should i upgrade my centre speaker?

DTKF

Novice Member
hi guys. im currently running a 7.1.2 system. amp is the yamaha rxa3080 and sonus faber principia 7 front speakers. current centre speaker is wharfedale reva c.

front speakers and amp was upgraded recently and makes me feel i can get a better centre speaker as i read alot of review saying it is the most important speaker for surround system. i sit 7.5 feet from the center speaker location

am currently looking at goldenear supercenter xl and reference. my audio guy is pushing the reference and say its top range. or mebbe its better to get the same brand for all the front speakers?

just looking for advice if i should upgrade or the wharfedale reva c is good enough? and if yes, which one? thx in advance :)
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Of course the dealer will sell you 1700$ speaker happily. :) The Reva C should be decent one, although it`s very small with tiny drivers so if you are serious for home theater then i would look around and ideally would try to get some speaker(s) for home demo to compare.

The Principia center channel looks quite small with only one active driver (other one is PR which acts kinda as port) and it`s not available anymore, so used is the only way if you considering "matching" center channel.

But even better would be used Principia 3 pair and use one as center channel upright not laying if you have space. It has the same identical 7" mid-bass driver and same tweeter as your main speakers so tonally it would sound similar and higher power handling to that C model.
The most ideal speaker as center channel would be third Principia 7, but you would need to have acoustically transparent screen or the tv would need to go quite high as those are not small speakers.



However if you going to spend 2k$ for new center channel which is going to be from different brand then i would strongly consider Revel C208! One of the best in that price range. 3-way design, larger 8" drivers and Revel is well known brand under Harman. However home trial is needed first with return option.


JBL HDI range would be another option. Same as Revel they are designed by Harman. JBLs are used in many cinemas all around world. This model uses compression driver and 4 mid-bass drivers.


If you are going to buy different brand speaker it may open up you upgrade route in future aswell for the main channels. Ideally they would be from same brand/range when possible.
 

DTKF

Novice Member
Of course the dealer will sell you 1700$ speaker happily. :) The Reva C should be decent one, although it`s very small with tiny drivers so if you are serious for home theater then i would look around and ideally would try to get some speaker(s) for home demo to compare.

The Principia center channel looks quite small with only one active driver (other one is PR which acts kinda as port) and it`s not available anymore, so used is the only way if you considering "matching" center channel.

But even better would be used Principia 3 pair and use one as center channel upright not laying if you have space. It has the same identical 7" mid-bass driver and same tweeter as your main speakers so tonally it would sound similar and higher power handling to that C model.
The most ideal speaker as center channel would be third Principia 7, but you would need to have acoustically transparent screen or the tv would need to go quite high as those are not small speakers.



However if you going to spend 2k$ for new center channel which is going to be from different brand then i would strongly consider Revel C208! One of the best in that price range. 3-way design, larger 8" drivers and Revel is well known brand under Harman. However home trial is needed first with return option.


JBL HDI range would be another option. Same as Revel they are designed by Harman. JBLs are used in many cinemas all around world. This model uses compression driver and 4 mid-bass drivers.


If you are going to buy different brand speaker it may open up you upgrade route in future aswell for the main channels. Ideally they would be from same brand/range when possible.
thanx for all the info :)

im actually looking for quality rather than volume. just hope to get really solid dialoque. the reason im looking to upgrade was because when i turned the volume high, under certain sound the reva c will have cracking sound. that bothers me although it doesnt happen that often. and of cos i feel that the dialoque is not solid enough. not sure if thats the right way to say it :(

the c308 looks big tho. so you wouldnt recommend the goldenear reference?
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
I'd probably look into a power amp whilst you're at it too. They're 4ohm speakers
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
thanx for all the info :)

im actually looking for quality rather than volume. just hope to get really solid dialoque. the reason im looking to upgrade was because when i turned the volume high, under certain sound the reva c will have cracking sound. that bothers me although it doesnt happen that often. and of cos i feel that the dialoque is not solid enough. not sure if thats the right way to say it :(

the c308 looks big tho. so you wouldnt recommend the goldenear reference?

In the Yamaha menu is the Reva C set as speaker size "Small" and crossover bumped to at least 100hz or even 120hz if you play very loud, those tiny ~4" drivers can only do so much?! If not then try this out.
 

DTKF

Novice Member
I'd probably look into a power amp whilst you're at it too. They're 4ohm speakers
i guess ur referring to sonus faber speakers? ive set my amp from 8ohm to 6ohm. my audio guy said it'll suffice and wont damage the amp. will it make huge diff if i run a power amp?
 

DTKF

Novice Member
In the Yamaha menu is the Reva C set as speaker size "Small" and crossover bumped to at least 100hz or even 120hz if you play very loud, those tiny ~4" drivers can only do so much?" If not then try this out.
its set under small and 80hz . will bumping it up actually helps?
 

DTKF

Novice Member
Yes and also change the impedance setting back to 8ohm as you are limiting your receiver big time now! Also don´t use ECO mode!
how will it b limiting the receiver if i switch it to 6ohm? sry im a noob at all these. just wanna learn :)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
how will it b limiting the receiver if i switch it to 6ohm? sry im a noob at all these. just wanna learn :)

You don´t need to touch it, it does just the opposite you want! Just make sure your receiver has plenty of space on top and sides for ventilation. Also your other speakers will be set as small even the big 7 towers and 80hz at lowest (crossovers). I would bump that center to 100hz and try it out again and set the switch back to 8ohm so you get maximum power out from Yamaha when needed! That Yamaha will run 4ohm speakers just fine as we have seen countless times in past. Even AVForums used the A3050 as reference unit for couple years testing all type of cinema speakers including 4ohm rated without any issues. It`s a solid unit!
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
i guess ur referring to sonus faber speakers? ive set my amp from 8ohm to 6ohm. my audio guy said it'll suffice and wont damage the amp. will it make huge diff if i run a power amp?

Hard to say, I'd never go back to avr now. The 3060 (couple of gens older than yours) Is an incredible 52W per channel, 7 channels driven.

So if you have 9 channels driven power will be even less.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Hard to say, I'd never go back to avr now. The 3060 (couple of gens older than yours) Is an incredible 52W per channel, 7 channels driven.

So if you have 9 channels driven power will be even less.

Depending of test site they have activated the protection which pulls the power back in ACD test, however real world situation is so much different than these bench tests which you would know if you would research more. Always same crying about Yamahas. German site got 129w for 7ch 4ohm which is more than X6500H/SR8012 could do and 5k£ costing Arcam AVR850 (7x134w) did basically same. The differences at this level are very small so it`s useless to even talk about this method which doesn`t transfer to real world program usage when you have subwoofer also taking big weight off from receiver.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
The Yamaha retail was £2000. For thay sort of money I'd expect proper power output, not sub 50W all channels driven, not some half-assed excuses (one channel driven @ 10% THD, 1khz) and others like "well you're not using all channels at once blah blah blah"

Meanwhile I'm rocking 300X7, all chanels driven. heh
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
The Yamaha retail was £2000. For thay sort of money I'd expect proper power output, not sub 50W all channels driven, not some half-assed excuses (one channel driven @ 10% THD, 1khz) and others like "well you're not using all channels at once blah blah blah"

Meanwhile I'm rocking 300X7, all chanels driven. heh

It puts out as much as any other competitor in that price class or more, actually it`s one of the most powerfull receivers measured for 2channels and i know that it has big power supply and large capacitors. You just don`t understand the testing method and real world usage how much they differ. There is even articles written about this how it transfers poorly to real life. It´s the way the testing is done and the protection is bit too aggressive so most sites haven´t got the real figures out. Audiovision however did that, listed at bottom.
Yamaha RX-A3070 (Test) – audiovision

Go read more as it`s useless to argue this.
 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
It puts out as much as any other competitor in that price class or more, actually it`s one of the most powerfull receivers measured for 2channels and i know that it has big power supply and large capacitors. You just don`t understand the testing method and real world usage how much they differ. There is even articles written about this how it transfers poorly to real life. It´s the way the testing is done and the protection is bit too aggressive so most sites haven´t got the real figures out. Audiovision however did that, listed at bottom.
Yamaha RX-A3070 (Test) – audiovision

Go read more as it`s useless to argue this.

I know it's fine for 2ch power, like I said if I'm paying money I'm not interested in the "all channel power isn't important"

116W into 6 ohm, 1khz. I'm not sure about you, but I don't listen to 1khz tones. Why not into 8ohm, 20-20khz? Or why not 80hz-20khz?
 

DTKF

Novice Member
btw... im sitting 6 feet from the center speaker. will bigger ones actually b too big for that distance? i read that sometimes bigger doesnt means better sound. in terms of sound quality, which center would u guys recommend?
 

CableGuy

Well-known Member
btw... im sitting 6 feet from the center speaker. will bigger ones actually b too big for that distance? i read that sometimes bigger doesnt means better sound. in terms of sound quality, which center would u guys recommend?
Back to centre speakers, personally, I’d want matching or (even better) identical speakers across the front soundstage.

If you imagine a voice moving from left to right or right to left across the screen (Gravity is a prime example), I’d want the voices to remain consistent as the sound pans across. If the LCR speakers have different tonal characteristics, the tone of the voices will change as the sound pans. This is not ideal.

Regarding size, I’d say that’s more down to your room. Within reason, a larger centre channel has the potential to offer a better sound as it is likely to have larger drivers. If you can fit it in and the audio performance warrants the size, go for it.

If it were me, I’d either go for a centre that matches your left and right, or go for 3 identical speakers across the front. :)
 

DTKF

Novice Member
Back to centre speakers, personally, I’d want matching or (even better) identical speakers across the front soundstage.

If you imagine a voice moving from left to right or right to left across the screen (Gravity is a prime example), I’d want the voices to remain consistent as the sound pans across. If the LCR speakers have different tonal characteristics, the tone of the voices will change as the sound pans. This is not ideal.

Regarding size, I’d say that’s more down to your room. Within reason, a larger centre channel has the potential to offer a better sound as it is likely to have larger drivers. If you can fit it in and the audio performance warrants the size, go for it.

If it were me, I’d either go for a centre that matches your left and right, or go for 3 identical speakers across the front. :)
so sitting 6 feet from the center speaker doesnt determine how big or small u can handle as long as u have space for it? as the principia 7 center is discontinued, i dont think i can get 1. any other ways to buy other brand center and know if it can match without testing?
 

CableGuy

Well-known Member
so sitting 6 feet from the center speaker doesnt determine how big or small u can handle as long as u have space for it? as the principia 7 center is discontinued, i dont think i can get 1. any other ways to buy other brand center and know if it can match without testing?
As far as I’m aware, the physical size of the speaker doesn’t affect how far back you should sit. Big or small, you’d still be listening a volume levels suitable for your room and viewing distance.

Regarding getting a good tonal match against your speakers, I think you’ll only find this out by running them side by side (as you said). You might be able to “buy and try” from some retailers/brands, allowing you to try them at home.

I’m a prime example of this issue - although my front LCR are all from the Bowers and Wilkins 600 S1 range (image attached), the centre channel has smaller mid/bass drivers. Even with careful setup in my room, the centre does not have as much depth as the left and right tower speakers. This really bugs me. When I upgrade, I’ll be replacing these with 3x identical monitor type speakers for perfect tonal matching for perfect panning. :)
A0CEDF08-5D73-4E86-8723-B203B378B6CA.jpeg
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I know it's fine for 2ch power, like I said if I'm paying money I'm not interested in the "all channel power isn't important"

116W into 6 ohm, 1khz. I'm not sure about you, but I don't listen to 1khz tones. Why not into 8ohm, 20-20khz? Or why not 80hz-20khz?

That is the way which 95% of sites does the measurements it`s called "1kHz Power Sweep vs. Distortion". 6ohm test is actually fine as impedance varies by frequency anyway so it`s not like it would be 8 or 4ohm constant. Gene talked about this exactly already in 2011 and you are still arguing something without understanding the bigger picture. As i said the power figures are very similar with every competitor in that price range. If you want more then add poweramp. Simple as that. We aren´t living in 90s anymore with 100lbs receivers.


btw... im sitting 6 feet from the center speaker. will bigger ones actually b too big for that distance? i read that sometimes bigger doesnt means better sound. in terms of sound quality, which center would u guys recommend?

I already mentioned what would be most optimal. Another tower 7 cause it would be identical just like in real cinemas there is identical speakers behind screen or the bookshelf 3 vertically upright. The center channel in that serie looks quite poor compared to the big towers you are running now, as i said the Principia 3 would be better assuming you could place it optimally due it sharing identical drivers to your mains plus it being more capable than the Principia Centre model. If you are going for mismatch LCR then it will get much harder, however you are already doing that now.

You mentioned sitting quite darn close to that Reva now, that would mean the mains and centre would be very close each other. Have you actually tried to play movie while you have turned the Reva speaker completely off from Yamaha menu? Phantom centre. Your mains would play that information then. Try it out, you might be suprised how good it works in your situation if you sit fairly middle to main speakers and give them little toe in (=angle toward listeners).
 
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DTKF

Novice Member
That is the way which 95% of sites does the measurements it`s called "1kHz Power Sweep vs. Distortion". 6ohm test is actually fine as impedance varies by frequency anyway so it`s not like it would be 8 or 4ohm constant. Gene talked about this exactly already in 2011 and you are still arguing something without understanding the bigger picture. As i said the power figures are very similar with every competitor in that price range. If you want more then add poweramp. Simple as that. We aren´t living in 90s anymore with 100lbs receivers.




I already mentioned what would be most optimal. Another tower 7 cause it would be identical just like in real cinemas there is identical speakers behind screen or the bookshelf 3 vertically upright. The center channel in that serie looks quite poor compared to the big towers you are running now, as i said the Principia 3 would be better assuming you could place it optimally due it sharing identical drivers to your mains plus it being more capable than the Principia Centre model. If you are going for mismatch LCR then it will get much harder, however you are already doing that now.

You mentioned sitting quite darn close to that Reva now, that would mean the mains and centre would be very close each other. Have you actually tried to play movie while you have turned the Reva speaker completely off from Yamaha menu? Phantom centre. Your mains would play that information then. Try it out, you might be suprised how good it works in your situation if you sit fairly middle to main speakers and give them little toe in (=angle toward listeners).
Btw I checked the speakers settings again. N saw after auto calibration the center was set on 40hz. After bringing it up to 100hz. I dun get the cracking sound on the same sound.
That is the way which 95% of sites does the measurements it`s called "1kHz Power Sweep vs. Distortion". 6ohm test is actually fine as impedance varies by frequency anyway so it`s not like it would be 8 or 4ohm constant. Gene talked about this exactly already in 2011 and you are still arguing something without understanding the bigger picture. As i said the power figures are very similar with every competitor in that price range. If you want more then add poweramp. Simple as that. We aren´t living in 90s anymore with 100lbs receivers.




I already mentioned what would be most optimal. Another tower 7 cause it would be identical just like in real cinemas there is identical speakers behind screen or the bookshelf 3 vertically upright. The center channel in that serie looks quite poor compared to the big towers you are running now, as i said the Principia 3 would be better assuming you could place it optimally due it sharing identical drivers to your mains plus it being more capable than the Principia Centre model. If you are going for mismatch LCR then it will get much harder, however you are already doing that now.

You mentioned sitting quite darn close to that Reva now, that would mean the mains and centre would be very close each other. Have you actually tried to play movie while you have turned the Reva speaker completely off from Yamaha menu? Phantom centre. Your mains would

play that information then. Try it out, you might be suprised how good it works in your situation if you sit fairly middle to main

Just tried running without the reva c. Seems like dialogue is clearer with the center speaker. N volume is louder too. Both front left n right pointing towards in where I’m seated at an angle

below pic is my mini account room setting. It’s a bit messy now. We r still in lockdown and can’t get any professional help with acoustic panel. Picture was taken with wide angle lense from where I’m seated. I’m seated bout 6.5 feet from all 3 speakers. The left and right speakers is 40 inches from center speaker each side.
I doubt I can get a sonus faber to fit in there as center so it’s gotta b another brand. All I’m looking for is better clarity and solid dialogue.

btw this av room is only for myself. Therefore everything is set for 1 seat.
 

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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yes, just what i thought. Many people runs YPAO/Audussey and forget to check the settings. The speaker is so darn low, but you can`t do much to raise it higher either. You can mostly angle it shooting more upwards. I would assume the height of your main channel tweeters are closer to seated ear height than where the Reva C is now. I don´t know is it much of help but there is still little bit you could do raising it up and going for more aggressive angling to see will it get any better. Won`t cost anything...

"All I’m looking for is better clarity and solid dialogue"

Does your hifi shop give you to option to home trial? It would be very risky to buy blind if no return option. I`m little worried about the speaker placement, but without spending 2k£ for a top sound quality example Kef R2c would be very strong option without massive size! Coaxial driver design is very ideal with horizontal design and i bet there isn`t many better speakers purely sound quality wise for similar price. The superior objective measurements will guarantee this, however as always the room and placement will play big factor how speaker sounds so the only way to know is to get one for home and run YPAO again (set crossover 80hz after YPAO) and listen.

 

rccarguy2

Well-known Member
There's this


But I prefer four driver design, like this (I have one of these)

 

DTKF

Novice Member
Yes, just what i thought. Many people runs YPAO/Audussey and forget to check the settings. The speaker is so darn low, but you can`t do much to raise it higher either. You can mostly angle it shooting more upwards. I would assume the height of your main channel tweeters are closer to seated ear height than where the Reva C is now. I don´t know is it much of help but there is still little bit you could do raising it up and going for more aggressive angling to see will it get any better. Won`t cost anything...

"All I’m looking for is better clarity and solid dialogue"

Does your hifi shop give you to option to home trial? It would be very risky to buy blind if no return option. I`m little worried about the speaker placement, but without spending 2k£ for a top sound quality example Kef R2c would be very strong option without massive size! Coaxial driver design is very ideal with horizontal design and i bet there isn`t many better speakers purely sound quality wise for similar price. The superior objective measurements will guarantee this, however as always the room and placement will play big factor how speaker sounds so the only way to know is to get one for home and run YPAO again (set crossover 80hz after YPAO) and listen.

Ok I’ve tried turning off the center again in a more dialogue movie. Pretty obvious diff. Without the center. The voice sounds so much more solid n clean. Makes me wonder if I get a better quality center will it b even better? Hmmm . My guy give me a 3 days return policy. So I’ll prob bring the goldenear reference home to give it a try. Someone mention the only time we can tell the diff between have 3 same speakers and diff brands is when we play music/gaming. Not sure if it’s true
 

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