Help - My sounds just not right - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-14-2019, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Help - My sounds just not right

Hi All,

Looking for some advice. I have been putting up with sound that is not right for far too long, but I dont know whats wrong.

I have an Onkyo TX-SR875 Amp. For the sound I have two B&W DM603's as the left and right and B&W MT-60s as the centre and surround left and right.

I seem to always find I cannot hear the dialog in movies and TV shows. I end up turning the subtitles on. I have used the auto audio setup on the amp with the little microphone and even turned up the centre channel a little and the sound is still too poor. I get sound that has simpler to understand dialog from my MacBook!

Can anyone help with what may be wrong? I dont think it is time for a new Amp as it kinda has always been this way and it still seems to pick up the correct audio encoding from Netflix etc. I am in London NW3 if there are any local buffs around that want to help in exchange for a mean cup of tea!
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-14-2019, 01:24 PM
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Well the first problem is you're spelling "centre" wrong.

Seriously though, is that a little satellite speaker? If so, you might need a more substantial center. What is your crossover point? I would try setting it higher, if possible. Have you tried experimenting with any dynamic range settings on your receiver?

Those are just a few things that come to mind with the limited info provided.

"Rock and roll is alive and alright" Sloan
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-14-2019, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vergiliusm View Post
Well the first problem is you're spelling "centre" wrong.

Seriously though, is that a little satellite speaker?
I thought it looked wrong, it's been a busy weekend! :-)

The MT-60 is often shown as a center speaker, unless I am wrong? Pics of the settings below.
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-14-2019, 03:01 PM
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I’d recommend turning off all EQ settings set by your receiver.

More often than not it’s completely screwy.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #5 of 19 Old 07-14-2019, 04:07 PM
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How is the center speaker placed?

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

Last edited by RayGuy; 07-14-2019 at 04:14 PM.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-14-2019, 04:25 PM
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I thought it looked wrong, it's been a busy weekend! :-)
All of us English speakers have William the Conqueror and his French speaking Normans to thank for taking a perfectly good language and infusing it with words that don't sound like they look.

I'd add a sub so you're not having to redirect the bass to your mains and to relieve all your speakers from having to reproduce the lower frequencies, but that won't directly solve your issue. The search I did showed a small satellite speaker.

Did you try turning the center off and running in phantom center mode with your mains?

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post #7 of 19 Old 07-14-2019, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rob-london View Post
B&W MT-60s as the centre
That is simply not matched to your L/R. You could really use a better center.* But for meaningful recommendations we need like a picture of your setup and dimensional restrictions and some budgetary idea. I'd also play around with how that little thing is aimed, and I'd see how the sound is with it off as a temporary experiment.

Acoustically, I much prefer 3-way centers with a mid under the tweet (or coax mid/tweet like KEF, ELAC) to avoid the lobing "Venetian blind" effect. Like this https://www.crutchfield.com/S-yoMSKp...oss-Black.html Speakers don't age much, so a few years used is fine, though I'm not sure if B&W had a 3-way center previously. It's not absolutely mandatory to match brands anyway.

*by spelling "center" am I pissing on a distant ancestor who came over with William in 1066?
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post #8 of 19 Old 07-14-2019, 10:57 PM
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sometimes adjusting trim levels for center lower like -2 can help...then just turn volume higher. my center sounds weird if I have trim like +3 or higher.

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post #9 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 04:50 AM
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Hmm without a subwoofer shouldn't all speakers including the "center" be run full range? With a crossover of 150 hz arent you eliminating everything below it?

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post #10 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob-london View Post
Hi All,



Looking for some advice. I have been putting up with sound that is not right for far too long, but I dont know whats wrong.



I have an Onkyo TX-SR875 Amp. For the sound I have two B&W DM603's as the left and right and B&W MT-60s as the centre and surround left and right.



I seem to always find I cannot hear the dialog in movies and TV shows. I end up turning the subtitles on. I have used the auto audio setup on the amp with the little microphone and even turned up the centre channel a little and the sound is still too poor. I get sound that has simpler to understand dialog from my MacBook!



Can anyone help with what may be wrong? I dont think it is time for a new Amp as it kinda has always been this way and it still seems to pick up the correct audio encoding from Netflix etc. I am in London NW3 if there are any local buffs around that want to help in exchange for a mean cup of tea!
While all suggestions are good, none of them seem to be the cause of the problem. Often dialog legibility is because of three reasons:

Center channel speaker is located in a cabinet

Or, it's volume is too low compared to others.

Or, the AVR sound processing is screwy (less likely)

So, disable any AVR EQ and sound processing and run the AVR as mono movie mode, if dialogs are still not understandable it is center channel location.

One other suggestion, if it is easy, disconnect all other speakers except center and if the dialogs are still not understandable, the problem is in the center channel speaker or its location.

Hope it helps.
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post #11 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vergiliusm View Post
Well the first problem is you're spelling "centre" wrong.
Here you go...
Quote:
Center vs. centre
There is no difference in meaning between center and centre. Center is the preferred spelling in American English, and centre is preferred in varieties of English from outside the U.S.

Some people do make distinctions between the words. For instance, some prefer to treat center as the word for a place or institution and centre as the word for the middle point of something. But while these preferences may be taught in some schools and are perhaps common among careful English speakers in Canada, the U.K., and elsewhere, they are not broadly borne out in 21st-century usage.
https://grammarist.com/spelling/center-centre/
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks to all who have replied so far, both on my British spelling and on my setup! I am not as knowledgeable as all of you seem to be, so you'll need to dumb it down a bit!

Should I just turn up the volume on the center speaker further than it is now? I dont know how to turn off the EQ settings or even what a trim is!

I have put in some pics of my setup as some have asked. The MT-60 is in the middle under the TV and not in a cabinet.

I am not averse to buying a new center speaker, but want to see if I can get this to work first. One comment was to route the center sound though the L&R speakers - not sure if my AV receiver can do this? Would it be likely that it can share the center channel between all three?
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 01:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob-london View Post
Thanks to all who have replied so far, both on my British spelling and on my setup! I am not as knowledgeable as all of you seem to be, so you'll need to dumb it down a bit!

Should I just turn up the volume on the center speaker further than it is now? I dont know how to turn off the EQ settings or even what a trim is!

I have put in some pics of my setup as some have asked. The MT-60 is in the middle under the TV and not in a cabinet.

I am not averse to buying a new center speaker, but want to see if I can get this to work first. One comment was to route the center sound though the L&R speakers - not sure if my AV receiver can do this? Would it be likely that it can share the center channel between all three?
Ok now that we can see, your center is woefully to small for that application. you could boost your trim, that would be the -3 from your level calibration picture. Trim is how much + or - a speaker is set after calibration. But as others have said you could also disconnect your other speakers except the center and see how it sounds. Also aim the center at your main seat position, it looks like it is pointed far off to the right from where you sit. But all that said I think a more appropriate sized center would help. There is nothing wrong with the one you have but you appear to be sitting I guess 10 to 12 feet from the speakers, so your kind of asking a lot from a small speaker.
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 03:21 PM
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Here you go...
Lol. I'm aware of the spelling difference between the British(and Canadian)and the American versions of the word. It was a joke, if my wink wasn't clear enough.

Rob,

I think you would be better served with an upgraded center speaker that's roughly the same acoustic size as your front speakers. You just need to turn off your center by selecting "No" or "Off" to route that channel through your main speakers. That'll give you a better idea if an upgrade is in order. The center is an important part of any surround system, so having a large mismatch between it and your main speakers will be noticeable--as you've noticed.

Good luck
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post #15 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Shadowed View Post


The same with “theater—theatre” and “dialog—dialogue”.

Espo77's living room equipment: RECEIVER: Yamaha RX-A3030- SPEAKERS: Boston Acoustics M350, M25 center, surrounds, and front heights-
BLU-RAY: Oppo BDP103D- SUBWOOFER: HSU VTF-15H MK2- dedicated circuits for A/V- TV: Vizio P55C-1
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob-london View Post
Hi All,

Looking for some advice. I have been putting up with sound that is not right for far too long, but I dont know whats wrong.

I have an Onkyo TX-SR875 Amp. For the sound I have two B&W DM603's as the left and right and B&W MT-60s as the centre and surround left and right.

I seem to always find I cannot hear the dialog in movies and TV shows. I end up turning the subtitles on. I have used the auto audio setup on the amp with the little microphone and even turned up the centre channel a little and the sound is still too poor. I get sound that has simpler to understand dialog from my MacBook!

Can anyone help with what may be wrong? I dont think it is time for a new Amp as it kinda has always been this way and it still seems to pick up the correct audio encoding from Netflix etc. I am in London NW3 if there are any local buffs around that want to help in exchange for a mean cup of tea!


I assume that you like the way the system looks with everything pushed back into the corner.
I challenge you to move the main left and right speakers forward. The right speaker forward and angled toward the sweet spot, and the left speaker perhaps underneath the thermostat on the small wall. Then place the center speaker on a stand positioned out in front of the TV.
Rerun the room correction.
I hope you’ll try this, and report back with your observations.

Espo77's living room equipment: RECEIVER: Yamaha RX-A3030- SPEAKERS: Boston Acoustics M350, M25 center, surrounds, and front heights-
BLU-RAY: Oppo BDP103D- SUBWOOFER: HSU VTF-15H MK2- dedicated circuits for A/V- TV: Vizio P55C-1
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-15-2019, 07:56 PM
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The most obvious issue is reflectivity. The centre (!) is all the way back against the wall, it should be at the very front of the stand it is sitting on. The speakers are shoved into corners, so the first thing they do is push sound against the walls, smearing the sound. Then there is the room itself, all hard surfaces. In effect, it's a giant echo chamber.

So, if you really want to get serious about improving the sound, not only will you upgrade the centre channel and change the position of the speakers by pulling them forward (the face of the left speaker should be forward of the left wall and the right speaker should be pulled out an equivalent distance and toed inwards slightly), but you will also get yourself some room treatments. You can start with an area rug, placed between the speakers and the listening position. Secondarily, some cloth throw pillows on the leather couch. Heavy curtains or Roman shades made of heavy material over the windows would be a great addition. That glass table is also an audio nightmare (beautiful table, BTW, I'd be inclined to keep it, despite it's negative affect on the sound).

Lastly, I think you will have to get some real room treatments to reduce the echo chamber effect. Consult a company like GIK Acoustics (or similar) to get recommendations specifically for that room. These treatments can be disguised as any piece of art you wish, so a good way to get the better half involved. Design services are free ....

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

Last edited by RayGuy; 07-16-2019 at 11:05 AM.
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-27-2019, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
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All - Thanks for your help. I ran through the bits you have all suggested and it is the center speaker that's too weak. I turned up the volume on it loads and can hear now, but you can tell its not up to the job. I will replace it when I see a good deal on one.

Thank you again - I can watch without subtitles now! I appreciate all your help
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-27-2019, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Vergiliusm View Post
Well the first problem is you're spelling "centre" wrong.
Centre is a correct spelling of the word. Center is the American spelling. Everyone else spells it the correct way - centre.

https://www.grammarly.com/blog/center-centre/

on topic: That centre speaker is very small, which could account for why you aren't able to hear much out of it? Not suggesting that you go out and buy a new speaker, but that's one thing that could improve the situation. Also, RayGuy's suggestions above are pretty good, I think. Bringing it out from the wall will certainly help, and adding some dampening elements like a rug will also help.

Last edited by Ryan Statz; 07-27-2019 at 09:06 AM.
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