Help! Voices sound Horrible!

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by larry h., Jan 17, 2004.

  1. larry h.

    larry h. Auditioning

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    I just went out and upgraded my entire home theater system. I bought a Yamaha HTR-5590 receiver and have a set of take 5.2 speakers. The surround speakers sound great! The center even sounds good for most sounds like helicopters, explosions, and so on. The only problem is voices sound very low and are somewhat hard to understand on the center speaker. The receiver is set to auto so it senses the correct DTS or Dolby Digital signal. I have all my speakers set to large and I even tried small to see if it made a difference. I have 12 guage wire running to everything. What am I doing wrong? Help! Thanks!!!
     
  2. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I would set speakers to small and calibrate each speaker with a test DVD and a sound level meter. The center volume probably needs to be bumped up a bit. You can increase the individual speaker volumes through your receiver. Read the manual if you don't know how. Some DVDs have quieter center channel soundtracks than others, but calibrating with AVIA or Video Essentials will ensure that each speaker is set to a standard.
     
  3. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    I recently read a tip to isolate the center from the RPTV to prevent it from sympathetic vibrations from the center speaker. Kind of acting as a big speaker enclosure. I cut eraser tips from 2 pencils and put them under the front of the center speaker (the back is already isolated via an adjustable foot). The difference in clarity was VERY pronounced. Best free tweak in awhile. Also, pull the front of the center forward a bit so it overhangs the front of the RPTV.

    Also, see this thread
     
  4. Garrett Adams

    Garrett Adams Supporting Actor

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    If you have (or will)calibrate your speakers and the problem persists my guess is you may have a blown tweeter in your center speaker. To test for this condition you could temporarily change the center with one of your surround speakers. If the center channel now "clears" up with distinct sounds that are usually center oriented such as dialog that will confirm tweeter failure.
     
  5. larry h.

    larry h. Auditioning

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    Well, the first thing I did was put this little rubber tabs on the bottom of the speaker to lift it off of the t.v.. Not sure if it made a difference. Then I went to the store and bought the Digital Video Essentials and a sound level meter from Radio Shack. Not sure if it's me, but I feel like a total idiot trying to do anything with the video essentials. I'm not sure what to do when it comes to adjusting for the sound. I know if gives the test signal but I don't get when it shows a test where there is no speaker on the screen and I hear the sound. I also don't know what level I should adjust the speakers to on the meter. Would of been nice if it gave more instructions on how to go through the whole audio setup. The dvd menus on the dvd are horrible in my mind too.
     
  6. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    I use AVIA, but they should all be similar. Adjust each speaker to about 75dB (any number will work, as long you are consistent) using the slow response/C waiting on the meter.

    Basically, when the reference tone plays on that speaker, adjust only that discrete-channel volume via the interface on your receiver. You are not simply adjusting the volume control.

    Subwoofer calibration is a little more involved, but getting it close to the level of the others across the entire frequency range sweep is your goal.

    Also, you may want to tweak the bass/treble levels on your receiver. I have mine just about at 0 for both to keep a neutral sound. The various DSP modes on the Yamaha receiver will also add effects that can muddy the sound. When performing the calibration, make sure you are only using straight DD and not Movie/Adventure or some such setting.

    Use this guide for speaker placement:
    http://www.dolby.com/ht/Guide.HomeTh....html#chapter3
    In a nutshell, for ideal placement, you want at least the front 3 speakers to be the exact same distance from the main listening position.

    Stick with it! It will be time/money/energy well spent.
     
  7. larry h.

    larry h. Auditioning

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    What volume should I start my receiever off when I do the calibrating?
     
  8. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Start at about normal listening volume. With the SPL meter on, adjust the main volume to 75dB and go from there, adjusting each speaker independently. Don't be alarmed if you have to turn the center to +4, the right surround to +6 and the left surround to +5 or some seemingly random numbers (room acoustics, furniture, etc... will affect the sound). On my Yamaha, I have to adjust the main L/R channels by slightly adjusting the balance.
     
  9. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    The erasure tweak is great!

    Larry, the Sound and Vision I found to be a bit easier to start with.
     
  10. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Can you hear me now?
     

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