Wanting a front centre speaker

Thug

Moderator
About 4 years ago i built my cinema room (Epson 9300 projector, Denon 2300x amp etc).
I also bought a Centon Movie 75 5.1 speaker system too, which i use with a pair of Monitor Audio Pro-ic80 speakers for Atmos, which has always worked and sounded great so far..

Last week i remembered that in the garage i had a pair of Kef iQ1 SP3499 speakers that i used to use with my old hifi and thought i would give them a go replacing my front L/R speakers. To my surprise they sounded very good in comparison (so much so even my wife commented).

This has now got my into thinking of upgrading, a bit at a time, and think that the next noticeable upgrade will be the centre speaker.
Now this will be wall mounted, so i dont want it too large, sticking out much or heavy as it needs to be fairly discrete as its also a second living room.
I intend to keep my Denon Amp, Kef front speakers, my MA Atmos speakers, and possibly my rear Centons and base unit too (for now, but might be looked at in the future).

Any recommendations for a centre speaker upto about £200?
Was thinking maybe the Kef T101, for the simple reasons of price, being thin and also being the same make as my L/R.

The spec for what i have so far is as follows.

Centon Movie 75 - Fequency response 120 - 25.000Hz (all speakers except sub which is 38 - 140Hz)
Monitor Audio Pro IC80 - 50 - 25.000Hz
Kef iQ1 SP3499 - 50 - 40.000Hz

I would prefer 60hz (or there about) so i can set them as 80Hz in the amp.

Lastly and slightly off topic, would i now be better setting my amp as LFE+Main due to my Kef speakers going down quite low, or just leave it as LFE?

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gibbsy

Moderator
The KEF T Series sound the sensible option for a centre as there would be some kind of timbre match. I doubt you would get a 60hz crossover, more like 100hz but that at least would give you a clear dialogue. I run Audyssey and set the crossovers for the iQs at no lower than 80hz and certainly no lower than that calibrated by Audyssey.

As for LFE+Main it's a firm no from me. It can lead to bloated bass where both sub and speaker low frequencies are used. If you want to listen to any stereo sources then use Pure Direct as this will by-pass the bass management and treat the fronts as being full range. The sub will not be used in Pure Direct unless the source itself is 5.1.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I agree with @gibbsy although my experience with the Kef T-series will put the crossover closer to 120Hz. It will be a good partner with your old iQ1 especially if you go to the T-301c as this will give your a good boost over the T-101c which has a similar sound to the old KHT305ES range. If you are looking for the correct matching centre, then the old iQ2c was the right one

If you wish to add a woofer to a stereo configuration, then you really need to look at the right kind of woofer which uses a high level input and just like @gibbsy I don't enjoy a system which has LFE-MAIN as it just misses the point when partnering them to create a muddy experience whereas the using a woofer with a high level input allows you to partner the speakers to your own taste. Not everyone enjoys it, however when done correctly, you shouldn't even know the woofer is connected this way and you should only notice its gone when you power the woofer off
 

Thug

Moderator
I have ordered the Kef T301c.
Thanks guys (for making me spend more money than I wanted).
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Here are the Audyssey results for my T301C - I have it crossed over at 150Hz:

 

Thug

Moderator
Here are the Audyssey results for my T301C - I have it crossed over at 150Hz:

Won’t that create issues if my subs range goes from 38 - 140Hz
 
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Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Strange that it says that, I think it means before it drops, e.g. a -3dB figure. Reason for that is that it has a crossover knob on the back going up to 150Hz.

What did Audyssey results show for your subwoofer?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
It won’t that create issues if my subs range goes from 38 - 140Hz
No. It's not a hard drop off and I doubt very much that you'll hear it if indeed Audyssey does set at higher than 140hz. Audyssey will reflect how your room is interacting with the centre and every room is different so your room may well be looking at a roll off of under 140hz. With the carpet and soft furnishings I'd be surprised if you go any higher than 120hz.
 

Thug

Moderator
So, having to have a (expensive) rethink.
I placed my Kef iQ1 speakers on the wall, my wife came in and straight away said 'you can taken them down, they look big and scruffy and from the 80's".

So it looks like i will have to go for the Kef T301 left and right speakers too (at about £550).
Are these any good?
Would i notice much difference between the T301 or T101?

BTW, still waiting for my centre which should be here today at some point.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
So, having to have a (expensive) rethink.
I placed my Kef iQ1 speakers on the wall, my wife came in and straight away said 'you can taken them down, they look big and scruffy and from the 80's".

So it looks like i will have to go for the Kef T301 left and right speakers too (at about £550).
Are these any good?
Would i notice much difference between the T301 or T101?

BTW, still waiting for my centre which should be here today at some point.

Definitely get the T301 for L/R as they will be then very much identical front three which is what you want in perfect world. Easier to drive, dynamically better etc. Larger cab and extra driver well worth the extra as many owners here has said it many times when comparing 101/301. They are ultra slim speakers so definitely go as large as possible model wise.

As long as you have good subwoofer to support the slim speakers then you should be fine.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Your seating position and room size rather suit the T Series, will certainly look a lot neater on the wall and are a popular choice. I agree with @Gasp3621 go for the bigger 301s it will be worth it.
 

Thug

Moderator
Well the T301 are on order.
I missed next day delivery for tomorrow, so will be coming Monday.
I have received my T301C, which i have now put in place.
 
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Thug

Moderator
Well surprisingly they did turn up yesterday and I fitted them up ran audyssey and they sound great for both movies and music.
I wouldn’t say night and day over my Cantons (either showing how good the Cantons are or how poor my hearing is), but definitely clearer.
When running audyssey the ‘cheeping’ sounds a lot sharper and clearer and the Cantons a little muddy.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
You have an x2300, so did you use the app for Audyssey, would be interested in seeing your results?

If you didn't use the app, I would recommend it, as the T301 sees improvements with switching off midrange compensation (which you can do in the app but not on the AVR).

And, yes, the chirp from our T301 is particularly loud and piercing! Whereas the one from our Q900 you can hear a huge bass thump (they are corner placed)!
 

Thug

Moderator
You have an x2300, so did you use the app for Audyssey, would be interested in seeing your results?

If you didn't use the app, I would recommend it, as the T301 sees improvements with switching off midrange compensation (which you can do in the app but not on the AVR).

And, yes, the chirp from our T301 is particularly loud and piercing! Whereas the one from our Q900 you can hear a huge bass thump (they are corner placed)!
I dont have the app but think i might buy it.

One thing i noticed is that the T301's are rated 80-30.000Hz, but Audyssey sets them at 150Hz.
Is this going to miss out some frequencies with my bass unit being 38-140Hz?
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Polite answer: the 80Hz quoted by KEF must have been reported under very specific test conditions.

Real answer: the 80Hz is total balls.

If you look at my posted Audyssey results above for our T301, you can see why 150Hz works well. It does output frequencies below that but erratically!

When you use the app, you can share the results and get advice on here about crossovers etc if you wish.

Is this going to miss out some frequencies with my bass unit being 38-140Hz?

You asked this above and Gibbsy replied. Until you get Audyssey results in the app, you won't be able to see if this is leaving a substantial gap.

IMO, this is become a lot more important than last time you asked because your front three are going to all be T301s.
 

Thug

Moderator
Polite answer: the 80Hz quoted by KEF must have been reported under very specific test conditions.

Real answer: the 80Hz is total balls.

If you look at my posted Audyssey results above for our T301, you can see why 150Hz works well. It does output frequencies below that but erratically!

When you use the app, you can share the results and get advice on here about crossovers etc if you wish.



You asked this above and Gibbsy replied. Until you get Audyssey results in the app, you won't be able to see if this is leaving a substantial gap.

IMO, this is become a lot more important than last time you asked because your front three are going to all be T301s.
For some reason your results aren't actually showing.
There is no png.

Capture2.JPG
 

Thug

Moderator
Bought the Audyssey app, now have to learnt how to use it.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I dont have the app but think i might buy it.

One thing i noticed is that the T301's are rated 80-30.000Hz, but Audyssey sets them at 150Hz.
Is this going to miss out some frequencies with my bass unit being 38-140Hz?

That 38-140hz for the sub is when the internal crossover is used, but for AV use this is typically bypassed either automatically when you connect sub cable to LFE or there is switch/button in the frequency hz knob (bypass / LFE etc). Then your subwoofer should be able to play higher if required.

Now that you bought the app you need to run Audussey again (yippee!) from the app! People have gotten different results regarding where the mic has been placed. As you have couch against rear wall make sure the mic is pushed forward at least 0,5m in each positions and use the carboard mic stand or better yet boom arm mic stand. Keep the mic in quite tight spacing in the couch if you run all 8positions so the mic is not close to side wall either as that can affect NEGATIVELY on the results! I wouldn`t be suprised if you got 120hz for the T301 next time like others have.

Watch this short 9mic clip at least and follow it.



PS. Before you run it again can you check from Denon menu settings that your "subwoofer level" is not set -12db or + db side?
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
That 38-140hz for the sub is when the internal crossover is used, but for AV use this is typically bypassed either automatically when you connect sub cable to LFE or there is switch/button in the frequency hz knob (bypass / LFE etc). Then your subwoofer should be able to play higher if required.

Agreed, hence the comment I made about his knob earlier.

use the carboard mic stand or better yet boom arm mic stand

And, something I learnt from Gibbsy, try to make the mic as perfectly horizontal as you can - this can make quite a difference.

I wouldn`t be suprised if you got 120hz for the T301 next time like others have.

Could do. My T301 results are with MLP not far off 5m away.
 

Thug

Moderator
BECF020D-F2CD-4FBA-9D32-8AC4E31BA94C.png
Here is my first result.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Some interesting correlations with my result!

Forgive if I'm telling granny how to suck eggs but, if you didn't know, one of the big differences between the two is because my Audyssey is XT32.

I'd still go for either 150 or 160Hz crossover with yours, unless your sub will sound to localised (i.e. you think you'll obviously hear channel information coming from the sub). That will depend on many things, such as where the sub is, how good the sub is and the room itself.

But you can experiment. Put something on with Morgan Freeman in it...
 

Thug

Moderator
Just messing around with settings, what does the MultiEQ XT need to be on?
I guess Flat as that says it uses the calibrated setting.
I had it on reference.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
There is no rule for which to use, it's preference. Both mean that Audyssey EQ is engaged.

I prefer flat - but then I listen at relatively low (e.g. around 20dB off reference) listening levels compared to many AVF members.
 

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