Center Channel Speaker dialog??

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by wooly, Mar 21, 2011.

  1. wooly

    wooly Auditioning

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    I have a center channel speaker like this one.


    http://www.soundstage-audio.com/3dc.html


    The problem I'm having is that most of the time I have a very hard time understanding dialog coming out of it in blu-ray or DVD movies.


    I have tried everything. Checked polarity. Balanced system with an SPL meter. Turned the center +3 or more above everything else. The speaker sits just below the TV at about chest level with it aimed towards my face. It isn't sitting inside a cabinet or anything like that. Speakers are timbre matched. Tried a new speaker cable. Checked for a blown tweeter.


    I'm at my wits end and it's frustrating. To the point where I turn on the captions. The speaker sounds like when your talking through an empty paper roll tube. Could it be my amp? Harman Kardon AVR140


    Question is would upgrading from a center with 5.25 woofers to a center with 6.5" woofers like my L & R mains have possibly solve my problem. Like these?


    http://www.soundstage-audio.com/3dc2.html


    On a side note. These speakers aren't that common. Sold by a Canadian company. Do these specs tell anything about them? Over all the system sounds good, just not my center.
     
  2. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    You may have a bad speaker. Is it too late to exchange it for another one?
     
  3. wooly

    wooly Auditioning

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    I've had this speaker too long to return but I think I will go back to the store I bought it from and see what they have to say about it.
     
  4. Jim Mcc

    Jim Mcc Producer

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    Has the speaker sounded like this from day 1? I would bring the speaker with so you can listen to it there.
     
  5. wooly

    wooly Auditioning

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    Yup, since day 1.


    I think I will go get a another speaker of the same and if it turns out to be the same, I will return it. They're pretty good that way.


    But now I'm wondering if it really is my speaker. I was playing around with it tonite and was listening to a movie and some TV shows that were broadcast in 5.1 Dolby. Normally 99% of the time I just pipe TV shows through my TV speakers but tonite I tried it with the sound system on and my center speaker sounded fine.


    So whats up with the DVD and Blu-ray. It's not the players because I have two of them. One for DVD, one for Blu-ray. Coax and fibre optic connections. I'm starting to think it's the way the discs are recorded or something that makes dialog hard to understand. On the other hand, I've talked to other people and they don't have this problem. I don't get it.


    Anyway, off the the electronics store tomorrow. See what happens.
     
  6. CB750

    CB750 Screenwriter

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    Have you tried swapping your center channel speaker with your R or L speaker. This will tell you if you have a speaker problem or a receiver center channel problem.
     
  7. wooly

    wooly Auditioning

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    So the guy at the shop said to turn down all individual speakers to 0 and start from there and then turn the master volume up to a comfortable level. He said to ignore the SPL meter and adjust it the way it sounds right to me. I don't know if I can agree with that. I tried it but no difference.


    I have swapped speakers and the tonality is slightly different how ever, the dialogue was still hard to understand. The problem is not volume. I have plenty volume out of the center channel. It's just the speech is not clear.


    I have come to the conclusion that it's not my speakers. It's either the way the movies are made or my amp. Harman Kardon AVR 140. Even when I run test tones, the center sounds boxy with any other speaker I've tried. I don't know if it's a defect or that's just how it is.


    It's to the point where I will call some tech in to have a listen. Don't know what else to do.
     
  8. Hicks

    Hicks Agent

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    What's the speaker crossed over at?


    Sometimes auto set up will crossover the center channel too high, make sure it's crossed over at 80 Hz.


    The other thing I would suggest is to experiment with the different surrounds modes.

    Pro Logic IIx works great for most people, but one of the others might be what your ear prefers. Personally, I'm a fan of DTS Neo:6 Cinema.


    I doubt this is the problem since you said swapping it out for a different speaker didn't help, but with an MTM center like that you can get what is called lobing where there are peaks and nulls throughout the room and you may be sitting in a null. Does it sound clearer if you move to different positions in the room?
     
  9. wooly

    wooly Auditioning

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    I have all my speakers set to small and crossed over at 80hz. I believe the specs on the speaker is rated at 75hz.


    I haven't really sat anywhere besides directly in front of it (approx 15 ft) and also closer to it (approx 8 ft) . Sitting closer helps somewhat but maybe I will try different positions in the room and see if it any clearer. I will try different surround modes also. Haven't done that yet. I just let the amp auto sense the mode for me. DTS or Dolby Digital in most cases with Blu-ray or DVD but I'm willing to try anything.
     

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