Mixing Brands For Center Channel

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by MikeWestdal, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. MikeWestdal

    MikeWestdal Auditioning

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    I just left my local HT place and the sales guy did not recommend mixing my Polk LSI 9's and a Monotor Audio Bronze Center channel speaker because the sound would not match. I held off on buying them. SO, my question is: Would getting another center from Polk such as the C3i work? It is fairly affordable. The best thing for me to do is save up for the LSi center speaker. Your thoughts are appreciated.

    I have the LSi 9's HK AVR 330 and Klipsch R8 Sub in a medium sized room with hardwood floor. thanks for reading.
     
  2. Leroy R

    Leroy R Stunt Coordinator

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    The goal is to try to have all of your speakers timbre matched. The best way to do that is to buy all of your speakers from the same line of the same manufacturers products.

    That being said, your ears are the true test. If you like the Monotor Audio Bronze Center, buy it take it home and see how it sounds with what you have. If you like it, you are good to go. If you don't like how it sounds with the rest of your system then return it. Listening to speakers in the environment in which they are going to be used is the only way to truely test a speaker.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    For the front three, I always recommend the matching center.
     
  4. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  5. KevinFC

    KevinFC Stunt Coordinator

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    I have polk r50's up front and csi 3 as my front and rear center. You can also call polk and see wut they say. But imho with the LSi9's you might want to look at the CSi5 as your center. Thas what my brother in law did and he enjoys it alot. Just my 2 cents
     
  6. John S

    John S Producer

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    I am still in the camp of exact same speakers in every location. Just seems to always work best or at least easiest to get a perfect calibrated system.
     
  7. Leroy R

    Leroy R Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I tried to stir up some interest in this guys thread so it didn't drop off the forum without any replies like my thread did and it worked.
     
  8. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

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    What about different versions from the same manufacturer? I currently have Paradigm Monitor 7's for my mains and they are V3's. I was able to pick up a CC-370 center for an extremely good price, but it is a V2. I haven't received it yet. Should I have any concerns about this?
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    V2s and v3s are timbre matched. I had v2 5s and a v3 370 and they blended perfectly. IMO, the v3 370 is a little better than the v2, so you should be fine. I have not heard the v4s yet.

    There is only one center for the LSis. I would not use something from the lower lines, it simply won't sound seemless. For my g/f's setup, I used 3 LSi7s across the front and it sounds very good.

    My front 3 are identical speakers as well.
     
  10. Jeff_A

    Jeff_A Screenwriter

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    Thanks for the reassurance, John! [​IMG]
     
  11. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    Same manufacturer is okay to me. However, consider future upgrading. If you're happy with L and R, then go ahead and get the matching center. On the other hand, don't get the center if it "blocks" you from replacing the mains. Get a center from a line that is an upgrade so it leaves you room to grow.

    Having said that, I think one day I gotta explore the all identical speakers route.....
     
  12. Travis R.

    Travis R. Agent

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    Here's a different perspective... I have a different centre channel them my mains and I have different rears then my mains and centre. I have found that it works amazing.
    This goes against the main stream thought but it is one to ponder. I believe that if you have an exellent centre speaker and it produces good dialogue which most do in Movie watching then you are going to get good quality sound for dialogue regardless if it matches your main pair of speakers. Rears are more special effects and that sort so if you have a good pair then they will do their job as well effectively regardless if they match the other speakers.
    I'm sure I'm pushing many buttons on people's idea of Timbre matching but I don't buy into it. I have had many people over for movies and nobody once said "Hey Travis your Centre Speaker sounds a bit different then your Mains and likewise with the rears." Maybe a hardcore audiophile can determine it but if you closed your eyes and listened to a movie you probably would'nt notice one difference. I have LINN NINKA's as Mains, M&K 850 THX Center and Mirage OMR-2's as rears and they sound great.

    Another Perspective....

    Travis
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I thought the same thing before I did it. BIG difference.
     
  14. John S

    John S Producer

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    I only really go for the same speaker, because it makes calibration much easier. It is definetly not a law or anything. [​IMG] In the end, use what you have, or replace as needed til your happy for sure.
     
  15. Ryan Tsang

    Ryan Tsang Second Unit

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    travis:

    I am currently in the same camp as you with different brands: Hales Rev2, Aerial CC3 center, Mirage OMR2. I have never noticed voices moving from side to side and thought to myself: "Gee, that sounded weird?"

    However, I can't help but think about what Garcia said. If you made a stereo pair with one of your Linns and the M&K, you'll find the stereo image is weird sounding. I tried that and that's how it got me thinking. If two different speakers can't make a seamless soundstage, how can a different center do the same in the middle? I'm not talking about same brand or even the same line, I'm talking about exact speaker. That's why I'm on the fence. Oh well, I need to upgrade my mains first anyway, then I'll see.....
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Well, I never really noticed that there was a difference, until that difference wasn't there anymore. I have experienced this more than once as well, going from an unmatched center to one closely matching my mains, and the difference was noticable each time. That does not mean I would not be happy with the setup without a perfectly matching center, but every little bit counts. That's my recommendation, as John S said, it's not law or anything. As long as you are happy with what you have, don't worry about it [​IMG]
     

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