Need help with getting better/sharper dialogue - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-19-2020, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Need help with getting better/sharper dialogue

My equipment consists of two new Sony CS-5 front speakers, a Sony CS-8 center speaker and they are connected to a new Sony DH-590 receiver. The rear speakers are older Presidian PBS-5053 an have a range of 65Hz to 20kHz. The fronts have a range of 50Hz to 50kHz and the center is rated from 55Hz to 25kHz. I do not have a sub at this time and may not be able to add one due to the room arrangement. My problem is I can't quite get the center speaker sharp enough to get good dialogue.



I have set the pattern at 5.1 even though I don't have a sub and then set the cross-over on the fronts at 80Hz. When I ran the auto calibration it set the cross-over for the center and rears at 120. Based on what I've read, this sounds high. The center speaker is on a shelf inside a cabinet but is pulled forward and is tilted up towards ear level. The fronts are on stands and the tweeters are at about ear level also. No problems with the rears. The calibration type is set to "Full Flat". All speakers are set to "Small".



Is there something I could do different that might make hearing the dialogue from TV programs and movies better? (without ditching my equipment and starting all over)
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-19-2020, 12:06 PM
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The calibration program found the roll-off to be such that it set them that high. Should not affect dialogue. The usual things suggested to improve dialogue from the center speaker are to raise its trim level to make it a little louder, and boost the upper vocal range (say 2-3 kHz) if you can so it "cuts through" better. You might also try correction curves other than "full flat" to see if one of them helps. You should not have to rerun calibration to change the target curve though I do not know what your Sony does.

HTH - Don

p.s. You might want to check the Receivers sub-forum and look for an owner's thread on your AVR.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-19-2020, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post
The calibration program found the roll-off to be such that it set them that high. Should not affect dialogue. The usual things suggested to improve dialogue from the center speaker are to raise its trim level to make it a little louder, and boost the upper vocal range (say 2-3 kHz) if you can so it "cuts through" better. You might also try correction curves other than "full flat" to see if one of them helps. You should not have to rerun calibration to change the target curve though I do not know what your Sony does.

HTH - Don

p.s. You might want to check the Receivers sub-forum and look for an owner's thread on your AVR.
Thanks Don. I have already raised the volume level for the center speaker and that does help some. Not sure what you mean by "boost the upper vocal range (say 2-3 kHz). Don't know if I have such an adjustment. Would that be the EQ (bass and treble) adjustment?
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-19-2020, 05:44 PM
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I do not know what sort of EQ your AVR has. If it has equalizer bands, then boost the 2-3 kHz region, maybe as low as 1 kHz. If it has a "midrange" band, boost that. If it just has bass and treble, boost the treble and see if it helps.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
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post #5 of 5 Old 05-19-2020, 09:27 PM
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Unfortunately, the issue may be the equipment (the center speaker at least). The CS8 would seem to be well-suited to be a center speaker, but maybe it's not.
I only mention this because you list the equipment as new, but if still within the return window, and not too much of a hassle, try a different speaker. If results are the same, go back to what you had.
If you got these on sale (like that BB 50% off), that's a tougher decision of course. (If you didn't get them on sale, at least get a price match vs BB!)

Something simple to try that may seem silly, but's only a little hassle, is to use the Presidians as front L/R, and compare CS8 to a single CS5 (or 2x CS5s in series, if you're bored) as the center to see if it makes a difference.

If you want an option to try, some Infinity Reference speakers are currently on sale, greatly reduced at harmanaudio.com (but for some reason not the direct infinity site).
RC252 should meet your needs, should outperform the CS8 and isn't a terrible price increase to the total set of speakers. The RC263 is an significant upgrade for not a lot more, but is physically outmatching the other speakers.
If you fall down the rabbit hole, and are willing to replace/spend more, the RC263 + 2x R162 or even RC252 + 2x R152 should be a notable upgrade across the front LCR compared to the Sonys.
All the Infinity/Harman speakers have free shipping/free returns. Also, check when they'd arrive, since for me they'd arrive in 2 days(!). They might be able to show up in time to go head-to-head with the Sonys before the return window closes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thedjs6 View Post
My equipment consists of two new Sony CS-5 front speakers, a Sony CS-8 center speaker and they are connected to a new Sony DH-590 receiver.
Is there something I could do different that might make hearing the dialogue from TV programs and movies better? (without ditching my equipment and starting all over)
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