I just bought a Center Speaker!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Ruiz, Feb 6, 2002.

  1. David Ruiz

    David Ruiz Second Unit

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    Hi Guys,

    Ok, just so you all know, I had the world's WORST center speaker, and for a long time, I was looking for one. In fact, I want to throw all my old speakers away, and start from the beginning. Anyway, I picked up the Radio Shack catalog, and was looking in there, for their best center speaker, and I found it. Here is what it says:

    NEW Our best home-theater center-channel speker and it's performance-matched with the PRO-LX550

    RCA Pro-CS550. Timbre-matched to our PRO-LX550 bookshelf speaker, the Pro-CS550 also complements most other makes and models. Dual 5" honeycomb woofers and a 3x3 1/2" Linaeum-design monopole tweeter team up for realistic sound effects and crystal-clear movie dialog with 180 deegres sound coverage. Bass-reflex enclosure with handsome black woodgrain vinyl finish. Magnetic shielding allows placement on or near a TV.

    Frequency Response: 55-25,000 HZ

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Ok, Well the price of it was $150.00 (USD) but today they were having $50 dollars off, and so I bought it for $100. Is that ok? Is this speaker any good? I know that people tend to stay away from Radio Shack speakers, but I just wanted something a little better than the horrible center speaker I had before. Was $100.00 too much to spend on it? They said, I could take it back in 30 if I didn't like it.
     
  2. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Your post highlights an interesting aspect of this little "hobby" of ours.

    You ask if the speaker you just bought is "any good." My first response is to say--aren't you asking the wrong people? You bought it, it's in your home, you're listening to it--how do YOU think it sounds?

    But, I think I know why you ask this question.

    It is the same reason I read reviews on products I already own and have no intention of getting rid of in the near future: to reassure myself that I did the right thing. I'm not trying to criticize you here, I think this is something we ALL, to a greater or lesser extent, do.

    So, enough with my rambling: what do I really think of your choice?

    For the record, I started out with Radioshack "Optimus" speakers, and now own Klipsch ( I somehow missed out on the whole "Bose" thing, thank god). At the time I bought my RS speakers, I remember being very impressed with their sound vs. their price. They were definitely better than the old, worn-out speakers they replaced. I was happy with them, and that's what mattered at the time (and that is what should matter most to you, but I already pointed that out.)

    I have not heard the center you bought, so it is impossible for me to offer much of an opinion. I would NOT put much stock in what the RS catalog says. Someone in marketing no doubt makes most of that stuff up. It is meant to sound good, to soothe the buyer, and it does, but it doesn't always have any connection to the sound your speakers actually PRODUCE.

    You say you want to throw your old speakers out and start from the begining. If that is the case, I think you could do better in your price range. Other members can confirm this, but I think Paradigm might have some speakers for close to what you paid, that would serve you better in the long run as your tastes change.

    One thing to remember: this is a hobby that often GROWS on you: what seems fine or acceptable now may not seem so later. That is the catch, but the plus is the fact that you can replace components one at a time (actually, that can also be a catch, but more on that some other time). I would advise you to do more research on what is out there that you could afford, read reviews ( audioreview.com is a good site for consumer created reviews ) and take your time. Then I would buy the best sounding speaker you can afford, because if you don't, you may end up taking a loss on it in the future should you choose to upgrade again.

    Hope this helps, and being relatively new to all this, I'm sure there are other members who can offer you better/more specific advice.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Duncan Barth

    Duncan Barth Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm in full agreement with James. If it sounds good to you, you got a good deal [​IMG]
    Though, to act as reassurance, I recall that the Linaeum based speakers that RS sell are just about the only speakers in their catalog that are any good.
     
  4. Paul Clarke

    Paul Clarke Supporting Actor

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    My $.02:

    While I am not a fan of small front stage speakers, if you continue on and get 4 of the $150 Linaeum dipole tweeter speakers and stands---all 1/2 price now---that makes for a consistent sound stage and surround environment for something like $500 including your center. Not bad and not too much investment.

    See what saving $50 can lead to?

    All joking aside, I know your logic as it was also mine a few years back when I choose a Yamaha for my center. It has a tweeter attenuator for matching with different front stage speakers (then Pioneers---soon to be Wharfdale Emerald 97's) and does a great job. It is the tweeter match which is most critical in the frontstage IMO and the Emeralds have silk domes like the adjustable Yammy.

    Enjoy your center.
     
  5. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    James:

     
  6. David Ruiz

    David Ruiz Second Unit

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    Well, like I said before. They told me I could return them within 30 days, so if I made the wrong choice, I can easily change it.

    James, you recommended the "Paradigim" speakers. I went to their website, and they have TONS and TONS of different kind of models. Which model were you talking about in my price-range? Would they be around $100-$200 per speaker? I could afford that, If I bought one at a time. I am open to any suggestions.
     
  7. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    David, I actually don't know much about them. I think your best bet would be to start a new thread with a headline that said you were looking for advice on Paradigms at this or that particular cost...
    I did demo some bookshelves, the Paradigm Atoms, I think they were called, and I was pretty impressed with them. I think they are one of the most affordable of the Paradigm line, but I can't remember how much they were. I'm not sure if anyone has suggested this or not, but with home theater you are definitely going to want a subwoofer at some point or another. I don't know what gear you have, so I don't know if you have one already - I only bring this up because it means you shouldn't rule out small bookshelves like the Atoms, because once you get a subwoofer it will take care of the lack of bass for you. I think Klipsch also makes some decent bookshelves, and you can find online dealers who will sell them for much, much cheaper than retail stores will. I bought all of my speakers online.
    I would definitely start a thread asking for advice about Paradigms, or maybe even a thread asking about quality, low cost speakers, period, and see what you come up with. There should be people on this forum who have more specific advice than me. Thirty days is a nice block of time for you to examine your options and make a decision, so don't rush it unless you have to.
    Since I know you are looking for something affordable, let me suggest the following website that I have found helpful in the past:
    http://www.cheaphometheater.com/
    The only problem with them is they have a pretty limited section of reviews, and a lot of the stuff they review is mail order only, which means you can't just pop down to the local shop to listen to something. But you can get good quality at a decent price by buying mail order direct. Always, of course, make sure you get a return policy like you got at Radioshack...I have bought equipment sight unseen online, been dissatisfied with it, and shipped it back. It is a hassle to do that, but it definitely expands your option...
    Hope I'm not making this more confusing! Good luck, and keep asking questions. There are a lot of people here with more experience than you or I and they should be able to help out.
    Larry B--I tip my imaginary hat to you too, sir, and thank you for the compliment.
     
  8. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    Hey David--Did you lose this thread in the shuffle? What did you end up deciding to do?
     
  9. EricHaas

    EricHaas Supporting Actor

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    Paradigm speakers are without doubt the most popular brand in this forum. Doesn't mean they are the best - but they are the most popular among mid-fi audio enthusiasts. If you create a thread inquiring about them, you will get tons of replies. People always do.
     
  10. David Ruiz

    David Ruiz Second Unit

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    Hey James,

    I decided, I'm going to keep the center speaker that I got from Radio Shack. Maybe in a year or two, I'll look into a whole new set of speakers for my home-theater.
     
  11. TedO

    TedO Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave,

    I believe this RS speaker you bought is similar to one I just picked up on ubid.com for $44 NEW (including shipping). Check out audioreview.com under centerchannel speakers and look at the Aura LSC537M. You can also pick this up on ebay for about the same price.

    Tedo
     
  12. TedO

    TedO Stunt Coordinator

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    UPDATE:

    I have received my new Aura LSC-537M center channel speaker. I must say I am very impressed. I am not comparing it to higher end centers, but for an entry level center you can't go wrong with this speaker at this price.

    From the cabinet finish, to the drivers sound quality, to the gold binding posts, I don't think you will find a better deal ANYWHERE! And at this price I won't feel bad upgrading it in a year or two. As an added kicker this thing is made in the USA.

    TedO
     

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