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152 Posts
Hey guys.

I'm looking at a center speaker to upgrade from my polk audio csia6.
I'm from New Zealand so options over here are limiting.
i see suggestions from forums like these however many of those options are not available anywhere or I am unable to find them.
I also have polk audio rtia7 towers. Rta1 bookshelves. Definitive technology di 5.5r as my in ceiling speakers. svs pb 1000 pro subwoofer.

The one option I have found is the svs prime center and this is the price range I'm looking for. Retail price is 999 nzd

Room dimensions for my future home theater is 4.2 meters long exterior dimension. And 3.6 meter internal width dimension excluding any interior lining. And 2.7 meters high internal excluding lining aswell.

I would like to stick with the same brand for the towers and bookshelves.

My viewing habits are primarily movies and TV series with a small amount of gaming.

The one thing I do not enjoy is the harshness that I've experienced in some cinemas.

Two retailers that I can shop are raplallo and soundhub.

My receiver I will be using is a yamaha rxv 2085.

Many thanks.
Of the brands you mention, SVS is a reliable neutral accurate choice to move toward. It is a step up from Polk.

The other brands I would consider:

KEF (the Q series appears to be in your price range and is VERY good for the money) KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speaker

ELAC: ELAC Debut Reference Bookshelf Speakers DBR-62 is a good choice but they have nice options for less, as well.

Focal: I see they are available in NZ but nothing on the Rapallo site looks like the ones that I would choose (ie, they don't have the consumer level lines on the web site).

152 Posts
Three way design is nice for off axis sound quality. That might seem to matter only if there are people sitting off axis. But since you hear more reflected sound than direct sound, and most of that reflected sound is from off axis, it helps when that sound is consistent with the on axis sound.

That being said, the coaxial design of a KEF achieves a similar goal to a three way center.

And the ultimate match is three of the same speakers across the front.

Often, bookshelf speakers can achieve this.

And, usually, bookshelf speakers are a better bet than towers, since 99% of the time you'll be using bass management and don't need the extension of a tower. (The exception to needing a tower is for particularly large rooms, ie, where you are sitting more than 3 or 4 meters from the speakers, in which case sometimes a tower's increased output is helpful.)

Some people don't feel the need to match timbre. Some people think that Taco Bell is just as good as going to Mexico. I am happy for them. We each have a budget, and different standards and needs.

For me, I have found that having the same timbre across the front three speakers makes a notable difference. My ears are much more tolerant of the surround speakers being a little different. Other people find that matching the surrounds is important to them and they can afford to do so. That is great, too.

Finally, you can largely ignore driver size. Pay attention to output capability, frequency response over the relevant range (eg, above 80hz), dispersion. Whether a speaker achieves that with a 5" woofer or a 8" woofer or a dome tweeter or a compression driver, or whatever, is largely irrelevent. What you want is a particular level of PERFORMANCE regardless of how the engineering team achieved that performance. (I'm assuming you want a system that sounds great, and that looks are secondary. I might be wrong. I know and respect a few people who just want to see large sexy tower speakers with tons of large drivers in the front of their room, even if it doesn't sound as good as it could. So if that's the case, I apologize!)

I can't explain NZ pricing, especially for a product that is built in China, which is closer to NZ than the US. A little of it is the exchange rate. A little of it is taxes (which is part of the quoted price in NZ but hidden in the US until later in the purchase process, and even then usually no more than 10% versus 13% in NZ.) [SPOILER="off topic"](At least you have a national healthcare system versus the US where it can cost an individual 20 to 30k per year.)[/SPOILER] But neither of those would seem to explain all of the variance.
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