Originally Posted by StuartLittle
I have my center speaker at 0db just like the other front speakers...it seems balanced to me. My wife's favorite thing about the speakers is how much better she can hear dialogue than on our last system. My two caveats are that with almost any speaker system I've heard, I still feel like too many DVDs haven't found the right balance between the volume of the dialogue and special effects, and the proportion of each that goes to each speaker. Some DVDs seem to have dialogue in just the center channel, and extremely loud effects from 4 speakers (or 6) competing with that one speaker. It definitely varies from DVD to DVD, but if it sound remarkably better in 5 channel stereo mode instead of Dolby Digital, etc., I usually consider that a sign that my tastes are different than the person that made the DVD. I know it's not particular to the Orbs, b/c I've heard the same thing on other systems. I actually like the 5 channel stereo mode best for watching TV and listening to music, and DTS or Dolby Digital for most DVDs. I avoid Dolby Pro Logic of any flavor or any other DSP settings b/c they never seem to sound better than first choices.
I'm new to actually looking more deepy into AV, but I discovered one thing recently. Up til now, I've always used RCA cables from the DVD player to the receiver. I was talking to an AV fanatic at work about my setup and Dolby 5.1 surround. He said that I am not getting Dobly 5.1 using 2 RCA cables, because that is a stereo signal (left and right). That never crossed my mind. So I went home and conducted a test. I popped in Star Wars Episode 1, still using just 2 RCAs. The THX demo came on. There was clearly sound seperation from front to back.
this made me question how this works with RCA's. I'll figure that out later. Next, I unplugged the RCAs and used and optical cable and restarted the DVD. The THX demo came on and.....WOW what a difference!!!
The sound was sharper, cleaner, and louder without me changing the volume. I did it again with the RCA's, and oh did it sound bad in comparison. I went back to optical and watched the first movie that I played with the Orbs (which I had only had for 2 weeks). My first impression when I first got the Orbs was, "well, they aren't as good as I was hoping after reading all the reviews and spending that much money, but they'll do." After installing the optical cable, the Orbs shined and now sound worth the money.Cliff notes:
If you are using RCAs from the DVD player to the receiver, get rid of them and use an optical cable. The speakers sound twice as good and better balanced.