avr 600 ---- room eq or bass/treble??

kcsun

Active Member
My wife and I have problems with speech on alot of tv programmes recently (may be the first signs of getting old!!)
Turning up the volume does not seem to help.
On Sky we are using the dd output on spidf inputting to the AVR600 and using dts neo 6 cinema as the output when dd5.1 is not available

We have set the speakers up using the mic and then I selected using room eq in the setup menu
I notice that the bass/treble settings are greyed out in this mode.
If I turn the room eq function off the overall sound is alot quieter and not as rounded, this is with the bass/treble set in the middle
I have raised the centre speaker by 1db by the way, yes my room is very harsh by default (tiled floor, leather suite, couple of coffee tables and vaulted ceiling) I have tried putting down rugs, drapes over the settees etc but that does not seem to make much difference
I have matching large B&W speakers so do not think they are the problem.

Do you think twiddling the bass treble will make a difference. It seems as if the voices need a bit more treble to bring them out more?

kc
 

larkone

Distinguished Member
Lots of people complain about speech issues on Sky - we suffer it here as well. Try turning the centre speaker up more, 1dB is not very much, try 3-4dB. The issue is that it is not consistent across all Sky channels or programs. We find than the volume changes quite dramatically between programs and channels (adverts excepted because they are broadcast louder).

As you say you have a difficult room because of all of the hard surfaces and vaulting so your Room EQ is probably doing quite a lot to improve that and turning it off to be able to adjust the centre speaker will give you other issues. I tried two different centre speakers on my setup - a Rega Senta and PMC TB2C and the Rega was much better than the PMC at resolving speech, though I cannot discount the fact that the Rega also matches my front speakers Rega RS7s so it is reasonable to assume a better tonal match. I have my centre set 3dB up from reference which copes with most issues but not all programs - some are just appalling sound quality. You could also try adjusting the angle of your centre in relation to your listening position as this might help.

I also default to DTS neo6 for non DD5.1 programs as generally I find that the gives the best overall surround sound but sometimes switching to Prologic gives better dialogue, though not always.
 

kcsun

Active Member
I will try that this evening and let you know, I thought going much more than 1db higher would affect the soundstage but we can always try it high and then back it off a bit if the initial trials are successful

many thanks
kc
 

nrighton

Active Member
This is an interesting read on center channel placement and design. It covers some concepts of frequency cancellation and off axis listening which may be part of the problem you are experiencing. Some of the concepts in the linked post may be controversial but are definitely worth the read. Also it is ideal to have the center speaker on a stand about 24 inches (60cm) tall and a clear line of sight to the main seating position. Hope this helps.

Nick

Horizontal Center Channel Speakers and Why They Should Be Avoided - Blu-ray Forum
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Doesn't the AVR600 have memories like my AV9? I have 5 memories so I can have different set ups with speakers levels, distances, crossover set differently: I have a 'TV', 'Movie' and 'SACD' settings in 3 of the memories all with subtle changes that suit the use. I don't have Sky, but I don't find a problem with dialogue clarity on Freeview viewing though some programs are better than others in terms of the surround effect (5.1 on many HD broadcasts of course). If I did want a setting with extra centre level, then I could save that without it effecting the setting I use when viewing BluRays at higher levels (my 'Movie' memory setting).

Last time I did have this issue was when I had badly mismatched front speakers (completely different types though the same make) so maybe that's worth pursuing? Even if the centre isn't positioned very well (compared to the front speakers) since being put in a TV cabinet as many centre speakers are can give poor results (regardless of EQ).
 

kcsun

Active Member
You can set each input slightly differently (room eq or bass/treble etc) but the AVR600 does not have memories as such

kc
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
I wonder if it's due to the centre and front speaker mix you have? The CM centre is much smaller than the CM9 fronts, though to be honest even the CM2 doesn't look like an ideal match. IMHO if you don't have a perfectly matching centre then you can have issues with the front soundstage regardless of any EQ that the amp can provide. Brands like M&K and PMC make speaker ranges that allow you to buy exactly matched centres to go with the front speakers, but it seems that B&W don't (at least in the CM range) and I think that might be the crux of the problem.

Just as an experiment, try setting your amp to have no centre (AKA 'phantom centre') and see how you get on. You'll need to sit dead centre of the speakers of course, but it will prove a point if you find it sounds better and clearer. I have an exactly matching centre speaker and I've still engaged phantom centre mode for high level listening since my centre is too close to the floor and this causes a colouration at higher levels. I'm doing this until I can work out some way of raising the speaker for projector use (since it has to be below the TV the rest of the time).
 

kcsun

Active Member
Hi Kelvin
I have had a bit of an update recently and have changed my front speakers without changing them on my profile - doh!!
here is a piccy of my setup as it is now, will update my profile as well
IMG_5703a-L.jpg


IMG_5712a-L.jpg


kc
 

KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Well that blows that theory then, though your centre still isn't exactly the same as the fronts it looks a lot closer than the previous combination.

Might be worth bringing the centre forward if there is any glass shelf exposed in front (hard to tell from the shot) since that won't help the sound. Otherwise I'm out of ideas apart from to suggest you buy a proper screen. ;)

EDIT: Still might be worth trying the phantom centre setting just as a test as it'll confirm if it's an issue with the centre speaker (settings, position or -less likely- poor matching).
 
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kcsun

Active Member
Hi Kelvin
The centre is resting on the very front edge of the shelf (I had read that idea in another thread), although I have turned up the centre now by 3db and also turned the volume up to 36 last night while watching the "prisoner" drama on bbc1 hd.
Heard every word, maybe we just need more volume to fill the space? will try a couple of other drama's over the weekend and report back

We used to have a DaLite screen at our previous house but I got annoyed with all the different formats leaving bars at the top and bottom of the screen
When we moved in here, I painted 4 coats of Dulux vinyl matt brilliant white on the wall and then two coats of a special German projector screen paint. We saw it advertised at a Cedia show about 9 years ago. I am very impressed with its reflective qualities and it does not matter if the picture is 4:3, 16:9, 14:9, 235:16 it always looks perfect
I know the "black edging" gives a perceived depth to the picture but that has never bothered us.

Nick
Will look into the Moped option, they seem as if they tilt the centre up a bit as well as absorbing any vibrations (may try a DIY version using pipe insulation to see if there is any improvement first)

kc
 
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KelvinS1965

Distinguished Member
Sounds like you've tried the various options, though if the SPL levels are matched you shouldn't need to bump up the centre level really, though it's a useful trick if listening at low level. I tend to watch regular TV at maybe 25db down from reference without bother and run around -10db when using the projector.

Maybe it's a bit of fine tuning like the Mopeds as mentioned, also try raising the crossover: Don't feel obliged to run the centre at full range, just because it's big. Try 60, 70 or 80Hz to see if it helps clarity. If you can run your speakers at different crossovers (pretty sure the '600 can?) then you could try even higher like 100Hz.

I have a 2.35:1 screen and use side masking for 16:9 content, it would be a lot simpler if I could live with an unmasked screen ;) but best not to drag the thread off topic. :)
 

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