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Centre speakers

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Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 9:33 pm    Post subject: Centre speakers Reply with quote

The KEF 100 is a highly rated centre speaker which is also magnetically shielded. How well does it integrate with a system in which the other speakers contain drive units from the 1970s?
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Joined: 12 Jul 2005
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2005 8:58 pm    Post subject: Center Speakers Reply with quote

I feel lucky to have found this site Smile.

I've been looking for a center channel for Kef 104.2 mains and 103.2 surrounds (might move to 102.s). I recently emailed someone online who has had a few relevant setups and here is his reply:

"I am using a pair of 104/2s with a 200C and a pair of 102/2s for surrounds.
The system crosses over to a Velodyne HGS-15 at 80 Hz. The 200C matches the
104/2s well, whereas the 100C is a fine match for 102/2s. For continuity of
soundstage, I think you need a 200C, because the 100C was overwhelmed by the

I moved the other pair of 102/2s to a smaller system downstairs to use with
the 100C and Velodyne HGS-10."

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Joined: 22 Apr 2003
Posts: 262
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2005 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum Tom. Your contribution is most welcome. 5 or 6 channel systems seem not to be much in peoples' minds in HiFi forums and certainly not in forums which deal with vintage speakers.

Many of us were around when quadraphonic was a live topic and issues of building and setting up 4 matching speakers were discussed. Cinema systems are thus to some extent a return to these days of our youth.

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Joined: 22 Aug 2003
Posts: 1297
Location: Tewkesbury UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How true Terry. All the formats lost the war for supremacy.
The public confused, voted with their feet not ears...

I need a bigger house as increasingly I find that home cinema and music do not mix. Ho hum.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:03 pm    Post subject: History Reply with quote

TomYoung wrote:
I feel lucky to have found this site

I believe that this is an event that should be noted in the history books.
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Cor van den Bogaart
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Joined: 07 Jan 2006
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Multi channel can go together with Stereo and a great performance. Using Vintage speakers however is a limiting factor. You will need 5 speakers from the same brand/type/series. Now for the front and back channels this is doable. The centre speaker however is a different story as there are no Vintage centres available. Finding a matching centre for my set (IMF SACM and IMF TLS80) took me several months of testing and listening. Finaly I found the Dynaudio Audience centre best matching the sound of my set. Using vintage speakers might not give you the smashing impact when playing films as modern sets do, but for me, playing films over my set is not important and it's just nice to have.

Where it comes to mch music playback, I see the software as one of the bigest limiting factors. There is so much shit (pardon my French) available on the market. Sound and recording engineers oft don't know what they are doing Evil or Very Mad . I have several recordings where the instrumants easly are reproduced at the back channels Question . No stage performance (at least no realistic) at all. But I also have great sotware (SACD and DTS) where the accoustic invironment of the concert realy is adding value to the music.

Furthermore you will need to invest a lot in mc amps and CD/DVD players. The price of a well performing mc set is at least doubled than what you are used to pay for a stereo set. My Marantz SR14 is excellent in stereo mode as well as it is in mch mode. I use both modes but I have to admit that I use the stereo mode a lot. This is due to the software available and not to the performance of the set.

First step to take if you want to improve your system is cleaning your ears.
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My left and right speakers use B139, B110 and Scan-Speak D2905-9300 HF units (Naim 52 and Naim 250). I haven't bothered with centre speakers or sub-woofer so far. I map both functions (centre and sub-woofer) to my left and right speakers. I have two separate rear speakers (Linn Kans powered by Naim Nait 3) and they do of course make a significant difference. A Yahama DSP-AX630SE AV Amplifier feeds the 52 and the Nait.

I did think about mixing technologies and use a KEF 200c with my old KEF speakers but I felt that lack of B110 in the centre would be a mistake for me. The solution could of course be to use a single of the smaller speakers eg early Coda with different HF unit. I am however probably going to use a pair of smaller speakers (powered by another Nait 3) instead as centre speakers. I believe that magnetic shielding will not be an issue as I will have the smaller speakers much closer to the screen than the large Left/Right speakers but they will be far enough away not to be an issue.


Last edited by terry on Tue Jan 17, 2006 10:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Location: Edinburgh

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think in a decent home cinema set up most of the old Kef just dont have the power and dynamic capabilities.

I have never found the need for a centre speaker and find it amusing the amount of speakers people use in these systems, one of the reasons for more surround speaker channels was for larger rooms where continuity between small speakers suffered.
One friend of mine has a Kef egg system with sub, he has three front two side and three rear channels of surround in an average room, is this needed ?, my friends system has not got the resolution dynamics or bottom end I require but is fun with movies, though despite what the magazines say it has poor musical ability and the speakers dont exactly disapear sonicaly, you can hear it steer and it compreses at high volume.

I use a Yamaha E800 processor, and if using the exact same amplifier channels and speakers find this superb, and still good with a different rear power and speakers but due to the lack of compresion dynamics can get a bit out of hand, get two identical power amps and say two pairs of old Cadenza,s and you will have a superb and musical surround system, set all speakers as large and put bass out to main and no centre.

I have used Kef R105.4, Kef Celeste, Rogers LS3/5a, and Linn Kan mkII as rears in a couple of locations, and had my main speakers up to three metres apart , with no need for a centre, (I am also sure that if a speaker is any more than three metres apart then cancelation affects occur in the lower bass), I have not yet had the privelage of any room big enough in the UK to require more than four Kef 105.4.
As my main speakers are full range ive had no need for a sub though one would be fun.
I have also used a cheap surround system and found this to require a centre due to poor imaging and lack of central image, and to have wooly over the top bass.
I do believe you cannot get decent surround unless you have identical speakers and amps, all the same distance apart and can guarantee none are canceling each other out, more difficult than it sounds and still not possible with the more basic room EQ surround amps. The centre chanel is also required to be full range as when in use has more info going through it than the L + R channels, so why use a small speaker ? It is not going to have the same sound and sensitivity of the L + R unless it is the exact same with the exact same amp, so why bother, the rear you can get away with but not the front I find.

You still have to be careful with volume though, Chronicles of Riddick and War of the World for example have some serious dynamics and low end, which with a proper surround package sound great, but will probably blow some bass or treble driver of an old classic like the 105 if not carefull with output levels.
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Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Posts: 5
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:54 am    Post subject: Turning orphans into a centre speaker Reply with quote

From a recent rebuild of two pairs of KefKit3 have the following orphans;
Low = B139 SP1044
Mid = B110 SP1003
High = T27 SP1032
Cross Over = DN12 SP1004

I have had one pair of KefKit3's for many years, the other pair was a more recent acquisition. They are mostly used for stereo and the odd home cinema experience. I have a large and potent sub woofer and an unsuitable centre speaker which simply doesn't match the front and rear pairs.

I was considering turning the orphans into a centre speaker, thereby giving 5 equal channels. I have no spare cabinet, so I would need to make one. The other speakers are in 93 litre cabinets so I thought it would be logical to size the centre speaker to 93 litres as well. To fit the available space, this would mean dimensions something like;
Height = 450 mm
Width = 700 mm
Depth = 370 mm

Any input would be greatly appreciated, particularly the driver and vent orientation.


PS; Yes, KeftKit3's were very popular in the colonies.
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Cloth ears
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Location: Barcelona

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject: JR149 Centre Speakers? Reply with quote

This is a problem I have been hankering over for some time now. I am building a house which will incorporate a music/home-cinema room.

My plan is to use JR150s for the front left and right, with JR149s to the sides and rear. My amp is a Pioneer AX10 which claims to put out 170Watts per channel.

I particularly wish to have a JR149 as a centre speaker because I find the JRs excellent at reproducing the human voice. What in fact I would like to do is to wire TWO JR149s together to sit neatly under the screen. My problem is I do not know how to go about the project.

Does anyone think that these can be wired in parallel? Or should I disconnect the crossovers and employ an electronic crossover? (I have an electronic crossover already set to 3000hz which matches the 149s).

Then again, should I introduce a separate amp to drive the centre....but then the amp would probably add its own signature.

Any advice gratefully received.

Simplest Hi-Fi tweak is to syringe your ears.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 2:13 am    Post subject: Atomic Centre Speaker Reply with quote

These days the centre channel can carry a stupendous amount of action, energy and full dynamic range on some films.
I feel that phantom centre is a path to nowhere and skimping on a decent centre is a folly.

Listen to the gunshots on a film like "Open Range".
As an ex full-bore shooter I can categorically say that only a few fully specified systems have done this films audio track any justice.
Whether you like the film or not (it has a happy ending) you owe it to yourself to see as to what amazing dynamic range can be reproduced on a good system!!!

Turn it up, sit back and be prepared to be blown out of your seat as well as any lesser speaker cones and voice coils...
I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a
man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
-Winston Churchill
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T.O. Chef
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Joined: 31 Aug 2007
Posts: 179
Location: Toronto Canada

PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:56 pm    Post subject: If it's not wat too late Reply with quote

I have been 6 years now trying to marry good 2 channel music with a decent home theater arrangement.
Has anyone else ever used 104aB's as the fronts? No Sub Necessary! Period. Not necessary ... Not desirable.
In my smallish room 12' x 18' with the cinema on the long wall and the 104's 11 feet apart and a kef Q10C in the middle the soundstage, the dynamics, the dialog, and the "slam" is shockingly good. Prior to the Q10 I had a Cresta center. Just so-so, but the timbre was a good match.
The downside? You'll need a LOT of current on tap. I use an brute of an Aragon 200 WPC for the front now, but I got by for several years with a NAD 763. powering it all.
With that size and shape of room getting the rear channel speakers fitting in is tough, but in my experience the rear channel is least important. I simply use some Minimus 7's, and everything blends together famously.
BTW, I spend a lot more time in my kitchen than the average man, being a chef ... and I've never found a better combination than the Minimus 7's mounted far apart and high using the Nad with it's assignable amp's whilst I get the cinema snacks prepared Smile
The 104aB's just blow everyone away in that application ... and they are no slouches for critical listening (music) either.
Now ... controlling the Humms, and Buzzes inherent with H.T and high power gear .... that can be a headache!
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