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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,

I am wanting to buy a new center channel. I currently have an Onkyo TX-RZ810 driving all DefTec stuff beginning with the CLR 2500 center, BP7002 towers, D8R heights, BP-2Xs rears, & a SVS PB-4000. I've had most of this setup for about 15 years (besides the receiver & PB-4000 which are much newer). I loved the center when it was new, but I really find it muddy now. I do not want to replace my towers, just add a new and higher quality center. Where I live my auditioning options are very limited so I'd like your feedback on the best choice. Size is not an issue as I have all the space in the world for a center. Gloss black would be ideal. Below are my thoughts on choices:

DefTec Demand D5C: This is the best option as far as matching goes, plus they can be found for an excellent price right now.
Focal Chora 6.5": These seem to have great reviews and with the ally tweeter, might match better than some other options out there.
SVS Ultra Center: Don't know much about this one, but it has good reviews and will cosmetically match.
Martin Logan 50XTi: Concerned about how the ribbon tweeter will match. Obviously the price causes some hesitation, but I'll spend it if it is worth it.

Am I missing another good option? Below is a pic of my setup, more for fun than anything. Thanks everybody in advance for their input.
Furniture Couch Property Picture frame Comfort
 

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Where I live my auditioning options are very limited so I'd like your feedback on the best choice. Size is not an issue as I have all the space in the world for a center. Gloss black would be ideal. Below are my thoughts on choices:

DefTec Demand D5C: This is the best option as far as matching goes, plus they can be found for an excellent price right now.
Focal Chora 6.5": These seem to have great reviews and with the ally tweeter, might match better than some other options out there.
SVS Ultra Center: Don't know much about this one, but it has good reviews and will cosmetically match.
Martin Logan 50XTi: Concerned about how the ribbon tweeter will match. Obviously the price causes some hesitation, but I'll spend it if it is worth it.

Am I missing another good option?
Of the 4 centers you listed above, I'd take the Ultra center by a country mile. And don't waste another second thinking about "matching" by going with the same brand---that persistent myth is laid out here (at #1 on the list):

A list of some excellent centers here:

For easiest returnability, I'd look at the SVS Prime center as well (half the cost of the Ultra center and may make you similarly happy, just no black gloss finish) and the Monolith 365C which can be ordered from the Walmart website giving you the option of an in-store return.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Of the 4 centers you listed above, I'd take the Ultra center by a country mile. And don't waste another second thinking about "matching" by going with the same brand---that persistent myth is laid out here (at #1 on the list):

A list of some excellent centers here:

For easiest returnability, I'd look at the SVS Prime center as well (half the cost of the Ultra center and may make you similarly happy, just no black gloss finish) and the Monolith 365C which can be ordered from the Walmart website giving you the option of an in-store return.
So you'd recommend the SVS over the ML 50XTi even?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey you tried setting your current center channel vertically? You do have the space.
I have not tried that, I don't think it would pass the kid test though. I'll play around with it though and see if it makes a significant difference.
 

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So you'd recommend the SVS over the ML 50XTi even?
Oh yes, easily.

With the ML you're mainly paying through the nose for a very pretty cabinet. It's just a simple 2 way design. If you are ok with a less pretty cabinet and like an AMT tweeter, the Emotiva C2+ would be the way to go at half the price...if you aren't scared off by all the recent handwringing over its off axis measurements.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Oh yes, easily.

With the ML you're mainly paying through the nose for a very pretty cabinet. It's just a simple 2 way design. If you are ok with a less pretty cabinet and like an AMT tweeter, the Emotiva C2+ would be the way to go at half the price...if you aren't scared off by all the recent handwringing over its off axis measurements.
I appreciate your opinion on that for sure. Do you have any experience with the ELAC Carina CC241.4? Crutchfield has it for a steal.
 

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Do you have any experience with the ELAC Carina CC241.4? Crutchfield has it for a steal.
No, I haven't. Crutchfield has a wonderful flat rate return shipping charge of just $12 for center speakers...I'd give it a try if you're curious.

I'd say it's "a steal" relative to its MSRP, but relative to other center speakers on the market it's a so-so value at best, aside from the undeniably attractive cabinet.
 

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That center needs to be pointed up at an angle, right now it is hitting you in the knees not the ears. Gene over at Audiohaulics has a few videos on proper center channel placement and dialing it in for best sound. I would watch what he has published and maybe you will find your current center is actually fine. Just my .02
 

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Hey you tried setting your current center channel vertically? You do have the space.
That center channel is not designed to be oriented vertically. The driver configuration will not be optimal if he does this. Only bookshelf, tower, or LCR speakers should be oriented vertically as they are designed for that.

It would be like turning a tower speaker sideways, highly not advised.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That center needs to be pointed up at an angle, right now it is hitting you in the knees not the ears. Gene over at Audiohaulics has a few videos on proper center channel placement and dialing it in for best sound. I would watch what he has published and maybe you will find your current center is actually fine. Just my .02
The angle of the picture is poor. I used a laser level and it is aligned perfectly with the MSP. Thank you for helping to make sure I didn't overlook something!
 

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That center channel is not designed to be oriented vertically. The driver configuration will not be optimal if he does this.
That's really not the way it works. Centre speakers do the best they can given their horizontal configuration - but that horizontal configuration is inherently suboptimal.

It's almost always better to have tweeters in a line vertically with the midrange, because that achieves the most even response in the horizontal listening window.

A MTM centre speaker will usually work better if you stand it vertically, achieving that alignment.

Of course, if you had room to stand it vertically, you could have used a normal speaker in the first place and done even better, but it's still true that a centre placed vertically is usually going to work better than placed in its intended horizontal orientation.

The main exception to this would be a 3-way centre with tweeter and midrange vertically aligned when horizontal - that will get worse if you set it vertical, putting the tweeter and midrange side-by-side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That's really not the way it works. Centre speakers do the best they can given their horizontal configuration - but that horizontal configuration is inherently suboptimal.

It's almost always better to have tweeters in a line vertically with the midrange, because that achieves the most even response in the horizontal listening window.

A MTM centre speaker will usually work better if you stand it vertically, achieving that alignment.

Of course, if you had room to stand it vertically, you could have used a normal speaker in the first place and done even better, but it's still true that a centre placed vertically is usually going to work better than placed in its intended horizontal orientation.

The main exception to this would be a 3-way centre with tweeter and midrange vertically aligned when horizontal - that will get worse if you set it vertical, putting the tweeter and midrange side-by-side.
Either way I'll give it a try. It is an easy thing to play with. I doubt I could leave it vertically, but would be interesting to experiment with.

@BroMaro

This 3 way center costs the same as that ELAC and has free returns---not as pretty a cabinet but I'd pick it over the Carina center in a heartbeat.
I didn't realize the new Monolith line was getting that much respect. I'll definitely keep that one in mind, although admittedly the purdiness of the cabinet does factor in. My most obvious question would be, would any of these choices be a significant upgrade over my CLR 2500? It was quite heralded in it's day besides the greatly exaggerated frequency response of the subwoofer.
 

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Either way I'll give it a try. It is an easy thing to play with. I doubt I could leave it vertically, but would be interesting to experiment with.
One significant practical downside is that if you do want/need to aim vertically, as previous posters have mentioned, much easier to do that with a horizontally-set centre channel.

But maybe being vertical gets you more in the correct position vertically anyway, reducing need for tilt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One significant practical downside is that if you do want/need to aim vertically, as previous posters have mentioned, much easier to do that with a horizontally-set centre channel.
I would mostly be trying it for an experiment, it certainly would not be a solution.
 
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Hi All,

I am wanting to buy a new center channel. I currently have an Onkyo TX-RZ810 driving all DefTec stuff beginning with the CLR 2500 center, BP7002 towers, D8R heights, BP-2Xs rears, & a SVS PB-4000. I've had most of this setup for about 15 years (besides the receiver & PB-4000 which are much newer). I loved the center when it was new, but I really find it muddy now. I do not want to replace my towers, just add a new and higher quality center. Where I live my auditioning options are very limited so I'd like your feedback on the best choice. Size is not an issue as I have all the space in the world for a center. Gloss black would be ideal. Below are my thoughts on choices:

DefTec Demand D5C: This is the best option as far as matching goes, plus they can be found for an excellent price right now.
Focal Chora 6.5": These seem to have great reviews and with the ally tweeter, might match better than some other options out there.
SVS Ultra Center: Don't know much about this one, but it has good reviews and will cosmetically match.
Martin Logan 50XTi: Concerned about how the ribbon tweeter will match. Obviously the price causes some hesitation, but I'll spend it if it is worth it.

Am I missing another good option? Below is a pic of my setup, more for fun than anything. Thanks everybody in advance for their input.
View attachment 3278733
Your mains and surrounds are bipoles. This will make it difficult to "timbre-match" them, as their timbre will change based on their in-room positions and even their toe-in. (Quite honestly, I think your L/R speakers could benefit from being further away from the boundary walls to make better use of their bipole design).

I would not suggest using another bipole in the CC position. The CC carries most of the dialogue, and dialogue does not benefit from adding a bunch of reflected energy to it. In fact, that can have a significant detrimental effect, depending on the strength and timing of the reflections. Better to use a monopole design with less reflected energy.

Bottom line, for you, my suggestion would be to look for the most "neutral" speaker you can find for the CC position. A "neutral speaker should mate well with a lot of different timbre's of L/R mains and surrounds. A vertically oriented speaker can have neutral response and wide horizontal dispersion, which is the best solution for a CC. Take a look at some of the measurements websites to try to find neutral speakers with wide dispersion.

If you desire to limit yourself to horizontal CC designs, look for 3-way designs that "stack" the midrange and tweeter between the horizontally displaced woofers, (often referred to a W(TM)W designs), which designates the woofers on either side of the tweeter/midrange stack. These types of designs generally have better on/off-axis dispersion than the more standard 2-way MTM designs which can suffer from acoustic inteference between the woofers.

Good luck!

Craig
 

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That's really not the way it works. Centre speakers do the best they can given their horizontal configuration - but that horizontal configuration is inherently suboptimal.

It's almost always better to have tweeters in a line vertically with the midrange, because that achieves the most even response in the horizontal listening window.

A MTM centre speaker will usually work better if you stand it vertically, achieving that alignment.

Of course, if you had room to stand it vertically, you could have used a normal speaker in the first place and done even better, but it's still true that a centre placed vertically is usually going to work better than placed in its intended horizontal orientation.

The main exception to this would be a 3-way centre with tweeter and midrange vertically aligned when horizontal - that will get worse if you set it vertical, putting the tweeter and midrange side-by-side.
I was thinking he had a 3 way speaker, but it does seem to be a CLR speaker upon reading. Typically though, centers aren't designed for vertical oreintation - and I do agree they are a compromise.
 

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Typically though, centers aren't designed for vertical oreintation - and I do agree they are a compromise.
Right, but that dictates their basic form. If they were designed for vertical operation, they'd just be like any other speaker.

Like the Nintendo Switch - that's not designed to be a fixed mains-powered gaming console - it's designed to be portable. Still works better when plugged in though.

Same with a centre speaker - designed to work satisfactorily when sideways, unlike a normal speaker. Still (often) works better when vertical.
 

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I have matching center speakers now on both sets. It really isn't too difficult. In the early days I really didn't know or care much. One day I played the test tones (receiver calibration menu/section) and the same tone/sound plays/jumps from one speaker to another basically exercising all the many speakers one at the time. That was the day I knew i wanted the front 3 to be the same model.
 
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