Newbie needs a center channel [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-03-2004, 07:19 PM
Hi folks,
I am not a serious audio person, but I want to get the best I can for the small amount I am willing to spend. I have some very bad HT speakers and I would like to replace them, but I am planning on doing it a speaker or 2 at a time. I would first like to get a "decent" ( I know that is a relative term to use around here) center speaker first. I will then get some fronts that will match it later.

Would you please recommend, based on quality of the speaker and quality of matching speakers, one that might be in my acceptable price range?

For example, Here are some of the ones I am considering:
Polk Csi3
Cerwin Vega e-76c
of something else under $200 bucks (Hopefully well under $200)

I know that is not a lot to spend, but it's mostly for movies in a rather small room. But I'm not really all that picky, just want ones that will be clear and sound ok.


06-03-2004, 07:34 PM
i personally really like the athena asc1. then get some fronts "depending on the size you want" towers or bookshelves. some asf1's or asf2's for towers or some asb1's or asb2" for the smaller size.

polk makes a good center as well but when you add in the 2 fronts i think athena has the edge.

06-04-2004, 04:30 AM
I have found 4 speaker companies with (comparable products in your price range) to me offer superior sound than most competitors (again, in the $200 dollar price area).
PSB, Energy, Paradigm, and Athena all make solid speakers.
To lesser degree I've liked the Axiom, JBL, and Polk models in this range too.
The good news for you is that there is alot of options available.
I agree with uncooked, the asc1 is a good place to start. Listen to a few of these brands to get a feel for what you should expect. Try to demo as many as you can, then go back and give a more critical evaluation.
Everybody has different preferences.

I would suggest that you demo matching front main speakers at the same time. You'll want the front 3 speakers to match as closely as possible, even if you don't buy them all at once. So the decision on your center should very much take into consideration how it will work "as a team" with the main speakers.
Good luck.

06-04-2004, 10:28 AM
I took your advise and bought an athena asc1. I listened to it at Best Buy for a while and it did sound really nice. They have all of their Athena speakers on sale 25% off. So I paid $135 for it.

I also listened to the bookshelves and floor speakers. I liked all of them and I talked myself into getting the asf1's even though I was originally only going to get the center channel. While I was looking at the boxes on the shelf I saw a pair of asf2's open boxes that were $179 a piece. The as1's were going to cost $149 each so I decided to take a chance and go big.

Now I spent $500 on speakers when I originally intended to spend between 150 to 200. I'll let you know after a few movies how I like them. If I'm not 100% crazy about them I might take them back and just get the asb1's they sounded good for a bookshelf.


06-04-2004, 10:32 AM
Geez, imagine that, someone over-spending on audio gear...welcome to the club :)

06-04-2004, 03:41 PM
i like my athena's quite a bit. i hope you do to.

whats the amp you have them running with. ?

thats not a bad price at all to let you know. the asf2's sound similar to the asf1's but when it comes down to bass performance the asf2's murder the 1's "and the 1's are pretty dam good themselves.

06-05-2004, 04:48 AM
I have a Kenwood vr-507. I bought it a few years ago. At the time it was one of the few lower priced s that had DTS. I have been happy with it. I am very happy with it now that I can hear what I have been missing.

Funniest thing about this whole deal is, I was expecting to take a huge verbal beating from the wife for coming home with these. (Silly woman wants new furniture in the living room, you know the room in the front of the house where nobody sits unless all the family is over.) :confused:

But all she said was, good I was always worried those bookshelf speakers on the stands were going to fall off and hit one of the kids some day. She's playing it cool, but I still think these speakers are going to cost me couch or a love seat and a chair. I'll probably come home next week and see the furniture van in the driveway! :(

06-05-2004, 08:48 AM
so do you have it all wired up now? how does it sound?

and to let you know if you read the intructions it says there is a break in time, and this is one of the few rare speakers that actually sound better after the break in time, usually it does nothing on speakers.

you'll notice that as the days and weeks go on they will sound better and better.

so whats your whole set up, im interested in knowing, "tv, cd, dvd, rear speakers subwoofer" i can get a feel of what it sounds like, ive heard kenwoods, they sound good and loud with athenas,

06-06-2004, 06:45 PM
I have a 36 inch RCA tv I bought about 10 years ago. cd/dvd player is a Toshiba SE-R0090 that I got last year, and the Kenwood theater in a box that came with the reciever and I am using the bookshelf speakers that came with that for the rears.

I am also using the sub that came with the HT box kit. It's actually not bad. I had to turn it down a little lastnight while we were watching the Return of the King, because with these new speakers the floor and walls were shaking so much that the wine glasses in the next room were rattling together.