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Hey HornEd, need Phantom feedback...


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Originally posted by HornEd:

Seb, I think you illustrated some points I was trying to make. 1. That a larger center handles 5.1 better... and you have a larger center. 2. That an on axis Phantom provides a lot more "center channel" than most people realize in their own rigs... before the benefits of a real center channel are added in. 3. That "theatre sound" you were alluding to is even much more a factor when you have a center that exactly matches your mains.

yes, yes, and yes. I probably didn't underline enough that the diminished benefits I felt I got with the phantom mode were most likely due to the size of my "center speaker" (if you can call it that, it's really just a mid-tower)...

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Thanks for the links. I had no idea there were parallel discussions going on! Interesting info.

As for me, I have done my own testing for a couple of weeks and have come up with the following:

1. The C7 is a "small" improvement over my KG2.2V center channel with my KG 5.5 mains. As much as I would like to believe that it has cured my yearn for better center channel, it hasn't. HornEd is right, when he states you need an exact match, and there is no substitute for an identical center.

2. I will use phantom mode for all viewing in the sweet spot, and if my wife does not complain "off axis". All music will be in phantom mode.

3. The center will only be used for off-axis HT.

All my tests confirm HornEd's findings, and as much as I hate the result, the C7 will get little use in my household. I'm the only one who cares for HT anyway.

I still notice a drastic difference in DTS and DD center channel audio. With DD, there is not much difference when I switch between phantom and center, but with DTS, the difference is striking! I think this is wierd, and can't quite explain it.

Bottom line: Try phantom mode before purchasing expensive and fight provoking (with your wife) center speakers.cwm38.gif

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Inspired by the above I conducted a quick test of my own. I do not own a centre channel, nor a surround sound amp and so using the decoder built in to my DVD player (Sony DVD NS900) I connected as follows:

left and right front - pre-amp - tube monoblocks - Heresy's

left and right rear - integrated accuphase amp - home built horn loaded speakers

centre - TV (Sony TV - 45 wpc)

I told the NS900 I had a centre channel and ran 2 tests:

Test 1 - SACD multichannel - Mozart/Midori

In the sweet spot. In a word - Yuk!! Didnt get through the first movement. Using the TV speakers (supposedly good ones) completely destroys the ambience of the music with violins adopting a split personality - live at the sides - muffled in the centre. Too dreadful - had to stop after the first movement. Without the centre is was just perfect to my ears - full soundstage, no gaps, all playing even and level with that live feeling throughout.

Test 2 - DVD DTS - Gladiator

Much more paletable using the TV this time - the imbalance far less noticable. Tried it with the TV on and with the TV off, then I forgot I was testing and watched the movie. Not a huge difference really. Out of the sweet spot the phantom still seemed to overlay the voices in about he right spot - except in very peripheal positions by which point it didnt much matter anyway.

Hardly the exhaustive and excellent work that HornEd did but enough for me to draw 2 personal conclusions:

1. For surround sound music they say 5 speakers the same and they mean it!! Actually they also say that the centre should be slightly further back than the mains (as opposed to my setup where the TV is slightly forward of the mains) - may make a difference - I dont know. Anyway my conclusion is that when I do eventually get a centre channel it will be a Heresy.

2. For movies things are a lot less cut and dried. I think a good strong centre channel can get away with being less tonally matched with the mains and still add something. Certainly using the TV speakers I didnt feel I was losing anything, I just didnt gain anything either. I imagine a proper centre speaker would do a better job.

One intersting thing. The first M/C SACD I tried was Roger Waters - Live and in the flesh. I could not get the centre to play at all - I think that this recording doesnt use it anyway. Took a while to figure that one out I can tell you.

Re-reading this I realise that it adds precisely nothing to the thread - apologies all - but I am gonna post it anyway.


2 * Heresy 2 (mains)

2 * Homemade horn speakers (rears)

1 * REL Strata 3 sub

Accuphase E211 amp.

Tube monoblocks with separate pre-amp (solid state).

Marantz CD6000 player

Sony NS900 SACD/DVD player

Stax Headphones

Humax 5400 digital satellite receiver

Sharp Video

32" Sony flat screen 16:9 TV

Mogami interconnects

Silver Synergistic speaker cable

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Great addition, Seb, T-man and MaxG! Thanks, I ate them up. Did you notice how many issues that were raised by the multitudes also came out in our results.

cwm40.gif I believe there is enough left to discuss to warrant the fresh start of a new thread. More people ought to be encouraged to listen as critically as MaxG (Sure do agree with you on the violins, MaxG!).

Going back to a phantom channel long enough to see what's up is kinda like an toddler re-experiencing his body parts with a new focus... something we all ought to do HT and music wise with so much emerging technology... and personal ignorance (at least in my case Confused.gif ).

Thanks again to all who contributed to the insights developed in this thread... for many people, a thread without a wide variety of meaningful commentators fades into thread oblivion all too soon. From my earlier experience on this web, I have watched the people behind the avatar's grow and enjoy because they "lurked" and then leapt into participating in the forum.

Sometimes it seems the longer we have been involved with something, the deeper we become entrenched in the subtleties... and a fresh unpolished question can bring us back to look at the bedrock of our sound concepts has techno-morphed into a new rock that demands a new role.

So on to "Great Sounds from Techno Soup?" cwm35.gif HornEdConfused.gif

This message has been edited by HornEd on 02-06-2002 at 12:29 PM

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t-man, i think that DD/dts dif just comes from the higher sampling rate and improved dynamics you must be getting from dts.

i just posted a thread on this in this HT section. dts sampling rates going at 75k or more whereas DD only around 45k or so. that's a pretty big dif. means dts is puttin out freq to around 37khz or so whereas dolby around 22.5khz. though were're not suppose to be able to hear much above 18-20khz, i think we can still sense/feel the higher freqs.


My Home Systems Page

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I think your on the right track, Boa. Clearly, dts is less compressed data so that it follows that the data must be read faster in order to reach your ears in real time. Dolby's White Paper claims that their compaction technologies unfold to provide essentially the same sound as dts.

cwm40.gif Hey, they are both fun, but my "mindful ear" tests urge me to buy the DVD's with the dts logo. I guess that is why they brought Digital Versatile Disks to the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas last decade... yep, that is what DVD really means.

I sincerely appreciate the extra comments. Believe it or not, I don't participate as an opportunity to pontificate. I am here to learn and to share... which can be a great way of learning when others examine my offerings Smash.gif! HornEd

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o.k. hornEd, good work!a few notes/questions:

1. my c-7 stays right where it is because: it looks good w/the matching bello' wood trim tv stand and i can't fit a klf-30.

2.if any format could be better for testing actual center vs. phantom, it should be SACD, and i'll set my dvd/SACD changer's speaker setup to center:no, play a james taylor 5.1 ch. sampler disc where his voice comes from the center, and report back.

3. i find most dvd concerts reduce the center output vs. a movie, so the difference in actual c-7 vs. phantom should be less.

4. 7 bridges road should be a GREAT test for the c-7 vs. phantom comparison due to 'totally discrete'treatment of the 5 seperate voices/5 speakers arrangement, and that will require an ajustment in the 777ES's speaker set-up, in case that's significant vs. the sacd speaker set-up menu.

i'll try this out, try to be open minded, and thanks to all for this thought provoking topic.

signed-'really enjoying my rsw-15', avman.

hornEd-glad to have you back!

edit: this opens another can of worms for me; i have an older ES pro-logic receiver i can use to create an actual center rear, vs. the simulated one i get now. i've been more inclined to use its impressive stereo output capability as a 'zone 2' integrated amp fed by the 2nd room line out on my 777ES, than installing an actual center rear. if i am determined to keep my ksps-6's as rears, what is the timbre-matched center i should get (synergy premier series)? i'll research the horn specs, and see what i can find, or should i keep the phantom rear?


1-pair klf 30's

c-7 center

ksps-6 surrounds

RSW-15 in the house!!

sony strda-777ES receiver upgraded to v.2.02 including virtual matrix 6.1

sony playstation 2

sony dvpnc 650-v 5-disc dvd/cd/SACD changer

dishnetwork model 7200 dishplayer satellite receiver/digital bitstream recorder

sony kv36xbr450 high-definition 4:3 tv

sharp xv-z1u lcd projector w/84" 4:3 sharp screen

Bello'international Italian-made a/v furniture

panamax max dbs+5 surge protector/power conditioner

monster cable and nxg interconnects/12 gua.speaker wire

KLIPSCH-So Good It Hz!

This message has been edited by avman on 02-06-2002 at 03:54 PM

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