charm' range. We've got a few pieces dotted about. They do some nice stuff, which suits our old lodge house: https://www.woodbros.co.uk/old-charm-furniture/

:cool:

Marco.

Marco
24-03-2018, 17:05
Glad you're happy with it!

I look forward to hearing it once the cap's burnt in and it will be interesting to see how well the 11's integrate. One thing's for sure, they'll go lower than your Gales, meaning the sub crossover point can be lowered which (as we found out the other day) will tighten up the already impressive performance of the Yamaha's.

Hi mate,

Yup, delighted with the recapped 15XR. It's made quite a difference, as outlined. I was watching Avatar last night on Blu-Ray, for the first time since I went to see it at the cinema, and also had installed the AV system at home, and the visuals and sound effects were just stunning!!

The 15XR, as centre speaker, had made a big overall improvement to the believability and realism of movies, but especially in the all-important area of vocals, which are bigger and more effectively projected into the room now. Good idea with the crossover point. That should be an interesting one...:)

Anyway, thanks for you've done. The Teriyaki noodles are on me next time!:D;)

Marco.

REXTON
24-03-2018, 17:45
Great speakers I still have a pair kicking around.

Gazjam
24-03-2018, 19:01
Good stuff Marco, looks (and no doubt sounds) the biz.

Those Cardas copper binding posts look interesting, might rewire my Eddingdales with a set actually.
Oh, got that bit of mains cable today, hooking it up to the balanced mains tommorow into one of those Missing Link silver sockets you recommended.

Can see a rewire and rejig of my mains setup being the next project. :)

Marco
24-03-2018, 19:54
Missed this earlier, soz...


Cool. we still have to sort out that trip to Frank's. I guess after Easter now though.

Yeah, defo... Just give me a shout when you fancy it. Have you thought any more about cabs? :)

Marco.

Macca
24-03-2018, 19:56
Missed this earlier, soz...



Yeah, defo... Just give me a shout when you fancy it. Have you thought any more about cabs? :)

Marco.

Looks like Ardens but I still need to sort out someone to build them. I still need to sort everything out basically.

Marco
24-03-2018, 20:06
Good stuff Marco, looks (and no doubt sounds) the biz.


Cheers, mate. I'm lovin' it! As you know yourself, having a nice home-cinema set up, it just makes watching films *so* much more interesting and enjoyable :)


Those Cardas copper binding posts look interesting, might rewire my Eddingdales with a set actually.
Oh, got that bit of mains cable today, hooking it up to the balanced mains tommorow into one of those Missing Link silver sockets you recommended.


The Cardas binding posts are top notch, Gaz. They're beautifully engineered and make a great connection. Good value too, at £27.00 a pair, considering that they're solid copper.

Glad the cable got there ok. You should like what it does, as that Furukawa stuff is pretty much the best there is, and ideal for the application you're putting it in. As you'll see, it was part of an MCRU 'Ultimate' mains lead (those that sell for £650 a pop), which was cut down in length.

Let us know how you get on :cool:

Marco.

Marco
24-03-2018, 21:50
Looks like Ardens but I still need to sort out someone to build them. I still need to sort everything out basically.

What we need to do is convince Frank to do the job;)

Honestly, he's probably forgotten more than you and I will ever know about Tannoys!

Marco.

Macca
24-03-2018, 22:11
Well I don't know much about them. I've heard 4 sets of good ones including yours, Ian's, a set at the Scalford show, and Paul RFC's Canterburys. I've also heard them sounding rubbish but they were all either completely vintage and knackered or badly set up with poor partnering equipment, or both. So I know that they can be excellent done right.

I'm interested to hear your A/V system. I've had a few configurations over the years and I'm starting to think that vintage speakers are the way to go for A/V. The main sin of vintage speakers like your Celestions or my Akais is that they are a little soft on leading edges. But that is an advantage when listening to pumped up soundtracks as they don't grate on you. It's all there, just slightly softened.

Marco
24-03-2018, 23:01
I get where you're coming from, but 'soft' is the wrong word, as I can assure you there's nothing soft about the sound of 15XRs, especially when recapped! However, they certainly have a fuller and less 'forced'/artificial presentation than many modern speakers, which does work very well with movies.

I think the 'grating' thing you mention is perhaps due to the overly-revealing/clinical nature of a quality 2-channel hi-fi amplifier, when employed on movie duties. That's where a good dedicated multi-channel amp comes in, as it's purpose built to separate and handle all the different sounds, which is why I'll be sticking with the Sony [and always with a dedicated AV amp in the home-cinema system], as it does such a good job in that respect.

In fact, all the Sony gear I'm using in the A/V system combines really well! :cool:

Marco.

Macca
24-03-2018, 23:15
Yes soft is the wrong word. What I meant is that you don't get that 'cutting' nature to the sound. Some soundtracks are all eq'd up so they punch out and that can get a bit too much with speakers 'voiced in the modern idiom', no matter how many channels you have.

Watching films on my system through the Akais reminds me of going to the Odeon or ABC in the '70s, before surround sound, when they still had the big speakers built in beneath or behind the screen. No multi-channel. The character of the sound is similar. I've got the kit here to go to 5.1 or even 7.1 but I don't feel the need anymore.

Marco
24-03-2018, 23:22
Yeah I getcha,... However, as good as it was then, it really is much better now, with Dolby DTS/Atmos surround sound, done well on a compatible player and amp. Trust me, once you hear that, nothing else will do!;)

Marco.

Macca
25-03-2018, 00:21
Man, I had DTS years ago. I've run an A/V system since 1991, had the old analogue Dolby surround set up, got DVD when it first came out (£200 for a budget player!) went to digital 5.1 in about 2002. Atmos is pretty new, so I've nothing capable of doing that, But I've never bought a Blu-ray disc anyway.

I've only got three priorities now; that I can hear the dialogue without any struggle, even at low volume, that machine guns firing sound enough like machine guns firing to suspend my disbelief, and that it doesn't grate on me even with the most pumped up action film soundtrack. The surround thing is fun but ultimately, to me it was a novelty that wore off. A good film doesn't need it and it won't make a bad film any better.

Marco
25-03-2018, 00:34
I've only got three priorities now; that I can hear the dialogue without any struggle, even at low volume, that machine guns firing sound enough like machine guns firing to suspend my disbelief, and that it doesn't grate on me even with the most pumped up action film soundtrack. The surround thing is fun but ultimately, to me it was a novelty that wore off. A good film doesn't need it and it won't make a bad film any better.

Sure, I agree with that last bit. However, in terms of how successfully you can suspend disbelief, as mentioned above, IME surround sound [done right], with the right film, especially action movies, does precisely that better than anything produced in basic stereo :)

Marco.

Marco
17-04-2018, 20:13
So, Martin, what did you think of the home-cinema system, when I demo'd it to you the other day? It's just a giggle really, but I quite like it:)

Marco.

Macca
18-04-2018, 07:10
You were getting a pretty good sound. I'm not keen on using a centre speaker myself but I didn't notice it working on its own so that's good. The subs are surprisingly effective too, given they are budget efforts.

Marco
18-04-2018, 08:16
Cheers, dude. I know what you mean about a centre speaker 'working on its own', and that happens largely because it's not integrating properly [seamlessly] with the rest of the speakers in the system, as it's not been set up correctly.

For me, the idea is to try, as best as possible, to 'superimpose' voices onto the screen, so that when people are speaking, it appears as if the sound is emanating directly from their lips (in mono), not somewhere else, artificially mixed in 'stereo', through a pair of front speakers...

If you can do that, and separate out the information properly, on a multi-channel recording, so that voices and effects 'come at you' from the correct places in your seating position, then for me, the whole home-movie experience is rendered much more convincingly. After all, that's what happens at a proper cinema.

Yes, the Yamaha subs are surprisingly effective, given that they are budget designs. It took me a while to get the placement and levels right, but largely it's all to do with how well they integrate with the rest of the speakers. Don't forget that the centre and fronts all have 8" ABRs, which will also be doing their bit, low down;)

Anyway, glad you enjoyed it :cool:

Marco.

Marco
19-04-2018, 12:58
Any thoughts on this mate [the centre speaker thing, if done well], or are we largely in agreement? :)

Marco.

Macca
19-04-2018, 13:06
Not really. I don't like the centre speaker and I don't see the point of it. The best it can do is not draw attention to itself. The way I see it, if you don't need a centre speaker for music, you don't need it for a film soundtrack. Stereo imaging gives you a centre image already.

There's a potential argument for its necessity in spreading the centre image so there is no sweet-spot if you have multiple people viewing (hence the horizontal woofer/tweeter/woofer layout of most centres) and I can understand that in principle. except that I've found doesn't really work in practice.

walpurgis
19-04-2018, 13:47
Not really. I don't like the centre speaker and I don't see the point of it. The best it can do is not draw attention to itself. The way I see it, if you don't need a centre speaker for music, you don't need it for a film soundtrack. Stereo imaging gives you a centre image already.

Yes. A centre speaker can only adulterate what stereo information is there.

struth
19-04-2018, 13:50
In a multi channel system, its fine, if integrated properly, as are subs and rears.

Macca
19-04-2018, 15:29
I find some mixes tend to emphasise it too much, so you are actually listening just to the centre speaker. Added to which even a rubbish centre speaker is stupidly expensive for what it is. Okay, Marco gets round that by using the same speaker as he does for his fronts, but then you have the issue with the lateral dispersion not being right.

Not that it really matters, the only question is can you actually hear any difference? And the answer is usually 'no'. So much bollocks talked about home cinema, it's worse than digital for that.

Marco
22-04-2018, 22:19
Sorry, I'm late to this, as the weather has been too nice recently for sitting inside typing on a computer....


Not really. I don't like the centre speaker and I don't see the point of it. The best it can do is not draw attention to itself. The way I see it, if you don't need a centre speaker for music, you don't need it for a film soundtrack.


I know where you're coming from, but they are different things, and so in order to reproduce the relevant content as faithfully as possible, requires different approaches.

The best 5.1 Blu-rays I've got, of live music performances, sound more realistic, in terms of how the sound would 'surround you' at a concert in real life, than any stereo music recordings I own of such.

Note that I'm not talking about sound quality, per se, but realistically how the sound would reach your ears, if you were sitting in the middle of an audience listening to the music. And a good centre speaker plays its part in that.

It's the same with films - and for me, a high-quality centre speaker, set up right and doing its job properly, with a film soundtrack designed to highlight its efficacy, will make that soundtrack more convincing (particularly the voices), than when heard simply on a pair of stereo speakers.

You're right, when the soundtrack has been poorly balanced/produced, so that it makes the centre channel sound 'artificially forced' or unnatural in some way, then you're better off just using a pair of stereo speakers, to reproduce the necessary information, as that will help hide the imbalance.


There's a potential argument for its necessity in spreading the centre image so there is no sweet-spot if you have multiple people viewing (hence the horizontal woofer/tweeter/woofer layout of most centres) and I can understand that in principle. except that I've found doesn't really work in practice.

In that respect, much depends on the shape of the room in question, the speaker positioning of the setup concerned, and your seating position.

Marco.

Marco
22-04-2018, 22:28
Yes. A centre speaker can only adulterate what stereo information is there.

I know where you're coming from, but in practice (when done well), on a good movie soundtrack, I don't find that's the case. I wonder why then that any high-end home-cinema set up you see always contains a top-notch (and usually a very large) centre speaker [plus rears and subs];)

I've never seen a serious home-cinema set up without a quality centre speaker.

Marco.

walpurgis
22-04-2018, 22:32
I wonder why then that any high-end home-cinema set up you see always contains a top-notch (and usually a very large) centre speaker

Marco.

Fashion? 'Cos it's expected? Status?

Marco
22-04-2018, 22:34
I find some mixes tend to emphasise it too much, so you are actually listening just to the centre speaker. Added to which even a rubbish centre speaker is stupidly expensive for what it is. Okay, Marco gets round that by using the same speaker as he does for his fronts, but then you have the issue with the lateral dispersion not being right.


I agree, as I've already said, and I've got some films which sound exactly like you describe, so I adjust the levels (in terms of distance and output) of the centre and fronts accordingly to compensate.

It doesn't solve the problem, but it helps. However, conversely, when the mix is spot on, the effect (in terms of recreating a convincing sounding film soundtrack) is MUCH better in my system, than when only a pair of stereo speakers is used.


Not that it really matters, the only question is can you actually hear any difference? And the answer is usually 'no'.

Well, I can certainly hear a difference, that's for sure!!:)

Marco.

Marco
22-04-2018, 22:35
Fashion? 'Cos it's expected? Status?

Doubtless that applies to an extent Geoff (for some folk), such is the nature of the beast, but for me, there's more to it than that. All I can say is that, using my own home-cinema system as an example, the positives of having introduced a large and high-quality centre speaker into the equation, have been considerable.

The single 15XR, employed for those duties cost £30, excluding the cap and binding posts upgrade. A total bargain!:)

Marco.

tubehunter
02-05-2018, 08:29
Ok your sitting in the front row at the cinema.

Massive screen, if you didnít have a centre channel vocals would appear not to come from the actors on screen but somewhere to the left or right.

In the home this isnít problem as the distance you watch from is usually further than the distance the left and right speakers are apart.

I donít use a centre as I donít like vocals positioned below the screen.

Marco
02-05-2018, 08:55
Ok your sitting in the front row at the cinema.

Massive screen, if you didn’t have a centre channel vocals would appear not to come from the actors on screen but somewhere to the left or right.

In the home this isn’t problem as the distance you watch from is usually further than the distance the left and right speakers are apart.

I don’t use a centre as I don’t like vocals positioned below the screen.

Good point, Dunc, and fair enough. However, I do :)

When you come round next time, I'll demonstrate the home-cinema set up to you, and you can see what you think :cool:

Marco.

Ali Tait
02-05-2018, 09:10
ISTR that the original brief for stereo reproduction used three speakers, the extra being a center speaker.

Jac Hawk
19-06-2018, 21:50
my only criticism is that you have it stuffed in the bloody corner, if you're going to do home cinema you should if possible look to put it across a wall and then once again if possible sit in the centre of the sound field. Most people have to compromise somewhere, that compromise can undo good components, in my opinion the set up and positioning of speakers and furniture is key and the most likely to see you in the divorce courts unfortunately.

Marco
19-06-2018, 21:59
Is that post directed at me, Mike? :)

If so, I had no option but to "stuff it in the bloody corner", as there's a window (to the right of the TV) in the middle of the wall where ideally a TV would go, and which we sit directly in front of. And I ain't blocking it up with a 50" widescreen Tele;)

I agree wholeheartedly that set up and positioning of speakers and furniture is key, so I've done my best to optimise that, within some compromises, whist most importantly making the room comfortable to sit in and not spoiling its traditional aesthetics, with it being part of a 19th century property.

Fortunately, there's no chance of me being involved in divorce courts, as I have an understanding wife who loves music and movies, and wants to enjoy them at their best, just as much as me! :cool:

Marco.

Jac Hawk
19-06-2018, 22:22
i wondered how long it would take to get a bite hahaha!!! i think that's probably why most people shy away from 5.1 or even 7.1 systems, 2 speakers even large ones can be accommodated in most living rooms, the cables hidden behind furniture, but adding another 4 or 6 more speakers and cable runs is often very tricky to set up just right and usually too much for most wives to put up with or as you've said the space you have doesn't lend itself to being set up as a cinema. in my opinion hiding the cables can be the hardest thing to do, convincing the missus that the freshly decorated walls have to be chased so the cable can be installed properly is usually the last straw.

Marco
19-06-2018, 22:28
Lol... That's why it pays to marry someone who shares the same passions in life as you! Otherwise, what's the point?;)

No, the room was never designed to be a 'cinema', simply a comfortable living space, within an old lodge house, for two movie/music lovers to enjoy both reproduced to an acceptable standard.

The main focal point, however, was, and always will be, the inglenook fireplace and wood burner, not the TV......:)

Marco.

Jac Hawk
19-06-2018, 22:34
Are you telling me your missus would rather watch you roast your chestnuts over the fire, than watch Magic Mike XXL on the big screen:eyebrows::eyebrows::eyebrows::eek::eek:

Marco
19-06-2018, 22:39
Depends on the 'game' being played at the time of the roasting...:eyebrows:;)

Marco.