Using TV speakers as center - a problem

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Wright, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Hello,

    Well, I finally upgraded my 12 year old receiver last Wednesday. Picked up a Harman/Kardon AVR-525 @ Circuit City. I had always planned to use my TV's speakers for the center channel, since it has this capability.

    TV is a Toshiba TW65X81. 65" widescreen RPTV.

    I've got a small problem, though. Actually, two small problems.

    1. The TV's speakers are too loud.
    1A: I've switched them to input only, so the TV's amplifier should not be engaged (TV's volume is all the way down to zero).
    1B: I've set the volume adjustments on the receiver to -10dB for the center, and +10dB for everything else. This is tolerable, but I still feel that the center is a little louder than it should be. The volume adjustments are maxed out in both directions. -10 to +10 is the range, so this is as good as I can get it.

    I don't think I should have to take the center all the way down and bring the others all the way up to get overall volume levels close to decent. Seems extreme to me.

    2. The TV's speakers buzz. It's not a loud buzz, and you can't hear it through 95% of any given movie, but it is there and it bothers me. None of my other speakers buzz. They used to, with my old amp, but the HK eliminated all of that. Except, of course, the center. It's not the wiring: I prewired the house and took care to not run parallel to AC current. I also switched to a different wiring pair to see if that made a difference. It did not.

    So, this is where I'm at.

    Is anyone else successfully using the speakers as a center channel on a large Toshiba set? I'd love to hear from more Toshiba owners regarding this.

    Secretly, I'm almost hoping something is wrong with my TV that isn't repairable, so I can take advantage of that extended warranty and get the latest model. But, I'd really rather not go through the hassle. I just want mine to work properly.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    And, oh, I just had another thought: My mains are KLH towers capable of sucking down 300 watts each - or so says the sticker on the back. (KLH - cheap, yes, but I like them. I'll upgrade them some other day.) Surrounds are also small KLH 3 way speakers. Not capable of near that much wattage but they are matched to my mains very well sound-wise.

    Anyway, I thought this information might be relevant to the problem at hand.

    Thanks again!
     
  3. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Ryan,

    If the speakers in your Toshiba 16x9 TV are the same ones as in my Toshiba 56H80, then I would pass on trying to use them as a center channel. These are very poor quality speakers, so I am not surprised at what you are experiencing. You will be better off placing your receiver in "phantom center" mode, where the left/right main speakers are used to simulate the center channel.

    Speakers are one area where television manufacturers will usually skimp on quality to save costs. If you have a home theater setup, it is usually not an issue, though, since you have an external sound system. I leave the speakers on my Toshiba turned off at all times, even for casual TV viewing.
     
  4. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Hmmm, perhaps I should consider just purchasing a center and sticking it on top of my TV...

    To be honest, I've never used the internal speakers on the TV before. Just started using them as a center now that I have a capable receiver.
     
  5. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    I agree, get a matching center channel. You want all three front channels to be similar so they are timbre matched. Speaker manufacturers try to timbre match the front 3 speakers in a given series to keep the sound quality the same. That way a car with a V8 passing along the screen doesn't sound like a motorcycle when it passes center.
     

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