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Center Channel Speaker

 

New member
Username: Froggy

Post Number: 9
Registered: Dec-04
I'm looking to upgrade my center channel speaker, I know this is probably not the right place to ask this question but here goes any way...... always been a bit of a rebble.

Any suggestions on a nice center channel speaker for under $400, I'm currently running Angstrom towers for my Fronts, Missions for my rears, I'm driving them with a Dennon AVR4802R, my DVD player is a Dennon 2900, Thanks in advance for any input.

Steve
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2228
Registered: Dec-03
does Angstrom make a center speaker? as the best fit will be a center that
matches your main speakers as close as can be!
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 140
Registered: Jan-05
For something like a center channel speaker, I subscribe to the KISS formula.

Go soundtest center channel speakers as long as you desire, and buy the one that sounds the best. You should be able to find something nice for $400.

If you have a new receiver, when you go into your setup menu, it will equalize your speakers and neutralize speaker differences, and to me.....brand shouldnt be a major issue. By shopping brand specific, you will limit your choices, and may end up buying an inferior speaker compared to if you had shopped several brands. Just because it's the same brand doesnt mean it will match anyway, so I wouldnt get hung up on that.

Keep it simple.....
Listen to them and buy the one that sounds best.

 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2231
Registered: Dec-03
When I say "as the best fit will be a center that
matches your main speakers as close as can be!"

Does not neccasaryly mean you have to get a center from the same manufacturer
of your main speakers but it's the first place I would look to see how well it
matches sonically and how good it is! Sure if it's a piece of junk don't Buy it!

If your front three speakers don't match closely in timbre then when a sound pans
accross them it will change tone and sound abnormal! Just simple logic there!

That is the reason to want matched accross the front.
The ideal setup would be all 3 fronts identical but most of us can't do that!

I would not go buy the best center channel if it were not close in matching
sonically with my main speakers. If you do you will notice a dicernable change
when the same sound comes from off center to center and can be very distracting.

So if your not going with the same brand and series center I would listen
very carefully to what you get so that it matches close enough to where
you don't have a huge difference from off center to center sounds/voices! I
would definatly audition one that is different in my own setup before I bought it!

If you think about it then you see it's just simple logic.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 145
Registered: Jan-05
I agree with what you're saying.

I was only stating how I would go about a center channel speaker search.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2232
Registered: Dec-03
Were cool paul I just felt the need to make my point a little clearer.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shokhead

Lakewood, CA USA

Post Number: 88
Registered: Jan-05
I would stay with the same brand as the mains and see what they suggest goes with them. Most the time,you'll have a couple to choose from.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 158
Registered: Jan-05
Kegger,

Yea, I know exactly what you're saying and agree. I also bought a center channel speaker made by the same manufacturer(different model year)as my fronts because it seemed logical, and I liked how it sounded.

An interesting observation....Do they seem to match up well???...yes, and no.

Once I went through my setup menu, they do blend together well and I'm happy with the result. When I look to my settings, they seem like totally different speakers because their equalization bands look nothing alike, and my fronts were set at around +1.5 & +2.0db respectively, my center was knocked down two -6.5db.......wow!!

You'd think they were built by entirely different manufacturers. The good news is that the end result is good, but they apparently began the process pretty far apart. The weird thing is that I never noticed the differences with my old receiver which didnt match up speaker output like the new models do so well.

The only difference that I can detect is that the center was playing at a higher volume in relation to the fronts while the volume was set flat on my old receiver controls. In the end, I think it's better this way, but I also think it might be a placebo effect.(never underestimate the power of the placebo)

That's why I stated that if I were to shop for a new center channel speaker, the door will be wide open to all models equally. These new receivers are great, arent they?? You have to love living in an age where your receiver can blend different speaker models together sonically...ahh......life's good!!

 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 159
Registered: Jan-05
DS,
I agree with what you are saying too, but what if your fronts are a few years old??

I tend to think that if you arent buying speakers from the exact same model line in the same model year, they probably wont match.

In the end, I think it's a moot point though because new receivers will equalize them accordingly to produce a desirable effect.

As I said before.............

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh, lifes good!!!
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2240
Registered: Dec-03
Paul you don't quite have it right.

The adjustment your talking about is just a level or output setting.
"yu know the amount of volume"

When you say "equalize" many will think you mean an adjustment like an equalizer
where you can adjust from 20hz to 20khhz with at leat 8 frequency settings in there.
yes if you had that for each specific channel on your reciever you could use a
different speaker and try to make them "sound" the same.


But you don't have that on a reciever and different speakers sound different.
Not just the amount of volume that comes out of them. If you go listen to a klipsch
speaker and listen to a B&W speaker playing the same music at the same level they
will sound quite different. Speakers have a certain sound to then that can be
quite different from one another while others are very simular.

Next time your at your local shop really really listen to about 5 pairs of speakers
each time trying to set the volume to where each gets equal output then notice the
difference in the way each speaker set plays the music differently. Some may be very
simular while others are very very different. And listen at higher volumes and
notice how different other manufacturers can sound from another.

If you took those B&W speakers in a stereo pair then put the klipsch center in
there, adjusted the levels to be even and had a piece of media playing some voices
that panned accross the front three you would hear a very noticable difference
when the voices came to and went from the center. that's the timbre.

Not only do speakers have different volumes ie efficency measured as say "90db"
which is how much sound they produce versus how much power is put in. They also
have a different timbre as how much bass or midrange or treble or how they
act at different volumes is the bass smooth or edgy do they exibit sibulance
on female voices are they rolled off at the extremes. Even if you had a 20
band equalizer there is so many differences in how a speaker can sound that you
still may hear a difference. And that is why I say try to stay with the same brand/model.

Many brands of speakers have a certain sonic signature to them and it makes it
easier to match more models from that company with others from that company.

Then you have other speakers that don't have a true special sound to them and
you can try to match other brands with them easier.

Or match brands that have a simular likeness to one another as best you can.
But generally ones from the same manufacturer will sound closer then anything
else you can find does. And that's why try there first to see if you like.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shokhead

Lakewood, CA USA

Post Number: 91
Registered: Jan-05
And thats what most say,the 3 fronts should be same brand,not as important for surrounds. If i were replacing my 5 year old B&W center,i would go for B&W. Your going to have the best luck at matching.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 161
Registered: Jan-05
Kegger,

My point was that with new receivers(volume aside), you can automatically equalize each speaker individually to mesh as a group. You couldnt do that nearly as well in the old equalizer days.
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2241
Registered: Dec-03
How do you "automatically equalize each speaker " ?

Are you saying that the reciever can adjust at least 5 seperate frequencies
to each individual speaker? Because that would be the least amount of frequency
adjustment that could somewhat try and make the speakers "sound" the same.

Or are you saying they can individual adjust channels to match each other in "volume"?

Because yes they can adjust each speakers "volume" to get them the same "output level"
and that helps but doesn't match them in timbre!

Speakers can "sound" quite different from each other that no eq let alone
individual output adjustments can compensate for.

As I said listen to a klipsch speaker and listen to a B&W, even at the same volume
they will "sound" quite different and your reciever won't make them "sound" the same!

I think your mixing "volume/output" and the physical "equlization" patterns
of the speakers and recievers adjustments.

The equalizing of the speakers you talk about is "volume" not changing how the
speaker "sounds" but how loud it is. Theres a big difference.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 366
Registered: Oct-04
Yes the materials used in the speakers construction affect the sound greatly. You will hear a large difference between aluminum and fabric domes, as well as between different types of driver materials, paper, kevlar, polymer, gel all sound quite different. While cabin resonance and driver/tweeter layout also is important for matching, when trying to match speakers from different years or makes the most important factor is trying to have as little disparity between the materials used in the drivers and tweeters as possible.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 165
Registered: Jan-05
Yes Kegger,

Im saying the the Yamaha adjusts the frequency patterns of all 7 speakers individually to match, plus volume. Once that is done, you can manually adjust to further tweak each speaker if you choose accross the entire band from about 60hz on up through the entire spectrum. I forget the exact bottom cutoff, but only the very deep lows arent adjustable which makes sense.

I thought all new receivers did that??? Any receiver that cant adjust individual speaker frequency patterns to match, their setup program is "WAY" inferior to the Yammi2500. I thought that was common knowledge that the Yammi did that with all of the discussion on the topic. I guess Im equally shocked that other 'new' receivers dont. They better get on the ball because that feature is a big deal. Huuuge!

I guess the Yammi rules afterall?? Heh...j/k

Ok, c'mon.......after all the talk about fine tuning the Yammi to perfection on other threads, you guys didnt pick up that I was talking about adjusting each speakers frequency response individually??
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2242
Registered: Dec-03
Paul while yes most newer recievers have the automatic frequancy adjusting room and
speaker accoustics no they don't usually have the manual individual eq settings.

Yes those help tremendously to try and dial speakers in that are different.

But as I've been trying to say and KANO just has!

"Yes the materials used in the speakers construction affect the sound greatly. You will hear a large difference between aluminum and fabric domes, as well as between different types of driver materials, paper, kevlar, polymer, gel all sound quite different. While cabin resonance and driver/tweeter layout also is important for matching, when trying to match speakers from different years or makes the most important factor is trying to have as little disparity between the materials used in the drivers and tweeters as possible."

There are more to just adjusting level and eq to "completely" match a speaker.
There are so many factors that go into a speakers charicteristics that just
trying to munipulate/emulate there sound can't be done completely.

But yes I agree with you a newer reciever with more adjustments helps a lot.
And no I did not know you were talking about the yamaha 2500 it was not mentioned.

The finality of it all is yes you can get relativly close with the adjustments
that a reciever like the new yamaha has and maybe close enough for some
people and speakers. But if the speakers have a certain sonic signature to them,
very few if any amount of adjustments can be made to a speaker that emulates the
real thing. But then again maybe close enough for some speakers and people.

You won't get exact unless your using 3 identical speakers but speakers
that are very close/simular can be tweaked to try an emulate the others pretty good.

The whole point to start with was try and get matching speakers and if not
get very simular sounding ones. And now if you have the tweaks can probably
dial them in close enough where you may not tell.

That's about the best advice for mating a center channel to existing speakers.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 171
Registered: Jan-05
Kegger,

Thanks for the followup. Your comment yesterday made me think the denon did not do that, and it surprised me since I also shopped that model, and I was certain(so I thought) that it did allow the individual equalization manually. I agree, that is a killer feature and a must-have.

As for differences in speakers?? I'll concede that with some speakers, they are like oil and water, and they'll never mix no matter how hard you stir the pot. However, I still belong to the 'camp' that believes that with most pratical applications that speakers can be made to blend well together. If one thing is certain, there are no absolutes, and nothing works in all situations. In general though, I think the topic is given too much consideration. Heck, my fronts and center are from the same manufacturer, and if you look at their equalization profile, they look nothing alike.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shokhead

Lakewood, CA USA

Post Number: 94
Registered: Jan-05
Dont you think you would have a better change of matching with same brand?
 

Gold Member
Username: Kegger

MICHIGAN

Post Number: 2245
Registered: Dec-03
DS yes but paul has a valid point that newer recievers make it easier to
use different speakers from different companies.

But I stand by my point of sonic signatures to certain brands match much closer
when the same brand/line is used comparred to a different brand being used.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 177
Registered: Jan-05
DS,
that's my point......

My fronts and center are from the same brand(different year), but you would never know it by looking at their individual equalization profiles.

The end result after equalization??? They blend together very well.

I also agree with Kegger that in a perfect world we would all have the same brand with exactly matching model numbers from the same product run for timber matching purposes. The reality is that things dont always work out so perfectly, and at some point, you need to replace one piece, but wish to keep the rest. Once you get into different model years, speakers change and to say a 2005 B&W center will match your 1998 B&W fronts is wishful thinking. At that point, all bets are off. With the increasing technology of new receivers, that problem is corrected.

Except for the oil/water case....:laugh:
There's always the exception!!
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shokhead

Lakewood, CA USA

Post Number: 95
Registered: Jan-05
And so you are pigen holeing yourself into the eq and i dont use it. I'm going with the same brand to give me the best chance to get it at least as close as i can. Also i dont think you can listen to a center alone and tell that it will match. I think you depend much more on spec's. Having said all of this,if i needed a new center,well heck i want to get it right so i'd better go ahead and get 3 new front ones.LOL
 

Bronze Member
Username: Froggy

Post Number: 25
Registered: Dec-04
Well guys I purchased a Aperion Intimus 522D-VAC, I'm very pleased with the result.

My Angstroms have a tendancy to be a little on the brite side which for my hearing, I really like, I listen to allot of new age type music with allot of acoustic guitar.

The Aperion matches the Angstroms surprisingly well, I think I made the right choice for me, now I'm set for a while.

Thanks for the input, I learned allot from this thread, Thank you!!

Steve
 

Bronze Member
Username: Shokhead

Lakewood, CA USA

Post Number: 100
Registered: Jan-05
Rock & Roll.
 

New member
Username: Barakas

Mi

Post Number: 1
Registered: Mar-05
sorry for the ignorance up-front. how do you know if your ctr channel matches well with you R/L?
what specs should I look for?
I just recently changed my ctr chnl & am not happy with the results, I was much happier with my last ctr chnl, it sounded much clearer & crisper when it came to vocals in movies.

here are the specs from my L/R speakers :RBH MC8
System Type: In-wall
Frequency Response: 45Hz - 20kHz±3dB
Sensitivity: 88dB (2.83V @ 1 Meter)
Power Handling: 150 Watts
Drive Unit: (1) 8" Aluminum Woofer
(1) 1" Aluminum Dome Tweeter
Swivel Tweeter(s): Yes
Tweeter Protection: Yes
Crossover Frequency: 2500Hz
Crossover: 12dB/Octave
System Impedance: 8 Ohms


Here are the specs from my NEW ctr chnl: RBH AC525
Frequency Response: 55Hz - 20kHz±3dB
Sensitivity: 89dB (2.83V @ 1 Meter)
Power Handling: 150 Watts
Drive Units: Dual 5 1/4" Polypropylene Woofer
Dual 1" Fabric Dome Tweeter
Tweeter Protection: Yes
Crossover Frequency: 2000Hz
Crossover: 12dB/Octave
Impedance: 6 Ohms

here are the specs from the ctr chnl i unfortunately replaced:
Frequency Response: 85Hz - 20kHz±3dB
Sensitivity: 87dB (2.83V @ 1 Meter)
Power Handling: 150 Watts
Drive Units: (2) 4" Aluminum Woofer
(1) 1" Aluminum Tweeter
Tweeter Protection: Yes
Crossover Frequency: 3000Hz
Crossover: 24dB/Octave
Impedance: 6 Ohms
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 204
Registered: Jan-05
Don,

It's really simple. It's not about the specs and all about the sound. Sometimes speakers of different namebrands(they could have identical specs) will have drastically different sound characteristics. If you combine them in a surround system, their sound will clash and not blend together smoothly. If you dont like how your new center channel speaker performs, return it.

I believe in the philosophy that one should always......always......always listen to a speaker before you buy. That way you wont bring it home, hook it up, and then discover it sounds bad. Even if it doesnt sound bad, you could have probably found one that sounds better had you sound tested several in person. I would never consider buying one of the internet brands for exactly that reason. Buying speakers based only on a website is like buying a car based on a brochure you received in the mail. How nuts would one have to be to do that, right? I always give speakers a thorough 'test drive' before I spend one dollar.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 376
Registered: Oct-04
Aluminum dome/tweeter to Polypropylene Woofer/fabric tweeter... I'm guessing they will sound worlds apart. I'd recommend finding a speaker with the same driver/tweeter materials, it appears the design has changed from black to white over the years.
 

Silver Member
Username: Shokhead

Lakewood, CA USA

Post Number: 107
Registered: Jan-05
Paul,your telling me you can go somewhere,listen to a center speaker and know if it matches? I'm thinking not. If you buy same brand,pretty good chance it will match without listening as reconmened by speaker maker.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 208
Registered: Jan-05
DS.........heck no.

I soundtest speakers and pick the best damn sounding speaker I can find for what I am looking for. Then I bring it home, and "THEN" see if it matches.

too many 'so called' audiophiles make me laugh because they talk high and mighty about the correct way to do things, and then they order internet speakers they have never heard.......what the heck is that??????

As for the same brand matching???.......give me a break. Lets say you own some bookshelf B&W fronts like some folks(a'hem). Then lets say that 4 years later you decide to add a center channel........Do you really think that will match your fronts??.......give me a break. The alleged audiophiles crack me up because they say all the right stuff, but then do all the wrong things when they shop.
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