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AR-2C Center channel speaker


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In the newer HI-Res series for my HT I have been trying to find and buy an AR-2C center channel speaker. Has anyone heard this speaker? Does it sound any better than the AR-4C without the downfiring subwoofer?

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Guest Nigel

I went with the AR-4C. I read the reviews of both at:


It depends on what you are listening to, and the rest of your system. For example, THX does not send anything below 80Hz to the center speaker, so the 2C is of no advantage over the 4C.

My HT system consists of an Onkyo 787 receiver, speakers (all AR Hi-Res) AR7 fronts, AR17 sides and rears and the AR4C center. I have an Adcom 545 driving the woofers in the AR7, and the front speakers are designated as "large". The 545 has much higher damping factor (damping factor = 1 / output impedance) than the 787 (or any other receiver for that matter), and controls the woofer better. I use the amplifier of an Onkyo TX-4500 receiver to drive the rear channels. The 787 is 7.1 in the pre-amp section, but only 6.1 in the power section. Adding a seperate amp allows true 7.1.


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> In the newer HI-Res series

>for my HT I have

>been trying to find and

>buy an AR-2C center channel

>speaker. Has anyone heard this

>speaker? Does it sound any

>better than the AR-4C without

>the downfiring subwoofer?

The AR2CB has the down firing 6.5" woofer and a wooden enclosure vs. the AR4CB which has no woofer, and a plastic enclosure.

I will qualify first that I work for Recoton that owns and manufactures the AR High-Res line, but I have also had both products in my own home. Liked both but there are a few things that stood out with the AR2CB. The obvious advantage of the AR2CB over the AR4CB is the 2CB's wooden cab and the fact that it will get down to 45 Hz. Reproduction of a very natural human voice is unbelievable. A center typically handles up 70% of the dialog from DVD/VHS movies so you really get the "Theater" experience with this speaker. The draw back is its size; this baby is large at 8 5/8"x19"x12". The positive to the AR4CB is the swivel ball mounting bracket and the same mid twt array as the AR2CB. If you can fit The AR2CB on the top of your set or a shelf over or under your set you will love this center channel. If size/weight are concerns and you need a mountable center that can also be used as rears then the 4CB (gets down to 70 Hz)is also a very natural sounding center.

The acoustic-research.com web site can point you the right direction if you want to find a dealer, or you can also find a lot of activity for both products if web searching by AR model.

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  • 13 years later...

I own both the AR-2C and 4C center channel speakers. They are both far more dynamic than the AR Holographic Imaging MC-1 center channel that I also own. The MC-1 is typically very clean and low in distortion, but probably doesn't go any deeper than 90-100 hz.

In my opinion, the 4C is a very, very good center channel speaker. When you have two 5 1/4" mag-alloy midrange speakers, and a 1" plasma-deposited diamond titanium tweeter by Acoustic Research; you are going to have a very accurate sounding speaker with very low distortion and a very smooth frequency response. However, The ideal arrangement for surround sound systems would be to have five or seven identical speakers, so there would be no audible "steering" based on differences in the low-end frequency response of each speaker.

In practice, this is often difficult to do, especially in home theater surround sound systems because of the usually central location of the video screen. In that instance a center speaker has to be not only smaller, but also have a horizontal orientation to fit in the shelves or on the stands that would be used for center channel speaker placement. All of these limitations tend to limit the low bass output that the speaker is capable of.

The slot-loaded, down-firing 6 1/2" woofer in the 2C made a distinctly audible improvement over the woofer-less 4C. I also noticed that the system as a whole now has a larger "Jump Factor" during dynamic peaks with the 2C due to the greater power-handling of the 6 1/2 woofer. I have a separate Marantz MA500 Monoblock rated at 125/180 Watts @ 8/4 ohms, THX Ultra Certified just for this speaker. Altogether now, the center channel output is more stable in its audible "imaging" and placement because of the more substantial and more "equal" bass output it contriibutes to the sound stage.

Aside from that, the otherwise identical 4C is still much better than 95% of all the center channel speakers you are likely to hear! And the 2C is so large and heavy, you may find it difficult to "fit" into the space you have available. But it's certainly worth a try:)!!

Regarding the low-end cut off issue. I set the crossover for the 2C @ at 70 hz through the Audyssey in my Marantz SR 6005 AVR and the Oppo BDP 105-D Blu-Ray' bass management. This makes a huge difference when playing music in surround like a 5.1 SACD.

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