Small but decent center speaker

Clay Evans

Estimable
Jul 9, 2014
5
0
4,510
0
I am looking for a decent center speaker to round out my home theater (budget $100 to $200, $150 is sweet spot). I am by no means an audiophile or even enthusiast but I am very serious about my tech and really enjoy a good entertainment experience. I watch Netflix (roku 3), redbox (bluray whenever available), and videogames (primarily strategy and story driven. Eg. Mass Effect and total war).
Here is my setup so far.
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V375 5.1 Channel 3D A/V Home Theater
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B981F38/ref=wms_ohs_product?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Subwoofer: Dayton Audio SUB-800 8-Inch 80 Watt Powered Subwoofer
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0063NU30K/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Surround (rear L and R): Micca MB42 Bookshelf Speakers with 4-Inch Carbon Fiber Woofer and Silk Dome Tweeter
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009IUIV4A/ref=oh_details_o00_s01_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
L & R Front: Pioneer SP-FS51-LR Floorstanding Speakers Pair
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117403
“TV”: BenQ W1070
http://www.amazon.com/BenQ-W1070-1080P-Theater-Projector/dp/B00A2T6X0K/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1404934181&sr=1-1&keywords=1070w

The main issue I have is that I do not want an enormous center speaker. It appears that most good center speakers are either very large (ballpark of 7” by 8” by 20”) or expensive (north of $400). I have a piece of furniture that sits below the screen that holds the receiver and various media players. It has a shelf that would work well for a center speaker that is about 7.5” tall, 15” deep, and 20” wide. It is below a sheet of glass (that forms the top of the piece of furniture) so I don’t really want something that will look huge and ugly (preferably there would be space for other decorative items). I also don’t want something that is going to get overshadowed by my floor-standing L&R speakers.
I have been considering the following:
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-NS-C310BL-Bass-Reflex-Center-Speaker/dp/B001PZ674C/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1404934599&sr=1-3&keywords=center+speaker
http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-NS-C210BL-Bass-Reflex-Center-Speaker/dp/B002JCSG2Q/ref=sr_1_8?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1404934599&sr=1-8&keywords=center+speaker
http://www.amazon.com/Polk-Audio-TL1-Speaker-Center/dp/B0043M6668/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1404934599&sr=1-2&keywords=center+speaker
My guess is that the polk will sound too tiny. I prefer the smaller Yamaha (NS-C210BL) and the reviews are pretty decent but I would love any feedback and any other suggestions. Just know, $200 is a pretty hard max. I simply don’t think more will pay off for me and my wife.
Thanks in advance!
 

thee_prisoner

Distinguished
For HT the center channel and speaker are arguably the most important part of the system because dialogue and a decent amount of special effects come through the center. Also it depends on how big the room is and how far you sit away from the center speakers plus best case is to have it angled or at the level of your ears. IF you have a local dealer so you can bring home a unit first would be ideal(used even more).

PSB is an excellent speaker maker, well known with audio fans and this center speaker is a steal. They usually make more mid to higher end speakers, so I'm assuming this is a close out special due to being half off. I haven't heard it but have heard many PSB products over the years, and they sound very good. I would take an inexpensive PSB speaker over Yamaha pretty much every time.

Links 150.00 http://www.crutchfield.com/p_760IMGC4C/PSB-Image-C4-Dark-Cherry.html?showAll=N&search=image_c4&skipvs=T
175.00 price http://www.audioadvisor.com/PSB-Image-C4-Center-Channel-Speaker/productinfo/PBIMC4/#.U77VUfldV3p

Another PSB center 130.00 in black ash, less quality drivers then above but still better than that Yamaha.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_760ALPC1B/PSB-Alpha-C1-Black-Ash.html?tp=189

I hope that helps. I can't stress how much a good quality speaker and especially a center speaker is for home theater if you have a midsize room or above. personally for me in even in my smaller home office/gaming room(12x14), it's makes a difference.

Anyways, get back to us on what you're searching for and/or buy.

Be seeing you, the Prisoner...


 

thee_prisoner

Distinguished
For HT the center channel and speaker are arguably the most important part of the system because dialogue and a decent amount of special effects come through the center. Also it depends on how big the room is and how far you sit away from the center speakers plus best case is to have it angled or at the level of your ears. IF you have a local dealer so you can bring home a unit first would be ideal(used even more).

PSB is an excellent speaker maker, well known with audio fans and this center speaker is a steal. They usually make more mid to higher end speakers, so I'm assuming this is a close out special due to being half off. I haven't heard it but have heard many PSB products over the years, and they sound very good. I would take an inexpensive PSB speaker over Yamaha pretty much every time.

Links 150.00 http://www.crutchfield.com/p_760IMGC4C/PSB-Image-C4-Dark-Cherry.html?showAll=N&search=image_c4&skipvs=T
175.00 price http://www.audioadvisor.com/PSB-Image-C4-Center-Channel-Speaker/productinfo/PBIMC4/#.U77VUfldV3p

Another PSB center 130.00 in black ash, less quality drivers then above but still better than that Yamaha.
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_760ALPC1B/PSB-Alpha-C1-Black-Ash.html?tp=189

I hope that helps. I can't stress how much a good quality speaker and especially a center speaker is for home theater if you have a midsize room or above. personally for me in even in my smaller home office/gaming room(12x14), it's makes a difference.

Anyways, get back to us on what you're searching for and/or buy.

Be seeing you, the Prisoner...


 

thee_prisoner

Distinguished


The Ascenda's I would take over the Micca. It would be a good 3.0 setup. Thx for the link. They look like worth checking out! One cost 158.00 plus 24.00 shipping so within his budget.

Happy listening, the Prisoner...


 

Clay Evans

Estimable
Jul 9, 2014
5
0
4,510
0
I am pretty heavily leaning toward the PSB Image C4. The only thing I am worried about is the lack of official reviews and sellers online. That mixed with the fact that I have never heard of this brand has me worried. Do you have a link to a professional review? I am having trouble finding one.
Thanks for the thorough answer!
 

thee_prisoner

Distinguished
Clay you can research the brand as a whole. Since it is a small company, most of it's reviews are on audio forums and audio magazines.

Crutchfield's has been in business since the mid 70's. I wouldn't worry about them as a source. And they have a 60 day return policy plus the speaker has a 5 year warranty. Amazon sells the speaker but at 250.00.

The Pioneer that americanaudiophile linked to wouldn't be a bad speaker but the PSB will be a better quality choice. If you're thinking about upgrading your system, starting with a good/quality center channel would be a step forward.

Happy listening, the Prisoner...
 

abailey

Estimable
Mar 23, 2014
4
0
4,510
0
I agree with thee_prisoner. While it is important to have sonically matched speakers (especially the front three) it is not as much of a concern if your main goal is to have a system for video games and movies. Having the front three matched comes much more into play when you want to also play alot of music through your system. In your situation I would choose a higher quality center like the PSB over the sonically matched Pioneer, especially if you are looking to upgrade in the future.
 

Clay Evans

Estimable
Jul 9, 2014
5
0
4,510
0


Thanks a bunch guys, this has been a great first experience posting!
 
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