Need to change my Paradigm CC-470 for something smaller. Help!!
First I would like to thank everyone in helping me choose the Paradigm Studio 20's along with a sub for my home theater. I did all the listening or auditioning with music from Mozart , The motels to Van Halen. I fell in love with the 20's. The timber matched CC would be the CC-470 that I purchased with the Studio 20's. That CC is a monster. Way too big for my plasma console (photo below). I was so let down that everything didn't fall into place....as you can see. I'm just starting off with the home theater thing , starting with the plasma TV. I did have the home theater in the box (shudder) Onkyo HT500 before the plasma. I guess you can call it enlightenment. I acknowledge I was over 40 with two little ones under 5 and spent more time in front of the TV than riding my road bike. This forum helped me to look in the right direction in finding Paradigm. I have helped many in the cycling forum that is brother to this forum. The helping hand community is working. So, back to my problem. This CC-470 is just too large for my living room. My WIFE will KILL me if I try to stuff this 470 in the system. Can anyone help me in choosing a paradigm CC that will fit into the 20" max opening of my plasma console? By the way. The sensitivity or the 20's over the stock Onkyo speakers had me change my volume setting on the receiver down to 35 from 60!!
If anything, I would look for some kind of platform stand to elevate the plasma screen before deciding to swap out the center speaker. IMO, you got your question reversed from where the priorities should be. You actually should be asking what racks and stands are available that can accommodate your plasma screen and center speaker together, rather than trying to find a center speaker that can accommodate your entertainment unit.
The CC-470 is the timbre matched center speaker for the Studio series. If you go with something "smaller," especially if it's from a different manufacturer, you'll introduce a different set of tonal properties into the middle of the soundfield. This can compromise the sound quality and distort the front imaging. Also, if you ever decide to move the entertainment setup into a different room, or get a different rack, then you will have gotten rid of a matching center speaker for nothing.
If you want the center speaker to work optimally, then it needs to match the mains. If you get rid of the CC-470, you might as well start over and look for new main speakers as well, since the outer dimensions of the center speaker are what you're taking issue with. Like I said earlier, center speaker replacement should not be the only option on the table, finding a different entertainment unit is something else to consider.
I presented this same question on the Audioholics forum since there was no response here. A few said why not get another Studio 20 and lay it on it's side. One did and said it works perfectly. I think I'll run this by the dealer. It sounds like it would work. It will be inside the console behind a door of speaker mesh, unseen. What do you think?
First, Woochifer's comments are bang on - try to find a way to make this work.
However, there is a strong case to made for usingg identical speakers for LCR - the ideal situation would be for you to find a way to use a 20 vertically (ie normally) aligned. Using it on it's side might work though - it's not ideal, and the dispersal characteristics suffer (but that's generally true for all horizontal centers).
If you simply can't accommodate the 470 then I'd say give it a try.
The more I study up on horizontal MTM alignment center channel speakers, the more I realize how the notion of "timbre matching" is manipulated to the extreme by the industry.
The best, most perfect center channel for your system you could get would be another Studio 20. Even on it's side, it's dispersion pattern will still provide for it to be a better acoustic match to the other Studio 20's, and is far less prone to off-axis response variations and lobing than most center channels. Even using the same drivers, a horizontal woofer/tweeter/woofer center channel displays signficant changes in its response behaviour and tonality. What's worse, it's generally right in the crossover region, which lies within the most sensitive range of our hearing.
All that said, designers can be successful at making a center channel speaker mimic the response characteristics of L/R main speakers, but that can be done with many different driver combinations.
The more I swap speakers in and out of my own home theater for comparative evaluations, the more I believe that the resolution and sound quality of the speakers influences how much they "match" more than apparent "timbre". Try replacing your center speaker with one of lower performance capabilities and it'll drive you nuts. Then replace it with a center channel that is superior to your main speakers and you'll find the effect much less distracting and obvious.
I think finding another Studio 20 is the best option here. You might have to buy a pair and then sell the extra (or use it as a 6th channel?). Not to worry, there's plenty of people looking for 1 Studio 20.
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