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Enchy, I'd try a new AVR (maybe get away from Audyssey) before going down other roads. Up the watts, too.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Enchy, I'd try a new AVR (maybe get away from Audyssey) before going down other roads. Up the watts, too.

Good luck.
Not really in the cards at the moment as something comparable to my S920w would be out of my budget currently. The Denon I have is rated for 90w which should be fine since I don't ever listen much over 75db according to the spl app on my phone. Before I rerun Audyssey and start futzing with the app though I was going to try turning it off completely and seeing if that does anything for me.
 

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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
I have the RP-500C matched with FL/FR RP-600M and I'm quite pleased with the sound coming from this 3.0 system. For the RSL floor standing loudspeakers mentioned at the start of this tread, the RP-600C likely would suffice. I personally would prefer the RP-600C over the RP-450C.

On another system, my best sounding center speaker isn't actually a center speaker but a bookshelf speakers. One of my JBL paired bookshelf speakers went bad so I'm using the remaining vintage JBL J520M as a center speaker in a 5.1.2 system. It was a happy day to know that these old JBL speakers of mine could still be a useful speaker!
 

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Not really in the cards at the moment as something comparable to my S920w would be out of my budget currently. The Denon I have is rated for 90w which should be fine since I don't ever listen much over 75db according to the spl app on my phone. Before I rerun Audyssey and start futzing with the app though I was going to try turning it off completely and seeing if that does anything for me.
Yes, shutting down and reset, disconnect and reconnect everything. Worth a try.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #45
I have the RP-500C matched with FL/FR RP-600M and I'm quite pleased with the sound coming from this 3.0 system. For the RSL floor standing loudspeakers mentioned at the start of this tread, the RP-600C likely would suffice. I personally would prefer the RP-600C over the RP-450C.

On another system, my best sounding center speaker isn't actually a center speaker but a bookshelf speakers. One of my JBL paired bookshelf speakers went bad so I'm using the remaining vintage JBL J520M as a center speaker in a 5.1.2 system. It was a happy day to know that these old JBL speakers of mine could still be a useful speaker!
I originally wanted to do a bookshelf speaker as my center (was on the hunt for a RSL bookshelf from the same era) but I got a different TV that mounts at a different height and now I don't have the clearance for a bookshelf.

Out of curiosity why would you go with the 2-way RP-500C or 600C over the 450C?
 

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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, so I was mainly targeting that kind of speaker in my hunt (aside from the CG25).
you are on the right track here (IMHO) after putting my Infinity in, I am sold on 3 way designs. you have a good list of suspects. While it is out of your target budget, the Infinity RC263 C is still worth it at list price (499)
 
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I originally wanted to do a bookshelf speaker as my center (was on the hunt for a RSL bookshelf from the same era) but I got a different TV that mounts at a different height and now I don't have the clearance for a bookshelf.

Out of curiosity why would you go with the 2-way RP-500C or 600C over the 450C?
Partly, for my home as the width of the 450C really would cause some issues in placement. But also, I like the larger woofers on the 600C than what is found on the 450C. Although, looking at the specs both speakers have the same frequency response 58 to 25K Hz so either should be fine. I did notice though that the 450C was on sale which would make them currently a better buy than the 600C...so don't let my preferences prevent you from doing what's best for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
Yes, shutting down and reset, disconnect and reconnect everything. Worth a try.

Good luck.
Disabled all Audyssey settings except for level adjustments, I'll give this a shot tonight and tomorrow and see if I get any improvement.

Partly, for my home as the width of the 450C really would cause some issues in placement. But also, I like the larger woofers on the 600C than what is found on the 450C. Although, looking at the specs both speakers have the same frequency response 58 to 25K Hz so either should be fine. I did notice though that the 450C was on sale which would make them currently a better buy than the 600C...so don't let my preferences prevent you from doing what's best for you.
Ahh okay. Wasn't sure if there was some larger functional difference between the two that I was missing. I think I can accommodate the RP-450C's width with some re-arranging...
 

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Before you add a center try stereo

More speakers = more of a sonic mess in 90%+ of homes

In theory yea 5.1 is great and we'd all benefit from a properly calibrated system. So much immersion

In reality 5.1 sorta sucks and stereo will get the vast majority of people better SQ
I’m started to be skeptical about the “phantom center” agenda - I have the regular unmodified C22 with FS52 as L/R, and people have told me repeatedly said that no center is better than the pioneer center, and I gotta say I disagree... both when upmixing a stereo source with Dolby Pro Logic II or listening to a 5.1 soundtrack and going into receiver settings and turning off the center speaker, I think the center improves things. Stereo is fine, but adding the center means you don’t have to sit dead middle and the mains sound clearer when they’re just playing effects/music on multichannel sources.
 

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I’m started to be skeptical about the “phantom center” agenda - I have the regular unmodified C22 with FS52 as L/R, and people have told me repeatedly said that no center is better than the pioneer center, and I gotta say I disagree... both when upmixing a stereo source with Dolby Pro Logic II or listening to a 5.1 soundtrack and going into receiver settings and turning off the center speaker, I think the center improves things. Stereo is fine, but adding the center means you don’t have to sit dead middle and the mains sound clearer when they’re just playing effects/music on multichannel sources.
As long as the set up of your system is rational and your space is good sure.

Huge difference between pro logic and actual 5.1. Pro logic sounds like it just dumps literally everything into the center on many sources.

Then it's all on your listening position relative to the center.

Stick with direct unless you're confident your system is very well calibrated to your room/setup.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Yes, shutting down and reset, disconnect and reconnect everything. Worth a try.

Good luck.
I only gave it 30 minutes, but disabling Audyssey’s EQ made it distinctly worse. Was worth a shot though.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
I have an ELAC Uni-fi 2.0 UC52 arriving tomorrow, and an SVS Prime Center coming on Friday. Both Amazon Warehouse deals for about $80 off. Free returns if neither work out for me. Leaving the Klipsch off the table right now as I'd have to re-arrange my whole cabinet to fit the width.

Side question. Looks like both of these are rectangles, as opposed to the curved cabinet on the modified C22 that I have. How do people normally tilt their center channel up to make it ear height?
 

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Congratulations, two good choices ! I'm anxious to hear what you think of each. You're going to be one of the very first to take the new Elac Uni-Fi against an established center speaker performer.
 
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I'm excited. I really like Andrew Jones designs (aside from the C22), and I was impressed with a friend's Debut 1.0 system. Pioneer BS22 were my first "real" speaker, still have a pair I use for surround duty and another hooked up to my record player. I have high expectations for the ELAC. I just wish the cabinet came in that sick white/oak that the Debut Reference comes in.
 

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Take your time with the comparison. When I first got the Elac Debut 2.0's they were very harsh on badly recorded TV shows (old Mash, etc). To the point that I was very close to returning them and then, after maybe 40 hrs of use, something changed and the listening got smoother. At least that was my experience with speaker "break-in", whether it really exists or not.
 

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Curious how you like the ELAC compared to the SVS. I have the ELAC paired with the ELAC Uni-fi towers and I am considering trying something different. May just be upgraditis. I also have it paired with a Denon AVR, but my front 3 are powered by a Monolith amp with the Denon owning processing and surround power.

My opinion of the ELAC center is that it is a very accurate speaker. Tweaking Dialogue you can take it to the moon and overpower everything else and it has good clarity. I just feel like it has room to be more captivating and interesting. All of the sound is there and it can get loud, but I think it could be more immersive. I'm a newbie so I won't pretend to throw out fancy terms, but it sounds like a nice speaker sitting 11 feet away, not like I'm there and feeling it. My room is large, 20x30 with the screen and fronts built diagonally into one of the corners. Vaulted ceilings, open on one side, you name it. I may just need a little more speaker to try to compensate for the space. I have 2x SVS PC-2000 subs, ELAC on walls, Elac atmos modules x2, and Definitive 9040s for rear surrounds.

My current considerations -
Emotiva C2 (for $400 bucks it's hard not to try)
Ascend Horizon (I worry a little about how the Raal tweeter matches to ELAC towers)
or
Tekton Impact Center (just because I have an interest in swapping the ELAC towers to Impact Monitors or Compact Enzo towers)
Ascend Horizon x 3 for front LCR duty could also be interesting.

I am unfortunately height limited for the L/R channels at 39" due to the space available with the built in. Previous owner built it and it's a beautifully crafted, cherry wood set up that I just can't bring myself to cut up too bad. I don't have the talent to change it and make it look as good.
 

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Side question. Looks like both of these are rectangles, as opposed to the curved cabinet on the modified C22 that I have. How do people normally tilt their center channel up to make it ear height?
rubber doorstops, or if you want a neater look: angled speaker pads
 

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Discussion Starter #58

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Discussion Starter #59
Take your time with the comparison. When I first got the Elac Debut 2.0's they were very harsh on badly recorded TV shows (old Mash, etc). To the point that I was very close to returning them and then, after maybe 40 hrs of use, something changed and the listening got smoother. At least that was my experience with speaker "break-in", whether it really exists or not.
Yeah I plan on doing about a week each. Break in time should be pretty easy to attain since the TV is used by my kid like 4-6 hours a day watching Disney movies.
 

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That's the speaker pad I have under my ELAC center. And same for me on the kids, lol. With the kids on holiday break the system has been well used. Had to turn the subs down a hair because they were rumbling my home office during the day.
 
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