Good thread you started, Steve. You have been a member since 1999. I have been a member since 1998 but new account in 2001. We are old!
I went to costco and got my hearing graph. They said I was borderline and did not need it. I noticed that that was a particular drop off between 2k hz and 3khz. Of course, there was drop off above 8 khz and complete drop off at about 10 khz or so (forgot).
I did the following, which helped me hear the dialogues, clearly again.
I bought a Datasat LS10 with built in parametric equalizer. (Amazing and far superior to my Lexicon MC12). I submit that if you have hearing issues, get a Datasat LS10!
I have two electrovoice horn two way L and R. Center is an SLS Ribbon two way speaker. Their woofer was not bad but I replaced it with a JVC woofer - same as in their $20k speakers.
I lowered the SPL of L and R, significantly. I am interested only in center, for dialogue. I raised the side and rear SPL levels significantly (this gives me nice surround effects without interfering with my ability to hear the dialogue). I also put in two bose dual cubes as front side and fed them exactly the same as the center channel (yes, I know they are not audiophile but the point is, I want to be able to hear the dialuges!)
I removed the internal crossovers of the front three speakers.
I bought Ashly protea 4.8sp 4X8 processor/crossover.
I played with the parametric equalizer in the LS10. I also experimented, feeding the LS10 with a frequency generator and me being able to hear it (on amazon). I don't recall exactly how I arrived at the "ideal" parametric equalization setting but I can hear the dialogues better now.
Summary: I can hear better, thanks to the following;
1. Datasat (even without using PEQ, I could hear better with Datasat as compared to my prior, the Lexicon MC12).
2. Datasat's PEQ - play with it, modify to your personal preference. Never mind the auto equalization/calibration etc. What's the point, if you can't hear normally?
3. Discard internal cross overs of two way speakers (much more difficult to do with 3 say speakers). Protea is excellent. Sound is much more clean/clear.
4. SLS ribbon speakers help very much for audio dialogue. Again, this is NOT about, are they amazing or not.. It is about "can you hear it better now