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Boxy sound from centre speaker

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by buttonbasher, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. buttonbasher

    buttonbasher New Member

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    Hi, i was wondering if anyone can help, i have tried various centre speakers but all with the same result, the sound sounds very "boxy" and sometimes muffled!,The voices sound bad, as if they are speaking from another room or something.
    I thought it might be my receiver but i hooked up my receiver to the centre output and it sounded ok, I think it might be due down to the general sizes of centre speakers as they are usually smaller than fronts, I have tried B&W lcr60, Mordaunt short 309i and a new b&w centre, cant remember the model.
    I was thinking of getting bose accoustimass because they have a unique design and they also let the module(subwoofer) handle the low frequencies for all the channels, and the cubes handle the mids and highs. You see i think this is where the problem is, centre speakers cannot take bass notes as well as floorstanders this is why they sound "boxy".
    Now, has anyone had or have any bose stuff and do they think its any good?
     
  2. chuckg

    chuckg Well-Known Member

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    It is very important to have the center channel speaker match the left and right speakers as closely as possible - even to the extreme of having all three identical.

    Don't bother with Bose. they send the lows to the woofer, the highs to the cubes, and let the mids just lay there crying on the floor.

    Do you have a subwoofer? If so, set all your speakers to "small" and let the sub do the bottom end. That shoud help.
     
  3. Ennsio

    Ennsio Well-Known Member

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    You don't happen to have the centre speaker in a cabinet or enclosed space, do you? That will definitely make it sound boxy.

    My entertainment unit that holds my tv and audio system has a compartment that fits the centre channel but encloses it on three sides with wood and it makes it extremely difficult to hear dialogue clearly. Bring the speaker out on a stand in front though, and everything is crystal clear.
     
  4. buttonbasher

    buttonbasher New Member

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    Chuckg, yes i do know it is important for the front three to be the same, that is why i was thinking of bose, their speakers are all the same! Now i cant put another floorstander in the middle of the room although that would give me the ideal sound i am looking for but it's not practical. I do have a sub so i will try and set all speakers to small.
     
  5. SethH

    SethH Well-Known Member

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    What are your left and right speakers (brand and model)? While it would be ideal to have an identical match, that's not practical for most . . . as you pointed out. But most manufacturers have a matching center speaker within each line of speakers they sell.
     
  6. buttonbasher

    buttonbasher New Member

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    Yes my front pair are mordaunt short 916i's and i did have the matching centre speaker, the 309i, but i did not like that same "punchy or boxy" sound so i tried others. When i switch my amp to stereo, the vocals become allot cleaner coming from the floorstanders, I am thinking of selling my receiver and just listen to movies in stereo! But thats not the way you are suppose to listen to movies.
     
  7. John Gates

    John Gates Well-Known Member

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    LOL! Don't like boxy speakers?

    Try this for a center: nOrh 4

    The most un-boxlike speaker on the planet.

    And they sound great too. :)
     
  8. SHS

    SHS Well-Known Member

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    A couple of questions...

    1) As Ennsio asked, where do you place your center channel? Is it in an opening below your screen, in an entertainment center? Do you have it on a shelf? Please describe where you place it.

    2) Have you calibrated your system with Avia or similar tools?

    3) You certainly should use the speakers set to small. How did they sound after you changed them?

    4) The center channel matched for the speakers you have appears to be a capable center channel. I have not heard them but they appear in all respects to be a nicely engineered set. Do you sill have this matching center channel speaker? ( this of course supports chuckg's comments )

    5) You can "ghost" the center sound with the two towers, it is not ideal and you will lose some sound quality while doing this. However, sound is a personal preference and if it sounds better to you then use it the way you enjoy it.

    6) The room accoustics might be affecting your sound from the center channel as well, do you have furniture near or in front of the speaker? A test disk and sound meter could help in diagnosing these issues.
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

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    1) Make sure your center channel speaker is set to "Small".
    2) There should be a bass cutoff frequency, lowpass filter, something to that effect. Try it on different settings. You may need to set the filter higher.
     
  10. buttonbasher

    buttonbasher New Member

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    Ok, now i have a tv stand with all my equipment inside including the centre speaker, receiver, sky hd box, ps3, xbox360. I have a rectangular room shape with no carpets, i have wooden floors, i have 1 rug and 1 sofa, and that is it! I have tried all the frequency adjustments with the centre channel, i have the option of adjusting 5 frequency ranges from the centre and also the option for large and small, i have also tried the auto calibration mic that i got with my receiver, that made it sound worse! I think it my be due to where the speaker is (in my tv stand). So can some one tell me where would be the ideal placement for the speaker, i was thinking of mounting a shelf to the wall and placing the speaker on that. What do you think. Thanks for your help everyone who has posted a reply.
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

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    For now, just as an experiment, I'd recommend trying the speaker on the floor or on top of the TV stand or on another speaker - anywhere outside of the TV stand. Having a speaker inside an enclosed space like that can cause a "boxy" sound, but some speakers just sound "boxy" to begin with. If it sounds better on the floor or wherever you'll know that a shelf on the wall would be a good solution. Even better would probably be just a couple mounts with no shelf, just the speaker placed on them.

    Good luck! Funny, I was watching TV in my bedroom just a while ago marvelling at how UN-boxy the center channel is there, and it's a 10 year old Pioneer refurb, probably from a HTIB, which cost me all of $12.00 brand new! Sounds great sitting on top of my TV with the bass channelled into the mains.
     

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