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Discussion Starter #1
I'm reasonably certain that the JBL 520 isn't going to be able to keep pace with high volume movies. I have heard some glimmers of shortcomings during my initial test runs of movies that have a lot of action at high volume and the consensus is pretty clear also that the 520 won't ultimately be able to keep pace. I've only started to play around with the system and am eagerly waiting on my Monoprice HTP-1, which is likely to be here by this coming Monday. I think Dirac and the power of the HTP-1 will let me highlight areas of need in the system and I'd like to have some ideas on where to go for a center.
I am seriously considering the JBL HDI-4500 as the HDI series will likely be an upgrade for me eventually. The Emotiva C2+ also is highly regarded as is the Ascend Sierra Horizon. I'll keep the budget capped at $2k for the center.

My thought is that I should go ahead and get the JBL since it is likely that I'll go for the HDI 3800s eventually. I am a believer of matching fronts.
I should mention that the center is powered by one channel of a Bryston 6BST.

Any ideas or opinions? Thanks a lot, guys!
 

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I know some like matching fronts but that’s not what i plan on doing with my setup. I ordered a pair of the 590’s and I’m going to use either the Klipsch RC 64iii or the PSA mtm210c for my center channel. Probably end up going with the Klipsch because it will fit in my audio cabinet. The PSA center is huge. Have you thought about either of those?
 

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HDI is a good choice to go with, especially if you end up buying HDI fronts.

Make sure not to pay full retail!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I know some like matching fronts but that’s not what i plan on doing with my setup. I ordered a pair of the 590’s and I’m going to use either the Klipsch RC 64iii or the PSA mtm210c for my center channel. Probably end up going with the Klipsch because it will fit in my audio cabinet. The PSA center is huge. Have you thought about either of those?
I haven't. I'm not a Klipsch fan. The PSA is intriguing but the 10" woofers are definitely overkill for my application.


HDI is a good choice to go with, especially if you end up buying HDI fronts.

Make sure not to pay full retail!
If you know of any dealers with whom I could connect please send me a PM, I'd be interested in talking to someone about it! But see now here's the problem. So let's say I end up with the center. Then you know I'll HAVE to get the 3800's. :cool: Thankfully my fiance would just tell me to do whatever I want. There's no WAF in our relationship.


That's very cool but wow the center would end up WAY out front. The 590's are definitely not shallow speakers. Cool idea though!
Zorba what do you think about the Emotiva? I've seen you recommend it before. My only concern there is how a ribbon would mate with the JBL compression drivers. I would think the timbre would be pretty far off but any thoughts about that?
 

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That's very cool but wow the center would end up WAY out front. The 590's are definitely not shallow speakers. Cool idea though!
Zorba what do you think about the Emotiva? I've seen you recommend it before. My only concern there is how a ribbon would mate with the JBL compression drivers. I would think the timbre would be pretty far off but any thoughts about that?
One of the regulars uses a C2 with his 590s and is quite happy. Can't remember his name, it might be Kspan.

I can't imagine you'd find ANYTHING to complain about with the C2, esp. with that nice Bryston amp of yours driving it.

The only danger is that you might end up switching out all your JBLs for Emotivas...now that would be a real PITA! :D
 
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Discussion Starter #7
So many options! I still wish the Emotiva bookshelves would have been in stock for my shootout, really wanted to hear them.
 
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Weren't you looking to upgrade to the HDI-series in the future anyways?
It's a shame that JBL hasn't made a fully-capable centre with 6.5" mid-woofers for the 580/590 speakers. Have you thought about trying a 530 bookshelf on it's side? It will look even more suggestive, but it at least has a 5/25" woofer that can play down past 80Hz...
Another suggestion is getting a Klipsch RC-64Ciii for your centre. At least it has a compression driver that MAY match the 590s better than a less-capable AMT. Perhaps even the Monoprice Monolith 3-way THX centre? It should at least match the output of the 590s...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Upgrade to the HDI, yes. I can't imagine my bothering to go with anything else since I'm a newfound JBL fan. Presumably the HDI is a huge step up from the Studio 5 series. I will probably keep the 530's as surrounds but that's getting ahead of myself.

A 530 on its side isn't something I had considered. Really any speaker on its side isn't anything I had considered.
The idea about the Klipsch and the compression driver is a good one.

Haven't heard much about the Monoprice center, or much about their speakers at all for that matter. Not to say they aren't good, mind you, there just isn't a body of material to reference for reviews.
 

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One of the regulars uses a C2 with his 590s and is quite happy. Can't remember his name, it might be Kspan.

I can't imagine you'd find ANYTHING to complain about with the C2, esp. with that nice Bryston amp of yours driving it.

The only danger is that you might end up switching out all your JBLs for Emotivas...now that would be a real PITA! :D
Upgrade to the HDI, yes. I can't imagine my bothering to go with anything else since I'm a newfound JBL fan. Presumably the HDI is a huge step up from the Studio 5 series. I will probably keep the 530's as surrounds but that's getting ahead of myself.

A 530 on its side isn't something I had considered. Really any speaker on its side isn't anything I had considered.
The idea about the Klipsch and the compression driver is a good one.

Haven't heard much about the Monoprice center, or much about their speakers at all for that matter. Not to say they aren't good, mind you, there just isn't a body of material to reference for reviews.
Yup, that's me - I use my C2 with my current Revel F35s but it was paired with my 530s before that. Endless volume and a very natural sound that blends right in with the Harman speakers. An RC263 from Infinity was mentioned and would fit the bill as well.

With regards to a 530 laying down, IMO and IME you will likely have the same volume limitations as with a 520c. No harm in giving it a shot though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yup, that's me - I use my C2 with my current Revel F35s but it was paired with my 530s before that. Endless volume and a very natural sound that blends right in with the Harman speakers. An RC263 from Infinity was mentioned and would fit the bill as well.

With regards to a 530 laying down, IMO and IME you will likely have the same volume limitations as with a 520c. No harm in giving it a shot though.
Did you find any distractions from a timbre difference with the C2 and JBLs? I'll definitely give a side-lying 530 a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I kept my Klipsch RC-62ii as Center when I purchased the 590s. Been very pleased
Sounds like a very serious contender. I suppose I just need to either try it out or go for the gusto and get the HDI-4500. The Klipsch is certainly MUCH less expensive maybe a go-between. Of course I bought a nice Integra 80.3 as a go-between for the Monoprice HTP-1. Then it took the PO almost 3 weeks to get the Integra here and about a week later the HTP-1 came back in stock and was lucky to score one. :confused:
 

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Another vote for the HDI 4500. This is the most vital speaker for home theater, I wouldn't skimp here. I think the 590's are a very good match for the 4500 center....they punch waaaay above their price.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Another vote for the HDI 4500. This is the most vital speaker for home theater, I wouldn't skimp here. I think the 590's are a very good match for the 4500 center....they punch waaaay above their price.
Yes, agreed. I'd like for the 590s to get some more press.
 

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Yes, agreed. I'd like for the 590s to get some more press.
I don't remember seeing your impression of the 590's....care to point me there or recap? I remember you selecting the 530's over some other strong contenders so I was REALLY curious what your thoughts would be on the towers.
 

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Sounds like a very serious contender. I suppose I just need to either try it out or go for the gusto and get the HDI-4500. The Klipsch is certainly MUCH less expensive maybe a go-between. Of course I bought a nice Integra 80.3 as a go-between for the Monoprice HTP-1. Then it took the PO almost 3 weeks to get the Integra here and about a week later the HTP-1 came back in stock and was lucky to score one. :confused:
I'd order both the 4500 and the Klipsch RP-504C which costs half as much as the 4500, both available from Crutchfield. Send back the loser for $10, can't beat that---the most a dealer discount for the 4500 would be is what, $150 (10% off MSRP)? Instead I'd gamble $10 plus that $150 for the 50/50 chance of saving yourself a cool $750 if you decided that the 504C is good enough for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't remember seeing your impression of the 590's....care to point me there or recap? I remember you selecting the 530's over some other strong contenders so I was REALLY curious what your thoughts would be on the towers.
I didn't ever really formally go over impressions but to give a brief summary (I guess anything other than the initial reviews would be considered brief).
The 590's take what the 530's do and turn it up to 11. Of course the bass is more pronounced. When run full range the bass it tight and well-defined and they are extremely easy to blend with subs. Doesn't reach as low as it should but that could also be a function of the room. (I'll be able to start playing around with REW in the new room as soon as the HTP-1 arrives early next week). The 590's get scary loud, don't compress and they aren't even capable of being sibilant in my system. I did notice though that at high volume (we're talking 92-93 dB) the top level details become smeared somewhat, I'd say minimally, but it is noticeable. Of course I don't listen at that level for more than a song if even a full song at that, but again, its there. They sound good at any level. Excellent detail but maybe missing just a bit of detail on the very top end. Dynamic range is ridiculous. They can go from a whisper to a shout in no time at all. There have been a few songs that I threw at them with a nice quiet introduction that then explode. The 590's handle that frighteningly well. Some of the songs I'm playing I truly haven't heard like this before in my own space. They really are all-around great performers, I haven't really come across anything at all that makes me hesitant to recommend them heavily.


I'd order both the 4500 and the Klipsch RP-504C which costs half as much as the 4500, both available from Crutchfield. Send back the loser for $10, can't beat that---the most a dealer discount for the 4500 would be is what, $150 (10% off MSRP)? Instead I'd gamble $10 plus that $150 for the 50/50 chance of saving yourself a cool $750 if you decided that the 504C is good enough for you.
That's a really good point. I have contact information for a dealer so over the next few weeks I'll be reaching out to him I think. I can see me wanting a new center within a few months but at the same time I should be able to squeeze some more performance out of it once the system is dialed in more properly. Given more reading/researching it does look like the replacement should either be the Klipsch or the HDI. I'll of course be more drawn to the HDI since I have no reason to believe that that won't be the next upgrade eventually.
My bank account will have to recover for at least a month or two since I just spent about $4k on the HTP-1 but I'm glad to have all of this information now. I very much like to know where I want to go with purchases before I actually pull the trigger.
 

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If you're going to audition Klipsch, then I highly suggest the RF-64Ciii instead of the RP-series.
The RF-series actually uses compression drivers for the tweeters, just like the 590s. IIRC, the RP speakers use a normal dome tweeter with the horn waveguide.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If you're going to audition Klipsch, then I highly suggest the RF-64Ciii instead of the RP-series.
The RF-series actually uses compression drivers for the tweeters, just like the 590s. IIRC, the RP speakers use a normal dome tweeter with the horn waveguide.
Excellent advice, definitely would prefer to go with a compression driver. The more I think about it I think my ears would almost WANT to hear a difference if it weren't as such.
 
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