Sony SS-CNR10ED: The Center Channel (Messy First Impressions)

So, I have, by some luck, again, gotten my hands on the center channel for my main speakers~ This is not a joke, I repeat, this is not a joke. I seriously never thought I would get to see the matching center channel for my SS-K10EDs. This is nothing short of a miracle for me. For the SS-K Line for Sony, I’m nothing short of satisfied by what I’m hearing, especially from my very own for stereo. Well, you might be thinking, how can I work this if I don’t have a receiver in my room? Good question, and luckily as well, I have a receiver that I have in my possession in my room because of an upgrade to the receiver in my gaming room. So, for now, before this gets sold (hopefully not too quickly) I can try this 3.1 setup for a bit.

On to the center channel, my dad (really need to thank him for all the opportunities I get) got it as a throw in for something he bought. I was still away when he got this, so when he sent me a picture of this center channel, I freaked out. Now, I’m trying this as I’m typing. Can’t wait to share how I think about this combination. As you can probably tell, I’m liking it so far. A lot. I can even compare it to the system in my gaming room, or my dad’s serious system. You can’t tell if there is a center channel. It matches really really well. That’s to be expected. Now, put everything that’s good about the stereo pair of my bookshelves apply to this center channel as well. It makes a whole lot of difference.


Feature-wise, there are two mid-bass drivers flanking the same Extended Definition dome tweeters you can find in the SS-K10ED, and not to mention the mid-bass woofers are the same size, so literally they match as well. Even the port, which makes the center a bass reflex is in the middle and on the bottom, like the bookshelf brothers. Length-wise, it’s longer, but the width is about the same, or exactly the same as I’ve not measured it yet. It’s basically the same shape with the bookshelf brothers in terms of the rounded off as it goes to the back and the connectors are the original, unlike one of the brothers (I’ll just start to refer to them as the brothers) which got a replacement. However, it doesn’t effect the sound characteristics in any way that I can hear of. The sticker for the make, model and some details are found on top in the center near the connectors of the speakers and it says it’s 8Ω as the rated impedance, nothing different to the brothers there as well. The sign is in the middle on the relative bottom, and the grill is the same all around. There is a stand that it comes on the bottom, which is needed because of the rounded shaped of the speaker. It’s basically like the brothers sideways so it definitely needs it. It raises the speaker about 3cm above the ground, and it’s not plastic definitely. I’ll need to check on the material, because it makes the speakers heavier than it’s brothers somewhat more, and doesn’t feel cheap either.

On to elaborate on the sound, Vocals are more clearly in the middle, and so imaging is, in total, clearer in terms of the middle area. Vocals are also seem more emphasized, but instruments and the like not so much in comparison. The stereo already seemed to kind of emphasize instruments slightly more, if I nitpick, so this center channel addition made it seem more even across, and nice to listen to. This is all nitpicking so far, which says that a lot to how Sony gives attention to detail for both their products. Speaking of vocals, listening to several songs right now, in the Pro Logic II Music setting, I can hear a difference in the clarity of the singers in that I can hear what they are saying clearer. It’s not a totally obvious difference, but I can tell without too much nitpicking. Voices in the background of a song called Kimino Shiranai Monogatari by Supercell played through Youtube in the beginning shows off how the center handles depth. And it handles it really well, making it sound in the distance, but clearer than with just the stereo itself. Ed Sheeran’s “How Would You Feel” audio played through Youtube as well, sounds like a stage performance compared to just stereo. The depth of the electric guitar at around 3 mins onwards sounds like it’s again, on stage in the back. In terms of the downloaded/backup songs in my music library, Don’t Know Why By Norah Jones, as an example, presents the balance of the vocals and the instruments in a new light as compared to stereo as well. Jones’ voice is clear and slightly more transparent with the center, as I’ve mentioned with the overall quality. Every breath can be heard, more so as if she’s right at the microphone. Hats off I can tell already this is worth the effort to setup, even if I just put it on 3.1.

I have to say, so far, I’m experiencing more like I’m in front of a stage, rather than the image of a stage with the center channel. It’s a definite improvement to the stereo, and I’m liking it. I’m a hard time to describe how I feel about this center channel honestly, and I feel like I might repeat a lot more of what I say if I continue on, because adding a center channel to a stereo honestly changes a lot of factors to consider and I’m not keeping up. My impression is clouded with admiration, and I might need a day or two to fully get my thoughts straight. Although I figured I’d get my first impressions out before anything else. It’s really wonder to what adding a center channel can do for an already well made stereo pair, even if it’s a bookshelf. Add a good receiver into the mix, and it’ll be an experience you won’t regret buying for.

On that note, I’ve taken into consideration how the receiver I’m using for this sounds in stereo, as I’ve already been using it for about a week in stereo. I’ll need to listen to my Topping TP-41 again to fully compare it, because I haven’t heard it in 2 months, but so far stereo is really as detailed and as good as I remember the Topping. Still, I’ll need to double check on that matter. The receiver in question is a JVC RM-SRX7030J MBR which is one of the models where JVC receivers started sounding good, as I’ve read online. And no doubt does it sound nice overall when I’ve heard it on my gaming system. Mash it together with this trio of the great value Sony’s I’ve heard, and you get a stage to listen to whenever you want. That’s it for now, I’ll gather my thoughts and I’ll come back with an overall impression later.

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