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I'd considered the HC1 but from other research I've done it seems like a 3-way is going to be a large improvement over a 2-way MTM design,
Only if you regularly host large viewing parties where people are spread out across the room.

If it's just you and one other person sitting in front of the center speaker, a well designed and properly positioned 2 way can work very well.

That said, all the worst center speakers (Pioneer C22, Polk CS2/8//10/20, etc.) are 2-way designs so that's why I tend to recommend 3 way horizontal centers if I'm not sure about the exact make/model available to folks esp. those living outside of North America. Have yet to hear of any truly BAD 3-way horizontal center, but that could because most retail speaker companies only offer 3 way centers only in their top shelf model lines (so that they can price gouge the daylights out of you).
 
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Here's my audyssey EQ result for the center speaker. View attachment 3075283

My receiver supports the app, but I've always avoided getting it since it's $20. If I get the app it'll let me manually adjust the EQs?
Yep - the app lets you manually adjust the EQ "curve"... so you can pull up and down frequencies.

It looks like Audyssey is already seeing this "muddiness" ... it actually looks like it's doing some of what I was suggesting: pulling down things around 200hz+. But you could probably go a bit further with it.

$20 is worth it before you go spending $$ on new speakers...
 

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I've been researching center speakers for about a year and have a similar list of top candidates to yours. To stay around $400 I'd add the SVS Prime as a consideration. My problem is that my hearing is bad and I need all the dialog help that I can get. I'd guess that the Klipsch 450 is perhaps the most aggressive sound quality of the group and trying that first makes sense. It is the one that Crutchfield steered me to.
 
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I've been researching center speakers for about a year and have a similar list of top candidates to yours. To stay around $400 I'd add the SVS Prime as a consideration. My problem is that my hearing is bad and I need all the dialog help that I can get. I'd guess that the Klipsch 450 is perhaps the most aggressive sound quality of the group and trying that first makes sense. It is the one that Crutchfield steered me to.
I have the SVS Prime Center and think it's outstanding. Seriously: I'm still wowed by it (and I also have the SVS Ultra in my dedicated HT... but the Prime holds its own well!).
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I've been researching center speakers for about a year and have a similar list of top candidates to yours. To stay around $400 I'd add the SVS Prime as a consideration. My problem is that my hearing is bad and I need all the dialog help that I can get. I'd guess that the Klipsch 450 is perhaps the most aggressive sound quality of the group and trying that first makes sense. It is the one that Crutchfield steered me to.
Yeah from my research that Klipsch seems to be well regarded for dialogue clarity, which is my biggest want. I might grab the SVS too on a whim since they offer free return shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Apparently the Monolith is sold through Target, which would get me free returns there too. Hmm...
 
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Apparently the Monolith is sold through Target, which would get me free returns there too. Hmm...
Didn't know that !
 

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Yeah from my research that Klipsch seems to be well regarded for dialogue clarity, which is my biggest want. I might grab the SVS too on a whim since they offer free return shipping.
The Klipsch brand annoys me; they seem to inflate their specs (maybe not a lone wolf here...), have a reputation for fatiguing sound (not the RP's ?), and aren't known for their quality of componentry BUT they do have a loyal customer base which does say something for the speakers.
 

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Apparently the Monolith is sold through Target, which would get me free returns there too. Hmm...
Really cool! Didn't know that...

Similarly: SVS is sold by BestBuy... so you have free AND easy returns there (that's actually how I bought most of my SVS stuff).
 

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Discussion Starter #31
The Klipsch brand annoys me; they seem to inflate their specs (maybe not a lone wolf here...), have a reputation for fatiguing sound (not the RP's ?), and aren't known for their quality of componentry BUT they do have a loyal customer base which does say something for the speakers.
I've heard the critiques of Klipsch being fatiguing and when I've demo'd their lower tier speakers at a Best Buy I noticed they were indeed pretty harsh, but by all accounts the RPs are a lot less so. I'm willing to give it a shot especially since I can get it on Amazon and have free returns.

Really cool! Didn't know that...

Similarly: SVS is sold by BestBuy... so you have free AND easy returns there (that's actually how I bought most of my SVS stuff).
Yeah I might grab the SVS as well. Do a shootout between the SVS, Klipsch and Monolith and keep whichever I prefer. It appears the SVS Prime center is out of stock at BBY so I'd be looking at Amazon for that one it seems.
 

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I've heard the critiques of Klipsch being fatiguing and when I've demo'd their lower tier speakers at a Best Buy I noticed they were indeed pretty harsh, but by all accounts the RPs are a lot less so. I'm willing to give it a shot especially since I can get it on Amazon and have free returns.


Yeah I might grab the SVS as well. Do a shootout between the SVS, Klipsch and Monolith and keep whichever I prefer. It appears the SVS Prime center is out of stock at BBY so I'd be looking at Amazon for that one it seems.
If not from BestBuy - then I would recommend getting it from SVS. They have a 45 day no hassle return with paid shipping...
 

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Discussion Starter #33
If not from BestBuy - then I would recommend getting it from SVS. They have a 45 day no hassle return with paid shipping...
Can you do it more than once? I did the trial on a pair of PB-1000 subwoofers that I returned earlier this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Looks like there's no limit I can find. I'll check that out.
 

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I've heard the critiques of Klipsch being fatiguing and when I've demo'd their lower tier speakers at a Best Buy I noticed they were indeed pretty harsh, but by all accounts the RPs are a lot less so. I'm willing to give it a shot especially since I can get it on Amazon and have free returns.

I should have added that, on the positive side, they have numerous center channel designs available and seem to put more emphasis on that speaker design than most. That 450c seems like a good deal right now, I may try it and the Elac Uni-Fi UC52 for a show-down (BTW - I have a 8" max cc ht restriction).
 

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Discussion Starter #36
yeah my height limit is 9 inches and change, so the Monolith might be a smidge too tall. TV is 9" above the stand but there's the bezel and it being in front of the TV which gives it a little wiggle room.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Only if you regularly host large viewing parties where people are spread out across the room.

If it's just you and one other person sitting in front of the center speaker, a well designed and properly positioned 2 way can work very well.

That said, all the worst center speakers (Pioneer C22, Polk CS2/8//10/20, etc.) are 2-way designs so that's why I tend to recommend 3 way horizontal centers if I'm not sure about the exact make/model available to folks esp. those living outside of North America. Have yet to hear of any truly BAD 3-way horizontal center, but that could because most retail speaker companies only offer 3 way centers only in their top shelf model lines (so that they can price gouge the daylights out of you).
Missed this one.

Interesting note on the 2-way vs 3-way quandry. It is just my wife and I and maybe the toddler sitting about 10' away on a three seat couch, so not a super wide seating arrangement. We rarely have guests (never now) so I'm not really considering that factor in my decision. What 2-way speakers would you recommend? I hear lots of good things about the Chane but it's never been in stock when I've checked. The RSL CG25 that's on my list is a 2-way but it's the only 2-way I've considered thus far.
 

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Missed this one.

Interesting note on the 2-way vs 3-way quandry. It is just my wife and I and maybe the toddler sitting about 10' away on a three seat couch, so not a super wide seating arrangement. We rarely have guests (never now) so I'm not really considering that factor in my decision. What 2-way speakers would you recommend? I hear lots of good things about the Chane but it's never been in stock when I've checked. The RSL CG25 that's on my list is a 2-way but it's the only 2-way I've considered thus far.
Yeah Chane is rarely in stock. No idea why but it's usually months before they are back in stock.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Missed this one.

Interesting note on the 2-way vs 3-way quandry. It is just my wife and I and maybe the toddler sitting about 10' away on a three seat couch, so not a super wide seating arrangement. We rarely have guests (never now) so I'm not really considering that factor in my decision. What 2-way speakers would you recommend? I hear lots of good things about the Chane but it's never been in stock when I've checked. The RSL CG25 that's on my list is a 2-way but it's the only 2-way I've considered thus far.
Here's the thing about 2 way center channels. Its true they perform on axis better than off axis. But even on axis, they still won't perform as well as a 3 way. I'll try to be concise but there is some background that will help you to understand why. Some of this will be generalizations, but here goes.

The sound we hear in a room from a speaker is a combination of both direct(on axis) and reflected sound. In fact, the sum total of all reflected sound from a speaker actually comprises more of the total sound we hear than the direct sound. However, the direct sound is the single biggest element of sound we hear, larger than any single reflection i.e. first reflection, 2nd etc. So it does play a big role. 2 way center channels have poor off axis response. Very poor. That's why you often see it recommended to sit close to on axis with 2 way MTM center channels. This way, at least the direct sound will be good. The problem is that the sum total of all reflected sound still makes up a big part of what we hear from that center channel, and is why a 3 way will still sound better, even on axis. Why? because in a well designed 3 way speaker, off axis and far off axis sound will be smooth and accurate and closely resemble the direct sound. So the total sound you hear, off axis and on axis, even when sitting directly in front of the speaker, will be more coherent and accurate.

So, IMO, someone who is struggling with speech intelligibility to begin with from the center channel should really be focusing on an optimal solution, not one that is just ok under the right circumstances. Especially when there are very good, viable, optimal options that are in budget. So my personal recommendation is to stick with 3 ways unless just not feasible....there are a good hand full to choose from under $500 including Infinity R263, Monoprice 365, Emotive C1 and C2, etc.
 

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Missed this one.

Interesting note on the 2-way vs 3-way quandry. It is just my wife and I and maybe the toddler sitting about 10' away on a three seat couch, so not a super wide seating arrangement. We rarely have guests (never now) so I'm not really considering that factor in my decision. What 2-way speakers would you recommend? I hear lots of good things about the Chane but it's never been in stock when I've checked. The RSL CG25 that's on my list is a 2-way but it's the only 2-way I've considered thus far.
Lots of solid 2 way options out there, very reasonably priced.

  • HTD Level 3 (free return shipping)
  • Ascend 340SE
  • Hsu HC-1
  • Hsu CCB-8 (concentric design = zero lobing)
  • JBL Stage 125 (avoid the Stage 135)

Other centers worth considering, available at Best Buy and Crutchfield for easy returns:
  • Klipsch RP-500C, 600C
  • Martin Logan centers

More upmarket, mainly if under severe WAF pressure or size limitations:
* Ascend Duo LCR
 
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