What am I doing wrong?! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so I've been peddling around in several different environments for a very long time trying to find a system that absolutely has never pleased me. I've had a Bose system, and many, many mix and match systems. I currently have a 5.1 Pioneer, an older Polk Audio center channel, a Acoustic Research sub, and some floorstanding Sonys, all doing a 3.1 system currently. My room isn't very large, and viewing distance from the system is around 7-9 feet. I just switched out a Boston Acoustics center channel with the Polk trying to help my problem, but I'm still having it. The main concern is that I seem to have so much trouble hearing voices!

So, my question is: What is the root of this problem? Is my front sound stage out of whack because my speakers aren't timbre-matched? Should I try cranking my center more? Is my receiver not good enough? Am I too close to my speakers to enjoy high quality audio? I'm a Best Buy employee, so I get a sizable discount with Polk Audio, but I fear that even if I get the tsi300's and the accompanying center channel and hook it all up, I'll have the same problem. Thanks in advance, I'm new to the forum and thought you guys may be able to help!
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyedward View Post

Ok, so I've been peddling around in several different environments for a very long time trying to find a system that absolutely has never pleased me. I've had a Bose system, and many, many mix and match systems. I currently have a 5.1 Pioneer, an older Polk Audio center channel, a Acoustic Research sub, and some floorstanding Sonys, all doing a 3.1 system currently. My room isn't very large, and viewing distance from the system is around 7-9 feet. I just switched out a Boston Acoustics center channel with the Polk trying to help my problem, but I'm still having it. The main concern is that I seem to have so much trouble hearing voices!
So, my question is: What is the root of this problem? Is my front sound stage out of whack because my speakers aren't timbre-matched? Should I try cranking my center more? Is my receiver not good enough? Am I too close to my speakers to enjoy high quality audio? I'm a Best Buy employee, so I get a sizable discount with Polk Audio, but I fear that even if I get the tsi300's and the accompanying center channel and hook it all up, I'll have the same problem. Thanks in advance, I'm new to the forum and thought you guys may be able to help!

Have you calibrated the speakers? DIfferent speakers have different efficiencies, so you need to set the balance among them so they are equal with an equal input signal. If your Pioneer has an autosetup routine, use it. Once you have the speakers equalized to each other, you should be better. If you don't like the balance you can always turn up the center, where the voices are, a bit. Many around here do.
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick response.

My Pioneer doesn't have the microphone setup. From what I know, all I can do is assign the fronts as big or small, the center as big or small, and adjust the specific decibel rating.

EDIT: I have a Pioner VSX-521k
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-07-2012, 08:22 PM
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I am using a Pioneer VSX 815 that has a "dialogue" function, similar to midnight mode. I don't know if it just boosts the center channel volume or if it changes the equalization but it does help alot with dialogue especially at lower volumes. You might see if yours has something similar.

Chris.
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-08-2012, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisw302 View Post

I am using a Pioneer VSX 815 that has a "dialogue" function, similar to midnight mode. I don't know if it just boosts the center channel volume or if it changes the equalization but it does help alot with dialogue especially at lower volumes. You might see if yours has something similar.
Chris.
Dialogue/Night mode compresses the dynamic range of all the channels.

Read this short article to start.
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-08-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradleyedward View Post

Thanks for the quick response.
My Pioneer doesn't have the microphone setup. From what I know, all I can do is assign the fronts as big or small, the center as big or small, and adjust the specific decibel rating.
EDIT: I have a Pioner VSX-521k

Okay. Have you adjusted the redeiver output levels to account for the differences between the speakers?
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-08-2012, 05:45 AM
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Where do you have your center channel placed; above or below the TV? Have you angled the CC to fire towards your face/ears? Is the CC at the edge of whatever is holding it up, or back a few inches?

The CC should not have anything in font of it that might cause deflection. If it is above the TV, make sure that sound is not being deflected by the top to the TV. If the CC is below the TV, make sure that it is situated at the edge of the shelf, so that sound is not being deflected by the lip of the shelf.

Also, the CC should be angled towards the Main Listening position(MLP). You may need to use shims, or door stoppers to get the right angle.

Lastly, you may need to increase the CC's output via the AVR. However, I would recommend trying to obtain the best angle before getting a new CC.
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-08-2012, 10:54 AM
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This sounds like it is a case of the room being the culprit, which is often the case when switching out all or most of the gear and not getting the desired result. If your room has nulls, reflections, bright spots, etc, then all the equalization, or gear swapping you do may not allow you to reach the results you are looking for. A good question is; Have you ever experienced a home theater that you were happy with? If so, what were the characteristics that you feel you are lacking? Dynamic impact, enveloping surround, raw power, etc. In my case, I was quite pleased with my theater, but I feel the largest impact was made through proper room design and treatment. I would suggest looking for a dealer or installer that has a room that you like and start to address the specific things you like about it, and they can provide ideas on how to achieve them.


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post #9 of 9 Old 06-08-2012, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Warren_G View Post

This sounds like it is a case of the room being the culprit, which is often the case when switching out all or most of the gear and not getting the desired result. If your room has nulls, reflections, bright spots, etc, then all the equalization, or gear swapping you do may not allow you to reach the results you are looking for.

Yes, poor clarity is often due to room acoustic problems. Though basic level-matching is a good first step too.

--Ethan

RealTraps - The acoustic treatment experts

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