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Center speaker suggestions?


Best Answer Jason Charlton, August 12 2013 - 05:25 AM

You really want to stick with the same manufacturer (ideally even the same product line) for your front three to achieve proper "timbre matching" - that is, sounds that pan across the front sound stage are tonally consistent from speaker to speaker. Mixing and matching brands/models will often result in wildly inconsistent panning audio that will likely be just as distracting as your current low volume problem.

 

A quick online search reveals that when the MKII's were released, there WAS no "matching center" channel for them.

 

Therefore, the "best" match for the 7se mains would be another 7se for the center.  In fact, audio purists would tell you that if you have the space, identical speakers all around are the best option for home theater.

 

Of course, this is not often a practical solution for most people.

 

I saw a pair of 7se's on eBay for a Buy it Now price of $165.  If you have the space, it's a good deal and you get a spare speaker.

 

If that's not in the cards for you, I saw a few mentions online of a Paradigm CC-300 being a decent match, too - that's another speaker you'll have to scour the used market for if you want to find one.

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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   Underdog

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Posted August 12 2013 - 12:03 AM

I would like to find a center channel speaker to hopefully boost dialog on movies.Current fronts are Paradigms MkII 7se's. Rears are Paradigm bookshelf-size speakers from the same era -the sticker fell off the back a few years ago - they are maybe mini mk II's? There is a velodyne V 1012B sub. Driven by a (frankly underwhelming, but that's for another day) Pioneer VSX-31.I know the speakers are old, but we like them and are not inclined to replace them. They have been treated well and, so far, the surrounds and individual speakers seem to be holding up. It's only the volume difference between dialog and background music/effects on movies that is a problem.I am hoping someone here can help identify a center speaker that would be a decent match for the 7se's. Ideally the price is something in the neighborhood of $200-$300. A discontinued/closeout model from previous years and/or something from a manufacturer other than Paradigm would be fine.Thanks for any help.

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   Jason Charlton

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Posted August 12 2013 - 05:25 AM   Best Answer

You really want to stick with the same manufacturer (ideally even the same product line) for your front three to achieve proper "timbre matching" - that is, sounds that pan across the front sound stage are tonally consistent from speaker to speaker. Mixing and matching brands/models will often result in wildly inconsistent panning audio that will likely be just as distracting as your current low volume problem.

 

A quick online search reveals that when the MKII's were released, there WAS no "matching center" channel for them.

 

Therefore, the "best" match for the 7se mains would be another 7se for the center.  In fact, audio purists would tell you that if you have the space, identical speakers all around are the best option for home theater.

 

Of course, this is not often a practical solution for most people.

 

I saw a pair of 7se's on eBay for a Buy it Now price of $165.  If you have the space, it's a good deal and you get a spare speaker.

 

If that's not in the cards for you, I saw a few mentions online of a Paradigm CC-300 being a decent match, too - that's another speaker you'll have to scour the used market for if you want to find one.


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#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Underdog

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Posted August 12 2013 - 10:20 PM

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I don't see any way to fit in another 7se as a center. And I don't think It would even work to experiment with another set of the bigger speakers as rears and repurposing one of the bookshelf-size ones for the center - there is just no place to put them. The CC-300 sounds like the best bet and I will keep an eye out for a used one. I am a little nervous about buying and shipping a ~20 year old speaker, but I'll try to remember how much cheaper it is than replacing all the speakers...

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 13 2013 - 06:32 AM

20 year old speaker?

 

It is still a baby. I have a pair of Lafayette my grandfather made in 1943 from a mail order kit.



#5 of 9 OFFLINE   Underdog

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Posted August 13 2013 - 10:30 PM

I am ok with 20 yr old speakers, in general. It's just the history unknown, sight unseen, sound unheard, packed for shipping by who-knows-who part of acquiring one that worries me.Also, I am impressed your grandfather put together a pair of speakers. I thought 1943 pre-dated home stereo and hi-fi's back then generally had just one speaker? Was he involved professionally with audio or movies?

#6 of 9 OFFLINE   tomoti

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Posted September 03 2013 - 02:00 AM

what about Polk Audio CSi A6, $295, http://www.ebay.com/itm/Polk-Audio-CSi-A6-CSiA6-Home-Audio-Center-Channel-Speaker-BLACK-SHIPS-FREE-/151110366275?pt=Speakers_Subwoofers&hash=item232ee13443



#7 of 9 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted September 03 2013 - 06:00 AM

I am ok with 20 yr old speakers, in general. It's just the history unknown, sight unseen, sound unheard, packed for shipping by who-knows-who part of acquiring one that worries me.Also, I am impressed your grandfather put together a pair of speakers. I thought 1943 pre-dated home stereo and hi-fi's back then generally had just one speaker? Was he involved professionally with audio or movies?

 

First, "pair of speakers" does not automatically mean stereo. Many a thread hear discussing 3-track movie sound has rendered "when multi-track audio isn't stereo" a long talked about topic.

 

Second...by the 40's there were already numerous attempts at 2-track audio. And again, 2-track audio doesn't mean stereo.

 

Third, some early AM radios had two speaker hookups so sound could be spread around.



#8 of 9 OFFLINE   Northgun

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Posted September 16 2013 - 08:19 PM

Did u end up getting a center speaker Underdog or r u still looking for input/researching?



#9 of 9 OFFLINE   Underdog

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Posted September 20 2013 - 10:49 AM

Thanks to Jason for his spot-on recommendation of the CC-300 to go with my old Paradigms. 

 

I watched ebay and local-ish craigslists for a couple of weeks and saw several come and go during that time. Made an offer on one that showed up on ebay that appeared to have been very well-treated. There was a shipping delay so the speaker just arrived Wednesday. It was well-packed and looked as good as it appeared in the photos - the exterior was in excellent shape and the speakers/surrounds were intact and flexible. The seller offered to refund part of the shipping fee because of the delay so we ended paying ~$120 total. This may be a bit more than the average ebay price, but seemed ok to me since I think the speaker was in above-average condition.

 

Plugged it in and let the MCACC on the receiver do its thing. I have not had a chance to really listen to it yet, but it's supposed to rain all weekend so I think that will happen... Based on the little bit of ordinary tv we've watched, the sound is noticeably improved - it is more full and 3-d. The new speaker blends well with the old ones. Dialog does not seem necessarily louder, but is separated from background music and effects so it is much easier to hear.

 

I hope to tweak what the MCACC came up with to see if I can get a little more out of the setup. I still feel like this pioneer receiver does not drive the speakers as well as any of the 3 or 4 audio-only amp setups we have used over the years. 

 

Adding this speaker was a big improvement for a small investment.

 

Thanks again, Jason, for the suggestion of the CC-300.  If the CC-300 had been harder to find, I would have taken a good look at the Polk that was also recommended. 






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