AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have heard the following speakers being mentioned in this forum as some of the really good center channel speakers


1. B&W HTM1

2. Thiel MCS1

3. Rocket CS200

4. Boston Acoustics VR-920

5. ACI Essence/Veritas

6. NHT m5/m6


What would be your recommendation for an outstanding center channel speaker - the criteria being dialogue clarity, presence and dispersion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,466 Posts
if one's budget will allow for it...don't forget to add the Aerial Acoustics CC-3 and CC-5...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Keep in mind that your center channel should have similiar sound as you mains have. So you should also listen to those before deciding which one to get.


It's really annoying to listen a system which doesn't sound similiar; bright mains and muffled/'dark' center. Bad idea...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,324 Posts
Add into that list the vsa lcr35 and 50 center channels...Im kinda auditioning systems right now based on center channel performance first and foremost since Im 70 percent ht...Is this what your doing Petiteface ?


Having listened to the m6, htm-2 and aerial cc-3 they are all good but so far my favorite has been the aerial cc3..I really want to give the vsa a listen, also revel as Ricky mentioned (maybe even the revel performa series center ?)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,665 Posts
I would add the Axiom VP150 ; its unique TWWWT configuration really helps on wide and uniform horizontal dispersion -- a difficult aspect for many center channels with a WTW type configuration.


That said, one should also consider a good bookshelf or floorstanding speaker as an excellent "vertical" center channel -- if you can place such a center channel (should be easy for many front projector users), at least you do not have the problem of horizontal robing, which can severely limits horizontal dispersion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
What a strange question :)


The best center speaker is identical to your right and left mains. Anything else is a compromise.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,665 Posts
Quote:
The best center speaker is identical to your right and left mains. Anything else is a compromise.
Yeah, but I guess the question is, "what is a better compromise" -- which is a legitimate, valid question.


Plus, a "vertical" center channel has its own share of compromise (assuming the L/R mains are vertical). Besides the fact that it is often awfully difficult to place, an "ideal" center channel should have all the drivers as close as possible to the screen -- which is one of the primary reasons why most center channels are designed horizontal in the first place.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Like others have said, the best option is to have identical speakers, at least across the front three. Aerial makes great centers as well as great L/Rs. The ACI Veritas is unique in offering a powered woofer section with the ability to use EQ to fine tune the speaker to it's placement. My personal HT plans are leaning towards Veritas center and vertical Veritas for L/R. I plan to visit the new ACI showroom in a month or so to audition the system.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,488 Posts
To be trite, the best center is the one that is identical to your front mains.


Most of these centers share a 3-way design rather than the horizontal MTM design which is the worst design for a center channel. Obviously, most of them are done right, it's a matter of preference and value. That's a pretty wide range there! 3-way designs have a good range of qualities including good upper midrange dispersion, good power handling and symmetrical dispersion. Only a very good vertical two-way can compete.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
I don't hear cerwin vega mentioned much here but I spent my bank on everything else so I had to shop in the cheap catagory for speakers.. I bought the e-712s and the e-76c center and together they sound fantastic to my ears 8 ) Very loud and the sound quality is very nice, but I guess acoustics can do wonderful things to cheap speakers if you are lucky to have a nice space.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Without a center that is identical to the mains, you are compromising. But with one of these you are not compromising by much:


Dunlavy CC2 or HRCC

KEF Reference 204c

Martin Logan (can't remember the model name, but their best center)


Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
733 Posts
My favorite is the B&W Nautilus HTM1. I've had mine for a little over a year.


It matches the sound of my N804s PERFECTLY. I ran my N804s in phantom mode for over 2 years. When I added the HTM1, I was almost disappointed. I couldn't HEAR it. That's high praise for a center, if you ask me!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
I have listened to many center channels in my HT setup and stopped auditioning when I purchased my B&W HTM-1. At $2000.00 it is a bit pricey, however, after listening to it I would do it all over again. Dialog is about as natural as being there and it handled all the 450w I am throwing at it.


Michael
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
If we are talking about big horizontal center speakers, the best ones are the ones that have the tweeter above the midrange unit and then the 2 bass drivers to the sides. Like the B&W HTM1 (or the 2-way HTM2). That would be the best compromise when making a horizontal center speaker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
Ditto on the Revel Voice... It is THE reference dedicated center channel speaker...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
psujohnny:


You are absolutely right. I am looking for the best center channel and am planning to upgrade the left and right speakers once I find the right one. The NHT M6 has me intrigued quite a bit. What is it that you found it lacking compared to others?


Although I agree that the best centers match the L+R, my question is more of assuming I could buy any L+R+center, what would the best center be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
I second the motion that the best cntr is equiv to your L and R mains.


----------------


Note:


This idea of ' best ' is all relative. The mag reviewers for the most part are full of ****, and are swayed by huge bias. Stereophile is by far the most unbiased. Absolute Sound being a close second.... so reviews by someone else ... is only a guide to point you in the right direction.


-----------------


Listening to speakers at your local hifi shop for hours and hours is the best way to find your perfect match.


You can spend thousands of $$$ on a center, but for most part people don't have the gear to really do the speakers justice.


Let your ears to the convincing, and then buy. If you can't afford what your ears like, come down a little bit in quality.


----------------


IMHO B & W by far are top tier.... there are other great manuf out there, BUT companies like Lucasfilms, ILM, THX, Telarc, American Gramaphone, EMI, etc.... they all use B & W speakers in there recording studios.... I think that beyond any mag reviews speaks for itself. You can't top that kind of endorsement.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top