TIP #12:

The Centre Channel speaker is an essential part of the Home Theatre system. It is the “anchor” speaker, designed to work with advanced processors to project voices and sounds precisely. Sounds should emanate from the screen with gunshots, explosions, even the hollow ring of stealthy footsteps in an empty warehouse being heard precisely where they would be, if you were there in that situation. The sound director of a movie typically places dialogue and important sound effects on the Centre Channel, to keep your attention focused on the screen. After the right and left main speakers, the Centre Channel is the next most important component in a theatre system (more important than the rear effect speakers) . Better quality Centre Channel Speakers are magnetically shielded so that they will not interfere with the television picture, and provide high power handling capability in addition to all the latest technology available in a good set of main speakers. An example of one of the best Centre Channel designs available today is the Mirage MMCR. It is designed for high power handling to reproduce the full spectrum of sound, is shielded, incorporates a ferrofluid cooled dome tweeter for better voice clarity, and has two polypropylene 4 1/21, mid/bass drivers with twin ports to provide pinpoint central imaging with excellent bass extension.


The next step in order of importance is the Rear Effects Speakers. They have differing uses depending on whether they are being used in the Pro Logic Home Theatre mode (when their job is to “decode”, providing the specific sounds recorded for them in a movie) or, in the DSP mode. In DSP mode (see Tip #3 “Surround and DSP”) the rear speakers are introducing into an existing recording the primary and secondary reflections of a specific environment (Church, Hall, Night Club etc.) In either case the information processed does not have low bass information and is not an important determining factor in speaker selection. Placement, however, is most important. Optimum placement is a minimum of three feet to the rear of the listening position, which allows sufficient time for the information from the effect speakers to mix, before arriving at the listener’s ears. The effect speakers should be mounted at or above the listeners ear level, to help create a less localized effect, thereby enhancing the experience as sound appears to be coming from all over, not just from the effect speaker position. On or in wall speakers are the best options here, allowing maximum distance to the listener’s ear. Effects Speakers reproduce back reflecting sound, quite different from the sound produced by the main speakers.