creating center channel from a 2.1 stereo?

luthierwnc

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Apr 19, 2013
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Hi All, I'm going to get a small TV for my home office. I already have a pretty good 2.1 stereo (with fronts and rears) but the two fronts are too far apart to work as a virtual center channel. The main home theater room has a 5.1 setup but that's also the gaming room and sometimes I'm banished.

For most of what I'm doing the TV itself will be fine. I also have a retired Visio soundbar I could clamp on the swivel mount. But I'm also toying with the idea of using the stereo for bigger stage on some shows, videos, etc. I've looked around the net but haven't found the definitive yes or no on creating a center channel.

What I had in mind was running a Toslink cable from the TV to the stereo then taking take either the line-out or the Zone-2 line-out RCA's into a small amp like a Micca OriGain. From there I'd jury-rig a summing box to produce a mono feed and send that to a spare Klipsch center speaker. The volume control of that amp would basically be the mixer for the rig.

What I don't know is without the separation of a 5.1 or 7.1 receiver, would I just be getting a mush of misdirected sound? Come to that, I could probably get a decent 5.1 receiver for not much more than all the parts I just mentioned above. OTOH, I like the stereo receiver I've got now.

If anyone has any thoughts, I hope you'll write them down. Thanks for your ideas, sh
 
I don't think it will work. A center channel isn't just a mono speaker. Its a dialogue channel. The dialogue would still come out of the front speakers so it would just be confusing.
You have a stereo receiver (not AVR) with optical in and with speaker A-B? Speaker pair B is not the same as a second zone. Line out isn't affected by the receiver volume control so you would have to adjust the center channel every time you change the volume on the receiver to balance it.
Get an AVR. A use one without HDMI but with digital inputs would be pretty cheap. An used Marantz would likely sound as good or better than the stereo receiver.
 
I don't think it will work. A center channel isn't just a mono speaker. Its a dialogue channel. The dialogue would still come out of the front speakers so it would just be confusing.
You have a stereo receiver (not AVR) with optical in and with speaker A-B? Speaker pair B is not the same as a second zone. Line out isn't affected by the receiver volume control so you would have to adjust the center channel every time you change the volume on the receiver to balance it.
Get an AVR. A use one without HDMI but with digital inputs would be pretty cheap. An used Marantz would likely sound as good or better than the stereo receiver.
 

luthierwnc

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Apr 19, 2013
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It was a noble idea but I think you're right. Plus, I didn't know how cheap a good second-hand AVR could be had. The one in the library is a newer Denon. Go back a few years and they are less than a hundred bucks. A bit more for HDMI. For now I'll stick with a spare soundbar until I see how much I actually use it. Thanks for the input and good luck with your projects. sh
 
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