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  1. #1

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    Default CSiA4/6 Center w/ Monitor 70IIs?

    I recently purchased my first real surround system which consists of Monitor 70II speakers for the FL/FR/RL/RR channels and a matching CS2II center channel. I didn't realize how much more emphasis the center channel had compared to the others (my past experience with "surround sound" systems was basically multi-channel stereo, so all of the speakers were equally important). Also, I now know I didn't need to get 70 series speakers for the rear channels since they don't provide as much of the surround sound, but I do like the fact that all of the F/R channels match and that the 70s have larger drivers.

    This brings me to my question. If I were to upgrade my center channel to a CSiA4 or even better a CSiA6, would it sound balanced? Or would the CSi center overpower the other channels? I don't know how much of an upgrade the CSi series is over the Monitor series in actual sound. My receiver does have Audyssey, so it would of course try to provide the best sound overall.

    Second, my CS2 has 6.5" drivers. The CSiA4 has 5.25" drivers. Would the CSiA4 still sound better than the CS2 even though the CS2 has larger drivers? Or should I not consider the CSiA4 because it wouldn't be as much of an upgrade and just go for the CSiA6?

    I appreciate everyone's insight!
    Front Speakers: Polk Audio LSi15 x 2
    Center Speaker: Polk Audio LSiC
    Rear Speakers: Polk Audio LSiF/X x 2
    Subwoofers: Polk Audio PSW505 x 2
    AVR: Denon AVR-3313CI
    Amp: Emotiva XPA-5

  2. #2

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    Welcome and congrats on the sweet setup! I'll try to address a few of your concerns:

    Quote Originally Posted by amgala View Post
    If I were to upgrade my center channel to a CSiA4 or even better a CSiA6, would it sound balanced?
    Well, it would not be timbre-matched, but that may be ok to gain an increase in clarity. The CSi series is brighter than the Monitor series.

    ...Or would the CSi center overpower the other channels?
    Overpower? It will only be as loud as you set it. You could set any speaker to be too loud, too soft, or juuuuust right.

    Would the CSiA4 still sound better than the CS2 even though the CS2 has larger drivers?
    Size of the drivers ain't got nothin' to do with quality; however, the A6 is much better than the A4... not so much because of the larger drivers, but because of the much larger cabinet volume, which is necessary for bass.


    Are you dissatisfied with the CS2? If so, what is it (exactly) that you want to change about the sound? Maybe you can achieve your goals with different settings in the AVR or different placement. Placement is key.

    If you cannot "fix" your CS2, I say go A6... then you could slowly build an all RTi system piece by piece...
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  3. #3

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    Considering the CS2 uses the exact same drivers as your M70s, I would stick with it. It is the closest timbre match you are going to get.

    Falconcry's other points are all valid.

    But I will reiterate, what is wrong with the CS2?
    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
    I may have an addiction... RTA-15TL, SDA 2, LSi25, LSi15, LSi9, LSi7, LSiCx2, LSiFX, LS/FX, RT/FX, DSW MP2000...and that's just the Polks...

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    Welcome and congrats on the sweet setup! I'll try to address a few of your concerns:

    Well, it would not be timbre-matched, but that may be ok to gain an increase in clarity. The CSi series is brighter than the Monitor series.

    Overpower? It will only be as loud as you set it. You could set any speaker to be too loud, too soft, or juuuuust right.

    Size of the drivers ain't got nothin' to do with quality; however, the A6 is much better than the A4... not so much because of the larger drivers, but because of the much larger cabinet volume, which is necessary for bass.

    Are you dissatisfied with the CS2? If so, what is it (exactly) that you want to change about the sound? Maybe you can achieve your goals with different settings in the AVR or different placement. Placement is key.

    If you cannot "fix" your CS2, I say go A6... then you could slowly build an all RTi system piece by piece...
    Quote Originally Posted by ZLTFUL View Post
    Considering the CS2 uses the exact same drivers as your M70s, I would stick with it. It is the closest timbre match you are going to get.

    Falconcry's other points are all valid.

    But I will reiterate, what is wrong with the CS2?
    Thanks for your replies. Compared with the level that Audyssey sets for the center channel, I increase the dialogue volume setting by a couple of dBs to better hear the dialogue. But I feel that the CS2 starts to sound harsher as it gets louder, and the sound is not as "full" as the other channels (which may be expected considering it is smaller and has less drivers than the Monitors). It seems to get very "trembly". I do not think I am overpowering the speakers (for what it's worth, I am talking about a volume level of 60-70 compared to my receiver's max volume of 98). I figured getting a better quality center would increase the fullness of the sound.

    In terms of "overpowering" the other speakers, I wasn't sure if the CSiA4/6 is more reactive to the same wattage input compared to the CS2. But I would assume that Audyssey would auto-correct for this, so perhaps I shouldn't worry about this.

    In terms of placement, my TV console has a compartment for the center channel, so I would rather not move it if possible.

    It sounds like the CSiA6 would provide me with a fuller sound because it has a larger cabinet. Perhaps I can try to find one locally and try it out. Falcon, when you say the CSi series is "brighter", does that mean more "trembly"?
    Front Speakers: Polk Audio LSi15 x 2
    Center Speaker: Polk Audio LSiC
    Rear Speakers: Polk Audio LSiF/X x 2
    Subwoofers: Polk Audio PSW505 x 2
    AVR: Denon AVR-3313CI
    Amp: Emotiva XPA-5

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by amgala View Post
    ...Falcon, when you say the CSi series is "brighter", does that mean more "trembly"?
    I don't know about "trembly", but it's definitely more trebelly. The higher frequencies are more accentuated.
    2-Channel:

    Source 1: PC
    Source 2: Rega Apollo CDP
    USB > SPDIF Converter: Stello U3
    DAC: Audio GD NFB-7
    Preamp: Audio Research LS-15
    Power Amp: BAT VK-500
    Speakers: Magnepan 3.7's

    HT:

    Source 1: HTPC
    Source 2: Oppo 103
    Pre/Pro: Marantz av8003
    Power Amp: Rotel RMB-1095
    Fronts: LSiM-705's
    Center: LSiM-704c
    Surrounds: LSiM-702's
    Subs: Dual SVS PC12-NSD's

  6. #6

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    What did audessy set your speakers at? It may have had a hic-up that all auto cal programs have from time to time. I would probably write those numbers down, rerun Audessy, and compare them.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconcry72 View Post
    I don't know about "trembly", but it's definitely more trebelly. The higher frequencies are more accentuated.
    Yikes yes, I meant "trebely"

    Quote Originally Posted by rpf65 View Post
    What did audessy set your speakers at? It may have had a hic-up that all auto cal programs have from time to time. I would probably write those numbers down, rerun Audessy, and compare them.
    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try it out this weekend and report back.
    Front Speakers: Polk Audio LSi15 x 2
    Center Speaker: Polk Audio LSiC
    Rear Speakers: Polk Audio LSiF/X x 2
    Subwoofers: Polk Audio PSW505 x 2
    AVR: Denon AVR-3313CI
    Amp: Emotiva XPA-5

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by amgala View Post
    Compared with the level that Audyssey sets for the center channel, I increase the dialogue volume setting by a couple of dBs to better hear the dialogue. But I feel that the CS2 starts to sound harsher as it gets louder, and the sound is not as "full" as the other channels (which may be expected considering it is smaller and has less drivers than the Monitors). It seems to get very "trembly". I do not think I am overpowering the speakers (for what it's worth, I am talking about a volume level of 60-70 compared to my receiver's max volume of 98).
    You might get your desired results by simply adjusting your center channel's crossover to a little higher frequency setting than that arrived at by the Audyssey calibration run. You can do this manually in one of your setup menus. If Audysssey set the center channel XO at 60 Hz, for example, try setting it at each 80, 90 and maybe even 100 Hz and give it a listen for a while. With your PSW 505s doing more of the low-frequency lifting, you might perceive more fullness from your center channel. I'd give it a try before re-running the Audyssey, and maybe even after running it, if the desired results aren't obtained the first time through.

  9. #9

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    Here's a completely different view.

    If you've got 7.1 capacity, use your "extra" pair of 70's as wides. Get a pair of FXiA4's or 6's for your surrounds. Get a three channel amp to drive your L/C/R channels which should give that CS2 a bit of headroom.

    I had the M70's and CS2 like yours, once I breathed a little life into them (Emotiva XPA-3), the front stage opened up and sounded better. Before adding the amp, I used to run the CS2 a little hotter than what Auddessy set it at.
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


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    2 Ch Rig
    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by teekay0007 View Post
    You might get your desired results by simply adjusting your center channel's crossover to a little higher frequency setting than that arrived at by the Audyssey calibration run. You can do this manually in one of your setup menus. If Audysssey set the center channel XO at 60 Hz, for example, try setting it at each 80, 90 and maybe even 100 Hz and give it a listen for a while. With your PSW 505s doing more of the low-frequency lifting, you might perceive more fullness from your center channel. I'd give it a try before re-running the Audyssey, and maybe even after running it, if the desired results aren't obtained the first time through.
    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Here's a completely different view.

    If you've got 7.1 capacity, use your "extra" pair of 70's as wides. Get a pair of FXiA4's or 6's for your surrounds. Get a three channel amp to drive your L/C/R channels which should give that CS2 a bit of headroom.

    I had the M70's and CS2 like yours, once I breathed a little life into them (Emotiva XPA-3), the front stage opened up and sounded better. Before adding the amp, I used to run the CS2 a little hotter than what Auddessy set it at.
    Thanks for both of your suggestions. I'll definitely try changing the crossover for the CS2 to a higher setting (all speakers are currently set to 80 Hz).

    Geoff, my receiver can do 7.2, however I was hoping to use two channels as a separate zone to two outdoor speakers on my deck. But maybe I can do both and just change the speaker connections when I need to. I would definitely like to add an XPA-3 or even better an XPA-5 down the line.
    Front Speakers: Polk Audio LSi15 x 2
    Center Speaker: Polk Audio LSiC
    Rear Speakers: Polk Audio LSiF/X x 2
    Subwoofers: Polk Audio PSW505 x 2
    AVR: Denon AVR-3313CI
    Amp: Emotiva XPA-5

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by amgala View Post
    Geoff, my receiver can do 7.2, however I was hoping to use two channels as a separate zone to two outdoor speakers on my deck. But maybe I can do both and just change the speaker connections when I need to. I would definitely like to add an XPA-3 or even better an XPA-5 down the line.
    Good idea!

    When I had my XPA-3 on the front three, the AVR set my them all at 40hz. Played around with the settings but ended up coming back to 40, I preferred that over the rest.

    An XPA-5 would be awesome, esp if you were runnin wides using 4 M70's across the front. I had a pair of A9's for mains and M70's for wides, then I changed to 4 A9's across the front.

    Some think towers in the wide spot is overkill, if you ever get a chance to use a tower in the wide spot, you'll understand. Just ask Zane, he's got A9's and A7's across the front.

    Anyway, it sounds like you've got a plan, drop a line and tell of your results.
    Draggn' knee is exhilarating, 150mph wheel standers are pretty cool too


    Home Theater-7.2
    Display-SamsungPN64D8000 | Receiver-Onkyo TX-NR807 | Source-OPPOBDP-103 | Amplifiers-Emotiva; XPA-2 x2, XPA-3 | Speakers: PolkAudio; mains-RTiA9, rears-RTiA9, center-CSiA6, surrounds-FXiA6 | Sub-Epik Empire x 2 | Interconnects-Emotiva


    Cans
    Grado RS2i

    2 Ch Rig
    First purchase will be; a pair of ? but I'd love a pair of SDA SRS

  12. #12

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    Unfortunately I didn't have time to try different things out this past weekend. Hopefully I'll have time during the week or this coming weekend.
    Front Speakers: Polk Audio LSi15 x 2
    Center Speaker: Polk Audio LSiC
    Rear Speakers: Polk Audio LSiF/X x 2
    Subwoofers: Polk Audio PSW505 x 2
    AVR: Denon AVR-3313CI
    Amp: Emotiva XPA-5

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