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Center channel clarity - Ascend, NHT, Wavecrest, Philmarmonic AA

Speakers - www.avsforum.com
So I was recently looking to get better vocal clarity from my center channel than I was getting from an old Polk CS130. Reading here made me somewhat concerned about matching timbre to my AJ Pioneer BS22s that I've had (and liked) for the last 3+ years. The vocal clarity reviews of the Pioneer C22 here were not great, so I asked Dennis about his mod. He encouraged me to first test out the stock Pioneer C22 and return it if I didn't like it.

So I got the stock C22 and have pretty much decided that it is not much of an upgrade in the clarity department. Planning to return it.

I am considering moving my BS22s to the surrounds and getting new speakers up front and center. I'm also open to getting just a new center if the timbre match isn't really that big of a deal. Most of my use would be home theater/TV.

Would a sealed design have any advantage in clarity over ported? Output, though nice, is not my primary goal.

I've compiled the list below of front and center speaker sets that are within what I'm willing to spend. From those with experience with any of the them, which of these center channels give the best clarity? Is there a significant difference between any of them?

Contenders:

Philharmonics Affordable Accuracy ($420 shipped)

Wavecrest HVL-1s ($372 shipped)

NHT SuperOne 2.1 fronts, SuperCenter ($419 shipped - both B stock)

Ascend Acoustics HTM 200 SEs ($468 shipped)

HTD Level 2 Bookshelves and Center ($383 shipped)

Anything else I should be considering?
Date: Mar 21, 2017   


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