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What High Output Center Channel to Pair With 1099 Towers? 8" max height

988 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  BlkSC
Updated thread title 7/30. Erich got back to me again and really thinks the Apollo would not be a good match for the 1099s.
I am hoping for some suggestions on any other center channel designs were the max height is below 8 inches.
One of the designs I researched was the Ares MTM, same designer, but uses the smaller Anarchy woofers. I wonder if what might be ideal is a 4 woofer 5" Anarchy design but I haven't found anyone that has attempted that.

I reached out to @Erich H and he got back to me with an initial conversation, but we all know he is extremely busy. For my brother's 1099 tower L and R builds, I am also trying to solve a center channel problem.

Here's the 1099 progress. They are actually fully prepped for veneer right now.

My brother's livingroom is a giant ~30' X ~16' rectangle with a (stupid) gas insert fireplace in the middle of one of the long walls with an 85" Sony mounted above the mantel (also stupid). Unfortunately, the room layout is not going to change despite my pushing. He has been using a Polk S35 center channel under his TV on the mantel.


Might look impressive in a photo, but those are 3" woofers. lol
Even with a couple of cheapie Polk floorstanders filling in for left and right duty while he waits on his 1099s, he has to crank the center channel in order to be able to mostly hear a movie and TV show.
Anyway, once I deliver his 1099's, his current center channel is going to be even more woefully inadequate.

Here is a rough layout for all you visual learners.


Terrible, right? As you can see, nobody can actually sit in a good position relative to the LCR speakers and the center is never going to be pointed more towards the couch.

If we move the TV a couple more inches up (ugh), I could probably squeeze an 8" high center channel under his TV. I got looking at what the DIYSG options are and I like what the Apollo-7 MTM offers. I would make a custom baffle that would squash down the cabinet height to absolute minimum leaving the top and bottom edges of those Anarchies right up to the edges. The front would be ported. Everything I have read says that the Apollo is capable of very high output. I also like that it has a little waveguide to help dispersion on the tweeter. One of the rubs is that the Apollo has relatively low sensitivity; 88db (especially compared to the 1099s). His Denon AVR-X4300H is spec'd at 165WPC into 6 ohms, the Apollo MTM is a "friendly" 4 ohm design which works to our benefit on the wattage side.

Please help me out with the question, will the Apollo-7 MTM work for me with a pair of 1099s in this room? Ideally, a big wide waveguide would be better, but there are simply no SEOS designs that are going to fit under his TV.
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Have you considered replacing the mantle with a new one that has a built-in center channel speaker? This idea might give the extra height that you are wanting for a larger speaker.
I've read that the Apollo MTM really isn't ideal in a horizontal configuration, see below, post #6
From the designer himself, Pete Schumacher

There is 11db difference in efficiency between the 1099's and the Apollo MTM, 14db difference between the 1099's and Apollo MT. I have no experience with this but I'd think the receiver could...level match?...the speakers, but it might depend on how much he cranks the volume? Again, all of this is conjecture on my part, I may have even created terms that don't exist...

This probably isn't an ideal setup for a phantom center but have you considered waiting to get the 1099's set up and see how they do without a center?
@Charles Collins Yes, I’ve thought about it, but I’m not looking for another major project to do for someone else. His mantel shelf is going to stay the way it is. The way his gas insert is would make it a very involved project that I’m not in a place to sign up for, especially with the 6 hour drive between us.
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This probably isn't an ideal setup for a phantom center but have you considered waiting to get the 1099's set up and see how they do without a center?
I have discussed trying out a phantom center with him once the 1099s are in place. That may be the way we go. Thanks for the link!
I read through the thread that @BlkSC sent and I think I'm going to push forward with trying to get an Apollo MTM. One of the comments that Pete (the designer) made in that thread was that for horizontal use, pushing the tweeter up and moving the woofers even closer together would help a bit with potential lobing issues. Since I would be building a baffle from scratch anyway, I could do just that.
Now it's just a waiting game.
It'd be harder to squeeze it in but another possible option is Matt Grant's Nexus center speaker. My current LCR are the Nexus towers and center, I'm still quite happy with them and you MIGHT be able to squeeze the baffle down to 9" tall. Post #5 is the center channel

Nexus speakers
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