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How much investment is wasted on front left, right channels as center does a lot of work?

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Howzit
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Howzit Posted: Fri, Aug 10 2018 3:14 AM

I need a little help deciding weather to use my Beolab 9s as part of the surround sound for the TV, or put them in my bedroom or office and use them as good music/stereo speakers. Im trying to make the best use of their potential, as I am fortunate enough to have acquired a pair. (I also acquired two sets of BL 8000s and a set of BL 6000, of which I need to sell one set or another as a compromise with the wife) 

Iv been wondering how much audio is played out of the front Left and Right channels in a surround sound setup, when considering that the AV surround processing tries to give a lot of work to the center channel. From my understanding, AV processing will try to put most of the dialogue to the center channel, along with other central sounds.

We have seen questions on the forum, on people asking what speakers to get, it would appear that less financial emphasis is put on back channels, and even slightly less for left and right surround. The idea being that these are just more sound effects to help with scene emersion, rather than essential channels up front.

My question is, if one were to use... say, Beolab 9s, for front left and right channels, are these speakers wasted, as the AV processor is only sending miscellaneous sounds, while the vital stuff, (dialogue, central scene sounds) is intentionally being isolated and not sent to all these speakers, sparing that sound only for the front channel?

Conversely, is that reason to persue an ever better center channel than one originally might be thinking? So, in my case, I was considering Beolab 4000s as centers, ought I be considering Beolab 3s instead, if only to make full use of the Beolab 9s in that the center is "measuring up"?

Or am I mistaken? Is more sound than one might think sent to the front left and right channels? With a good quality pre-amp, CD player, or Gramophone player, I could setup a nice music station that will make full use of two speakers in simple stereo. On the other-hand, my whole family watches TV/Movies daily, so the BL9s will physically be made full use of, if not full potential use of.

Any thoughts on what I might consider?

 

Chris

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

leosgonewild
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As center you should have a Beolab 7.4.

No sound is wasted, the left and right front is vital for the sound.

In your case I would use the 6000’s as rear surrounds, and use the 8000’s as office speakers.

What surround processor are you using?

I think there is a forum member that has a Beosystem 3 for sale Wink
Duels
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Duels replied on Fri, Aug 10 2018 7:25 AM
Howzit:

I also acquired two sets of BL 8000s and a set of BL 6000, of which I need to sell one set or another as a compromise with the wife

My advice in situations like this is to think carefully about which speakers you prefer and then reluctantly sell the wife.
Howzit
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Howzit replied on Fri, Aug 10 2018 8:12 AM
Duels:

My advice in situations like this is to think carefully about which speakers you prefer and then reluctantly sell the wife.

Big SmileStick out tongue

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

Millemissen
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Since you are not telling us which tv/soundprocessor (or BV) you are using, it will be hard to give any exact advice!

Are you upmixing (tv programmes etc in 2 channel/stereo) or are you using the native multi channel sound when avaiable???

Generally no speaker in a proper multi channel setup is wasted - all channels are there for a reason.

If you really need the 9’s in your bedroom, then go for it and use the 8000 with the tv.

Otherweise - the 9’s are mighty L/R speakers in a 5 channel setup!

Don’t you listen to music/2.0/stereo in that room?

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Steve at Sounds Heavenly
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Millemissen:

Generally no speaker in a proper multi channel setup is wasted - all channels are there for a reason.

MM

Hi Howzit,

I agree with MM, good speakers are never wasted! 

I would say the key question to ask is "which room is the priority"?  If you really enjoy listening to music in the bedroom and this makes up the majority of your listening time, then the answer is simple - put the best speakers there.

If your viewing choices are generally dialogue based (eg. news broadcasts), then a centre speaker alone is probably fine.  For full-on action movies, adding front and rear surround speakers and a subwoofer will transform the viewing experience by spreading the sound around you instead of focusing it from the TV position.

Or if you are unsure, why not try the Beolab 9s in each room in turn and see where you like them best?

Kind regards, Steve.

Steve.

www.soundsheavenly.com

Sounds Heavenly are proud to sponsor BeoWorld!

elephant
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elephant replied on Fri, Aug 10 2018 9:27 AM
I love my 5.1 system and when not watching movies or extravaganzas like GoT we listen in 3.1.

The BeoVisions are designed to handle all of this up and down mixing as explained by Geoff in these two articles (and probably others on his site)

http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2013/12/06/bo-tech-trueimage-upmixing/

http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2017/09/15/bo-tech-its-not-just-a-soundbar/

BeoNut since '75

Howzit
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Howzit replied on Fri, Aug 10 2018 10:00 AM
At the moment, I do not have a BV. After the most recent round of acquiring speakers, I will have to wait a while before I can make that happen.

For a receiver, it’s the same situation. I will be using a Yamaha CX-A5100 pre-amp I think (or Yamaha RX-A3070)

I have had an LG OLED for a while, so I’m cobbling something together that ensures all latest HDMI, Atmos, etc is passed through. The Yamaha’s have all the latest bells and whistles, including the pandora, Amazon Alexa etc.

I’m primarily a tent-pole movie watcher, so all the marvel movies, mission impossible, transporter etc.

It’s been a bit of a confusing journey, but at least the last leg for now is the center channel. Bouncing back and forth between BL4000, BL3, BL7.4, and even contemplating Beoplay A9 as a center speaker, simply because of my decor setup. Speaking of which, is that an absurd idea... the Beoplay A9 as a center?

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

Howzit
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Howzit replied on Fri, Aug 10 2018 11:05 AM
On looking up Beovisions (Iv never really looked at them), the idea is a very attractive proposition. The built in processing and phenomenal center channel and connectivity for the rest of the speakers, along with being a general audio hub.

Unfortunately the ones I found that I would be able to afford is a BV5,(with an ALT) a BV7, or a BV10-40

This seem a little too long on the tooth for consideration, correct? I presume the BV5 isn’t even 1080P.

I’ll read up a little more on these

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

kallasr
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kallasr replied on Fri, Aug 10 2018 1:13 PM
Or get a Beosystem 4 plus Screen (no need for B&O here). Check Beolab 7-1/2/4/6 for center channel.

Ralf

Living Room: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-6 (Center), Beolab 8000 (Fronts and Rears) and Beolab 2. Screen: Panasonic TX-P65STW60
Home Cinema: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-2 (Center), Beolab Penta 2 (Fronts), Beolab 4000 (Rears) and Beolab 2. Projector: Sony VPL-HW55
Home Office: Beovision 10-40 on STB Bracket wall mount masterlinked to Beosound 9000 MK3 on horizontal wall bracket driving Beolab 5000 Speakers
Bedroom: Loewe TV with Beolab 6002 and Beolab 11 (all White)
In storage: Beolab 5000/Beomaster 5000 (1960s). 

elephant
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elephant replied on Fri, Aug 10 2018 1:35 PM
kallasr:

Check Beolab 7-1/2/4/6 for center channel.

Although the above are designed for dialogue, the advantage 4000s are that they can be re-purposed.

BeoNut since '75

kallasr
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kallasr replied on Fri, Aug 10 2018 1:47 PM
I like the look of the soundbars:

7-1 with 42/46 inch TV

7-2 with 50/55 inch TV

7-6 with 65/75 inch TV

Living Room: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-6 (Center), Beolab 8000 (Fronts and Rears) and Beolab 2. Screen: Panasonic TX-P65STW60
Home Cinema: Beosystem 4, Beolab 7-2 (Center), Beolab Penta 2 (Fronts), Beolab 4000 (Rears) and Beolab 2. Projector: Sony VPL-HW55
Home Office: Beovision 10-40 on STB Bracket wall mount masterlinked to Beosound 9000 MK3 on horizontal wall bracket driving Beolab 5000 Speakers
Bedroom: Loewe TV with Beolab 6002 and Beolab 11 (all White)
In storage: Beolab 5000/Beomaster 5000 (1960s). 

Mr 10Percent
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Perhaps a bad habit but works for me.

I find that soundbars (Avant 55 and Eclipse 65) are significantly inferior when you have BL5 or BL90 as outer L/R channels and can produce their own phantom Centre channel. 

I tend to kill sound bar L/R completely and I’m very careful on when the sound bar Centre is switched on. It’s not always perfect. Some broadcasters don’t know their A’s from their E’s and sound - particularly vocals gets muddied.

 

BeoFrederic
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I’ve stabilized my home theater system with BL 8000 up front, BL 6000 as surround, a MLogan sub, driven through a Yamaha AVR.  I lived with 4.1 for several years, letting the AVR create a phantom center channel. Recently put a single BL 4000 as a real center channel, and glad that I did.  Dialog is much sharper, and 5.1 channel music is transformed (e.g. Steven Wilson remixes of prog rock bands.). The BL 4000 seemed the natural choice, as its likely to closely match the 8000s in the mid-and upper ranges.

Ikd use the BL 9s

Howzit
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Howzit replied on Sat, Aug 11 2018 9:27 AM
Thank you for all your feedback.

I picked up a Beolab 2 today.

Iv read that it doesn’t really help BL9s, and I think Iv read that some B&O processing doesn’t even bother to send LFE signals to the BL2 when you select BL9.

I am however intending to use a non B&O AV processor, so the LFE with not consider the BL9, thus, I’m hoping, full LFE will be sent to the BL2.

I’m listening to the BL2 right now as I type, hearing it for the first time.... the source is going into the BL2, with a each channel out to a set of BL8000s

I have to say, this is why I own Bang & Olufsen. The setting suggested by the manual is balancing it perfectly. I’m testing songs Iv known and heard for 20 years, and it’s spot on (for me, and B&O)

As for my initial question, I might consider going with the BL4000 for now. I can always upgrade, and as someone mentioned, I would have a choice of either selling them, repurposing them for an audio only listening setup, or perhaps even as height channels if I decide to utilize Dolby Atmos since the AV has that capability. It seems this leaves the most options open... and BL4000s are readily available second hand, making the value proposition against risk pretty good.

I am still concerned about the center channel “muddying” up the audio, not “measuring up” to the LR channels with an Acoustic Lens. However, it would appear the option of having no center is worse yet.

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

leosgonewild
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With that kind of setup I don’t understand that you want to go the low route with a Beolab 4000. Please, please get a Beolab 7.4.

Please.
Kiran
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Kiran replied on Sat, Aug 11 2018 2:11 PM
Duels:

My advice in situations like this is to think carefully about which speakers you prefer and then reluctantly sell the wife.

LOL 🤣😂

Regards

Kiran

Born in NL; I ride ML

Millemissen
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Howzit:
Thank you for all your feedback.

 

I picked up a Beolab 2 today.

Iv read that it doesn’t really help BL9s, and I think Iv read that some B&O processing doesn’t even bother to send LFE signals to the BL2 when you select BL9.

I am however intending to use a non B&O AV processor, so the LFE with not consider the BL9, thus, I’m hoping, full LFE will be sent to the BL2.

In that case (if the bas management is done correct in that A/V processor) your BL9’s will sound pretty weak.

As I’ve written before - you could do the same in a BSys4-based (B&O) audio processor, if you wanted to change the default settings.

But why the heck would someone want to redirect bas from two more capable subwoofers (in the BL9’s) to one (in the BL9)?

By the way - a common non B&O A/V processor can never know, what the BL9’s are capable of.

Mostly they just have a rudimentary choice between small or big speakers (for the fronts).

 

(Almost) everyone here will tell you to get a proper center speaker - a BL7-4 is one.....especially if you consider the set of BL9.

 

P.S. Setting up a BL2 with the BL8000’s is different than using  BL2 as LFE channel with an A/V processor.

 

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

elephant
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elephant replied on Sun, Aug 12 2018 12:36 AM
I am truly puzzled.

I always thought that a subwoofer was goodness.

Sure things change and get smarter.

And yes the BeoLab 2 is now 17 years.

Here is the BL2’s specs from the BeoWorld product section .....

Maximum Sound Pressure Level 110 dB (stereo)

Power amplifier module 1 unit Class D

Long-term maximum output power 850 watts

Effective Frequency range* 23 - 120 Hz (upper limit determined by setup)

Cabinet principle Double balanced passive radiator system

Magnetically shielded Yes

Woofer Passive radiator 1 x 250 mm flat diaphragm

2 x 250 mm flat diaphragm

Net volume 13 litre

Here are the BL9’s relevant specifications .....

Power amplifier, bass 400W, 4 ohm, class D ICEpower

Crossover frequency 180/2000 Hz

Cabinet principle Closed box

Net volume, bass 18 litres

Magnetically shielded No. Must be placed > 50cm from picture tube

Woofer 10" / 250mm cone

To me it seems that the addition of the BL2 would (significantly?) extend the system’s bass.

Or are we discussing value for money ?

Yes, there is more oompf but is the addition worth the extra money ?

Or is the case being made that the extra money returns better value when being spent on a dedicate, tunes, made for purpose centre dedicated speaker ?

BeoNut since '75

elephant
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elephant replied on Sun, Aug 12 2018 6:42 AM
What I tried today was a speaker test App.

I got some interesting results - so I have tweaked the positioning of my BL3s.

Of particular interest was the dialogue test which contrasted the centre BV8-40 speaker with the side BL3s in phantom dialogue mode.

BV8 centre won hands down for clarity.

The subwoofer test was of academic interest and don’t think it should the BL19,s floor slaking strengths Big Smile

The App was surprisingly useful and usable.

I would only recommend the centre speaker dialogue test as being a worthwhile purchase.

But at $1.49 what the heck: get the subwoofer too Stick out tongue

BeoNut since '75

John
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John replied on Sun, Aug 12 2018 8:20 AM

elephant:
I am truly puzzled.

 

I always thought that a subwoofer was goodness.

 

 

Sure things change and get smarter.

 

And yes the BeoLab 2 is now 17 years.

 

 

Here is the BL2’s specs from the BeoWorld product section .....

 

 

Maximum Sound Pressure Level 110 dB (stereo)

 

Power amplifier module 1 unit Class D

 

Long-term maximum output power 850 watts

 

Effective Frequency range* 23 - 120 Hz (upper limit determined by setup)

 

Cabinet principle Double balanced passive radiator system

 

Magnetically shielded Yes

 

Woofer Passive radiator 1 x 250 mm flat diaphragm

 

2 x 250 mm flat diaphragm

 

Net volume 13 litre

 

 

Here are the BL9’s relevant specifications .....

 

 

Power amplifier, bass 400W, 4 ohm, class D ICEpower

 

Crossover frequency 180/2000 Hz

 

Cabinet principle Closed box

 

Net volume, bass 18 litres

 

Magnetically shielded No. Must be placed > 50cm from picture tube

 

Woofer 10" / 250mm cone

 

 

To me it seems that the addition of the BL2 would (significantly?) extend the system’s bass.

 

 

Or are we discussing value for money ?

 

Yes, there is more oompf but is the addition worth the extra money ?

 

 

Or is the case being made that the extra money returns better value when being spent on a dedicate, tunes, made for purpose centre dedicated speaker ?

 

Going back a few years - actually about 5 and a bit - time flies - when I purchased my new Beolab 9's and the V1-40 TV, I was astonished, but also a little concerned about the very prodigious bass the Beolab 9's are capable of on movie LFE, such that I was concerned about potential over driving and damage on such heavy bass to the Lab 9's bass drivers.

Consequently I enquired here about the functioning of the ABL circuit, to which Geoff Martin very kindly responded.

Between the BL2 and the BL9 as regards bass, as I best recall, he stated at the time that one BL 9 was broadly equal to a BL 2 - but  that the BL 2 could play a little lower and louder in the bass than the BL9; however with the BL 9 there are two of them...as against one BL2 typically in an AV setup.

I also notice in the setup configuration table in the AV processor manual for the V1-40, that in connecting an BL2, no bass will be sent to it from the BL9's in the standard configuration setup.

In fact, the only speaker that you can connect in respect to standard configuration which will result in bass being redirected from the BL 9, would be a Beolab 5, or of course the later BL50 or 90.  

From this one would assume that as the principlel of bass redirection is to divert system bass and LFE to the most capable speakers in the system, is that the processing table 'knows' that the Bass from a pair of BL 9's is 'sufficient' such as to obviate need for redirection to a BL2.

Of course you can play with the settings to make this happen, but otherwise the standard B&O configuration is as described above re BL9's and BL2 with a B&O TV/processor.

I have heard better bass than my BL9s in an AV setup, as in better able to play to true infrasonic frequencies, and at near Dolby reference levels with it - however, to better the BL9s, IMO one is talking either the newer Beolab 20's, the previous  BL5's, the newer BL50's or BL90's, OR purchase a dedicated high performance sub such as the SVS, JL Audio Fathom, Velodyne, and M&K models I've heard, - but for which we're also talking a significant price to get that performance - i.e. A$7,000 and up - or nearly half the price of say a set of Beolab 20s.

The subs I've mentioned and heard are phenomenal performers when we're talking their top of the range models; but then so are the Beolab speakers, and I know which I'd prefer as an overall purchase to live with in the home and for ease of setup and integration, from both an performance and aesthetic point of view.

Best regards

John.. 

 

elephant
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elephant replied on Sun, Aug 12 2018 8:58 AM
John:

I have heard better bass than my BL9s in an AV setup, as in better able to play to true infrasonic frequencies, and at near Dolby reference levels with it - however, to better the BL9s, IMO one is talking either the newer Beolab 20's, the previous  BL5's, the newer BL50's or BL90's, OR purchase a dedicated high performance sub such as the SVS, JL Audio Fathom, Velodyne, and M&K models I've heard, - but for which we're also talking a significant price to get that performance - i.e. A$7,000 and up - or nearly half the price of say a set of Beolab 20s.

Thank you for those thoughts (and memories, I know recall Geoff’s response).

I have been hankering after attaching my BL20s to my next television, moving the BL3s to the Rear, keeping the BL19 where it is (near the front), and moving the BL4s to the ceiling.

Thus creating a 9.1 system (if I can get away with it when we remodel the family room Big Smile).

Do you think that’s a good set up ?

Or should I move the BL19 more to the rear as the BL20s will provide enough subwoofering themselves (and I know subwoofer bass is nondirectional) ?

Interested in your, and all others’, thoughts.

BeoNut since '75

Howzit
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Howzit replied on Mon, Aug 13 2018 2:02 AM
I wanted to pose this though...

In regards to us saying the BL9 (or such speaker) “can reproduce better bass since there are two woofers, against 1”, let’s remember, the BL9s (or such speaker) set to front left and front right, is only producing bass for those channels.

AV systems send bass, or more specifically, LFEs to a BL2 (or any subwoofer) for ALL channels. So if you have a guy with a deep voice speaking, his lower tones will be sent to the BL2 from the CENTER channel, if there is a large spaceship flying overhead, the lower tones will be sent to the BL2 from the REAR or SURROUND channels etc.

So I’m not sure if assuming not having a BL2, simply because one has a set of BL9s, is having a better setup, since BL9s will only be playing bass from their own channel, and not necessarily stepping in to aid other channels such as surround, or surround rears.

Am I off “bass” here? Big Smile

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

Millemissen
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Howzit:
I wanted to pose this though...

 

 

In regards to us saying the BL9 (or such speaker) “can reproduce better bass since there are two woofers, against 1”, let’s remember, the BL9s (or such speaker) set to front left and front right, is only producing bass for those channels.

 

AV systems send bass, or more specifically, LFEs to a BL2 (or any subwoofer) for ALL channels. So if you have a guy with a deep voice speaking, his lower tones will be sent to the BL2 from the CENTER channel, if there is a large spaceship flying overhead, the lower tones will be sent to the BL2 from the REAR or SURROUND channels etc.

 

So I’m not sure if assuming not having a BL2, simply because one has a set of BL9s, is having a better setup, since BL9s will only be playing bass from their own channel, and not necessarily stepping in to aid other channels such as surround, or surround rears.

 

Am I off “bass” here? Big Smile

I’d say yes you are - if we consider the AV solution, that B&O offers.

Have a look here

http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2013/12/13/bo-tech-what-are-subwoofers-really-for/

and here for deeper insight:

https://www.bang-olufsen.com/~/mediaV3/Files/user-guides/Technical-sound-guide/Technical-Sound-Guide-1701.pdf

 

What we are aiming at here is the function called ‘bass redirection’

The AV processor in the BSys4-based products has a socalled 2 channel bass management

and is able to redirect bass to and from any loudspeaker in the setup.

This of course has to be meaningfull - thus the default values that you can find in the table displayed there.

However you can tweak to whatever you want and how you want - in the advanced settings.

Trying things out is better than just talking about them!

 

For other AV processors with just basic setup possibilities this might be different.

Bas is the most difficult part of a sound signal to control.

For the guys in Struer is was important that their AV processor knows the exact values of the speakers connected to the setup.....

.....including the center channel.

 

MM

 

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Millemissen
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Howzit:
I wanted to pose this though...

In regards to us saying the BL9 (or such speaker) “can reproduce better bass since there are two woofers, against 1”, let’s remember, the BL9s (or such speaker) set to front left and front right, is only producing bass for those channels.

AV systems send bass, or more specifically, LFEs to a BL2 (or any subwoofer) for ALL channels. So if you have a guy with a deep voice speaking, his lower tones will be sent to the BL2 from the CENTER channel, if there is a large spaceship flying overhead, the lower tones will be sent to the BL2 from the REAR or SURROUND channels etc.

So I’m not sure if assuming not having a BL2, simply because one has a set of BL9s, is having a better setup, since BL9s will only be playing bass from their own channel, and not necessarily stepping in to aid other channels such as surround, or surround rears.

 

Am I off “bass” here? Big Smile

I’d say yes you are - if we consider the AV solution, that B&O offers.

Have a look here

http://www.tonmeister.ca/wordpress/2013/12/13/bo-tech-what-are-subwoofers-really-for/

and here for deeper insight:

https://www.bang-olufsen.com/~/mediaV3/Files/user-guides/Technical-sound-guide/Technical-Sound-Guide-1701.pdf

 

What we are aiming at here is the function called ‘bass redirection’

The AV processor in the BSys4-based products has a socalled 2 channel bass management

and is able to redirect bass to and from any loudspeaker in the setup.

This of course has to be meaningfull - thus the default values that you can find in the table displayed there.

However you can tweak to whatever you want and how you want - in the advanced settings.

Trying things out is better than just talking about them!

 

For other AV processors with just basic setup possibilities this might be different.

Bas is the most difficult part of a sound signal to control.

For the guys in Struer is was important that their AV processor knows the exact values of the speakers connected to the setup.....

.....including the center channel.

 

MM

 

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Millemissen
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I made a somewhat longer post - but that went straight into moderation....for whatever reason???

We’ll see if it turnes up here at some point.

May basic answer is - yes, you are of bass ——- at least when it comes to a modern (BSys4-based) AV processor.

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Howzit
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Howzit replied on Wed, Aug 15 2018 2:20 AM

Temporarily using a pair of Beolab 8000 for center speaker. I also have a pair of Beolab 6000 ill try out. These, as a reminder, are currently paired up to a set of Beolab 9 for LEFT and RIGHT channels up front.

Really waiting to conclude what center channel to ultimately end up with. The 7.4 is sounding like the right choice... however the madness of having a pair of BL8000 is a fun try out right now.

It seems to me that the Beolab 7.4 is pretty much the Beolab 3. Same driver size, same tweeter size, both have ALT, and both have the same amplifier rating. For all intensive purposes it looks like the same speaker in a different cabinet... is this true? If it is, aesthetically, the Beolab 3 would fit the bill better for me... any thoughts on this?

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

Howzit
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Howzit replied on Tue, Aug 21 2018 9:24 AM
A little update....

Iv been using a pair of Beolab 8000s as a Centre channel, running through a Beolab 2.

This is set as a “Large” speaker in the AV processor setup... effectively being seen as a full range speaker as far as the processor is concerned. The BL2 is using its internal crossover between itself and the BL8000, so hopefully that’s as good as B&O designed it to be.

This of course is making for an excellent center channel, essentially 5 drivers and 2 tweeters. The only drawback being that the BL2 is on one side to the left, as I cannot place it in the middle on the floor in front of the TV.

I am then using an auto calibration PEQ, that is using the Beolab 9 L/R channel speakers as a reference. I then went in for some manual PEQ’ing; lifting frequencies in the 4K range to help with upper frequency dialogue crispness, and the 8k range to help match the BL9s. I’m also lifting this “center channel” by 2dB relative to the rest of the speakers. These settings are using the auto calibration as a jumping off point.

The rest of the setup are the BL9s for Front L/R channels as I mentioned, set to “Large”, and another pair of BL8000s for Surround L/R channels, set to “Small”, and a B&W 8” subwoofer for LFE.

This is sounding really good so far.

When watching 5.1/7.1 movies and TV shows, it sounds exactly like what it should, but with dialogue better than any system I have ever heard. My wife and I sometimes have a hard time with muffled, deep, low volume vocals... but not any more!!

However, when watching older material that was never created in 5.1, the decoder does a good job of up-mixing, but as you can imagine, it’s not perfect.

When watching older shows like the first season of Midsomer Murders for example, almost 90% of all audio goes to the center channel. Only very light distant bird sounds, or fire crackling in the background is sent to any other speakers, as the decoder tries it’s best to do what it can with older, stereo mixes. Even new movies like Marvel’s Thor, has a large number of sequences sending most of the audio to just the center channel. Admittedly, these are usually close up to medium-wide dialogue scenes, or scenes in close quarters. The scenes where you obviously start to get full surround sounds are scenes where things are flying around and so forth. As such, dramas feature most scenes being run to mostly the center channel I have noticed.

So all in all, I’m very happy with this setup so far. I have gone and put my ear right onto the speaker frets to listen during various content, and sadly, most audio is indeed sent to the center channel relative to other channels. I’m not talking about audio volume level, but actual content sent to the speakers themselves. Sure, the stereo panning left to right sounds very good indeed.

I will try using the BL9s as a center channel, as for now, it would seem to me, that this is where I would get the most use out of them. They currently run mostly idle, or just playing very faint ambient sounds to create scene enveloping... and at the most for vocals, mirroring 30% of the dialogue off the center channel. Most of their heavy lifting is just superficial SFX and music scores, while most of the real meat and potatoes of scenes is in the center. They do get loud occasionally in action movies when a dragon or spaceship swoops by from far left to far right or something, but I didn’t drop all that money for the occasional dragon fly-over.

I’ll give it a go and see what happens.

Music of course is the opposite. I just play it as either 2 channels, or 11 channels, and the receiver uses the BL9s as the main speakers.

It’s been fun learning all about this stuff, and perhaps I’ll just ultimately go back to a BL7-4 center IndifferentSurpriseSmile

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

elephant
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elephant replied on Tue, Aug 21 2018 12:09 PM
Amazing

Thanks for sharing !

I am not sure I would have your dedication and perseverance

Nonetheless a great job by you and so thank you

Perhaps others can follow up with their own experiences and experiments

That would be fascinating

BeoNut since '75

Millemissen
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Howzit:
A little update....

Iv been using a pair of Beolab 8000s as a Centre channel, running through a Beolab 2.

That’s a lot of ‘stuff’ for a center channel.

The 8000’s must be in the way, when the screen is on - or are they placed horizontically under the screen?

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

leosgonewild
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Do you get much low tones from your center channel? What is the rest of the setup at the moment?
Howzit
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Howzit replied on Thu, Aug 23 2018 10:07 PM
leogoeswild:

Do you get much low tones from your center channel? What is the rest of the setup at the moment?

Yes, there are a lot of low tones out of the “center channel”, as they are set up as “LARGE”, so the AV processor is not sending any LFE to the subwoofer; the BL2 is picking up the low tones with its internal crossover, before sending the rest to the BL8000s.

As I mentioned, it’s effectively just being seen as a full range speaker. This is why I think I’ll try the BL9s as a center, because then, I’ll get the low frequencies distributed between the two BL9 subwoofers, rather than the one sided BL2 currently.

This experiment has been a good example of why people say that you don’t need a BL2 when you have BL9s. It is really revealing to me in a real world application, how/why people also say it’s like having two BL2s (having a set of BL9s). In my case, I would literally need two BL2s, to recenter all the audio as a center channel setup (and this holds true with stereo, not just what I’m doing) Remember, it would seem like 80% of all audio, not just dialogue comes of the center channel.

Lastly, this is why, in my opinion, you pay for a Beovision. All this faffery I’m doing is just try to and get an exceptional center channel, which the beovisions have built in. As a matter of fact, it’s the same number of drivers; 6. (Beovision Eclipse vs a set of beolab 8000). If I had the money, the Beovision would be the perfect solution. It finally makes sense why they have full range drivers!!! And just how much of a big deal it is!!

I personally don’t think that a BL7-4 or whatever would cut it for me, after hearing what a real full range setup sounds like. Unless it’s two BL-4s...

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

Howzit
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Howzit replied on Thu, Aug 23 2018 10:10 PM
Millemissen:

That’s a lot of ‘stuff’ for a center channel.

The 8000’s must be in the way, when the screen is on - or are they placed horizontically under the screen?

MM

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

This is what it currently looks like. (Excuse the wires!)

Beolab 9 | Beolab 8000 | Beolab 6000 | Beolab 2 | Beosound 9000 | Beoplay A9 | Beomaster 8000 | Beovox M75, / S75, / S45.2 

elephant
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elephant replied on Fri, Aug 24 2018 10:53 AM
Howzit:

whatever would cut it for me, after hearing what a real full range setup sounds like. Unless it’s two BL-4s...

Eh ?!?!?

I have some BL4s ... I don’t think they’d cut it !

BeoNut since '75

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