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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking for a large center (but no taller than 8.5'') that can generate a large amount of low frequency but that also does a good job with dialog clarity.
Right now I'm comparing the Definitive Technology CS-9060 and SVS Ultra Center. Leaning away from the SVS as there are reports that sibilance is an issue. I tend to prefer a warmer sound.
My plan is to compare the following:

  1. Emotiva C1+ (3-way)
  2. Chane A2.4
  3. Infinity RC252

Anything else that should be on my list to consider? My space limitations are 8.5'' high, 20.5'' wide, and 10.5'' deep.



Budget is $700 max
 

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JVC RS4500 | ST130 G4 135" | MRX 720 | MC303 MC152 | B&W 802D3, HTM1D3, 805D3, 702S2 | 4x15 IB Subs
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I'm looking for a large center (but no taller than 8.5'') that can generate a large amount of low frequency but that also does a good job with dialog clarity.
Right now I'm comparing the Definitive Technology CS-9060 and SVS Ultra Center. Leaning away from the SVS as there are reports that sibilance is an issue. I tend to prefer a warmer sound.


Anything else that should be on my list to consider?



Budget is $700 max
I don't see anything under 8.5" meeting the "large amount of low frequency" requirement.
 

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the ascend acoustics CMT-340SE C is one of the best centers I have heard.
 

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Because he's using his center as his sub. Check out his 3 prior threads on the same subject.
 

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Because he's using his center as his sub. Check out his 3 prior threads on the same subject.
An actual sub would solve his problem.
 

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I'm looking for a large center (but no taller than 8.5'') that can generate a large amount of low frequency but that also does a good job with dialog clarity.
Right now I'm comparing the Definitive Technology CS-9060 and SVS Ultra Center. Leaning away from the SVS as there are reports that sibilance is an issue. I tend to prefer a warmer sound.


Anything else that should be on my list to consider?



Budget is $700 max
Check out the various PSB lines. The older Image 7 series is 6.75" tall, and wide and deep enough to hold a 55" TV (C7). They are known for more bass than average and are warm. Audyssey likes to set mine to 40 or 60 Hz. I set it to 80 Hz manually for dialogue clarity however.
 

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75" Samsung Q80R QLED, Denon AVR3300, Revel F36, C25, W263, FV15HP x 2, ATV4K, Sony Blu Ray, Harmony
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Bingo. Just trying to get more visibility. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.

Hi,

I looked at another of your threads on this subject, and I really don't think you are likely to find a better center channel, for your budget, than the one you already have. If you like the sound quality of your current CC, have you considered putting it on a stand in front of your cabinet, rather than compromising sound quality in order to fit something inside a cabinet?

FWIW, speakers don't perform as well inside cabinets. They pick-up additional reflections from the cabinet surfaces, and we may perceive those early reflections as distortion. When a center channel is placed inside a cabinet, that can especially interfere with dialogue clarity, which you mentioned as a priority. When a CC is not inside a cabinet it can also point more directly at ear level, with a shim to tilt it upward if necessary. And, that can help with dialogue clarity too. The frequencies that help us to distinguish certain sounds are very directional.

Long-term, if you can find a way to incorporate a sub (even a small one) into your sound system it may help. Under normal circumstances, we would usually want to restrict the low-frequency response of a center channel to about 80Hz, if we can, in order to keep the bass in movies from making some voices harder to hear distinctly.

When male voices have low-bass resonances, some sounds and syllables become relatively harder to hear. Bass-managing the CC, with a crossover to a sub, should be able to give you better overall bass to support all of your speakers, while keeping dialogue clearer.

Regards,
Mike


Edit: By the way, I found DefTech centers to have a little more of that metallic quality that you said you didn't want. As with everything sound quality related though, that is strictly a YMMV issue.
 

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Bingo. Just trying to get more visibility. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
The idea that you can't have a decent sub just because you're in an apartment is 100% myth.

EVERY sub has a GAIN KNOB on the back. Keep that down (like, 9-12 o'clock position) and you're golden.

I used to live in an apartment with very thin walls and ceilings, easily could hear neighbors (above, below, and next door) arguing or having sex. When I moved out, they were shocked to see my lug a mini-fridge sized, 65lb sub out...they never guessed it'd been there all along.
 

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I tend to prefer a warmer sound.
The Emotiva C1 or C2 would fit the bill perfectly, with no compromise in voice clarity or general detail.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks folks. I understand that subs don't have to be large to be effective, but I just don't have a place for one in my setup at this time, and I need to replace the center I currently have and can't put it on a stand in front (it's huge). So I'll look into the infinity, mirage, and SVS option for now. I listened to the Def tech, and it sounded pretty veiled on voices. So looks like that one is out despite the integrated powered woofer. I think something with 6.5'' woofers like my current speaker, if it fits, would be a good match to the current speaker's performance and 3 way design.
 

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If the height requirement is hard, never mind, but if the RC263 fits, it's currently on sale for < 1/3 MSRP with free shipping at harmanaudio. The RC252 will fit, but it's 2 way, only a little less expensive.
From the Audio Science Review article conclusion: "So unless you can afford to spend a ton more, the RC263 makes for a very good center speaker in a home theater, augmented by a subwoofer."
You may not have space for a large sub, but if you find a center as inexpensive as the infinity, that's a decent amount under budget to find a low-profile sub which may fit your space.
Even if it can't rumble your room, just getting below or near 30Hz should make a difference.
Even inexpensive Dayton/Monoprice models may make enough of a difference to ease the load on the LCR while tucked under/behind some furniture.
I'm sure there are other upscale ones. I saw 1 refurb KEF T2 at A4L within budget with the center.

I'm looking for a large center (but no taller than 8.5'') that can generate a large amount of low frequency but that also does a good job with dialog clarity.
Budget is $700 max
With a $700 budget, no way I would settle for a 2 way center channel. Get a decent 3 way for better sound quality such as the Infinity RC263:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/infinity-rc263-center-speaker-review.12442/

If you can fit it, I would get this over *any* 2 way MTM center channel. Well under budget at its current full price, often goes on sale for much lower.
Any other recs out there for my needs?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
If the height requirement is hard, never mind, but if the RC263 fits, it's currently on sale for < 1/3 MSRP with free shipping at harmanaudio. The RC252 will fit, but it's 2 way, only a little less expensive.
From the Audio Science Review article conclusion: "So unless you can afford to spend a ton more, the RC263 makes for a very good center speaker in a home theater, augmented by a subwoofer."
You may not have space for a large sub, but if you find a center as inexpensive as the infinity, that's a decent amount under budget to find a low-profile sub which may fit your space.
Even if it can't rumble your room, just getting below or near 30Hz should make a difference.
Even inexpensive Dayton/Monoprice models may make enough of a difference to ease the load on the LCR while tucked under/behind some furniture.
I'm sure there are other upscale ones. I saw 1 refurb KEF T2 at A4L within budget with the center.
thanks. Yeah. I came back on here b/c I was motivated by the infinity sale, but the RSC263 is unfortunately too tall and too wide. I'm considering the 252 since it fits well, but no 6.5'' woofers and 2-way design :(

I have always enjoyed 3-way centers over 2-way ones. I guess I'm out of luck unless I get a sub as you've recommended. That's not an option for now, unfortunately.

Turns out the Ascend CMT-340SE center is just a hair too long as well. So my plan is to buy the following:

  1. Emotiva C1+ (3-way)
  2. Svs Prime Center (might be too harsh in the treble, but is 3-way)
  3. Infinity RC252
My space limitations are 8.5'' high, 20.5'' wide, and 10.5'' deep.
 
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