Do I really need to match center to mains?

K

KeithP

Audiophyte
I recently purchased Focal Aria 926's to replace my Definitive BP-8040ST mains. I am currently running a Definitive CS9080 center. Will the sonic matching of the Aria CC900 to my new mains be significant enough to make it equal to the 9080 (which is a very good center)?
 
mazersteven

mazersteven

Audioholic Warlord
Your front 3 (L/C/R) should be from the same speaker family from the same speaker series. It's called Timbre Matching

 
Paul DS

Paul DS

Audioholic
In a word NO, your center doesn't have to be matched. Finding a center that works well with your center might be a bit more of a challenge.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
Personal preference. You don't have to. For me, if the speakers sound different across the front, it would likely drive me a little crazy.

Timbre matching is good, but not necessary. Though my suspicion is that the Focal will sound better than the DT.
 
Verdinut

Verdinut

Audioholic Ninja
I disagree with the Hometheaterdiy guy. It's recommended to use the same brand and match speakers for the three front channels, but the situation is not as critical for surround speakers and subwoofers.
 
K

kini

Audioholic
I recently purchased Focal Aria 926's to replace my Definitive BP-8040ST mains. I am currently running a Definitive CS9080 center. Will the sonic matching of the Aria CC900 to my new mains be significant enough to make it equal to the 9080 (which is a very good center)?
Try it with the DT center and if you don't or can't tell a difference then you're good. If it bothers you or doesn't sound right to you then change it for the Focal center. You won't know until you try.
 
ryanosaur

ryanosaur

Audioholic Spartan
I disagree with the Hometheaterdiy guy. It's recommended to use the same brand and match speakers for the three front channels, but the situation is not as critical for surround speakers and subwoofers.
Again, though... recommended. ;)

@KeithP that DT center is going to do you no favors. Consider in HT, the Center is the workhorse. I see that speaker holding your mains back. (I'm willing to be wrong about that, mind. :D )
 
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Teetertotter?

Teetertotter?

Audioholic Intern
I disagree with the Hometheaterdiy guy. It's recommended to use the same brand and match speakers for the three front channels, but it's not necessary for surround speakers and subwoofers.
Depends on whose views you wish to use. If you read the whole article.....He mentioned if mixing, like some enthusiast do, there are important elements. HIS article/opinion was rather COMPLETE. Keep an open mind and you can surely disagree. I have a different pair of surrounds with pretty much the same output as fronts,etc., but the fronts are all the same in MY case along with the Sub. He has some good points, where Audioholics might be one sided. Different set-ups for different folks with a TYPICAL family/living room environment. I'm sure their are professional home theatres with mixed mfg speakers, but selected for each purpose with similar outputs.....for example.
 
K

KeithP

Audiophyte
I was leaning towards matching. Based on some input here, I bit the bullet and just ordered the CC900. They have a 60 day return policy so I am going to give it a listen. Details to follow...
 
S

snakeeyes

Audioholic Ninja
I haven’t heard the Aluminum/Magnesium tweeter in the Aria, but it may be a bit better than the tweeter in the Def Tech center.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Seriously, I have no life.
I've got two systems now with non-matched centers. Not particularly noticeable in either. I do prefer the same speaker/line all around for multich music, tho like the other two systems....for movies/tv doesn't matter as much, tho. Speaker/room/ear dependent :) Try it see if you like it....
 
DigitalDawn

DigitalDawn

Full Audioholic
If you are serious about doing this correctly, you absolutely need to make sure that all the front speakers have the same or very , very similar drivers. IMO, all ear-level speakers should be the same as well. But that's a discussion for another day.

An example of why this is the case is simple. In a movie scene you have characters talking and moving around the soundstage, left to right, front to back etc. As the characters move, their voices should not change in any way. If you have mismatched speakers, you will hear tonal differences as the characters move across the front and/or to the back of the room. This can become quite distracting. I have heard this many times in client's homes and it's not subtle.
 
VMPS-TIII

VMPS-TIII

Senior Audioholic
I recently purchased Focal Aria 926's to replace my Definitive BP-8040ST mains. I am currently running a Definitive CS9080 center. Will the sonic matching of the Aria CC900 to my new mains be significant enough to make it equal to the 9080 (which is a very good center)?
Try it and see how it sounds to you. Remember, you are asking a group of people who tend to overthink everything audio and we aren't actually listening to the system. You are!

Many people have a different center than their fronts. It's not uncommon. The real question is how does it sound? While having all speakers with identical drivers in the same system would be ideal it's up to your ears whether that expense is worth it. Let your ears be your guide.
 
Paul DS

Paul DS

Audioholic
Try it and see how it sounds to you. Remember, you are asking a group of people who tend to overthink everything audio and we aren't actually listening to the system. You are!

Many people have a different center than their fronts. It's not uncommon. The real question is how does it sound? While having all speakers with identical drivers in the same system would be ideal it's up to your ears whether that expense is worth it. Let your ears be your guide.
What is not taken into consideration by many here is that even if people have matching center channel speakers, they may not sound the same at all because they are placed in a totally different position than the two main speakers.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
It's called 'timbre matching', pronounced as if it were spelled 'tamber' and while it's recommended, it's not always easy because the typical allowed space for a center channel speaker is horizontal and that changes the dispersion. However, the tonal 'voicing' of a matched center channel speaker blends better than something of a different brand or design.
 
K

KeithP

Audiophyte
If you are serious about doing this correctly, you absolutely need to make sure that all the front speakers have the same or very , very similar drivers. IMO, all ear-level speakers should be the same as well. But that's a discussion for another day.

An example of why this is the case is simple. In a movie scene you have characters talking and moving around the soundstage, left to right, front to back etc. As the characters move, their voices should not change in any way. If you have mismatched speakers, you will hear tonal differences as the characters move across the front and/or to the back of the room. This can become quite distracting. I have heard this many times in client's homes and it's not subtle.
I am serious about doing it correctly. With that being said, I received the Aria CC900 today. Of course I immediately hooked it up. The old "you don't know what you don't know" comes into play here. Without running room correction I can immediately notice the dialogue difference and really notice the musical improvement in the midrange. To my ears, out of the box, this is a noticeable improvement.
 
K

KeithP

Audiophyte
Try it and see how it sounds to you. Remember, you are asking a group of people who tend to overthink everything audio and we aren't actually listening to the system. You are!

Many people have a different center than their fronts. It's not uncommon. The real question is how does it sound? While having all speakers with identical drivers in the same system would be ideal it's up to your ears whether that expense is worth it. Let your ears be your guide.
It passes the "it sounds better" test even without room correction!
 

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