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Thread: Looking for feedback on center speakers...

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    Default Looking for feedback on center speakers...


    I have a weird setup in my house for a entertainment "niche" as they call it. It's basically six squares recessed into the wall, three on top and three on the bottom. Well, this limited the size of display that I could have to 46". I really could use at least a 60" considering that the seating is 13" from the display. So I have scheduled a contractor to remove the two columns that separate the upper three cubes, allowing larger displays.



    I've been using a Sonance 623 LCR with my 46" display for quite some and have been enjoying it. Due to the way things are set up, it had to go above my TV which isn't optimal, but it worked.

    Now I'm afraid that after getting a 65" display and putting that 623 LCR cabinet above the display will be way to high and I think the sound stage will suffer, so I've been looking into in wall speakers that I can put below the display. That area is 7-1/8" high.

    I've narrowed the options down to two centers that will fit that area, and I thought I'd ask for your input on which you would choose.

    1. Sonance Moderno 5-1/4" Center

    2. Paradigm AMS LCR 5 driver 4-1/2"

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    Dude, that is a nice set-up. Seriously.

    Yours,

    David

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    Thanks David!
    As soon as I get the architectural work done and the new display added in, I was planning on taking better pictures. I was really afraid that putting the Mirage speakers up so high would cause issues, but they're perfectly happy there. I have Sonance 831s in the rear wall and Sonance 831R in the ceiling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vläd View Post
    I have a weird setup in my house for a entertainment "niche" as they call it. It's basically six squares recessed into the wall, three on top and three on the bottom. Well, this limited the size of display that I could have to 46". I really could use at least a 60" considering that the seating is 13" from the display. So I have scheduled a contractor to remove the two columns that separate the upper three cubes, allowing larger displays.



    I've been using a Sonance 623 LCR with my 46" display for quite some and have been enjoying it. Due to the way things are set up, it had to go above my TV which isn't optimal, but it worked.

    Now I'm afraid that after getting a 65" display and putting that 623 LCR cabinet above the display will be way to high and I think the sound stage will suffer, so I've been looking into in wall speakers that I can put below the display. That area is 7-1/8" high.

    I've narrowed the options down to two centers that will fit that area, and I thought I'd ask for your input on which you would choose.

    1. Sonance Moderno 5-1/4" Center

    2. Paradigm AMS LCR 5 driver 4-1/2"
    Could your contractor also make a nook under the TV that will accommodate your center speaker while he is removing the side pillars? The area below the TV looks wider than the center speaker is. If it is not, the pedestal area beneath the TV could be raised an inch or two to make room. Your contractor might have an idea or two as well.

    Great looking system!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bama29 View Post
    Could your contractor also make a nook under the TV that will accommodate your center speaker while he is removing the side pillars?
    We really won't know how the horizontal section is built until we begin removing the columns, (BTW the column removal is gonna run around $1700, yah it's complicated). The picture is a bit misleading because of the rounded corners that they use on the drywall, so if you have a top and bottom made of drywall and plywood the total thickness is about 9" but the vacant, hollow area in the middle is only 7" or so.

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    What are you using for you front left and right speakers? It is crucial that your front sound stage is timbre matched. I would highly recommend doing so as the results of a properly matched front sound stage make a huge difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vläd View Post
    I have a weird setup in my house for a entertainment "niche" as they call it. It's basically six squares recessed into the wall, three on top and three on the bottom. Well, this limited the size of display that I could have to 46". I really could use at least a 60" considering that the seating is 13" from the display. So I have scheduled a contractor to remove the two columns that separate the upper three cubes, allowing larger displays.



    I've been using a Sonance 623 LCR with my 46" display for quite some and have been enjoying it. Due to the way things are set up, it had to go above my TV which isn't optimal, but it worked.

    Now I'm afraid that after getting a 65" display and putting that 623 LCR cabinet above the display will be way to high and I think the sound stage will suffer, so I've been looking into in wall speakers that I can put below the display. That area is 7-1/8" high.

    I've narrowed the options down to two centers that will fit that area, and I thought I'd ask for your input on which you would choose.

    1. Sonance Moderno 5-1/4" Center

    2. Paradigm AMS LCR 5 driver 4-1/2"
    I'm glad you posted that picture...I have tried to explain to some people in the past why I can't have a larger display...I don't have as many enclosures as you do..but my TV is situated in a similar recessed area...and I need every bit of the depth as my viewing area is small..and I'm still right on top of the display..a little over 4 feet away from the screen...that was a big thing here in Florida with Builders...they thought it was a good idea to offer "built ins"

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    Quote Originally Posted by caliberconst. View Post
    What are you using for you front left and right speakers? It is crucial that your front sound stage is timbre matched. I would highly recommend doing so as the results of a properly matched front sound stage make a huge difference.
    The left and right are Mirage M-760s that I purchased around 1990. The Sonance 623 LCR matches up, timbre-wise, pretty well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by speedking View Post
    I'm glad you posted that picture...I have tried to explain to some people in the past why I can't have a larger display...I don't have as many enclosures as you do..but my TV is situated in a similar recessed area...and I need every bit of the depth as my viewing area is small..and I'm still right on top of the display..a little over 4 feet away from the screen...that was a big thing here in Florida with Builders...they thought it was a good idea to offer "built ins"
    I couldn't believe the quotes that I was receiving on reworking that area until one of the contractors took the time to explain why it's going to take three to five days to remove those upper two columns. Nice idea when there were nothing but 40" CRTs available, but not today.

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    I'm no contractor, but that sounds like alot of cash to take out those columns. What about just mounting the TV outside of the columns somehow? Extendable mount or something?

    No way I'd drop that kinda cash on those columns. At that price quote, It'd much cheaper to just cover up the columns and start fresh with a clean slate so to speak. A few boards and some drywall.

    IMO there's a simpler/cheaper solution either by redirecting your approach, or just finding a fair price for what seems like a couple hundred dollar project at the most for removing those columns. I'd stay far away from that contractor. That price seems outrageous. Check craigslist or something for a handyman at the right price.

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    I cant recommend any speakers, but wanted to echo david. That setup looks awesome! When you get colums down for the larger display, are you going to wall mount it so you can tilt it down some? From what it looks like, a 65 inch display might fill up close to the entire height of your media niche, and it looks like you are already looking up somewhat at it somewhat.

    err. sorry for the slightly off topic post, but wow that looks good!
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    Quote Originally Posted by vläd View Post
    The left and right are Mirage M-760s that I purchased around 1990. The Sonance 623 LCR matches up, timbre-wise, pretty well.
    Not really. I would highly recommend you find a matching Mirage speaker, it WILL make a huge difference in creating a seamless front soundstage. It will also make dialog much easier to hear...
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    I would agree that you should get a matching center channel speaker, but unfortunately, when these speakers were made, they were still being made in Canada. During that time, Mirage did not manufacturer a center or LCRs. After Mirage was purchased and manufacturing moved East (China?) they revamped the complete line up and began manufacturing Centers. So I'm not sure that after all of the changes a Mirage center would match up.

    The wost part is that I'm really limited to about 6.5" tall ATM.


    Eventually, I will need to replace these Mirage M-760s just to get the perfect sound stage. And by that time, I may be able to afford to rework that area for the center channel speaker to accommodate something more realistic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vläd View Post
    I would agree that you should get a matching center channel speaker, but unfortunately, when these speakers were made, they were still being made in Canada. During that time, Mirage did not manufacturer a center or LCRs. After Mirage was purchased and manufacturing moved East (China?) they revamped the complete line up and began manufacturing Centers. So I'm not sure that after all of the changes a Mirage center would match up.
    Vlad is absolutely right. You aren't going to be able to match the Mirages unless you do some loony crap like posting all over the world to find a 20 year old speaker. Before you shell out for a centre, consider your future plans for the L/R speakers. If you're going to buy new stuff within the year, why not wait until then and get properly matched left, centre and right. Don't put yourself into the position of buying now and still having a poor match when you finish off your speaker upgrades. My $.02
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneD View Post
    I'm no contractor, but that sounds like alot of cash to take out those columns. What about just mounting the TV outside of the columns somehow? Extendable mount or something?

    No way I'd drop that kinda cash on those columns. At that price quote, It'd much cheaper to just cover up the columns and start fresh with a clean slate so to speak. A few boards and some drywall.

    IMO there's a simpler/cheaper solution either by redirecting your approach, or just finding a fair price for what seems like a couple hundred dollar project at the most for removing those columns. I'd stay far away from that contractor. That price seems outrageous. Check craigslist or something for a handyman at the right price.
    I really appreciate the feedback, and I would have agreed with you until we actually did the job. I went through Angie's list and had about 20 guys come over to quote, some refused the job as soon as they looked it over, the others that did quote it were from $1400 to $1900.

    I actually thought about covering the center section and wall mounting the TV. While this approach would have led to unlimited possibilities for the center channel speaker, I wanted to consider the overall appearance as well as my wife's opinion.

    BTW, the column removal is now completed. Total working hours to remove those columns was right about 24 hours. Everything is back in it's place and operational, you can see these results over in this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobsplease View Post
    Vlad is absolutely right. You aren't going to be able to match the Mirages unless you do some loony crap like posting all over the world to find a 20 year old speaker. Before you shell out for a centre, consider your future plans for the L/R speakers. If you're going to buy new stuff within the year, why not wait until then and get properly matched left, centre and right. Don't put yourself into the position of buying now and still having a poor match when you finish off your speaker upgrades. My $.02
    In this situation, I agree that it would be best to save some money and replace the entire front array (right, center, left) with matching speakers.
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    That's the real bitch here. Those Mirage still sound sweeter than most speakers under 4k today.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vläd View Post
    BTW, the column removal is now completed. Total working hours to remove those columns was right about 24 hours. Everything is back in it's place and operational, you can see these results over in this thread.
    Yeah lol better late than never. Looks great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vläd View Post
    That's the real bitch here. Those Mirage still sound sweeter than most speakers under 4k today.
    The Golder Ears are amazing...Their tweeter design is like nothing you have ever heard.

    "the HVFR uses a thin, high-temperature-tolerant plastic film that’s folded multiple times so it looks like the sides of an accordion with the pleats facing forward. When modulated by the audio signal, the pleats squeeze the air between them, creating sound. So what’s the big deal about squeezing? Very simply, squeezing is much more efficient at compressing air than pistonic action. In fact, in a folded-diaphragm tweeter, the velocity of the air relative to the speed of the moving diaphragm is approximately four times more than what you get with a dome tweeter. All those folds also mean that the acoustically effective surface area of a folded ribbon tweeter is around two-and-a-half times that of an equivalently sized dome tweeter assembly." Home theater magazine and I concur.
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    I'd love to be able to sit and audition the Triton Two, but I am just a bit apprehensive of oval drivers.

    I still listen to quite a bit of dedicated stereo material in vinyl and digital, so I am really looking for front mains with hopefully 10" woofers and nothing less that 8" in a tower configuration.

    After deciding which display I will purchase this year, the front sound stage will be my next segment to improve upon. So any input will be much appreciated!
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