Need advice to replace a center channel speaker - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 04:48 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to replace my Boston Acoustics CS225CB with a better one. I bought this one to match my Boston Acoustics CS226B Floorstanders but found it to be very muffed and not crispy or clear at all. I have a shelf that measures 6.5'' H and 19.5'' W and that's the only place the center speaker can be placed. I did some research and found speakers that will fit my budget (under $400) and my shelf and I would like to hear your opinion and suggestions:

1. Monitor Audio M Center Speaker - I know it's a good company but I've never auditioned it
2. Canton AV 700.2 - never heard about this company so I don't know what to expect
3. Yamaha NS-C310BL - got great reviews from Top Ten Reviews but I'm not sure if 2" drivers can provide a good sound.

The only speaker I've auditioned so far was Aperion Audio Verus Forte Center Channel speaker but didn't find it to be a significant improvement over the one I have now.

Other speakers in my system : Boston Acoustics A 23 Compact Two-Way 3.5-Inch Woofer Satellite Speakers, Energy ESW-C8 8-Inch Subwoofer. My receiver is Pioneer VSX-1020-K.
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post #2 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 07:00 AM
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Do you have the center speaker in an entertainment unit basically enclosing the center speaker. That would give you the muffled sound. With a restricted space like that, you cant use a bigger center channel and you are going to face the same issue with other small center speakers as well. Even if you had more apace, it is not a good idea to enclose a center speaker or any box speaker, if that is what you are doing.

For $400 you could get better used center speakers than those tiny ones. Unfortunately you don't have the space.
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post #3 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.
I did think about it as a possible cause for the problem. However when I put the speaker on top of the entertainment center it doesn't make any difference, so I guess my speaker is just not good enough.
Any other suggestions?
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post #4 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 07:48 AM
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Well I dont have much experience with small centers as I just dont use small speakers.

I have used Klipsch RC3, PSB C60, Klipsch RC62, Klipsch RC62 II and they are all large centers.

I am now using Klipsch KLF C7 which has two 8" woofers and a big horn tweeter. It weighs some 37 lb and is pretty big to fit into any entertainment unit smile.gif I bought it used and paid a lot less than the RC-62 II and I have to say I like the KLF C7 better than other center speakers I have used. I have also been using a large single vertical speaker as center (Klipsch KG4.2). Now that I am moving from a projector to a TV, I just dont have much height for a large vertical center and it will also obstruct the gear in the A/V stand (Sanus Euro)
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post #5 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 07:49 AM
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post #6 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I can't have such a big speaker cause it won't fit in my shelf. My options are very limited
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post #7 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 08:15 AM
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It sounds to me like the perfect speaker for your situation is the Cambridge Audio S50 center speaker.

This is an EXCELLENT-sounding speaker that is quite compact and only goes for $199; highly recommended for your setup.

It is less than 5 inches tall and has dual 4-inch drivers, which is the perfect size for clear midrange performance.

It is available from Sears, Amazon, and several others.


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Originally Posted by Edward V View Post

Unfortunately I can't have such a big speaker cause it won't fit in my shelf. My options are very limited
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post #8 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward V View Post

Unfortunately I can't have such a big speaker cause it won't fit in my shelf. My options are very limited

See that is your main problem. You have limited yourself to small speakers due to the space but you want big sound smile.gif

Entertainment unit is a very bad idea. They are heavy and serve no purpose at all. A Sanus Euro twin Video shelf is a much better and cheaper option.

Here is an amusing story. My friend got an entertainment unit for some $1600 to keep a $600 TV because his wife wanted it. Now he is also limited to tiny center speakers that would fit in that expensive entertainment unit smile.gif I did suggest the Sanus Euro video rack to him but his wife wanted that expensive cherry entertainment unit that costs a lot more. The Sanus Euro shelf can be bought for some $200. The Salamander would be better as it has adjustable shelves.
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post #9 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 09:44 AM
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I don't know about this company, but they are selling the VS325C for $400.

http://www.accessories4less.com/index.php?page=item&id=BOSVS325CPF&gclid=CML6rojf3bICFcKPPAod_U0AZw

I highly recommend it. It's a 3 way center and crystal clear detail. I had the HS line and now have all VS speakers. If not that, you can find the VS 224 for around $300.

Lowell


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post #10 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 10:06 AM
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1.Have you tried plugging the rear port on your center?
2. Are you crossing over your center at 80 Hz or higher and is it set to small ?
3.Have you run mcac setup?
4. Did you try boosting the center speaker level through mcac ?
All of these ideas can make a difference in how a speaker sounds to you. The rear port is trying to fire into a wall I'm guessing and that alone cane cause a muffled or boomy sound due to not enough free air space behind the port.
Just my .02..
Cheers, Mac
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post #11 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LowellG View Post

I don't know about this company, but they are selling the VS325C for $400.
http://www.accessories4less.com/index.php?page=item&id=BOSVS325CPF&gclid=CML6rojf3bICFcKPPAod_U0AZw
I highly recommend it. It's a 3 way center and crystal clear detail. I had the HS line and now have all VS speakers. If not that, you can find the VS 224 for around $300.
Thanks, but this speaker is too high and won't fit in my shelf. The max high I can have is 6.5"
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post #12 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 02:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macddmac@comcast View Post

1.Have you tried plugging the rear port on your center?
2. Are you crossing over your center at 80 Hz or higher and is it set to small ?
3.Have you run mcac setup?
4. Did you try boosting the center speaker level through mcac ?
All of these ideas can make a difference in how a speaker sounds to you. The rear port is trying to fire into a wall I'm guessing and that alone cane cause a muffled or boomy sound due to not enough free air space behind the port.
Just my .02..
Cheers, Mac

1. No I haven't. I didn't know you can do it but I'll certainly give it a try.
2. It's crossed over at 80 and it's set for Small. The MCAC had it set to Large but I changed it to small to get a better sound (it sounded too boomy on Large)
3. I did run a setup and I also tried to play around with manual equalizer
4. I had to. Otherwise the floorstanders would overpower it.
Thanks for your advice, I will definitely try to plug the rear port and post the results.
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post #13 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 09:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Tonight I've tried to plug the rear port of the speaker and it did help to improve the sound by a little bit. It's less boomy now but the midrange sounds more "robotic". So I guess I'm back on square one...
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post #14 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 10:49 PM
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This speaker is almost exactly the same dimensions as your shelf. Since it is a sealed design it should give you no problems.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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GO SEAHAWKS!!!
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post #15 of 28 Old 09-30-2012, 11:13 PM
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I have a NS-C310 and it works well. I have subs providing the low end and it does the rest very well. I'm not a pro but I do like its sound.

slow going
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post #16 of 28 Old 10-01-2012, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

This speaker is almost exactly the same dimensions as your shelf. Since it is a sealed design it should give you no problems.

This is interesting. I know that Emotiva is a very good company when it comes to amplifiers, but I didn't know they make speakers as well. The only thing that worries me is that this speaker's impedance is 4ohms while my receiver (pioneer VSX-1020-K) can handle 8 to 6 ohms max. Will I damage my receiver by using the 4ohms speaker (all my other speakers are 8ohms)?
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post #17 of 28 Old 10-01-2012, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brwsaw View Post

I have a NS-C310 and it works well. I have subs providing the low end and it does the rest very well. I'm not a pro but I do like its sound.
What kind of front speakers do you have and how well do this speaker integrate with them?
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post #18 of 28 Old 10-01-2012, 09:58 PM
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I have old NS-A635A's which are about to be replaced. The NS-C310 disappears while the NS-A635A's are ok. I'm actually happy with my current setup but feel its time to upgrade.
I am working on the rest of the 310 series but I can't find any in Canada except on amazon.ca (roughly $100 more per) and even if they were available there's no Dealership anywhere near me.
I'd already have them if Amazon.com would ship to Canada but they won't ship speakers to Canada at the moment.

slow going
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post #19 of 28 Old 10-02-2012, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knucklehead90 View Post

This speaker is almost exactly the same dimensions as your shelf. Since it is a sealed design it should give you no problems.
I called Pioneer today and they said that 4 ohms speaker will definetely damage my receiver. They said I should only use 8 or 6 ohms speaker.
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post #20 of 28 Old 10-04-2012, 02:04 PM
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I highly recommend Klipsch WC-24.

It is very efficient, inexpensive for what it is, and will undoubtedly sound better than what you have.
I went through 12 different center channels. Everyone after calibration still sounded muddy or hard to hear voices.
This was the first one that I could hear dialogue clearly and across a wide sound stage.
We sit 14-15' ft back and it sounds like you are right there.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780085

Color is a lot deeper than the photo.
They also have a dark espresso color too.
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post #21 of 28 Old 10-04-2012, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustinF View Post

I highly recommend Klipsch WC-24.
It is very efficient, inexpensive for what it is, and will undoubtedly sound better than what you have.
I went through 12 different center channels. Everyone after calibration still sounded muddy or hard to hear voices.
This was the first one that I could hear dialogue clearly and across a wide sound stage.
We sit 14-15' ft back and it sounds like you are right there.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882780085
Color is a lot deeper than the photo.
They also have a dark espresso color too.
Thanks DustinF, but I'm not Klipsh fan. I find Klipsh speakers to be too bass heavy (very mudy bass too). I wish I could audition them before I buy.
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post #22 of 28 Old 10-07-2012, 05:21 PM
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I had a similar issue when I wanted a center channel speaker for my living room and wanted something with a low height as not to obstruct the view of the TV.
Maybe take a look at Definitive Technology Mythos Seven. I really like mine and got it for $399 at Crutchfield.
4 1/8" H X 19 5/8" W X 4 1/16" D

Good luck!
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post #23 of 28 Old 10-07-2012, 08:32 PM
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Try running with a phantom center first. Some love it and others hate it.
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post #24 of 28 Old 10-09-2012, 07:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I tried phantom setting before but didn't find it to be pleasant. Even a nasal sound of my current BA is better than a phantom CCS.
Anyway, I've ordered a Monitor Audio MR Center Speaker which should arrive today so I'll post my first impression in a couple of days.
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post #25 of 28 Old 10-11-2012, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Today I finally got the speaker(Monitor Audio MR ). It sounds great! The heights are smooth and silky which is unusual for the speakers at this price point. The mids are very well defined. Details level is incredible. I can't say it blends well with my Boston Acoustics CS226B fronts but I've never expected it to. Besides, I kind of like when it stands out like this- it makes the dialogue sound so much better.

I know I should break this speaker in for at least couple of weeks but judging by how it sounds right out of box things can only get better.
I'll post an update in 2 weeks and thanks for all your opinions- it's highly appreciated!
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post #26 of 28 Old 10-11-2012, 08:18 PM
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break-in is overrated. I would say it is your ears that break-in, not the speaker.
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post #27 of 28 Old 10-12-2012, 06:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward V View Post

Today I finally got the speaker(Monitor Audio MR ). It sounds great! The heights are smooth and silky which is unusual for the speakers at this price point. The mids are very well defined. Details level is incredible. I can't say it blends well with my Boston Acoustics CS226B fronts but I've never expected it to. Besides, I kind of like when it stands out like this- it makes the dialogue sound so much better.
I know I should break this speaker in for at least couple of weeks but judging by how it sounds right out of box things can only get better.
I'll post an update in 2 weeks and thanks for all your opinions- it's highly appreciated!

Yes speakers do break in but I guess that is mainly for speakers with larger woofers. As they loosen up a little, the bass gets better. I dont think tweeters have any break in. For a small center speaker, you may not notice much difference in sound as the speaker ages smile.gif
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post #28 of 28 Old 10-21-2012, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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It's been more than a week already and I still enjoy this speaker a lot. I wonder if other speakers from this line are as good as this one. If they are it's a big steal for the money. I just saw the Monitor Audio MR4 Floorstanders on Amazon.com for $538. I wish I could audition them before buying- I just can't find a store in NY that carries them.
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