Originally Posted by Overrid3
Really basic question, but do you guys boost your center channel at all from where Audyssey sets it? I checked my speakers post-cal with an SPL meter, and they were pretty balanced. I added +1 dB to my center just to make sure dialogue has a slight edge.
- For most films, I have the center up 1 to 2 dB
- For thick accents of any kind, especially Cockney and Irish, it's more like 2 to 3 dB.
- For the British version of Trainspotting, forget the whole thing.
- For films with dialog problems I make sure I'm using Audyssey Flat, not Audyssey Reference (just plain Audyssey, which has a roll off in the treble above about 7K, veiling enunciation). Audyssey Flat emphasizes clarity carrying phonemes. My very first Hi Fi book (in the 1960s) had a section on reproduction of speech, breaking the auditory spectrum down into sections. I was particularly interested in the range above about 1K ranging up to 10K labeled "fricative consonants").
IMO, film people used to be a lot more careful in recording and mixing dialog. We run both old and new films, about 1 old one for every 10 new ones, and we see 3 or 4 films per week. Even though recording technology has improved magnificently in the last 3 or 4 decades, the older movies still have the clearest dialog. Yet the music
in the newer films is of the highest fidelity in film history. My center channel has the same drivers as the LF & RF, and is very clear. For the following OLD films, the dialog is crystal clear, and my wife and I -- with our old ears -- could understand every
word: The Searchers, Citizen Kane, The Misfits, The African Queen, Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Lawrence of Arabia, Ben-Hur, (1959), Around the World in 80 Days (1956), How the West West Was Won
and many more!
Now, someone might say that these were optical soundtracks, which rolled off at just about the same place that Audyssey Reference does (or even lower). But all of the above films except for Citizen Kane
would have had their original elements (dialog, effects, music) recorded on synchronized 35mm full coat magnetic film (or 16mm mag film to save costs), then mixed and dubbed over to optical only for release prints. In most cases, where possible, the Blu-rays of these old films use the original magnetic elements, and Lawrence
, 80 Days
, and HTWWW
were magnetic all the way. Care was taken.