Should I upgrade my CSi3 to a CSi5?

Home Theater Setup

Fronts: Rti6
Center: CSi3
Sub: PSW505 12 inch
Rears: Little **** T1 Satellites

So I got this on a budget a year ago, and I love the system. I do notice that the dialogue can be a little quiet compared to the roaring action sequences. Not highly noticeable, never thought much of it.

A major audiophile came over the other day and mentioned offhand that the drivers in my Rti6s were larger than the one in my CSi3, which surprised me, but cnet specs confirmed. The matching driver would be in a CSi5. I reached out to the guy who sold me the set, and he happens to have a mismatched CSi5 (no grill, ebay has one for $30). He's offered it to me for $100, throwing in a very nice set of M-Audio Studiophile AV-40 monitors that I'd put in the master for my wife, they're $150 at best buy right now.

Asking my audio nerd friends, I'm getting mixed results regarding whether this is worth it. A lot of people are saying to just boost my CSi3 and leave it alone. Any personal experience with these centers who have any thoughts?

Comments

  • honestaquarianhonestaquarian Posts: 2,497
    Firstly-Welcome to the Rabbit 🐇 Hol.................. I mean FORUM.
    Secondly-It is true they have the same drivers. It can’t hurt at all. Just make sure the digital delay is set properly (the speaker distance from the main listening seat) and the levels are correct.
    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.
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,858
    YES!

    It's a MUCH better center and will blend perfectly with your mains.

    The center and the SUB are the most important speakers in a surround sound system.
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; 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
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • I guess as an additional question; how much difference should I expect to notice? I just went and watched a game of thrones battle scene, I have the fronts set to no boost with the center at +3.5db, and it really does seem to struggle keeping up with dialogue audio. Should I expect the Csi5 to fix that or will it be a negligible difference?
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,858
    It does depend to some extent on your receiver. What model is it? If if can't send enough power to the CSi5 then you might not see a stark improvement, but its definitely worth the money especially with the little powered monitors thrown in...
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; 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
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • @rooftop59 I have a Yamaha RX-V573
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,858
    @rooftop59 I have a Yamaha RX-V573

    Yea u might not see a huge improvement because even with that series that is fairly easy to drive, you need some good clean power to make that puppy sing...
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; 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
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • honestaquarianhonestaquarian Posts: 2,497
    Yeah
    What he👆🏽Said!
    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.
  • What would you recommend?
  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 5,858
    What would you recommend?

    Well, usually to get adequate power you need a receiver with preouts. If it comes with preouts it usually has more cajones to begin with. And then you can add an external amp down the road.

    I have bought ALL mu receivers used, more than 10 over the years, and never had a single problem. So I would look on eBay.
    HT Rig:
    Denon AVR-X4200w; Peachtree Audio NovaPre; B&K TX4430; Bryson BPD-1; Mains: Dynaudio Excite x18; 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
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology SM45, NHT Super One CI surrounds, Martin Logan Dynamo (original), Squeezebox Touch
  • EmlynEmlyn Posts: 2,472
    Part of the issue may also be speaker placement. A center speaker should still be angled up towards the main listening position if it is mounted low. The CSi5 is quite big, so placement of it may be an issue for some racks. It is a better speaker than its smaller brother but the smaller one should also not need to have its signal boosted. Has an SPL meter been used on the system yet to see what the actual output levels are at the listening area for each speaker?
    1. Polk LSiM707, 704C, 703; Dual SVS SB2000 subwoofers; Marantz SR7011 receiver; Parasound A23 amp; Oppo 205; Sony 65" 4K TV; FIOS; PS Audio Power Plant Premier; MIT S2 cables
    2. JM Labs Electra 920.1; Sonic Frontiers Line 3 Preamp; Classe Model 25 amp; Sony HAP-Z1ES; Oppo 105D; Music Hall MMF7 and Acoustech phono pre; PS Audio Power Director; MIT S1 Cables
    3. Polk LSiM703; Parasound JC2BP and A21; Sony 48" 4K TV; Wyred4Sound DAC 2; Oppo 203; Squeezebox Touch; MIT S3 cables
  • mrlorenmrloren Posts: 2,085
    Csi-3 or CSi5, no question CSi5. I've had them both and the CSi5 is way better.

    Yes you will need more power to get the most out of any speaker.

    Here are a couple AVR's that will do you good

    https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/denavrx3400h/denon-avr-x3400h-7.2-ch-x-105-watts-a/v-receiver-w/heos/1.html

    https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/marsr6011/marantz-sr6011-9.2-ch-x-110-watts-a/v-receiver/1.html

    https://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/yamrxa1060bl/yamaha-rx-a1060-7.2-ch-x-110-watts-a/v-receiver/1.html

    Never had a problem with A4L products

    Other upgrade to think about is your sub. The 505 is not bad but an SVS or HSU will be night and day over it.
    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 UN75RU710DFXZA,
    Denon AVR-X4400H, Emotiva XPA3 GEN3
    Oppo BDP-93,Sony UBP-X800BM, WD Live HUB.
    Main: Polk LsiM 705
    Center: Polk LSiM 704C
    Front High/Rear High In-Ceiling Polk 80F/X RT
    Surrounds: Polk S15
    Sub: HSU VTF3-MK5

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

    Working Warehouse;
    Sony 2100ES AVR, Sony DVP-NS3100ES for disc
    Cerwin Vega AT-12 (blasters) Advent Prodigy (listening)
    Old sony 12" Sub
    Mini tower PC with 400GB of music
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