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Who has the best sounding center channel....?


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43 replies to this topic

#1 of 44 OFFLINE   granite_g

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Posted July 19 2002 - 09:32 AM

I wanted to get different opinoions on center channel speakers. I currently own the monitor audio 10i and feel that at times it can sound boxy or hollow. I looking to upgrade but have not found my good reviews, just luke warm.
Any opinoions would be greatly apperciated..Posted Image

#2 of 44 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted July 19 2002 - 09:42 AM

I am not familiar with this center, is it an MTM design? I find that many center channels have a "boxy", almost hollow sound to them, some more than others. What are your mains? I feel timbre matching is #1 for the front stage, and unless you plan to get matching mains, it doesn't really matter what the best MTM center is. Many say that MTM style centers are inherently flawed design wise. This may be the case, but I don't do most of my listening with the center, so I don't mind. An alternative is always to go with a single, identical speaker as your mains, but this can pose placement issues depending on what you are using for mains. There is also the possibility of a single bookshelf from the same family/line of speakers as the mains.
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#3 of 44 OFFLINE   granite_g

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Posted July 19 2002 - 09:51 AM

John, Thanks for responding. I am using the monitor audio silver series 8i for front along with the silver 10i which is the match for this series. Don't get me wrong they don't sound bad, I just feel that I can improve. I'm looking at that the B&W html 1 or 2. I have heard very good things on these center channels.

#4 of 44 OFFLINE   RichardMA

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Posted July 19 2002 - 10:16 AM

For the price, B&Ws provide good, neutral sounding voices devoid of some of the colourations that plague lesser speakers. IMO, human voices should be the main judge of centre channels. Does the voice sound natural?

#5 of 44 OFFLINE   EricHaas

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Posted July 19 2002 - 03:41 PM

I don't know what price range you are looking at, and my suggestion may be more of a lateral move for you. The Paradigm Studio-CC is definitely one of the best centers anywhere south of $1K. Not only is it very neutral and projects natural sounding dialogue, but it blends with any pair from the Studio series extremely well. I have never felt the need for a 3rd Studio 20 to act as a center.

#6 of 44 OFFLINE   Doug_B

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Posted July 19 2002 - 03:59 PM

Exactly how is your center channel positioned? On top of your TV? If so, where is the front of the speaker relative to the front of the TV, and how does it rest on the TV? Interactions due to the TV can affect the sound. Doug

#7 of 44 OFFLINE   itai

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Posted July 20 2002 - 09:16 AM

I second that Studio CC ref, it's an amazingly neutral speaker, i'll never change it!, well, maybe sometime...

#8 of 44 OFFLINE   David Barteaux

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Posted July 20 2002 - 12:03 PM

I would look at Ariel CC3 or B&W HTM-1. Rocket has a new interesting center for much less. Would like to hear a subjective review of the Rocket line from someone other than an owner. IMO some brands (to which I won't mention) are almost marketed by some on these forums.

#9 of 44 OFFLINE   Justin Doring

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Posted July 20 2002 - 01:30 PM

The best center channel speaker is one that is identical to your left and right speakers. If this is not possible (and it seldom is), a three way design (a tweeter on top of or below a midrange driver with two bass drivers flanking them) is best. Revel, Aerial, Vienna, B&W, NHT, and ATC, among others, all make such a speaker.
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#10 of 44 OFFLINE   Sihan Goi

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Posted July 20 2002 - 01:34 PM

The B&W HTM1 is one of the best there are. Another perhaps even better choice would be the Revel Voice, however its price is really high. Anyway, you might not want any of these since as good as they sound alone, they might not be timbre matched with your existing front soundstage.
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#11 of 44 OFFLINE   Phil Mays

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Posted July 21 2002 - 12:31 AM

I second Timbre matching. My question is what type (guage) of speaker wire are you running to the center. Perhaps a thicker guage will give you better base that may reduce the "hollow" sound.

#12 of 44 OFFLINE   Phil_DC

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Posted July 21 2002 - 01:34 AM

I have heard nothing but good stuff about this 46 pound monster center: http://www.rocketlou.../rs200_desc.asp

Also this 34 inch wide beast with a built in 100 watt amp
http://www.polkaudio....y=5&speaker=40

#13 of 44 OFFLINE   Sihan Goi

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Posted July 21 2002 - 03:26 AM

Has anyone even officially reviews the rocket center channel? I haven't seen any published reviews, just impressions from users, which I generally take with a pinch of salt...heck, those speakers are so new, I doubt many even own one.
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#14 of 44 OFFLINE   Mark Fitzsimmons

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Posted July 21 2002 - 03:50 AM

[quote] a three way design (a tweeter on top of or below a midrange driver with two bass drivers flanking them) is best. Revel, Aerial, Vienna, B&W, NHT, and ATC, among others, all make such a speaker. [quote]

Add JBL and Rockets to the list.
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#15 of 44 OFFLINE   Russell _T

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Posted July 21 2002 - 04:32 AM

It's difficult to hear the Rockets without owning them at this point since they are so new, however I have the Rocket center (Bigfoot) and the other Rocket speakers, so if anyone is interested in my impressions as a slightly biased owner, just ask and I will happily chime in.
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#16 of 44 OFFLINE   Phil_DC

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Posted July 21 2002 - 04:51 AM

Almost forgot the King Kong of center speakers!

The Vandersteen VCC- 5 Reference Center speaker which is a whopping 76lbs. Don't even think about putting this on top of your TV!Posted Image

http://www.vanderste...s/VCC-5lit.html

#17 of 44 OFFLINE   BobRoulier

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Posted July 21 2002 - 02:13 PM

I have to agree with the paradigm studio cc I demoed many center channel speakers in my system including b&w htm2 I had it in my home for a two weeks and although a very nice center the studio cc sounded very good compared to the htm2 if I had to choose one not knowing the price i would have chosen the studio cc and it was half the price too! the build quality is awesomePosted Image


In the end It all comes down to what you like the best so my advice is demo these centers in your own home! but these are definitely some to start with


Good luck Bob

#18 of 44 OFFLINE   Matt Jesty

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Posted July 21 2002 - 05:16 PM

MIRAGE OMC2!
Reading about audio equipment is like reading about wine, food, sex, art, far-off places...nice to do but hardly a substitute for experiancing these things first hand....
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#19 of 44 OFFLINE   John Dunlap

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Posted July 21 2002 - 11:13 PM

The Paradigm Studio CC is the best I've heard aside from that massive Krell CC that was on display at HE Expo 2002!! Mine sounds fantastic and it's not even broken in yet.

#20 of 44 OFFLINE   Holger

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Posted July 22 2002 - 12:33 AM

granite_g, definitive technology CLR3000. best center speaker i have heard to date and i hear a lot. this thing is a killer, very musical and all the muscles you need for ht. regards, holger
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