Need help balancing the center

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Gary Wolfe, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. Gary Wolfe

    Gary Wolfe Auditioning

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    I have a pair of Martin Logan Arius i speakers for the fronts, and ML Cinema for the center channel, and I'm hoping for some suggestions to improve my setup.

    When listening to movies, often the dialog is quiet, and the effects/music loud. I can use the receiver to add a few db to the center, but it is not the same as when I used a sound level meter and the white noise test signals. (Unfortunately, my meter broke, so now I'm adjusting "blind" so to speak.)

    Another oddity is that the center is much brighter than the R/L. Part of this may be due to the dome tweeter, but I've read that these speakers are supposed to be a close match. Is it just me? The speakers do not sound vastly different, like using a different brand, but there is a difference, and more than I expected. I have repositioned the sides, and it seems slightly better, but if a sound pans from a side to the center, you can hear the change in tone.

    When listening to stereo sources, pro logic seems to throw everything into the center channel. If I'm adding a few db for movies, I am almost thinking that I want to reduce the db (from 0 reference) to have something like a soundstage, but then I don't want to just cut out the major part of the sound. For viewing TV, it's actually pretty helpful for hearing dialog. For music, should I give up on the center and just listen in stereo?

    I have a couple of music video DVDs mixed for 5.1 channels that sound wonderfully balanced. It would be great if I could approach this with stereo sources.

    I have an old set of MITerminator 2 speaker cables, but I can't tell if that changes the sound significantly (at least not in the way of resolving these issues). One of my thoughts is that with some equalization, perhaps I could at least do a better job of matching the various speakers. (Is there a relatively affordable 1-channel equalizer? Equalizers seem to be out of fashion these days, but something's gotta give...)

    Gary
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    You might as well give up on that.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Gary Wolfe

    Gary Wolfe Auditioning

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    I did some more experimentation, and I think most of the issue I have with the tone is that the dome tweeter is so bright, because it's not really THAT diffierent. Perhaps if I could dampen it a bit, either through EQ or maybe a simpler mechanical solution (a "grille"?). I propped something in front of the tweeter, and it did alter the tone (but a bit too far, so that's not a solution). As for an EQ, I'm currently powering the center with the receiver, and the mains with an external amp, so I dunno how I'd wire it. I will say that the bright highs make vocals much easier to hear than otherwise. (Even so, as mentioned in another thread, for listening to movies, I do find that I often need to turn up the center to hear dialogue and have the overall volume lower so that the action sounds don't blow us away.)

    Perhaps my main problems with the center, then, are more limitations of the 2ch to 5.1 ch conversion. I'm using mid-fi equipment -- not true "high end", but I don't believe that more money should be put into electronics than speakers.
     

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