Quantcast

Do I HAVE to have ML centers with SL3s?

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

Help Support MartinLogan Owners (MLO):

charliemike

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Messages
382
Reaction score
0
Location
38° 52' 3.82" N, 77° 01' 01.67" W
I bought a pair of used SL3s about a year ago and due to numerous events including an engagement and condo renovation I have not had a chance to hook them up. I'm getting a bigger space in a couple of months and I'm now looking at what I'm going to do to finish my 5.1 system.

I have an Onkyo TX-502 receiver that from what I've heard will probably have to be upgraded.

I have no center channel worth anything. I have a couple of bookshelf speakers that are okay I guess. Good enough for rear surrounds for the time being.

So, my question is ... Do I have to go with a ML ESL for my center? I want something smallish ... I have no interest in a 3rd SL3 as my center channel. Would any decent cone center channel be okay?

I'm sure ML does things to make sure their cone centers play well with their ESLs but I thought I'd ask around.

Budget is $600.

TIA.
 

DTB300

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
2,146
Reaction score
0
Location
Fallout 3 Land
charliemike said:
So, my question is ... Do I have to go with a ML ESL for my center? I want something smallish ... I have no interest in a 3rd SL3 as my center channel. Would any decent cone center channel be okay?
It becomes personal perference on using an ML Center or not - by your 3rd SL3 comment, I guess you have seen JonFo's great center channel solution :eek:. For other center channel speakers I feel you have to try them out and see how the integration is for your room, tastes, and budget.

Personally I like the ML Theater the best of all the ML centers (have not heard the Stage), but I could not afford it. So I found a B&W center that was adequate enough for me and my budget (walked into a GREAT deal at the dealer that day) and the sound I get for movies with it is again adequate for my room.

You can get a Fresco for your budget if you look around at deals from some dealers, or used from Audiogon. People here using Fresco's are very happy with the results as a center with the ML ESL's.

Dan
 

DrJRapp

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2006
Messages
831
Reaction score
0
Location
Stuart West, Florida
I've found that Klipsch Reference series make surprisingly good matchups for ML ESLs. When I first I got my Summits I had to wait for my Theater i so I used the Klipsch Reference 7 center from my previous setup with great success. So much success in fact that I'm now using Klipsch for my surrounds and Center Backs. If you can find a good used RC7 on the 'bay give it a try. You could always resell without getting hurt.
 

aliveatfive

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
776
Reaction score
0
IMHO - Electrostatics mate best with electrostatics. Look around on Audiogon for a used ML center-channel that matches your budget and dimensional constaints. My dealer touted the Fresco as a second-best solution.
 

Cherian

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 1, 2005
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
0
I would also look at the Magnepan CC3 center (Not as good as the MLs but at a much lower price than the MLs). I have used this speaker and I think it mates well with MLs.
 

Jeff Zaret

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 3, 2005
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
1
Location
Lancaster,Ca
As Dan and others have aluded to, I have a Fresco for a center channel. I have CLSiiZ's for fronts and Sequel II's for rears. The Fresco does a great job and blends well. I was surprised how well it does blend. Obviously, a Theater i or the Stage would be better but no budget for that. I got the Fresco basically for 1/2 price with full warranty. :D

Happy hunting

Jeff :cool:
 

amey01

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2005
Messages
5,002
Reaction score
22
Location
Queensland, Australia
My opinion is that the best centre channel is no centre channel at all. Try the SL3s without a centre channel and see how they go - they will image like magic as long as they are set up correctly, so as long as you are sitting at or near the sweet spot a centre channel should be pretty much obsolete before you get it.
 

wink

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
482
Reaction score
1
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Jeff Zaret said:
As Dan and others have aluded to, I have a Fresco for a center channel. I have CLSiiZ's for fronts and Sequel II's for rears. The Fresco does a great job and blends well. I was surprised how well it does blend. Obviously, a Theater i or the Stage would be better but no budget for that. I got the Fresco basically for 1/2 price with full warranty. :D

Happy hunting

Jeff :cool:
I definately agree with the Fresco for a center with that budget. I had used a Klipsch center years ago when they only had three in there line up. It had a horn tweeter but mixed pretty well with my ReQuests, not overly bright as you would think.

But....If you have the ability to go with a Fresco, do it!
 

roberto

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
3,177
Reaction score
40
Location
San Jose, Costa Rica
Jeff Zaret said:
As Dan and others have aluded to, I have a Fresco for a center channel. I have CLSiiZ's for fronts and Sequel II's for rears. The Fresco does a great job and blends well. I was surprised how well it does blend. Obviously, a Theater i or the Stage would be better but no budget for that. I got the Fresco basically for 1/2 price with full warranty. :D

Happy hunting

Jeff :cool:
Hola...and same as Jeff, I have my CLSIIz with Fresco at front, but my rears are a pair of Sonus Faber model Electa. The Frescos are for what you pay, one of the fastest speakers available and very clean...I do love my sound, also just added a Dynamo sub, and now I am begining to adjust levels for DTS...very interesting sound sometimes and awful too. Difficult to get good recordings, but I am begining to understand better the 5 channel set up...happy listening,
Roberto.
 

charliemike

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Messages
382
Reaction score
0
Location
38° 52' 3.82" N, 77° 01' 01.67" W
Back earlier in the year I had a discussion about amplification with the SL3s.

I think the breakdown for usage is about 40% HDTV (I refuse to watch normal channels now), 40% Music, and 20% DVDs.

Like I mentioned above I have the Onkyo TX-SR502. What would make the most sense in my case? Go with a new receiver or get an amp and connect the speakers to the amplifier?

I haven't hooked the SL3s up to the Onkyo yet so I have no idea what to expect. I would probably hook them up first, see how it plays out and then go with something else if it's not bringing me what I need.

I can't wait to get into the new place. I've had MLs for 8 months and never listened to them after I brought them back from NYC where I bought them!

The torture is killing me :)
 

edwinr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
charliemike said:
So, my question is ... Do I have to go with a ML ESL for my center?
TIA.
No. ML is preferable but try Klipsch. One of their centers would match really well. :)
 

JonFo

Super Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 16, 2005
Messages
4,148
Reaction score
50
Location
Big Canoe, GA
I would strongly suggest the Mirage line of centers.

My secondary system features an all Mirage speaker array and for cone based, they sound pleasing enough to a ML owner.

I particularly think the Omnipolars mate very well with ML's, not perfect mind you, but better than others.
The biggest draw is the excellent dispersion characteristics for a center that's used with dipole L/R speakers.

I'd get the biggest Mirage Omnipolar center you can afford. Might want to check audiogon for some good used values.

Of course, my idea of the perfect center is a bit larger ;)
 

jjqiv

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
355
Reaction score
0
Location
Los Gatos, CA
amey01 said:
My opinion is that the best centre channel is no centre channel at all. Try the SL3s without a centre channel and see how they go - they will image like magic as long as they are set up correctly, so as long as you are sitting at or near the sweet spot a centre channel should be pretty much obsolete before you get it.
I'd would also recommend the best bargin (i.e., a phantom center) until you can afford a ML center.
 

lexor

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Messages
59
Reaction score
0
center

i have had the Sl3's for years and i matched them up with the cinema center and i have been very happy with this setup, my rears are scripts and sides are radio shack Optimus. using two depth subs left and right and a grotto for LFE.
 

edwinr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Messages
946
Reaction score
0
jjqiv said:
I'd would also recommend the best bargin (i.e., a phantom center) until you can afford a ML center.
Good call. I use a phantom centre myself. It works a treat, is great value for money, doesn't take up much (any!) space, and the wife loves it... ;)
 

Bimotarich

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 23, 2006
Messages
68
Reaction score
0
Location
Fukuoka, Japan
B&W Center

I have SL3s as my mains and a B&W LC600S3 as the center and B&W 604S2s as my rears. They seem to work together well for movies. I would prefer an all ML system but finances and space dont allow it. For movies it all comes together quite well... for 6 channel music its not bad but that is when I yearn for the pure ML system. Going with full range speakers is important if you listen to 6 channel music (DVD audio or SACD). Make sure you carefully adjust your channel volume and delay for best sound.
 

Caspyr

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2006
Messages
11
Reaction score
0
Location
Pacific NW
I have SL3's with a Cinema center and Aerius rears.

I could not disagree more with the folks recommending no center.

For movies, the center is one of the most important elements in a HT setup.

If you have to wait to build the budget for a good center, at least put somehitng there in the mean time.
 

charliemike

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Messages
382
Reaction score
0
Location
38° 52' 3.82" N, 77° 01' 01.67" W
Caspyr said:
I have SL3's with a Cinema center and Aerius rears.

I could not disagree more with the folks recommending no center.

For movies, the center is one of the most important elements in a HT setup.

If you have to wait to build the budget for a good center, at least put somehitng there in the mean time.
I agree with you ... Honestly, I'd be much more happy with a great center and just using my Cerwin Vega bookshelf speakers as rears for right now ...

There's no way I can afford a Cinema or Theater center right now so the question is ... Are the Vignette/Fresco center/surrounds worth it? Should I be looking elsewhere at that price point?

Would a Magnepan CC3 and the SL3s make any sense?
 
Last edited:
Top