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Center Speaker Recommendation?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I've worked with car audio for years but am a home theater newbie! I'm looking for some solid center channel speaker recommendations - currently, I have a Yamaha YHT-399 HTIB (budget buy) and the included NS-AP2600BL center speaker sounds a bit loose and boxy.

My budget is ~$100 and I'm just looking to improve on this stock underperformer!

Thanks!
post #2 of 27
The best center is matching it with the left and right front speakers if possible. Space is usually the reason people have to use horizontal centers. Keeping your speakers vertical and matching all 3 across the front will give you the best sound, IMO.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderDelarg View Post

The best center is matching it with the left and right front speakers if possible. Space is usually the reason people have to use horizontal centers. Keeping your speakers vertical and matching all 3 across the front will give you the best sound, IMO.

 

This is exactly right.  You want a sound that pans across the front to not change tonal quality as it pans across the front, and the way to achieve that is by using identical speakers across the front.  The next best is "voice matched" speakers across the front.

post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ahhh I see.
My L/R speakers are almost near the top of the TV, slightly above ear level, while my center is below the TV, much below ear level.. I'm not sure how to achieve this. I could place the center in front of the TV, but it blocks the IR receiver on the front of the TV! Wish they made some sort of small stand that the TV could sit on whilst on top of the bigger stand...
post #5 of 27
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Those are pretty awesome! But if I move it on top of the TV, it would be even higher than my L/R speakers..
post #7 of 27
I have that mount, it is great, i have a 20# speaker on it. and having you center a little higher is not a big deal.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanderson View Post

Those are pretty awesome! But if I move it on top of the TV, it would be even higher than my L/R speakers..

 



centers can be higher or lower than the L/R. The center just needs to be tilted towards the listener.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderDelarg View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by clanderson View Post

Those are pretty awesome! But if I move it on top of the TV, it would be even higher than my L/R speakers..

 



centers can be higher or lower than the L/R. The center just needs to be tilted towards the listener.

and that mount allows you to tilt the speaker, i have mine at full tilt, my wife was worried the speaker would slide off. the mount comes with an anti slip pad.
post #10 of 27
Also. that is a small center you have - this is bigger
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-NS-C210BL-Bass-Reflex-Center-Speaker/dp/B002JCSG2Q/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1389120897&sr=8-2&keywords=yamaha+center

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA3BY14P6855
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 


Wow guys, thanks for all of the helpful replies and suggestions, your input helps so much!
Andnd Zieg, that's actually the speaker I had in mind to replace my current one with. It's the same manufacturer, but seems a little better quality.
My center seems way worse sounding than my matching L/R and surround speakers.
Edited by clanderson - 1/7/14 at 7:09pm
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanderson View Post

Ahhh I see.
My L/R speakers are almost near the top of the TV, slightly above ear level, while my center is below the TV, much below ear level.. I'm not sure how to achieve this. I could place the center in front of the TV, but it blocks the IR receiver on the front of the TV! Wish they made some sort of small stand that the TV could sit on whilst on top of the bigger stand...

 

It is best if they are at the same level (that is, typically, one would want the tweeters at the same level), but some variance is generally regarded as acceptable.  I personally use three identical bookshelf speakers for the front, at almost exactly the same height, with the TV above.  But one does what one can, and how much deviation from perfection one is willing to accept plays a big part in this.

post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
So now we've come full circle! Hahaha. My speaker positioning isn't optimal, but it's definitely acceptable - so would that bigger Yamaha center make a difference in SQ?
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanderson View Post

So now we've come full circle! Hahaha. My speaker positioning isn't optimal, but it's definitely acceptable - so would that bigger Yamaha center make a difference in SQ?

A better quality center is, all else being equal, better.  If it is a poor match for the right and left speakers, then it might be better, overall, to have a worse center that matches the right and left, but otherwise, a better center is always better than a worse center.  Of course, there is also the issue of whether something is enough better to justify the price.  For that, I suggest you listen and decide for yourself.  It is you who will listen, and you who will pay, so it is your opinion that matters on this issue.

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Opinions on NS-C210BL vs NS-C444?
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
bump!
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanderson View Post

bump!

The NS-C444 is better and you can build around it in the future.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/YAMNS333/YAMAHA-NS-333-5-2-Way-150-Watts-Bookshelf-Speaker-Pr.-Black/1.html
Edited by zieglj01 - 1/9/14 at 4:40pm
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

The NS-C444 is better and you can build around it in the future.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/YAMNS333/YAMAHA-NS-333-5-2-Way-150-Watts-Bookshelf-Speaker-Pr.-Black/1.html


Very good point! But speaking of the future, would it be better to get this HTD L2 for around the same price? I've heard great things about them!
Maybe getting the HTD L2 would be best, so I could upgrade my L/R speakers to L2 or L3s down the road... You folks have me thinking!
Edited by clanderson - 1/9/14 at 6:27pm
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanderson View Post

Very good point! But speaking of the future, would it be better to get this HTD L2 for around the same price? I've heard great things about them!
Maybe getting the HTD L2 would be best, so I could upgrade my L/R speakers to L2 or L3s down the road... You folks have me thinking!

Maybe buy the Level Two speakers first - and run phantom center - they will have
a 10% off sale starting Jan 24. Then save up for the center channel.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking the HTD L2 right now, but does anybody have any other suggestions? I want to build around this speaker, and if I get the L2 I'll be committing to an HTD system.
So! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanderson View Post

I'm thinking the HTD L2 right now, but does anybody have any other suggestions? I want to build around this speaker, and if I get the L2 I'll be committing to an HTD system.
So! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


I think the HTD L2 would be a great choice, i auditioned several speakers and ended up with them.

however all speakers sound different and some feel the cambridge S70 or S30 is better for them.

with the 30 day guarantee it is risk free to try them. their customer service is top notch.


one reminder is that if you get the L2 center you have to stay with the L2 for L/R. i do think the L3 center is better than the L2 and difference in price is only $70. then later you could get the L3 bookshelves for L/R.
post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 
I would definitely consider the L3, but I have about 7.25" of height where I'm placing this speaker, and the L2 is almost exactly that; unfortunately the L3 is 8.25".
But I'm glad to see a satisfied L2 owner!
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by clanderson View Post

I would definitely consider the L3, but I have about 7.25" of height where I'm placing this speaker, and the L2 is almost exactly that; unfortunately the L3 is 8.25".
But I'm glad to see a satisfied L2 owner!

the reason i mentioned it is you said in a eariler post that later on you would get the L2 or L3 L/R. you have to stick with L2 if you get a L2 center...

enjoy!
post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 
Ahhh I see. I actually thought I'd get the L3 L/R, but that's a problem? I've seen others do this, but are you saying they're not a good match for eachother?
post #25 of 27
different tweeters, different sound. and if others are doing this it is not an ideal solution. you always should match the front three with the same series line.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark62 View Post

different tweeters, different sound. and if others are doing this it is not an ideal solution. you always should match the front three with the same series line.

 

Yep, and try to have the same exact speaker for all three across the front. Try to avoid a horizontal center unless you must have one due to space constraints.

post #27 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody - big help. There is no real benefit for a matching subwoofer, correct? I'm striving for a BIC PL-200.
But as for the speakers, I believe the L2s would be perfect for me.
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