All speakers sound a little different, especially the center

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by DavidSeyba, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. DavidSeyba

    DavidSeyba Extra

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    I can appreciate all my speakers sounding a little different... when I do a speaker test on my yamaha rx-v530, each speaker sounds a little different. One may sound slightly higher pitched than the other, etc. As far as I know, that's normal. However my center channel sounds way different than I think is normal. Even my right and left mains are different.

    It's a klipsch RC-35 and my other speakers are the RS/F/C 35 klipsch too (keep opinions on why klipsch is good/sucks out of this thread, please). They're all hooked up on the same type of cabling. The problem is my center channel has no power behind it and is weak. I was playing a game earlier, and there was a pipe emitting steam. If I did a full 360 next to said pipe, all speakers would sound relatively normal except when it was directly in front of me, the center channel would make the steam much higher pitched and it would not sound well. If I had to describe the problem, if my mains were a giant sumo wrestler hitting a gong, my center is a skinny little man shaking a tambourine.

    Any idea on what I can do to make my speakers all sound the same or is this as expected? Thanks..
     
  2. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, for starters how is your receiver set up? Are your speaker sizes set correctly or did someone get into the menus and accidentally mess up the settings? If you re-check the setup and think the sizes are correct (and is that Center-35 set to small or large?) then how about the individual channel levels? Is the L/R balance offset or the tone controls set way off? How about the LS/RS/and especially Center speaker level setting?

    OK, since all of that is set properly it's time to move on. Are you using one or more of the DSP settings (incl PLII) when you play the game? If so, did you (or someone else?) change any of those programmable settings? And speaking of playing the game - how/where did you connect the game (console?) to the receiver? Just asking...

    Basically, it's time to have gone through your setup menus pretty completely to make sure nothing got messed with that you didn't know about. This should really need no more than a few minutes w/ the remote so not much time got wasted and now you're sure the receiver's set up properly. Now for the tougher stuff...

    Where are your speakers placed? Oh, and one quick check on what they are connected with - is it still all essentially the same type of speaker wire? This really shouldn't matter much/at all unless you're using really, really different stuff around the room and if some if way out from what would be expected (like, everything else is 12GA in front, 16GA in back, and old telephone wire to the center ;~). If the wire is fine and the connections are all good, then for grins just try swapping the connections between the center & one of the fronts. Does the Klipsch Center still sound tinny? How about the front that you swapped? Same thing when you play a CD or DVD under PLII? If the center is still nothing but tinny then pop off the grill & verify that all the drivers are actually working - done a reasonable listening levels but w/ your ear right next to each driver. If the swapped speaker now sounds like crap that narrows things a bit...

    I have a couple of friends w/ Klipsch & both have always said that getting a seamless voicing was really tough. That's why I started to ask about where the speakers are placed - both Klipsch friends said they had to spend lots of time w/ placement in their rooms, but YMMV.

    If the receiver setup is good, the connections good (both source & speaker wires), and the speaker-swap or some work on placement didn't shine any light on the fix then I'd need more coffee to offer much more. Sorry - I don't have that gear so just can't offer much beyond those basics...

    Wait! Wait!! One more thing - do these have double connectors for bi-amping/bi-wiring? If so, are the jumpers still installed and making good connections? Just a(nother) thought...
     
  3. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 1999
    Messages:
    1,534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have you used a SPL meter to calibrate all the speakers to the same level? This is more than likely your problem since each channel can be off (+/-)1-2db or more from the others. So the same sound playing from differnet channels at different levels will sound different.

    Kevin
     
  4. DavidSeyba

    DavidSeyba Extra

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll try all those suggestions.

    If it helps any, I have my computer hooked up to my surround, and if I do a speaker test, there is normal static from all my speakers, except the center channel produces a HIGH WHINE! Sort of like that sound whenever a channel does one of their emergancy tests.

    Does that help diagnose the problem?
     
  5. DavidSeyba

    DavidSeyba Extra

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I have all my speakers set to SMALL. I was told to do that because that would redirect bass to the sub. I've tried putting them on large, and it didn't change anything. I've tried different combinations, and it still sounds different.

    I tried adjusting each speaker's volume, and no, that didn't help.

    I've tried different DSP settings, and they haven't been messed with.. no help.

    Swapping cables, no help.

    I have the double-connectors double-checked..

    I'm starting to feel like this just isn't worth it, like it's over $3000 gone to waste. EACH speaker sounds a little different. I have them all the same amount of inches away from me, pointed the same direction. My left main sounds different than my right main. If I do a full 360 within a game, it sounds TERRIBLE because when it switches to the next speaker, it sounds so different that it isn't seamless AT ALL.
     
  6. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2003
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    Could the tonal imbalance be caused by the relative location of the speakers to walls and objects in the room? If a speaker is closer to a wall than another speaker, they will sound different. If not place symmetrically in the room, each speaker can have a different tonal characteristic.
    Is your room treated acoustically?
     
  7. David Strand

    David Strand Agent

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    This kind of makes me wonder, maybe this would be suited for it's own post, but I'll ask here for now I suppose since it is somewhat relevant.

    If you have tower sized mains that would/could be used on the Large setting on the receiver, but a typical center which would/should probably be set on small, will they sound significantly different? Are people with larger main speakers setting them to small anyhow to keep the front 3 sounding more similar?
     
  8. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    220
    Likes Received:
    0
    DavidSeyba -

    Well, from way over hear it sounds like we have at least half an answer - that center speaker is probably wounded. You should be able to do the speaker test w/ either the receiver or your computer and get reasonably close matches across at least the fronts. If everything else is right except that one speaker, and if it still sounds this bad even after you swap speaker cables, then you may be looking at a repair/customer service opportunity.

    As far as calibrating everything to sound the same, the good old Radio Shack meter is the answer. And as mentioned above, take a look around at what else is in the room. Is there a filled bookshelf on one side, a plant & overstuffed furniture on the other, a plain wall in one corner and curtains in the other, and a large dog sleeping right in front of a speaker? Yeah, a little extreme, but you get the point. The room (treatments) are probably having a significant effect. You should be able to get the speakers to sound fairly close, but don't expect to get them identical unless you're willing to completely empty out the (perfectly symmetrical) room, array the speakers around you at exact distances, etc. and then calibrate. And even then your center channel will drive you crazy until you get it fixed [​IMG]

    David Strand

    Yup, probably a separate post, but I've tried both and can conclusively say that "it depends". I have full-range towers in "the big room" that can get down into the 30s & you know no typical center is gonna get there. Was it more seamless w/ both set to small? Not really, or at least not all the time. A lot will depend upon source materials, how close the fronts & centers really match from low-midrange on up, the room, etc. W/ a lot of subwoofer calibration I got it to where the fronts as Large and the center as Small worked well. Then I got a new bigger/badder center... :wink:

    I also listen to a little music and full-range/Large is kinda needed to do that right. I can use "Direct" mode on the receiver for that so I don't have to mess up the HT match.
     
  9. Lee Carbray

    Lee Carbray Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Messages:
    308
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try swapping the centre for the left or right(not just the cables, move the whole speaker to the same spot) and see if it still sounds the same, or does the "new" centre now sound like the old one. If the sound follows the speaker I agree with TimMc, there is probably somethig wrong with it. If you got them at a local dealer maybe you can bring it in and the can test it out for you.

    Good luck.
     

Share This Page