How to increase bass clarity from center channel speaker? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-18-2013, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Not sure if this is the right place for question....

Yamaha RX-800 (Manual...http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/av/english/re/RX-V800kai.pdf). Speakers - All 10 year old Paradigms: SubW...PDR-10, CC...CC170, Mains...Monitor V3, Rears...Cinema V1.

Although I have the Avia I, I got lazy and calibrated the speakers just according to the Yammy test sound. Sound is pretty good, but I do have a slight hearing problem and made the center channel speakers just a little bit louder than the mains in an effort to hear speech better. However, I'm finding that when I turn up the overall volume to 75dB, bass sounds (especially when men are speaking) coming from the center channel seem to be too deep (and maybe a little muddy); turning down the volume a little bit does increase the clarity of speech (ie, reduces bass muddiness). I do believe, but not with a lot of certainty, that adjusting the Yammy Center GEQ-Center Graphic Equalizer (#5 on page 40) could make a difference in the CC's voice clarity by adjusting the bass frequencies, but I don't know how to go about it (and my sense of tonal differences is not the the greatest).
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-18-2013, 01:33 PM
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Is the center channel wall mounted or on a table top?
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post #3 of 27 Old 02-18-2013, 02:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BB1111 View Post

Is the center channel wall mounted or on a table top?

It's on a table top and I can not change its positioning.
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-18-2013, 02:32 PM
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if you can'tfix the likely physical causes of the problem your choices are limited. raise the crossover on the center to get the male voice low frequencies our of the center and into the sub. if that makes it worse, the problem is at the sub, not the center. so then try lowering the crossover to the center channel to get the male voice low end out of the sub and into the center.
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-18-2013, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by flycaster View Post

It's on a table top and I can not change its positioning.

I got one of these for my center as well as some anti-vibration pads to reduce vibration that was going into the wooden stand.

http://shop.emotiva.com/collections/accessories/products/xrcs1
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post #6 of 27 Old 02-18-2013, 07:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

if you can'tfix the likely physical causes of the problem your choices are limited. raise the crossover on the center to get the male voice low frequencies our of the center and into the sub. if that makes it worse, the problem is at the sub, not the center. so then try lowering the crossover to the center channel to get the male voice low end out of the sub and into the center.

The center doesn't have a x-over, but it is set to small and the subW takes over all bass output.
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post #7 of 27 Old 02-19-2013, 11:16 AM
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Sounds to me like your subwoofer gain is set too high. Have you calibrated all speaker levels - including the sub - to 75db with an SPL meter?
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post #8 of 27 Old 02-19-2013, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

Sounds to me like your subwoofer gain is set too high. Have you calibrated all speaker levels - including the sub - to 75db with an SPL meter?

Yes.
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-19-2013, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flycaster View Post

... bass sounds (especially when men are speaking) coming from the center channel seem to be too deep (and maybe a little muddy)...
Been here.

In my case, it was a poor match of placement with crossover design, specifically baffle step compensation (BSC). In my case, a DIY speaker, a crossover change was in order.

Speakers designed to be free-standing, placed several feet away from walls, will sound as you describe when placed close to a wall. For current purposes, under a TV is "close to a wall" in that bass frequencies reflect from the screen, the stand and contents, etc., rather than wrapping around the speaker In your case, a placement change is the only direct option, and one that you say is not available to you...

That leads to the next suggestion, to plug the port in back. A sock will be very effective at cutting off port output, and easily removed if there is no benefit.

HAve fun,
Frank
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post #10 of 27 Old 02-19-2013, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Frank. My problem with your suggestion is that I have to take the entertainments center's mask off to get to the Center...and this is a PITA, although doable. I'll probably try the other suggestions first as they are easier to do.
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post #11 of 27 Old 02-19-2013, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flycaster View Post

The center doesn't have a x-over, but it is set to small and the subW takes over all bass output.
if the sub takes the bass output, there's a crossover. And "small" means "engage bass management," which means turn on the crossover. Are you saying you cannot adjust the crossover frequency in your receiver?
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post #12 of 27 Old 02-19-2013, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

if the sub takes the bass output, there's a crossover. And "small" means "engage bass management," which means turn on the crossover. Are you saying you cannot adjust the crossover frequency in your receiver?

On my yammy, small means that the subW takes over the the LFE out put at frequencies below 90Hz from the main, center and rear channels. My Center does not have individual bass management.
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post #13 of 27 Old 02-20-2013, 03:50 AM
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JHAz is recommending you lower the crossover from the current 90 Hz. btw, LFE always goes to the sub, regardless of whether speakers are set to large or small. Bass management sends the sub additional bass from the full range channels.
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post #14 of 27 Old 02-20-2013, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

JHAz is recommending you lower the crossover from the current 90 Hz. btw, LFE always goes to the sub, regardless of whether speakers are set to large or small. Bass management sends the sub additional bass from the full range channels.

His center does not have an adjustable crossover.
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On my yammy, small means that the subW takes over the the LFE out put at frequencies below 90Hz from the main, center and rear channels. My Center does not have individual bass management.

Is your center ported in the back? I understand your center is in your ent. center - is it open in the back? If the answers are yes, and no....then this may be what's causing your boomy-ness from your center.
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post #15 of 27 Old 02-20-2013, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, that's what I'm believing - having the center in an enclosed space certainly must be the most contributing factor in muddying up its sound. However, as I have been fooling around with adjustments, I am noting that the male voice is not always muddied. Much of this seems to depend on what TV channel I'm watching (I test on only HD channels). This variable seems to be the same as when looking at color definition from different channels (some are better than others, eh?) Anyway, as I can't change the physical position of the Center and the rest of my setup is pretty standard (Yammy crossing over at 90 Hz, all speakers set to small, SubW set at 150 Hz (max), all speakers calibrated at 75 dB (except for the Center which was set just a little higher to enhance voice), and as changing speaker size, crossover settings, undoing the subW didn't do much (at leas to my poor ears), my plan is to rematch the Center's level to the other speakers and then to maybe stuff its port with a sock (to reduce bassiness).
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post #16 of 27 Old 02-20-2013, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

JHAz is recommending you lower the crossover from the current 90 Hz. btw, LFE always goes to the sub, regardless of whether speakers are set to large or small. Bass management sends the sub additional bass from the full range channels.

His center does not have an adjustable crossover.
Quote:
On my yammy, small means that the subW takes over the the LFE out put at frequencies below 90Hz from the main, center and rear channels. My Center does not have individual bass management.
Yes, I see from the manual that the AVR has a single fixed crossover for bass management. So, there's no fix there. Setting 1D on p39 of the manual controls where LFE is sent. Make sure that's set to SWFR not BOTH. You might also try applying DRC, which can help when dialog is getting overwhelmed by effects audio.
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post #17 of 27 Old 02-20-2013, 01:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flycaster View Post

I do believe, but not with a lot of certainty, that adjusting the Yammy Center GEQ-Center Graphic Equalizer (#5 on page 40) could make a difference in the CC's voice clarity by adjusting the bass frequencies, but I don't know how to go about it.

That’s the ticket right there. Cut the 100 Hz adjustment as much as needed. This should make an audible difference (assuming the problem is with the cabinet placement of the speaker, and it’s not all coming from the subwoofer).

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt


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post #18 of 27 Old 02-20-2013, 02:08 PM
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I have been trying to reduce this type of problem in my setup for a while. I now think it is the placement of my speaker and will play more with that. My speaker sits on a shelf under the TV in an open TV stand with glass shelves. I believe what is happening is there are certain frequencies which resonate in the opening between the shelves. I have placed foam on the shelf behind the speaker, but that doesn’t cure the problem. I will try plugging the rear port in the speaker and see what that does.

I have an older Yamaha AVR and have been playing with the Center Speaker EQ and AVR crossover with some success.

Looking quickly at your manual, it appears there are a few adjustments you can experiment with if physical adjustment of your setup is not possible or allowed by the decorating committee.

It looks like your unit has a fixed 90 Hz crossover for Bass Management. You can try playing with any controls on the Subwoofer unit to see if this helps.

Page 40 discusses the CENTER GEQ. Try reducing the settings for 300 Hz and maybe 100 Hz while listening to some audio that does not sound right to see if you can get a better sound.

Page 39 discusses a Low Freq test tone that may also be useful.

It will come down to experimentation.
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post #19 of 27 Old 02-20-2013, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Yes, I see from the manual that the AVR has a single fixed crossover for bass management. So, there's no fix there. Setting 1D on p39 of the manual controls where LFE is sent. Make sure that's set to SWFR not BOTH. You might also try applying DRC, which can help when dialog is getting overwhelmed by effects audio.

Always set to the SW, never to both. I checked my DCR and it was set at Max (factory setting and something I didn't understand so I had left it when first setting up the unit). But now I have a little better understanding of it. Also, I originally had never touched the Center's GEQ. So here's what I did and I think I have improved the vocal sound quality:
First put on a TV movie that was in DD. Fooled around with varying the the the LFE levels (10a), and really couldn't tell if I was having an effect-but, of course not as I was listening to dialogue, so left it at its factor y setting = 0. Fooled around with DCR (10B) and thought I may have heard a little bit clearer male vocals when set to STD (factory setting was Max). Lastly I lowered the level of the Center to match the Mains, and WOW!, I think I have improved on the male vocals - that is, their bassiness was reduced.

All this was done while having a DD channel playing a movie; I wonder how it will sound when I get to some of the news channels where I think I'm having the bassiness problem. Will have to listen more to see if this really has helped...nonetheless, I think I'm on it...
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post #20 of 27 Old 02-21-2013, 02:14 PM
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Not sure why I didn't point to this sooner...
http://www.htguide.com/forum/showthread.php?28655-A-Guide-to-HTguide-com-Completed-Speaker-Designs

First pair of figures, 12.8A and B illustrate the boundary proximity effect that we adjust in speaker design through BSC. The two speakers are the same. Their response varies due to bass reinforcement from the wall in 12.8B. This same kind of thing happens to a CC if that CC is designed for free-standing use, but used in a wall, under a TV, in a TV stand, etc..

The fact is that it gets worse on-wall than flush to the wall, as on-wall adds wall bounce interferenece... and you can't fix this with acoustic absorbers (or with a different level f BSC in the XO)... all the choices are nicely shown in this excerpt from Toole's Loudspeakers and Rooms.

Thankfully our hearing is very forgiving....

HAve fun,
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post #21 of 27 Old 02-22-2013, 05:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flycaster View Post

Not sure if this is the right place for question....

Yamaha RX-800 (Manual...http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/av/english/re/RX-V800kai.pdf). Speakers - All 10 year old Paradigms: SubW...PDR-10, CC...CC170, Mains...Monitor V3, Rears...Cinema V1.

Although I have the Avia I, I got lazy and calibrated the speakers just according to the Yammy test sound. Sound is pretty good, but I do have a slight hearing problem and made the center channel speakers just a little bit louder than the mains in an effort to hear speech better. However, I'm finding that when I turn up the overall volume to 75dB, bass sounds (especially when men are speaking) coming from the center channel seem to be too deep (and maybe a little muddy); turning down the volume a little bit does increase the clarity of speech (ie, reduces bass muddiness). I do believe, but not with a lot of certainty, that adjusting the Yammy Center GEQ-Center Graphic Equalizer (#5 on page 40) could make a difference in the CC's voice clarity by adjusting the bass frequencies, but I don't know how to go about it (and my sense of tonal differences is not the the greatest).

Thanks for posting the link to your AVR's user manual.

Turn to page 40 and turn the GEQ 100 Hz band down as desired to remove the boom from the center channel speaker.
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post #22 of 27 Old 02-22-2013, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Arnyk, that's just what I did. Decreased the 100 Hz and recalibrated the level of the CC to the other speakers at 75dB, and this did make the male bass sound clearer. Although, I must say, that the sound source I used certainly was not the most reliable - DD sound from HD TV movies, whereas the male bassiness mostly came from some of the HD news stations.
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post #23 of 27 Old 02-24-2013, 06:09 PM
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I am having the same issue as the OP. So the first thing I should try is moving the center channel above the tv? Does the type of speaker determine if it should be on top or is it a general rule? Thanks.
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-25-2013, 07:45 AM
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Well, the physical weight of your speaker could determine if you want it on top of your TV. biggrin.gif Other than that, on top of the TV is the preferred location.

FYI, I have a Klipsch RC64II on top of my TV (53lbs.). It's on a nice sturdy shelf though, no worries. wink.gif
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post #25 of 27 Old 02-25-2013, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

Well, the physical weight of your speaker could determine if you want it on top of your TV. biggrin.gif Other than that, on top of the TV is the preferred location.

FYI, I have a Klipsch RC64II on top of my TV (53lbs.). It's on a nice sturdy shelf though, no worries. wink.gif

Who these days have a TV whose top would accommodate more than a pencil due to narrow width? ;-)
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post #26 of 27 Old 02-25-2013, 08:33 AM
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Well, they do make center channel mounts for flat panel TVs, but typically they're limited to very light weight speakers only - why I had to build a shelf for mine.
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post #27 of 27 Old 02-25-2013, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

Well, they do make center channel mounts for flat panel TVs, but typically they're limited to very light weight speakers only - why I had to build a shelf for mine.

This one says its good for 30 pounds which covers a lot of territory, it seems to me:

http://www.sanus.com/us/en/products/visionmount/speaker-mount/VMCC1

My big concern would relate to overloading the case of the TV or what supports it, particularly if it is wall mounted.
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