DCM TFE100 Floorstanders - Very good sound and dirt cheap right now - Page 13 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #361 of 371 Old 05-20-2020, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by versabox View Post
A couple follow-ups to my last post.

1) I went ahead and placed an order for the last TFE60... and then cancelled when a friend pointed out my mains are only 8 feet apart so a center speaker is pointless. Yeah it's only $110 but I'm trying to Marie Kondo my existence, and while a center would bring me joy, it might actually make things sound worse since a single speaker would be carrying the load instead of it being shared between the front L/R. Does that make sense or am I just talking crazy?
My mains are only 5 feet apart, and I still run a dedicated center speaker and I enjoy it that way. The only difference is that my mains are very small bookshelf speakers with 4" drivers.


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I briefly tested the CS2 vs 1x TFE60 by connecting them to speaker A/B outs and setting the balance all the way to the right. Initial impression is that there's a cleanness to the CS2 on vocals that doesn't really make sense to me since the TFE60 should have a better tweeter, but maybe this is actually lack of detail?
Most of the vocals we hear come from the main driver. Very little of it comes from the tweeter.

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post #362 of 371 Old 05-20-2020, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
My mains are only 5 feet apart, and I still run a dedicated center speaker and I enjoy it that way. The only difference is that my mains are very small bookshelf speakers with 4" drivers.
After extensive testing with the Polk CS2 center vs no center, I did notice dialogue was a little easier to understand and panning was a little better. Not by a much, but enough to convince me to use a center.

The question now becomes, should I use the Polk CS2 or get another TFE60 to place horizontally? On the one hand, another TFE60 would be perfectly timbre matched, but if the CS2 is a “better speaker” and it’s not too different, wouldn’t it make sense to use it, especially since I only have room to place the TFE60 horizontally? You might say I have both speakers so I should pick the one I like best, but I don’t trust myself to not do something stupid here.

With vocal music, name Eric Clapton "Tears in Heaven" and Norah Jones "Don't Know Why", they sound very similar. The CS2 sounds a bit more directed toward me--is this desirable in a center? That's probably because the TFE60 has better dispersion. It also has slightly better bass.

Put another way, the CS2 sounds like it coming from the speaker, while the TFE60 sounds... I don't want to say more natural because that's a loaded term, but dialogue is less emphasized. The scene I'm testing dialogue with is 4 minutes into Super 8. School just let out so there's a lot of ambient noise from other students, buses, and the soundtrack.

Last edited by versabox; 05-20-2020 at 09:46 PM.
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post #363 of 371 Old 05-20-2020, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by versabox View Post
The question now becomes, should I use the Polk CS2 or get another TFE60 to place horizontally? On the one hand, another TFE60 would be perfectly timbre matched, but if the CS2 is a “better speaker” and it’s not too different, wouldn’t it make sense to use it, especially since I only have room to place the TFE60 horizontally?
Personally, I would use what my ears perceive as a "better speaker."

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post #364 of 371 Old 05-21-2020, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by versabox View Post

The question now becomes, should I use the Polk CS2 or get another TFE60 to place horizontally? On the one hand, another TFE60 would be perfectly timbre matched, but if the CS2 is a “better speaker” and it’s not too different, wouldn’t it make sense to use it, especially since I only have room to place the TFE60 horizontally? You might say I have both speakers so I should pick the one I like best, but I don’t trust myself to not do something stupid here.

With vocal music, name Eric Clapton "Tears in Heaven" and Norah Jones "Don't Know Why", they sound very similar. The CS2 sounds a bit more directed toward me--is this desirable in a center? That's probably because the TFE60 has better dispersion. It also has slightly better bass.

Put another way, the CS2 sounds like it coming from the speaker, while the TFE60 sounds... I don't want to say more natural because that's a loaded term, but dialogue is less emphasized. The scene I'm testing dialogue with is 4 minutes into Super 8. School just let out so there's a lot of ambient noise from other students, buses, and the soundtrack.
Most of us when listening to music, do listen in stereo mode ... for movies/TV if desired, then most use a center channel as it helps to anchor the dialogue -- I also use to own the Polk RTi4 bookshelf speakers and I found them lacking in detail and definition. ... all in all go with what sounds best to you with the front 3 channels ... but as time goes by, you may find 2 channel music better than 3 channel music with that Polk center -- in 2 channel music with the TFE60, you should find the soundstage more expansive with better imaging. With that Polk center and TFE60 bookshelf speakers for music together, that would tend to annoy me -- but all in all, do what floats your boat.

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post #365 of 371 Old 05-21-2020, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
Most of us when listening to music, do listen in stereo mode ... for movies/TV if desired, then most use a center channel as it helps to anchor the dialogue -- I also use to own the Polk RTi4 bookshelf speakers and I found them lacking in detail and definition. ... all in all go with what sounds best to you with the front 3 channels ... but as time goes by, you may find 2 channel music better than 3 channel music with that Polk center -- in 2 channel music with the TFE60, you should find the soundstage more expansive with better imaging. With that Polk center and TFE60 bookshelf speakers for music together, that would tend to annoy me -- but all in all, do what floats your boat.
I should have been more clear--the Polk CS2 is only being considered for HT use. I'm definitely only running the TFE60's for music. And I agree the RTi4 are inferior but they're fine as surround speakers (at least for now hehe).

My indecision is about whether to use the CS2 as a HT center or get another TFE60 (placed horizontally). Standard advice says the TFE60, even horizontally, is the better option, but it's also advised to go with the best center possible. That's where this forum's advice is most valuable: is the CS2 a "better" speaker than the TFE60?

Standard advice is also to go with whatever sounds better to my ears, but it's not clear to me that one is better than the other. The most noticeable difference is the CS2 sounds more directional in its output, like I can tell it's coming from a speaker in front of me. With the TFE60, it sounds a bit more ambient but that also means dialogue is slightly less emphasized. Is it better for a HT center to sound more directional or ambient?

Per your previous advice, I'm leaning toward a horizontal TFE60, but I want to make sure I'm not making an obvious mistake here.
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post #366 of 371 Old 05-21-2020, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by versabox View Post
Per your previous advice, I'm leaning toward a horizontal TFE60, but I want to make sure I'm not making an obvious mistake here.
I have not heard the CS2, but I have heard and owned the European version of the Monitor 30 from that same line.

I would say that the TFE60 is vastly superior to the Monitor 30.

Anyway, I don't think buying and trying the TFE60 as a center is a mistake. Worst case, if you don't like it as a center, you have a spare in case one of the others develops some type of issue down the road. You would be ahead of the game on spare parts, given that these speakers were discontinued a long time ago.

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post #367 of 371 Old 05-22-2020, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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An observation on the TFE60’s:

When I first got them and hooked them up, my initial impression was that the bass was kind of thudy/boomy and that the mids/highs were a bit dull and not very detailed. Basically, I thought meh, they’re ok, but I’ve liked other speakers more at the same purchase price (around $200/pair).

So I moved them in the garage and had the same overall impression.

Then I let them play overnight a few days at moderately loud levels without doing any listening. A few days later, I started listening and noticed they sounded much more open and detailed…much better to my ears.

I know speaker break-in (beyond the initial in the first few seconds/minutes) is a debated topic, but I have no other explanation. I don’t think my ears/brain got used to them, because I only listened to them maybe 30-40 minutes initially, then again after several nights of overnight play.

Having owned dozens of different speakers over the years, I don't think I can recall ever noticing this before.

Anyway, just an observation. They TFE60's are sounding good in my garage regardless.

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post #368 of 371 Old 05-22-2020, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adam2434 View Post
I have not heard the CS2, but I have heard and owned the European version of the Monitor 30 from that same line.

I would say that the TFE60 is vastly superior to the Monitor 30.

Anyway, I don't think buying and trying the TFE60 as a center is a mistake. Worst case, if you don't like it as a center, you have a spare in case one of the others develops some type of issue down the road. You would be ahead of the game on spare parts, given that these speakers were discontinued a long time ago.

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I've never really thought about the spare parts angle. If anything, I thought that when I upgrade and move my front TFE60's to surround duty, the center TFE60 would become useless. But everything else you've said makes sense.

The CS2 is not a clearly better speaker, therefore the logical choice is to use a matching center. Just sold my CS2 and bought that final TFE60. Huzzah!
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post #369 of 371 Old 05-27-2020, 11:46 AM
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Sorry for the noob question, but how should I install these isolation pads that came with my TFE60?


The round isolation feet that SVS sells screw into the very edges of their subwoofers which would indicate either 1/3/5.

Last edited by versabox; 05-27-2020 at 12:45 PM.
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post #370 of 371 Old 05-27-2020, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by versabox View Post
Sorry for the noob question, but how should I install these isolation pads that came with my TFE60?

The round isolation feet that SVS sells screw into the very edges of their subwoofers which would indicate either 1 or 3.
I don't think it would matter and any of the 4 would be ok. Personally, I would go with 1.

What are the speakers going to be placed atop? Something as large or larger than the bottom dimensions of the speaker?

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post #371 of 371 Old 05-27-2020, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by adam2434 View Post
I don't think it would matter and any of the 4 would be ok. Personally, I would go with 1.

What are the speakers going to be placed atop? Something as large or larger than the bottom dimensions of the speaker?

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They're going on a media console I just got yesterday so definitely larger. The reason I hadn't applied the pads before is because I had been temporarily putting them on stools that were smaller and didn't know what the final setup would be.
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