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Center channel upgrade question


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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   ned100

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Posted September 05 2011 - 03:10 AM

Hi all. I have a Klipsch SC1 center speaker that I have used for years. I'd say about 6 years. I have been fairly happy with it, but not always able to hear dialogue satisfactorily. That's a common complaint no matter the speaker setup I guess. I am wondering if it would be worth the upgrade to a newer speaker. I don't want to waste money but I'd spend it if it made an appreciable difference. I recently upgraded to a Yamaha receiver from an older Onkyo which has helped tremendously. I'm considering POLK CS10 which looks pretty comparable on paper (and cheap), but I don't know about the practical sound difference. What do you think? POLK: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16882290106 Older Klipsch: http://www.vanns.com...views/540249068

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted September 05 2011 - 07:26 AM

I have been fairly happy with it, but not always able to hear dialogue satisfactorily. That's a common complaint no matter the speaker setup I guess.

Not a common complaint with systems that have been properly calibrated. How was yours set up?

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   ned100

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Posted September 05 2011 - 07:42 AM

With the Onkyo, I set speaker levels every time the power blinked. I had no memory. With the new Yamaha I have accepted the defaults and built-in sound programs. They sound really good for about 75% of the stuff I watch, esp. TV. Some movies are really problematic though. For instance, I am watching "Priest" right now. It is one of the worst films I've encountered from lows to highs. Much of the dialogue is actually whispered or spoken in low tones. If I crank it up to where I can hear it, the big music and sound effects blast everyone out of the house. With some other films, effects/music tend to drown out dialogue. Based on reviews I have read, including speaker reviews, this is something a good center channel supposedly helps overcome. I suspect a good deal of the problem could be attributed to the way the film is produced.

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   ned100

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Posted September 05 2011 - 08:41 AM

I went in an set up the levels according to the instructions for speaker sizes and distance to speakers. Then I bumped the center speaker level up a bunch. It is a great improvement for this movie. Hopefully everything else will still sound good too. I'd still like opinions on the upgrade. Thx! edit: Optimizing the speaker setup for the movie threw things out of whack. I had to go back to the old center speaker settings for everything else b/c adjusting for "Priest" overcompensated big time.

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   ned100

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Posted September 05 2011 - 09:05 AM

I found at least one reviewers opinion of the movie "Priest" who agrees that it is problematic. It is not just me. "...atmospherics are easily localized and tend to draw attention to themselves by being overtly loud. This is made more apparent during sequences of action when the screen suddenly erupts into crazed fits of pandemonium. The soundfield is often deafening and takes a great deal away from the events in the front. Dynamic range, however, doesn't falter or distort, providing much of that activity with strong clarity detail. Only, the upper frequencies seem rather earsplitting when listening at a reasonable volume. The low-end is aggressive and forceful, giving gunshots and explosion an authoritative presence. Dialogue is generally well delivered in the center, but there are times when conversations are difficult to make out or drowned out by activity in the rest of the lossless mix. The soundstage displays good channel separation, but again, directionality and movement fail to convince."