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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, my setup includes:
Wharfedale diamond 11.3 Mains
Wharfedale Diamond 11.CS Center Channel
SVS SB2000 sub
Denon AVR-X2500H

I've been having trouble with deeper male and female voices sounding somewhat muffled. The center was previously located within a partially enclosed TV stand cabinet. I went ahead and moved it on top of the stand flush with the end after reading through these forums. While there was a noticeable improvement, there is still a pretty noticeable resonance that occurs with the lower frequency voices (mostly male but still some female). It doesn't always prevent me from understanding the dialog, however, I would describe the sound as sort of unpleasant and lacking some clarity.

My center channel is ten inches from the wall behind it. I moved the stand out to test a distance of 15 inches, and it made maybe a minimal improvement if any. I ran room correction for each position and nothing seems to be making anything better.

I've also tried different crossover frequencies for the center. When i crossover at a higher frequency, the resonance/muffled sound coming from the center seems to go away, however, my sub is boosted a few decibels, and the lower frequency voices now coming through sub seem muffled (jut in a different way). When I lower the crossover and run everything through the center, i get a sort of resonance/muffled sound. I don't think it has anything to do with the stand, as the sound is there even when i'm physically holding the center. The resonance/muffle seems to be more associated either with the speaker itself or just my room.

Iv'e also tried listening to dialog in stereo to see if I would experience the same problem. In stereo, the resonance was actually maybe ever so slightly worse. My mains, however, are significantly closer to the wall to help increase their mid-bass response.

I went with the wharfdales because their warmer sound seemed to suit my room better for listening to music. Is it possible a more neutral center channel might solve the problem Iv'e been having with dialog? Or am I more likely looking at a problem with my room? If it's a room problem should I just look for a center that doesn't have quite as low a frequency response (mine is around 60) to avoid some of the issues i'm encountering? Lastly, maybe what I'm hearing is normal, and I'm just not accustomed to these lower frequencies coming from my previous soundbar??

Appreciate any advice!
 

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You are sacrificing clarity for additional bass response. You can fix the problem by tuning your system flat. If you want more bass excitement, get yourself some bass shakers.

Start by looking at any modes and EQ you are doing on the receiver. Do a factory reset and start over using the LEAST amount of bells and whistles in tuning your system. "Dynamic whatever", leave it off. Audyssey ... is it doing more harm than good? Try it without during this tuning process.

Be sure your center channel speaker is at the front edge of whatever piece of furniture it is placed, perhaps with a 1/2" overhang. this will eliminate those early reflections that tend to muddy dialog. Also, be sure the center speaker is sitting on some form of isolation, rubber feet or whatever, so the sound from the speaker is not inducing resonances in the furniture. Lastly, be sure the center channel is aimed directly at your seated head. If this means propping it up a bit in the front, then do so.

The L&R speakers should be pulled away from the walls, for most even response, not for additional bass response. You want clarity, not thump, from those speakers.

If you are still getting problematic sound, then the problem may be the sub. Start over with a sub crawl, looking for positions with the most even frequency response, not the most response. Keep the gain so that the sub's response is even with that of the other speakers. If you have accomplished that, then your problem should be solved. If not, THEN look at obtaining new speakers.

That should keep you busy for a few hours... :cool:
 

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Wharfedale diamond 11.3 Mains
Wharfedale Diamond 11.CS Center Channel

I went with the wharfdales because their warmer sound seemed to suit my room better for listening to music. Is it possible a more neutral center channel might solve the problem Iv'e been having with dialog? Or am I more likely looking at a problem with my room? If it's a room problem should I just look for a center that doesn't have quite as low a frequency response (mine is around 60) to avoid some of the issues i'm encountering? Lastly, maybe what I'm hearing is normal, and I'm just not accustomed to these lower frequencies coming from my previous soundbar??
No it's not your room's fault, it's Wharfedale choosing to phase out the one relatively decent 3-way center they used to make in the Diamond 10x line. Now, in order to get a 3 way center from Wharfedale (if you buy into the dubious "thou must brand/timbre match thy center" notion) you have to move up to the Evo 4.C for a whopping $800. It's their evil sales/marketing strategy, same thing that Polk, Monitor Audio, and a number of other big brands do---they want to upsell you to their higher up or top shelf model lines just to get a decent center speaker that enables you to understand dialogue easily.

There is, however, a ridiculously simple workaround: forget all the "timbre matching" folklore and just buy a COMPETENT center from a whole other brand, for as little as $250!

I have the Diamond 10.1 and used to run them with a succession of different non-Wharfedale centers. NEVER had a single "timbre" issue. As long as you don't have the (weird) habit of upmixing native stereo music into multichannel playback, you won't either.

Here are some proven-performer horizontal centers in the $250-400 range, which most people are quite happy with:
* Emotiva C1 or C2
* Chane A2.4 (sold out at the moment, sadly)
* Ascend 340SE
* Hsu CCB-8

Centers with free return shipping:
* HTD Level 3 center
* RSL CG25
* JBL centers from the JBL or Harman website
* Infinity centers from the Infinity or Harman website

Other centers worth considering, available at Best Buy and Crutchfield for easy returns:
* Klipsch RP centers with 5.25 or larger woofers
* Martin Logan centers

* Polk LSi-M centers (when deeply discounted)
 
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Discussion Starter #4
No it's not your room's fault, it's Wharfedale choosing to phase out the one relatively decent 3-way center they used to make in the Diamond 10x line. Now, in order to get a 3 way center from Wharfedale (if you buy into the dubious "thou must brand/timbre match thy center" notion) you have to move up to the Evo 4.C for a whopping $800. It's their evil sales/marketing strategy, same thing that Polk, Monitor Audio, and a number of other big brands do---they want to upsell you to their higher up or top shelf model lines just to get a decent center speaker that enables you to understand dialogue easily.

There is, however, a ridiculously simple workaround: forget all the "timbre matching" folklore and just buy a COMPETENT center from a whole other brand, for as little as $250!

I have the Diamond 10.1 and used to run them with a succession of different non-Wharfedale centers. NEVER had a single "timbre" issue. As long as you don't have the (weird) habit of upmixing native stereo music into multichannel playback, you won't either.

Here are some proven-performer horizontal centers in the $250-400 range, which most people are quite happy with:
* Emotiva C1 or C2
* Chane A2.4 (sold out at the moment, sadly)
* Ascend 340SE
* Hsu CCB-8

Centers with free return shipping:
* HTD Level 3 center
* RSL CG25
* JBL centers from the JBL or Harman website
* Infinity centers from the Infinity or Harman website

Other centers worth considering, available at Best Buy and Crutchfield for easy returns:
* Klipsch RP centers with 5.25 or larger woofers
* Martin Logan centers

* Polk LSi-M centers (when deeply discounted)
Good to know. Sort of surprised you could spend 400$ on a center and have it sound so poorly. Don't think I'll be too picky when it comes to the timbre matching. I do occasionally upmix to 3.1 when I have a significant number of guests sitting way off axis but that usually isn't too often. Think I'm going to give the HTD Level 3 or Polk LSi-M (found for 300, seems reasonable?) a go. Fingers crossed one of these produces a better outcome. Thanks so much!
 

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Good to know. Sort of surprised you could spend 400$ on a center and have it sound so poorly. Don't think I'll be too picky when it comes to the timbre matching. I do occasionally upmix to 3.1 when I have a significant number of guests sitting way off axis but that usually isn't too often. Think I'm going to give the HTD Level 3 or Polk LSi-M (found for 300, seems reasonable?) a go. Fingers crossed one of these produces a better outcome. Thanks so much!
I love my Polk LSIM 704c! Very clear dialog crossed over at 80hz.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You are sacrificing clarity for additional bass response. You can fix the problem by tuning your system flat. If you want more bass excitement, get yourself some bass shakers.

Start by looking at any modes and EQ you are doing on the receiver. Do a factory reset and start over using the LEAST amount of bells and whistles in tuning your system. "Dynamic whatever", leave it off. Audyssey ... is it doing more harm than good? Try it without during this tuning process.

Be sure your center channel speaker is at the front edge of whatever piece of furniture it is placed, perhaps with a 1/2" overhang. this will eliminate those early reflections that tend to muddy dialog. Also, be sure the center speaker is sitting on some form of isolation, rubber feet or whatever, so the sound from the speaker is not inducing resonances in the furniture. Lastly, be sure the center channel is aimed directly at your seated head. If this means propping it up a bit in the front, then do so.

That should keep you busy for a few hours... :cool:
Center channel placement should be pretty decent. I do have the rubber feet all the way to the front of the stand which does create about a half inch of overhang. Doesn't seem to help much like i was hoping it might.

I'm slightly hesitant to pull the L/R away form the wall just because in their current position they seem to blend with the sub really well. When i pull them out the mid-bass seems to drop off, and i don't really notice any increase in clarity. I tried raising the subwoofer crossover after pulling them out to see if i could get some of that mid-bass back, but then it starts becoming pretty easy to localize sound to the side of the room with the sub. Might have better luck with a second sub down the road.

At 10-15 inches form the wall I would think the center is a pretty decent distance away? Or do you think it might need even more space to regain some clarity? Hadn't thought to do a reset and remove as much EQ as possible. I'll definitely give that a go and see if it helps. If not sounds like it might be worth trying another center, as i'm pretty happy with everything else. Thanks!
 

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Good to know. Sort of surprised you could spend 400$ on a center and have it sound so poorly. Don't think I'll be too picky when it comes to the timbre matching. I do occasionally upmix to 3.1 when I have a significant number of guests sitting way off axis but that usually isn't too often. Think I'm going to give the HTD Level 3 or Polk LSi-M (found for 300, seems reasonable?) a go. Fingers crossed one of these produces a better outcome. Thanks so much!
Between those two, I'd do the HTD Level 3 because you get free return shipping in case it doesn't work out.

Are you able to return the 11.CS, I hope? Personally I'd put that $400 into an Emotiva C2 if you have the space, or the C1 if you don't. But the HTD won't be bad either, nor the Polk LSi-M if you don't mind the slight risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Between those two, I'd do the HTD Level 3 because you get free return shipping in case it doesn't work out.

Are you able to return the 11.CS, I hope? Personally I'd put that $400 into an Emotiva C2 if you have the space, or the C1 if you don't. But the HTD won't be bad either, nor the Polk LSi-M if you don't mind the slight risk.
Returning through crutchfield, they even waived then $10 shipping when i told them i had trouble with the dialogue. I did find the LSi-M704c on prime with free returns. My 11.3's are in walnut, so I had initially tossed out the C1 as it only comes in black. The polk and HTD both offer a darker brown option which I had initially thought might blend slightly better with the walnut. With that being said maybe it would be safer to throw up a black C1 as opposed to two poorly matched shades of brown. Will have to give it some thought and hope for the best. As long as it sounds better than the 11.cs :D
 

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Hi, my setup includes:
Wharfedale diamond 11.3 Mains
Wharfedale Diamond 11.CS Center Channel
SVS SB2000 sub
Denon AVR-X2500H

I've been having trouble with deeper male and female voices sounding somewhat muffled. The center was previously located within a partially enclosed TV stand cabinet. I went ahead and moved it on top of the stand flush with the end after reading through these forums. While there was a noticeable improvement, ...

Appreciate any advice!
Make sure the AV Receiver is applying the Crossover to the Center Speaker. You don't need deep bass in the Center, that just makes the sound husky and muddled.

https://www.amazon.com/Wharfedale-Diamond-Center-Speaker-Walnut/dp/B07ZCL79ZK/

https://www.wharfedale.co.uk/diamond-11cs/

https://www.wharfedale.co.uk/diamond-11-3/

CS = 2x5" (130mm), Frequency Response (+/-3dB): 65Hz ~ 20kHz

Again, if your AVR allows it, apply the Front/Sub crossover to the Center Speaker and probably the surrounds.

The Wharfedale are not a bright forward speaker. Most would consider them more mellow, but they do sound good. I have the Diamond 9.6 (2x8").

As someone else mentioned, consider where you have you Front Speakers Placed. If they are close to the wall, that's going to mess up the Mid/High making is muddy and recessed.

My Diamond 9.6 are about 14" from the Wall to the Back of the Speaker. That is short of ideal, but is a good compromise in my room. Though my system is a Stereo.

If you have an AVR, make sure it is set to SMALL regardless of the size of the actual speakers. This insures that the Crossover is applied to all speakers.

Applying the Sub crossover to all speakers, makes their job easier, and you simply let the Sub do what the Sub does best.

The Center Speaker you should really have is the 3-way CM with 6.5" bass drivers. It is pretty big, but I've communicated with people who have had it, and they wouldn't have considered anything else-

https://www.musicdirect.com/speakers/wharfedale-diamond-10cm-center-channel-speaker-ea

It is possible to you simply have a bad Center, I think to test that, move the speaker to the Left or Right, that is in place of the Left Speaker or the Right Speaker. Temporarily just as a test.

What you are describing doesn't sound consistent with my experience, so it could actually be a bad speaker.

Just a thought.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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The Center Speaker you should really have is the 3-way CM with 6.5" bass drivers. It is pretty big, but I've communicated with people who have had it, and they wouldn't have considered anything else-

https://www.musicdirect.com/speakers/wharfedale-diamond-10cm-center-channel-speaker-ea
That model is long discontinued, very hard to find these days and it's a crying shame that Wharfedale is now following Q Acoustics's lead of making half-assed smaller 2 way centers for the Diamond series.
 

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Returning through crutchfield, they even waived then $10 shipping when i told them i had trouble with the dialogue. I did find the LSi-M704c on prime with free returns. My 11.3's are in walnut, so I had initially tossed out the C1 as it only comes in black. The polk and HTD both offer a darker brown option which I had initially thought might blend slightly better with the walnut. With that being said maybe it would be safer to throw up a black C1 as opposed to two poorly matched shades of brown. Will have to give it some thought and hope for the best. As long as it sounds better than the 11.cs :D
Oh I think you'll be very happy with the C1, and probably the other two as well.

As I've often said, VISUAL uniformity is the *only* compelling reason to buy a so-called "matching" center. :)
 

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That model is long discontinued, very hard to find these days and it's a crying shame that Wharfedale is now following Q Acoustics's lead of making half-assed smaller 2 way centers for the Diamond series.
In the Past Wharfedale has always made THREE Center Speakers -

CC = 2x4"
CS = 2x5"
CM = 2x6.5"


They have only eliminated the CM 3-way, which was a pretty big Center Speaker, and hard to place inside a typical equipment cabinet. Though again, I have, via forums, communicated with people who had the CM and they were overjoyed with the Results.

In the case of this discussion, either the OP is doing something wrong, or he has a bad speaker. We need to determine which.

As to being long discontinued, I provided a link to a place selling that very speaker at a decent price.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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Although this should go without saying, MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE that the Center is wired properly. That in every case the Red+ of the Amp goes to the Red+ of the Speaker. Nothing will suck the life out of a speaker like one of them being wired backwards. This is especially true if you made your own speaker Cables.

This seems like the simplest most foolproof thing to do, but it is a mistake even the Best of Us have made.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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...As I've often said, VISUAL uniformity is the *only* compelling reason to buy a so-called "matching" center. :)
And I have noticed you saying that several times. In my Opinion, matching Tonal Consistency is a real thing, and that is best done with Brand and Series matched speakers.

But to some people Best Sound is more important that Tonal or Visual consistency. There are lots of people who pick a Center Speaker that serves their specific needs and has the specific characteristics that they personally require. They are not put off by a slight Tonal Inconsistency.

But unless you are dead broke, or are prone to experimentation, the safest most consistent option is Brand and Series matching, at least, across the Front Three (L/C/R).

In some cases, a person will be Brand consistent, but will choose a Center from one Series up from the Front Speakers. To illustrate, Monitor Audio Bronze for the Left/Right, and Monitor Audio Silver for the Center. That should be Tonally Consistent enough, and many appreciate the increased sound quality in the Center Channel.

If you are being Emphatic (or fanatic) about Tonal Consistency not mattering, then I have to disagree. But if you are simply saying that Tonal Consistency is not as important as some people make it out to be, then I'm inclined to agree.

Tonal Consistency by Brand and Series matching is the safest bet for the beginner. However for someone more experienced who knows specifically what they want from the Center Speaker, then serving the purpose become more important than Brand Matching.

So, I'm not saying you are wrong, just implying that you are not as right as you seem to think you are ... if that makes sense.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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And I have noticed you saying that several times. In my Opinion, matching Tonal Consistency is a real thing, and that is best done with Brand and Series matched speakers.

But to some people Best Sound is more important that Tonal or Visual consistency. There are lots of people who pick a Center Speaker that serves their specific needs and has the specific characteristics that they personally require. They are not put off by a slight Tonal Inconsistency.

But unless you are dead broke, or are prone to experimentation, the safest most consistent option is Brand and Series matching, at least, across the Front Three (L/C/R).

In some cases, a person will be Brand consistent, but will choose a Center from one Series up from the Front Speakers. To illustrate, Monitor Audio Bronze for the Left/Right, and Monitor Audio Silver for the Center. That should be Tonally Consistent enough, and many appreciate the increased sound quality in the Center Channel.

If you are being Emphatic (or fanatic) about Tonal Consistency not mattering, then I have to disagree. But if you are simply saying that Tonal Consistency is not as important as some people make it out to be, then I'm inclined to agree.

Tonal Consistency by Brand and Series matching is the safest bet for the beginner. However for someone more experienced who knows specifically what they want from the Center Speaker, then serving the purpose become more important than Brand Matching.

So, I'm not saying you are wrong, just implying that you are not as right as you seem to think you are ... if that makes sense.
Well, we just have differing approaches. I prefer to focus on REAL WORLD conditions, not theoretical "best practices" idealizations.

In the OP's case, the 10.CM center you recommend is no longer available. PLUS it comes from the PREVIOUS GENERATION of the Diamond series, the 10x whereas the OP's L/R speakers are from the 11x series. The probability of any type of "timbre match" using the 10.CM with 11.3 towers is slim at best.

The closest "brand" match he can do other than the unsatisfactory 11.CS he already has, is the $800 Wharfedale Evo 4C.

Are you seriously suggesting that if the $800 pricetag is acceptable to the OP, then he should go ahead and buy that ONLY because it happens to be made by the same manufacturer? Even though it uses completely different drivers? I hope not.
 

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CC = 2x4"
CS = 2x5"
CM = 2x6.5"
I've read numerous complaints about both the CC and CS models, similar to that of the OP: crappy dialogue clarity.

As I've said before as well, for horizontal MTM centers, a 3 way design is always the safest way to go whenever available. Although there are a few decent 2 way MTM centers, like the Chane A2.4 and Ascend 340SE centers.

And whenever a 3 way design is NOT available, it's a no-brainer to use any COMPETENT (i.e. providing decent voice clarity) center regardless of it being from an entirely different brand using a completely different tweeter type.
 

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...

Are you seriously suggesting that if the $800 pricetag is acceptable to the OP, then he should go ahead and buy that ONLY because it happens to be made by the same manufacturer? Even though it uses completely different drivers? I hope not.
As I said, either the OP is doing something wrong, or he has a bad speaker. Both of those things can be determined with testing.

As to the EVO Center, sure if the OP thinks this is a solution, it is certainly a worth consideration.

Tonal Matching is always the safest bet. However, for someone who specifically knows what they want, better to serve the need than to slavishly serve a philosophy.

I think Tonal Matching, most often by Brand and Series matching, is a very real thing, but that does not mean that a person can not personally choose to deviate. I don't tell people what to do, only what can be done and why.

But, in the process of Brand Tonal Matching, that doesn't mean it is impossible for the manufacturer to have simply made a bad speaker., in this case, a Center Speaker.

There are a variety of options involved. In my opinion, the first thing is to see if we can find away to make what he has work. If that fails, then we have to consider, how we want to improve the situation.

Options are -

- Replace the existing Center with an indentical one on the hope that the OP has one flawed Center.
- Buy a better Wharfedale Center.
- Buy a Center with Tonal Characteristic and Clarity that are preferred by the Original Poster.
- If space is available, do consider buying a 2.5-Way or 3-Way Center.

Brand Tonal Matching is a very real thing, but not as ridged as some people would make it out to be.

Steve/bluewizard
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I've read numerous complaints about both the CC and CS models, similar to that of the OP: crappy dialogue clarity.
As I said, either the OP is doing something wrong, or he has a bad speaker. Both of those things can be determined with testing.

Steve/bluewizard
Appreciate reading both of your thoughts! I've got a small update and was curious as to what the two of you thought. I went ahead and temporarily swapped out the 11.CS for the polk lsim704c. Ran room correction and all of that good stuff.

First thing I did was listen to music in 3.1. Again, I don't plan on doing this often by any means, but thought I would give it a try. The polk center definitely stood out in a way that the wharfdale didn't. I'm assuming maybe I was noticing the difference in timbre? Regardless, wasn't a deal breaker, but probably wouldn't enjoy say a concert in 3.1 quite as much.

Then went ahead and watched some of the television shows where the lower pitched voices sounded muddled/resonant with the 11.CS. At first I had thought the polk solved the problem, but I think my initial impression might have been subconsciously biased by all of the positive reviews on the polks. After 5-10 minutes I realized I was having the same problem. The only difference I did notice was that I didn't need to raise the volume of the polk center like i did with the wharfdale. With that being said, the muffle/resonance was still there with lower pitches.




I wanted to make sure i wasn't making the muffled sound up in my head so i went ahead and turned off my sub. The muffled sound was still there. I then kept the sub off but now crossed over the center to 200hz (originally crossed over at 60). The muffled sound was definitely gone, however, deeper voices sounded thinner than appropriate. I then tried crossing over at 120... this is where i had the best results. If I turned the sub back on with the crossover at 120, I had a similar muffled sound, but now coming from sub (with a few decibels of boost)...

So I went ahead and turned the sub back on and left the center crossover at 60. I disabled the odyssey mutiEQXT and manually EQ'd the center channel to -10.5db at both 68 and 120hz after some experimentation. This is definitely the best result I've had thus far. I haven't tried this with the wharfdale yet, but the polk definitely sounds much much improved.

It seems unlikely that both speakers would be defective. It also seems unlikely that I would have any better luck with a third speaker like the airmotiva C1 just considering I've had the exact same problem with 2 centers, one of which (the polk) is held in somewhat high regard.

I guess I'm wondering what else i might be doing wrong? Placement should be fine. Wire is matched up properly etc.. I'm inclined to just leave the center with the manual EQ and call it a day (because the sound does sound much improved to me), but I without a properly set up system to compare it to, i'm slightly concerned I might be missing out on better sound. Also slightly concerned that when you manually EQ the center channel it removes room correction from the entire system. Certainly that can't be ideal?


edit: wanted to add the tonal matching was not nearly as apparent to me when watching television. Good chance I wouldn't be able to blindly differentiate one from the other.
 

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First thing I did was listen to music in 3.1. Again, I don't plan on doing this often by any means, but thought I would give it a try. The polk center definitely stood out in a way that the wharfdale didn't. I'm assuming maybe I was noticing the difference in timbre? Regardless, wasn't a deal breaker, but probably wouldn't enjoy say a concert in 3.1 quite as much.
The ONLY time when a "timbre mismatch" would be noticeable by the large majority of users is exactly this: when listening to MUSIC in multi-channel mode.

However, the ONLY time you can get a *REAL* "timbre match" is if you use a center speaker that is IDENTICAL to the L/R speakers *and* which is ALSO VERTICALLY configured. (see photo below) So please, if you don't want to buy a 3rd identical speaker for your center and place it vertically, I strongly recommend you NEVER listen to music in any type of surround mode...otherwise it will never sound quite right. And 2 channel sounds much better anyway if the original source was recorded/mixed for 2 channel, as 95% of music sources continue to be.

Then went ahead and watched some of the television shows where the lower pitched voices sounded muddled/resonant with the 11.CS. At first I had thought the polk solved the problem, but I think my initial impression might have been subconsciously biased by all of the positive reviews on the polks. After 5-10 minutes I realized I was having the same problem. The only difference I did notice was that I didn't need to raise the volume of the polk center like i did with the wharfdale. With that being said, the muffle/resonance was still there with lower pitches.
That suggests that yes, something else is amiss ... a receiver setting and/or placement issue.

So I went ahead and turned the sub back on and left the center crossover at 60. I disabled the odyssey mutiEQXT and manually EQ'd the center channel to -10.5db at both 68 and 120hz after some experimentation. This is definitely the best result I've had thus far. I haven't tried this with the wharfdale yet, but the polk definitely sounds much much improved.
Aha! I never tire of telling people that Audyssey, like every other room correction tool, is at best a 50/50 hit-or-miss proposition. It should be used as a STARTING POINT only, because it sure as hell is far from being infallible despite what our technology-fetishizing culture would have us believe.

It seems unlikely that both speakers would be defective. It also seems unlikely that I would have any better luck with a third speaker like the airmotiva C1 just considering I've had the exact same problem with 2 centers, one of which (the polk) is held in somewhat high regard.
It does seem a little premature to rule out the C1 just yet, but the 704C doesn't trigger a slew of user complaints unlike most Polk center speakers.

I guess I'm wondering what else i might be doing wrong?
Post a photo of your setup, please.

edit: wanted to add the tonal matching was not nearly as apparent to me when watching television. Good chance I wouldn't be able to blindly differentiate one from the other.
This is a very good sign. It means you are not susceptible to placebo effect and normalized superstition. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
That suggests that yes, something else is amiss ... a receiver setting and/or placement issue.


Aha! I never tire of telling people that Audyssey, like every other room correction tool, is at best a 50/50 hit-or-miss proposition. It should be used as a STARTING POINT only, because it sure as hell is far from being infallible despite what our technology-fetishizing culture would have us believe.


It does seem a little premature to rule out the C1 just yet, but the 704C doesn't trigger a slew of user complaints unlike most Polk center speakers.


Post a photo of your setup, please.

Picture should be attached. After watching a few other programs, Iv'e reduced the reduction at 68 and 120hz to about -7.5db. Seems a bit more reasonable than -10.5, and works well with the majority of what I watch.

If the receiver settings and placement seem satisfactory, do we assume Audyssey just didn't get it right? I had thought lowering everything below 120hz 7-10db was a pretty bad sign, but sounds like this sort of adjustment isn't necessarily abnormal? I was also worried I might be turning down some of the other effects intended to come out of the center in this same frequency range.

If this much adjustment is abnormal, I'm certainly willing to try out the C1. I'll have to remount the TV a tad higher which i'd prefer avoiding but not a huge deal.
 

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