Q Acoustics 3090ci vs Concept Centre to go with Concept 20 Bookshelves?


Novice Member
I got a good deal on a pair of Q Acoustics Concept 20s ex-display from Richer Sounds (£125) last week and wanted a centre channel to pair with them. At the time I ordered the 3090ci for £169 also from RS, as I had read that the 3020i bookshelves were very similar sounding to the concept 20s (due to their age difference, technology moving on etc.). I also thought that the Concept Centre was a bit much at £250 from RS.

I've since got them set up, and while I'm very happy with the Concept 20s; the 3090ci, while not bad, just doesn't sound quite as clear as the Concept 20s sitting on either side of it. It's not terrible by any means, they sound similar, just not quite as refined and detailed.

I've since noticed that while RS is selling the Concept Centre at £250, Amazon and Peter Tyson have it at £195. If I'd known that at the time I would have ordered that instead.

My question is: Is the difference between these worth the faff of me returning the 3090ci (presumably losing a restocking fee), and getting the Concept Centre instead? It will probably cost me about £42 more if you include the 10% restocking fee at RS. I am getting used to the 3090ci sounding a little worse, but it bugs me nonetheless.


Distinguished Member
Could be worth it for long run as it clearly bugs you. These things won`t go away until you do something about it! The concept range uses drivers from 2000i range, but with much better cabinet structure as you know and higher quality audio crossover design/parts. I have seen all the measurements for the 3020i/3030i and Concept 20 on another site. I think the Concept is most balanced, but 3030i has stronger bass response and sounds lot better in direct comparisons to 3020i. No suprise there. Anyway QA also said the Concept while being older is step up from 3000i. The tweeter is also slightly raised in Concept Centre which in theory may have small benefits as the 2-way horizontal design with drivers side by side is always more or less compromise for off-axis performance / lobing issues, at least in this price range.

You would also get matching finish/look if that matters. It`s a shame QA doesn`t offer larger center channel. I also asked about year ago does QA have plans to introduce larger model later, but no plans sadly. I understand their view from business side of things. Women doesn´t like big boxes in lounge. Small good looking rounded cab that costs 150£ is easy to sell! I think we will see QA 4000 range later this year or early next year and also QA told me that another "cheaper" Concept range will come at some point, but who knows.

QA 2000i - 2011
QA 3000 - 2015
QA 3000i - 2018
QA 4000 - 2021 / 22?
Concept 20/40/Centre - 2013

PS. If you order it from Amazon, wouldn´t you have good returning options? So low risk buy and could compare it head to head at home to 3090C?


Distinguished Member
RS offer a price match policy..the concept centre is normally £195 - £199 most places.. can't you buy the centre elsewhere..

The latest video from AVForums

🎬 The Top 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2024
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Top Bottom