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KLIPSCH Center Channel Overpowering front speakers--HELP!


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23 replies to this topic

#1 of 24 OFFLINE   BrianKiser

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Posted March 13 2004 - 01:04 PM

Guys, thanks in advance for any help.

I have Klipsch KLF-30s for my front speakers and a Klipsch KLF-C7 front speaker. I've noticed that dialogue is commonly unintelligible when my fronts are pumping out additional sound. This is especially true during explosions. Dialogue in the theater and on my bedroom TV doesn't have this problem, so I know it's my surround sound system.

I'm using a Harman Kardon AVR-500 receiver, and have tried adjusting sound to be "louder" to the center channel, but that doesn't seem to help.

It works great for 80% of my listening (especially music!), but when competiting sound is coming out of the front speakers, the voices just aren't clear.

I am to the point that I am considering Ebaying my Klipsch speakers and getting a less expensive set of speakers at Circuit City.

Any ideas what might be wrong? I am pretty frustrated.

Thanks,
Brian
---
Goodbye Klipsch KLF-30, C7! Hello... something smaller! lol

#2 of 24 OFFLINE   Steve Lucas

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Posted March 13 2004 - 11:54 PM

Have you tried calibrating your speakers with an AVIA disk and an SPL meter? That is the first place to start. I suspect that if you had a sub so that you could set your speakers to "small" it might also help by cleaning up the sound coming from the fronts and taking some of the lows away from your center, making the whole front sound stage cleaner.
"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." - P.J. O'Rourke

#3 of 24 OFFLINE   Brent_j

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Posted March 14 2004 - 08:25 AM

Brian, You are right, ebay your Klipsches and grab some Polks! thats what I did, and could not be happier.Posted Image

I agree with Steve, calibrating your system will do wonders. Once you grab a sub, you will notice a big difference as well.

Brent.

RPTV: Mitsu 65"
Receiver: Yamaha RX-V2400
Center: Polk CSi5
Fronts: Polk RTi10's
Surrounds: Polk FXi3's
Rears: Polk RM2600 Center channels
Subs: 2 Polk PSW404's

#4 of 24 OFFLINE   BrianKiser

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Posted March 14 2004 - 11:12 AM

Thanks, guys. I'm not real technical but might try the Avia. I have one DVD that does this sort of thing, but it's not Avia.

Brent, why did you agree with me ebaying them? Have you seen a similar problem? Just curious.
---
Goodbye Klipsch KLF-30, C7! Hello... something smaller! lol

#5 of 24 OFFLINE   Tim L

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Posted March 14 2004 - 11:33 PM

Brian- do not get rid of the setup- I have a KLF set up aslo and it rocks for home theater- I would go along the lines of steves suggestion- a sub would help big time and try setting the speakers to small (even though they are very large) it does help -believe me. Circuit city-PleasePosted Image - don't five up yet- you'll misss them- and like you said for music also they are keepers- also go to the Klipsch web site forum- I'm sure you could find alot of help and valuable information there as well- good luck
Tim

#6 of 24 OFFLINE   Evan Lee

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Posted March 15 2004 - 12:47 AM

If you like the way your Klipsch sounds, be warned, the Polks (and most every thing else for that matter) will sound quite different. Also, where is your center channel positioned? Is it above or below the TV? Also, is it in front of, behind, or in the plane formed by the right and left channels? Getting the delay set correctly is crucial. I have KLF's as well with a less than optimal SB3 as a center, in a room with horrible acoustics, and have no problems with dialogue intelligibility. If you do decide to sell the Klipsch, I am interested in buying the center.

#7 of 24 OFFLINE   Jesse Sharrow

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Posted March 15 2004 - 01:48 AM

What I would try and you can do this right now. Is go to your receiver and set everything to small. Fronts, Center, rears, etc. Try that. That should clean some of it up, I know you wont have any bass, but that will encorage you to get a sub. Thats what Im doing on my bostons right now. I have them set to small with no sub. Because before when there was an explosion I would lose everything else.

#8 of 24 OFFLINE   Justin_D

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Posted March 15 2004 - 03:44 AM

Evan:

I think that this is a very good point to bring up. Klipsch and Polk tend to be the opposite. Those who like Polks rarely like Klipsch and vise-versa. You better audition those Polks before you ebay your Klipsch.

IMHO: You just need a calibration to really be enjoying your movies. Many people find that they are not even close in volume on many speakers, subwoofer specifically. Just buy yourself Avia/DVE and an SPL meter, follow the directions, and you will be in audio bliss in no time.

#9 of 24 OFFLINE   Frank Carter

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Posted March 15 2004 - 09:29 AM

Brian,
The KLF series speakers are very directional. If the speaker is below the TV try aiming it up towards you. If it above the TV, try aiming it down towards you. For aiming it down, I use one of those triangular rubber door stops to lift the back end of my KLF-C7 so it's aiming ear level at my main listening position.

Regards,

Frank

#10 of 24 OFFLINE   Brent_j

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Posted March 15 2004 - 10:23 AM

Quote:
Brent, why did you agree with me ebaying them? Have you seen a similar problem? Just curious.


Brian, No I have not seen a problem. I was agreeing with you because I had a pair of RF-35's for my fronts. After having the RF-35's for a month I was at Circuit City (I know, some people hate them, myself included, but with CC being the only Polk authorized dealer in my area...what can you do) and took a listen to the RTi10's. I bought them right then and there. Having made a lot of purchases at Ultimate Electronics I promptly returned my RF-35's that same day.
Dont get me wrong, I really enjoy Klipsch speakers, always have, but compared to the new RTi10's the RF-35's sounded very "muddy" to me, and my wife as well (now thats saying somethingPosted Image ) The RF-35's had a touch more low end but could not compare for the midrange or clarity like the RTi10's. Again, the Polks just sounded better to my ear than the RF-35's for both movies and music, especially the latter.

Quote:
Klipsch and Polk tend to be the opposite. Those who like Polks rarely like Klipsch and vise-versa.


This has not been my experience, again from my ear (and alot of others who i have talked with) Klipsch is the only other main stream speaker that has come close to sounding like the Polks. The RF-35 was a great speaker! I just happen to enjoy the mids with greater clarity that exists on my RTi10's.

Quote:
If you like the way your Klipsch sounds, be warned, the Polks (and most every thing else for that matter) will sound quite different.


Again, to my ear, the Klipsch sound very close to the RTi10's.

I used the same receiver, the same music/movies while listening to both speakers. The RTi10's were even powered by cable I would not wish upon my worst enemy. where my RF-35 had 12GA. Monster running them. The RTi10's sounded that much better with a good quality grade cable feeding them.

This is in no way a bash against Klipsch, I just found the Polk to have a better sound to my ear.
That is just my .02 cents worth (actually more like .50 centsPosted Image )

Brent.

#11 of 24 OFFLINE   Darrel McBane

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Posted March 15 2004 - 01:19 PM

The KLF-C7 is one of the best center channels that I've heard. I've used mine with the Klipsch Forte' and now with the 3.1 speakers in my HT setup. I've always had to calibrate down the C7 so it doesn't overwhelm may main speaker due to the dynamics of the C7.

You, having perfectly matched timbre speakers. I find it hard to imagine them not being seamless unless the calibration is out of whack. Do you use a SPL meter when you calibrate?
Enjoy the Toys!

#12 of 24 OFFLINE   BrianKiser

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Posted March 15 2004 - 01:53 PM

No, I actually don't know how to calibrate it. I'm really nontechnical as far as home audio/video goes. I kind of thought since the fronts and center channel all go together, that they'd be matched from the factory with no need for calibration. Bad assumption, eh?
---
Goodbye Klipsch KLF-30, C7! Hello... something smaller! lol

#13 of 24 OFFLINE   Justin Ward

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Posted March 15 2004 - 11:42 PM

Well you're correct in that they are timbre-matched, meaning they have similar sound signatures. But they do need to be level calibrated.

#14 of 24 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 16 2004 - 12:53 AM

Do not sell or replace anything when your problem is calibration. Get a Radio Shack SPL meter and the VE or Avia disk. Read the Beginner's FAQ for information on calibrating your system. If your center is overpowering your mains, a simple calibration will even out the levels produced by each speaker. It is really easy to do, takes about 1/2 hour and is the single most important "tweak" to improve the sound from your system (not really a tweak, more like mandatory setup).

#15 of 24 OFFLINE   BrianKiser

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Posted March 17 2004 - 01:22 PM

So you guys think the problem is mostly calibration, eh? I'm going to go looking for a good sub and see if that helps. I'll also be moving everything into a dedicated home theatre room that has been soundproofed by the previous owner and is perfectly rectangle, so maybe that will help.

For subs, I have to go reasonably low-price. I'm considering these:

Polk PSW303
Polk PSW202
VELODYNE CT120
Infinity IL120

Any last suggestions? Posted Image

Thanks again for all the help, guys.

-Brian
---
Goodbye Klipsch KLF-30, C7! Hello... something smaller! lol

#16 of 24 OFFLINE   TanT

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Posted March 17 2004 - 02:19 PM

Sounds like you listen to your movie at high volume. If that is true I don't think any of the above subs can keep up with your Klipsch setup.

#17 of 24 OFFLINE   Tony Genovese

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Posted March 17 2004 - 02:28 PM

None of those subs will help much (maybe the Infinity). The KLF-30's go pretty low and the subs you're looking at don't really have the output to compete. For the umpteenth time, have you calibrated your system? You may be running the center 10db hot, and don't know it. You need to invest in a sound meter and calibrate your system.

#18 of 24 OFFLINE   Frank Carter

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Posted March 17 2004 - 02:47 PM

The IL120 is easily the best sub from those choices.

#19 of 24 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted March 18 2004 - 12:34 AM

Quote:
I'll also be moving everything into a dedicated home theatre room that has been soundproofed by the previous owner and is perfectly rectangle, so maybe that will help.


A new room and/or a sub is not going to help, in fact it may exasperate the problem. You must get a calibration disk and an SPL meter and calibrate the system. It is quite easy to do and is the proper way to cure the problem you are having.

Have you read the Primer entry on calibration? It will explain the process and what it does. It will become clear that when your speakers have different output, you must match the output levels in order to get them to sound correct.

Calibration FAQ

Vince's overview on Calibration

#20 of 24 OFFLINE   Tony Genovese

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Posted March 18 2004 - 08:11 AM

Thank you, Jeff, for the links. Sometimes I feel as if we're banging our heads against the wall trying to explain these concepts, and they've already been explained better than we could! Now we can only hope that Brian actually tries and calibrates, prior to buying that sub.


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