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  1. #1
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    "Timbre matching" center with l/r

    So I recently picked up some boston acoustic cs 260 II's for $75 each off the amazon marketplace. Since any modern pair is going to set me back 250+, and I had 160 in gift balance, I figured I probably wouldn't see much better of a deal without spending real money. As I'm a college student, I don't have much of that.


    Now to the topic, I'm wanting a center for them (they sound decent, but I want a little more mid/high range. Bass is enough for music but I'll probably get the Dayton Sub 1000/1200 later). The model line's center is a bit out of my wallet's range, so I've been looking for alternatives. The front runners are the JBL HSL center and the BA center from the model line before mine.


    I've seen virtually every thread on centers recommend timbre matching the c/l/r, but I haven't been able to figure what that means data-wise with my searching. Here's the info on the centers (the ones I'm looking at and the one for my 260s):


    My model's center: http://www.bostonacoustics.com/Docum...ies_II_lit.pdf


    Model line prior: http://www.bostonacoustics.com/Docum...lassic_lit.pdf


    JBL: http://www.jbl.com/resources/Brands/...S%20Center.pdf


    In terms of specs it looks like the JBL matches my line's center more, but its tweeter is also half the size.


    Would you recommend:
    1) Go with one of the two I found
    2) Go with another that you recommend
    3) Save for this model line's center
    4) Ghost/phantom center and use the money for rears instead


    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    You should save for the models center speaker if you want to match the timber. Basically you want the center to match the general tone of the rest of your speakers. It should blend in. This is the best way to go.

    I run a 3.1 system for my Home Theater but I use a different brand center than my front speakers and they do not match. I personally don't care because HT is not that important to me. All I want is a center that has clear and understandable dialog. 2ch audio is my main focus.
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  3. #3
    abNORMal IBSTORMIN's Avatar
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    The goal of timbre matching is for all three front speakers to sound the same. As something moves across the screen it doesn't change in sound as it goes through the center channel. Most manufacturers use the same tweeters in all speakers in a series to achieve this. Some center channels have an adjustable tweeter to try to timbre match any speakers you already have. Because most center channel speakers have two large drivers compared to the L/R speakers only having one I've found the most real sounding is for all three front speakers to be exactly the same. I had two towers with a center channel speaker that did not sound as good as three powered bookshelf speakers, and all of the speakers were from the same line of Infinity speakers so they had the same tweeters. Even though the towers sounded better than the bookshelf speakers on music, the three identical bookshelf just sounded more real as things moved in H/T action scenes. The JBL polycarbonate tweeter will be harsh compared to the quality soft dome tweeter in the BA's. Looking at the speakers you purchased you will have two large drivers in each but they are of different sizes (5.25/6.5) and in different sized cabinets so they will sound slightly different in the mid/lower range which is not as important. I would get the BA center channel with the same tweeter for the best match unless you have room for another tower below your TV.
    Last edited by IBSTORMIN; 07-22-2013 at 03:53 PM.

  4. #4
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just another college kid View Post
    I've seen virtually every thread on centers recommend timbre matching the c/l/r, but I haven't been able to figure what that means data-wise with my searching.
    Using speakers with identical drivers from same company if not in a slightly different arrangement or having a somewhat smaller woofers as compared to the mains.

    Example

    While the center uses two woofers in a MTM arrangement, they use the same drivers. Don't buy the JBL - unless you use them for all five.

  5. #5
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    Ah, ok. I was looking at things like range, xover frequency, resistance, sensitivity, etc.

    That kinda makes me wonder why the cs 26 exists as a bookshelf, since it has the exact same drivers as the tower, just 1 woofer instead of 2.

    Thanks for clarifying what that term actually means, though

  6. #6
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just another college kid View Post
    That kinda makes me wonder why the cs 26 exists as a bookshelf, since it has the exact same drivers as the tower, just 1 woofer instead of 2.
    Lots of speaker companies make a range of speakers using the same components. The bookshelf form factor has always been more versatile than towers since you don't have to put them on the floor.

    Multiple woofers provides better power handling and usually lower response. That is the case with the Polk LSi series speakers I use in the HT. The mains, center and rears all use the same components. The mains and center use dual woofers while the rears use just one.

  7. #7
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    From my experience also, having the matching center makes all the difference in the world. I was driving Dynaudio 82s for fronts and 42s for rears but was using a Infinity Beta center speaker that was not anywhere near the same league. I could never hear the dialog. I was finally able to locate and purchase a 122c from the same Audience line and all was good.

    As per ESTAT's post, many speakes can have the same drivers but be a floorstander or a bookshelf. In the Audience line, there is a 122 floorstander and a 122c center, which except for the size of the cabinet, is the same speaker.

    Also as said, you can use 3 of the same bookshelf speakers to accomplish the task. Many MFGs sell certain speakers as L/R/C which means you can use them for either.
    Hyfi
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  8. #8
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    This has been a lot of great info Thanks everyone.

    Now about using 3 of the same speaker... would that work for 3 fronts as well? I have enough I could pick up a third 260 since somebody decided to undercut Amazon. Since I'm just listening to music, I can get away with a 2.1 for now. But my tv is wall mounted, so I would have room for a front underneath it.

  9. #9
    Lurker Hyfi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just another college kid View Post
    This has been a lot of great info Thanks everyone.

    Now about using 3 of the same speaker... would that work for 3 fronts as well? I have enough I could pick up a third 260 since somebody decided to undercut Amazon. Since I'm just listening to music, I can get away with a 2.1 for now. But my tv is wall mounted, so I would have room for a front underneath it.
    That should work well enough. Several people have gone that route.
    Hyfi
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Main - Rotel 1072 > VAC CLA1 MKII > Counterpoint NPS 400 > Clearfield Continentals > Synergystic Research
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Secondary - Oppo 93 > Hafler 945 Pre-Tuner >Odyssey Stratos Plus > JM Labs Tantal 509s > Tara Labs

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