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I am going to be purchasing new speakers (5.1) and a new receiver for HT use. I have budgeted (very tentatively) $1000 for the speakers and $500 for the amp. The most important factor for me is improving the clarity of dialogue. I am in my mid-50s, and age (and a few nearly front row seats at Who concerts in years past) have taken their toll.


I started by boosting the center channel, and that is definitely a help. However, in shopping for new speakers, can anyone give me any advice on what will help on dialogue clarity? I listened to a friend's HT system with a Pioneer amp and Paradigm speakers, and it was definitely better than mine. I have been looking at the Paradigm Cinema CT 110 series. It seems like I am not likely to go to far wrong with these, but I would appreciate any feedback from more knowledgeable people here.


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WHAT I HAVE DONE SO FAR

I started doing some research on maximum dialogue clarity, and from what I can tell the interference between music and dialogue is in the 1.5-3.5 kHz range. I assume this is mainly where the center channel is most active, but I can't figure out how dialogue and music tracks at the same frequencies are separated (at least by an equalizer), though I suppose that is more curiousity than anything else. If anyone has information on this, I would be interested in hearing it (no pun intended).



BACKGROUND

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I am replacing an Onkyo TX-575 and Bose Acoustimas 15's which I got used about 9 years ago, and an upgraded (sort of) center channel VCS-10.


The equipment I am keeping is


Video - Philips 50pf9630 (2005-plasma)

DVD - LG 300 BD (Blu-ray) plus an older Oppo V971h for non-BR discs that don't play well on the LG, and music DVDs

DVR - Motorola DCT 3412
 

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Well, the upgrade to a speaker (system) with a smooth FR will be an improvement but actual speaker positioning and room acoustics will remain the biggest issue. You want to have the center as close to ear height as possible, aimed directly at your ear level and, if possible, identical in timbre to the L/R. Also, an AVR with a decent roomEQ (like Audyssey) will help.
 

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The better the midrange driver the better the dialogue as the human singing voice range is 60~1.5 khtz, although the "speach range" is a smaller range.


A center speaker that has the tweeter/midrange drivers vertically aligned is preferred.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD /forum/post/17049538


The better the midrange driver the better the dialogue as the human singing voice range is 60~1.5 khtz, although the "speach range" is a smaller range.

Well, the issue is how to achieve a better midrange response but it should not be confined to a choice of driver since the purchaser has to buy the whole system. That said, very few male voices extend to 60Hz and most extend higher than 1.5kHz. The fundamental speech range extends to above 3.5kHz. In fact, for voice clarity, one needs good performance extending in the range of human hearing's highest sensitivity, 3 to 3.5kHz.

Quote:
A center speaker that has the tweeter/midrange drivers vertically aligned is preferred.

To be sure.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson /forum/post/17051073


Well, the issue is how to achieve a better midrange response but it should not be confined to a choice of driver since the purchaser has to buy the whole system. That said, very few male voices extend to 60Hz and most extend higher than 1.5kHz. The fundamental speech range extends to above 3.5kHz. In fact, for voice clarity, one needs good performance extending in the range of human hearing's highest sensitivity, 3 to 3.5kHz.

Well, I would want the same quality of midrange in all the channels/speakers.

As far as the voice range, I got it from this music frequency chart. 60 htz would be only the lowest of bass singers. And it shows the soprano topping @ 1500 htz
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD /forum/post/17051257


Well, I would want the same quality of midrange in all the channels/speakers.

As far as the voice range, I got it from this music frequency chart. 60 htz would be only the lowest of bass singers. And it shows the soprano topping @ 1500 htz

The problem with that chart is that it is restricted to the fundamentals of the sounds. In the case of speech, it is the transients/overtones of the consonants that give it detail and articulation. For example, plain-old-telephone does quite well for intelligibility with a 300-3000Hz FR but needs a little extension, up and down, to sound like a real voice.
 

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The best way to acheive clarity is through room treatments, nothing else comes close to how much improvement you gain.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/17052557


The best way to acheive clarity is through room treatments, nothing else comes close to how much improvement you gain.

That maybe true, but I've get great dialogue, in a room that has no treatments. But there are also no first early reflections to screw up the sound.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4DHD /forum/post/17052674


That maybe true, but I've get great dialogue, in a room that has no treatments. But there are also no first early reflections to screw up the sound.

if you have it good now just think how it could be better with some minor treatments.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine /forum/post/17052983


That may be true, John. Lucky is better than good anyday. None-the-less, the most frequent contributor to poor dialog intelligibility goes back to the room and/or speaker placement.

We all know that some/many rooms just plain suck. No question about that, and treatments can make them better.


But in a room that doesn't suck, b/c there are no large window walls, tile/hardwood floors, with the walls somewhat broken up by wall hangings.

And has large padded frabric covered seats, thick carpet/pad, thick drapes and the like, such a room doesn't really need any extra treatments to produce good sound or dialogue.


And I've mentioned to many people, proper speaker placement is a much better starting point, and solution than placing speakers where they should not be and then try to improve the sound with wall treatments.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray /forum/post/17053004


if you have it good now just think how it could be better with some minor treatments.

What little improvement that might be gained, most likely could not justify the added cost.
 

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Is there any reasonable way to orient a center channel vertically when used with an LCD flat screen? Does that directly improve clarity? Would getting it vertical be more important than the fact it is now not aligned with the L/R? Anyway, just curious....
 
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