Center Channel Opinions Requested

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  • Stoopalini
    Member
    • Aug 2000
    • 99

    Center Channel Opinions Requested

    Hello Everyone :B

    I've convinced my uncle to go ahead and jump into this addiction we like to call HT , but he doesn't have a lot of cash to spend and has been asking my advice about purchases.

    He started with a 32" Sony Trinitron, stereo receiver and some nice full size, full range mains -- nothing too fancy, but they do sound good and really put out the bass.

    So far we've added a Pioneer 333 DvD Player; and he just ordered a Pioneer D509s (the 608 replacement). These were obvious choices considering his budget and wants.
    He wanted something that would do both DD and DTS -- I know, picky huh :roll:

    The next logical step is to get him some speakers. He only has apx $200 left for his HT budget, so here's what I recommended to him:

    Get the best center channel you can get, use the existing full range speakers for mains, and get a pair of cheap sat's for surrounds.
    This way, he won't have to replace the center and will have some bass until he can afford a dedicated subwoofer and mains.

    Alright, I'm getting to the question -- really I am

    What center speaker would you guys recommend? It's got to be something that will be easily matchable to a good pair of mains in the future. He's looking at things like Sony and Pioneer and I'm trying to tell him NOOOO!! get something worth having!!

    So come on guys, gimme some good center speaker recommendations keeping in mind that $200 is the limit.

    I was thinking used would be the best way to go here considering his price restrictions.

    Thanks guys, you're the best!

    Thomas.
  • xxjman
    Junior Member
    • Sep 2000
    • 5

    #2
    Hi,

    I would appreciate any input anybody would like to add. I am the one stoopalini was talking about.

    Thanks in advance
    xxjman

    Comment

    • ThomasW
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Aug 2000
      • 10934

      #3
      Hi

      Here's the deal. The center channel for DVD's carries almost ALL of the dialogue. So it's virtually as important as the 2 mains.

      I was watching "The Big Kahuna" and 90% of the entire movie was coming from the center. At one point I stopped the movie to check and see if there was something wrong with my settings, because nothing was coming out of the mains or rears. I've had similar experiences with a couple of other titles.

      So if possible I'd recommend that the center be a match to the mains if at all possible. Or at least be made by the same company, so the sonic signature is similar. If this isn't in the budget, then get good mains, and run in the "Phantom" mode until you can get a quality center.




      theAudioWorx
      Klone-Audio

      IB subwoofer FAQ page


      "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

      Comment

      • xxjman
        Junior Member
        • Sep 2000
        • 5

        #4
        My mains are three way pioneers I was thinking of getting the cerwin vega ls-6c. How do feel about this center channel? it's in my budget and seems to be a good speaker?
        here is the link i found it at




        Thanks
        xxjman

        Comment

        • Andrew Pratt
          Moderator Emeritus
          • Aug 2000
          • 16507

          #5
          Well this is going to be tricky since Pioneer to my knowledge doens't make a decent center channel so you're going to have to look at another brand and hope it matches okay. I couple of things to consider would be how happy are you with your current mains? If you think that at some point you'd like to move them to the rear and buy new mains then I'd look at buying a center speaker from which ever company you think you might buy from when you do buy your mains. This gives you an upgrade path so you won't have to replace the center later. That said it might be difficult to pick a center now based on something you might do down the road. If you choose to purchase a center that mates well with your exisiting mains then I'd try to buy it from a place that has a good return ploicy so that if it doens't work out you can return it and try another. Idealy you want the front three speakers to sound very similar so that pans across the front sound seemless. I do agree with the Thomas's though the center is a very important speaker so don't skimp on it if you can help it. I'm not familar with the Cerwin to comment on it though.




          Comment

          • Stoopalini
            Member
            • Aug 2000
            • 99

            #6
            Yea Andrew, Thats exactly what we're thinking.

            Buy a good center from a company he can buy mains from at a later time.
            This way, he can retire the pioneers when he can afford a pair of decent mains form the same company he chooses to buy the center from.

            I found a set of Phase Tech Teatro 2.5's coupled with a Teatro Center for $265.00 -- With Full Warranty.

            I thought this would be a great deal for him. He could use the pioneer's as mains (keeping them as mains to allow for some bass) and the 2.5's for rears. Then when he can afford it, he can pickup some 5.5's or something for mains, and add a dedicated sub too.

            What do you think of that?

            Tom.

            Comment

            • Andrew Pratt
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Aug 2000
              • 16507

              #7
              sounds like a plan if he likes the sound of the phase tech's.




              Comment

              • Will Binegar
                Junior Member
                • Aug 2000
                • 6

                #8
                I don't know your budget, but you might be able to find something in one of PSB's lines. You can find them discounted at 20% off list price or better.

                Comment

                • ThomasW
                  Moderator Emeritus
                  • Aug 2000
                  • 10934

                  #9
                  Make sure that whatever you end up getting is shielded!!!!




                  theAudioWorx
                  Klone-Audio

                  IB subwoofer FAQ page


                  "Complicated equipment and light reflectors and various other items of hardware are enough, to my mind, to prevent the birdie from coming out." ...... Henri Cartier-Bresson

                  Comment

                  • xxjman
                    Junior Member
                    • Sep 2000
                    • 5

                    #10
                    Thanks for the info

                    xxjman

                    Comment

                    • Paul McGowan
                      Junior Member
                      • Aug 2000
                      • 17

                      #11
                      just wanted to add something here... i noticed you had pioneer mains.....

                      now.... take this with a grain of salt, but four years ago when i worked for sears canada (in lethbridge ab) selling HT and electronics... we had our big pioneer training conference up in calgary and i distinctly remember the rep saying that the pioneer speakers that we carried, used the same drivers that Paradigm did at the time.

                      Now this was before I was into HT, and kinda before Paradigm was so huge, but I also remember the HT guru we had at sears, who taught me most of what I now know, had heard the same thing from another source at the time....

                      Now of course, Pioneer was trying to sell us sales guys on these speakers, so take it with a grain of salt.... but i do distinctly remember everything that was said...

                      given this to be true, try the Paradigm 350 center... i'm not sure how old that speaker is... but it would probably be the closest match with pioneer mains...




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                      Comment

                      • xxjman
                        Junior Member
                        • Sep 2000
                        • 5

                        #12
                        Thanks Paul I will look into that!

                        xxjman

                        Comment

                        • xxjman
                          Junior Member
                          • Sep 2000
                          • 5

                          #13
                          the mains I have are Pioneer HPM-40

                          Comment

                          • Stoopalini
                            Member
                            • Aug 2000
                            • 99

                            #14
                            Thanks for all the info guys, we do appreciate it.

                            We (xxjman and I) went out last night and listened to some speakers. We heard NHT, Paradigm, Klipsch, and Tannoy.

                            We started by listening to the biggest, baddest NHT's (3.5 I think) and Paradigms (Legend I think) he had. In this calibur, We both agreed that the NHT's definitely sounded better than the Paradigm's. We demo'd them with Natalie Merchant to test for tonal acuracy and natural sound.
                            Of course, with price tags up in the thousands/pair, we were WAY out of our league ..... but oh how fun it is to audition :B

                            Next, we jumped way down the scale to the NHT and Paradigm bookshelves. In this calibur, I still preferred the sound of the NHT SuperOne's, but Joe preferred the Paradigm Titans. These running at $199 a pair each were more a realistic purchase, still too high for his budget though.

                            Next, we cruised over to another retailer and checked out some Tannoy reference speakers and Klipsch S1's.
                            The Tannoy's sounded very nice. Very detailed speaker while still maintaining a flat response, at least I thought so. I really liked their sound. They were going for $299 a pair.
                            The Klipsch were very nice too. I personally didn't like them as much as any of the others, but it could have just been because they were the last pair we listened to. They wanted $599 a pair if I remember correctly.

                            So, what to do. All these combo's are out of Joe's price range if he wants to get a center.
                            .......Hmmmm, looking at all these speakers has sure got me into an upgrade mood now .......... Well, another option I've given to Joe is to purchase my 3 front BIC speakers for a very reasonable price, and then I can scratch my upgrade itch and get some nice towers :B

                            I've offered him my BIC America Venturi DV52 mains and DV53CLR Center for a total of $250. If he buys them, maybe those NHT's would sound pretty good in my living room

                            Thomas.

                            Comment

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