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VCC-5 in a Home Theater?


Spydie1220
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Hello everyone, I apologize if I'm posting in the wrong location, new here to Vandersteen forums. So I currently have a modest HT system consisting of model 3a's for my front L/R, Model 1's for my side surrounds, and model 2's for my rear surrounds, 4x 2wq sub's, and a VCC-1 for my center. Well, I'm not going to lie I do not like the VCC-1, I find it sounding muffled and the sound is so directional I feel like I can only hear it coming directly from the vcc and not the picture if that makes sense. From my reading on different facebook groups and other AV forums, it sounds like a lot of people enjoy the VCC-5 significantly more and that it has a better sound spread. I recently had ChadB out to tune my projector and he noted the muffled or "veiled" center as well. I've tried a polk cs20 center as well and still noted the veiled sound on that as well but not to the same extent (maybe it's a mix of speaker and settings in my avr?). What's everyone's thought's on the vcc-5? I think it would integrate well and would like to stick with all vandersteen speakers, but I don't want to drop the $1.5k on a used one just to find myself in the same situation. Any thought's or opinions are appreciated! 

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Spydie1220, the VCC-1 is not dynamic enough for the Model 2 or 3!  It is very important to not use the auto cal on any AV processor but adjust it with a SPL meter.  The other trick is to put the center 2 feet further away (if possible) from the listener than the main speakers are and then lie to the processor and tell it the center is the same distance from the listener as the main speakers are.  This will help because movies are not mixed for the home but for the theater which is very unnatural in the home.  Movies are mixed with nearly all the info in the center only if it is on the screen with no hint of it in the right and left speaker.  This is why using phantom with no center always sounds better if you are exactly in the middle!  The purpose of the center is for the viewers that are off center.  Imagine a man and woman having a conversation over dinner located where your center speaker is and move over to where your left speaker is located and not be able to hear ANY of the conversation!  This is what movies do because if you are the customer sitting up front on the far left everything on the screen must come from the center as it would be weird to have some of the conversation coming right in front of you when visually they are in the center of the screen.  The settings above will help with this but there is no cure.

 

RV

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8 minutes ago, Richard Vandersteen said:

Spydie1220, the VCC-1 is not dynamic enough for the Model 2 or 3!  It is very important to not use the auto cal on any AV processor but adjust it with a SPL meter.  The other trick is to put the center 2 feet further away (if possible) from the listener than the main speakers are and then lie to the processor and tell it the center is the same distance from the listener as the main speakers are.  This will help because movies are not mixed for the home but for the theater which is very unnatural in the home.  Movies are mixed with nearly all the info in the center only if it is on the screen with no hint of it in the right and left speaker.  This is why using phantom with no center always sounds better if you are exactly in the middle!  The purpose of the center is for the viewers that are off center.  Imagine a man and woman having a conversation over dinner located where your center speaker is and move over to where your left speaker is located and not be able to hear ANY of the conversation!  This is what movies do because if you are the customer sitting up front on the far left everything on the screen must come from the center as it would be weird to have some of the conversation coming right in front of you when visually they are in the center of the screen.  The settings above will help with this but there is no cure.

 

RV

 

Thank you for the reply Richard, I'll give your suggestions a try and see how it sounds. I've tried out doing a phantom center but my seating is slightly off center so it falls apart for everyone else unless it's just me watching. I haven't ran audyssey or anything on the speakers yet, have only messed with the listening distance and what not a bit so I will try moving the center back a bit as you suggested. Overall would you say I still would get a better spread with the VCC-5? Or even get a better dynamic match for the model 3's? I really appreciate the info! 

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Yes, the VCC-5 or the VCC-2 would be a much better match dynamically but "Spread" is a function of the mastering of the movie.  The only way to improve spread would be to find a way to leak center channel info into the left and right main speakers.  I gave this suggestion to Theta over 3 decades ago but I don't know if they incorporated this feature into their processor or if any other manufacture has.  I run my system that way but its complicated and not practical.

RV 

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5 hours ago, Spydie1220 said:

Hello everyone, I apologize if I'm posting in the wrong location, new here to Vandersteen forums. So I currently have a modest HT system consisting of model 3a's for my front L/R, Model 1's for my side surrounds, and model 2's for my rear surrounds, 4x 2wq sub's, and a VCC-1 for my center. Well, I'm not going to lie I do not like the VCC-1, I find it sounding muffled and the sound is so directional I feel like I can only hear it coming directly from the vcc and not the picture if that makes sense. From my reading on different facebook groups and other AV forums, it sounds like a lot of people enjoy the VCC-5 significantly more and that it has a better sound spread. I recently had ChadB out to tune my projector and he noted the muffled or "veiled" center as well. I've tried a polk cs20 center as well and still noted the veiled sound on that as well but not to the same extent (maybe it's a mix of speaker and settings in my avr?). What's everyone's thought's on the vcc-5? I think it would integrate well and would like to stick with all vandersteen speakers, but I don't want to drop the $1.5k on a used one just to find myself in the same situation. Any thought's or opinions are appreciated! 

Currently the TV sounds like it is making the sound with my 2C and no VCC. To the point where the Mrs said to move the 2Cs out as the TV sounded great… until I turned the volume down on the Vandys. Currently watching the TV as a 2.1.

Just yesterday I purchased a used VCC. So if you are willing to wait a month or two I should be able to give both a subjective and objective report.

I am starting well behind where you are at in terms of HT, and mine is also 2.1 headed to being both 2.1/5.1

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  • 4 months later...

That's some modest system!  I had a VCC-5 center and 2 CE Signature IIs for front left and right.  The VCC-5 blends seamlessly from a voicing and dynamic standpoint with the 2s.  I'm sure it would do the same with the 3s.  On my system they were each powered by an identical mono amp, so power was consistent as well.

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On 10/8/2021 at 4:04 PM, Holmz said:

Just yesterday I purchased a used VCC. So if you are willing to wait a month or two I should be able to give both a subjective and objective report.

As promised:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/vandersteen-vcc-5-review-center-speaker.27776/

I am planning on doing some FIR based EQ on the VCC-5 (even though I have seen numerous report of DSPs on here not being good.) 
Just enough to make the direct sound flat in FR.
And symmetric FIR based should not alter the phase like an IIR based FIR does.

The radiation pattern for the VCC-5 looks a lot better than most of the other center channels I have seen.

The time/phase being proper should allow them to blend with the L/R… But I suspect that (but dunno), that the center mix is mostly divorced from L/R to avoid phase issues??

I should see it in 2 weeks.

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