Cannot understand dialogues in my audio setup..need advice. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 01:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a home theater pc connected to "creative xtremem music soundcard card" and "creative gigaworks s750".


I have a relatively large room 13 X 22 and as the center speaker of this setup is a relatively low powered i.e only 70 watts; so sometimes it is impossible to understand dialogues. The reason of this can also be attributed probably to mediocre quality of my center speaker because this speaker is of the same quality as the other 7 speakers.

So i was thinking to replace my center speaker with something better. So i have three options here:

1. To replace the center speaker of my setup with a better center speaker. This is my ideal choice because i don't want to spend a lot of money on a/v receiver and woofer. But the question is that whether this would result in any improvement in sound quality.

2. To buy an a/v receiver,a center speaker and a woofer. Connect all the speakers via to a/v receivers and spend a lot of money doing it.

3. To build a brand new system of speakers, a/v receiver and woofer and go bust doing so.


Kind Regards
Hussain
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post #2 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 07:38 AM
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#3

For you, for the economy; yes, it's your duty to spend more than seems reasonable on fantastic, new, gear.
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post #3 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by loopguru View Post

#3

For you, for the economy; yes, it's your duty to spend more than seems reasonable on fantastic, new, gear.

+1

I just finished buying new speakers and my credit card is SMOKIN"!!!!

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post #4 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 07:48 AM
 
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#3 - kinda

I have a Denon receiver connected to Klipsch Quintet II speakers. The cost was low. (not at the link provided.) Read the reviewsHERE at Amazon.
The sound is excellent in our 13X18 HT. I had previously used Athena ASB1s and ASC1 center channel with the Denon. The Athenas sound stronger but the Klipsch can do the job in a MUCH smaller size. VERY intelligible for dialog.

I now use the Athenas in my AV editing room (our old HT) and the much smaller (and more easily hidden and hung) Klipsch are doing great service in our HT.

Good luck.

P.S. I believe it is very important to keep the center channel speaker the same model (or the center channel version) as the other speakers.
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post #5 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrano View Post




P.S. I believe it is very important to keep the center channel speaker the same model (or the center channel version) as the other speakers.

The center should definitely be timbre matched to you L and R front speakers. the surrounds are not as crucial to be a perfect match unless you listen to alot of 5 channel audio.

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post #6 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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what do you mean by sound matching for speakers. Can somebody please enlighten me. Thanks
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post #7 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 02:05 PM
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All speakers have a tonal character that is their own. As sounds travel across the soundstage from one side to the other, you will be able to locate which speaker the sound is coming from more easily, using a center channel speaker that is different from the main L/R speakers. Using a matching center channel will create a better soundstage and more involving experience.

My suggestion would be #3. But there is no reason you can't buy the center channel first and use it in your setup until you have saved enough to purchase the rest of the equipment. Dialog tends to be a pretty important part of a movie.
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post #8 of 26 Old 09-15-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hussain View Post

what do you mean by sound matching for speakers. Can somebody please enlighten me. Thanks

Matching the speakers by choosing which ones sound alike is not a good idea. Buying the same model/design of speaker can assure you that you are getting the same sound across the all important front soundstage. (For the reasons that lanick so well put.)
There is more to speakers than having the same tweeter. The electronics, crossovers and such affect the sound in many ways. Some would argue that it is best to choose the same exact speaker for the front three (left - center - right) speakers. Theoretically it is the best idea, IMO. But, for most setups a dedicated center channel is best. I do hear timbre differences in the center channel speakers of most 5.1 setups, though. But I chose to go with a dedicated center channel type of speaker. (see my first post for the 5.1 speakers I chose.)

Good luck -
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post #9 of 26 Old 09-16-2008, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Someone Just offered me 220$ for my speakers and though i bought them for 450 but think i am going to sell them.

As i have a 13 X 22 room. The room is not acoustically treated. I usually watch hd movies from my htpc. So can somebody suggestion the following for 1500$.

1. A/V Receiver to connect to my htpc ( I don't own a standalone dvd or blu ray player just an htpc)
2. Center, Front, Left, Side Right, Side Left, Rear Right, Rear Left Speakers.

Kind Regards
Hussain
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post #10 of 26 Old 09-16-2008, 10:15 PM
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does your creative xtreme audio sound card have an optical output the reason i ask is ther are two versions of it one the has an optical output and one that doesnt
and do you care if its 5.1 or 7.1
do you care if the speakers wall mount
do you want bookshelf or towers
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post #11 of 26 Old 09-17-2008, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
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1. Would love to have small wall mount type and bookshelf size speakers.

2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitch5669 View Post

does your creative xtreme audio sound card have an optical output the reason i ask is ther are two versions of it one the has an optical output and one that doesnt
and do you care if its 5.1 or 7.1
do you care if the speakers wall mount
do you want bookshelf or towers

I don't think I have an optical output on my sound card. Although i have this Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H motherboard and according to the manufacturer:

"This board provides a variety of audio output options, including a Toslink optical digital connection and digital output on the HDMI video output port."

I hope i have answered your question although i must confess i don't know anything i am talking about here. So once i purcahse an a/v receiver,should i use the inbuilt soundcard or the xtreme audio gamer one.
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-17-2008, 08:15 AM
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did you try turning the center channel volume up, I always turn it up a little more to help the dialoge come out more. My hearing is less than stellar and it makes a massive difffrence. I also turn the rears up a bit to just to make the surround sounds a little more obvious. Assuming your sound card gives you these options.
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post #13 of 26 Old 09-17-2008, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Well i do that my the dialogues are muffled......they are not crisp. otherwise the sound is super dooper.
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post #14 of 26 Old 09-17-2008, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hussain View Post

I don't think I have an optical output on my sound card. Although i have this Gigabyte GA-MA69GM-S2H motherboard and according to the manufacturer:

"This board provides a variety of audio output options, including a Toslink optical digital connection and digital output on the HDMI video output port."

I hope i have answered your question although i must confess i don't know anything i am talking about here. So once i purcahse an a/v receiver,should i use the inbuilt soundcard or the xtreme audio gamer one.

i would put a new sound card that has a optical out put if you canhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829271001 this sound card is made for home theater pc's

and as far as the receiver i would go with a pioneer vsx-917
polk monitor 40's for the fronts
polk monitor 30's for the rears
polk cs1 for the center

the total comes upto $884 including the sound card. that gives you plenty of money for cables and a sub

and with the pioneer you can bi amp your fronts or add another pair of monitor 30's for 7.1
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post #15 of 26 Old 09-17-2008, 02:26 PM
 
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It might be a good idea to get an SPL meter at Radio Shack (I like the Analog one) and set the levels of your speakers using it. There are calibration test tones on some DVDs. (Star Wars DVDs usually have them.)

Most receivers have test tones built in.

Using an SPL meter is the best way to get your sound behaving correctly. By ear does not work.

Good luck.
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post #16 of 26 Old 09-17-2008, 07:49 PM
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Not that I am against upgrading by any means but it still sounds like something is wrong with the sound card or that center speaker.
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post #17 of 26 Old 09-17-2008, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by my65ffrcobra View Post

Not that I am against upgrading by any means but it still sounds like something is wrong with the sound card or that center speaker.

I agree. You might want to try to do a little troubleshooting.
- Swap your right front speaker and your center channel and see if the sound is still muffled. If your right channel speaker sounds ok in the center position, then that isolates the problem to your center channel speaker - could be a blown speaker or possibly a loose connection. If not, it's a problem somewhere before the speaker.
- Also make sure your speakers are wired properly. If you have +/- reversed it can make some material sound weak, although this would be more of a problem if you're left and right speakers were wired out of phase.
- Turn off any effects on the soundcard too, just to see if they're causing a problem.
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post #18 of 26 Old 09-19-2008, 05:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thankyou all for your help.....my wires are not properly color coded....so how can i figure out which should be the red one and which should be the brown one. Furthremore does the quality of wire and connecting switch cause a problem.

If yes can somebody give me a link to good speaker wires and connectors.
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post #19 of 26 Old 09-19-2008, 07:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hussain View Post

Thankyou all for your help.....my wires are not properly color coded....so how can i figure out which should be the red one and which should be the brown one. Furthremore does the quality of wire and connecting switch cause a problem.

If yes can somebody give me a link to good speaker wires and connectors.

Wow. This would explain a lot.

You can buy wire at Radio Shack or Home Depot or many online sites. Use 16 gauge wire (or better: higher numbers are worse, lower are better).

Wire is usually coded in some way. Lamp cord has one side that has a rounded edge or or grooves or something to define differences. And you mention red and white. Sometimes there will be a color strip on the wire.

Figure out your wire or better yet buy all new wire and use the same method for each speaker. (+ to + and - to -.)

What do you mean by connecting switch? What are the speakers connected to exactly?

Good luck.
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post #20 of 26 Old 09-19-2008, 12:21 PM
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To check for phase alignment(having both Reds in the red and both browns in the brown) use the two tones on the following webpage. The in phase sound will appear to come from between the speakers. The out of phase sound will be more diffuse and be harder to pinpoint the location where it is coming from.

http://www.ymec.com/hp/signal2/check02.htm

Check Monoprice.com for cheap but good cables.

Such as this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
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post #21 of 26 Old 09-19-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ianick View Post

To check for phase alignment(having both Reds in the red and both browns in the brown) use the two tones on the following webpage. The in phase sound will appear to come from between the speakers. The out of phase sound will be more diffuse and be harder to pinpoint the location where it is coming from.

http://www.ymec.com/hp/signal2/check02.htm

Check Monoprice.com for cheap but good cables.

Such as this: http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

This is an excellent price for 14 ga. wire. I buy from Monoprice for cables, wire and switchers. I always gotten good service and value at Monoprice.
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post #22 of 26 Old 09-19-2008, 12:39 PM
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Have you tried acoustically treating the room itself as much as possible? Makes more difference than anything else you can do. Check out the dedicated theater section here for more on room acoustics.

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post #23 of 26 Old 09-19-2008, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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The room acoustic section is way over my head....can you give me some simple tips....
i will re arrange my wires tomorrow and post the results...thanks.
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post #24 of 26 Old 09-19-2008, 02:53 PM
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Maybe the center speaker is blown.

One shall stand... One Shall Fall... - Optimus Prime
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post #25 of 26 Old 09-20-2008, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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speaker is alright, i tested by replacing it with my front speaker.
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post #26 of 26 Old 10-18-2008, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Just for the record. I have solved my problem. Solution very simple.

My front left and front right speakers were too close to the center speaker. I moved them away and now everything has become crystal clear
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