I bought a Athena ASC-1 today but it is too big for my TV wall unit. I.e. I cannot keep it horizontally, either on a shelf or on top of the TV. At present, I have placed it vertically, beside the TV. So basically, my choice is to keep the Athena ASC-1 vertically, beside the TV or buy the smaller Athena C.5 center cannel speaker that comes with the Athena Point 5 speaker system. What shall I do? What's wrong with keeping a center cannel speaker vertically?
You want to keep the ASC-1, it is the speaker that matches your ASF2s, you should consider going up to the ASC-2 if anything.
Placing a speaker vertically should present no issues, the only problem is placement. You should have the centre equidistant from each of the front left and right channels. The centre will do best placed directly below or above the television. Your best bet is to install a shelf directly above the tv and place the speaker on that. If not possible your present setup will be better than using the .5 bookshelf in your system.
Have you tried setting the center speaker to the 'off' setting yet? In my experience, a 'virtual' center speaker is always the best type. Not only is it free, but it cannot be other than ideally matched to the main speakers. The only good reason to have a real center speaker is if there are people sitting away from the the 'sweet spot'. With a decent system, if you are sat in a fairly cenral position then there is absolutely no need for a hardware center speaker.
I disagree diablo. While I agree that a lot of the time the mains can handle the centre speaker's load on top of their own, during high energy sections you will lose a little something. For DVD playtback the dialogue is easier to hear with a centre speaker, also in scenes with background noise and music, the potential for a little muddiness is there in times when the mains are trying to do movie dialogue at the same time as the vocals in music.
I've never had any trouble with dialogue on DVDs during the last ten years when using systems without a centre. I have tried using center speakers but always found the effect to be inferior. It is true that with most AV equipment that there is no option to control the center volume when using a 'phantom' speaker - but this is not something I have ever needed.
This option may well not be suitable for Sam, but many people may not realise that it is a viable option - it's certainly the one that I prefer. I'm just suggesting that he tries it.