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Suggestions for upgrading my Fluance Center Channel

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Gents. I have a Fluance SVHTB system that I think sounds pretty decent. I also have a HSU VTF-2 subwoofer.

I am looking to replace the center channel with something a bit stronger. The rest of the speakers I feel perform pretty well, but the center is a bit weak, and muddled. I used to have a Boston Acoustics center when I had the Fluance SXHTB system, but when I upgraded I sold everything as a set.

I have a 25ft by 25ft room. center is mounted above the TV. Running a Pro-151FD.

I am thinking a budget in the $250-$400 range.

I have always heard the center is the most important part of the system, and in this case, it just isn't making me smile.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

Best,
Geoff
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
In addition I just bought a Sound Level Meter. I am going to use that instead of the built in YPAO.
I am running a Yamaha RX-V673 as my receiver.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
One more thing. I was hoping to get advice about a center that matches well with the sound of the fluances. I just searched the forums and wasn't able to find any advice related to this specific situation.
post #4 of 22
The problem with just upgrade the center speaker is it causes a mismatch of your front LCR. Ideally you want all three speakers to be timber matched, and even better if they are identical. This would necessitate upgrading all three front speakers for you.

How are your speakers currently placed? I would run YPAO and then just check the levels after with your SPL meter. It does more than just set levels.
post #5 of 22
Is there a way we could see your setup first, especially the placement of your center and your whole L/C/R? We could assess it and perhaps give you recommendations that could save you $$$.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Transmaniacon,
Thanks a bunch for responding. I have attached a picture of the setup and the room. (FYI, the image is a little off, due to the panorama effect. both of the fronts are positioned and pointed at the middle of the couch.

In addition the sub is in the back left corner (you can see the wiring plate a little bit in the picture)



I hear you about timber matching, that is what I was trying to ask when I said a "center that matches well"

When you say "It does more than just set levels" do is the "It" the YPAO, or is the it, the SPL meter?

Thanks again,
Geoff
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post

Is there a way we could see your setup first, especially the placement of your center and your whole L/C/R? We could assess it and perhaps give you recommendations that could save you $$$.

Thanks jproy, speak of the devil, I was just loading an image when you responded.
Edited by extotherule - 11/4/13 at 9:01am
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by extotherule View Post

Transmaniacon,
Thanks a bunch for responding. I have attached a picture of the setup and the room. (FYI, the image is a little off, due to the panorama effect. both of the fronts are positioned and pointed at the middle of the couch.

In addition the sub is in the back left corner (you can see the wiring plate a little bit in the picture)



I hear you about timber matching, that is what I was trying to ask when I said a "center that matches well"

When you say "It does more than just set levels" do is the "It" the YPAO, or is the it, the SPL meter?

Thanks again,
Geoff

By "It" I mean YPAO. It will set crossovers and delays, and do a little more than just level match things. I would consider a center channel speaker stand instead of mounting it above the TV. It looks like the center is also aimed over your head, so that is not helping things. You have enough space below the TV to place the center, and it should be aimed right at your ears. Maybe try this with a little table or something and see if it sounds any better before investing in a stand. Also those towers are spaced very far apart, I know you probably don't want them in front of the windows, but maybe just try and see how the sound changes with the L and R 8-10' apart.
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

By "It" I mean YPAO. It will set crossovers and delays, and do a little more than just level match things. I would consider a center channel speaker stand instead of mounting it above the TV. It looks like the center is also aimed over your head, so that is not helping things. You have enough space below the TV to place the center, and it should be aimed right at your ears. Maybe try this with a little table or something and see if it sounds any better before investing in a stand.

I have that angled down, not showing as well from the panorama. Is that not something that works, an angle that is? (I am loathe to move it down as I have a 3.5 year old and a .5 year old. I have tried to keep all equipment mounted and away from them as much as possible. I will try to bring the center down for a bit to see if that helps. Would tilting it down more possibly work too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

Also those towers are spaced very far apart, I know you probably don't want them in front of the windows, but maybe just try and see how the sound changes with the L and R 8-10' apart.

I will try to bring those in, but you hit the nail on the head regarding the windows.
post #10 of 22
If you went with a different, non matching center...well, you just don't know if it is going to sound okay or not and really, you are trading one problem for another, IMHO. I had a mismatchd center for about 6 months...thought it sounded okay UNTIL I bought the correct center and man, I just didn't know what I was missed. There is just no way of know what other model/brand centers will sound with your fluance...

I agree, the towers are pretty far apart...otherwise you might get away ditching the center and running phatom for awhile. Probably not possible at that distance.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by extotherule View Post

I have that angled down, not showing as well from the panorama. Is that not something that works, an angle that is? (I am loathe to move it down as I have a 3.5 year old and a .5 year old. I have tried to keep all equipment mounted and away from them as much as possible. I will try to bring the center down for a bit to see if that helps. Would tilting it down more possibly work too?
I will try to bring those in, but you hit the nail on the head regarding the windows.

You could experiment with angling it more, but I think it would work better below the TV. They do sell center speaker shelves that you could mount below the TV and that would be more secure than a stand.
post #12 of 22
If tilting it doesn't work, the one thing you could do that would have a good chance of working is adding another SV10 for your center. This would require you raising your TV but the return should pay off. I had a fix TV stand and swapped it to a articulated model so I used the same holes in the wall and tilted the TV downward for optimal viewing angles

You can check the link in my sig for what it looks like. Go towards the end of the thread for more recent pics. I had the same problem as you did.
post #13 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post

If tilting it doesn't work, the one thing you could do that would have a good chance of working is adding another SV10 for your center. This would require you raising your TV but the return should pay off. I had a fix TV stand and swapped it to a articulated model so I used the same holes in the wall and tilted the TV downward for optimal viewing angles

You can check the link in my sig for what it looks like. Go towards the end of the thread for more recent pics. I had the same problem as you did.

Interesting Idea. Could I also possibly add a second of the same center and put it below (I am going to see if the below fixes things first) and run them off the same speaker cable?
post #14 of 22
No need of a second one, you would position it as any other tower vertically and not horizontally.

Like so:


If you research, you'll find that this is the best scenario as it eliminates some of the negatives of a conventional MTM designed center. Particularly improving the off axis response.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
So I increased the angle of the center channel and tried that at first. So far it appears to have made it quite a bit better. I did only watch Top Gear, not exactly a great test, but the dialogue was easily separated from the roar of the engines. I will continue to play with spacing and movement.

Does anyone have any feelings about blocking the ports on the back of the center?
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by extotherule View Post

So I increased the angle of the center channel and tried that at first. So far it appears to have made it quite a bit better. I did only watch Top Gear, not exactly a great test, but the dialogue was easily separated from the roar of the engines. I will continue to play with spacing and movement.

Does anyone have any feelings about blocking the ports on the back of the center?

Glad you are seeing some improvement, speaker placement is a huge factor in sound quality. I would bring the center forward as much as you reasonably can, you don't want the ports covered up, but if you can give them 4-6" of clearance that would be best.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

Glad you are seeing some improvement, speaker placement is a huge factor in sound quality. I would bring the center forward as much as you reasonably can, you don't want the ports covered up, but if you can give them 4-6" of clearance that would be best.

Thanks, I moved it to the edge. It is 4" to 5" from the wall. I also ran the YPAO over again. The distance measurements are off (I am going to measure by hand) but it sounds a lot better, and I ran blackhawk down for 5 minutes, and things sounded good.

Once I get my SPL meter, I will measure and report back on how things are going.


1. I know my rears are not in the most optimal position (to the back, and high up) but when I take distance measurements, do I measure from the floor, or from the actual speaker? (Sorry if that is a stupid question)

2. Also, with a HSU VTF-2 subwoofer. Would you guys suggest setting the left and right to small or large? They have an integrated 8" subwoofer in each one.
post #18 of 22
I would say set your towers to small and let the HSU handle the low end....but maybe someone with more knowledge than me can comfirm that!
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elihawk View Post

I would say set your towers to small and let the HSU handle the low end....but maybe someone with more knowledge than me can comfirm that!

+1

I would imagine YPAO sets them to small with a crossover around 80Hz, which sounds fine. Your surrounds are placed well, you want them a coupe feet above, sightly behind, and toed in towards the listening postion.

For measuring your speakers, I would go from the front of the speaker to the micophone location, which should be about where your ears are.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Transmaniacon View Post

+1

I would imagine YPAO sets them to small with a crossover around 80Hz, which sounds fine. Your surrounds are placed well, you want them a coupe feet above, sightly behind, and toed in towards the listening postion.

For measuring your speakers, I would go from the front of the speaker to the micophone location, which should be about where your ears are.


Thank you all for the help.

The system sounds soooo much better already, almost like a whole new system!

1. I switched the speakers to small
2. I set the crossover to 80Hz (verified that all my other speakers can hit this)
3. I measured and entered all this info into the receiver
4. I plugged the port on my HSU VTF-2 and switched the sub to go down to 25Hz

I plan to do the SPL testing when the meter shows up in the next few days.
post #21 of 22
Cool! just saved yourself a bunch of $$. You can put that saved cash towards another HSU VTF-2 cool.gif
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post

Cool! just saved yourself a bunch of $$. You can put that saved cash towards another HSU VTF-2 cool.gif

True. I am actually in the process of building out a dedicated home theater. I am trying to located a used HSU VTF-2 MK3 for that.
Also investigating which projector etc. to use. (But I digress, and that isn't this thread)
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