Bronze 2 / Centre upgrade - Silver 50 or Silver 100?

buffeh

Standard Member
I currently have Bronze 2 / Bronze C150 Centre and Bronze FX speakers with Denon 3500H. I have what I believe is a very good sub (a BK PB P12-300SB-PR)

My room is only 3.5m by 3.5m, listening position is middle of the room. Main usage is movies and games, 2ch music usage is very rare.

I have found the Centre channel lacking in terms of clarity and getting overwhelmed by the LR mains, I have it overhanging the cabinet it's sat on (it is not enclosed) in front of the TV, and angled up towards the listening position. I have run Audyssey (many times!) and have the centre bumped up 3db. I have Dynamic EQ disabled. I have all my crossovers set to 80hz. I have tried a higher crossover for the centre (100hz and 120hz) and this possibly helps a little - I have tried Dynamic Volume on light but don't like the way it flattens out the levels.

As an example - I watched Hamilton on Disney+ which is in 5.1, so the vocals come through the centre, and I had trouble making out the vocals - particuarly when there was a lot of instrumentation / multiple singers - due to a lack of clarity. I watched a different musical show a few days later which was in Stereo, and the vocals were significantly easier to understand.

I do have a wooden coffee table between centre and listening position but I've experimented with moving it and don't feel like that made much, if any, of a difference. I have run the Audyssey MultiEQ app so I can see what the microphone picks up in terms of the "before correction", and the graph basically looks the same with or without the coffee table, the latter meaning nothing is between me and the speaker except a carpeted floor. I note that the centre speaker graph has quite a few peaks in the low frequency area, much more so than the other speakers, which could contribute to muddy dialogue, either something is not right or this is just how the speaker naturally is!

Sometimes I feel the dialogue on the centre is so muddy / quieter / hard to understand that the speaker must be faulty, but both woofers and the tweeter seem to be working, and it's definitely wired up correctly + to + and - to -. I don't know if it can be faulty in a specific way that means it sounds bad even if all parts seem to be firing ok. I do feel it sounded clearer when it was new, but maybe that's just because I'm concentrating on it more now!

Anyway I am digressing slightly! I was considering an upgrade to the Silver Centre C150, if that didn't make a difference I will return it, if it DOES make a significant difference I might be tempted to upgrade the L and R to properly timbre match. If for some reason it makes a big difference I'd probably think my Bronze C150 was faulty - I guess I can find out....!

If I did want to upgrade the L and R to match, according to Monitor Audio themselves the C150 is meant to go with the smaller Silver 50 or 200, although Richer Sounds say it goes with the Silver 100 as well, and many sites (i.e Peter Tyson) sell the C150 + Silver 100 combo as a set so it can't be that crazy a thing to do.

I wonder if I would be happier with the smaller Silver 50 as they would have the same size drivers as the Silver C150 centre, so wouldn't overwhelm it - but I DO like the way my larger Bronze 2 speakers sound, and I have got used to / enjoy the way they look at the front of the room in terms of size, so I would be concerned that the smaller Silver 50s would look a bit small and lost on the Ataca 6i stands I have.... and obviously I'd be concerned that the Silver 50s would underwhelm me sonically when compared to the Bronze 2s.....!

I think the logical upgrade from the Bronze 2's is meant to be the Silver 100s, but they are quite a bit bigger than the Bronze 2s and my Bronze 2s are already dangerously close to the wall, I don't think I can pull the stands out into the room any more really and the Silver 100s need more space to breathe, presumably the Silver 50s can get away with being a bit closer to the wall especially with the port bungs in.

Also I understand the Silver 100s are really meant to go with the C350 centre, believe me I'd love to get the C350 centre but I just can't fit it into my setup, I have thought of ways to do it but it's just not going to happen! So I would be concerned the Silver 100s would overwhelm the Silver C150 if I go that route.

Anyway sorry for the wall of text, I'm just getting a bit fed up of spending time focussing on the dialogue clarity / quality rather than just enjoying the things I'm watching, if I try the Silver C150 and it doesn't help I'll probably just return it, sell my Bronze C150, and go phantom centre, which I have tried and do feel that the clarity is improved, but I like having a centre probably for the rather stupid reason that "it's correct to have one for a 5.1 setup"!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Go to Denon menu under Mult EQ XT32, there you will find eq curves Reference (default - rolls off high frequencies), Flat, Bypass L/R, Off. I would try turning the Audussey correction off first and play the same movie again to see has Audussey corrected somewhere too much. If you have the app it means you have run Audussey with it, you should turn midrange compensation Off and perhaps try limiting the correction lower around 300-500hz only. But first try to turn Audussey Off and listen does it sound better, is it related anything to corrected sound. Sounds bit strange cause i had the older Bronze Centre and there was never any issue with it when it was placed optimally. AVF review kinda said the same.

The placement sounds fine and you have tilted shooting upwards, perhaps the speaker is even decoupled from the unit it sits on. And you don`t sit against rear wall which often can affect negatively.. Well report back after trying how it sounds without Audussey correction.
 

buffeh

Standard Member
Hi,

Thanks for your help, I have read many of your other posts on this forum and found them very useful :) - also if it makes any difference I realised I actually have Bronze Centre rather than the newer Bronze C150.

I have experimented quite a lot with Audyssey off and limited to 250 / 300 / 400 / 500hz correction using the app, and I run with Midrange Correction turned off. I did notice a slight improvement in dialogue clarity with Audyssey off but then the sound in general is a lot "worse" and far less encompassing, and the dialogue quality still isn't what I would call great.

Limiting correction to schroder frequency (250hz in my room) also helps a bit but then dialogue is quite "boomy" which also doesn't help intelligibility.

I have attached my screenshots from the MultiEQ app, with and without the 500hz limitation. As the lower frequencies have "spikes" in, with the range limited to 500hz it averages out to still somewhat boomy, as you can see.

As for placement yes I am tilting it up with 2 rubber door stop wedges so it's almost entirely de-coupled from the surface it's on (which is a glass TV stand base), only the back edge of the speaker is touching the stand.

I was able to pick up a Silver C150 today, with the understanding that I can return it for any reason within 14 days to my local Richersounds (for a 10% restocking fee maybe, but I accept that), I have put it in place and run Audyssey on the MultiEQ app, what I do note is that the "before" graph for the silver C150 looks almost identical to the ones for the Bronze Centre I have attached below. So I'm thinking there is nothing at all wrong with my speaker, maybe it's just my ears (I'm not ruling out that maybe I'm just going deaf, I'm under 40 (just!) but it's possible!)

Having listened to a few things I do note that things sound crisper / more clarity. I need to test more stuff to see if it really makes a big difference. In my quick testing I didn't notice any mismatch with the L and R speakers in a couple of action movie scenes (with stuff panning back and forth) I watched - and I was actively listening for it! I think the fact they are the same manufacturer and the fact that Audyssey blends them together helps.

I'm still not sure if this is a good use of £350 though. Plus the silver C150 fits worse than the Bronze centre did in my setup. As I can barely get the speaker under the bottom lip of the TV, and the silver C150 is deeper, it's now sticking out off the TV unit a somewhat stupid amount. I was never really happy with how the Bronze centre fit either, really.

I hear a lot of positive things about the Apex A40 as a centre speaker, and at 140mm high (I presume when MA say it's 610mm high, they mean long / if it's vertical!) it would fit nicer than either the bronze or silver centres. But I gather it wouldn't be a great acoustic match to the Bronze 2 bookshelves I already have..... also not sure why it would be better, i.e. what's better about it's 2 5.5" drivers than the MA Bronze centre 2 5.5" drivers? Maybe because they are further apart on the Apex A40 they don't "cancel each other out" as much?

I also do appreciate I should really be demo-ing these things before buying, but I'm not so keen on doing stuff like that during a pandemic....

Any further thoughts appreciated, sorry for writing so much again!
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Well you have tried everything then. I would keep listening the Silver C150 if you can imagine keeping it. Some reviews said the Silvers "opened" up quite a bit after some break in. It´s bit tough to swallow, but if you have time to keep it then keep playing it day and night! Otherwise try the A40. It`s basically same level speaker while being more of lifestyle design, but the driver technology is similar what is in Silver range (C-CAM RST) and the tweeter is better than what is on Bronze plus the cabinet is built sturdier. I have yet to hear anyone not being satisfied with it. It´s not the latest model and not cheap, but if you don´t have much options regarding size wise then try that at home if home trial applies to that too. And as you and many other members have noticed they don`t notice anything that would put them off with mixing Bronze and Silver and then running correction so you should be fine similar way with Apex. I wouldn`t put any emphasis on those measurements, the after graph is simulated. It´s not true, it wouldn´t look like that if measured with better gear.
 

buffeh

Standard Member
Well you have tried everything then. I would keep listening the Silver C150 if you can imagine keeping it. Some reviews said the Silvers "opened" up quite a bit after some break in. It´s bit tough to swallow, but if you have time to keep it then keep playing it day and night! Otherwise try the A40. It`s basically same level speaker while being more of lifestyle design, but the driver technology is similar what is in Silver range (C-CAM RST) and the tweeter is better than what is on Bronze plus the cabinet is built sturdier. I have yet to hear anyone not being satisfied with it. It´s not the latest model and not cheap, but if you don´t have much options regarding size wise then try that at home if home trial applies to that too. And as you and many other members have noticed they don`t notice anything that would put them off with mixing Bronze and Silver and then running correction so you should be fine similar way with Apex. I wouldn`t put any emphasis on those measurements, the after graph is simulated. It´s not true, it wouldn´t look like that if measured with better gear.

Hi,

Thanks again for being so helpful, I'll give the Silver C150 a week but if it sounds good and the Apex A40 is likely to sound just as good and fit better I'll probably go for that. Honestly for £500+ if I'm not happy with that as a centre then I guess I'm just very hard to please or genuinely have to get my hearing checked (which I probably will do when covid dies down a bit!)

It's not so much that Richersounds will give me a home trial it's more that they have a decent returns policy - honestly trying things in the home environment is better anyway and if that costs me the 10% restocking fee so be it! Plus I am giving back to the audio community by creating open box clearance deals others can buy :)

I have noticed that I can't get the Apex A40 in Black Ash to match my other speakers which might drive me a bit mad, but maybe I can justify the fact that it's black and glossy and "part of" the black glossy TV, rather than one of my main speakers!

If I did want to eventually replace my Bronze 2 left and right with something to match the Apex A40, would you recommend anything in particular? And would the Bronze FX still be ok as rears?

As for the Audyssey graphs I meant the "before" graphs were the same between the Bronze Centre and Silver C150, I know the after graphs are basically a hugely optimistic lie :)

Thanks again so much for your help! I will get there in the end :)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Great! Well if you would wall mount then see my post #63 click to expand you see 6pictures of Apexes. A10 or A40 upright would be most ideal scenario, but then again you should be able to use the new Silver 50s too. Or buy used Silver 1 (5th Gen) in gloss black below, i think 250£ could be fine price. They use larger cab and drivers (6") than the new Silver 50s. I heard these (S6) over Bronzes when i bought mine and yeah they sounded better. :) But 50% higher price was tough to swallow.


See here the Apex pictures:
 

buffeh

Standard Member
Thanks, very helpful! Would the Bronze FX at the rear still be ok with the options you suggested?
 

GrazzaB

Well-known Member
The Bronze centre speakers have always been pretty strong - the 5G bronze was very good and I found the 6G Bronze 150 centre to be incredibly clear so I think there must be something else at play here maybe? Definitely no wires touching or not screwed in properly on the binding posts?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks, very helpful! Would the Bronze FX at the rear still be ok with the options you suggested?

Yes, definitely! We have lot of members who has Bronze FXs or the bookshelf versions mixed with Silvers. And if you look any other audio forum you will find lot of people mixing surround and atmos channels from different brands and it doesn´t bother them one bit after they are level matched and eq`d.
 

buffeh

Standard Member
Gasp - thanks for that! I managed to get a cheap A40 off eBay which I'm pleased about, assuming I like it maybe I'll think about keeping an eye on the used market and going for another 2 A40s for the front as suggested. Will my Denon 3500H be ok with that?

Grazza - I've checked and double checked the wiring, I even bought a new pre-banana plug piece of cable for just the centre to rule that out. I would imagine that if something was wired up wrong / shorting out, the Audyssey MultiEQ "before" graphs I attached would look more messed up than they do (maybe)

I do still have my old AMP that I haven't sold yet, so maybe I'll plug that in out of curiosity and see if it sounds much different.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Gasp - thanks for that! I managed to get a cheap A40 off eBay which I'm pleased about, assuming I like it maybe I'll think about keeping an eye on the used market and going for another 2 A40s for the front as suggested. Will my Denon 3500H be ok with that?

Grazza - I've checked and double checked the wiring, I even bought a new pre-banana plug piece of cable for just the centre to rule that out. I would imagine that if something was wired up wrong / shorting out, the Audyssey MultiEQ "before" graphs I attached would look more messed up than they do (maybe)

I do still have my old AMP that I haven't sold yet, so maybe I'll plug that in out of curiosity and see if it sounds much different.

Sounds like good plan. You may find those A40s used also as there is plenty of people using them mains and you never know if they are eyeing upgrade. Classified section here at AVF might come handy when time is right. But of course start with the center channel first to see is it something you can live with.

Denon X3500H is fine machine, no issue running Apex system.
 

Geordie Amanda

Active Member
I've run a 4.1 and a 6.1 system for many years and my Onkyo receivers have created a great phantom centre. Recently I changed my fronts to Monitor Audio Gold 100s, a Denon X4700 and latterly added a K3 power amp for the front pair. My issue has been with movies from Apple and Disney and such like, no longer having adequate dialogue levels compared to the fx and music (ie the stereo and surround audio was swamping speech). I tweaked a few settings, although the phantom centre is not a tweak that I could find anywhere :( and redid the Audyssey sweep, but to no avail. It wasn't so noticeable with TV sound tracks, but they are often mixed with a different idea of what is fed into the various channels and if the show is originally mixed in 5.1 in the dubbing suite, it may still be transmitted in stereo and an automatic fold down ratio is applied by the broadcaster. It drives me nuts, but there you go :rotfl:

Anyhoo

I've just added a centre, which is the Monitor Audio Silver C150 and so far it has improved things no end, at least with intelligibility and level of dialogue. TV sound mixers sometimes balance things like Outside Broadcast studio presenters and guests, or their commentators, (assuming at least 2) with a bit of stereo width, it depends on who is mixing, I suspect this narrow width may sound 7 more mono and central now I have a centre, but I'll wait to see. The big advantage of the centre is I can now increase the level of that channel if a movie is swamping the dialogue with music and fx etc. And it's all the easier with Denon, with it's handy quick presets and dual 'master' preset settings for its receivers. I'm still running the C150 in, but so far it sounds pretty good, if a little light at the bottom end, but then, that's not really what it's for imho
 

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