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post #1 of 45 Old 06-30-2016, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Did I pick the right center?

Wondering if anyone might be able to help. I had a Proficient GL6 center that sounded OK, but seemed that the voices were drowned out against my other speakers, even when calibrated with MCACC. Today I bought a SVS Prime Center. It's smaller than the Proficient GL6 was, but seems like the voices are slightly better, but still maybe not as loud as they should be. I'm not running a sub at the moment as I'm waiting for my Rhythmik LV12R to arrive in the mail. For now the MCACC made the Fronts, Center, and Surrounds Large and set crossover to 80Hz. Should the Center and Surrounds maybe be set to Small for now? When I get the sub? I should mention my fronts are B&W 684 S1s and B&W 685 S1s respectively. Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 45 Old 06-30-2016, 07:42 PM
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Does the Pioneer apply a crossover without a sub? It may simply suggest one should you change to small (or in other words, small is equivalent to enable bass management). Your speakers should be able to handle a full range signal without getting silly with the volume dial. Simply raise the level of the center if you want a little more volume from it, try that next.

ps when you install the sub, re-run MCACC.
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post #3 of 45 Old 06-30-2016, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Does the Pioneer apply a crossover without a sub? It may simply suggest one should you change to small (or in other words, small is equivalent to enable bass management). Your speakers should be able to handle a full range signal without getting silly with the volume dial. Simply raise the level of the center if you want a little more volume from it, try that next.
Yeah that's why I was thinking Large was correct, for now while I don't have the sub. The Fronts and Surrounds seem to be handling the full range well - lower sounds actually sound good. The new SVS Prime Center is handling slightly better than the GL6 was, even though i'm not entirely convinced it's truly an upgrade at this point. More testing needed on different movies (and with a sub). With the GL6, If I turned its channel up, the fronts and surrounds got a bit drowned out by it. But let me give it a try and see if maybe thats not the case with the SVS Prime Center.

I'll definitely run MCACC again when I get the sub. I run it anytime I change out a speaker in my setup. Any experience with the GL6 or SVS Prime? Is one a better center than the other?

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post #4 of 45 Old 06-30-2016, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by citsur86 View Post
Yeah that's why I was thinking Large was correct, for now while I don't have the sub. The Fronts and Surrounds seem to be handling the full range well - lower sounds actually sound good. The new SVS Prime Center is handling slightly better than the GL6 was, even though i'm not entirely convinced it's truly an upgrade at this point. More testing needed on different movies (and with a sub). With the GL6, If I turned its channel up, the fronts and surrounds got a bit drowned out by it. But let me give it a try and see if maybe thats not the case with the SVS Prime Center.

I'll definitely run MCACC again when I get the sub. I run it anytime I change out a speaker in my setup. Any experience with the GL6 or SVS Prime? Is one a better center than the other?
No experience with either speaker. Try just a 1 dB increase in level on the center first for a while, then maybe a 2dB for a while, etc. Only center I really want is the Ascend Horizon.
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post #5 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 09:39 AM
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I'd suggest trying the Ascend CMT-340SE center. It's $50 less than the Prime Center and now has free return shipping as well.

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...c/cmt340c.html

The only downside with the 340 center is that you might end up replacing your L/R with more Ascend speakers too!
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~ HT ain't rocket science. Most just want clear dialogue out of the center (70-80% of output), boom-boom from the sub, enough detail/dynamics from the front L/R...maybe $100-300 per speaker, $30-$60 per surround. There is a vocal minority that derives great pride & pleasure from blowing far more $$$ for perhaps an extra 5-10% improvement...well, this is good for the economy. Figure out which camp you are in, and proceed accordingly. ;)
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post #6 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
I'd suggest trying the Ascend CMT-340SE center. It's $50 less than the Prime Center and now has free return shipping as well.

http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...c/cmt340c.html

The only downside with the 340 center is that you might end up replacing your L/R with more Ascend speakers too!
I decided after everything to stay in the B&W family, even if not in the same series - so I'm going to return the SVS Prime Center I purchased yesterday. The center channel I went with now is the B&W CM Centre S2. Even though I have mostly 600 series speakers, I'm hoping this center will provide a "close enough timbre" to where I won't really notice any difference.
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post #7 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by citsur86 View Post
I decided after everything to stay in the B&W family, even if not in the same series - so I'm going to return the SVS Prime Center I purchased yesterday. The center channel I went with now is the B&W CM Centre S2. Even though I have mostly 600 series speakers, I'm hoping this center will provide a "close enough timbre" to where I won't really notice any difference.
I'm curious, how much does the S2 cost? And what is its sensitivity rating?

The Ascend has 92db sensitivity so you'd probably have to go into your AVR's menu to level match it with your fronts and surrounds. Other than that, I doubt you'd hear any "timbre" differences since it's such an immaculately neutral speaker...unless you were trying to do multi-channel music listening, of course.

~ HT ain't rocket science. Most just want clear dialogue out of the center (70-80% of output), boom-boom from the sub, enough detail/dynamics from the front L/R...maybe $100-300 per speaker, $30-$60 per surround. There is a vocal minority that derives great pride & pleasure from blowing far more $$$ for perhaps an extra 5-10% improvement...well, this is good for the economy. Figure out which camp you are in, and proceed accordingly. ;)
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post #8 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
I'm curious, how much does the S2 cost? And what is its sensitivity rating?

The Ascend has 92db sensitivity so you'd probably have to go into your AVR's menu to level match it with your fronts and surrounds. Other than that, I doubt you'd hear any "timbre" differences since it's such an immaculately neutral speaker...unless you were trying to do multi-channel music listening, of course.
The CM Center S2 is $700 retail normally but I was able to get a nice discount on it. Wound up paying $480 including taxes. Had to be ordered though, so I won't get to hear it for about a week. It has 87db sensitivity. My fronts have a sensitivity of 90db and surrounds of 88db.
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post #9 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 03:38 PM
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Have you tried a volume boost within the receiver menu settings for the center? You may just need to raise it 3 dB or so..

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post #10 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Have you tried a volume boost within the receiver menu settings for the center? You may just need to raise it 3 dB or so..
I did, and it worked, but now the center somewhat dominates on action scenes. It's a workable solution but not ideal. My hope is the CM Center S2 Will not meet to be boosted and will keep up with the larger 684 fronts, 685 surrounds, and Rythmik LV12R. We'll see next week! For now your suggestion is what I'm doing.
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post #11 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 03:43 PM
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Looked like you had a pretty decent center before and the prime CC is no slouch either....you may have other issues if you're having problems hearing output from either of those speakers. Got a pic of your room you can upload?
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post #12 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by citsur86 View Post
The CM Center S2 is $700 retail normally but I was able to get a nice discount on it. Wound up paying $480 including taxes. Had to be ordered though, so I won't get to hear it for about a week. It has 87db sensitivity. My fronts have a sensitivity of 90db and surrounds of 88db.
Hmmm, would've been interesting to read about a head-to-head comparison of the S2 and 340SE centers.

Does the S2 vendor also allow you the option of returning in case it doesn't work out?

~ HT ain't rocket science. Most just want clear dialogue out of the center (70-80% of output), boom-boom from the sub, enough detail/dynamics from the front L/R...maybe $100-300 per speaker, $30-$60 per surround. There is a vocal minority that derives great pride & pleasure from blowing far more $$$ for perhaps an extra 5-10% improvement...well, this is good for the economy. Figure out which camp you are in, and proceed accordingly. ;)
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post #13 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Yosh70 View Post
Looked like you had a pretty decent center before and the prime CC is no slouch either....you may have other issues if you're having problems hearing output from either of those speakers. Got a pic of your room you can upload?
Don't mind the toys lol.

Front


Right Surround and Right Rear


Left Surround and Left Rear


I know the fronts are two close together. Does them being too close to the center have anything to do with the low vocal volume?

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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Hmmm, would've been interesting to read about a head-to-head comparison of the S2 and 340SE centers.



Does the S2 vendor also allow you the option of returning in case it doesn't work out?

The vendor does allow for returning if I don't like it. The center in the photo above is actually what I'm going to be returning to them for the CM Center S2.




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post #14 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:33 PM
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I think the problem may be the room, not the speakers. There are an awful lot of reflective surfaces.
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post #15 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Did I pick the right center?

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Originally Posted by gregoryperkins View Post
I think the problem may be the room, not the speakers. There are an awful lot of reflective surfaces.


Maybe but not much I can do about that. Hard to believe that's the case though because it doesn't sound like the vocals are getting bounced around or anything like that. They just sound at a lower volume so if I turn the system up to the point where I can easily hear them, at louder scenes the volume is VERY loud. There just seems to be huge swings in volume depending on the scene. Maybe I can try to capture it in a video.

Currently since I'm not using a subwoofer I have fronts, center, and surrounds set to Large speakers. Maybe that has something to do with it?

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post #16 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by citsur86 View Post
Maybe but not much I can do about that. Hard to believe that's the case though because it doesn't sound like the vocals are getting bounced around or anything like that. They just sound at a lower volume so if I turn the system up to the point where I can easily hear them, at louder scenes the volume is VERY loud. There just seems to be huge swings in volume depending on the scene. Maybe I can try to capture it in a video.

Currently since I'm not using a subwoofer I have fronts, center, and surrounds set to Large speakers. Maybe that has something to do with it?
As close together as your fronts are you don't even need a center. Try it without.

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post #17 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
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As close together as your fronts are you don't even need a center. Try it without.


You think no center is better than having a center when the fronts are this close together?

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post #18 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:48 PM
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TV seems kinda high but as long as it works for you....as for the speakers, IMO, placement and room setup is very critical for a positive experience in listening to your system.

Experiment with placement but I would try this 1st.....move the towers forward (past the stand) and out (left to the heater vent and right to the other rug?), remove all the stuffed animals, place the CC on the stand at the very edge and angle it up (door stops, etc) so the drivers are facing the listeners ears. Re-calibrate with MCACC and test it out. I think you'll be surprised at the very least.

Of course this doesnt have to be permanent but it will give you a better idea on what is going on
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post #19 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:50 PM
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You think no center is better than having a center when the fronts are this close together?
Doesn't matter what I think. I'm just suggesting you try it, it might just be better since your mains are better speakers than the center you're using.

Also, if you decide to keep using the center I would change it too small with a crossover of 100-120hz even without you using a sub. Let your mains handle anything with bass.

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post #20 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosh70 View Post
TV seems kinda high but as long as it works for you....as for the speakers, IMO, placement and room setup is very critical for a positive experience in listening to your system.

Experiment with placement but I would try this 1st.....move the towers forward (past the stand) and out (left to the heater vent and right to the other rug?), remove all the stuffed animals, place the CC on the stand at the very edge and angle it up (door stops, etc) so the drivers are facing the listeners ears. Re-calibrate with MCACC and test it out. I think you'll be surprised at the very least.

Of course this doesnt have to be permanent but it will give you a better idea on what is going on

TV is a bit high I agree but it works since the couches recline and it also allows the center to be at ear level which I read is ideal. I'll try moving the fronts around a bit and see where I wind up. Of course this is the living room so it's not always gonna be setup for ideal listening, but like you said, at least it will give me an idea of what might be going on. I think the front speakers being so close to the center might be bringing down the system a lot.

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post #21 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post
Doesn't matter what I think. I'm just suggesting you try it, it might just be better since your mains are better speakers than the center you're using.

Also, if you decide to keep using the center I would change it too small with a crossover of 100-120hz even without you using a sub. Let your mains handle anything with bass.
Good idea. I'll give it a shot. Can't hurt. But I do have a CM Center S2 ordered. So I would hope the system sounds better with that at the center than nothing. That will be the best speaker of the bunch when it comes.
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post #22 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 04:59 PM
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Maybe but not much I can do about that. Hard to believe that's the case though because it doesn't sound like the vocals are getting bounced around or anything like that. They just sound at a lower volume so if I turn the system up to the point where I can easily hear them, at louder scenes the volume is VERY loud. There just seems to be huge swings in volume depending on the scene. Maybe I can try to capture it in a video.

Currently since I'm not using a subwoofer I have fronts, center, and surrounds set to Large speakers. Maybe that has something to do with it?
Hehe, welcome to the world of movies. I always crank up volume somewhat below reference until I can hear dialogue reasonably, which usually means, when action scenes come...your head will get blown off. And in untreated room that is a huge issue because combination of direct and reflected sound will be, if nothing else, quite annoying to listen to.

But there are other issues you need to address. Your fronts are too close to the center, thats the other reason why it gets drowned. You need to move those 600s much farther apart, because this way...you have no soundstage at all, I'm sure your music suffers as well. From pictures...I'd go for at least 9 feet apart, maybe even more...not sure if on another side of each window is too far apart...but you can try, and of course toe them in.
Second mistake you made is that you run all speakers at full range and have no sub. Thats horrible because center and surronds cant handle lows. Your fronts kinda can...so, all speakers to small except front floorstanders, keep them at large, and then set crossover at say...80 Hz for starters.
Third problem you have is that those fronts (683s I assume, I had those once), have somewhat bloated bass, and keeping them close to back wall reinforces it, probably making upper frequencies muddy...hopefully MCACC does something about it, but still would be nice to move them away from back wall although I assume that might not be an option.

And to end the essay, try what Kini62 said...leave fronts in place, kill center and let fronts handle dialogue. I had the same fronts and I am of opinion that they can make a wonderful phantom center, especially that close together (even better then matching center in not so great room )
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post #23 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Did I pick the right center?

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Hehe, welcome to the world of movies. I always crank up volume somewhat below reference until I can hear dialogue reasonably, which usually means, when action scenes come...your head will get blown off. And in untreated room that is a huge issue because combination of direct and reflected sound will be, if nothing else, quite annoying to listen to.

But there are other issues you need to address. Your fronts are too close to the center, thats the other reason why it gets drowned. You need to move those 600s much farther apart, because this way...you have no soundstage at all, I'm sure your music suffers as well. From pictures...I'd go for at least 9 feet apart, maybe even more...not sure if on another side of each window is too far apart...but you can try, and of course toe them in.
Second mistake you made is that you run all speakers at full range and have no sub. Thats horrible because center and surronds cant handle lows. Your fronts kinda can...so, all speakers to small except front floorstanders, keep them at large, and then set crossover at say...80 Hz for starters.
Third problem you have is that those fronts (683s I assume, I had those once), have somewhat bloated bass, and keeping them close to back wall reinforces it, probably making upper frequencies muddy...hopefully MCACC does something about it, but still would be nice to move them away from back wall although I assume that might not be an option.

And to end the essay, try what Kini62 said...leave fronts in place, kill center and let fronts handle dialogue. I had the same fronts and I am of opinion that they can make a wonderful phantom center, especially that close together (even better then matching center in not so great room )

Wow thanks for the feedback. The fronts are definitely too close. I'll need to spend a day one weekend to rerun the speaker wire to the outside of the windows. The chair on the right side will be a bit of an issue still as it will then block the speakers sound.



Rythmik LV12R comes Tuesday. So the no sub situation is temporary at this point. It will go here most likely where the unplugged HTIB sub is in this photos.



Fronts are actually 684 S1s which are about as big as the 683 S2s and also known for having considerable bass. So your point probably still stands. I can try to pull them forward a few inches and rerun MCACC to see if it helps.

Also as I said above I have a CM Center S2 coming next week to replace the SVS Center Prime. I liked how it sounded much more than the HTM61 (technically the matching center), at least while auditioning at Best Buy.

Here's a video I made just now of the volume issue using Star Trek Into Darkness running in DD 7.1. Not sure if you can really hear the crazy volume change in this video, but I can in person!




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post #24 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 05:25 PM
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Yeah that is pretty normal. Dynamic range of audio track in movies is pretty big...there can often be like 20 dB difference between action parts and dialogue parts, so you would perceive those scenes as 4 times louder then dialogue...thats mighty loud.
Moving few inches wont make much difference, because bass waves are pretty big, but you can try and listen. What might help a bit more...if you plug holes in 684 with foam plugs you got with them...that might help significantly...and then rerun MCACC.
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post #25 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 06:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Did I pick the right center?

This is as far as I can run the fronts unless I do some rewiring and it sounds markedly better.


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post #26 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 07:09 PM
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Glad you were able to spread your mains out further. However, that sofa in the corner will block half of the output from that tower. To be honest, in that room your best option would be to either go with bookshelf speakers on 31" stands (which would solve the sofa blockage problem) or, for maximum child-proofing, having wall-mounted bookshelf speakers on the sides of each window:

http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20140619/qyresa6y.jpg

http://stre.letspollute.com/wp-conte...nt-Designs.jpg

There are much more compact/shallower speakers available that are better suited for wall-mounting than the big bulky ones in the photos in the links, though.

Right now your towers are doing most of the bass but once that Rythmik sub arrives you'll be astonished at just how superfluous they'll become.

~ HT ain't rocket science. Most just want clear dialogue out of the center (70-80% of output), boom-boom from the sub, enough detail/dynamics from the front L/R...maybe $100-300 per speaker, $30-$60 per surround. There is a vocal minority that derives great pride & pleasure from blowing far more $$$ for perhaps an extra 5-10% improvement...well, this is good for the economy. Figure out which camp you are in, and proceed accordingly. ;)
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post #27 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Did I pick the right center?

Reran the wiring and moved them more permanently. The couch is blocking front right still but the tweeter and speakers are above the couch - not sure if that matters.







Definitely an improvement in sound.

My Current "Living Room" Home Theater!
==============================
Pioneer Elite VSX-44 AVR, MiniDSP 2x4 HD DAP, Rythmik LV12R SW, B&W 684 Mains, B&W 685 Surrounds, B&W CM Center, Polk T15 Heights, Yamaha NS-AP2800S Rears

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post #28 of 45 Old 07-01-2016, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citsur86 View Post
The couch is blocking front right still but the tweeter and speakers are above the couch - not sure if that matters.
The speakers and midwoofs are above the couch which is better than if they were not, but the couch is still absorbing a lot of the sound energy from that right speaker---so it may be a good idea to rerun your autocalibration in your AVR (assuming you have a microphone-based auto-calibration tool) or increase the AVR's right speaker level to match the center and left speakers.

~ HT ain't rocket science. Most just want clear dialogue out of the center (70-80% of output), boom-boom from the sub, enough detail/dynamics from the front L/R...maybe $100-300 per speaker, $30-$60 per surround. There is a vocal minority that derives great pride & pleasure from blowing far more $$$ for perhaps an extra 5-10% improvement...well, this is good for the economy. Figure out which camp you are in, and proceed accordingly. ;)
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post #29 of 45 Old 07-02-2016, 03:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Did I pick the right center?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
The speakers and midwoofs are above the couch which is better than if they were not, but the couch is still absorbing a lot of the sound energy from that right speaker---so it may be a good idea to rerun your autocalibration in your AVR (assuming you have a microphone-based auto-calibration tool) or increase the AVR's right speaker level to match the center and left speakers.


Yep I did and it set the front right to a decimal louder than the front left and center. Set 100 crossover and if set fronts center and surrounds to large since there is currently no subwoofer. I set center and surrounds to small and just left the fronts as large to drive the bass sound for now. Best sound I'm gonna get for the time being. And it sounds much better now!

My Current "Living Room" Home Theater!
==============================
Pioneer Elite VSX-44 AVR, MiniDSP 2x4 HD DAP, Rythmik LV12R SW, B&W 684 Mains, B&W 685 Surrounds, B&W CM Center, Polk T15 Heights, Yamaha NS-AP2800S Rears
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post #30 of 45 Old 07-02-2016, 06:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Did I pick the right center?

Just found that the Xbox one, which I'm using as a bluray player has a setting called Dynamic Range Control for blurays. Should I try this out or does it alter the audio enough to be degrading?

Also one other question. The xbox one has my comcast X1 going into it so I can watch tv from the Xbox. The Xbox is set to 7.1 uncompressed and the receiver to auto surround. It always shows PCM regardless of if the source movie is in say Dolby Digital 5.1. Why would this be?

Also decided to get rid of the glass table.






My Current "Living Room" Home Theater!
==============================
Pioneer Elite VSX-44 AVR, MiniDSP 2x4 HD DAP, Rythmik LV12R SW, B&W 684 Mains, B&W 685 Surrounds, B&W CM Center, Polk T15 Heights, Yamaha NS-AP2800S Rears

Last edited by citsur86; 07-02-2016 at 09:04 AM.
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