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Center Channel Speaker Purchase - SPEC HELP?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Need some help on deciding on my final speaker purchase. I have one last speaker to get my 7.1 system going, the "MIDDLE CHANNEL". While I'm sure it's best to try and "voice match", or just "match" the main speakers, I am NOT planning on buying the same brand "Ohm" for a middle channel, too expensive. I like my two Ohm "Wall" mains (125 watts or so power rated), they are full range in a small box, driver faces down, a bit different and perhaps "diffuse" compared to others, and my Rythmik F12G Subwoofer handles the low freqs below 80kHz. For now, my OLD Polk 5Jr speakers will be the far back surrounds, and I bought two used Definitive Technology ProMonitor 80 Mk2 that will be the SIDE surrounds, all powered by the Onkyo 906 AVR that puts out 145 watts/channel. I focused on buying the two new main Ohms and the subwoofer as I listen mostly to music, but now it's time to get the movie audio going.

From what I understand, the middle channel speaker is important and handles the audio "voice" track on 5.1 and 7.1 DVD and BlueRay disks.

My apartment MAIN LIVING ROOM SIZE is:

Length: 19' Feet
Width: 13' Feet
Height: 10' Feet

247 Square Feet
2470 Room Volume

I sit in the center of the room on a couch, 1/3 from front facing the narrow end of the room, the MIDDLE Channel speaker will be about 9 feet from me. There is NO place for this speaker above the 37" Sharp Aquos flat panel, but I put together a METRO metal wire cart with open metal shelves, the kind you see in restaurant kitchens, and AV and editing rooms. Flat black, adjustable shelves in terms of height. I can place the middle speaker facing UP on a shelf below the TV, so it should not be too bad, only issue is my TV CART is located in the far right corner of my room, so it's actually BELOW my right main speaker which is ceiling suspended. I can't use the middle of the room because of the "fireplace". But I assume as long as the middle speaker is ancored to the TV it will sound okay for dialog.

My price range is about $200.00.

Since I'm shopping by SPECS, I was hoping for some feedback on the specs from two middle channel speakers I looked at online.

The Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 sells for $220.00, the Polk CSi A4 sells at many places for $275.00, but can be found for $220.00, so the prices are the same.

The DT is not as wide which would be helpful, and either speaker can be turned upside down to fire upward as I will have to do if placed below my TV on cart.

BASED ON THE SPECS BELOW and perhaps driver parts etc., does either one stand out as a better choice for me?

Polk CSi A4


Complete your Polk home theater system with the CSi A4 center channel speaker. Its advanced driver technology and solid construction work together to deliver clear, distinct movie dialogue and exciting special effects. Polk carefully designed the woofers and tweeter using laser testing to help identify and eliminate resonance points. The acoustically inert MDF cabinet fights internal vibrations that can compromise performance. It all adds up to smooth, accurate sound with DVDs and multichannel music sources. And a real wood veneer finish gives this speaker a warm, refined look, making it an attractive addition to just about any room.
bass-reflex (ported) design
frequency response 65-25,000 Hz (-3dB)
handles 20-200 watts
1" Dynamic Balance® silk/polymer tweeter
dual 5-1/4" Dynamic Balance polymer composite woofers
8-ohm impedance
sensitivity 89 dB
5-way binding post terminals
real wood veneer finish
20-1/16"W x 6-7/8"H x 9-1/16"D
warranty: 5 years

Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000


ProCenter 1000 :Specifications

Dimensions | Metric :14-3/4" W x 5" D x 5" H | 37.5 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm
Driver Complement :One 1" pure aluminum dome tweeter; Two 4-1/2" BDSS upper bass/midrange drivers; Two 4-1/2" pressure coupled bass radiators
Frequency Response :47 Hz - 30 kHz
Impedance :Compatible with 8 Ohms outputs
Sensitivity :90 dB
Recommended Associated Amplifier Power :10 - 200 watts
A/V Receiver Crossover Setting :80 Hz
Inputs :One pair of 5 way binding posts
Available Finishes :Gloss Black; Gloss White
Accessories :Leveler Foot; Two ┬╝ 20 insert cover plugs
Mounting Options :On Shelf with included leveling foot; Equipped with two ┬╝ 20 sized threads to accommodate on wall mounting with two ProMount 80 (available separately)
Packaging :One to a carton
Weight | Metric :6 lbs | 2.7 kg
Warranty :5 Years

I assume I'll be crossing over these speakers at 80kHz, so either should have the range, the DT's seem to have the wider FREQ response range, they have FIVE drivers in them, two are side mounted. Power wise should be a good match for my Onkyo and other speakers power ratings. Not sure about driver parts or how either sound in person, both get good user/buyer reviews.

Any opinions on these specs and products are welcome. I know there are many other middle speakers out there, the Axium VP100 v2 Center is in this price range, but since 2/2=4 of my speakers are Polk/DT right now, it may make some sense to stick with either of these brands, though someday I'll most likely replace the really old Polk 5jr rear surrounds anyways.

Thanks to all!
post #2 of 5
Hi Mactavish.

Maybe I misunderstood you, but are you planning on having the center speaker face up towards the cieling rather than out towards you? If so, I recommend that whatever center speaker you buy, you should be able to return it w/ no questions asked. With the center facing upwards the sound may be so distorted you would be better off w/o a center speaker.
post #3 of 5
Since you are not purchasing the timbre-matched Ohm center channel speaker, whichever speaker you decide will have to do.

Whether its above or below the TV, angle it towards the listening position and make sure its positioned between the left and right mains. That is the "middle" you are referring to. Not the wall.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
You misunderstood. Most of these CC speakers can be flipped to tilt up if mounted under TV And down if mounted above. I know CC speakers should aim at the ears!
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Yosh70 View Post

Since you are not purchasing the timbre-matched Ohm center channel speaker, whichever speaker you decide will have to do.

Whether its above or below the TV, angle it towards the listening position and make sure its positioned between the left and right mains. That is the "middle" you are referring to. Not the wall.

It will be anchored below the TV but my tv is located in my right forward corner below right main. Just the nature of my space. I thought one of the two choices might be a better value. I'll have to live with the voice track audio not perfectly matching the down firing OHM walsh driver mains but should not be any factor in a 2.1 stereo music setup.
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