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Now that I have my new L/Rs on the way the next question is CC

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Taking into account timbre-matching and all that, I see that the Studio CC-590 would be the best match for my Studio 100s. (CC-690 is overkill in my opinion). The cc-490 would be over-shadowed by the 100s.

That said, here is my dilema: I can not justify spending $1000+ on a center channel no matter how you look at it. (I am still having a hard time coming to terms with $2900 I layed down for the Studio 100s. It took a year to save that up. would have been longer had I not had a tax refund pay for half).
Anyway, I'm 80% music and 20% HT so I don't need the best of the best CC.
I can "try" to justify up to $700 I think, but that would be pushing it.
So with the CC-590 out of reach of my means and ability to justify, I'm looking at the CC-290 as a possible candidate.
Do you think it can work with the Studio 100s ok?
Any other center channels that might come close to working with the Studio 100s even from different makers? (I'm not completely sold on the theory of having to stay within brand)

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 33
I am by no means an expert, but I believe the reason for wanting speakers from the same line (not just from the same manufacturer), is because different companies use different components and designs that all affect the way a speaker sounds. If you mismatch the center speaker to your Studio 100s, the change in timbre may be obvious enough to be annoying.

I'm also confused as to why the CC-290 is a candidate, but the CC-490 isn't. Is it the price? You said the 490 would be overshadowed by the 100s, but with the same number of drivers, wouldn't the 290 be as well? On top of that, the 290 wouldn't visually (or audibly) match.

I think your best bet is the CC-490.
post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchattenJager View Post

I am by no means an expert, but I believe the reason for wanting speakers from the same line (not just from the same manufacturer), is because different companies use different components and designs that all affect the way a speaker sounds. If you mismatch the center speaker to your Studio 100s, the change in timbre may be obvious enough to be annoying.

I'm also confused as to why the CC-290 is a candidate, but the CC-490 isn't. Is it the price? You said the 490 would be overshadowed by the 100s, but with the same number of drivers, wouldn't the 290 be as well? On top of that, the 290 wouldn't visually (or audibly) match.

I think your best bet is the CC-490.

My thinking on the CC-490 (which I was going with at first) was that the drivers (woofers ,if you will), are a lot smaller than the Studio 100s and I"m told the mid would be lack-luster to say the least. The cc-590 has 7-inch drivers. The cc-490 has 4.5 or 5.5 inch drivers.
I'm a bit lost on centers to be honest. I understand their significant importance, but I still don't think one should have to pay extremely high prices for a one trick pony that is only used occassionally with folks like me.
I was thinking of going the phantom center route, but that would screw up everything because I would have to keep running set up everytime I want to switch from HT to music and back.

When it comes to CC speakers it's all about price to me.
post #4 of 33
Why would have to change setup, running phantom?
If playing a stereo source, there is no center involved. If you setup the AVR for "no center" you still have the same thing. And it makes no difference if you're watching a movie or playing MCM. So any center material is going to be sent to the L/R.

On some of my early dvd-a discs they didn't even record to the center, so its still a phantom center. I assume they did that because most center speakers back then were total junk.

As far as not wanting a center at all, not a problem. But if you do buy one don't skimp, you paid $1450 for each main, @ $1000 for a center, still $450 less.
post #5 of 33
I'm much more of an HT guy than a critical music listener, so I'm obviously more biased toward having a good center speaker.

As you mentioned, and since you listen to 2-channel music most of the time, your most cost-effective solution is to just have the AVR matrix the center channel into the L&R. You're only missing out 20% of the time.
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD View Post

Why would have to change setup, running phantom?
If playing a stereo source, there is no center involved. If you setup the AVR for "no center" you still have the same thing. And it makes no difference if you're watching a movie or playing MCM. So any center material is going to be sent to the L/R.

On some of my early dvd-a discs they didn't even record to the center, so its still a phantom center. I assume they did that because most center speakers back then were total junk.

As far as not wanting a center at all, not a problem. But if you do buy one don't skimp, you paid $1450 for each main, @ $1000 for a center, still $450 less.

Your right about the phantom technic, I got confused for a moment. (Too much info in my head).
I'm still reeling from laying out that much for a pair of mains. I've never spent that much on a peice of audio gear and most likely never will again. I'm confident in my choice of mains as it took me 3 months of solid research and demos almost every day to reach it. It's just that it took me a whole year with some sacrifices to get into these things. Had it not been for my tax refund paying half it would have taken much longer and things happen that probably would have prevented me from getting them.
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubisrocks View Post

Taking into account timbre-matching and all that, I see that the Studio CC-590 would be the best match for my Studio 100s. (CC-690 is overkill in my opinion). The cc-490 would be over-shadowed by the 100s.

That said, here is my dilema: I can not justify spending $1000+ on a center channel no matter how you look at it. (I am still having a hard time coming to terms with $2900 I layed down for the Studio 100s. It took a year to save that up. would have been longer had I not had a tax refund pay for half).
Anyway, I'm 80% music and 20% HT so I don't need the best of the best CC.
I can "try" to justify up to $700 I think, but that would be pushing it.
So with the CC-590 out of reach of my means and ability to justify, I'm looking at the CC-290 as a possible candidate.
Do you think it can work with the Studio 100s ok?
Any other center channels that might come close to working with the Studio 100s even from different makers? (I'm not completely sold on the theory of having to stay within brand)

Save yourself a few books and consider a Paradigm CC v2. A very good CC speaker that will match up well with the Studio 100. You should be able to find one used, in excellent condition for around $200. Here is one for example. If for some reason you don't like the CC v2 you can resell and recover your cost.
post #8 of 33
i just sold my 100's , and i used to have the 590 then upgraded to the 690, the 690 is so much better, worth the extra $$.

my 0.02$

ps: also had the 390 monitor center, didn't like how it sounded, bass/mid-range was muddy and dialog wasn't too clear(compared to the 590 or 690)
post #9 of 33
What I would suggest...

Keep perusing Ebay and Audiogon looking for a deal on a pre-owned one.
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

What I would suggest...

Keep perusing Ebay and Audiogon looking for a deal on a pre-owned one.

Good suggestion. There is a mint CC590 v5 on eBay now for $699, bet it doesn't go much higher, if at all. Last one sold for $740.
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post
Save yourself a few books and consider a Paradigm CC v2. A very good CC speaker that will match up well with the Studio 100. You should be able to find one used, in excellent condition for around $200. Here is one for example. If for some reason you don't like the CC v2 you can resell and recover your cost.
Yes, that looks like it could work, but Audiogon does not tell you where the seller is located and I want local pick up pay by cash. Shipping is too risky.
I'll look on CL or something, but chances are slim I'll find one of these locally. So I am leaning heavily towards going without a center and using the phantom center. The only drawback to that is if I get an SACD or some other surround music disc. Those don't work too well with a phantom center for me because I am a decerning listener and I'll detect something wrong within seconds.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post
What I would suggest...

Keep perusing Ebay and Audiogon looking for a deal on a pre-owned one.
No thank you. Those two places I avoid as much as possible because they are too scary to me in a bad way. Like walking down a dark alley late at night hearing strange noises creeping up behind you.
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubisrocks View Post
Yes, that looks like it could work, but Audiogon does not tell you where the seller is located and I want local pick up pay by cash. Shipping is too risky.
I'll look on CL or something, but chances are slim I'll find one of these locally. So I am leaning heavily towards going without a center and using the phantom center. The only drawback to that is if I get an SACD or some other surround music disc. Those don't work too well with a phantom center for me because I am a decerning listener and I'll detect something wrong within seconds.
AudigoN does tell you where the seller is located. The zip code is at the top right of the listing. The seller for the CC v2 linked is in NH.

You can search AudiogoN as well as eBay for local sellers only. Since you're in SoCal, chances are VG finding a local seller.
post #14 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubisrocks View Post
No thank you. Those two places I avoid as much as possible because they are too scary to me in a bad way. Like walking down a dark alley late at night hearing strange noises creeping up behind you.
You need to get over that. Consider counseling
post #15 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post
You need to get over that. Consider counseling
oh ha ha ha.
post #16 of 33
I buy stuff from Ebay/Audiogon/Craigslist all the time...

My latest scores...
This...
http://www.amazon.com/MartinLogan-Dy...5758944&sr=1-1
for $300/Craigslist

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR707...5759031&sr=1-1
Shipping included was $305/Ebay (the lady was shocked the listing was only up for 45 minutes. BIN and she included the Ipod dock. I even sent an email asking why she sold it "so cheap"...She and her husband had just bought the TX NR509 and just wanted enough money to cover it)
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubisrocks View Post
Yes, that looks like it could work, but Audiogon does not tell you where the seller is located and I want local pick up pay by cash. Shipping is too risky.
I'll look on CL or something, but chances are slim I'll find one of these locally. So I am leaning heavily towards going without a center and using the phantom center. The only drawback to that is if I get an SACD or some other surround music disc. Those don't work too well with a phantom center for me because I am a decerning listener and I'll detect something wrong within seconds.
CC-590, semi-local (Morro Bay), an hour drive maybe? Contact the seller, make a cash offer - local pick-up. Most sellers prefer this, saves selling fees and shipping hassles.
post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubisrocks View Post
Yes, that looks like it could work, but Audiogon does not tell you where the seller is located and I want local pick up pay by cash. Shipping is too risky.
I'll look on CL or something, but chances are slim I'll find one of these locally. So I am leaning heavily towards going without a center and using the phantom center. The only drawback to that is if I get an SACD or some other surround music disc. Those don't work too well with a phantom center for me because I am a decerning listener and I'll detect something wrong within seconds.
Give it a try before you come to this conclusion. It doesn't cost you even a precious nickel to try it. If you are OK with a phantom CC for movies, I see no reason why you would have a problem with it for SACD/DVD-A.

What surrounds will you be using?

Craig
post #19 of 33
Anubisrocks - I have the Studio 100's v5 and the CC-490 v5 and I don't feel the 490 is over shadowed at all. I'm with you 100%, I don't feel the need to drop $1,000+ for a center channel, which is why I bought the 490. The 490 is more than adequate. See if you can get a loaner from the store, you did just drop $2,800 for the Studio's so I don't think it's unreasonable for them to extend you that favor.
post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

Give it a try before you come to this conclusion. It doesn't cost you even a precious nickel to try it. If you are OK with a phantom CC for movies, I see no reason why you would have a problem with it for SACD/DVD-A.

What surrounds will you be using?

Craig

Right now my surrounds are small cheapo KLH 2-ways I got years ago for $35. I'm not worried about surrounds, those are last on my list if I get around to them. Surrounds are surrounds and almost any speaker will do as far as I'm concerned. All they do is handle the delay signal.
I'll try it, but I do HT passively and I'm happy with the basics of 5.1 so phantom for that should satisfy me at least for a while. Music on the other hand I never listen to passively. I'm always an active listener of music even subconciously. I hear the nuances and tiny details sometimes that most other folks don't even know are there. (Most folks are passive music listeners). I like the details it's kind of fun and interesting when you discover them. I'm very effected by music. (A lot of other folks are as well, they just don't know it. I'm one who is merely aware of it).
post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toofarzong View Post

Anubisrocks - I have the Studio 100's v5 and the CC-490 v5 and I don't feel the 490 is over shadowed at all. I'm with you 100%, I don't feel the need to drop $1,000+ for a center channel, which is why I bought the 490. The 490 is more than adequate. See if you can get a loaner from the store, you did just drop $2,800 for the Studio's so I don't think it's unreasonable for them to extend you that favor.

Unfortunately, while they are a authorized dealer of Paradigm, they do not have any in the shop. They did me a favor of beating the price of a competitor who does have them by $200 out the door and ordered them for me. The competitor also does not loan out speakers, however, if they have the CC-490 they can hook it up with the 100s and demo. So I may go there for that. I wish the dealer I bought the 100s from had them because the other dealer is like walking on to a car lot. The CC-490 is the same size as my Polk CS-1 with the same config and it isn't very good. It barely does the job, but its a strain.
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by SchattenJager View Post

I'm much more of an HT guy than a critical music listener, so I'm obviously more biased toward having a good center speaker.

As you mentioned, and since you listen to 2-channel music most of the time, your most cost-effective solution is to just have the AVR matrix the center channel into the L&R. You're only missing out 20% of the time.


What do you mean by missing out 20% of the time?
post #23 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by schan1269 View Post

I buy stuff from Ebay/Audiogon/Craigslist all the time...

My latest scores...
This...
http://www.amazon.com/MartinLogan-Dy...5758944&sr=1-1
for $300/Craigslist

http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-TX-SR707...5759031&sr=1-1
Shipping included was $305/Ebay (the lady was shocked the listing was only up for 45 minutes. BIN and she included the Ipod dock. I even sent an email asking why she sold it "so cheap"...She and her husband had just bought the TX NR509 and just wanted enough money to cover it)

At least with CL you can check out the product first before you buy and you don't have to pay shipping costs that run twice as much as the item price.
The only drawback to CL is waiting a few years for the item you want to show up.
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post

CC-590, semi-local (Morro Bay), an hour drive maybe? Contact the seller, make a cash offer - local pick-up. Most sellers prefer this, saves selling fees and shipping hassles.

Morro Bay = that's in San Francisco more like a week's drive from me.
post #25 of 33
Go phantom for 2 months. I had 6.1 in a prior house, but am now 2.0 in a condo, with better speakers, and the experience is actually better. KEF Q65 speakers on opposite sides of a 72" projection screen.
post #26 of 33
Speakers that produce a strong phantom image makes it hard to tell the difference compared to a having a center speaker, as long as you are sitting on the centerline between the mains.
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anubisrocks View Post

I'll try it, but I do HT passively and I'm happy with the basics of 5.1 so phantom for that should satisfy me at least for a while. Music on the other hand I never listen to passively. I'm always an active listener of music even subconciously. I hear the nuances and tiny details sometimes that most other folks don't even know are there. (Most folks are passive music listeners). I like the details it's kind of fun and interesting when you discover them. I'm very effected by music. (A lot of other folks are as well, they just don't know it. I'm one who is merely aware of it).

You won't lose any of those "nuances" you claim to hear with a phantom center setup. You don't lose any audio.

The only thing you really lose is stereo imaging if you sit away from the sweet spot (the centerline between the Paradigms.) If you can be happy with phantom for HT you'll be happy with phantom for music.

It doesn't matter how "active" a listener you are, unless by active you mean you run around the room like a hyperactive kid on a sugar high while music is playing.
post #28 of 33
Sorry if I am repetetive. Didn't read whole thread. FWIW, I was displeased with a Monitor center and Studio L&R. I still ahve Atoms for surrounds, but got a Studio center. Now, I'm using little wpeakers (10s and 490) but the problem area was in the sibilance region, where the Monitors sounded very different from the Studios, to the point of distraction, for me. So I'd recommend going with the 490. It's got more air moving capability than the 0s, (somewhat obviously) and may fit the bill just fine. Depends a bit on how loudly you listen to movies. I'm a -20 ish guy and don't detect either distortion or obvious dynamic compression with my 490.

TO move it past just vocal sibilants, I also found that on some music recordings (I expand my stereo to 5 channel) when a centered instrument with strong content in that band would move from note to note, the instrument might move from place to place, as the harmonics favored one speaker's or the other's high midrange FR. Smewhat annoying tho have Hilary Hahn jumping 2 or 3 feet to the left, then back again, as she's playing some run on her violin. Or Bela Fleck, or Pat Metheny. The spatial thing was less of a rpoblem if the instrument was already pretty much to one side, so Duane Allman would stay put pretty well through a whole solo.

At any rate, before you go Monitor, either make sure you can return, or carefully audition where you can assess whether the differences in the way s, ch, etc. sounds will drive you nuts . . .
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by hifiaudio2 View Post

What do you mean by missing out 20% of the time?

The TS said he listens to music 80% and HT 20%. A center channel is more important to HT than music, so by using a phantom center, he'll only be missing out during movie viewing.
post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

You won't lose any of those "nuances" you claim to hear with a phantom center setup. You don't lose any audio.

The only thing you really lose is stereo imaging if you sit away from the sweet spot (the centerline between the Paradigms.) If you can be happy with phantom for HT you'll be happy with phantom for music.

It doesn't matter how "active" a listener you are, unless by active you mean you run around the room like a hyperactive kid on a sugar high while music is playing.

Yes, I'm going to go phantom center for a while and see how it works out. The problem I see is in set up. Of course I'll run audessy, but my concern is this:
Say I have a couple of people over to watch a movies or concert or whatever and it's in 5.1. I'm wondering how much of a difference in SQ it will be if two people are not sitting dead center? Would they be able to enjoy the same sound as the person in the center?
As for music, I am not concerned with a center and won't be running phantom except on rare occasion.

By active listener I mean that I usually do not listen passively. I pay close attention to music I listen to. I'm sort of an audiophile.
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