Onkyo TX-SR608 receiver
A pair of bi-amped Paradigm Studio Monitor speakers for my mains.
A pair of Cerwin-Vega AT-12 speakers for my rears.
An Energy ES-12XL subwoofer
And a Paradigm CC-290v5 center.
Everything is enclosed in a Furnitech cabinet and the room size is about 25 ft by 20 ft.
I am unhappy with the sound from the Paradigm center, voices sound too "bassey" to me so I am looking to replace it with a new center speaker. What do you recommend I go with (I have no brand preference at this time)? I am trying to keep the price on the lower end of the spectrum and trying to maximize the bang for the buck!
before replacing the center is it rear ported? If so you're going to get extra bass because you've got it in a cabinet. Try plugging the ports and also raising the crossover for the center channel on your receiver.
The problem is you're getting too much boundary reinforcment from your Furnitech cabinet and TV. All of that stuff around your center is acting like a wall (IE needing speakers designed for in-wall use) requireing minimal baffle step compensation (BSC). Because your current center has a good amount of BSC, it's going to sound bloated on the bottom end - too much bass and midbass. Getting a Studio series center won't fix the problem because it too is designed with BSC. You'd need to redo the crossover and eliminate the BSC in order for either of those speakers to work properly.
...Or get an eq to setup a 3-4db (12db/oct) shelf filter at around 250hz to reduce the bottom end output of your center.