Matching center channel to left and right speakers
I can't match my center channel speaker to the right and left channel speakers. The center is a different brand and I can't buy the center in the same name as the right and the left channel speakers. How would I know if the center speaker that I have is close enough in timbre?
I'm not entirely clear from your question, but I take it you have already bought a centre speaker, and are trying to match this to your left and right speakers.
The simple answer is that you just use your ears to tell you if it sounds ok. In many cases, using a different brand of speaker doesn't necessarily mean that you will hear a huge difference in the sound - although it is possible.
The main thing to do is to find a scene in a Blu-ray movie that pans the sound across all three speakers (or just from one side to the centre). It is sometimes more obvious when people are talking - so try and find a scene where you have somebody's voice that crosses the speakers as they walk across the screen.
If you think the timbre of their voice changes as the sound moves from the front left/right speaker to the centre, then you could use the EQ function on your AV receiver to change the sound of the centre channel. Just give it a little more high frequency - or less bass - depending on how the sound is changing.
You shouldn't need to do much, just a little tweak should help to balance the sound.
Also, make sure the centre speaker isn't too loud or quiet compared to the front left and right.
If your AV receiver has automatic speaker calibration (most do these days), then make sure you run this and this may help to even out any issues for you.
Hope that helps.
Paul (Site Editor)
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About Home Cinema Guide
Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has worked as a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment.