LSiM center channel and front stage advice needed

I recently started my home theater system with a Denon x4400h and a pair of RTI A7s. I was within return period for the A7s when I found a deal on LSiM 705s for just a little more. I’m quite impressed with the LSiM and am definitely wanting to continue with the line for the rest of my system. While I don’t have the finances to do the entire system all at once, I am looking to take advantage of the sale on LSiMs a bit more and get a center channel as well and finish out the front stage.

The issue I’m having is deciding on either the 704 and 706. I’ve tried to do my due diligence on the site before posting and I’ve read the 706 seems to be the consensus but primarily for the “bigger is better” reason. I’ve not seen many comments on the sonic matching of the center to the fronts.

So my questions are, should matching the center to the fronts (choosing the 704c to match the 705s in my case) more important? Or is it more about getting the speaker that’s more appropriate for your viewing/listening habits and room size? OR is the 706c really just a more sonically pleasing speaker?

I’m currently leaning a bit towards the 704c because the money I would save on it would allow me to purchase an amp for the 705s at the same time to get them the power they deserve. Additionally I feel as if my reciever may not powerful enough to properly drive the 706c on its own so I would also need to look at a 3 channel amp (rather than a 2 channel) to provide the power for my speakers in the future if I choose the 706c.

I don’t have a problem with saving up for a nice 3 channel amp like an XPA-3 as I fully understand building a home theater is a process. But if the 704c is a better match to my 705s, finishing out the front stage by getting a center and amping my 705s and being able to move on to other aspects of building my system would be nice.
TV: Samsung 55HU9000
AVR: Denon X4400h
Mains: LSiM 705
Center: LSiM 706c

Comments

  • mpitogompitogo Posts: 303
    edited December 2018
    Welcome to the Polk Audio forum. The difference between the 704c and 706c are the mid bass drivers. If you have the room go for the larger. I’ve always found that the larger center complements dialog very well. In my own application, I couldn’t live with the LSiC (previous gen center to go with the LSi25). It sounded small and muffled. There are crossover kits I recently discovered from VR3 mods but I already opted to go with the large Martin Logan Motion 50xt. It is quite a bit louder with better sensitivity but Audyssey fixed that with level matching. I have no issues on the mismatch most of what I hear watching movies is from the center and subs, the left right, surrounds and height only come into play with sound panning around and for me there isn’t a discernible difference.

    In HT, the center next to the subs, is the most important speaker. The Denon should power the LSiM center line quite well. If your HT is dual purpose and you do a good amount of music then a separate amp for the 705 is recommended to get the most out of the 705s but in HT it’s not essential.
    Living Room Music-2.0 Polk LSiM 707 | McIntosh C47 | Macintosh MC452 | Denon DP-2500A | Oppo BDP-103 | MacMini
    Family Room Home Theater-7.2.2 (Atmos) Polk LSi25, Martin Logan Motion 50xt, Dual DSW microPRO 3000, fx500, T15, RC65i | Marantz SR7009 | McIntosh MA5200 HT-passthrough & independent 2.0 | Sony UBP-X800 4K | Xbox One S 4K | AppleTV | HTPC | Sony 75” XBR X850D 4K
    Office Home Theater-5.1 Polk RT55, CS400, PSW450, T15 | Onkyo TX-SR705 | Xbox 360 MCE | AppleTV | Samsung 55”
    Office Music-2.0 KEF Q100 | Sansui AU-6900 | Sansui FR-1080
    Master Bedroom Music-2.0 Totem Hawk | Rotel RA-1570
    Patio Music-2.0 Polk Atrium8 | AMC 2445 bridged
    Airplay zones: Family Room (HDMI), Master Bedroom (Optical), Office (HDMI), Living Room (Optical), MA5200 (Optical), SR7009 (AVR direct) and Patio (analog). MacMini iTunes multi-stream to any, combo or all.
    Spares: Polk LSiC, CS300, T15, Martin Logan Motion 40, Dynamo 500, Rotel RB-1590, Denon AVR-4802R, Onkyo DX-C540, Nelson Pass ACA v1.6 Monoblocks, Sony CDP-491, STR DE715, DVP-S500D, PS HX-500
    Maintenance: Pro-Ject VC-S Record Cleaning Machine
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,155
    edited December 2018
    What’s the room size? And do you currently have or plan on getting a good sub? I ran a 704 in a good sized master bedroom for a while with 703s and a sub and it is a darn good center channel, better than the LSiC by a ways. With a good sub in a small to medium sized room you will might just be very satisfied with the 704 fwiw...
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Emit 10; Center - Polk cs400i; Heights, Center Surround - Klipsch KHC - 6 In-Ceiling; Surrounds - Monoprice in-ceiling; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5; LG UP870 4K BDP; NVidia ShieldTV
    ;
    Master Bedroom
    Marantz SR-5007; Parasound HCA-1000A, PSB Imagine B, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 1,975
    Welcome.

    Funny thing about audio is that a lot of times you won’t hear something until I t is no longer there.

    Personally like you, and many others, I also have a budget. Originally I was running the RTI A series up front using the smaller center channel. Rather than upgrading the center, I upgraded the AVR, and was happy with that improvement. As I never heard the CSI A6, I wasn’t really worried about the improvement it would have brought into the mix..

    Changed the front three to the LSI M(705/706c) speakers, and ran them for about 6 months with the AVR. Changed them for music considerations, was quit happy with the RTI’s for HT. When I added the amp, I knew what I was missing.

    Point being, if your happy with the 705’s, whichever center you choose will compliment the front two. If you choose the smaller center you won’t know how much, if any, the larger center will add to your set-up.

    As far as sonic differences go, depends on what your referring to. If your talking about one blending in better with the 705’s, both are timbre matched so no difference. If your talking about one sounding louder than the other, spl, no real difference. If there is something else that would influence your choice, please ask.

    Other than that, I would strongly advise a three channel amp for whichever center you decide on. Not only will it take a load off your AVR, it will sound better. Easy enough to check this on your own, if your buying new and there is a good return policy.

    Buy a three channel amp, calibrate it using all three channels, and watch a movie. Unplug the center interconnects, both amp and AVR, re-run calibration program, and watch a movie. Then you will hear what was missing.
  • First, thank you guys for the welcome and the quick responses!
    mpitogo wrote: »
    If your HT is dual purpose and you do a good amount of music then a separate amp for the 705 is recommended to get the most out of the 705s but in HT it’s not essential.

    Until I move into a house with a dedicated theater room, my HT will be dual purpose as I am a HEAVY music listener so I definitely plan on getting an amp.
    rooftop59 wrote: »
    What’s the room size? And do you currently have or plan on getting a good sub? I ran a 704 in a good sized master bedroom for a while with 703s and a sub and it is a darn good center channel, better than the LSiC by a ways. With a good sub in a small to medium sized room you will might just be very satisfied with the 704 fwiw...

    My living room is 23w by 17d and I am planning on getting a either an SVS PB-2000/3000 or a HSU VTF-2/3 MK5 but am leaning towards the SVS. I will be moving in the next year or so to a bigger house so I'm considering buying big and turning down to match the room if needed.
    rpf65 wrote: »
    Welcome.

    Funny thing about audio is that a lot of times you won’t hear something until I t is no longer there.

    Personally like you, and many others, I also have a budget. Originally I was running the RTI A series up front using the smaller center channel. Rather than upgrading the center, I upgraded the AVR, and was happy with that improvement. As I never heard the CSI A6, I wasn’t really worried about the improvement it would have brought into the mix..

    Changed the front three to the LSI M(705/706c) speakers, and ran them for about 6 months with the AVR. Changed them for music considerations, was quit happy with the RTI’s for HT. When I added the amp, I knew what I was missing.

    Other than that, I would strongly advise a three channel amp for whichever center you decide on. Not only will it take a load off your AVR, it will sound better. Easy enough to check this on your own, if your buying new and there is a good return policy.

    Buy a three channel amp, calibrate it using all three channels, and watch a movie. Unplug the center interconnects, both amp and AVR, re-run calibration program, and watch a movie. Then you will hear what was missing.

    It sounds like I'm headed towards a similar experience to yours. If I were to purchase the 706c, I had a few options in mind. I know that Crown Audio amps are kind of a hit and miss here, but they're so inexpensive, I figure it couldn't hurt to at least try one out. Being budget minded, I had a few options I was considering for amping the 705/706c front stage.

    Option 1: Crown Audio XLS 1002/1502 for 705s, Outlaw 2200 for 706c.
    Option 2: 3x Outlaw 2200
    Option 3: XPA-3 Gen3

    Obviously the options are arranged in order of pricing as well (although I think 3x Outlaws is just slightly more than the XPA3). Is mismatching amps like in the first option generally considered bad practice? I would really like to try the Crown Audio and if I end up feeling it is lacking for the 705s, I can just sell it or use it as an amp for a second zone in the kitchen with a pair of 703s or something.

    TV: Samsung 55HU9000
    AVR: Denon X4400h
    Mains: LSiM 705
    Center: LSiM 706c
  • cfrizzcfrizz Posts: 13,225
    Welcome to Club Polk.

    You are putting together a great system with Polks top of the line speakers, don't short change yourself because of budget.

    If budget a problem, then be patient continue to save money and get what is needed. For me that would be option 3. As for the center channel if you have room for the 706, get that.

    You can keep these speakers for years, and a well made amp can be used in any system. Try to do it right the first time around rather than cheap out and end up trying to sell what isn't working, and rebuying what you should have gotten the first time around.

    Marantz AV-7705 PrePro, Classé 5 ch. 200wpc Amp, Oppo 103 BluRay, Rotel RCD-1072 CDP, Sony Bravia KDL-40R510C TV, Polk S60 Main Speakers, Boston VR-920 Center Channel, SVS NSD-12 SB12 Subwoofer, Polk DSW 400 Subwoofer, Polk FXi-3 Surround Speakers
  • rpf65rpf65 Posts: 1,975
    Keep in mind, amps produce heat and need to have adequate clearance in order for them to keep cool. Running 3 mono amps need quite a bit of additional space as compared to a single 3-channel amp.
  • Airplay355Airplay355 Posts: 4,276
    I have a 1502 on sub duty but have hooked it up to my mains for fun. I would recommend against using it to power your mains as the noise floor is quite a bit higher than amps made specifically for music. White noise is pretty audible From my listening position. It’s a great amp though.
  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 1,735
    I have an XPA3 G3 and like it a lot, does't get warm at all even after 8 hours of rocking it.

    When I was amp hunting I was looking for a good used Parasound A31, nope nothing under $2K. I looked at the monoblocks and Outlaw 5000.

    I went with the XPA and glad I did. I find it very musical and great for HT.

    For the center get the 706 if you can and have the room.
    When I was a kid my parents told me to turn it down. Now I'm an adult and my kids tell me to turn it down.

    Family Room:
    Samsung UN60H,
    Denon AVR-X4400H, Emotiva XPA3 GEN3
    Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM, Sony DVP-NS3100ES, WD Live HUB.
    Main: Polk Signature S60
    Center: Polk CSi-A6
    Front High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT
    Surrounds: Polk S15
    Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5

    Bed Room;
    Sony KDF-E42A10,
    Marantz SR5010, BDP-S270
    Main: Polk Signature S20
    Center: Polk Signature S35
    Rear: Polk R15
    Sub: HSU STF-2

    Working Warehouse;
    Sony 2100ES
    4 Polk RTi4 about 15' up the wall
    Old sony 12" Sub
    Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
  • Well guys, I ended up going with the 706c. I have maybe 15 hours on my 705s and after they and the new 706c gets a good amount play time then I'll revisit the the amplification prospects.

    Thank you for the input!
    TV: Samsung 55HU9000
    AVR: Denon X4400h
    Mains: LSiM 705
    Center: LSiM 706c
  • honestaquarianhonestaquarian Posts: 2,271
    edited January 1
    https://oppodigital.com/hra/dsd-by-davidelias.aspx
    Download the multichannel DSD mix of Crossing Morning light Western Town to see the benefit of having a large center channel.
    Living room Home theater: Upgrade Company modified Onkyo PR-SC5509,Sunfire Cinema grand Signature 5 channel amp(1st gen),Carver TFM-45,Carver M-400a,Panasonic TC-P50ST60 50" Plasma(last gen before Plasma production stopped)Pioneer Elite DVL-91,Meridian 519 Dolby AC-3 RF Demodulator,Oppo Digital UDP-205,TiVo Bolt VOX,Nakamich BX-300,Technics SL-1200MKII,Shure V15 Type VxMR cartridge,Polk SDA-SRS 3.1 TL(with RD-0198 tweeters, upgraded with Larry's rings, black hole5,an Avel-Lindberg 1000VA isolation transformer, VR3 customer crossovers and internal wiring),Polk CS-1000P(with SL-6506 tweeter),Polk Monitor 5jr(with RD-0194 tweeters),Polk RT-35i (1),Polk Mini Monitors,Polk PSW150(4)Monster Power HTPS 7000 MKII Signature series,Monster Power AVS 2000 Signature Series,Various MIT,Monster,Upgrade Company and Belden interconnect,power,HDMI,Coax and Toslink Digital and speaker cables.

    Bedroom 2 channel system:Integra DTM 40.4,Nakamichi BX-100,TiVo mini,Musical Fidelity X-LPS,X-PSU,Carver TFM-25,Sony KV-34XBR970(last of the widescreen tube sets before production stopped)Technics SL-1200MKII,Shure V15 Type V MR cartridge,Polk RT-55(with SL-6506 tweeters),Polk PSW-200 in plexiglass(2),Sony Playstation 3 slim.Monster Power HTPS-7000,Monster AVS-2000, PowerVarious Kimber,Audioquest and MIT interconnects and speaker cables.
  • spongersponger Posts: 321
    If you're more about music then you might end up preferring Auro 2D over Dolby or DTS-X since we're talking about multi-channel music. The Auro codecs put more of the audio in the front stage and away from the center. In the X4400h, Auro 3D defaults to 2D if you don't have the required channels for immersive sound hooked up.

    I don't know how much you paid for that AVR, but crutchfield still has the X6400h for $1500. That is a far better avr even though the peanut gallery likes to point out that they are visually identical in terms of layout. Disregard that. The 6400 is made in Japan, has better heat dissipation, and has dialog expander as opposed to center channel boost found in the 4400.

    If like most people you crossed the center at 100hz or somewhere thereabouts, I personally don't understand the need for a 706 over the 704. I'm sure it sounds fantastic though. Congratulations on some very nice speakers.
    Denon AVR 3312CI
    S15
    Sony 790S
    Denon DP 300f
  • afterburntafterburnt Posts: 5,203
    The best center for your 705's is another 705.
  • sponger wrote: »
    I don't know how much you paid for that AVR, but crutchfield still has the X6400h for $1500. That is a far better avr even though the peanut gallery likes to point out that they are visually identical in terms of layout. Disregard that. The 6400 is made in Japan, has better heat dissipation, and has dialog expander as opposed to center channel boost found in the 4400.

    I saw that price on Crutchfield for the x6400h and had considered it, but I got my x4400h for $800 and the difference between that and the x6400h would be 70% of what I paid for my 705s and I was just trying to adhere to a lower budget.

    I'll eventually have a dedicated HT room and I will probably pick up a new receiver for that and keep the x4400h for multi zone music in the living room, kitchen and office.
    TV: Samsung 55HU9000
    AVR: Denon X4400h
    Mains: LSiM 705
    Center: LSiM 706c
  • spongersponger Posts: 321
    I definitely think you made the right choice. For $800 the 4400 is a steal. I know from experience that it goes great with the LSiM. I know its user interface inside and out. It runs hot, but it's a great avr.

    But it looked like you were throwing around the idea of amps, so I thought you had the extra cash handy. The 6400 is an entirely different class of avr. And, earlier I confused the 4400's amp section layout with the 6400 when it's really the Marantz sr7012 I was thinking of. The 6400 has discrete amp channels, monolithic layout and a superior heatsink. It doesn't run hot. It's blasphemy on this forum to rank the avr over amps, but I'm going to say it's so much of a better source unit compared to the 4400 that it's worth giving up the amps to cover the difference in cost. It's just mind-boggling how much of a difference there is in quality of construction when comparing the Japanese made Denons to the ones made in Vietnam. Of course, that is no knock on the Vietnamese manufacturing machine. I have nothing but admiration and respect for it, actually.

    Just out of curiosity, what did audyssey set the channel levels to? Did you do the $20 upgrade to Mult EQ editor?
    Denon AVR 3312CI
    S15
    Sony 790S
    Denon DP 300f
  • It set the left speaker to +1 and the right to +0.5 but that's likely because I currently have a weird Ikea tv stand that has cubbies on the left side of the TV making the left front slightly further away from the primary listening position (7.8' vs 7.5').

    I do have the extra money but I just wanted to save now and get speakers. The 4400 will always be in the living room and I didn't think the price jump was warranted in that situation.
    TV: Samsung 55HU9000
    AVR: Denon X4400h
    Mains: LSiM 705
    Center: LSiM 706c
  • shsshs Posts: 23
    Sounds like my input is a bit too late, but if you really want to timbre match a center channel speaker with the 705s, either get another 705, or do as I did and use a 703 for the center. Three vertical speakers across the front in the best sonically. If you have the room for it of, course.
    SONY VPL-VW385ES, Da-Lite 92" 0.9 HD progressive 16x9 screen, Apple TV 4K, Oppo UDP 203, Anthem AVM 60, D-Sonic 4000 (800x3, 400x4) for bed layer, 2 Crown XLS 1002 (225x4) for Atmos; Speakers: Polk LSiM 705s, 703 front, 4 702F/X surround, 4 Polk TL3 (Atmos), Velodyne DD15 Subwoofer.
  • shs wrote: »
    Sounds like my input is a bit too late, but if you really want to timbre match a center channel speaker with the 705s, either get another 705, or do as I did and use a 703 for the center. Three vertical speakers across the front in the best sonically. If you have the room for it of, course.

    I would have loved to do that but I couldn't even begin to bring that up with my girlfriend. That would get shot down immediately haha.

    One thing I found while reviewing specifications for the speakers is that while the 706c speaker size is matched to the 707s, it has the same two crossover points that the 705s have rather than being matched to the 707s. Not sure how important that really is, but it's something to think about.

    The crossovers are as follows:

    707: Tweeter/mid: 3.0khz, Mid/Midbass: 300hz
    706: Tweeter/mid: 2.8khz, Mid/Midbass: 280hz
    705: Tweeter/mid: 2.8khz, Mid/Midbass: 280hz
    704: Tweeter/mid: 2.5khz, Mid/Midbass: 280hz
    TV: Samsung 55HU9000
    AVR: Denon X4400h
    Mains: LSiM 705
    Center: LSiM 706c
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