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two centre speakers?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 OFFLINE   brent_percival

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Posted November 18 2003 - 10:48 AM

I have a start to a hometheatre, namely Marantz 6200, and Athena Audition ASF2's, ASB2's, ASC1 and ASP400. After adjusting receiver, centre performance is still not what I would like. I wish I could just add an Axiom VP150 and have timbre match, etc but (although I haven't tried it and should) I wonder if it is possible to buy another ASC1 (Centre speaker), and somehow provide it with power, to get double the centre channel output. This is probably a really stupid question but you don't know unless you ask - (I don't know much about circuit/power/amps/etc....obviously). I tried to use "search" feature to learn about this and couldn't find any related threads...feel free to provide a search term for me to enter if this has been covered in past posts and you don't feel like repeating yourself. Thanks, Brent

#2 of 15 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted November 18 2003 - 11:13 AM

You'll have to clarify that abit. Is it too soft? Dialogue unintelligible? Have you calibrated? Is the center in some sort of cabinet, or behind something that would otherwise muffle it? Wood floors that it might be reflecting heavily off of if it's down there near the floor? I think these are more likely the things that will fix the problem than running a second center, which could introduce comb filtering problems, and really shouldn't be necessary at all.

#3 of 15 OFFLINE   Tim K

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Posted November 18 2003 - 11:20 AM

Since your center speaker is the proper match to your system, there must be another problem. Have you calibrated your system using VE or AVIA? Have you adjusted speaker distance (delays) on your receiver? Are your speakers in cabinets? Are they properly aligned? I think that there is likely a simple solution that doesn't involve you having to replace your center channel.

#4 of 15 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted November 18 2003 - 12:23 PM

It IS possible to add a second center, but I think you need to look at a number of the questions already asked first. If placement and calibration do not take care of it, maybe just adding an external amp for the center will help. Don't feel as though you can't bump the level up a dB or two after calibration if it doesn't sound quite right to you. I had a 6200 and never had any problems with the various centers I used with it.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

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#5 of 15 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted November 18 2003 - 12:38 PM

I posed a bunch of questions, but never any answers. A couple ideas: make sure you've calibrated correctly. If you listen at low volumes, you should try using the night mode, or whatever it's called on your particular receiver, to dynamically compress the range, so you don't lose all the softer vocals by turning down the volume such that the action is low in volume. Also you can try bumping up the center volume a couple dbs. Try also aiming the center (by tilting it) at the listening position, or if it is in a cabinet or some confined space, play around with positinion, etc. The 6200 should have no problem driving it. I forget what marantz calls the night mode, i have a 5300, but i never use it, so i forget. Regardless, I know it's there somewhere. I don't see a need for a second center for any reason though.

#6 of 15 OFFLINE   Garrett Lundy

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Posted November 18 2003 - 02:11 PM

red and black speaker wires connected in the wrong posts?
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#7 of 15 OFFLINE   JamesKirk

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Posted November 18 2003 - 02:13 PM

I personally am not a big fan of the center speaker, even durring movies. I usually have my Onkyo set on "Phantom" mode which turns of the center speaker and splits it between the left and right channels. Since I have a small room, it may sound better than it would in, say, a large room, such as a movie theater where the voices would sound the are comming from the sides. Like most, you probably do want to use center speaker. As far as having 2, it seems pointless to me. If they are going to be right next to each other, you might as well just bump up the loudness of your current one instead. Or if you don't like the way it sounds, you may want to get a different one. My 2 cents, hope it helps.

#8 of 15 OFFLINE   brent_percival

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Posted November 18 2003 - 05:25 PM

Thanks for all the replies, sorry I didn't respond to questions sooner, I was at night school.

"After adjusting receiver, centre performance is still not what I would like."

By that, I meant to say that I did use the receiver to set centre signal higher (in decibels?) than the fronts and rears. Chris Wiggles suggestion of "too soft" accurately describes what I perceive the shortcoming to be.

No, the dialogue is not unintelligible. During movies, I take the speaker out of the case and direct it upward to face the seating position so no it isn't muffled. The floors are carpet in the living room so wood floors isn't the problem.

I'm not sure if calibrated means the same thing in all the replies above. If you mean did I specify the distances of speakers from seating position in the receiver's programming then the answer is yes I did.

Tim:...I don't know what VE or AVIA are but I'll look into what they are (but to answer your question, no I'm pretty sure I haven't calibrated with them Posted Image.

I think all the speakers are correctly fastened to wires. Simply using bare wire twisted into binding posts. Did this carefully to avoid stray strands.

Night mode I think is called "attenuate" and I'll try listening with it activated tonight.

So, maybe what it boils down to is I just don't know what my system is supposed to sound like. This is my first setup, and I haven't heard many others aside from very expensive ones demonstrated in electronics stores. I always kind of figured the centre channel should seem "strong" (sorry, I know that's pretty vague) compared to fronts. With mine, I hear the output from fronts as being much stronger than centre.

Thanks for all your suggestions, I will muck around a bit more. It certainly sounds like more knowledgable people than I feel a better centre speaker (or two of them) should not be required.

Thanks again.

#9 of 15 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted November 18 2003 - 06:12 PM

Unfortunately, not all DVD's are recorded the same either. Although using a calibration disk is mandatory (if for nothing else than to get a good reference point) you will find that some DVD's just didn't get their audio recorded properly. Another thing that will help is to not only turn the center channel up, but to lower the volume of all of the other channels for these movies. Before you go insane, please try other movies out. I am sure that you will find that your center channel is ok, and the problem lies just with certain movies. Glenn

#10 of 15 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted November 19 2003 - 03:49 AM

[quote] Night mode I think is called "attenuate" and I'll try listening with it activated tonight. [quote]
Night mode is called "Night" on the 6200. Attenuate is something a litte different (and I think it is only for analog sources).

I don't think a second center is required, but a better one may make a difference (I have not checked the specs for yours). First, I'd say try calibration.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#11 of 15 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted November 19 2003 - 04:06 AM

[quote] Tim:...I don't know what VE or AVIA are but I'll look into what they are (but to answer your question, no I'm pretty sure I haven't calibrated with them [quote]
In order to calibrate your speakers you need a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) meter. You can get one from Radio Shack for about $30—there are two models and analog and digital and they both work fine.

If your receiver generates test tones you can use that to do a preliminary calibration with the SPL meter. Video Essentials and AVIA DVDs will allow for more sophisticated and accurate calibration.

This is a quick and easy method of calibration:

Set your receiver main volume control to output a test tone of 75 db (or 85 db) on your left front speaker (on the SPL meter). Measure from the prime listening position.

Then use the receiver db (volume) settings (for each channel—not the main settings) to get each of the other speakers to output 75 db, including the subwoofer (if you have one). For most systems your subwoofer will be running a ~3 db hot (louder) because the Radio Shack meter is not too accurate for those lower tones. I just go around in a circle: after the left, I next set the center, then the right front, then the right surround, left surround and finally the sub.

Now your center speaker will be setup correctly as regards the other speakers of your system.

Try this next. Set the volume for a movie so that normal speech sounds normal and you can hear whispers or quiet speech. If you now have a problem, it is either the mix of that DVD, or your center speaker is not quite good enough at reproducing speech. Adding a second one will probably not help, but it might.
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#12 of 15 OFFLINE   brent_percival

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Posted November 19 2003 - 05:18 AM

Thanks.

#13 of 15 OFFLINE   ChrisWiggles

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Posted November 19 2003 - 05:37 AM

John is correct, attenuate applies only to analog sources (and does not function in s-direct). This is not what I meant. Night mode is what I meant, it's in one of the menus, im sure the manual covers it. Attenuate just attenuates the analog inputs to prevent clipping the inputs. This is not what I meant. As for calibration, setting the distance sets the time delay for each speaker, NOT the volume. You should at the very least use your ear and the test tones to set the volumes for each speaker individually. The 6200 has test tones and a menu for each speaker, likely your center is not as loud as it should be, thus soft voices. You should buy an SPL meter (at radioshack) and calibrate accurately that way. The test tones from the receiver work fine, but I still recommend a test disc, as it has a more thorough complement of tests, and has video tests to calibrate your TV, which is SUPREMELY important. So try to calibrate, in the meantime, enter the setup menus, and bump up the volume of your center channel.

#14 of 15 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted November 19 2003 - 05:42 AM

One more thing Brent—if you still have problems after calibrating your speakers, you will be faced with the fact that your center is not up to your personal standards (they might well be to someone elses). Buying another won’t help, in fact as the sound from your center will be dispersed, you will probably worsen the problem. This next comes under my opinion—many, many people will disagree. I listened to the Athena speakers (under very poor, Best Buy conditions) and thought overall they provided good sound at a pretty good price point. If I had one criticism, it would be of their center speaker, which I thought was not up to the sonic quality of the rest of their line.
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#15 of 15 OFFLINE   Drew_W

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Posted November 19 2003 - 10:37 AM

My system (Athena/Pioneer Elite) sounded pretty blech before calibration. Once I set speaker distances, speaker levels, etc, the system came together very nicely. In all honesty, an SPL meter and the Avia disc are the cheapest investments that will make the biggest performance boost in your system. In all honesty, after hearing my system one way and the other, an uncalibrated system is just a bunch of speakers...calibrating brings it all together into something that comes together into what can truly be called home theatre.

[quote] During movies, I take the speaker out of the case and direct it upward to face the seating position so no it isn't muffled. [quote]

I don't know if it's possible, but is there a location that you can put it so that you're not re-encasing the speaker? I originally tried to "hide" my surrounds inside a bookshelf, but it did muffle the sound, so I had to move them out so they project directly into the room...works nicely.

If you do get an SPL meter btw, get the analog one...
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