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Center Channel Not Quite Loud Enough


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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Spottedfeather

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Posted August 09 2012 - 11:47 PM

I'm new to surround sound so...bear with me please. I have an Onkyo HT-R391 receiver that came with 5 speakers and a subwoofer. I'm having trouble adjusting the center and front left/right speakers. The sound is a lot better than tv or stereo speakers, but I think I'm not setting it up properly. First off, I hear about 50% more out of my right side than my left side. I believe that I've found the right balance between the speakers, though. The speakers go from -12db to +12db. What should I set the center speaker at so that I can clearly hear the dialogue but not get overwhelmed by the effects ? Right now, I have the left front speaker set at -2db, the right front speaker is set at -8db, and the center speaker is set at +12db. But I still find that the effects are a tad too loud when I have the volume where I can clearly hear the dialogue. I guess it all depends on the way they mix a particular movie, right ? Would setting the front speakers to their lowest levels (right front at it's lowest of -12db and the left front speaker at -6db) help any ? Also, how loud should I set the left and right surround speakers ? Should they be set at the same db level as the front speakers ?

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 10 2012 - 04:53 AM

A few things to check... If this receiver has a Dynamic Range Control, you might need to use it. Most of us have a disdain...others need it. Try turning the sub gain down, it could be muddying the situation. Is the center in "direct line"...or have you hidden it in any way(like facing your feet, not your head)? Is the source 5.1 or 2.0 DPL?

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Spottedfeather

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Posted August 10 2012 - 04:12 PM

The center speaker is above and off to the left of the tv. I have to have it there because my hearing is unbalanced and i I have the center speaker in the direct center, the audio sounds as if it's coming from the left. As to your other questions, I can hear stereo just fine. It's 5.1 that I have a problem with. I did trying turning down the subwoofer, and that seems to help a bit. What does Dynamic Range Control do exactly ?

#4 of 5 OFFLINE   schan1269

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Posted August 10 2012 - 05:23 PM

It evens out the dynamic range... IE explosions are quite as explosive...

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   NickSI

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Posted August 12 2012 - 04:28 AM

To simplify even further... Dynamic Range is also called night mode. It limits volume changes as you watch movies and TV. For example, that scene in that one movie with that one actor where he's a spy and he sneaks into the mansion and saves the damsel in distress... then just as he whispers to her that it's going to be ok, shooting starts and it's uncomfortably loud. Or when you are watching a TV show and the commercials come on and they are about 10 db louder. Dynamic range limits these changes so that the sound is more linear. Sam above refers to it with "disdain" because the movie producers spent many hours choosing how loud it would go during the gun fight scene to add drama to the moment. The only thing you can do is to set those fronts as low as they can go and bump that center up to the max. The surrounds typically depend on how far away they are but in this case i would set them to match your fronts or maybe a little higher because they won't output the same sound level as the fronts anyway.
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(if there is a $200 reciever or integrated amp in your basement collecting dust or even in your living room collecting dust lemme know ill take it off your hands)




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