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Best Center for Movies/TV for $1500

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I have been going back and forth quite a bit about what to get for my home and decided that since we listen to mostly movies/tv, I should really base most of the decision on the center channel. It is likely going to go on a stand. I will get either matching bookshelves or possibly floorstanding L & R's if I can convince my wife they are stable enough that our daughter wont knock them over.

So what centers out there have you folks owned and liked/disliked? Have you had any of these and moved on? Here is the list of the ones I have been doing some research on:

B&W CM Centre 2
KEF R600c
Paradigm Studio CC-690

What else should be on this list?

Thanks!
post #2 of 10
You should pick a L -C - R speaker combination that you like based on the whole front stage, not just the reputation of the center channel. A great center with a weak L/R will sound bad....
Most good speakers will come with a quality center!
You may want to consider the ascend acoust cmt 340 front and center. Very good front stage for under 1000 dollars!
post #3 of 10
I'm not familiar with the other two CC speakers, but the CC-690 is a wonderful CC speaker that delivers, big, clear and well-balanced audio. It's one of the best HT purchases I've made. smile.gif

Pair it with some newer Studio 60v5s - or with some gently used Studio 60v4s (or even v3s) - and you'll have an excellent front soundstage.

(It would also pair well with similar version of Studio 20s, but those speakers on stands are going to be less stable than floorstanders like the Studio 60s.)
post #4 of 10
You want your entire front sound stage to match. Center is one aspect of a good front sound stage. It is a very important factor though.

If you have the space and abilitity you may think of buying 3 tower speakers and putting one on its side as a center... If you have the space etc.
post #5 of 10
Tower speakers weren't designed to be used horizontally. Most are designed to have better horizontal frequency response than vertical, which is what you would normally want if you have to choose between the two. Using a tower horizontally will mess up the horizontal frequency response (but ought to make a relatively good vertical frequency response).
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by rileychris View Post

I have been going back and forth quite a bit about what to get for my home and decided that since we listen to mostly movies/tv, I should really base most of the decision on the center channel. It is likely going to go on a stand. I will get either matching bookshelves or possibly floorstanding L & R's if I can convince my wife they are stable enough that our daughter wont knock them over.

So what centers out there have you folks owned and liked/disliked? Have you had any of these and moved on? Here is the list of the ones I have been doing some research on:

B&W CM Centre 2
KEF R600c
Paradigm Studio CC-690

What else should be on this list?

Thanks!

What LR fronts would you be using with the KEF R600c? As another post mentioned an even, unified front stage sound (LCR) is really the ultimate goal.

In the KEF thread there are several folks using three Q300's LCR across the front. (It's not advisable to lay most speakers on their side, but because the Q300 is a concentric/point-source design it can be laid on it's side at which point it's only 8" tall as a center. You could also do this with the KEF R100, Q100 and LS-50.) If your LR fronts will be R300's then the R200c would be the better matching center. The R600c works/matches better with the R series towers.

How big is your room? What is your listening distance? Is the $1500 budget for just a center speaker? For the LCR front speakers? Full 5.1 setup including a sub?

Answering these questions will help those offering advice ; )
post #7 of 10
I actually stole the idea of 3 towers from a few threads in this forum. If you do a search you can find them. I dont have that kind of space so I use a traditional center. Advice still stands though... You want a matched front sound stage...you shouldn't shop for just a center no matter how good it is.
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

I actually stole the idea of 3 towers from a few threads in this forum. If you do a search you can find them. I dont have that kind of space so I use a traditional center. Advice still stands though... You want a matched front sound stage...you shouldn't shop for just a center no matter how good it is.

I agree using matched three front stage is the ideal, however using a tower horizontally changes its performance quite a bit by swapping its vertical frequency response with its horizontal frequency response, and so would no longer match an upright version.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
SDG4VFX: here goes

The room is used for 85% HT and 15% music. AS I have mentioned in another thread I will be replacing my large 5.1 setup for something that fits in my new living room a bit better and keeps my toddler from smashing the floorstanding towers on her head and on our floors.

CENTER:
It will likely go on a stand in front of fireplace. Originally I looked into it going on the mantle underneath the wall mounted LED TV, but there were not a lot high quality centers that fit there. I found a few (Mythos10, XTR-60), but not sure I'd be happy with that. I have ample width on the mantle but only have 8" of depth and 5" of height. I could possibly get away with slightly taller but that portion would be behind the bottom edge of the TV or I would have to raise the TV. Thus, I convinced the wife to let me put the center on the stand as long as it is VERY stable.

RIGHT and LEFT:
These will most likely go on the built-ins if bookshelves (if I go with the CM5s, R300s, or Studio20s). The openings are 34" wide and 12.5" tall. The shelf height is adjustable if need be. Would it be better to put them further out towards the corners of the room or in closer to the TV? This will be replacing some very unstable floorstanding speakers (Rocket 750s) for something off of the floor in my new house. As you can see in the attached picture I have built in books shelves on the left and right. My other option would be some VERY stable floorstanding speakers. I checked out the B&W CM9s and I think they could work. The wide base at the bottom makes them quite sturdy.

SURROUNDS:
There are existing speakers in the ceiling. I have not been impressed with them. I took off the grills and they appear to be M&S SA-100 watt speakers. I will likely utilize the same cutouts in the ceiling and put in something else in there. Not sure yet.

SUB: Will stay with my SVS PB12-NSD
Receiver: Will stay with my Yamaha RX A-3000

Room: 10' ceilings. It is open to a kitchen/bar behind it (so quite deep) Windows all along on one side and the side of a stairwell and open hallway on the other. It has hardwood floors and we will be adding a big rug there soon.

Here is a picture of the front of the room:
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Here is a second picture of the room (before we moved in) showing the windows: liv_room.jpg
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