What center speaker has the *best* vocal clarity? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 123 Old 11-13-2003, 03:31 PM
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*** I wouldn't comment except that I've had the exact opposite experience. I think they skew the vocal presentation fairly dramatically ***


I do not agree with that at all. The RC-7 is amoung the best out there and for the money it is hands down the best IMHO.
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post #92 of 123 Old 11-13-2003, 07:30 PM
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Hi Vince,
I'm not a speaker expert but I think that the woofers that are on either side of the tweeter in any speaker broaden the lower ranges between your L/R speakers not provided by the tweeter.

To what extent they do that is based on where you've decided the crossover would be to your sub if your using non full range L/R speakers which the Model 1's including the signature center are.

Reviews of them state that they go clean to 40hz.

The options suggested in programming my reciever were to crossover to the sub at 60hz or since my sub is capable of going to 20hz, answer yes to that question in the setup.
I tried both ways and found no percievable difference so I decided to set the crossover to 60hz. For music the Model 1's and the Center may be fine on their own but for film a sub is a must with these speakers.

The center speakers reviewed by UHF are listed in the reading room section of their site. I am not personally familiar with the Gallo. It may be a great speaker but my goal was to timbre match my fronts so once I knew I could do that with the Totem Sig center I stopped looking.

Peter m.

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post #93 of 123 Old 11-14-2003, 04:47 AM
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Hi Peter:

I don't plan to use a sub anytime soon though due to living in a apartment and I think the sub will really irritate the neighbors and get them angry. I know what you mean about Timbre match but would the Dreamcatcher be Timbre matched as well as I thought as long as they were Totem's or Dynaudio, it was fine. As for Subs, I remember my friend who sold Totem's said that you need a sub that is fast to be able to keep up with the Totem's so I thought sub's would somehow mess up the sound with the Totem's.

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post #94 of 123 Old 11-14-2003, 07:59 AM
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Hi Vince,
Your going to get me going on the whole bass management thing for music which I feel is a bit of a red herring. If it were just music I wouldn't have a sub.

My speaker collection does double duty as both music and a HT setup. As a matter of fact on top of the 5 Model 1's (I'm including the center here), I have a pair of Axiom QS4 dipoles about midway down the walls and a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze Bookshelves behind me on a shelf for effects.

For music I use the Totems only. For TV and Film, everything is engaged.

I use an NHT SUB II that has 2 10" drivers and a 500w Sunfire amp. This unit would definitely bother your neighbours and keeps me constantly checking the wall mounts of my other speakers and works great with the Totems. I just replaced a Paradigm PDR 8 which is a great little sub but softclipps on films like "The Haunting" and other film with DEEP Bass.

I live in a condo but fortuneatley my HT is on 2 outside walls and is over the Party room. The guy upstairs is either deaf or no one lives there.

Everything I've read about the Dreamcatcher has been very positive but you have to make up your own mind. I think the whole set retails for about the price of a pair of Model 1's.

goodluck,
Peter m.

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post #95 of 123 Old 11-14-2003, 08:25 AM
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I haven't read the entire thread, so I'm just kind of jumping in here.

1. If a speaker is designed to be upright, do not lay it on its side. The primary reason for doing this is timbre matching across the front. Laying the speaker on its side kills the timbre matching. Look at the off axis response of any speaker...you'll find the side to side/top to bottom responses are different. Further, you'll inject bad lobing into the formula putting a speaker on its side.
2. The thought that a center channel is nothing more than a main, laid sideways and with an addition mid-range is missing the point of the design. This is a specific design technique used to address (among others) the lobing issue in (1) above.
3. You will not have timbre matching unless all three front speakers a identically mounted (among the reasons why timbre matching with sides is not currently a possibility).
4. The "best" center speaker is that speaker which has been specifically designed for that purpose and specifically designed to mate with the L/R speaker. Mixing/matching defeats the timbre matching objective.
5. Unless you can place full range mains 10'-15' away from the front wall, bass management (setting mains to small + a sub) will be your only chance to get smooth bass response plus good imaging.

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post #96 of 123 Old 11-14-2003, 09:10 AM
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Hi Dennis,
One of the points re the timbre matching came up based on a conversation that I had with the editor of Ultra High Fidelity Magazine who has a review of center speakers in the latest issue. The Totem Signature Center was one of the ones reviewed.

I wanted to swithchout my PMC tb1 center and the Mag wasn't out yet so I called him and got the timbre matching speech.

He suggested that as center speakers go the Totem was not going to come out on top of the heap for reasons that I could read when the edition came out, BUT, since I have 4 Model 1's as my music speakers (which he considered excellent), I should absolutely timbre match by getting the center which was also highly thought of.

The only suggestion he made with regard to using 3 identical speakers for the front's was if I was to move up to the Mani-2's (which have dual woofers in isobaric config) because Totem was missing a center speaker in their line that would match this particular unique pair.

I would also need more amplification than my Denon 5800/03 could provide.

Peter m.

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post #97 of 123 Old 11-14-2003, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Dennis,

I agree with points 1-3.

Regarding point 4, as you say yourself its impossible to match timbre unless its the exact same speaker. In my experience (which is, admittedly, limited), even a center channel that is designed to match timbre (such as my C6i) does not do a great job of it. Therefore, its my idea that I may as well optimize other aspects such as vocal intelligibility.

Regarding point 5, what happens when you cant place your sub 10-15' away from a wall? Are you suggesting we all need 30' x 30' rooms for our HTs?
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post #98 of 123 Old 11-14-2003, 01:46 PM
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Hi,
I think Dennis's 10-15 feet is a typo, also there's no mention of distance from side walls. Speaker placement is both room and speaker dependant for optimum results. There are very few absolutes here and I would hate to think that only gymnaisium owners could benefit from getting the best from their speakers.

If we were even to assume a phantom center using full range speakers in a 4.0 arrangement where would the surrounds go? Kromkamp the room would be more like 45' deep if the same rule applied to those speakers and placed the listener in the center with room to breathe.

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post #99 of 123 Old 11-14-2003, 03:40 PM
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Comment on 4: The fact a speaker is timbre matched does not imply a good speaker. As well Timbre matching requires identical mounting (distances from boundaries for example). The boundary issue can be solved.
[Fun Test: take monopole speaker. Run pink noise (in this case white would be ok) through the speaker. Have a friend hold the speaker. As you listen, have the friend raise and lower the speaker. You'll hear a shift.]

Comment on 5: 10'-15' was deliberate (from all boundaries). However, it would be more typical to have L/R mains 3'-4' from any boundary (depending on the speaker) to provide best imaging. This as well places the SBIR notch below 80Hz (outside the range of the speaker). The subs are moved closer to a boundary for better room response and to place it's notch above 80 Hz (outside the range of the speaker). For full range, placing the notch below 20Hz...well, that's a long way from the walls.

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post #100 of 123 Old 11-14-2003, 07:36 PM
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Hi,
I'm not sure if anyone has suggested the contrary but speaker quality and the fact that a group of them are timbre matched are mutually exclusive.

One has nothing to do with the other. The positioning of groups of speakers relative to room boundaries is also just one of several factors contibuting to their performance regardless of quality.

Peter m.

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post #101 of 123 Old 11-15-2003, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by petermwilson
Hi Vince,
Your going to get me going on the whole bass management thing for music which I feel is a bit of a red herring. If it were just music I wouldn't have a sub.

My speaker collection does double duty as both music and a HT setup. As a matter of fact on top of the 5 Model 1's (I'm including the center here), I have a pair of Axiom QS4 dipoles about midway down the walls and a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze Bookshelves behind me on a shelf for effects.

For music I use the Totems only. For TV and Film, everything is engaged.

I use an NHT SUB II that has 2 10" drivers and a 500w Sunfire amp. This unit would definitely bother your neighbours and keeps me constantly checking the wall mounts of my other speakers and works great with the Totems. I just replaced a Paradigm PDR 8 which is a great little sub but softclipps on films like "The Haunting" and other film with DEEP Bass.

I live in a condo but fortuneatley my HT is on 2 outside walls and is over the Party room. The guy upstairs is either deaf or no one lives there.

Everything I've read about the Dreamcatcher has been very positive but you have to make up your own mind. I think the whole set retails for about the price of a pair of Model 1's.

goodluck,
Peter m.
Hi Peter:

I know why you have a sub but I'm just saying it isn't practical in my situation as I live in a building owned by the city government and the lease specifically states to keep noise at a minimum and even if any family member does something illegal outside the building but in the city, they can still evict you as it's a clause on the lease. Not to mention, I don't have the room for the sub and other stuff here until I go and buy a house which is expensive here as I'm looking atleast $US500,000. Are there anything such as small subs that won't like make neighbors actually hear the bass as well? The Dreamcatcher has had good reviews and even the local Totem dealer recommends it for the center and surrounds for the Model 1's. So probably it's better to get a Model 1 center or something that timbre matches while the surrounds can be lesser quality.

Cheers,
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post #102 of 123 Old 11-15-2003, 04:08 AM
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The size of the sub will have no bearing on whether or not your neighbors can hear the results rather it is the energy level output.

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post #103 of 123 Old 11-16-2003, 06:17 AM
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Dennis:

I thought the bigger subs will generally have more energy level output but is there a recommended range I should stay within to be safe?

Cheers,
Vince - vince@DNALOGIC.NET
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post #104 of 123 Old 11-16-2003, 08:30 AM
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I wish I could go with "almost" a full-range centre, but I don't physically/visually want such a large object sitting there.

During my centre channel auditioning way back when, I borrowed a big PSB Image 9C centre, which is good to 40 Hz.
http://www.psbspeakers.com/s/ImageSpecs.html
There were some DVD clips where the 9C surpised me with some good bass blasts. There was something very cohesive with that bass coming directly from the centre, and not getting "diluted" by the processer steering it to the "large" of LFE speakers.

This brings up another question ...
With the proliferation of Home Theatre and sub-sat systems where the sats have poor <100 Hz capabilties, are the movie recording engineers keeping this in mind when doing a mix ? That is, are they shying away from including deeper bass in the discrete L-C-R & Surround channels, but rather mixing mostly "all" bass content in the LFE channel because that is how 75% ( my guess ) of home theatres are setup from a speaker perspective ?

- Andy
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post #105 of 123 Old 11-16-2003, 09:40 AM
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Hi Andy,
You could be right with regard to how they do the mix but I don't think they do it with us in mind necessarily.

The responsibility where the different frequencies go is made by how we've decided to allocate them based on the equipment we have.

It would be unfortunate if sound editors were mixing for "Home Theatre In A Box" which seems to-day to be the largest market segment and the lowest common denominator. Recent studies have shown that the cost of display devices have made this product grouping the purchase of necessity.

The capabilities of the LFE portion our equipment (whether incorpoated into full range speakers or as stand alone devices) is definitely highlted in more films and the need for deeper and faster specifications is being promoted in constantly.

I may be imagining this but I can't remember ever seeing so many subwoofer ads in audio publications. Anyone playing the recent "Finding Nemo'' dvd will find the nether regions of their LFE challenged often.

I don't have full range speakers, but they are solid to 40hz including my center which is part of a set. So rather than asking them to try harder, I spin everything under 60 to my sub which if my prepro did not have separate and distinct channels of amplification would essentially be biamping the rest.

So I guess my opinion is that WE not the film producers decide what frequencies go where but that their producing lower and lower frequencies

Peter m.

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post #106 of 123 Old 11-16-2003, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
I thought the bigger subs will generally have more energy level output but is there a recommended range I should stay within to be safe?
Physically larger subs could have the ability to have higher output levels; but, that is not necessarily so. For example, there are 12" and 15" subs producing higher output than some 18" subs. The output potential of a sub is a function of several factors: driver size and design, amplification, enclosure size, acoustic suspension vs infinite baffle, etc. As an example, look at the output specifications for the Sunfire (also note the wattage).

What you will find in many smaller subs is a high Q....ie, lots of energy over a small frequency range.

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post #107 of 123 Old 11-25-2003, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dennis Erskine
Physically larger subs could have the ability to have higher output levels; but, that is not necessarily so. For example, there are 12" and 15" subs producing higher output than some 18" subs. The output potential of a sub is a function of several factors: driver size and design, amplification, enclosure size, acoustic suspension vs infinite baffle, etc. As an example, look at the output specifications for the Sunfire (also note the wattage).

What you will find in many smaller subs is a high Q....ie, lots of energy over a small frequency range.
What you're saying is true but like wattage for example would depend since 200watts from one company is not the same as 200watts from another since it's all the design and how much current it actually delivers.

Cheers,
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post #108 of 123 Old 11-26-2003, 11:24 AM
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Kromkamp,

London Audio carries Martin Logan - check out their site....1.5 hr drive better than going to NS i guess...
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post #109 of 123 Old 01-26-2004, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by speco2003

Meyer HD-1

End of story. [/b]
Uh...not quite! :D PMC Reference (IB-2C, MB-2C, BB-5C).
The Hulk, The Matrix series, Chicago, Finding Nemo, Terminator 3, The Lord of the Rings (all 3), 2 Fast 2 Furious, Spiderman, Lara Croft Tomb Raider Cradle of Life...are just a few of the recent films which were produced, mixed and mastered on PMC Reference systems. They are the finest speaker systems I've heard in 26 years in the audio business.

"Did you make 'em fine-ass-soundin' speakers over there what would sound gooder than hell comin' out of the back of my truck-boat-truck?"

-Early Cuyler. Poet Liquoreate
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post #110 of 123 Old 01-27-2004, 08:12 PM
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Personally I think mine is the best. This is a custom built center speaker utilizing all Klipsch drivers.

This 3 way work of art utilizes:

2 Klipsch KV1089 Cerametallic 10" woofers from a RF7 for
1 EV T35 Horn Tweeter (aka Klipsch K77)
1 K-52 1.5" MID FREQUENCY HORN: 90?x60? Tractrix? Horn out of a Klipsch KLF 30
2-4" flared ports in rear
Wired with 12 gauge monster cable

Crossover is a 3-way, 2nd order (12dB) crossover with a 3 octave spread between crossover points. I used metallized polypropylene capacitors in critical midrange and tweeter signal paths. 18 gauge inductors are used to keep DC resistance to a minimum.
Crossover points are 700/5600.

100db 1watt /1 meter
FR 38hz -17khz +-3db

Cabinet is constructed from 3/4" marine grade oak plywood size of cabinet is 42"w x 13.5"h x 15"d Complete internal bracing

I really do love the sound of this center. I had gone through several before I got frustrated with all of the current performers out there, I decided to build my own. One of my main goals was to be able to come close to matching the sound of my La Scala's. This is the reason I went with a 3 way design. This allowed me to timber match my mid and highs with the La Scala's. The bass response is awesome from this. It's very punchy instead of the midrange bass boom. I was concerned with this even though my box plot told me different.

Overall I am truly pleased with the sound reproduction. Not only does the dialog on movie sound tracks come alive, but my DVD Audio disc's sound just awesome with this center.

After 30 hours of design time I went to work on the speaker. With all materials in hand I started making a mess in my garage. The overall time for this project was about a month for the actual construction.


Thanks!

Scooterdog

Check out my HT
http://www.geocities.com/scooterb4u/ScootersHT.html
LL
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post #111 of 123 Old 01-27-2004, 08:18 PM
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Nice job SD!

Kipp
Are you boozen & cruisin the AVS? Join us here ---> http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8&page=1&pp=60 good times! www.illinoiscarry.org www.nra.org
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post #112 of 123 Old 01-27-2004, 11:35 PM
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Thanks Kipp!
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post #113 of 123 Old 01-27-2004, 11:46 PM
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KronKamp,
I am not sure if this was mentioned in this thread (I didn't read all of it)
but what you may want to consider is investing in a good pre-amp processor like the Lexicon MC-1. The MC-1 has a feature called the "Vocal Enhance" that allows you to raise the level on voices alone (at least mostly voices) without elevating the overall level of the center channel. It has worked very well for me. BTW, I have a rocket RSC200 center channel and I love the way it sounds.
-Jai
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post #114 of 123 Old 01-28-2004, 05:20 AM
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If you are still looking for a center channel, I would reccommend Kef. You could find a used 100c or 200c and be very happy. If you are looking for something a little larger, the newer XQ line is fantastic. It represents close to 95% of the sound of their reference line. The characteristic that sets Kef apart is the clarity of sound at whatever volume you play them at. I play them below whisper quiet and all the words are still clearly discernable. I also play them pushing 80-90db and they are still crystal clear. I think its due to their isolation of cabinet and driver as well as their Uni-q technology. I think these speakers would address your need to play at lower volumes while not compromising the soundtrack.
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post #115 of 123 Old 01-28-2004, 05:52 AM
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jmcomp touched on what I was going to bring up. It is called "dialog normalization" and many receivers/prepros have this ability to raise the dialog in relation to the overall sound.

Does your prepro have this capability?

Chuck G
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post #116 of 123 Old 01-28-2004, 06:30 AM
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Spot on Mark LP- those are the best centre speakers I've heard. You need to spend at least £1000+ to better the Reference line of Kef centres. They can produce the most clear and natural dialogue & music compared to other's I've owned/demoed.

And now the 100c & 200c can be picked up for great prices (£150/£375) respectively- it's a much better alternative than buying a new centre of that same value. IMO you really need a high quality centre to keep up with floorstanding speakers.. lesser designs start to breakup and this effects sound reproduction at higher SPL. I have used a Kef Q95 and it cannot match the "matching" Q55/Q75.. a Model 100/200 despite not matching produces the better overall sound. Panning might not be as good, but it still sounds better. Give me a non-matching high quality speaker system over a bad sounding all-matching system any day.

The difference between upgrading from a Kef Q95/B&W CC6 to the Kef 200c was not a slight one. Whole new enjoyment level- before I winced during action scenes, and disliked the sound. And now I don't :-)

I see many people complaining with inaudible dialogue. I believe this is due to incorrectly setup calibration and a low quality centre. Or both. Other than that it could be inferior amplifier stage not supplying enough juice when required.

I have noticed poor dialogue reproduction from small sats too.. I think this downscaling fad is not a good idea. More is expected from the sub (higher crossover point) meaning the budget systems require more SPL & frequencies from inferior subwoofers. Smaller and smaller sats will not reproduce the lower midrange needed for music & dialogue.

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post #117 of 123 Old 01-28-2004, 07:24 AM
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i have to agree with kipjones, the KLIPSCH RC7 is a tremendous center speaker and does exactly what the manufacture says it will do. kudos for the RC7.

ric
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post #118 of 123 Old 01-28-2004, 09:13 AM
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I wanted to add to what I said about the vocal enhance. There is another feature called "Bass Split" wherein, if you set the center crossover to say 120Hz and the FL and FR crossover to 80Hz, frequencies below 120Hz will be attenuated and split to the FL and FR making deep voices and the like, sound more realisitic and authoritative. One example where I could clearly hear the difference in the voice was in "Prince of Egypt" when pharaoh speaks. At reference levels, it sounds magnificient.
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post #119 of 123 Old 02-07-2004, 07:56 AM
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Klipsch KG 2.2 any good?

thx

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post #120 of 123 Old 02-07-2004, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ricadee1
i have to agree with kipjones, the KLIPSCH RC7 is a tremendous center speaker and does exactly what the manufacture says it will do. kudos for the RC7.
;) ;) ;)

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