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I'm 62 years old and spent 4 years as a youth doing sound reinforcement mixing for rock bands like Aerosmith. As you can guess, I've got hearing problems. I'm not ready for a hearing aid, but I am having trouble with the dialog on DVDs on my home theater system (TV programs like sports and news that are mostly just speech aren't much of a problem). I have a Denon AVR-4306 AV receiver driving 3 Gallo a'Diva Ti speakers on floor stands for LCR. The room is 17' long x 13 wide with 9 foot ceilings. I'm running the system in Dolby Digital even though I don't have any surround speakers, just a Gallo sub that is crossed over at 80 hz.


I have pushed up the level on the center channel, where I assume most of the dialog is, by about 6 db. The Denon enables you to increase or decrease the level on any speaker by +/- 12 db in .5 db steps. That seems to help. I'd appreciate a recommendation for this setting. Should I keep pushing it up or will there be dialog in the L or R channels that I will then miss?


There is also built in EQ. Each frequency band can be adjusted from -20db to + 6db in .5db steps. The bands are: 63hz, 125 hz, 250hz, 500hz, 1khz, 2kz, 4kz, 8kz and 16 khz. Given my need to increase intelligibility of speech, which band should I play with? I assumed the 1khz and pushed it up a few db which seemed to help. I left the rest flat.


Finally what do you suggest I use as a test source. I have all three Stereophile test disks, plus the Boston Audio Society test disk. But obviously these were all produced to use for music and for people with normal or better hearing. I've been using the movie Runaway Jury, since that is a typical DVD that I have trouble catching all the words of the dialog. Is there any particular source that would be best for optimizing the sound system for dialog intelligibility?


I do 99% of my music listening over a pair of high quality headphones so I mainly use this system for watching movies and TV programs.


I'm also thinking about changing speakers. My budget would be up to about $6,000 for the front 3, if there were speakers that gave me a dramatic increase in intelligible dialog over the Gallos without messing with the EQ and balance then I'd use the system for music and home theater.


Any other suggestions are welcome! Thanks.
 

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I am the same age, and have about the same system, driving Gallos with a Denon. Have you run Audyssey and tweaked from there? I've added 2dB to the center channel to bring it into focus for my seating position, but haven't needed to play with the frequency bands that Audyssey chose. I think you're on the right track with the 1k band, but the 6dB seems extreme. Perhaps a fuller range center channel speaker is all you need. Have you set the Denon for no surrounds? Audyssey has set my fronts to cross at 120Hz and the side surrounds to 150Hz. Luckily, my subs are capable of this, although that's not ideal by any means. It shouldn't affect your problem though.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbayle /forum/post/18133240


I have pushed up the level on the center channel, where I assume most of the dialog is, by about 6 db.


There is also built in EQ. Each frequency band can be adjusted from -20db to + 6db in .5db steps. The bands are: 63hz, 125 hz, 250hz, 500hz, 1khz, 2kz, 4kz, 8kz and 16 khz. Given my need to increase intelligibility of speech, which band should I play with? I assumed the 1khz and pushed it up a few db which seemed to help. I left the rest flat.
Kicking up the center channel's level was a step in the right direction. As far as EQ goes, the 2 kHz filter will give the voices more of an edge than 1 kHz. You might also try adding a bit at 4 kHz as well. If you're having trouble hearing the sibilants, 8 kHz is the filter for that.


Regards,

Wayne A. Pflughaupt
 
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