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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am currently using a Cerwin-Vega center channel speaker. My impression is that these are considered to be excellent speakers.

The frustrating problem is this: In some of my DVD's, some of the dialog (particularly women's voices) are near-unintelligible. My recently acquired HD-DVD of "Pride and Prejudice" is especially bad in this regard. The problem

peaks in situations where several women are talking at once and there is

background noise or music. This can be tolerated to a point but when key

elements of the plot are lost, it becomes severely frustrating. My treble control is pushed to the limit, and I have added another 5db to the volume of the center channel.

I have found a few references from people who have had the same trouble with this film. They don't know whether to blame the recording, mixing, use of big words, or their speakers. Even if it's the fault of the film, I am still not sure if my speaker isn't contributing as other DVD's occasionally exhibit similar problems, but perhaps not so pronounced.

(1) I would like to rule out the film first. Are there forums I could go to

(here perhaps?) to do that?

(2) Are there other speakers that would do a better job of compensating for such issues, such as with controls that would peak voice frequencies or put a slight "edge" on them? I sometimes want to throw an old mid-range that I have in place of the CC but I know that will completely destroy the overall sound quality.

I don't know how common my problem is, but if others have had it (and especially if a solution was found) I would like to hear from you.

Thank you.

Frank
 

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Assuming you have done speaker level calibration, it is more likely to be a room acoustical problem than your center channel speaker. Your room should be fairly dead (low reverberation). Unless you are very close to the speaker, it is the only way to achieve high dialog intelligibility. If you don't have a significant amount of acoustical absorption in the room, it is time to add it!


Regards,

Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello Terry-

Thank you for your reply. The room has a rug on the floor, and acoustic ceiling tiles. Most of the wall area is somewhat absorbent also.

I have calibrated everything to the hilt. As I learn more I find that "Pride

and Prejudice" did have some areas where intelligibility was difficult. There is actually the notion that it was done deliberately to provide a sort of detective game for the audience. My new HD-DVD of "The Aviator" exhibits none of these properties.

The fact still remains however that I would like to "brighten" the center channel on occasion. In the old days, speakers occasionally had a brightness control. (My old KLH's did.) I realize it would fly in the face of purism, but I still wish somebody had a speaker that would allow for "brightening" the frequency range of voice. (Or do they?)

Again thanks very much for your thoughts.

Frank
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Montlick /forum/post/12876802


Assuming you have done speaker level calibration, it is more likely to be a room acoustical problem than your center channel speaker. Your room should be fairly dead (low reverberation). Unless you are very close to the speaker, it is the only way to achieve high dialog intelligibility. If you don't have a significant amount of acoustical absorption in the room, it is time to add it!


Regards,

Terry

A (THX baffle wall) will help keep reflections from bouncing off in-between the front speakers and to the sides of the front wall. That was one of goals to improve on (dialogue intelligibility) to maximize it and provide (wild stereo) front field in front of the viewer.


Oh, there's just one other thing.


Are the front loudspeakers matching? No if no buts matching and placed at the same height level in the room not too close to the ceiling and creational not too close to the floor, if you’ve missed one of those primary golden rules no wonder you’re experiencing difficulties.


I’ve recently moved into a new home and its rather different from the last. I had two rooms to decide upon in the flat?


One was do I use the living room with the uneven walls or do I use the bedroom that has even walls, yet considerably small than living room in length ceiling height is the same throughout the flat.


The room is untreated at present, and needs slow extensive work done to it. The flooring is concrete and I’m on the top floor with nothing above me, only below me, God help them, with the (depth charges on U-571) LOL.



The room has a mild echo that (pings) on the HF off the walls when I was watching Independence Day last night, in the cockpit of the fighter jet, when captain Hiller’s fuel was almost exhausted the warning indicator, was bleeping on the centre channel, and with the Behringer DCX2496 I can mute any one of the LCR LF HF fronts and muted the HF noted the difference and between LF as well.


I plan to make a false floor around summertime when I have the correct budget, a few strips of 2x2 timber and maybe MDF for the top covering to help with vibrations in the soundtrack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
JBL-

Thank you for your long and thoughtful reply. I believe you would find my setups somewhat crude compared to yours and many others. The theater is

in a finished basement room of an old (1920's) house. As I mentioned, I would

judge the room to be fairly dead acoustically as there is a carpet, the ceiling is acoustical, and the walls are partly homosote board (like a paper composition.)

I don't really have the funds to get too fancy with anything. I use a Panasonic AX-100U projector and have three pull-down screens of different aspect ratios. If only the audio was as good as the video!

Now to focus on the "golden rule" of matching front speakers. This was mentioned by someone else, and they are not. The center channel is a Cerwin-Vega, but the L/R speakers are KLH Model 33's from the 60's. I know you will tell me that is certainly at the root of my problem. I am ready to think about replacing them, although I will still tell you intelligibility is only a problem on occasion.

I will continue to look for an answer to the speaker brightness issue. I know you will tell me I am 'barking up the wrong tree" here, but I know a "sharper" sound from the center channel would be a quick fix for that limited material that causes intelligibility problems.

I envy your ability to "flex" your room, but, sadly, I am pretty much stuck with a static situation, roomwise.

Hoping you will have comments and thank you again.

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JBL-

Forgot to mention that all the speakers *are* on the floor, and while the

L/R speakers could be elevated to screen level, the center channel cannot as

I don't have a perforated screen. I suppose I am doomed.

I don't know if elevating the L/R speakers would help, given that the center

cannot. Your thoughts?

Frank
 

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Can you arrange to tilt the center speaker so that seated listeners are on-axis with the speaker's drivers?


Lee
 

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That’s daft you don’t need thousands of pounds to outfit the room I’m sure if you take a step back and think it though many possible angles how to tackle this problem with the easiest means, I’m sure you’ll win in the end. C-V are good ole loudspeakers they where used for Earthquake back in (1974).
 

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Intelligibility in speech comes from the consonants and they are predominantly in the 2-4 Khz range. The power in speech comes from the vowels which typically are in the 250-500 Hz range. It is interesting that the critical part for intelligibility is the consonants and they are lowest in speech power. In commercial venues, you can use the equalization controls to boost the level in the 2 KHz range and see an immediate increase in intelligibility. Since each channel on the console, has its own EQ, this doesn't affect the music or material on other channels. Much more difficult to handle on a home sound system where tweeking the frequency response may produce undesired effects on the rest of the program material. Women's voices can be especially difficult as they often are speaking softer and so that naturally presents a signal to noise problem. The other factor that can reduce intelligibility is masking. This can occur when there are reflections, harmonics or other distortion present.

If you have the ability with your system to boost the front speakers in the 2 Khz range, you may want to try this and see if you can bring the voices up to where they are intelligible.

The frustration of missing key dialog is high. When it happens to me, I normally backup, turn on the closed captioning, watch the critical scenes and then turn it off. This is a very unelegant solution.


..Doyle
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBLsound4645 /forum/post/12892889


A (THX baffle wall) will help keep reflections from bouncing off in-between the front speakers and to the sides of the front wall. That was one of goals to improve on (dialogue intelligibility) to maximize it and provide (wild stereo) front field in front of the viewer.

But requires speakers built without baffle step compensation (or compensated with a complimentary shelving high-pass filter), since the long low wave lengths (11' at 100Hz) won't be absorbed by an inch of insulshield.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank1492 /forum/post/12894473


JBL-

I will continue to look for an answer to the speaker brightness issue. I know you will tell me I am 'barking up the wrong tree" here, but I know a "sharper" sound from the center channel would be a quick fix for that limited material that causes intelligibility problems.

One of your big problems is that with your speakers on the floor they're getting a boost at low frequencies; so set for a given output level the high frequencies are at a lower level. Putting the side speakers on stands which get the tweeters up to ear level, raising the center channel as much as possible, applying a shelving high-pass filter to the center channel will fix that, either within a receiver (some have this) or by using a parametric eq + external power amps.


The next is that you have some off-axis roll-off at high frequencies. Pointing the center channel at you will help.


If all that fails, lexicon processors have a "vocal enhance" logic-7 option which is configurable by The price on decade old DC-1s (capable of AC-3, DTS, and THX-EX in the unlikely event you prefer that to Logic-7) has dropped to a few hundred dollars. Other receivers and processors have similar equalization functionality.
 
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