New centre speaker - how important is tonal matching ?



I am considering upgrading the centre on my JMLab sib & cub package, and spoke to a highly reputable dealer for his thoughts. He suggested the Wharfedale Evo Centre (normal price £249, he has black version on sale at an extremely reasonable £149). This is the limit of my budget.

When I asked whether this would be tonally matched to my other speakers, his reply was that I should not get too hung up on matching as “if it is better, it is better”.

Do my fellow forum members agree with this statement ? Do you think this combination would sound good together / is worth the extra outlay ?

Many thanks.

Beastie Boy

Of all the speakers in your setup, the ones that need to integrate well are the front 3. As sounds pan across the front soundstage, it passes from the front left to centre to front right. If the centre doen't match, the sound will change as it moves across.

An example given to me was a Harley travelling across the screen. It could start off deep and throaty on the left, sound like a hair-dryer in the middle, back to deep on the right. This may be a bit exaggerated, but you get the idea.

Cheers, Beastie.


Well-known Member
The only case where I would consider not having a matched centre is if my current one was absolutaly awful and causing dificulty in hearing dialogue etc. Even in this case I would then buy matching fronts as soon as my finances allowed.

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