setup for people with older ears - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 07:02 AM - Thread Starter
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For my 5.1 HT, II set up my Yamaha receiver manually, setting the correct distances for each speaker, putting the subwoofer crossover at 60, and having no special audio processing (just "straight") for my listening.

The problem is the same one I have in rooms with a lot of people speaking. The sounds I don't need to hear mask the person I'm trying to listen to. WIth a movie, especially a softly spoken or whispered line, I may have to repeat it 2 or 3 times.

Any suggestions? Should I try to make the center channel louder, or...what? So far, all that has helped at all is listening with headphones, but I"d like to use my speakers.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 07:31 AM
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Yes, just raise the center channel level manually.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 07:44 AM
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Have you tried a higher cross over? 80hz? 100? 120?
Can you cross over your speakers separately - can you have different cross overs for your center channel?

I'm wondering if you pull some bass out of your LCR speakers, would that help crispen up the dialogue for you?

I have experimented like this in my room, and my brain at least thinks a higher crossover helps in this area. I don't have any measurements to prove it though. smile.gif

I use 80hz across all 3 front speakers, but have sometimes set my center channel higher. Taking more bass out of the center channel with a higher crossover, and increasing it's volume manually, would seem to be things you could try. The differences will be slight, but it costs nothing and you could stumble upon your own custom "Golden Ratio". ~heh~
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post #4 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 11:46 AM
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I had a similar problem and I solved the problem when I got a new center channel speaker. What is your center channel speaker?

My old center channel was a two way design and it was "lobing" and had poor horizontal dispersion. The dialog was only good in one spot (not the center of the room either). This is caused by a high crossover frequency in the speaker and the midrange drivers not being vertically aligned with the tweeter - the sounds from different drivers arrive at your ears at different times.

The new center channel speaker (Paradigm CC-590) is a three way design with the tweeter above the midrange (like the main speakers) and there is no "lobing" - the dialog is just as ineligible from any position on the couch. These center channel speakers are a HUGE improvement over old two-way horizontal designs. Speakers with coincident drivers (tweeter at the center of the midrange like KEF) should also not have this issue.

Now if it is the way they mix soundtracks with the music so loud you cannot stand it at the volume required to understand the dialog, that is a completely different problem. In that case you can look into AVRs or PrePros that have dynamic range compression / night modes or you can boost the relative level of the center channel speaker like others already suggested.

Good Luck

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post #5 of 6 Old 08-21-2013, 02:39 PM
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Hi powerdog,

You have receive really excellent suggestions from other members already, nonetheless here's my take on your issue.

1. Dialog intelligibility really depends much on center speaker setup. Would you care to post a picture or two on your configuration? That would help the most! smile.gif

2. Meantime, placement of the center speaker should be made in a way that it is facing seated ear height. Speakers always deliver not only their highest SPL (Sound Pressure Level), but also their widest frequency range when on-axis with our ears.

3. Another thing to consider is early reflections from nearby objects, like when placed on a cabinet top or on a shelf it may need to be nudged off the edge by an inch or so to lessen such phenomenon.

4. Also make sure there are no objects between center speaker and your ears blocking sound, like a coffee table when center speaker is placed low under the TV, almost at floor level. If you can see it, it's OK.

5. And finally if nothing works, you can always turn on subtiltles for a movie!! Guaranteed to work,...or your money back! LOL

Awaiting your pictures! Take care! smile.gif
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-22-2013, 07:35 AM
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I am in the same boat & have done some things that have helped. New fronts that had better highs & a matching center speaker did a lot. For my hearing, that brought a problem of the speakers sounding too bright & irritating, so after reading about Audyssey I bought a new receiver with Multeq. That did a lot to tame the brightness & helped a bit with the dialog. As a added benefit, much of my music sounds better. Audyssey has set the bass level lower than I was used to & as mentioned in a previous post that helps. Bass is still there & now is clearer & more detailed. Good but not what I was used to. I view that as a compromise I am willing to make.


I feel there is still room for improvement & have another receiver on order that has Multeq xt32. The price for this was quite a bit higher, but if it gives a noticeable improvement, it will be worth it. I will send back which ever receiver I end up not using. Crutchfield gives you a 60 day period for returns.
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