I haven't posted here for a while. AVS stopped sending me email notifications of new posts.
I've been listening to the Strada a fair bit in the last two weeks.
Up to two days ago I was thinking of selling them as they kept hurting my ears with the fierce treble which sounded like it needed taking back 6 or 9dB. It was never a pleasant or enjoyable listen. No bass either.
I was using 'updated' Meridian 605 mono blocks. Yesterday I used an extensively modified Hafler DH200 and the Stradas sounded nice, that unlistenable top was gone and the bass was better, possibly as the DH200 bass boost circuit had been left in. I used the Hafler with my old big speakers with their metal dome tweeters and metal dome super tweeters and they sounded too polite and overly easy going, veiled really and lost the 'open' sound of the Strada. The M605 however were better in the treble with the big speakers and also more power in the bass.
So the lesson here is that to get the Strada to sound acceptable you need the right upstream components to achieve an optimum synergy.
Regarding the question about the AV Ref centre channel, last week a pair came up for sale in the UK and I did some asking and was told that the feeling at the Gallo HQ is the Strada is better in every way. I want to get more bass as the pair of TR-1 are just not working for me, not clean sounding and not integrating with the Strada, every time I switch them off the sound in general is better, even the bass, all be it very much less and no low bass. Maybe I don't have the phase dialled in correctly. I had them sitting next to the Strada but the side firing tweeter glared off the TR-1 and sounded better with them not there. Now I'm using them behind by about 3 feet so that's perhaps too far but I can't get them nearer just now. I wondered if the AV Ref with it's two extra 'balls' and 100Hz crossover would bolster the lower end of the Strada and still match the speed of the main two drive units.
I did recently pair the two TR-1 with a pair of ATC SCM 50, with their 9 inch bass units, and got a seamless join. The TR-1 extended the bottom a bit without having any affect I could hear on the mid and top. That was in a recording studio mastering suite used in a moderately near field monitoring position and they were mounted about two feet in front and to the outer sides of, and a little lower than, the ATC and both the TR-1 and ATC were about 4 feet off the ground on speaker tables with plenty of room to the sides and rear. I've been able to try that in my room as there's not really the space. I took my TR-1's over there as he wanted to try subs with the SCM50's. He had ATC's 15 inch 900Watt (or so http://www.atcloudspeakers.co.uk/downloads/PRO_P20-21.pdf
) sub on loan. It didn't integrate with the SCM50's but did make the mid and top sound brighter, surprisingly. It did deliver a very massive and very clean very fast low bass that the two TR-1 could not even begin to approach. I felt the soles of my shoes shaking on the solid concrete floor without it sounding loud. In the end, to get both that bass and the integration, he bought the bigger ATC 150 speakers that have the 15 inch bass units built in.