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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having an issue with my center channel in a new setup, it's hard to describe specifically but the center just doesn't sound very realistic with dialogue. It sounds very much like the vocals are coming right from a little box under the TV, which of course is exactly what's happening..


I'm running a basic 3.1 setup. A Marantz NR1403 receiver, Pioneer SP-FS52 floor standing fronts, Infinity CC-3 center channel (with tone controls) and a powered subwoofer. For movies/TV I'm using the Neo:6 Cinema processor and stereo for music.


I feel part of my problem is the placement of the center speaker but I can't think of a lot of options. I'm using a front projection screen that drops down to 26" above the floor, which pushes the center speaker directly below that, fairly close to the ground unfortunately. I've angled the center up towards the listening point but it is still very easy to tell where the dialog comes from, and it's below the video. Do I have any affordable options? As you can probably tell I'm on a bit of a budget, so I'm trying to stay away from expensive perforated screens and in-wall speakers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by creyc  /t/1523069/center-channel-doesnt-sound-realistic-cannot-raise-center-speaker#post_24496542


I'm having an issue with my center channel in a new setup, it's hard to describe specifically but the center just doesn't sound very realistic with dialogue. It sounds very much like the vocals are coming right from a little box under the TV, which of course is exactly what's happening..


I'm running a basic 3.1 setup. A Marantz NR1403 receiver, Pioneer SP-FS52 floor standing fronts, Infinity CC-3 center channel (with tone controls) and a powered subwoofer. For movies/TV I'm using the Neo:6 Cinema processor and stereo for music.


I feel part of my problem is the placement of the center speaker but I can't think of a lot of options. I'm using a front projection screen that drops down to 26" above the floor, which pushes the center speaker directly below that, fairly close to the ground unfortunately. I've angled the center up towards the listening point but it is still very easy to tell where the dialog comes from, and it's below the video. Do I have any affordable options? As you can probably tell I'm on a bit of a budget, so I'm trying to stay away from expensive perforated screens and in-wall speakers.

Can you stand the center upright below the sceeen? I just did this and it sounds much better (and graphs better in REW)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Originally Posted by raynist  /t/1523069/center-channel-doesnt-sound-realistic-cannot-raise-center-speaker#post_24496545


Can you stand the center upright below the sceeen? I just did this and it sounds much better (and graphs better in REW)

Actually that does seem to help a bit, but because of the size of the enclosure it doesn't fit without blocking part of the screen or hitting the media stand below.
 

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Where is it placed - back on the rear wall? try pulling it forward out in the room several feet. Also is there a coffee table in between you and the spkr? Try removing any furniture out af the way.
 

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The first thing I would do is buy the matching center speaker for your front L&R speakers. That will help the sound sound more seamless and blend together better. Also make sure the speaker is pulled out from the wall a bit. If its sitting on a shelf make sure the front edge of the speaker is either flush or protruding past the shelf it sits on. I know you have it angled up but try to make sure it is angled so the tweeter is firing right at your ears. Make sure nothing is between the speaker and you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the tips. That's probably a good idea as far as getting the matching center channel. I noticed during pink noise testing that as much as I tried playing with the tone controls on the center channel, I could not match the tone to the fronts very well. It will be a little bit before I can budget for the matching Pioneer SP-C22.


I was also getting phase warnings on the center channel during Audyssey setup, but confirmed wiring was correct, reduced possible reflections from hard surfaces, re-tested and ultimately skipped the warning. Not sure if that may be related or at least a red flag?


I also notice the Neo:6 Cinema mode I've been using seems like it very strongly prefers the center channel. Playing a TV show I hear very little sound from the front channels, and especially during dialogue almost nothing at all. Of course during opening music or for background noise the front channels sound great, but 95% of the time it's center channel only, which really stands out when the center sounds bad!
 

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Maybe try Dolby Pro Logic II (PLII). I prefer PLII over Neo6. Also what you described as how your speakers are working; that is how multichannel HT works. The Center Channel handles 75% of the movies sound and about 95% of the dialog. The front left and right speakers are to create a front soundstage and stereo sound. But think about it if your standing face to face talking to someone, where does the sound come from??? It is single point sound coming from the source (the person's mouth) the sound does NOT come from the left or right. So the point of multichannel surround sound is to make the sound as realistic as possible NOT to use all the speakers. I have a 7.2 system and I use PLIIx Movie to convert all 2.0 and 5.1 to 7.1 and I love how it handles the sound, the sound only comes from the speakers where it should.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by flickhtguru  /t/1523069/center-channel-doesnt-sound-realistic-cannot-raise-center-speaker#post_24497803


Maybe try Dolby Pro Logic II (PLII). I prefer PLII over Neo6. Also what you described as how your speakers are working; that is how multichannel HT works. The Center Channel handles 75% of the movies sound and about 95% of the dialog. The front left and right speakers are to create a front soundstage and stereo sound. But think about it if your standing face to face talking to someone, where does the sound come from??? It is single point sound coming from the source (the person's mouth) the sound does NOT come from the left or right. So the point of multichannel surround sound is to make the sound as realistic as possible NOT to use all the speakers. I have a 7.2 system and I use PLIIx Movie to convert all 2.0 and 5.1 to 7.1 and I love how it handles the sound, the sound only comes from the speakers where it should.
I am a fan of Dolby Pro Logic II when I am mimicing surround sound myself. The Neo6 I use late at night cause in my set-up to me it made the center channel more pronounced and gave me less bass, this is one of the things I used to keep my neighbors happy


As flick correctly stated a large part of the audio in surround sound comes from the center channel.
 

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Well the way you are stating your proposed problem, isn't really a problem.


The Dialogue should feel like its is coming directly from the screen. That is why they recommend to have center channels directly above or below the viewing screen.


Have you tried using Dolby ProLogic II?


What are your crossovers set at?


Have you tried your system without the center channel connected and just youe Pioneer towers?


Have you run Audyssey on your receiver?


It could be your center not matching your towers that is causing this issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425  /t/1523069/center-channel-doesnt-sound-realistic-cannot-raise-center-speaker#post_24498573


Well the way you are stating your proposed problem, isn't really a problem.


The Dialogue should feel like its is coming directly from the screen. That is why they recommend to have center channels directly above or below the viewing screen.
I understand, and you're right the sound certainly is very directional, which I guess will be good once it is more believable.

Quote:
Have you tried using Dolby ProLogic II?
I tried PLII initially before setting up these new front channels, but preferred the way Neo6 sounded. For some reason it sounded "clearer". I will revisit ProLogic this evening.

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What are your crossovers set at?
I have left and right towers crossed at 60Hz, and center is at either 80 or 100Hz.

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Have you tried your system without the center channel connected and just youe Pioneer towers?
I use stereo mode exclusively (center disabled) for music, and it sounds great.

Quote:
Have you run Audyssey on your receiver?
Yes. I'm using MultEQ and Dynamic EQ, but Dynamic Volume disabled.
Quote:
It could be your center not matching your towers that is causing this issue.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by creyc  /t/1523069/center-channel-doesnt-sound-realistic-cannot-raise-center-speaker#post_24498702


I use stereo mode exclusively (center disabled) for music, and it sounds great.
Well I was talking about disabling the center all together. Removing unplugging it and reruning Audyssey. This is know as "phatom center". Your receiver will take all the audio meant for the center and reroute it to your front left and right. You might actually perfer that.


Only other option is to get the Matching center for the Pioneers the SP-C22 and try that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The center channel is on sale at Amazon right now for a really great price, 33% off, so I decided to splurge on one.


Re-ran audyssey setup (no phase warnings on this speaker) and adjusted the levels by meter. The placement is still a bit lower than I'd like but the tone is excellent and overall sounds significantly better than with the Infinity.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by creyc  /t/1523069/center-channel-doesnt-sound-realistic-cannot-raise-center-speaker#post_24529395


The center channel is on sale at Amazon right now for a really great price, 33% off, so I decided to splurge on one.


Re-ran audyssey setup (no phase warnings on this speaker) and adjusted the levels by meter. The placement is still a bit lower than I'd like but the tone is excellent and overall sounds significantly better than with the Infinity.
Glad it is working out.
 
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