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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Running a Denon 3808 with B&W HTM61's across the front. Blue Ray movies from PS3.


The dialogue between actors is sometimes difficult to hear. The rest of the sound seems fine. I'm running HDMI from the PS3 to the Denon. Bitstream is on at the PS3. I've flipped the audio settings on the Denon from Standard, to 7 channel, to 5 channel, etc. Nothing seems to help. If I have it set to standard, DTS will display on the receiver (using non-blue Ray movie, Gladiator at this point). I've also turned up the db at the center channel, but again, it's almost as if the dialogue frequency is not being processed correctly. It's not room acoustics, as things seems to sound fine from my Satellite. So I'm assuming its a PS3 setting or something on the Denon when my source is the PS3.


I'll try flipping HDMI cables tonight.


Any ideas???


No it's not my hearing
 

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1. Have you done a careful setup, including Audyssey?

2. How is the center speaker situated?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've done the speaker setup. After running the setup, I've rolled through the various EQ options, and none seem to have any improvement. The speaker settings seemed correct, in regards to the speaker distances. The center is below the tv (not the most ideal) About 8 inches off the ground on a shelf. I've tried angling it up to face the sitting area. There is no other obstructions in play. I've also tried placing the foam plugger into the rear of the speaker, no real effect.


For the PS3, I'm running Bitsream, as I thought I would receive the best possible sound vs PCM. When set to Bitsream, I can actually get DTS sound on a DTS movie to the receiver. When it's set to PCM, I get Multi-Channel Sound displayed - either way, sounds fairly close to one another. Dialogue seems "muted".


I have not calibrated the system with a SPL. That's next in line it sounds. So what would I be measuring for from the Center channel? (Never used an SPL meter before).


One more thing to note, I'm not running a Sub currently (waiting on the MFW-15s) I dont see how this would impact anyting, but wanted to toss it out there.


I've gone so far as to play back sections of a movie over and over and over with various settings, getting fairly old, but it has to be done. My next thought was to go listen to the same track on a system at my local audio shop, to make sure it's not just me. I don't think it is, as my gf had similar issues. The picture was amazing, but the sound was difficult at best.


Again, I don't recall any issues with watching tv shows or movies from my Satellite - I'll verify again tonight - and see what audio is set at. So it's has to be something is set wrong, I'm just stumped as to what.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just read this:


You gain Denon's AL24 processing when the signal sent is PCM. AL24 is great because it significantly lowers noise gain when your receiver is turned up to high volumes, but this only applies to PCM signals and not undecoded bitstreams. Furthermore, your receiver can apply PLIIx to 5.1 PCM signals, all the while engaging AL24 processing. Additionally, you don't lose extra audio that is overlayed by the PS3's audio mixer. Menu sounds may not be important, but future discs may have more advanced usage of overlayed audio.



True statement? So I SHOULD be running PCM and not bitstream?


I then see this:


The PCM setting does the decoding of any compressed audio in the player and outputs the audio over HDMI or analog outputs as "PCM". Bitstream feeds the audio off of the disc to the receiver for decoding in the receiver. Hence my reason for wanting to run Bitstream.
 

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Assuming that you are using the L and R HTM61s vertically, the problem may be with the (presumably) horizontal HTM61 in the center. This is not an optimal design for even and symmetrical dispersion, regardless of what B&W says (and I am a B&W user). Horizontal dispersion is narrowed and irregular due to driver interaction and vertical dispersion is wider but half of that is bounced off the floor! From the B&W specs:

Within 2dB of reference response

Horizontal: over 20º arc

Vertical: over 60º arc


Do you have carpet in front of it? Are there any overhanging or extended shelves/objects in the immediate vicinity?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Interesting. I do have the left and right Vertical. The Center is horizonal. I have about 2 feet of hardwood floor immediately infront of the tv, then a rug.


For kicks, I'll toss the center above the tv, and stand it vertical - so all three LCR will be vertical, equally spaced apart. I'll see if that makes any difference.


I'm still not convinced it's a layout issue. Sure that's causing me to not have optimal listening, but I really believe theres something misconfigured. Again, other sources of audio sound just fine in this position.


But I'll certainly give any idea a shot at this point!


Thanks Kal!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchdog /forum/post/12968329


Just read this:


You gain Denon's AL24 processing when the signal sent is PCM. AL24 is great because it significantly lowers noise gain when your receiver is turned up to high volumes, but this only applies to PCM signals and not undecoded bitstreams. Furthermore, your receiver can apply PLIIx to 5.1 PCM signals, all the while engaging AL24 processing. Additionally, you don't lose extra audio that is overlayed by the PS3's audio mixer. Menu sounds may not be important, but future discs may have more advanced usage of overlayed audio.



True statement? So I SHOULD be running PCM and not bitstream?


I then see this:


The PCM setting does the decoding of any compressed audio in the player and outputs the audio over HDMI or analog outputs as "PCM". Bitstream feeds the audio off of the disc to the receiver for decoding in the receiver. Hence my reason for wanting to run Bitstream.

Who knows if that statement about AL24 is true. People regularly say things that are unsubstantiated. I would likely not choose PCM over bitstream for THAT reason.


You own the gear right? Try it out both ways! Let your ears decide. Can't tell the difference? Then go with PCM for the secondary audio stuff, or whatever it's called.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yup, I've tried both. And no difference, hence I think I have something mis-configured in the PS3 that essentially degrading my audio across any transmission.


I've seen tons of post on this, but nothing conclusive. I'm hoping to get to the bottom of it!
 

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You might also try just bumping up your center channel level to see if that helps.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Munchdog /forum/post/12970856


Yup, I've tried both. And no difference, hence I think I have something mis-configured in the PS3 that essentially degrading my audio across any transmission.


I've seen tons of post on this, but nothing conclusive. I'm hoping to get to the bottom of it!

Go into your audio settings again in your PS3 and check off everything, you will be able to experience uncompressed Multichannel PCM, decode TrueHD and send it out as Multichannel PCM.
 

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Munchdog, I have a new htm61 and also find the dialouge hard to understand at times, and also sounds kind of flat. I'm really dissapointed as I upgraded just so I could hear the dialouge clearly.


I have also tried everything and have finally given up. I found this today http://ultimateavmag.com/speakersystems/108bw/ while searching to see if I was the only one frustrated with this speaker. I am not crazy..the reviewer was also not fond of this center..."The problem was the HTM61 center channel speaker. Despite the pedigree offered by its FST midrange, it blended poorly with the left and right 683s. Its sound was thicker, duller, and less open".


The reviewer didn't like it so much he replaced it with the 685 bookshelf and it sounded much better. So here I go again in search of an affordable center...getting really tired of spending money and have read good things on aperion audio, I'm looking really hard at the 634-VAC Center it has Dual 6.5 Carbon Fiber Mid-Woofers,5.25 Poly Midrange and 1 Silk Tweeter...about $500.


If the center sounds clear I'll go ahead and get the towers. Hope this helps or I hope yours is just a setup glitch and you get it figured out. Eddie.
 

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I had the same issue with my 4308. I read about a nice solution and it really helped. Use Manual EQ and increase the gain from 1000-4000 Hz for the center channel. I also used Curve Copy to start with. This significantly improved dialog clarity.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by trucker /forum/post/12972758


Munchdog, I have a new htm61 and also find the dialouge hard to understand at times, and also sounds kind of flat. I'm really dissapointed as I upgraded just so I could hear the dialouge clearly.


I have also tried everything and have finally given up. I found this today http://ultimateavmag.com/speakersystems/108bw/ while searching to see if I was the only one frustrated with this speaker. I am not crazy..the reviewer was also not fond of this center..."The problem was the HTM61 center channel speaker. Despite the pedigree offered by its FST midrange, it blended poorly with the left and right 683s. Its sound was thicker, duller, and less open".


The reviewer didn't like it so much he replaced it with the 685 bookshelf and it sounded much better. So here I go again in search of an affordable center...getting really tired of spending money and have read good things on aperion audio, I'm looking really hard at the 634-VAC Center it has Dual 6.5 Carbon Fiber Mid-Woofers,5.25 Poly Midrange and 1 Silk Tweeter...about $500.


If the center sounds clear I'll go ahead and get the towers. Hope this helps or I hope yours is just a setup glitch and you get it figured out. Eddie.

I am sorry to hear of the troubles but, frankly, the HTM61 is not a promising design, simply judged from the published information and pictures. It is one of a myriad of so-called dedicated center speakers that have been offered to (foisted on) the uninformed who think that a horizontal array in a horizontal box is acoustically correct for this application (or any other).


The ideal center is designed pretty much on the same principles as any other speaker, so three identical floor-standers or bookshelf speakers is fine. Unfortunately, the public seems to think that horizontal arrays are correct when they are merely accommodations to convenience and visual aesthetics.
 

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Thanks for the advice Kal. I'm wondering if a horizontal speaker with a tweeter on top and a 5" midrange directly below...(also two woofers at each side) would be better? Like this one. http://www.aperionaudio.com/product/...,16,29,29.aspx I Read this type is a better design, not sure. Do you have any thoughts on aperion? I have so much to learn! I just want to hear what people are saying in the movie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sigh, this really sucks. Moved the speakers around. Same result. For new speakers, I want to be happy. I'm ready to start over. Just not sure what direction to go in. I think towers might look a bit odd in my room, but it's worth considering.


I jumped into the HTM61's based on their size, and hoped they would work. They are great speakers, just not in my setup. I'm at a point where I could recover my cost, and start fresh.


I accidentally posted in the general speaker section, but I'll ask here. What towers would you go with and what center for a budget of say 2000? I'd like to stay B&W, but want to avoid the center channel issues I've been running into.
 

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Just an update on what I did. I completely forgot I had an old B&w bookshelf surround in the basement from years ago, so I set it up as my center. This speaker is on the smallish side...13" high,1woofer about4" and 1 small tweeter.


I can't believe how much clearer everything sounded, even cranked way up to 85db. Just sounded a litlle bright when turned up loud. While I really like the sound of my B&Ws my next upgrade will no longer be a horizontal center.


When I do upgrade I will likely do as they did in the review...685 for center and 683 towers. This setup seems to work with my old 600 series. Kal was right..Thanks Kal!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by trucker /forum/post/12974577


Thanks for the advice Kal. I'm wondering if a horizontal speaker with a tweeter on top and a 5" midrange directly below...(also two woofers at each side) would be better? Like this one. http://www.aperionaudio.com/product/...,16,29,29.aspx I Read this type is a better design, not sure. Do you have any thoughts on aperion? I have so much to learn! I just want to hear what people are saying in the movie.

I have no experience with Aperion but, on paper, that is an improvement in the design.
 

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I can share my center channel experience with you. I had audibility issue when I placed the center channel speaker below the TV in the corner.


One day I decided to put the center channel speaker on a 2ft high table at the center of the front wall, away from the TV at the corner. I did this so that the center channel speaker is directly below the projector screen. So I now compromise the sound when watching TV but I have a centered placement for viewing projected TV/movies.


The center channel comes out clear every time! So, don't assume that you have an incorrectly designed center speaker yet.
 
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