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Center Channel sounds flat, dull, lifeless

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have recently began my downstairs home theater (entertaining) area. Running a projector, 110" screen for video and the following for audio.

5.1 Setup

Denon AVR 2113CI
Fronts - Pioneer SP-FS52
Center - SP-C22
Rears - SP-BS22-LR
Subwoofer - NXG Technology NX-BAS-500

Front L/R are 9' apart, with center in between 12' from viewing distance. Rears are 2' to the sides of seating area. Used Audissey on the Denon for setup. Speakers are all set as small, crossovers how Audissey set them (I believe Fronts are 60hz, all others 80hz, subwoofer 120hz). Overall happy with the subwoofer performance, and front L/R and rears.

My issue is the center channel sounds very flat to me. Voices has no life ... they are dull, lack in lows/bass and maybe even highs. In comparison to my living room setup, it's terrible. My 5.1 living room setup consists of a Denon 1912, 4 Cerwin Vega LS-5 Bookshelf Speakers (Front L/R and Rears), LS-5C Center and LW-10 subwoofer. Voices in this setup are full of life. Men's voices sound deep, have vibrato, etc ... High voices sound clean. I don't know how else to describe it ...

Room acoustics probably play a part in this. My living room is fairly small. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 13'x13'. All carpet. My downstairs is a all tile room, 30'x17', with about half that space used for the 'theater'. I have 2 8'x14' area rugs in that space, essentially covering 90% of the tile in the viewing/theater area. The other area is all open and behind the seating area, all tile.

Another theory I have is the responsiveness of the smaller subwoofer in the living room setup compared to the 12" NXG. The NXG has plenty of volume for explosions, etc ... deep bass, long. Does it lack the quickness in response it needs to produce fullness for voice?

Honestly, I have no idea. I am simply speculating. I guess I can try moving my subwoofer downstairs to see how I like it. Maybe try both subwoofers combined? Should I also move the center channel downstairs to compare?

Any thoughts and insights are appreciated. Let me know if you need any info I might have left out. I am not hugely experienced with all of this ...

Thanks!
post #2 of 6
Have you tried tilting your Center Speaker upward (or downward, depending on your setup) so that the tweeters line up with your ear level? I couldn't find the link, but a home theater enthusiast provided a great article on how to physically align speakers -- L & R are "toed inward" toward the optimal listening position, and the Center is tilted with all 3 fronts lined up on the same plane. The enthusiast rested a laser pointer on top of the speakers in order to verify the angles.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Comp625 View Post

Have you tried tilting your Center Speaker upward (or downward, depending on your setup) so that the tweeters line up with your ear level? I couldn't find the link, but a home theater enthusiast provided a great article on how to physically align speakers -- L & R are "toed inward" toward the optimal listening position, and the Center is tilted with all 3 fronts lined up on the same plane. The enthusiast rested a laser pointer on top of the speakers in order to verify the angles.

Thanks for the response. Yes, the center is tilted upwards. I have the stand below that allows adjustable legs to angle the center upwards. I've tried different angles without much change.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by ben_g99 View Post

I have recently began my downstairs home theater (entertaining) area. Running a projector, 110" screen for video and the following for audio.

5.1 Setup

Denon AVR 2113CI
Fronts - Pioneer SP-FS52
Center - SP-C22
Rears - SP-BS22-LR
Subwoofer - NXG Technology NX-BAS-500

Front L/R are 9' apart, with center in between 12' from viewing distance. Rears are 2' to the sides of seating area. Used Audissey on the Denon for setup. Speakers are all set as small, crossovers how Audissey set them (I believe Fronts are 60hz, all others 80hz, subwoofer 120hz). Overall happy with the subwoofer performance, and front L/R and rears.

My issue is the center channel sounds very flat to me. Voices has no life ... they are dull, lack in lows/bass and maybe even highs. In comparison to my living room setup, it's terrible. My 5.1 living room setup consists of a Denon 1912, 4 Cerwin Vega LS-5 Bookshelf Speakers (Front L/R and Rears), LS-5C Center and LW-10 subwoofer. Voices in this setup are full of life. Men's voices sound deep, have vibrato, etc ... High voices sound clean. I don't know how else to describe it ...

Room acoustics probably play a part in this. My living room is fairly small. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 13'x13'. All carpet. My downstairs is a all tile room, 30'x17', with about half that space used for the 'theater'. I have 2 8'x14' area rugs in that space, essentially covering 90% of the tile in the viewing/theater area. The other area is all open and behind the seating area, all tile.

Another theory I have is the responsiveness of the smaller subwoofer in the living room setup compared to the 12" NXG. The NXG has plenty of volume for explosions, etc ... deep bass, long. Does it lack the quickness in response it needs to produce fullness for voice?

Honestly, I have no idea. I am simply speculating. I guess I can try moving my subwoofer downstairs to see how I like it. Maybe try both subwoofers combined? Should I also move the center channel downstairs to compare?

Any thoughts and insights are appreciated. Let me know if you need any info I might have left out. I am not hugely experienced with all of this ...

Thanks!

Are you listening in Dolby Digital 5.1...Dts 5.1? Is there any furniture between the center and the front row seating...blocking and interfearing with the center channel? Pull the center speaker forward into the room a little more. Can you do the manual test tone process, using a SPL meter, balancing the volume for each speaker?
post #5 of 6
Try your cerwin vega center downstairs, with a space that big, you may need a bigger center to give you that full voice sound.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Espo77 View Post

Are you listening in Dolby Digital 5.1...Dts 5.1? Is there any furniture between the center and the front row seating...blocking and interfearing with the center channel? Pull the center speaker forward into the room a little more. Can you do the manual test tone process, using a SPL meter, balancing the volume for each speaker?

Typically listening to DD 5.1, DTS 5.1 or any of the HD formats. No furniture is blocking or interfering with the speaker. I will try to pull the center forward a bit to see if it helps ...

Also manually verified levels with a SPL meter and all seems well. I even tried turning up the volume on the center individually a bit. I don't feel like volume is the problem. It just isn't full/clear. Watched 2 Guns last weekend (DTS-MA I believe) and at times it was really hard to understand the voices. Sounded almost mumbled.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiforce View Post

Try your cerwin vega center downstairs, with a space that big, you may need a bigger center to give you that full voice sound.

Thanks, I will definitely try this, even though the Cerwin Vega isn't any 'bigger'. But since it sounds nice and clear in my living room, it's definitely worth a try.
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