Suggestions on Center Channel Speaker pairing with Ovator S400

Hi there,

As we moved house, our Totem in-wall speakers sadly didn’t move with us, so we are now in lack of surround sound. Our setup with AV-receiver -> pre-out -> 272/250 with Ovator S-400 is working fine, but we are having trouble following conversations in movies.

The search for a matching center channel speaker is somewhat challenging. I can find a lot of centers to audition for around €1000, but can’t really do any up-front research as to the mids clarity and punch of some of the likely candidates. Brands that are relatively easy to audition in the netherlands are the usual suspects (b&w, focal, paradigm, dynaudio, q acoustics, martin logan, dali, sonus faber and such). I think Neat also made a center, but can’t really find a dealer near me.

Hoping anyone had to deal with this and has some suggestions.


Where about are you in the Netherlands? The Naim Dealer in Arnhem does also carry Neat and proposed me to borrow loudspeakers for the weekend …

I do think though that adding a centre speaker does not necessarily solve your problem. Since you are moved to a different place, it might well be that reflections in your new (empty/relatively modest decorated?) room make it much more difficult to follow a conversation. Our telly is in a little room having a lot of glass and when we close the velours curtains, the conversations are very clear.

The naim centre speaker comes up on ‘the bay’ (saw one recently) at very reasonable cost - is that an option? :slight_smile:

Naim made three centre speakers; the little N-Cent, which matches best with N-Sats and Arivas, and the Axent and Axess, which matched best with the rest of the range. The Axent was a real beast and I knew one dealer in France who swore by it as a stereo pair just for music use…

Anyway, getting to the original question, I’m afraid I don’t know which would match best with the Ovators.

We move house every 4 years, at the moment near Groningen for a year now. As we can up the dialogue volume in the center and lower the rest it makes for a quite comfortable situation with sleeping kids in the house. So a definite yes on the center.

Hoping that someone knows for a speaker company with comparable design thoughts, but if even Richard is blank on this, I might as well try anything.

Really didn’t know about a Naim center, will definitely search for one!! Maybe go for a low budget old 2nd hand b&w in the meantime.

If you feel like trying a Naim centre then look for an Axess or Axent.