Boosting the center channel. NEED advice!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by GeddyT, Jul 20, 2003.

  1. GeddyT

    GeddyT Auditioning

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    I'm pretty new to home theater and my setup is pretty thrown together (college student, low funds).

    I originally bought a Philips mx966 setup and liked it a lot for what I paid. Then one of the surrounds burnt out and I was left deciding whether to order a replacement or upgrade. Then my dad offered to give me his set of four really, really nice Infinity speakers (they were bought in about '94, but are amazing) for free. Couldn't turn that down. Only problem was that the Infinitys overpowered my Philips little center speaker. So I went out and bought a nice center speaker to balance it out. Can't afford Infinity center channel, so bought an Energy XL-C100.

    I'm discouraged that this didn't do the trick either. The Infinitys are just too beefy no matter what I do. I can't hear anything anybody's saying in most movies that I watch. I've looked into just playing with the receiver settings, but the mx996 does not allow you to raise the level of the center channel. In fact, the only channel it does let you play with is the rears. But it's the two front channels that are drowning the center out and I can't raise or lower them at all.

    My question is, is there a product that will take the line to the center channel and boost it's power? I'm thinking like an in-line mono amplifier that will accept high current and not preamp. I've looked for two hours online for something that will do this and am surprised to have drawn a blank.

    Or are there any other recommendations for boosting just the center channel without breaking the bank? Thanks for the help and sorry for the long post.
     
  2. Russell Osborne

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    This may not be what you want to hear but I would recommend using a phantom center (none) until you can save the funds for an Infinity to timbre match your mains . The sound should be MUCH better than the alternative which would do nothing more than distract from your enjoyment of the movie or music. With your center not matched you may find you are spending more time listening to the center channel than actually enjoying the show.
     
  3. GeddyT

    GeddyT Auditioning

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    would I be able to timber match a speaker that old?
     
  4. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    Have you tried searching Ebay? You never know what your going to find over there on the cheap.
     
  5. Kevinkall

    Kevinkall Second Unit

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    Are your speakers set to LARGE or SMALL? If you go to PHILIPS CUSTOMER CARE you can download the manual and it shows you how to change the speakers from LARGE/SMALL(page 14) and also shows you how to adjust the volume of each of your speakers(page 15). Adjusting these two options should help you with your problem. Hope this helps.
     
  6. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    If indeed you can't "balance levels" with your receiver, sounds like you might need a center channel with a higher sensitivity (efficiency)...
     
  7. GeddyT

    GeddyT Auditioning

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    I've tried setting the center channel to both "large" and "small." Neither seem to do the trick. And, yes, it's true: cannot adjust center or front levels on this receiver; only the rears (is kinda lame that way).

    eBay, on the other hand was really cool. One thing that the receiver does conveniently have is a center channel preamp out, making it easier to mono amp the center channel. Looks like I can pick up a Marantz THX 500 monoblock on eBay for about $150 to $180. I'm thinking of going that route. My center channel SOUNDS real good and I spent a lot of money on it. It's just not loud enough. Would be a shame to have to replace it already (an expensive shame considering how much I paid for it and how much I would have to pay for something better).

    Is the Marantz a good way to go?
     
  8. Kevinkall

    Kevinkall Second Unit

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    Have you went thru and setup your speakers using the test tones on your receiver? On my receiver the only way to adjust the fronts is when the test tones are being used, then you can adjust the levels. Have you contacted customer service about your problem? I never seen a receiver that you couldn't adjust the speaker levels, not even a cheap one.


    In my opinion I wouldn't spend money on an amp just to power your center, I would spend the money on a new receiver, it sounds like you need one.
     

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