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Recommendation on choosing a center speaker

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have a question for audiophiles concerning center speakers. I've got DALI Zensor 7 fronts and I like then quite much but it's now time to replace the JBL ES25C center I bought cheap. I've been reading on this forum and others about the importance (or is it?) of getting the center of the same line as the fronts.

The Dali Zensor line has a center speaker, Zensor Vokal, but I find it lacking in size. It's just a little puppy compared to the fronts and I really want the center to be bigger. I've been looking at the Paradigm CC-290 or CC-390 (quite big). Now I've got two questions, is it really that important to have the center from the same line/brand? And would the Dali fronts and Paradigm centers fit together?

Dali Zensor 7 information
Dali Zensor Vokal information
post #2 of 29
Dual 5.25" woofers in a center speaker really isn't considered small.

If timbre matching is important to you then go this route instead of buying the Paradigm speakers unless you can try the Paradigms at home and can return for full refund if you don't like the way they sound.

Does Dali make a larger center in a different product line? Not really familiar with their speakers.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Dual 5.25" woofers in a center speaker really isn't considered small.
But they feel so small, Zensor Vokal is WxHxD = 17.3 x 6.3 x 11.33. The Paradigm CC-290 is WxHxD = 26.75 x 7.8 x 11.5. Or does the size not matter so much?
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

Does Dali make a larger center in a different product line? Not really familiar with their speakers.
They produce other centers like Ikon Vokal 2 MK2 but then I could easily get the Paradigm at the same price. I'll try to get the store who carries the Paradigm to loan them to me. But then again, most of the guys here are easily more qualified and more learned in center and front configurations than me smile.gif

Link for the Ikon Vokal 2 MK2
Specs for Paradigm CC-290
post #4 of 29
Gotta ask:

Any chance you can accommodate a 3rd Zensor 7 in your center spot?
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vygnyr View Post

But they feel so small, Zensor Vokal is WxHxD = 17.3 x 6.3 x 11.33. The Paradigm CC-290 is WxHxD = 26.75 x 7.8 x 11.5. Or does the size not matter so much?
They produce other centers like Ikon Vokal 2 MK2 but then I could easily get the Paradigm at the same price. I'll try to get the store who carries the Paradigm to loan them to me. But then again, most of the guys here are easily more qualified and more learned in center and front configurations than me smile.gif

Link for the Ikon Vokal 2 MK2
Specs for Paradigm CC-290

But the center speaker is going in your home and you're going to be the best one to judge how it sounds in there. We're not going to hear your setup.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Gotta ask:

Any chance you can accommodate a 3rd Zensor 7 in your center spot?

^^ this would be best. Then the Zensor 5.

Then Vokal would be next best or maybe even the Zensor 1.

The Paradigm below that (timbre matching IS important)

...that being said, I do like the fact that the Paradigm has a dedicated midrange; just not one that timbre matches your mains
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Gotta ask:
Any chance you can accommodate a 3rd Zensor 7 in your center spot?
Well, I would have to change the whole setup I'd have to check that out. Is it recommended having the same speaker as a center speaker?
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

But the center speaker is going in your home and you're going to be the best one to judge how it sounds in there. We're not going to hear your setup.
Ah, touché! smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

^^ this would be best. Then the Zensor 5.
Then Vokal would be next best or maybe even the Zensor 1.
The Paradigm below that (timbre matching IS important)
...that being said, I do like the fact that the Paradigm has a dedicated midrange; just not one that timbre matches your mains
What about the size of the Vokal vs. the Paradigms? There is so much difference in size and I feel the Vokal isn't "big enough". Or is that just a misunderstanding of my part?
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vygnyr View Post

Is it recommended having the same speaker as a center speaker?

I'd say if possible, yes.  I know a guy who's got seven identical speakers in his room (Klipsch LaScalas, so they are not small by any stretch)

 

The sound is out of this world.....utterly seamless.

post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vygnyr View Post

Is it recommended having the same speaker as a center speaker?

IF you can accommodate it, definitely.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
I'm gonna try out the Zensor 5 as a center speaker and then the Vokal center. Thank you guys for the help!
post #12 of 29
I will soon be running a 2.1 system, once my SVS SB-1000 gets delivered. Right now, I have a Yamaha RX-1065 receiver and two B&W 685s on 25" stands. Can I get a 3.1 system going without going surround? If so, any recommendations that would fit with what I have right now?
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude74 View Post

I will soon be running a 2.1 system, once my SVS SB-1000 gets delivered. Right now, I have a Yamaha RX-1065 receiver and two B&W 685s on 25" stands. Can I get a 3.1 system going without going surround? If so, any recommendations that would fit with what I have right now?
The best center channel for your setup is another 685.
post #14 of 29
Bigger is not always better especially for center speakers with the usual craptastic MTM layout of drivers. Go with a vertical bookshelf in the same line if you can't fit a matching tower. You can thank me after you are hearing crystal clear dialogue.
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by csgamer View Post

Bigger is not always better especially for center speakers with the usual craptastic MTM layout of drivers. Go with a vertical bookshelf in the same line if you can't fit a matching tower. You can thank me after you are hearing crystal clear dialogue.
What about getting the Vokal Center from Dali, because it's smaller than the Zensor 5 and bigger than Zensor 1, and just having it vertically?
post #16 of 29
Yeah, I'm not looking for anything too big. Finding a single 685 will be difficult, no?
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vygnyr View Post

What about getting the Vokal Center from Dali, because it's smaller than the Zensor 5 and bigger than Zensor 1, and just having it vertically?
No. Go with the bookshelf placed vertically. Placement is everything. Bookshelf tweeter will be higher than mtm tweeter when placed vertically. Plus tm has flatter frequency and better off axis than mtm. Plus that center was designed for horizontal. Tm bookshelf or tower is the best option for you in my opinion.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude74 View Post

Yeah, I'm not looking for anything too big. Finding a single 685 will be difficult, no?
Feel free to compromise. Your best option was given to you, you can choose to follow or get by with lesser quality
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude74 View Post

Can I get a 3.1 system going without going surround?

What are you asking, exactly?
post #20 of 29
Quote:
I will soon be running a 2.1 system ... I have a Yamaha RX-1065 receiver and two B&W 685s ... Can I get a 3.1 system going without going surround?
If you want to, yes.
Quote:
If so, any recommendations that would fit with what I have right now?
+1 to crn3371's recommendation that you use another 685.
Quote:
Finding a single 685 will be difficult, no?
Buy a pair, use one as a CC speaker, and:
- keep the other one as a spare;
- use it a rear-center speaker in a 6.1-channel set-up; or
- sell it.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

What are you asking, exactly?

Without having to configure to surround. I'm in stereo mode right now.
post #22 of 29
Maybe I'll wait on a center speaker. Probably not necessary right now...
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vygnyr View Post

What about getting the Vokal Center from Dali, because it's smaller than the Zensor 5 and bigger than Zensor 1, and just having it vertically?

Well, you could probably do that but I thought you were unhappy with the size of that speaker. It'd probably perform better vertically but it is still the same size. smile.gif

Sounds like you can't accommodate another Z7 but you might be able to accommodate a Z5. If so, I;d give that a shot.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dude74 View Post

Without having to configure to surround. I'm in stereo mode right now.

Is your receiver a stereo receiver or an AVR? If it is an AVR, you configure it similarly to how you configure a 2.0 or 2.1 system except as 3.1.
post #25 of 29
dude74, in all fairness to the OP you should really start your own thread. I read through this thread and can't tell what speaker system we're talking about.
post #26 of 29
Thread Starter 
Double post.
Edited by vygnyr - 5/26/13 at 1:56pm
post #27 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Any chance you can accommodate a 3rd Zensor 7 in your center spot?
Quote:
Originally Posted by rick240 View Post

^^ this would be best. Then the Zensor 5.
Quote:
Originally Posted by coytee View Post

I'd say if possible, yes.  I know a guy who's got seven identical speakers in his room (Klipsch LaScalas, so they are not small by any stretch)

I'm currently trying out the Zensor 5 as a center speaker and it's way better as the center than the Vokal center. I'm gonna order a single Zensor 5 but I've got one question: the speakers are labeled A and B. Which do I use as the center, or is there any difference?
post #28 of 29
Its the same speaker, doesn't matter if you use A or B.
post #29 of 29

I am new to all of this so this may sound like a silly question, is there any rule of thumb for placing a center speaker. I am working with a entertainment stand with fixed shelves, varying distance between shelves 8-10". I have this in a small room with the klipsch quintet that fit in this unit with out the clutter. I guess my question is if I was going to upgrade to say a large bookshelf or floor standing speakers of front  and matching the center to the mains do I need a certain amount of clearance for the center speaker to breathe? will these overheat being in a somewhat confined space for instance will a polk cs20 work on the lower shelf

 

 

 

Thanks

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