I'd either get the C-C1 and not get as full range of sound as you might like or save up for a month or two and get the C-C3 that you actually want. Don't settle and don't start mixing brands of speakers if you can help it. Your front soundstage will lose a ton of cohesion if you do.
I have C-9's front, C-C3 centre and C-5's rear...I absolutely love them. Don't settle for something you don't want, you won't be happy and it will end up costing you more in the long run.
I own C-7s and mate them with the AC-300. It is an excellent match for the tonallity of the new C's is very similar to the old C's. The AC-300 is an outstanding performer and value. I have heard several centers priced quite a bit more than the AC-300 but only a couple that sounded better. (an M&K and a B&W both retailing new $1000). Don't feel like you will be selling yourself short by going with the AC-300.
From what I recall on pricing there should only be, maybe, a couple hundred US dollars separating the C-C1 and C-C3 anyway. I find it hard to believe that a completely different centre speaker would mate perfectly to the C's. It might mate well, but not perfectly. Not to mention that they must have different un-matched finishes etc. I just don't believe this is where you should compromise in your system. The front sound stage is hugely important in movies and now even more so with multi channel music becoming more prevalent. Sure scrimp a little on the rears if you ABSOLUTELY have to. Even then I'd probably stick with the same brand if I could and get a lesser model than the speakers I'm looking at for the fronts.
Don't compromise, you'll always regret it and it will cost you more in the long run.
Don't settle and don't start mixing brands of speakers if you can help it. Your front soundstage will lose a ton of cohesion if you do.
well now you guys got me paranoid about the ac300 not matching!
I am not sure if aud19 realizes that the AC-300 is also an Energy Connoisseur center speaker. Mating the AC-300 with your C-9s does not qualify as mixing brands of speakers, if you ask me.
I run the AC-300 with my C-5s and have been extremely pleased. I bought the AC-300 as a temporary center until the C-C3 was released...but even though the C-C3 has been available for a few months now, I have not been too inclined to buy it.
As was previously mentioned, the C-C3 does share the same finish, and in auditioning the C-C3, it certainly looked better than the AC-300. But soundwise, I was hard-pressed to justify spending $$$ on the C-C3 when the AC-300 more than held its own. The C-C3 could play louder, but the AC-300 was more dynamic to my ears. Check out all the glowing reviews at audioreview. The AC-300 really is a great speaker if you can get past the plain cloth grill all the way around.
Bottom line, do not worry about the AC-300 not timber matching. It may not be a 100 percent match, but it can't be any worse than a 98 percent match. For me the AC-300 has presented a delightful dilemma of suddenly having $500 to burn since I don't have to upgrade my center. (Even my local dealer who let me audition the C-C3 said he thought the AC-300 was a better center.) That says a lot, considering he was trying to sell me the C-C3.
BTW, if you must have the C-C3, four of them are on auction on eBay for a buy it now price of $418. That's reasonable.
Robert, you are right, I had no idea it was a Connoisseur center speaker. Is it from the previous generation of Connoisseur's? I'm used to Pinnacle speakers with the "ac" prefix... Sorry
I would still say getting the C-C3 is the best idea if you can wait long enough to save up or get a good deal on one as it will match better with the C-9's. (I only paid just over $600 Canadian for mine which ain't bad when converted to US $)
I'm not arguing that the ac-300 would sound bad. I agree it could sound good, especially now that I know it's an Energy product...lol. I just think that the C-C3 will match better with the C-9's and a be able to have sounds pan across the front without changing tone etc as that is very important.
I recently bought three AC-300s online for $450, which is the MSRP of one AC-300. I have the old C-6, so the AC-300 match perfectly in the system.
As far as AC-300, it was designed to be a center channel for the Audissey series, but it is also timbre match with the old C-series. It is still listed at in Energy website http://www.energy-speakers.com/surro...rs_ac300.html, but I believe it will be discontinued pretty soon.
I'm think the C-C3 would be a better match for the C-9, but like other had said, the AC-300 is an excellent speaker, with great reviews from audioreview.com (Best Center Channel Award) and sterophile mag. If you want to save some bucks, AC300 is a great option if you still can find it for a good price.
Well like I said I only paid about $650 Canadian for mine which as of todays rates is $489.94 U.S. Dollars. So I don't know how much of a bargain the ac-300 is, regardless of it's auditory attributes.
Just to reiterate my experience with the AC300 and C-7's. When I stated it is an excellent match, what I mean is that I can not discern a tonal shift with horizontal pans. This speaker does not have a honkiness or hootiness associated with it. If you can get a bargain on this center, I highly recommend it.
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