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Monoprice 3-way bookshelf Speaker's(PID 8251) for home Theater?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Title sum's it up pretty well. Considering putting together a very cost effective "entry level" Home theater system. I have read more than one review of people using Monoprice 3-way bookshelf speakers in 5.1 and 7.1 Home Theater System's(two or there pairs) and they rave about them but never include details about what sub and center channel they used.

I have heard them in 2.1 configuration with a small sub and they are very impressive for the price point, But I'm stuck with what center channel to match them with. The only reason I have not ordered 2 pair is because I'm unsure of what center to use them with.

Thanks for reading and any suggestions in advance.


Edit: totally forgot that the Receiver in this situation would be 100w per channel @ 8 ohms with a powered sub... sorry frown.gif
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm going to take the total scilence as an indication its a bad idea... smile.gif I'll explore other options for this set up.
post #3 of 12
In general, the best center channel for a pair of speakers is a third identical one. This is often hard to accomplish physically, so center speakers were born.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JD in NJ View Post

In general, the best center channel for a pair of speakers is a third identical one. This is often hard to accomplish physically, so center speakers were born.

Umm... That's what I'm asking. What Center Channel Speaker on the current market would make a decent match at a low price.

I understand what a center channel is and what its used for. Just not sure what specific speaker to use. Thank you.
post #5 of 12
Quote:
The only reason I have not ordered 2 pair is because I'm unsure of what center to use them with.

Thanks for reading and any suggestions in advance.
+1 to JD in NJ's suggestion: Use another one of the same speaker.

Otherwise, trying to match a CC speaker to those bookshelf speakers is pure trial-and-error. You could start with models that have a 4"-5" mid-bass driver and a 3/4" tweeter and go from there.

-- Edit --
One possible option is the Paradigm CC-170. There are currently a few of them on eBay.com. It's a decent CC speaker. No guarantee on how it will pair up with the Monoprice speakers, though.
Edited by eljaycanuck - 2/18/13 at 6:04am
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundOfKhaos View Post

Umm... That's what I'm asking. What Center Channel Speaker on the current market would make a decent match at a low price.

I understand what a center channel is and what its used for. Just not sure what specific speaker to use. Thank you.

As eljaycanuck said, I was gently urging you to use the same kind of speaker. Bookshelf speakers are a lot easier to fit into many people's center channel area than floorstanders, and if you can manage that it's certainly your best option.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

+1 to JD in NJ's suggestion: Use another one of the same speaker.

Otherwise, trying to match a CC speaker to those bookshelf speakers is pure trial-and-error. You could start with models that have a 4"-5" mid-bass driver and a 3/4" tweeter and go from there.

-- Edit --
One possible option is the Paradigm CC-170. There are currently a few of them on eBay.com. It's a decent CC speaker. No guarantee on how it will pair up with the Monoprice speakers, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JD in NJ View Post

As eljaycanuck said, I was gently urging you to use the same kind of speaker. Bookshelf speakers are a lot easier to fit into many people's center channel area than floorstanders, and if you can manage that it's certainly your best option.

Who would use a floor standing speaker as a center o.O seem's wrong lol.

while it would be cheap enough to order 3 set's of those monoprice speaker's and a sub for a system I can no place to put on as a center... These are pretty sizable speaker's, My entertainment center wouldn't support proper placement.

Thank you guys for your opinions and thoughts on the matter. Thought it was a long shot to find some one who has used them before, Wish the reviewer's listed their equipment and set up smile.gif

I'm looking at other options too. Still contemplating 2.1 vs 5.1 and what receiver to get.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Who would use a floor standing speaker as a center o.O seem's wrong lol.
If you've got an acoustically-transparent projection screen, a matching tower for CC duty is the best way to go.
Quote:
while it would be cheap enough to order 3 set's of those monoprice speaker's and a sub for a system I can no place to put on as a center... These are pretty sizable speaker's, My entertainment center wouldn't support proper placement.

Thank you guys for your opinions and thoughts on the matter. ... I'm looking at other options too. Still contemplating 2.1 vs 5.1 ...
If you can't fit a bookshelf speaker in the middle, then you need to look for a dedicated CC speaker but, as mentioned before, it'll be hit-and-miss. Try 2.1 and see if using a "phantom CC speaker" mode works for you. If not, see if you can put the TV on a riser in order to fit another bookshelf speaker below it.

Best of luck with your experimentation. smile.gif
Quote:
... and what receiver to get.
See if you can snag a deal on a Denon AVR-1612 like tshepp did.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

If you've got an acoustically-transparent projection screen, a matching tower for CC duty is the best way to go.
If you can't fit a bookshelf speaker in the middle, then you need to look for a dedicated CC speaker but, as mentioned before, it'll be hit-and-miss. Try 2.1 and see if using a "phantom CC speaker" mode works for you. If not, see if you can put the TV on a riser in order to fit another bookshelf speaker below it.

Best of luck with your experimentation. smile.gif
See if you can snag a deal on a Denon AVR-1612 like tshepp did.

Had no idea about using a Projection Screen. Thanks.

As far as finding a place to put a 3rd Monoprice 3 way won't happen. Moving my TV isn't an option. I cannot get the space below it with my current set up unless the TV is REALLY high off the ground(Wall mounted to entertainment center)

Not sure how I'm going to pull it off, Even thinking of just getting two semi nice tower speaker's and just going 2.0 or 2.1 with a small sub. I hate apartments lol. Thanks for your advice!
post #10 of 12
It's not that it's a bad question, it's just impossible to answer. The qualities that make a speaker sound like itself and no other are very, very difficult (if not impossible) to quantify. Even speakers that use the same drivers and crossovers sound different if you put them in different cabinets, or orient them differently, or move them closer or farther away from walls.

This is why we rely on speaker manufacturers to tell us which CC matches their other models. If Monoprice is mute on the subject, only someone who has listened extensively to the Monoprice bookshelfs with a variety of CCs would be able to give advice -- and I'm betting that person does not exist.

Maybe someone will discover the MP's drivers are actually the same as those in some other manufacturer's line (the way someone found the 5.1 MP system is a clone/copy/rebadging of the Energy Take) and then we might be able to make some inferences about what CC might match them.

But the way things work in the low-end Chinese market, there's no guarantee that even the identical model purchased three months from now would match a sample purchased today. They could be sourcing generic drivers based on price, for all we know.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

It's not that it's a bad question, it's just impossible to answer. The qualities that make a speaker sound like itself and no other are very, very difficult (if not impossible) to quantify. Even speakers that use the same drivers and crossovers sound different if you put them in different cabinets, or orient them differently, or move them closer or farther away from walls.

This is why we rely on speaker manufacturers to tell us which CC matches their other models. If Monoprice is mute on the subject, only someone who has listened extensively to the Monoprice bookshelfs with a variety of CCs would be able to give advice -- and I'm betting that person does not exist.

Maybe someone will discover the MP's drivers are actually the same as those in some other manufacturer's line (the way someone found the 5.1 MP system is a clone/copy/rebadging of the Energy Take) and then we might be able to make some inferences about what CC might match them.

But the way things work in the low-end Chinese market, there's no guarantee that even the identical model purchased three months from now would match a sample purchased today. They could be sourcing generic drivers based on price, for all we know.


Yea, I was kind of hoping for someone who has used them before would have seen this. I know it was a long shot lol. Like I said though I not set on using them was just a thought. Just in the processes of updating a VERY old Home theater system. The receiver is over 20 years old and the speaker's are about 15 years old or so. Still not even sure I'm going to settle on a more modern 5.1 system. a nice 2.1 would be more than enough for the small living room I have. Thanks!
post #12 of 12
This thread is about 12 months old now . . . but in all this time, other than saying the best center channel to use is the same type of speaker that you are using for the fronts and rears, no one has mentioned the following (simple) solution to your original question, which was, "what center channel should I use with the Monoprice bookshelf speakers?"

I would recommend, like others have already mentioned, since you are only trying to build a modest (inexpensive) surround sound set-up, and Monoprice speakers are so inexpensive, that you purchase 3 sets of bookshelf speakers (6 speakers total), and a monoprice sub. That will give you two fronts, two rears, a sub, and you can use one of the bookshelf speakers for the center (a 5.1 set up) by simply laying it on it's side, either under or over the TV.

But what to do with the extra speaker . . . I'll get to that in a second . . . please read on.

The monoprice bookshelf speakers have enough frequency range to do modestly to reasonable well as a center speaker (60 Hz to 20 kHz or 60 Hz to 20 kHz depending on which monoprice bookshelf speakers you purchase). And by adding the sub, well, compared to the old stereo system you've been using, you'll feel and think you're at an iMax Theater with full THX sound (but you won't be, sorry).

IMHO, this set up will work nicely, especially compared to the stereo sound you've been accustomed to hearing for the last 10 plus years.

But you wonder what to do with the left over speaker? Simple, put the remaining speaker in another small room, like a restroom, kitchen, hallway, etc., get a monoprice speaker selector switch (either PID #9995, 8229, or 8230), and connect the center channel to it. Then from the selector switch, connect to the center speaker, and the extra speaker in the hallway.

By doing this, you'll have the center channel sound, which carries all the spoken audio of a movie with minor background sounds, and all the spoken audio of music with the music mixed in, in the hallway or other small room (I have mine in a small washroom/bathroom combo). If you are like me, I get up sometime and run into the restroom but don't want to stop the movie, tv show, or music. But by having installed the lone speaker, and setting it up as a zone 2 with your speaker selector switch, you can hear it in the other room and not miss a beat of your favorite song, or television episode.

You can do all this for about $223 plus shipping from Monoprice (3 sets of speakers @ $30 a pair [$90), sub at $106, speaker selector $27).

This is an inexpensive solution, especially for speakers.

Having said all this . . . are there better speakers out there? Of course there are! But bang for buck, I think you'll be extremely satisfied with the set up I'm recommending (compared to what you've been listening to for the last 10 years).

But so you know, Monoprice does a have a 5.1 speaker package, too. However, take a look at the specs on that offering. The speakers frequencies are NOT as good as purchasing the individual monoprice bookshelf speakers and making your own 5.1 set up, and all for nearly, if not less, then the Premium 5.1 speaker package they are offering.

I have personally spoken to the Monoprice Tech department about this, and they have confirmed I am correct. The individual speakers DO have better specs, and do make a better 5.1 or 6.1 set up compared to the Premium 5.1 Speaker Package.

FYI . . . I am only suggesting any of this because you are looking for a simple inexpensive upgrade from an old stereo. if you have the money, or can save up, there are MANY companies that make wonderful speakers and audio products that would blow away anything I have suggested. But if you are looking to only upgrade from the old stereo in your house, you will be pleasantly pleased with the solution and sound of the products I have suggested above.

I should also say . . . I do NOT work for Monoprice . . . but I do have three audio set ups in my home, with 5 zones set up throughout the house. One AV/speakers set up is inexpensive, one is moderate, the last cost me more than any sensible man should spend on audio equipment for the size of my rooms. So I speak from hands on experience . . . if you have the cash, spend it on quality av equipment and speakers, but if you don't have the cash . . . you'll be pleased with the Monoprice speakers, really, you will.

On a personal note I'd like to say, be careful, once you get the speaker sickness you'll never be the same!

Quick story about getting the speaker sickness . . . . my wife, who thinks listening to music from the tiny speakers on her cell phone sounds good, thought I was nuts when I started to install all the audio stuff throughout the house. Then a few months went by, and she went to visit a friend. Her friend has a Home Theater in a Box set up. When she got home she said to me, "We watched a movie, and I couldn't believe how poor the sound quality was." I laughed so hard that I nearly fell off the chair . . . she looked at me and said, "What's so funny?"

Oh . . . and now she gets upset when the sound isn't just so when we watch a movie together. She's got the audio/speaker sickness.

Watch out, once you start on the road of speaker upgrades, you WILL be susceptible to the speaker sickness!
Edited by audioAVfan - 2/23/14 at 6:08pm
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