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Elac Reference UCR52 Review (Center Speaker)

pseudoid

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On July 2021, @amirm posted his review for the Polk S30 Center speaker that is $300. His results were much more positive (to the point of getting a 'recommended' award) and there are TWO chillin' pink panthers atop of the speaker.
 

Helicopter

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I am wondering if the L/R ports (their placement/design) are partially responsible... I would not dare ask @amirm to experiment with some lipstick (errrr... stuffing) for this cute piggie's pie/poop holes...
@Helicopter >> Would a smallish Polk Reserve R350 Center (unported LCR @four 4"woofers + 1" tweeter) satisfy your wish?
He has such a unit on loan...
Yes. Thanks for lending it. I am looking forward to the review.
 

sarumbear

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One important question in the minds of many audio lovers that has not been assessed here yet is whether bi-amping makes any difference.

Center speakers like this are mostly used with AVRs that have too many amps for most users and thus give the option to bi-amp.

Bi-amping can potentially be assessed for the impact on:

1. Distortion levels
2. SPL at the same AVR volume
3. Frequency response

If there is time and interest to perform such analysis on this or any other speaker supporting bi-amping this would be super appreciated!
There is never a change to the frequency response with biamping.
 

sarumbear

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Sur

Surly Amir isn’t somehow always getting duds? Everything he reviews seems to have it in some considerable quantity.
Or everything on the market is in some considerable quality
 

Doodski

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Are resonanaces really that hard to rectify?
The only good way to get rid of a cabinet resonance is to replace the cabinet. I've had to replace some in warranty. Usually the manufacturer/importer replaced the entire speaker and they always wanted the resonating cabinet back for analysis. If a driver is buzzing/resonating then it gets replaced too. Trying to glue/a repair job on a cabinet is a waste of time and energy.
 

jonfitch

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There goes another hope for another WTMW point source coaxial...I wonder if the Paradigm Founder LCR will be any good.
 

musicforcities

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My first thought.....a defect or woofer that is not screwed down properly.

Ding ding! You win the prize for the first comment suggesting the speaker/amp/dac/other device is damaged when it measures sub par.

As I had said in another thread: Ask this question: what is the probability that Amir receives so many defective units? Does he have statistically improbable bad luck or is it more likely the unit is not damaged but simply not design well?
 

musicforcities

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Center channels are so problematic. They never actually seem that great and rarely match the fronts they are supposed to match. The timber always seems off. Voices /mids always seem a bit hollow compared to the front sides. It’s not my avr as I have tried swapping the center with a front and same effect.

Unless it is exactly the same speaker.

A KEF Iq 9c and iq3 have come closest Of the combos I have had.

Mirage omd centers also seem to blend well with other mirage, omni or not. the omni directional nature might help. Though an omni center gives a diffused sound stage, which is funky, but fun for films. It works very well in the surrounds actually even if they are the only Omni directionals in the room; there is less of a sweet spot so the panning works wherever you sit. Works Least well for the center as speech can be less clear due to all the bouncing in my experience.

And the coaxial center seems ideal for center channel. Kef has spent decades trying to overcome the inherent difficulties of coax…not surprising others have a way to go.

Been wanting to try turning kef-q350 stand mount on its side (or normal if clearance allows) as the center and having two q350 right side up as fronts.
 

Tks

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The only good way to get rid of a cabinet resonance is to replace the cabinet. I've had to replace some in warranty. Usually the manufacturer/importer replaced the entire speaker and they always wanted the resonating cabinet back for analysis. If a driver is buzzing/resonating then it gets replaced too. Trying to glue/a repair job on a cabinet is a waste of time and energy.

I meant as a manufacturer? What is actually the problem? Can they not make the enclosure a heavy brick that's packed with some sort of foam material where needed?

I guess I don't understand resonances, but I just don't understand what exactly established manufacturers are actually doing when putting out speakers with resonances in them. I'd understand DIY folks MAYBE, but with all the access to precise cutting instruments and things of that nature, I find it odd you have these things like this so commonplace. There some resonance in virtually every speaker review (heck even some Genelecs had them).

Like what's up with this resonance ordeal?
 

Music1969

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And the coaxial center seems ideal for center channel. Kef has spent decades trying to overcome the inherent difficulties of coax…not surprising others have a way to go.
Pretty sure Andrew Jones' time at KEF helped them get to where they are today.

Same dude that designed the coax speaker reviewed here?
 
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I meant as a manufacturer? What is actually the problem? Can they not make the enclosure a heavy brick that's packed with some sort of foam material where needed?

I guess I don't understand resonances, but I just don't understand what exactly established manufacturers are actually doing when putting out speakers with resonances in them. I'd understand DIY folks MAYBE, but with all the access to precise cutting instruments and things of that nature, I find it odd you have these things like this so commonplace. There some resonance in virtually every speaker review (heck even some Genelecs had them).

Like what's up with this resonance ordeal?
A DIY speaker is less likely to have bad cabinet resonances because cost-cutting in shipping weight and materials selection is not a consideration. Almost every single published design I've seen specs 3/4" mdf or baltic birch and bracing for anything bigger than 4" MT, and individual builders are frequently going beyond that with translam construction, poured concrete, constrained-layer damping, etc. That gets really expensive if you need to build 1000s of units and ship those heavy-ass boxes around the world, but for a one-time expenditure at the local home improvement store for a DIYer, it's totally stomach-able and he isn't under time/labour constraints in the first place.
 

Music1969

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I would point out that he left KEF in 1994 and they have no doubt refined their coax designs since then.

Main point is since he left KEF we've seen evidence that Andrew Jones knows how to design coax speakers... in reply to the comment "not surprising others have a way to go."

Unfortunately some performance inconsistencies in some of his gear, unless deliberate.
 

Ata

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I have given up on reasonably priced and well performing centre speakers after the reviews here and Erin's KEF R2C measurements and am very happy with a single KEF Q150 doing centre speaker duty, at only a couple of hundred dollars you get one of the better coax drivers in a good box and with a sub you don't need to worry how low it can go. Not a perfect match but well blending timbre to the LS50 Meta LRs, especially post Audyssey correction (which is a good idea for multichannel movies, anyway).
 

hmt

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I have given up on reasonably priced and well performing centre speakers after the reviews here and Erin's KEF R2C measurements and am very happy with a single KEF Q150 doing centre speaker duty, at only a couple of hundred dollars you get one of the better coax drivers in a good box and with a sub you don't need to worry how low it can go. Not a perfect match but well blending timbre to the LS50 Meta LRs, especially post Audyssey correction (which is a good idea for multichannel movies, anyway).

Actuall I wonder if one could just use an R3 as a center and call it a day.
 

musicforcities

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I meant as a manufacturer? What is actually the problem? Can they not make the enclosure a heavy brick that's packed with some sort of foam material where needed?

I guess I don't understand resonances, but I just don't understand what exactly established manufacturers are actually doing when putting out speakers with resonances in them. I'd understand DIY folks MAYBE, but with all the access to precise cutting instruments and things of that nature, I find it odd you have these things like this so commonplace. There some resonance in virtually every speaker review (heck even some Genelecs had them).

Like what's up with this resonance ordeal?

Expense is an issue not just in terms of material but also complexity of construction. Thick mdf is harder to cut and assemble. Damping materials and Bracing also adds complexity.

Any box will have resonances at some frequency. And they are not always so easy to dampen.
 

musicforcities

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Pretty sure Andrew Jones' time at KEF helped them get to where they are today.

Same dude that designed the coax speaker reviewed here?

They have advanced a lot since then. Drivers, The tangerine wave guide, the bumpy woofer surround, etc all are designed to mitigate the inherent problems of a coax design. Physics is hard
 

617

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Actuall I wonder if one could just use an R3 as a center and call it a day.
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R3 would work well on its side, or vertically. Any good coax design would work fine on its side.

They have advanced a lot since then. Drivers, The tangerine wave guide, the bumpy woofer surround, etc all are designed to mitigate the inherent problems of a coax design. Physics is hard

The only coaxes besides KEF that I have seen passable performance from are the relatively small bandwidth models in Kali and Genelec monitors.
 

GimeDsp

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very disappointing. for $700 it would be nice to get more than chrome jewelry.
 
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