Center options for Definitive Technology Studio Monitor 350's - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-15-2014, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I picked up a pair of DT SM350's to replace my Polk T15 fronts and CSR center. Obviously the CSR won't sound right with the 350's so I'm in search of a matching center.

To remedy that, I bought a 2nd set of SM 350's since they were so cheap ($132) with plans to use 1 of them as a center and sell the other as a single. I've read in other threads on here that it's a workable setup. My main question though is whether for movie purposes, I'll get enough volume and clarify for the dialogue channel. I can always boost the channel level through my receiver, but will I need to?

An alternative is to sell the 2nd set of SM 350's (I figure I can fetch $175-$200) and buy a Procenter 2000, or CLR 2002, or whatever is an appropriately matching center.

Obviously the 3x SM350's is my cheapest option, which I do like, but I also do enjoy a beefy center channel for movies.

Thoughts and recommendations?
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-15-2014, 08:09 PM
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the clr 2002 is the matching center for the sm 350s it is a very good speaker if you can afford it that's what I would get.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-15-2014, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by swallan View Post

the clr 2002 is the matching center for the sm 350s it is a very good speaker if you can afford it that's what I would get.

He already has a 350 for center, it's a great option.

If had 350s at one point with the CLR2300. I laid the 350 on it's side. I really couldn't tell any difference between the 350 and the 2300. Also, when I bought the 2300 I compared it to the 2002. The 2300 had more detail and obviously more bass. By another pair and run a 6.1 setup if you have room. They have a keyhole on them. kind of big to mount, but they can be mounted.

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-16-2014, 10:05 AM
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There is nothing inherent in the design of a "center channel" speaker that gives it more volume or clarity than other bookshelf speakers. An identical third speaker is optimal, and if that speaker is up to the demands of serving as your mains, it will do equally well as a center.

People who have the option of doing what you're doing are at an advantage, IMO.

Having said that, I have personally used the PC2000 as a center with SM350s as the mains, and they blended very well. Same size drivers, of similar design, voiced according to the same standards. I've also used the PC2000 with the ProMonitor 1000s (same drivers, same design as the PC2000) and with the BP8B (bipolar towers with the same drivers as the SM350) and I have to say that all of these combinations sound pretty seamless.

So much depends on positioning, room size and acoustics, seating positions and number of listeners, etc, that sometimes you just have to try things you think might work and see if they do. Even three identical speakers won't always sound identical, when the one in the middle is far away from room boundaries when the other two aren't.

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post #5 of 12 Old 02-16-2014, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

There is nothing inherent in the design of a "center channel" speaker that gives it more volume or clarity than other bookshelf speakers. An identical third speaker is optimal, and if that speaker is up to the demands of serving as your mains, it will do equally well as a center.

People who have the option of doing what you're doing are at an advantage, IMO.

Having said that, I have personally used the PC2000 as a center with SM350s as the mains, and they blended very well. Same size drivers, of similar design, voiced according to the same standards. I've also used the PC2000 with the ProMonitor 1000s (same drivers, same design as the PC2000) and with the BP8B (bipolar towers with the same drivers as the SM350) and I have to say that all of these combinations sound pretty seamless.

So much depends on positioning, room size and acoustics, seating positions and number of listeners, etc, that sometimes you just have to try things you think might work and see if they do. Even three identical speakers won't always sound identical, when the one in the middle is far away from room boundaries when the other two aren't.

I ran two very similar sets up, except it was the SM450s. I agree completely. The PC2000 integrated perfectly with the SM450s and the PC1000. Since you already have it, or will have it soon, I'd try the SM350 as a center and see how you like it.

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post #6 of 12 Old 02-16-2014, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Very helpful feedback everyone, I think I'll stick with the 3xSM350's. It's by far my cheapest option too.
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post #7 of 12 Old 02-27-2014, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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So the speakers are in, they sound great so far. Instant, tangible upgrade over the Polk T15's.

Now I have to decide which SM350 to keep for the center, since I'll have 2 L's and one R, or one L and 2 R's. If I choose to run the center horizontally I'll only be able to place it one orientation since the radiator is on one side. Any thoughts on which to keep, L or R?

Also, should the bass radiator be facing in towards the center of the sound stage or out? Or does it matter?
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-29-2014, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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In case anyone is thinking of buying these speakers, do so immediately if you can for a good price.

After breaking them in, the sound is fantastic. They were good out of the box, but they sound like totally different speakers now. Much, much more bass, bigger soundstage, and the midrange filled in more too.

I can't imagine anything sounding better at $132/pair.
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-29-2014, 03:58 PM
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Where did you find them for $132/pair? Inquiring minds want to know!smile.gif
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-03-2014, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Telperion View Post
So the speakers are in, they sound great so far. Instant, tangible upgrade over the Polk T15's.

Now I have to decide which SM350 to keep for the center, since I'll have 2 L's and one R, or one L and 2 R's. If I choose to run the center horizontally I'll only be able to place it one orientation since the radiator is on one side. Any thoughts on which to keep, L or R?

Also, should the bass radiator be facing in towards the center of the sound stage or out? Or does it matter?
Firstly, a belated congrats on your purchase! Those are seriously sweet sounding speakers and yes, they are leaps and bounds on another league from your previous Polks. I've even auditioned Polk's TSi100's (which are far better than the T15's), but while the TSi100's had a punch that far belied its size, I liked the smoothness and air of the SM350's better, especially with acoustic music. They had a more natural sounding quality.

I was in the same boat and happily running my 7.1 system with SM350s all around. I think either the left or right speakers will do just fine as a center channel and it shouldn't make an audible difference. I'm using the left speaker as a center channel (passive radiator facing right) and in its upright position since there's enough clearance above the speaker under my projection screen. The imaging is flawless since they are literally identical speakers all around. So matching all 350s across the front is THE ideal solution if you don't want to spend extra cash for the CLR2000.

As for my left and right mains, since I have them toed-in a little I opted to have the radiators facing the center. Because of the the toe-in, the radiators are angled towards the wall behind them, acting on the logic that the wall would help to amplify the bass, though I haven't tried to reverse them to see which sounds better, or even if it made an appreciable difference. Just went with gut instinct and treated them like I would bass reflex speakers.

$130 a pair, eh? That must have been the deal of the century! Nice score indeed! At $199 (Newegg's typical sale price on these), they are still a terrific value. I find their sound to my ears to be very neutral-sounding, which some people might or might not like. They are not the kind of speakers that demand your attention with their emphasis on bass and crisp treble. They are laid back, smooth, and had (to my ears at least) a pretty flat frequency response, sort of like, well.... studio monitors.

-AL
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post #11 of 12 Old 08-03-2014, 07:18 PM
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I own the sw450 and can tell you that the designated center for those and the 350s, the clr 2002 is excellent!
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post #12 of 12 Old 08-03-2014, 07:32 PM
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at one time I thought about going with 3 clr2002s for the front soundstage and moving my sm350s fo surrounds the cl2002s are that good.
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