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Navy986S

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I've had my Theos for about five years and love them. However, the Motif center channel I use with them has been disappointing. I'm 61 and my hearing isn't what it was. But the Motif doesn't help. It just isn't clear enough on dialog, particularly when viewing HBO or Netflix. On some channels (e.g. PBS HD) dialog is clearer in stereo. I've had the speaker checked and it appears to be operating correctly.

Upgrade options appear to be the Stage X (They are still out there) or the newer ESL-C. Do any members have experience with either center speaker and the Theos? I should add that I am using a Marantz 8013 Receiver and have run room calibration. Calibration helped with the bass (Theos + Dynamo 700). I didn't expect much difference on the center and didn't get much. Thanks in advance.
 

Robert D

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I've got a theater i thats pretty decent. I hear that the new focus is supposed to be great.
 

Navy986S

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Thanks. The Focus is a possibility. However, that would be the last resort. Not sure my wife would understand $3500 for a single speaker. Let me amend that - I know she wouldn't.
 

Robert D

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Thanks. The Focus is a possibility. However, that would be the last resort. Not sure my wife would understand $3500 for a single speaker. Let me amend that - I know she wouldn't.
Yeah, mines not excited about such and that's why I bought used Prodigy and theater i speakers. Russ, someone known on here for building his own electrostats and fixing them recommended not using a panel speaker for center channel. Ive been thinking my next home theater i may use a standard in wall for center. Martin Logan has some nice looking ones.
 

Navy986S

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Interesting. I have heard similar comments about trying to build a center to match electrostatics. I have considered going just Theos plus sub in a two channel setup in one room (office) and then getting a RSL or KEF 5.1.2 setup in the media room. I could sell the Motif and FX2s. Still a possibility.
 

ttocs

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I too have a Motif center speaker. It does a pretty good job, but I recently changed some settings in my setup and am liking the results.

I am using my subwoofers for only LFE, no bass management to the subs. The bass management now is directed to the Front Left/Right Expressions which do a very good job with bass. So, now that I have speakers that do a great job with frequencies from 20Hz and up to higher than my subwoofers can achieve, I can play with the crossover setting in the processor. The higher I set the crossover for the Motif, the better I like the result.

My main complaint with the Motif is the slightly boxy sound of the woofers. So when I raise the crossover to 150Hz and even higher, that box sound is reduced. I'm not settled yet on where the crossover will finally be set to, but the results are encouraging.

While I would love a center with a larger panel, for now I consider this an improvement and living with it for the foreseeable future. Yes, I see the future.
 

Navy986S

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Thanks. I'll try that approach. Boxy is a good description of what I am encountering.
 

JonFo

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Thanks. I'll try that approach. Boxy is a good description of what I am encountering.
A common mistake ESL center owners make is to not have absorption behind the center. You need to totally kill the rear wave.
There is a very good reason the Focus C18 is well regarded as a center, it is a monopole (no rear wave emitted from the unit).

The higher I set the crossover for the Motif, the better I like the result.
Exactly, most centers lack the low-end performance to be crossed over any lower than 90Hz. I had to use 120Hz for my Logos way back when.
Heck, even with 6x 7" woofers in my SL3XC center, it is crossed over at 80Hz.

So yes, a Motif will do better at 120 to 150Hz, as ttocs mentions.
 

JonFo

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I have heard similar comments about trying to build a center to match electrostatics
Oh, it quite possible to have a great result, it just takes a LOT of effort. See my ESL center channel build.

After running it for 14 years, I'm still floored by how seamless the front soundstage is. And even on brutally demanding action movies, it totally keeps up, yet on classical recordings in 3 channel 'stereo' or multichannel albums, it is clean and high resolution.
But it was built to get the best out of Steven Wilson's music and 5.1 mixes, and boy, does it deliver.

The one change I'll be applying to it shortly is to convert it to a full monopole config.
 
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