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CENTER UPGRADE?


jerseybowler
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Finally got my TV raised off the cabinet, allowing me to bring the 250C out of the speaker compartment and up on the top of the cabinet.  I noticed an immediate improvement in the performance of the center.  This also gives me the option to upgrade the center to an RP-440C or even a 450C.  What to do?  Will I notice a big improvement with  either or both?  Opinions appreciated.

 

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Great move elevating the tv!

 

I'm not an expert on either, but how loud do you listen to movies?  If it's pretty low volume, it may not matter that much, but if you crank it often - having a bigger center is nice to be able to run with the rest of your set up! 


You're probably fine as is, but I tend to like bigger/better for the center.


Just my $0.02.   Good luck - enjoy!  That's a sweet setup!

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Thanks for the reply.  We don't listen that loud.  With the 250C, It seems that the balance with the mains and surrounds is off.  I run it around 2 DB hotter than the mains and surrounds, and at the given volume to hear dialogue clearly, the special effects and background gets too loud at times.  I was hoping a bigger center might even it out.  Make sense?

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17 hours ago, jerseybowler said:

Finally got my TV raised off the cabinet, allowing me to bring the 250C out of the speaker compartment and up on the top of the cabinet.  I noticed an immediate improvement in the performance of the center.  This also gives me the option to upgrade the center to an RP-440C or even a 450C.  What to do?  Will I notice a big improvement with  either or both?  Opinions appreciated.

 

 

 

I have the 450C and have not compared to any other RP center so can't directly compare.  It's a terrific center as most user and pro reviews have said.  It's paired along with RP-160Ms for L/R.  I can say that while it's true the larger centers can give more output, more importantly there tends to be improved sound quality as you move towards the larger centers no matter the listening volume.  More depth and fullness and better able to reproduce male voices even when not listening at high volumes.  I certainly don't push mine close to reference volumes.  Properly calibrated, the difference in sensitivity of the mains and center shouldn't be much of an issue.  The 250C should still have very good intelligibility even if sound quality isn't quite as good as the larger centers.  Surround effects drowning out center channel dialogue can also be a function of the source mix and is a common issue with some mixes.  Not much you can do other than bump up center trim in those scenarios.  If you have a Denon AVR you could experiment with using dynamic volume on "light" which will limit the louder volumes of some of the soundtrack and can make dialogue better when trying to keep overall volumes lower .  It can also have a detrimental effect as well so you would just need to experiment but I find the light setting to work well for late night/kids asleep listening.  If you can purchase a 450C and return easily I would just try it out now that you have room and see if you notice a difference.  Only way you are going to be able to really know.  If you have the room for the 450C which it looks like you do would probably skip the 440C and decide between what you have and 450C.

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I'll give you a piece of advice here that could serve you well --  WHEN A ROOM AND SETUP HAVE ISSUES....WHICH THEY ALL DO...the solution is to fix the room and the setup issues!  

 

Almost every problem related to a Klipsch speaker (we're talking, "real" reference line or Reference Premiere, or Heritage here), is not related to the speaker itself.  In moving your speaker out of a compartment and giving it more space, you dramatically improved the sound of your center channel.  Klipsch are well-designed speakers with extremely high sensitivity -- meaning, in most cases, they are "enough" to sound good -- very good -- in the right environment.

 

Placement, as you discovered, is key to good sound.  If they are placed sub-optimally, they aren't going to sound good.  Put a 450C in that compartment it will suck, as will any speaker.  It was the environment that screwed up the sound, not the speaker.

 

My 2c is this:

 

1) Place all your speakers properly.  Read about it if necessary or post more pictures and we can help.

 

2) <<** LEVEL MATCH YOUR SPEAKERS.  If your AVR does not have a function that matches the SPL level of your speakers from a listening position, download an SPL app for free on your phone, and change the levels of your speakers so that they all have roughly the same SPL level using a test tone. **>>  This to me sounds like your current issue.  

 

3) Add minimal acoustic treatment to the first reflection points.  This may be just say 2 panels.  But this step does more for the sound of a room than any speaker can.  There is absolutely, positively, no substitute for reducing the wall reflections that inevitably affect the L and R speakers, and even moreso, the center, which provides so much dialog.   We're talking $100 bought from a source, or as little as $50 DIY.  

 

To paraphrase your question, you sort of asked, "Will it sound better if I get a 440 or 450C?"  The BETTER question, perhaps is, WHAT would make my speakers sound better?  That would be improving their placement, and the treatment of the room itself.  Changing to a 450C at this point will have a minimal effect compared to placement and treatment.  We're not talking a week or work and a thousand bucks...we're talking maybe a few hours and maybe $100 (imo).

 

Take my advice, like all, with a grain of salt.  

 

 

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7 minutes ago, cardsdoc said:

 

I have the 450C and have not compared to any other RP center so can't directly compare.  It's a terrific center as most user and pro reviews have said.  It's paired along with RP-160Ms for L/R.  I can say that while it's true the larger centers can give more output, more importantly there tends to be improved sound quality as you move towards the larger centers no matter the listening volume.  More depth and fullness and better able to reproduce male voices even when not listening at high volumes.  I certainly don't push mine close to reference volumes.  Properly calibrated, the difference in sensitivity of the mains and center shouldn't be much of an issue.  The 250C should still have very good intelligibility even if sound quality isn't quite as good as the larger centers.  Surround effects drowning out center channel dialogue can also be a function of the source mix and is a common issue with some mixes.  Not much you can do other than bump up center trim in those scenarios.  If you have a Denon AVR you could experiment with using dynamic volume on "light" which will limit the louder volumes of some of the soundtrack and can make dialogue better when trying to keep overall volumes lower .  It can also have a detrimental effect as well so you would just need to experiment but I find the light setting to work well for late night/kids asleep listening.  If you can purchase a 450C and return easily I would just try it out now that you have room and see if you notice a difference.  Only way you are going to be able to really know.  If you have the room for the 450C which it looks like you do would probably skip the 440C and decide between what you have and 450C.

 

What I wrote may sound like a almost complete contradiction of what he wrote above, but it isn't.  You may very well like the 450C better, but my point is simply that you aren't at that step yet.  You can do other things to DRAMATICALLY improve the sound without changing the speakers.    However, having said all this, you would not be the first to simply make the change and like it.  

 

Nothing will improve the sound of any system better than the first two acoustic panels, imo.    Except perhaps, proper placement :)

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On 8/1/2017 at 1:03 PM, RoboKlipsch said:

 

What I wrote may sound like a almost complete contradiction of what he wrote above, but it isn't.  You may very well like the 450C better, but my point is simply that you aren't at that step yet.  You can do other things to DRAMATICALLY improve the sound without changing the speakers.    However, having said all this, you would not be the first to simply make the change and like it.  

 

Nothing will improve the sound of any system better than the first two acoustic panels, imo.    Except perhaps, proper placement :)

That is great advice. I can't believe when I first got the Reference II line the difference placement could make. At first I felt like the highs were too high and hurt my ears and the bass was so boomy it didn't sound good. Just a simple adjustment playing with how far the speakers were from the wall made a big difference in bass response. Then, I didn't feel like the sound was full or fill the front stage enough...I moved them further apart, angled them in, and couldn't believe the difference it made. As for the highs, after the new placement ran audyssey again and a complete nigh and day difference.

 

And roboklipsch is right on placement. I moved my sub in the corner to give me more room in my living room. Even after running audyssey it couldn't fix the bad placement and still sounded boomy. Moved it back with out any adjustments again in audyssey, the boomyness was gone....a night and day difference just on placement.

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On August 1, 2017 at 1:01 PM, RoboKlipsch said:

 

 

3) Add minimal acoustic treatment to the first reflection points.  This may be just say 2 panels.  But this step does more for the sound of a room than any speaker can.  There is absolutely, positively, no substitute for reducing the wall reflections that inevitably affect the L and R speakers, and even moreso, the center, which provides so much dialog.   We're talking $100 bought from a source, or as little as $50 DIY.  

 

 

 

 

I have to agree with Robo on this.  He gave me similar advice and catching those first reflection points will do wonders, especially if you're in a room with lots of hard surfaces.  Just catching the rear reflection saw a big improvement in my case.  Cleared up the audio a little and I could hear more background noises too.  Another thing to do is move the center channel right up to the edge of the table.  From this angle it looks like it might not be and that can also hurt your audio quality.   Something I also did was buy the cheap felt pads at Home Depot and put one under each corner of my center channel.  It's an RC-7 that sits on a mahogany table I built.  It didn't clear up the audio, but I was hearing so much more background sounds.  They're like 2-3 dollars. You can try those without the cloth and see if that helps you.   I did it for my towers too, but I have tile floors, you have carpet, so I don't think it will do anything for your towers.  

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