Polk Audio CSi A4 center speaker vs current wharfedale Diamond 11.CC (open to suggestion).

NewbieAudiophile

Active Member
Hi there,

So i've recently began using a 5.1.2 ssest up to watch movies, with a wharfedale 11.CC as the center.

I like it - it sounds good.

Only issue that i've noticed is that it only goes down to 85hz, but most likely it's operating at 100hz.

Looking around classifieds i've seen some other options that i could experiment with, and one that stood out was the Polk Audio CSi A4 center, which goes all the way down to 55Hz.

In the experiences of other AVforumers, which of these speakers is better?

Optimally, i would go for a SVS prime or ultra, but these speakers are upwards of $600-700 AUD, so a bit out of my price range.

Don't get me wrong though, there are no problems at all with the wharfedale center, in fact i'd wager that it's a really good product, but i'm falling into the typical cycle of 'optimising' to get the '
best possible' performance out of my av setup. :)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
You wouldn´t run the A4 full range. If you have run YPAO with your Yamaha have you checked in the menu speakers, crossovers what you have for the centre now?
Nothing wrong with the 11CC if it sounds good, but it`s fairly small with dual 4" mid-bass drivers.

If you were to go with Polk centre then the voicing is bit different to Wharfedales. At least make sure you have return period if you don`t like the sound. If possible you would choose the A6 model over A4 if size isn`t issue cause this seems to be really that much better.

You don´t have subwoofer yet?
 

NewbieAudiophile

Active Member
Hey Gasp - thanks for you response. Indeed, the wharfedale sounds plenty good, but looking back on it i should have gone for the Crystal 4.C center speaker since it has the bigger drivers. Again, there's nothing at all wrong with the diamond, except the physical limitations of a four inch driver(s).

The reason that i thought of the Polk Audio A4 is because i saw it on an classified ad for only $150 AUD, which is not that expensive at all. The A6 retails for $600-700 AUD... LOL. At that price, i'd rather go for the SVS 3-way center.

I've thought about the 'timbre', or the different sound tonality and characteristics between the two speakers, but i realised that the current centre speaker probably has a different timbre to the other ones anyway, since only the a speaker of the same dimensions and details may reproduce the same type of sound - right?

Though i really should have gone for the Crystal 4.C since it was cheaper AND has a greater frequency response - I think i'd decided to go with the diamond range center since i thought it would have greater clarity, but looking back on it, it might not be so true in the context of center channels.

Not, i don't have a subwoofer yet, since i wish to get the SVS sub, i'm going without it for as long as i can, since it costs over $1000AUD.

As you may infer from our correspondence i am on a bit of a budget when it comes to this HT set up, so i did get great deals (well below RRP) on everything in my 5.1.2, even though in my experience these are 'high quality' components. The front speakers which I use sound like nothing else when listening to music, and they make the movies more enjoyable, for sure. I'm coming from a mid-tier soundbar (Q70T), so it's quite the improvement.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Hey Gasp - thanks for you response. Indeed, the wharfedale sounds plenty good, but looking back on it i should have gone for the Crystal 4.C center speaker since it has the bigger drivers. Again, there's nothing at all wrong with the diamond, except the physical limitations of a four inch driver(s).

The reason that i thought of the Polk Audio A4 is because i saw it on an classified ad for only $150 AUD, which is not that expensive at all. The A6 retails for $600-700 AUD... LOL. At that price, i'd rather go for the SVS 3-way center.

I've thought about the 'timbre', or the different sound tonality and characteristics between the two speakers, but i realised that the current centre speaker probably has a different timbre to the other ones anyway, since only the a speaker of the same dimensions and details may reproduce the same type of sound - right?

Though i really should have gone for the Crystal 4.C since it was cheaper AND has a greater frequency response - I think i'd decided to go with the diamond range center since i thought it would have greater clarity, but looking back on it, it might not be so true in the context of center channels.

Not, i don't have a subwoofer yet, since i wish to get the SVS sub, i'm going without it for as long as i can, since it costs over $1000AUD.

As you may infer from our correspondence i am on a bit of a budget when it comes to this HT set up, so i did get great deals (well below RRP) on everything in my 5.1.2, even though in my experience these are 'high quality' components. The front speakers which I use sound like nothing else when listening to music, and they make the movies more enjoyable, for sure. I'm coming from a mid-tier soundbar (Q70T), so it's quite the improvement.

I think the decision to go with Diamond serie was still fine although you could have picked the larger 11CS over CC or better yet the Diamond 10 CM (large 3-way). If anything the Diamond range is better where as the Crystals are really entry level low budget speakers. But it isn´t issue if they sound good for you as that is what matters at the end of day.

I have been keeping eye the talk of Wharfedales over the years especially at AVSForum (US) where they are quite popular for hifi systems, but for some reason people don`t rate the Diamonds that high for home cinema use cause they feel they are bit too laid back and warm sounding so maybe not as exciting and forward sounding with elevated highs for latest blockbuster movies. Something like SVS Primes should be the opposite to Wharfedales what i see commented often. However there is always different tastes and the sound signature of the Wharfedales is what won´t cause listening fatigue either where as some brighter one could do that in long run if pushed constantly to high volumes.

Final note i see many members at AVSForum mixing center channel with Wharfedale mains due to reasons i mentioned earlier and the fact that center channel carries like ~70% of movies soundtrack. It`s still something you could do especially if you have plan to upgrade your LCR (front three) in future so starting with the center channel and mains later. Then sub and lastly if you feel you want matching surround channels then those. If you buy other brand center channel i would make sure you either get home trial from the dealer or it`s the type of company like Amazon where you can easily return the product if not happy.

Great to hear you saving up for SVS (PB or SB1000 Pro ?)! Going to make dramatic difference.
 

NewbieAudiophile

Active Member
I think the decision to go with Diamond serie was still fine although you could have picked the larger 11CS over CC or better yet the Diamond 10 CM (large 3-way). If anything the Diamond range is better where as the Crystals are really entry level low budget speakers. But it isn´t issue if they sound good for you as that is what matters at the end of day.

I have been keeping eye the talk of Wharfedales over the years especially at AVSForum (US) where they are quite popular for hifi systems, but for some reason people don`t rate the Diamonds that high for home cinema use cause they feel they are bit too laid back and warm sounding so maybe not as exciting and forward sounding with elevated highs for latest blockbuster movies. Something like SVS Primes should be the opposite to Wharfedales what i see commented often. However there is always different tastes and the sound signature of the Wharfedales is what won´t cause listening fatigue either where as some brighter one could do that in long run if pushed constantly to high volumes.

Final note i see many members at AVSForum mixing center channel with Wharfedale mains due to reasons i mentioned earlier and the fact that center channel carries like ~70% of movies soundtrack. It`s still something you could do especially if you have plan to upgrade your LCR (front three) in future so starting with the center channel and mains later. Then sub and lastly if you feel you want matching surround channels then those. If you buy other brand center channel i would make sure you either get home trial from the dealer or it`s the type of company like Amazon where you can easily return the product if not happy.

Great to hear you saving up for SVS (PB or SB1000 Pro ?)! Going to make dramatic difference.
Thanks for the response - the speakers you'd mentioned all cost $600 are are also an older revision to the current 12 series diamond range.

The reason that i'd purchased the Diamond was due to the fact that it was only $290 and supposedly offers greater clarity than the Crystal series - in hindsight that might have been an error in critical thinking, since the Crystal 4.C offers much greater freq. response.

With the fronts, i'd only paid $500 AUD for a set of 'like new' speakers (in the box), so really, they cost me less than a pair of (entry level) two-way bookshelf speakers, and these are 3 way speakers that really do have some rumble (in my small room at least). The rears were only $250ish AUD. The ATMOS were $380ish. These are all the cheapest speakers that money could buy, without being flat out garbage - other companies sell the angled dolby speakers for more than double the price of the ones that i'd purchased.

A pair of diamond series 11 fronts are still $1400 AUD - and these are probably the best speakers that money can buy at that price range... SVS speakers would easily be $2-3k for the fronts in Aus. You can do the calculations about how that would fit into my budget lol. :)

The sound is laid back and by now, i've gotten quite used to it, or what people call 'burn in' - it really does sound great for the price IMO, though i don't have anything else to contrast my current set up against.

No complains really, it's just the nature of the beast when it comes to audio and hifi that we want to always try something a bit better, more dynamic, etc.

Still trying to decide on which one to go for in terms of sealed vs ported - but i'd think the ported offers greater functionality and can be sealed up anyway to produce a desired result.
 

NewbieAudiophile

Active Member
so i've just tried to create a 'phantom centre', but removing the centre channel, and dare i say that i sounds just as good if not better than the dedicated centre channel.
 

NewbieAudiophile

Active Member
Good. Keep playing with it few weeks like that and you know do you miss it or not.
So i just found one of those old school polk audio CS20s for cheap and added it, and it made a world of difference to the experience.

I think that my next HT set up is very likely to include polk audio speakers (probably the RTi A9s and CSI A6)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
So i just found one of those old school polk audio CS20s for cheap and added it, and it made a world of difference to the experience.

I think that my next HT set up is very likely to include polk audio speakers (probably the RTi A9s and CSI A6)

Sounds like good plan. CS20 vs. CSI A6:
 

NewbieAudiophile

Active Member
Sounds like good plan. CS20 vs. CSI A6:
Yeah the CSiA6 centre and the RTi9s would be in a league of their own - no argument there. This will suffice for now though.
 

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