Center channel recommendation: light <$150 available ASAP w/ Paradigm Monitors - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-27-2017, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Center channel recommendation: light <$150 available ASAP w/ Paradigm Monitors

Looking for center channel speaker recommendation. As a stopgap, I bought a Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 Compact Center Speaker at BestBuy on Black Friday for $164. Looking to upgrade or get similar quality for lower price.

I live in Kenya and am in the US for one more week, so I have limited time to find something. Selection in Kenya is super limited and expensive, as you might imagine. I moved a portion of my US inventory with me and am trying to do a feasible upgrade.

Basic specs looking for:
- reasonably cheap: approx under $150 - 175: I'll probably sell it there when I move back and don't think there's a deep resale market

- pretty lightweight: 15 lbs max; preferrably under 10 lbs; will take it in my suitcase and have limited excess pounds

- lower height dimensions: no specifics specs; just looking for something not too tall

- paired with Paradigm mini-monitors v7 bookshelves: I'm not looking for to match them as it's not feasible. I already have a matching 28 lb monitor center channel I'm storing here. Maybe an older version paradigm center channel on ebay might be better than other brands?

- need to get it by next Wed Dec 6th. That means my ability to bid on ebay is limited.

- time is limited; won't have too much time to do extensive research or even test product (parents, where I am staying, don't have a receiver)

- My receiver is a decent entry / mid-level Onkyo 7.1 with enough power for what I need (don't remember model # or specs)

Any suggestions? I realize the weight constraint will limit potential quality.

Since I'm not matching the exact bookshelves, is there a certain best bang-per-buck, more compact center channel that is recognized? Maybe more mass-market brand vs. Paradigm? Should I look for an older, smaller, cheaper Paradigm center on ebay? I saw something from the cinema line, which I know nothing about.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-28-2017, 08:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navimag View Post
Looking for center channel speaker recommendation. As a stopgap, I bought a Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 Compact Center Speaker at BestBuy on Black Friday for $164. Looking to upgrade or get similar quality for lower price.

I live in Kenya and am in the US for one more week, so I have limited time to find something. Selection in Kenya is super limited and expensive, as you might imagine. I moved a portion of my US inventory with me and am trying to do a feasible upgrade.

Basic specs looking for:
- reasonably cheap: approx under $150 - 175: I'll probably sell it there when I move back and don't think there's a deep resale market

- pretty lightweight: 15 lbs max; preferrably under 10 lbs; will take it in my suitcase and have limited excess pounds

- lower height dimensions: no specifics specs; just looking for something not too tall

- paired with Paradigm mini-monitors v7 bookshelves: I'm not looking for to match them as it's not feasible. I already have a matching 28 lb monitor center channel I'm storing here. Maybe an older version paradigm center channel on ebay might be better than other brands?

- need to get it by next Wed Dec 6th. That means my ability to bid on ebay is limited.

- time is limited; won't have too much time to do extensive research or even test product (parents, where I am staying, don't have a receiver)

- My receiver is a decent entry / mid-level Onkyo 7.1 with enough power for what I need (don't remember model # or specs)

Any suggestions? I realize the weight constraint will limit potential quality.

Since I'm not matching the exact bookshelves, is there a certain best bang-per-buck, more compact center channel that is recognized? Maybe more mass-market brand vs. Paradigm? Should I look for an older, smaller, cheaper Paradigm center on ebay? I saw something from the cinema line, which I know nothing about.

Thanks!
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-28-2017, 08:17 AM
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Best option under $200:
https://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F.../dp/B0015A8Y3E

Even though it's got 6.5" woofers, the sealed design makes for a compact cabinet. About 18lbs though.
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~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-28-2017, 09:23 AM
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If you can handle the weight -- the JBL Arena center would be my choice, and a good option to work with your Paradigm
https://www.amazon.com/JBL-Arena-125...l+arena+center

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post #5 of 9 Old 11-28-2017, 09:41 AM
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NHT Super one 2.1. Turn it sideways as a center. Well within budget and weighs 9lbs or 10 lbs boxed weight.
https://www.amazon.com/NHT-SuperOne-...ds=nht+speaker
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-28-2017, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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NHT Super one 2.1. Turn it sideways as a center. Well within budget and weighs 9lbs or 10 lbs boxed weight.
https://www.amazon.com/NHT-SuperOne-...ds=nht+speaker
Great, thanks for the ideas.

Need to do some weight calcs to see if I can stretch for an 18 lb option. If not, NHT definitely helps in that category.

Just to confirm - I assume these would be better than the speaker I purchased as a standby (see link below)? And also better than an older Paradigm center, say cinema series?

For reference, this is the Def Tech speaker I purchased as a standby: https://www.amazon.com/Definitive-Te...Center+Speaker
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-28-2017, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navimag View Post
For reference, this is the Def Tech speaker I purchased as a standby: https://www.amazon.com/Definitive-Te...Center+Speaker
Yes, the SuperOne would be better...other options for buying a single TM bookshelf for center use:
  • Ascend CBM-170SE
  • Hsu HB-1
  • Wavecrest HVL-1

The advantage of buying those 3 instead of the NHT is that you can call up the company and ask them to pre-rotate the tweeter for horizontal placement (unless you're going to use it vertically).

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-28-2017, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Yes, the SuperOne would be better...other options for buying a single TM bookshelf for center use:
  • Ascend CBM-170SE
  • Hsu HB-1
  • Wavecrest HVL-1

The advantage of buying those 3 instead of the NHT is that you can call up the company and ask them to pre-rotate the tweeter for horizontal placement (unless you're going to use it vertically).
Super helpful. Thanks again.

Will there be much difference between the NHT SuperOne and the Hsu / Ascend / Wavecrest options?

The NHT is a little lighter and therefore preferable all else equal, but I really liked the Hsu sub I previously owned and wonder if it'd be worth the extra weight to buy the Hsu option (or Ascend or Wavecrest if those are better)?
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-29-2017, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navimag View Post
Will there be much difference between the NHT SuperOne and the Hsu / Ascend / Wavecrest options? The NHT is a little lighter and therefore preferable all else equal, but I really liked the Hsu sub I previously owned and wonder if it'd be worth the extra weight to buy the Hsu option (or Ascend or Wavecrest if those are better)?
Depends on how picky you are, really. If you want maximum accuracy and detail, I'd pick the Ascend. Both the Hsu and Wavecrest are known to have a slight treble roll off which makes them preferable to those who are sensitive to high frequencies and want a bit of "warmth," esp. during music...such ears might find the NHT to be slightly "bright." The Ascend would probably be the safest choice because it's consistently described as "neutral" which its measurements confirm.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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