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Floor Speakers are washing out the Center (1 Viewer)

Gunfighter

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Good morning. I have a question about my Floor Speakers washing out my Center Channel. Below is what I have, so that you have an idea of the equipment.

Denon AVR 300
Floors - Polk S55
Center - Polk S35
Surround - Sonance (in-wall)
No subwoofer

Yamaha RXA-680
Floor - Klipsch - RP500f
Center - Klipsch - RP500c
Sub - Klipsch - SPL100
Surround - Atlantic Technology

I used the Audyssey and YPAO to establish a baseline and see how they sounded. Immediately, the floors were washing out the centers and I have been chasing it ever since. As it stands, I have my Klipsch floors at -8 and the center at +5 and the Polk floors at -5 and the center at +4. It sounds a little better, but I am turning the receiver, close to max volume, to be able to hear the center. Is it simply, keep going with the negative floor levels and continue going up with the centers. What does it mean when you're in the negatives for speaker levels? Any ideas or suggestions would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance and I hope all have a great day.
 

JohnRice

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Something is wrong, but you need to provide more info, such as the placement of the speakers and how you did the calibration.
 

Gunfighter

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Something is wrong, but you need to provide more info, such as the placement of the speakers and how you did the calibration.
With both systems, the floors are off to the side of the entertainment stands, the centers are on top of the stands, the sub (Denon setup) is farther to the left of the entertainment stand. The surrounds are where you would expect them to be.

When I did the calibrations, I shut all doors that I was able to shut and placed the little antenna thingie thing where I would sit and allowed it to run its course. When both were done, most of the speaker levels were right around 0, plus/minus 2 for different speakers.

I have replaced the speaker wire and confirmed wire connection to the speaker and receiver.

One other frustration is the different production mixes from the different shows. Audio output is different all throughout DirecTV and when I watch Apps, I have to turn the receiver close to max volume. I have a smart TV but use a Roku for Apps because of a conflict between my TV and DirecTV while using a Logitech Harmony Remote.
 

JohnRice

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With both systems, the floors are off to the side of the entertainment stands, the centers are on top of the stands, the sub (Denon setup) is farther to the left of the entertainment stand. The surrounds are where you would expect them to be.

When I did the calibrations, I shut all doors that I was able to shut and placed the little antenna thingie thing where I would sit and allowed it to run its course. When both were done, most of the speaker levels were right around 0, plus/minus 2 for different speakers.

I have replaced the speaker wire and confirmed wire connection to the speaker and receiver.

One other frustration is the different production mixes from the different shows. Audio output is different all throughout DirecTV and when I watch Apps, I have to turn the receiver close to max volume. I have a smart TV but use a Roku for Apps because of a conflict between my TV and DirecTV while using a Logitech Harmony Remote.
Is the Roku connected to the receiver, or the TV?

And do you mean the center speakers are above the TV?
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Do you have any disc players at all in these setups?

I'd probably wanna verify the issue w/ a couple known-to-be-good discs and/or basic calibration discs to make sure it's not just something (suddenly?) wonky w/ your DirecTV setup and streaming apps/devices however unlikely that might seem.

Also, have you checked the basic white noise tests built into the AVRs to see if that discrepancy shows up there as well? Is that what you used to help do the adjustments you mentioned?

How long have you had these setups before this started happening? They're not both (practically) brand new being set up now, right?

_Man_
 

Gunfighter

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Do you have any disc players at all in these setups?

I'd probably wanna verify the issue w/ a couple known-to-be-good discs and/or basic calibration discs to make sure it's not just something (suddenly?) wonky w/ your DirecTV setup and streaming apps/devices however unlikely that might seem.

Also, have you checked the basic white noise tests built into the AVRs to see if that discrepancy shows up there as well? Is that what you used to help do the adjustments you mentioned?

How long have you had these setups before this started happening? They're not both (practically) brand new being set up now, right?

_Man_
They both have BluRay players. I'm not sure about the white noise test. I used the Audyssey and YPAO antennas that came with the receivers to set them up and this has been something I have been chasing since then. I am sure this is, 100%, operator error! When my wife watches her Investigative Discovery Channel (learning new ways to kill me and not get caught), the audio is fine as it is when watching a sitcom, sporting event or anything else like that. The problem occurs when background noise and sound effects are introduced. I put in Braveheart on the Denon system the other day to see how that sounded and there was a part of the movie where I could barely hear the dialogue because of the background music and sound effects.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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IF I were you, I would use the basic white noise tests to do a basic test and preferably a decent calibration disc. IF they show wonky results, then I'd just reset everything and start w/ those tests and/or calibration disc to check for large discrepancies before trying Audyssey and YPAO again.

IF this was just one setup being wonky, I might suspect faulty calibration mic (or its setup), but you're getting this same result w/ both -- I suppose you might be doing the same thing wrong w/ both of course.

One thing. Maybe you're simply not used to the dynamic range of a particularly "strong" Hollywood movie soundtrack played back on a decently calibrated setup, if you've never done much of any calibration before... and/or maybe your hearing may be (unusually?) eroding in the midrange frequency range (where the dialog resides).

Lots of people do seem to complain about dialog being unclear and/or lost in rather dynamic soundtracks, so many of us do prefer to boost the center channel a little bit above otherwise "proper" calibration.

At night, in order to accommodate neighbors, many, including myself, also turn on some sort of dynamic range compression mode to help w/ that (so dialog can be easily heard w/out the rest of the soundtrack getting too loud).

_Man_
 

JohnRice

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Auto calibration can do weird things. Plus, it's very common to turn the center up and the surrounds down once the calibration is completed. It sounds like it's more the surrounds that are overpowering the center.

With matched speakers, you should never need to have a difference of 14dB between the center and fronts.
 

John Dirk

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As @JohnRice pointed out, you should not be seeing variances like this with matched speakers so my first step would be to get a reliable picture of what's going on there. The best way to do this would be with an SPL meter like the one shown below. If you do not want to purchase an SPL meter (you really should though), you can find some apps on Android and IOS platforms that should be good enough to get the job done, free of charge. You basically just need to play test tones through the AVR's and match levels of each speaker to 75dB. If you need 14dB variations between the speakers to achieve this them something is wrong with either the speakers themselves or the AVR's.

I suspect you'll ultimately find the issue is more related to the audio being sent by each source since both of your systems are behaving the same.


 

JohnRice

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As @JohnRice pointed out, you should not be seeing variances like this with matched speakers so my first step would be to get a reliable picture of what's going on there. The best way to do this would be with an SPL meter like the one shown below. If you do not want to purchase an SPL meter (you really should though), you can find some apps on Android and IOS platforms that should be good enough to get the job done, free of charge. You basically just need to play test tones through the AVR's and match levels of each speaker to 75dB. If you need 14dB variations between the speakers to achieve this them something is wrong with either the speakers themselves or the AVR's.

I suspect you'll ultimately find the issue is more related to the audio being sent by each source since both of your systems are behaving the same.



That's $24 well spent. Just realize you can go down the rabbit hole of calibration. BTW, you use Slow/C weighted for this purpose.
 

daddyora

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With old ears & damaged hearing I have done a lot of "tweaking" with my center channel speaker. I also have a similar avr (RX-A660) to your Yamaha. Out of curiosity, what sort of connections (ie spades, bananna plugs, or just bare wire) do you have at the speakers and at the avrs ? Also, when you do your YPAO setup, do you setup the microphone (antenna) at ear level or just set it on the cushion ?
 

daddyora

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One more thought - my YPAO typically sets the front speakers to LARGE and they need to be reset to SMALL every time (even floor-standers)
 

Wardog555

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Well you can change the center speaker to a bigger one as that one is often not recommended due to its tiny speaker drivers.

And use spl meter as mentioned before and ensure all speakers at the same volume.
 

daddyora

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Well you can change the center speaker to a bigger one as that one is often not recommended due to its tiny speaker drivers.
I have similar problems as OP with movie dialogue. I ended up substituting a SVS Ultra center (3-way, 6.5" woofers) for original Elac Debut 2.0 center (2-way, 5.25" woofers) plus a lot of tweaking with EQ, esp between 750 to 2500 Hz. Off axis improved a lot (3-way ?) and dialogue improved somewhat. Added hearing aids. Still use subtitles on a few movies, esp ones that have accents. Chalked it up to old age.
 

Gunfighter

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Is the Roku connected to the receiver, or the TV?

And do you mean the center speakers are above the TV?

I have similar problems as OP with movie dialogue. I ended up substituting a SVS Ultra center (3-way, 6.5" woofers) for original Elac Debut 2.0 center (2-way, 5.25" woofers) plus a lot of tweaking with EQ, esp between 750 to 2500 Hz. Off axis improved a lot (3-way ?) and dialogue improved somewhat. Added hearing aids. Still use subtitles on a few movies, esp ones that have accents. Chalked it up to old age.
I just read an article and I am about as eff'd up as a football bat. I have one system without a subwoofer and both systems crossovers are set to 120 hertz. The system without the subwoofer defaulted the towers to LARGE. I am thinking I need to get a subwoofer and switch the towers to SMALL and then lower the crossovers on both to send more lower frequencies to the subwoofer and away from the towers. I read that 80 hertz is a good starting point.
 

JohnRice

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If the system has no subwoofer connected, then there should be no crossover to select. The system without a sub should have the L&R speakers set to "Large" and the sub set to "No" or "Off". On the system with a sub, the L&R should be set to "Small" and the sub set to "Yes" or "On", and a crossover selected, which usually is lower than 120Hz, but in my opinion people almost always set it too low. Yes, 80Hz is usually a good starting point.
 

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