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32blownhemi

What center channel with Jubilee's?

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If I go HT with jubilees & 402 horns for front LR what center speaker would you use? I have 2 La Scala's that I could use for rear LR. I read where you want your center channel to be your best speaker. How do you do that when your front LR are Jube's? Another Jube? A La Scala center? Thank You!    Bill

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1) Well if you have room for three Jubilees, that would be an easy recommendation to make. 

 

2) If you don't have room for a third Jub, then a JubScala or JuBelle (either using a K--402 like you currently have, or a K-510) would be next in line in terms of center channel performance.

 

3) If you don't have room for a JubScala, then I'd recommend a K-402-MEH. [This option actually has better imaging and low bass performance, but currently requires some work in the garage to create one from a KPT-305.  That may change in the near future, however.]

 

4) If you don't like the MEH concept, then you could use a tri-amped La Scala or Belle.

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If you're interested only in having a dialogue channel for movies, I could see how you'd be satisfied with a direct radiating bass bin.  However, for music, there is a reason why horn-loaded bass bins are preferred when the other front channels are using horn loaded bass bins. See http://assets.klipsch.com/files/Dope_760600_v15n6.pdf for PWK's advice.

 

Chris

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My personal opinion is that if you can't get a third jubilee, then matching the compression driver but having a direct radiating woofer is better than having a horn loaded bass bin in the form of a different speaker whose timbre may not match.  I am running a custom center with a 510 horn between my jubilees, I can listen to the phantom of the opera and it sounds like I have a 20' wide sound stage, it's insane.  Most movie effects where you will notice it is with highs panning around the room.  

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...except for the higher distortion of the direct radiating bass bin on your center speaker (as PWK described in the 1976 Dope from Hope article linked above).  It's not very close once you've listened for a while.  You have to listen to them for a while to hear the differences.  I've tried many center configurations between Jubs w/TAD 4002s and the list of centers that you saw on my posting is the result of several years of trial-and-error, including using a K-510/K-69-A two-way on top of a Heresy bass bin, Cornwall bass bin, and Belle, among others.  I finally settled on a K-510/K-69-A with Beyma CP25 bi-radial tweeter on top of a Belle bass bin (tri-amped and dialed-in, as per the linked thread above), which matches timbre (except the bottom-most octave), but not image size of the K-402s...as I mentioned above. 

 

Although it appears that direct radiator bass bins are close in performance, they really aren't.  It's more like "well you want the direct radiating center to work, so you ignore what your ears are telling you", until one day passes and you say to yourself, "that doesn't sound right...something is masking that clean sound of the Jubs on either side". 

 

You can certainly do anything you want for a center.  I took the OP's question to mean "based on personal experience--to avoid having to change again based on listening dissatisfaction, what center between Jubilees would you recommend".  That's the reason why I responded as I did in my first reply.  I've been there and done it over a period of 8 years-since I acquired my Jubilees 10 years ago. The K-402-MEH finally solved the problem for me in my room. 

 

YMMV.

 

Chris

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Don't take my comments the wrong way Chris, not trying to start an argument. :)  I can hear the difference in bass bins plenty fine, it's not hard.  I also agree that the JubScala and whatnot mentioned above is a good option.  I'd have a third jubilee myself if depth wasn't an issue. 

 

I'm just saying that what primarily kills the effect of panning in movies is for the highs to not match up, that stands out more to me.  Good example is in Transformers 4 when the dragonfly drone flies back and forth across the screen or on Metallica's through the never where the guitar moves around the room.  Three identical compression drivers on the same plane sounds really good with stuff like that.  Otherwise you're potentially hearing three different timbres possibly at different heights as it moves across the screen which absolutely kills the effect, and quite frankly, who cares if the bass has more distortion during an explosion at that point if that happens.  I've played with several combinations, it's easy for this stuff to sound stupid.  Matching the highs is just my priority if I had to choose is all.  I would have a hard time purposely going with an entirely different design of speaker such as mixing a normal LaScala with Jubilees just so the bass bin could be horn loaded, that's all I'm saying.  

 

Perhaps if the center channel always only played the same thing as the mains but at a lesser volume for fill and imaging purposes as was the case in 1976 I'd feel differently about it.  We have very aggressive panning and isolation in movies nowadays and it's easy for the effect to be killed, plus most people are going to send everything below 80 hz to the subs, just not quite the same situation.  

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It seems that you're focusing on cinema/movies, while my criterion is music (multichannel) for center channel.  I've found that any center loudspeaker good enough to do music between two Jubs can easily handle dialog, etc.  In fact, getting the center channel to match the Jubs in a music role has been the most difficult task acoustically that I've ever encountered (...and I'm really glad that I found a solution--because it wasn't clear that I'd find one).  I own symphony, ballet, and jazz BDs/DVD-As/multichannel SACDs that are the real reference discs that I use to judge and calibrate my setup, and there is nothing that can come close to the fidelity/immersive experience than those recordings. 

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Chris

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9 hours ago, MetropolisLakeOutfitters said:

I'm just saying that what primarily kills the effect of panning in movies is for the highs to not match up, that stands out more to me...Three identical compression drivers on the same plane sounds really good with stuff like that.  Otherwise you're potentially hearing three different timbres possibly at different heights as it moves across the screen which absolutely kills the effect, and quite frankly, who cares if the bass has more distortion during an explosion at that point if that happens.  I've played with several combinations, it's easy for this stuff to sound stupid.  Matching the highs is just my priority if I had to choose is all.  I would have a hard time purposely going with an entirely different design of speaker such as mixing a normal La Scala with Jubilees just so the bass bin could be horn loaded, that's all I'm saying.  

 

I've found that matching timbre between loudspeakers is really a function only of frequency response flatness--or lack thereof.  When you take the time to flatten the frequency response to within ±2 dB using careful measurements and selecting PEQs with the DSP crossover(s)...timbre match is achieved.  

 

Apparently this point was a bit too subtle in the above referenced discussions. This is a big deal...and if you haven't experienced this, then I can see why you might be into "mix and matching" passive crossover direct radiating bass bin loudspeakers to try to achieve that condition...(and good luck with that approach).  Once you've matched frequency response between loudspeakers, then because loudspeakers are minimum phase devices you've also matched phase response in the compression drivers/horns.  This is a big deal that you need to hear for yourself.

 

What's left in terms of the difference in sound of the two types of loudspeakers is impulse/step response of the bass bins--mainly AM distortion and increased bass group delay.  I've found that this is the audible difference between direct radiating bass bins and horn-loaded ones--with the direct radiator experiencing much higher levels of modulation distortion side bands and increased bass bin group delay. It is that which your ears wind up hearing in the direct radiating (particularly bass reflex) bass bins...and that the ears are most sensitive to.   And it takes at least dual tone measurements to see this. 

 

The fully horn loaded bass bins basically do not experience these multiple/complex sidebands, and your ears can hear that difference clearly. Those higher frequency sidebands are non-harmonic, and therefore exceptionally audible.  They're particularly audible if you allow yourself to hear those offending higher-frequency side bands while playing music (and not electronically produced sound with distortion-producing devices employed to "make it sound better").  See this post for more information on what's happening.

 

Chris

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Thank You for all the replies! It looks like there's a lot more to doing this than I realized. So it's off the table for now. But, it's good to know the options available...

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I don't believe that it's complicated.  Basically, there are two viewpoints presented above:

 

1) one view that the center's most stressing performance criterion is that the loudspeaker should match the Jubilees based on use of identical compression drivers (but not necessarily identical horns) with passive crossover for timbre match just like as the corner Jubilees, but that the bass bin doesn't need to match the Jubilee horn loading (i.e., you can use a direct radiating woofer), that the center channel is basically for movies with a sound quality criterion that matches that type of use, and,

 

2) another view that the center's most stressing performance criterion is primarily music with the view that compression drivers and horns can be made to timbre match like the Jubs K-402 horns /K-691 compression drivers via careful EQ (assuming the coverage angles of the horns are about the same), and that the bass bin must also be horn loaded to significantly reduce modulation and bass group delay (i.e., rate of phase shift) distortion. 

 

Chris

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I also run a MEH as a center and am in camp #2 with Chris. I am contemplating adding 2 additional rear speakers with a move to 7.1 and am wrestling with horn loaded vs direct radiating. (in a way less critical spot than the center) and I'll likely stick with horn loaded all the way.

 

Currently, I run jubes as L and R, a MEH as a center and Belles as rears with dual F20s for subs (not much different that what you'll have). Anyone that has been in my HT has said it is absolutely the best they have ever heard movies, video games, music, whatever... Although more work, absolutely worth it in my humble opinion.

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I agree that the surrounds are typically much less demanding in terms of fully horn loaded loudspeakers (...but not all recordings).  Note that I'm currently in progress of converting to identical fully horn loaded loudspeakers in my 5.1 (MEHs), and for the same reasons that Joe stated just above. 

 

While some people never hear the advantage of horn-loaded bass over direct radiating woofers (I find that the population of folks here that prefer horn loading is perhaps 50% or less among even Klipsch aficionados), for those that have heard the difference in sound, it's now immediately apparent when listening to other setups.  The center loudspeaker, in my experience, is the most critical to get right and isn't like the surround loudspeakers that are most often used as "echo channels" in most surround sound recordings.

 

[I believe this is why many in the "subjectivist audiophile" camp object to when ABX listening trials are only for a few minutes for each configuration--and particularly the participants haven't experienced the effects of something like fully horn loaded loudspeakers all the way around in a 5.1 or greater surround sound array, and have likely accommodated to the sound of direct radiating woofers over their listening experience.]

 

Chris

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On 12/4/2017 at 5:54 PM, MetropolisLakeOutfitters said:

Three identical compression drivers on the same plane sounds really good with stuff like that.

 

I'll add that I whole heartidly agree 100% with this. So much in-fact, that I spent a year searching for a single TAD to put into my MEH (ultimately having to purchase 2) and built my own box because they are a hair longer than the stock drivers. I also use identical amplification for the big 3 up front. Upstairs, I have a KLF-30/C-7, those three have never imaged like what (3) 402s can do. Insane is a perfect word for it.

 

Joe

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There is one difference that I've not talked about in this thread using beryllium (Be) dome compression drivers vs. any other material: the top-most octave (10-20 kHz) cannot be EQed on full-range compression drivers with other materials (e.g., titanium diaphragm)--these non-Be diaphragms experience break-up modes that are really audible on cymbal transients, while the Be diaphragms don't experience that until well out of the audible range.  In this case (TAD drivers), the differences are quite audible.  This is the case where the use of a separate tweeter with its smaller geometries (that don't experience break-up modes in the 10-20 kHz range) come into solution. 

 

This is exactly what I did using a K-510/K-69-A on a Belle bass bin, and adding a Beyma CP25 tweeter from 8-20 kHz.  Fortunately, the coverage angle of the Beyma tweeter was enough like the K-69-A/K-510 beam width below 8 kHz, so the combination of the two drivers/horns (suitably time aligned) was a timbre match for the TADs on either side of the center in the K-402s (i.e., the Jubs on either side). 

 

While the apparent source width (ASW) of the tri-amped JuBelle wasn't as wide or tall as the Jubs, it was a timbre match at the listening position(s).  Only the K-402-MEH can truly match the Jubs in terms of timbre and ASW.

 

I've found that identical amplification across the three front channels seems to play a much lessened role than EQing the drivers and having identical horns (probably 10x less effect).  YMMV.

 

Chris

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