Castle Avon speakers for AV use ?

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I'll be buying an AV amp soon but I think I need to make a decision about speakers first.
I currently have a pair of Castle Avon floorstanding speakers and am not sure whether I will be able to use these as the front speakers in an AV setup. If I do decide to keep them, what speakers can I partner them with ? I would prefer small speakers for rear and centre if possible.
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
No reason why you shouldnt be able to use these in an AV based system,assuming you like the sound currently,and perhaps choosing some small speakers from their current ranges,plus a suitable centre speaker will give you what you're looking for,plus keeping the overall sound balance similar.

The latter is very important,as matching speakers from different manufacturers can be time consuming and difficult.
 

Ian J

Banned
It is important that the centre speaker is as good a tonal match to the Castle Avon's as possible so that the sounds don't change when panning from left to right, so something from the Castle range is probably your best bet. Why not contact the manufacturer and ask their advice.

Don't forget that 80% of the film's soundtrack comes from the centre speaker so try not to skimp too much in your quest for something small.

It isn't quite so important for the rears to match the fronts but if you want to stick to the same manufacturer the Castle Compacts seem to be very well thought of.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the info chaps. I wasn't aware of the importance of centre speakers, so I'll get in touch with Castle about it. It would be nice to get the same mahogany finish on all the speakers as well.
 

MartinImber

Active Member
Castle are pretty good
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
If I use the full Castle setup for speakers, would the Denon 3803 (maybe the 3805) and the Pioneer AX5i be the sort of receiver I should be looking at ?
I've done a bit of searching through the Amp forum and it would appear that I might be better with the Denon as I think the Castle Avons are revealing/bright to my ears and the Denon would maybe balance this.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
Would encourage you to look at the Marantz SR7400 as well, We've got one in to help us test some stuff and sonically it is right on the ball- fast and agile but not silly bright. This one has no indication of drop outs and lag on the digital inputs either.
John, my Dad has used a pair of Harlechs as a stereo pair and now his fronts with Naim gear for 3 years and refuses to change for anything (which on a personal level is a little emabarrasing!).
 

MartinImber

Active Member
I would love to get some top end speakers - the PEmbrokes are mid range and I can hit their limits.

The big Castles are sublime sounding
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
Another couple of questions if I may:-
I'm assuming that they are not magentically shielded, so what sort of distance should they be away from the television ?
Would it be practical to try them out in stereo mode with an AV amp to see what they will sound like with music ? The reason for this is that I haven't got the rest of the speakers yet, and I thought I may buy the amp first and add the speakers as finances allow.
 

Nobber22

Novice Member
Originally posted by JohnG

Would it be practical to try them out in stereo mode with an AV amp to see what they will sound like with music ?
Absolutely. I prefer to do all my speaker demoing with just the fronts in stereo used. You get to really LISTEN to the speakers, without being distracted by visuals or (worse) marveling at the "way the sound pans across the front 3 and then wonderfully fills the rear soundstage, etc". That can come later.

You will likely listen to CDs with your amp and front two in the future anyway, so liking the sound they make is vital to start with.

People always talk about a matching CENTRE speaker for the front two, not the other way around. ;)
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
It looks like I'll be going for the Denon 3508. I've just found an old pair of B&W DM-302 speakers in the loft that I'd forgot about :blush: would these be OK to use as rear speakers ?
 

MartinImber

Active Member
JohnG said:
It looks like I'll be going for the Denon 3508. I've just found an old pair of B&W DM-302 speakers in the loft that I'd forgot about :blush: would these be OK to use as rear speakers ?
Yes - at least temporarily - my first rear speakers were embarrasing- off an old midi system my dad used to own.
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
Having looked at the Castle range on their web site, I may be as well getting a pair of their compact speakers as they are so much smaller and nicer looking than my DM-302's.
A few questions about centre speakers:-
Do people tend to put their centre speaker on top of the TV ?
If so will it vibrate or rattle in that position ?
Could you use 2 of the compact satellites positioned just to either side of the TV instead of a centre - or is the centre a special speaker ?

Sorry if these questions seem dumb. but I'd like to do things right from the start
 

MartinImber

Active Member
On top of TV sitting on a mousemat to insulate vibrations from the TV (this works!)
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I've just read a review of the Castle Keep 2 centre speaker and it says that it sounds muffled and disappointing if placed on top of the screen. It's improved if it's on a dedicated speaker stand. Would I be better off looking at another centre speaker from another manufacturer ? If so, who would be the best to advise me on centre speakers that would be a sonic match for my Avon front speakers ? And lastly, why is nothing ever straight forward !!
 

MartinImber

Active Member
JohnG said:
I've just read a review of the Castle Keep 2 centre speaker and it says that it sounds muffled and disappointing if placed on top of the screen. It's improved if it's on a dedicated speaker stand. Would I be better off looking at another centre speaker from another manufacturer ? If so, who would be the best to advise me on centre speakers that would be a sonic match for my Avon front speakers ? And lastly, why is nothing ever straight forward !!
But what did it sound like on top of your TV?

I don't trust too many reviews
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
I haven't actually tried one yet - but I know what you mean. I suppose I'm trying to work out if it's best to buy Castle speakers to match my existing Avon speakers or if I should get a whole new set of speakers and part exchange them. Do HiFi shops allow you to try centre speakers and subs at home ?
 
N

nikyzf

Guest
JohnG said:
I haven't actually tried one yet - but I know what you mean. I suppose I'm trying to work out if it's best to buy Castle speakers to match my existing Avon speakers or if I should get a whole new set of speakers and part exchange them. Do HiFi shops allow you to try centre speakers and subs at home ?
I hope you don't mind if I sneak in my own related question, but can our experts tell me why it is essential to have a centre speaker for AV use if we get good stereo from 2 front speakers? Surely the "centre" information appears as a phantom image, just as it does when playing stereo sources? In any case, if it IS required, to work at its best it needs to be where the screen is, which makes for a clumsy-looking setup (IMHO of course).
 

cosmic023

Novice Member
As posted by IanJ

"80% of the film's soundtrack comes from the centre speaker"

I think that pretty much says what you need to know. It's not needed for regular 2ch audio sources. (Unless you use DVD-A or SACD, or any multichannel music)
 
N

nikyzf

Guest
cosmic023 said:
As posted by IanJ

"80% of the film's soundtrack comes from the centre speaker"

I think that pretty much says what you need to know. It's not needed for regular 2ch audio sources. (Unless you use DVD-A or SACD, or any multichannel music)
I'm sorry but that raises more questions:-

1. If the "centre" channel were to be equally split and added to the front L/R channels, then the centre part of the front output will appear as a centre image anyway. If not, then 2-channel stereo wouldn't work (it does).

2. If OTOH we DO need a dedicated centre channel/speaker because it carries 80% of the soundtrack, then surely the quality of that speaker is paramount and ALL other speakers are secondary as they only carry directional or bass info (only 20% of the total, remember). It then follows that this centre speaker must be properly mounted and positioned, not just plonked on top of a TV! (In cinemas, centre speakers normally hide behind the screen.)

I don't mean to seem argumentative, just trying to make sense of all this! :D
 

HMHB

Distinguished Member
Well I've finally connected my Avon speakers up to my new Denon 3805, along with a Keep2 centre speaker and Compacts for rears (all Castle speakers).
I used the 1st 10 minutes of Master and Commander as a test - oh my God I've never felt bass like that before ! I was going to save up for a sub as my next purchase but I'm not convinced that I actually need one. The whole floor shakes when the French ship opens fire, not only that it feels as if the ripple of the floorboards is approaching you as well. Bare in mind that my TV did do DD5.1 and DTS decoding so I'm not totally new to this, but this is on a different level.
A couple of questions
1) The amp has set the Keep2 Centre speaker up as small - is this correct ?
2) I've told the amp there is no sub present, do I still have to set the crossover frequency ?
 

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