Using three center channel speakers as fronts. Please help.


Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 39
Registered: Apr-04
I am looking to use three dynaudio 42c's as center and mains. The speakers will be in an entertainment center. The 1st 42c will be on top of the TV and looking to put the other 42C's horizontally on the bookshelves to the left and right of the entertainment center. Will this work? Will I lose out on imaging and soundstage using the 42c's (horizontal) as mains for 2 channel music listening with sub? The entertainment center's bookshelves are only 14 inches deep so the bass will be exaggerated using 42's without port plugs. Or should I go for the 42's using the port plugs? 42W's in the bookshelf will take some serious convincing to the wife since the whole plan was for smaller speakers. The 42W are 14 inches high. She really wanted some type of cube set-up ie. BOSE which definitely would not work for me. I will be using a sub for both home theater and music.

I called Dynaudio and they suggested that 42W would be the best bet and 42 with port plugs would be fine too. The person I talked to had no experience with using the 42c's as mains and was not sure of the result. I am hoping to get a better sound using the front ported 42c as mains. He did think it would work though. I have a dealer that unfortunately does not keep the Dyn's in stock so I cannot demo the 42c's as mains.

Hawk if you are still out there I saw a thread where you were going to do the same. Were you planning on using the other two 42c's horizontally or vertical? My situation calls for horizontal. A chime in on what you were going to do would be great.

I just had to spend a big chunk of money on the entertainment center WAF so I could have my home theater. Currently I have a mongrel system consisting of Paradigm Studio 20 V.2 I got used for a great price. Titan as a center channel (remember mongrel) and two cinema 90's as surrounds. I am happy with the Paradigm sound but do like the Dyn's a little better. The smaller speaker factor is helping to get the Dyn's. As you can see there are still limitations that I must overcome.

Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 593
Registered: Feb-04
I believe Hawk has three 42W at the front wall, and probably vertically. In your situation three 42C would be the safest and easiest way. Three identical speaker will give you the most uniform soundstage, and the front bass-reflex and probably port plugs will help you with the placing in small bookshelves. 42's with plugged port will probably be still too bassy in your situation.

Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 40
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks again for the advice landroval : )
I went ahead and ordered 42's not C's for the mains. They will be on top of the bookshelves about 5 ft high. Kind of high but they should still sound good. They will only have about a foot of space behind them. The demo's at the store only had about 6 inches of space and were set to small. Overall, the sound was still good sounding to me so I think I should be ok.

Don't know what to do about surrounds yet and my wife does not want 42w's hanging off the walls. I guess I will figure something out. I can use the cinema 90's for the meantime.

Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 41
Registered: Apr-04

Just got the Dyn's yesterday. Boy they sounded horrible right out of the box. They are starting to sound much better after 8 hrs of break in. I can't wait to hear them after a few weeks. The detail is quite amazing that the 42's produce. I am hearing detail that was not apparent with my Studio 20 V2's. Lord of the Rings fellowship of the Ring the beginning scenes when Frodo talks with Gandolf in the woods the birds are clear and crisp. The Studio 20's you could still hear the birds but they did not shine as with the Dyn's. The openess is almost like a breath of fresh air as compared to the more relaxed 20's.

I was thinking of using Totem in ceiling 6.5's for the surrounds. I talked to someone at Goodwin Hign End Audio and they believed this would be the best alternative to using the 42W's. I will still try to get the wife to let me hang up some white 42w's on the sides of the listening area.

The NAD T752 seems to be pushing the 3 dyn's in the front quite well. I have not connected the surrounds I currently have yet due to relocating the listening position.

thanks again for all your suggestions.

Bronze Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 45
Registered: Sep-04

If you can convince the wife to go with the 42Ws, this would be the best solution by far. I don't suggest you go for the Totem in-ceiling speakers. Now I'm a Totem fan but the Totem sound is quite different to that of the Dyns. I have extensive experience of both makes, being a dealer in both.

I suggest that if your begging/bribery/cajoling etc don't work and you're stuck with in-ceiling speakers, then consider the Speakercraft AIM series in-ceiling speakers if available (the AIM2 retails for around the same price as the 42 if memory serves). These speakers have adjustable crossovers, allowing you to modify their output to suit the soundspace - and therefore to sound a bit more like the Dyns. The Totems don't allow this, simply having the usual basic moving tweeter.

FYI Dynaudios take ages to run in properly. With ordinary use, they'll continue running in for another couple of weeks - honest!


Gold Member
Username: Kegger


Post Number: 1475
Registered: Dec-03
I would have to agree with frank in ceiling speakers have
never done it for me.

Bronze Member
Username: Jamesp

Mansfield , TX USA

Post Number: 44
Registered: Apr-04
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Wish me luck on my begging to the wife. She is quite happy with the sound of the Dyn's when we listened at the dealer. She felt they sounded pretty. LOL.
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