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post #1 of 43 Old 12-02-2018, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Smallish center speaker to match DT ProMonitor 800 mains?

Due to space and WAF constraints, I am currently limited to using fairly small speakers in my TV setup. I've been getting by with just a 2.1 setup for the past few years, using a pair of DefTech ProMonitor 800 mains, but I am itching to add a center channel now. Common wisdom would suggest I go with ProCenter 1000 for best timbre matching, and that's what I'm currently leaning toward, but I've read some reviews that clarity isn't really the greatest on this speaker, so before I get it, is there anything else I should possibly consider that might still "jive" well with my current DT ProMonitor 800 mains? I don't mind it being wider than the ProCenter 1000, but I really don't have space for anything taller than about 5"-5.5".

I've seen some positive reviews on Polk SC35 for example, but again, timbre matching could be an issue.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 43 Old 12-02-2018, 03:44 PM
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Not sure what to suggest but...

Also had a pair of ProMonitor 800 running a 2.1 system for years. Also decided to add the ProCenter 1000 speaker.

It sounded way too flat for my taste.

Sold it one week later.
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post #3 of 43 Old 12-02-2018, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
I've seen some positive reviews on Polk SC35 for example, but again, timbre matching could be an issue.
Would you rather have a speaker that satisfies the "timbre match" folklore, or one that (gasp!) allows you to actually UNDERSTAND DIALOGUE easily, without needing to turn the volume up and down?

Unfortunately, a 5.5" height maximum condemns you to mostly substandard centers.

This one is 6" tall and at least gives you free return shipping in case it completely sucks:
https://rslspeakers.com/products/cg2...enter-channel/

Otherwise, you can try your luck with the Martin Logan 8i or 8 from Crutchfield.com which will have a $10 flat rate return shipping fee. Amazon should carry those too, and some people report them being very generous with return shipping. The MLs' folded ribbon tweeter might redeem the undersized woofers.

Keep in mind that the center channel does 80% of the HT output, so THIS is what you're mainly hearing when watching movies or TV. It is IMO the *last* place you should ever cut corners in any HT setup...I would do whatever it takes to get a decent sized and competent center speaker in there, short of divorcing your spouse. Maybe.

~ 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 43 Old 12-02-2018, 03:51 PM
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5.5 inches high -- NHT SuperCenter -- and a lot of people like it
https://www.amazon.com/NHT-Super-Cen...ds=supercenter

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post #5 of 43 Old 12-02-2018, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
Due to space and WAF constraints, I am currently limited to using fairly small speakers in my TV setup. I've been getting by with just a 2.1 setup for the past few years, using a pair of DefTech ProMonitor 800 mains, but I am itching to add a center channel now. Common wisdom would suggest I go with ProCenter 1000 for best timbre matching, and that's what I'm currently leaning toward, but I've read some reviews that clarity isn't really the greatest on this speaker, so before I get it, is there anything else I should possibly consider that might still "jive" well with my current DT ProMonitor 800 mains?
I used to own the PC1000 ... clarity is actually fine with it, assuming you aren't sitting that far away or it's a giant livingroom. But to achieve that clarity it's bright, won't sound so great musically and won't handle male voices accurately. It should match the Deftech 800s, but I'm not so sure that's a good thing in this case. The PC2000 would be better, still with some flaws, but better than the PC1000... probably too tall for you though.

You'd probably like the Motion 8 better than the Procenter 1000, just that it won't be an exact match and is sort of pricey new. And I like the NHT idea, even though I've never even heard it before... but I'd guess it'd have to be better than the Procenter 1000.

If you want a speaker right-away and are concerned about matching, run up to BB, buy the Polk S35 (pricematch to amazon at $209) and test it out. If no good, easy return. It sounded okay in the store when I tried it ... kind of boxy sounding though. But I think most speakers that size will have a similar issue.

If you can go to 6", the RSL mentioned is an option, as would be the Qacoustics 3090ci.

As for speaker space, is the issue that it won't fit in a cubby or would block the TV? If the latter, there sometimes are simple ways to raise the TV a bit, get you to normal sized (or at least not tiny) centers.
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post #6 of 43 Old 12-02-2018, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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As for speaker space, is the issue that it won't fit in a cubby or would block the TV? If the latter, there sometimes are simple ways to raise the TV a bit, get you to normal sized (or at least not tiny) centers.
<br />
It would block the TV, so yes, theoretically I could get a center large enough to make the TV stand on it. It's an old 55" lcd TV, so it's somewhat heavy.
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theoretically I could get a center large enough to make the TV stand on it. It's an old 55" lcd TV, so it's somewhat heavy.
There are a number of big beefy center speakers weighing close to 30lbs which could easily support even those older LCDs. (A truly old CRT would on the other hand be an interesting experiment, lol.) Examples:

Chane A2.4
Emotiva C2 or C1
Ascend 340SE

If you're afraid that would place the TV too high, there are 3 other options:

1. Put the center on a wheeled cart that can be easily rolled out of the way whenever the fireplace is being used. Something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Luxor-LP26-B-...led+media+cart

2. Get a center speaker stand and put the center just in front of the media stand, like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Sanus-SFC22-B...+speaker+stand

3. Use 3 compact, sealed-cabinet bookshelf speakers (e.g. NHT SuperOnes or Ascend 200SE) that can be easily wall mounted ABOVE the TV, tilted downwards towards the main listening position.

~ 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 43 Old 12-02-2018, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. Yeah, I may grab one of these big Klipsch centers (like the RP-504C) from Best Buy just to see what it would look like with the TV on top of it - wife is already concerned about the aesthetics of it.

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post #9 of 43 Old 12-02-2018, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
<br />
It would block the TV, so yes, theoretically I could get a center large enough to make the TV stand on it. It's an old 55" lcd TV, so it's somewhat heavy.

There are other options too. Like a riser:
http://www.syracusetvrisers.com/
(amazon has cheaper models too)

Or do-it-yourself -- use some pieces of wood, depending on tv stand layout. And if you just need an extra inch or so, a little cheap swivel stand might work (although depth may be an issue).
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post #10 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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If you want a speaker right-away and are concerned about matching, run up to BB, buy the Polk S35 (pricematch to amazon at $209) and test it out. If no good, easy return. It sounded okay in the store when I tried it ... kind of boxy sounding though. But I think most speakers that size will have a similar issue.
I ended up doing this yesterday. I think it looks OK, but wife is not happy. She would prefer all speakers are hidden out of sight.

From a sound perspective, I think it's only a marginal improvement over not having a center channel speaker at all and just using my L/R mains alone. As you stated, the small size is going to limit the sound. I'd really like something that extends a bit lower into frequency range.

I could try a larger center so that the TV could stand on it, but then I will not be able to align the front of the speaker with the front of the TV cart/stand, and I fear that's going to have a very negative impact on sound.

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Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
From a sound perspective, I think it's only a marginal improvement over not having a center channel speaker at all and just using my L/R mains alone. As you stated, the small size is going to limit the sound. I'd really like something that extends a bit lower into frequency range.

I could try a larger center so that the TV could stand on it, but then I will not be able to align the front of the speaker with the front of the TV cart/stand, and I fear that's going to have a very negative impact on sound.
Yep, the S35 is known for decent voice clarity but at the expense of tonal fullness due to the tiny drivers. Similar to the BIC FH6-LCR which has 6.5" drivers but a sealed cabinet.

I would take a larger center with non-ideal placement than a smaller one like the S35 though.

If you can swing this without getting divorced, it'd be worth it IMO:
https://emotiva.com/collections/loud...ts/airmotiv-c2

8.5" height but you get luscious 45Hz extension, as good as many towers, and that glorious AMT detail...plus at 35lbs it'd easily support your older LCD.

~ 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 #12 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
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8.5" height but you get luscious 45Hz extension, as good as many towers,
A side question here. Say I use this center (or similar) and set my cross-over to the sub on my HT receiver at 60 Hz, but my L/R mains can't produce anything close to this low, what happens then? Will I have a big frequency range gap on my L/R channels then?

Or would I set the center to "large" and then set the cross-over point according to what my L/R speakers can handle?

BTW, I wish the C2 was deeper. The base of my TV is 12" deep, so it's going to stick out past the center speaker and look weird - I can already see WAF getting big penalty points there. I was thinking of getting the Klipsch RP-504C from BestBuy to try, so that I can return it easily if it doesn't work out.

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post #13 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
I ended up doing this yesterday. I think it looks OK, but wife is not happy. She would prefer all speakers are hidden out of sight.

From a sound perspective, I think it's only a marginal improvement over not having a center channel speaker at all and just using my L/R mains alone. As you stated, the small size is going to limit the sound. I'd really like something that extends a bit lower into frequency range.

I could try a larger center so that the TV could stand on it, but then I will not be able to align the front of the speaker with the front of the TV cart/stand, and I fear that's going to have a very negative impact on sound.
If you get a chance, maybe post a pic here of your setup and we'll see if there could be some workarounds.

Phantom center is a viable option, just try to pick one viewing spot. Multiple spots + phantom doesn't work as well.

As for aligning with the front of the TV cart, do you mean the speaker will lean over the edge of the cart (so depth is an issue)? A little leanover isn't a bad thing, it's actually good ... you want the center to edge a bit over the cart/stand. Just don't go crazy with it and have the thing at risk of toppling over.
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post #14 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
A side question here. Say I use this center (or similar) and set my cross-over to the sub on my HT receiver at 60 Hz, but my L/R mains can't produce anything close to this low, what happens then? Will I have a big frequency range gap on my L/R channels then?

Or would I set the center to "large" and then set the cross-over point according to what my L/R speakers can handle?
Usually AVRs let you set crossover for l/rs separately from center and surrounds.

So as an example: l/rs would get set to 80, center to 60, surrounds to 90-100.

Edit: forgot you were using def tech 800s for a second... probably better to set those closer to 100, at least.
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post #15 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Usually AVRs let you set crossover for l/rs separately from center and surrounds.

So as an example: l/rs would get set to 80, center to 60, surrounds to 90-100.

Edit: forgot you were using def tech 800s for a second... probably better to set those closer to 100, at least.
I guess my receiver is not sophisticated enough. It only gives me one crossover setting. It's an older Yamaha RX-V471.

When using the DefTech 800s, I had the crossover set to 120 Hz. That's what the YPAO suggested.

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If you get a chance, maybe post a pic here of your setup and we'll see if there could be some workarounds.

Camera
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Focal Length
20mm

Aperture
f/6.3

Exposure
1.3s

ISO
100






Quote:
As for aligning with the front of the TV cart, do you mean the speaker will lean over the edge of the cart (so depth is an issue)?
No, the opposite. I will not be able to bring it all the way to the front of the cart because it'll look weird with it (and the TV) being set forward so much.

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post #17 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 11:44 AM
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A side question here. Say I use this center (or similar) and set my cross-over to the sub on my HT receiver at 60 Hz, but my L/R mains can't produce anything close to this low, what happens then? Will I have a big frequency range gap on my L/R channels then?
I doubt it would be an issue since the center mainly does dialogue, while the L/R mainly does music and effects during HT.

However, it's fair to say that the only drawback to getting a competent full size center like the C2 is that you might feel compelled to upgrade your L/R as well, though.

~ 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 #18 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 11:51 AM
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Nice photo and setup!

Actually, with the L/R being that close together, maybe a phantom center is not a bad idea after all---in that case I would upgrade the L/R speakers. Those itty bitty sats might please your wife but they just aren't gonna cut it if decent performance is what you're after.

Good compact wife pleasing options would be the NHT SuperOne ($116 each off Amazon) and Ascend 200SE (about $330 shipped a pair). The NHT has a very elegant finish your wife would like, while the 200SE is rather plain though more compact.

There's also the RSL CG23, these are narrow glossy speakers which if stood up on either side of your TV might be the highest WAF option though, and they come with free return shipping:
https://rslspeakers.com/products/cg2...enter-channel/

PS. I'm assuming there is a subwoofer somewhere in the room? If not, this is an equally urgent priority.

~ 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 #19 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 12:08 PM
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I guess my receiver is not sophisticated enough. It only gives me one crossover setting. It's an older Yamaha RX-V471.

When using the DefTech 800s, I had the crossover set to 120 Hz. That's what the YPAO suggested.

That's kind of a weird AVR. It has YPAO, supports Dolby HD, but doesn't allow separate crossovers? It's like a car with a fancy engine but no steering wheel.

As Zorba mentioned, those little def techs do look awfully tiny. Upgrading those wouldn't be the worst idea. And I sure hope you have a semi-decent sub there, or you are missing a lot of lower frequencies.

Qacoustic 3020is are another model that tends to pass the wife test. Even polk signatures (s15s) don't look too bad and are reasonably cheap. You'd need to check their length though, make sure they actually fit.
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post #20 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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As Zorba mentioned, those little def techs do look awfully tiny. Upgrading those wouldn't be the worst idea. And I sure hope you have a semi-decent sub there, or you are missing a lot of lower frequencies.
Unfortunately, nothing larger than these DT 800s will fit next to the TV, and I can't have stands because our 3-year-old and his friends would knock them over, and no chance of getting towers either. I do have a sub. It hides behind some stuff, so that's why the wife did not object.

I realize this setup is full of compromises. It was meant to be a temporary setup, but it's now been some 4 years. As much as it pains me, I might just ditch the center speaker idea and go back to what I had. You've got to pick your battles, as they say. Hopefully one day I will have a more proper HT setup.

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Unfortunately, nothing larger than these DT 800s will fit next to the TV, and I can't have stands because our 3-year-old and his friends would knock them over, and no chance of getting towers either. I do have a sub. It hides behind some stuff, so that's why the wife did not object.

I realize this setup is full of compromises. It was meant to be a temporary setup, but it's now been some 4 years. As much as it pains me, I might just ditch the center speaker idea and go back to what I had. You've got to pick your battles, as they say. Hopefully one day I will have a more proper HT setup.
A pair of RSL CG23s (or 3x) should fit. Set up a pair horizontally to the sides, like Zorba mentioned, and the center in front of the TV. Requires about 6" in height in front, so if short an inch, just buy a cheap $35 swivel stand or something like that for an extra inch.

Another option, which I don't tend to recommend automatically due to price, but since you have both height + aesthetic requirements, Martin Logans. LX16 (if you can fit them) + Motion 8. A little pricey, and center isn't an optimal size, but they do look pretty snazzy. I'm seeing about 6.5" in width on the ML 16s, so it looks like they should fit (assuming I am seeing the correct specs). Based on your pics, it looks like you have just enough space for them. If you consider them, measure exact available space... looks like you need an extra 2" in width on each side compared to the def techs.

If unsure, BB sells MLs, but probably the more expensive motion 15s (which are the same as the LX16s, just minor aesthetic differences). Could be used as a 'size/see if it fits' test though, unless BB will pricematch LX16s against them (one person here said his BB did it for him).
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post #22 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice photo and setup!

Actually, with the L/R being that close together, maybe a phantom center is not a bad idea after all
Thanks. Yeah, I've lived with this 2.1 setup for years. I might just have to give up the center speaker idea for now.

Quote:
Good compact wife pleasing options would be the NHT SuperOne ($116 each off Amazon) and Ascend 200SE (about $330 shipped a pair). The NHT has a very elegant finish your wife would like, while the 200SE is rather plain though more compact.

There's also the RSL CG23, these are narrow glossy speakers which if stood up on either side of your TV might be the highest WAF option though, and they come with free return shipping:
https://rslspeakers.com/products/cg2...enter-channel/
Thanks, but all of these would be too wide to fit beside the TV. I have done a lot of research before I picked these DefTechs 800 due to how narrow they are (4.75").

Also, the CG23 is only rated down to 85 Hz, while the DefTech 800 is rated down to 57 Hz, so I'm not sure that I'd be gaining anything by going with CG23. Granted, that's just on paper.

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post #23 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 12:29 PM
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Also, the CG23 is only rated down to 85 Hz, while the DefTech 800 is rated down to 57 Hz, so I'm not sure that I'd be gaining anything by going with CG23. Granted, that's just on paper.
That's very much on paper. Def Tech specs are useless (at least for their smaller speakers), nowhere near reality.
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post #24 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 12:33 PM
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Also, the CG23 is only rated down to 85 Hz, while the DefTech 800 is rated down to 57 Hz, so I'm not sure that I'd be gaining anything by going with CG23. Granted, that's just on paper.
You know that DT is *notorious* for outrageously lying through their teeth with ALL of their frequency specs, right?

No way is a tiny little 4.5" woofer going to give you 57Hz, at ANY price...physics is physics, marketing is marketing. I would add at least 30Hz to every DT bass extension spec, minimum. Ask any owner of the DT SuperCube subs, even on the fanboy-ridden "Def Tech Owners Thread" and they'll tell you all about this.

To be fair, Polk and a couple others also routinely inflate their specs.

What sub are you running?

~ 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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PS. The CG23 is only 1.5" wider than your PM1000, and the 200SE is about 2" wider. From your pic, it appears like you'd just be able to fit them without having them stick over the sides of the cabinet. Check with a measuring tape. WELL worth having a second 4.5" woofer, plus a decent tweeter/crossover.

~ 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 #26 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 12:46 PM - Thread Starter
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That's very much on paper. Def Tech specs are useless (at least for their smaller speakers), nowhere near reality.
Yeah, I was suspecting as much, given that I have to set my crossover to 120 Hz to get the best out of them.

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post #27 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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You know that DT is *notorious* for outrageously lying through their teeth with ALL of their frequency specs, right?
I wasn't aware, but I suspected it.

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No way is a tiny little 4.5" woofer going to give you 57Hz, at ANY price..
It's a 4.5" woofer + 4.5" passive radiator, but yeah, I don't disagree.

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What sub are you running?
Nothing great. Just a basic Velodyne VX10. I have neighbors below me, so I can't play anything loud anyway. Like I mentioned, it was supposed to be a temporary setup that turned into something long term because life got in the way.



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PS. The CG23 is only 1.5" wider than your PM1000, and the 200SE is about 2" wider. .
Already measured - a 6" wide speaker would stick out.

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Thanks. Yeah, I've lived with this 2.1 setup for years. I might just have to give up the center speaker idea for now.

Thanks, but all of these would be too wide to fit beside the TV. I have done a lot of research before I picked these DefTechs 800 due to how narrow they are (4.75").

Also, the CG23 is only rated down to 85 Hz, while the DefTech 800 is rated down to 57 Hz, so I'm not sure that I'd be gaining anything by going with CG23. Granted, that's just on paper.
HA! def tech makes solid good value speakers and has great customer service dont get me wrong i owned many and like some of them but they are the worst offender of grossly innacurate frequency response of their speakers. the 800 -3 db is about 120hz not 57hz.
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what about getting different tv stand ? or does wifey like that one too much. What if their was a "accident" and one of the wheels or something on table "broke"
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post #30 of 43 Old 12-04-2018, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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what about getting different tv stand ? or does wifey like that one too much. What if their was a "accident" and one of the wheels or something on table "broke"
Yeah, this stand isn't going anywhere. Maybe I should buy a smaller TV (or a newer one with narrower bezel) to make more room for bigger speakers.

Hopefully some time next year we'll be buying a house again, so I think the prudent thing to do is to hold off on buying any more speakers at this point until I know what the new TV room will look like. I already have a bunch of speakers and subs sitting in storage, waiting to be utilized again, but I don't have a center channel. When I eventually buy one, I want it to be a big/good one.

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