I have used a KEF Reference 100 center for years with two different front channel speakers, first being Dynaudio Contour 5.4's, and currently, custom made enclosures housing 12" Tannoy HPD 315 drivers (Dual Concentric), with both being a good enough match for my use. I bi-amp the center, with 100Wpc to tweeter and woofer, as I have a separate two channel amp for stereo listening.
As I say, this has worked for me, for the little I use multi-channel or home theater.
Best of luck,
I use a biwired KEF 200 C with my KEF 104.2s to good effect. I don't know how the 200 C compares to the 202.2, but they sure look similar. I had the opportunity to compare the sound of my 104.2s with Wilson Sophias using the same CDs and SACDs, but with a 15 minute delay. I found the sound rather similar, although I suspect the Sophias have more low end were not my 104.2s crossed at 80 Hz to a Velodyne HGS-15. I also have a 100 C that matches my 102.2s well, but cannot match the dynamics of the 104.2s.
I have also looked at the Dynaudio Contour S CX, as this would fit my paramaters as well. Any thoughts on the differences between the Kef and the Dynaudio?
Thats very useful information. Thanks. I suspect that the 202/2c would be closer in sonic signature to the 104.2s than the 200C? Obviously, the dynamics are one of the huge strong points of the Sophias and matching that would be great.
I was never able to hear a Dynaudio center channel speaker, but I suspect it would work as well or maybe better than the KEF. Just an educated guess.
What is the basis for your thought that the 202.2 would be closer in sonic signature to the 104.2s than the 200C? The 104.2s use a dome tweeter, whereas both the 202.2 and 200 use a Uni-Q surrounded by a pair of small speakers. I should disclose that, given my vintage Proceed PAV/PDSD does not have an HDMI input, I have limited experience with the center channel for music. I am interested if the 202.2 might be a better match.
Yes you are correct. That was my mistake.
I would say that the duty of my center channel will mostly be for the home theater setup. The vast majority of my music collection is still 2 channel. However, I would stilllike the center to fit in better with the Sophias.
Save your money and buy a used Watch version 1 off of here.That's what I would try and do.The Watch center will match the timbre of the Sophias.Voices are very distinct on some recordings.The center is the most important speaker in a multi channel system especially with movies. The Kef will work if that's the most you can spend for a center but most likely give you timbre problems in the upper mids highs due to different drivers being used by the two different manufacturers. It will be noticed when there is a pan in the front soundstage, or better yet a well mixed M/C soundtrack.
I would love to buy the Wilson center, but does the version 1 have a shorter height than the current version? The height restrictions is my biggest problem. I see someone here on audiogon has one up for sale but no height specs were given...
I've checked out your page and looked at your setup which is very nice if I may add!If you are to use the Watch which is what you'd like to do if space permits.Unfortunately you have maybe two options.First is to try and raise the flat panel as you stated and have the Watch sit on the cabinet.That may be pushing it.I did a quick measure of my Watch and it's approx 13.5 inches from it's base to the top of the tweeter housing. What about using the stand Wilson sells or go with a custom stand and place it in front of the entertainment stand on the floor? I used Sound Anchors but my decor is different and I don't have the WAF anymore;)
Dont get sucked into the timbre match scam, any number of centers will work just fine, if you dont have the cash for a Wilson dont sweat it
Thanks for your input. My system has gone some upgrading since I posted those pictures a couple of years ago. I moved the 50 inch plasma (which is shown in pictures) to another room and put in a Pioneer Elite 60 inch plasma in its space. It looks wonderful mounted on the cabinet but it leaves me even less room for the center channel than is shown in those pictures. A dedicated stand in front of the cabinet just will not work as this is my living room and my kids are 7 and 5 years old. I still need to consider the whole family...
That bring me back to the original problem. I have lived with the Thiel center for last 6 years and yes the timbre match, and micro dynamics are not close to the same as the Wilsons, but I have been relatively happy. I can accept a compromise when necessary, but I still would like to get closer to a seemless "front stage" as possible.
Any other suggestions or comments are welcome.
Ultimately, I have decided to wait on the upgrade for the center for now and see how things play out. Maybe one day I'll have room for the Wilson. Thanks for the comments