Originally Posted by jkhome
I agree, if the L/C/R speakers are supposed to be timbre matched, I would call that false advertising. Your dealer isn't serving you well (mine has a no questions asked return policy for the first 30 days after purchase).
FWIW, years ago I used an EQ to halfway match a Def Tech center to a pairs of Thiels I had. Worked pretty well. Only downside was the higher noise floor added by the analog EQ, that may or may not be an issue for you. Just remember if you go with a digital EQ unit, you need to take in consideration the extra time delay involved in the A/D-D/A conversion.
But then again it may be a placement issue. Have you tried moving the center up/down, in/out?
I've spent about three days on placement, including removing the TV and some furniture, and moving the center far higher than the base of my TV screen without the TV to reflect noise from the rear ports. I've also done a lot of single channel testing as well to avoid stereo effects (say pick the left channel of a song and then switch between one S8 and one center placed where the S8 was at various heights.)
I've listened to a lot of speakers before looking at the measurements, and to date I've nailed every significant peak. I have a harder time with notches, where I can clearly hear something is wrong but typically perceive it as overemphasis of the space above and below the notch. Since most of the energy of a voice is in the midrange, a 5dB notch towards the upper midrange leaves much of the remaining energy of voices on the low side of the notch, which is where I'm perceiving an overemphasis. I have yet to hear a speaker with anomalous frequency response that could make up for it with dynamics, imaging or soundstage, and unfortunately this wasn't the exception.
As for the electronics, every surround source I have involves some form of lossy compression, so I'm not striving for the ultimate limits here, as long as there aren't any glaring errors in the overall sound. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the real draw for the S8s is that they don't have any glaring faults so I can sink into the music and just enjoy it. Against the S8s, two other speaker pairs I heard were better for most things but had a single glaring flaw each that I couldn't get over because my focus kept getting drawn to those flaws. As long as the increased noise floor doesn't become a dominant sound, it should blend in with the other system and source anomolies and I can enjoy the overall experience.
My dealer has a 7 day return policy, and even though they carry Paradigm up to a few of the Signature bits, they're claiming the C5 is a special order as they don't keep one on the floor. Within these limits, the dealer is actively working to help here, and there is still a chance we can come up with a workable solution. I'll be upgrading the video side of my system within the next year, and I'll be applying what I'm learning from this experience.