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Bass Heavy From Mens Voices

EdwardScissors

Established Member
I have recently upgraded a few things in my system i.e. the mains & centre to B&W CM9 / CM centre, a new BK xxls400 sub, i have my existing sony receiver and i now use a pre owned Roksan amp to drive the fronts.

My system sounds amazing to me when watching action movies however one problem i have is i get too much bass when some men's voices are talking. I dont know if it is coming from my fronts, centre or sub. My receiver allows me to adjust treble and bass for the fronts, centre or rears independently, should i use this to try and control it. I have my receiver set to small for the speakers so it will allow me to use the internal crossover, it gives me 3 options for the front, centre and rears. I have the fronts set to 60hz, centre 120hz (default), rear 120hz (default), would adjusting the xover help in any way?

Has anyone else came across this problem and can advise on how to tackle it.

Oddly i went to see a The Mummy at a cinema in Patong, Phuket, Thailand recently, it was a large auditorium and the sound was still good but i noticed the voices were too bassy there too.
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
Thanks for your reply, would that not just send more bass to the centre speaker? Is there some other reason for your suggestion?
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your reply, would that not just send more bass to the centre speaker? Is there some other reason for your suggestion?

It will send more bass to the centre but it will reduce the amount going to the subwoofer. You may find the centre is better at reproducing those particular frequencies than the subwoofer.
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
It will send more bass to the centre but it will reduce the amount going to the subwoofer. You may find the centre is better at reproducing those particular frequencies than the subwoofer.

Is that how surround works? I have never thoroughly researched into this but i thought if i set the front to say 60hz, the sub would receive 60hz and below of the signal. Are you saying centre frequencies below the 120hz setting are sent to the sub also?
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Is that how surround works? I have never thoroughly researched into this but i thought if i set the front to say 60hz, the sub would receive 60hz and below of the signal. Are you saying centre frequencies below the 120hz setting are sent to the sub also?

Yes, if the speakers are set to small then everything below the crossover point gets re-directed to the subwoofer.
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
Yes, if the speakers are set to small then everything below the crossover point gets re-directed to the subwoofer.

Nice one thanks, once i get time to watch a movie i will hopefully notice a difference.
 

davidf

Prominent Member
There's a bit of an overlap, as setting the crossover point isn't a brick wall type effect.

With regards to bass in voices, some will argue that you should let the speaker that is the strongest in that frequency range do the work, but sometimes that can be too strong, so if the sub is better at reproducing the 80-100Hz range, but produces a bit of boom, letting the speakers take over that range may well tame it. You never know until you try.

There will be some instances where letting the speakers reproduce more of the lower ranges could put some stress on the centre, causing it to become muddled and lose clarity - letting the sub take over can tidy this up.
 
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D

Deleted member 598831

Guest
Agree with the above. I have an AT screen and use the different eq profiles on my anthem. With screen up, my centre is crossed over at 90, and its fine, but with screen down I find this muddled, so for that profile the centre is crossed at 80.

Just a case of experimentation, and what sounds "right" to you.
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
@davidf Thanks for the explanation David, what you say makes a lot of sense. I work weekends and so i have not been able to get to try another movie but i will report back with my findings.

@Steven1210 Thanks for your feedback. I will see how i get on with experimenting, now i now which direction i should be taking. cheers.
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
What was your original centre and where is it positioned?
If it is in or on your AV cabinet?

Yes its on the top shelf in front of the tv, i intend to make a shelf above the tv but its on the cabinet for now. Its not practical to raise the tv and put the centre below it.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Is the speaker proud of the front? No speaker will sounds it's best on a cabinet or shelf. Your issue could be that your new speaker is more adversely affected by the position on the unit and hence you are hearing more of an issue. If that is the case then the crossover setting may not cure it. So if that does not work you could try wall mounting the speaker using a proper bracket or using a sound isolation pad.
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
Is the speaker proud of the front? No speaker will sounds it's best on a cabinet or shelf. Your issue could be that your new speaker is more adversely affected by the position on the unit and hence you are hearing more of an issue. If that is the case then the crossover setting may not cure it. So if that does not work you could try wall mounting the speaker using a proper bracket or using a sound isolation pad.

What thickness is an isolation pad? Because of the work involved i keeping delaying fitting the shelf above the tv.

After adjusting the crossover settings things are better but i still hear a little distortion. Is it worth listening the the centre on its own to hear how it sounds without the other speakers distracting me.

I have a seperate amp driving my fronts. WHen i did the calibration, my centre was set to +5db. I checked the test tone with a meter and it actually should have been +7db, so even louder again. My rears were set low, i had to increase the rears to +6db to get all my speakers to read zero on my meter. I have turned my sub down to see if that helps just in case the voices are still creeping through.
 

PSM1

Distinguished Member
Some of them can be 1çm or more in thickness and can also buy them wedge shaped to angle the centre more to the listening position.
 

speed1268

Prominent Member
Some of them can be 1çm or more in thickness and can also buy them wedge shaped to angle the centre more to the listening position.

Hi, I have set my crossover's individually 10 above the lower level should mean good integration with your sub,
Sorbuthane pads could used to test the centre,or a piece of glass or a granite chopping board!
Position of the sub could make an effect on an overblown performance.
Hope this helps.

speed
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
Some of them can be 1çm or more in thickness and can also buy them wedge shaped to angle the centre more to the listening position.

I was looking at Auralex Mopads but these are a bit thick and 12" is too long, maybe they are easy to trim. Is there a brand you recommend if i wanted to buy some flat pads about 20mm.

Last night i did a little testing during a movie. I turned my sub off so i could listen to the bass coming from the centre speaker. I also sat my speaker on the floor and angled it up using my gel mouse mat. This means the cabinet wont be affecting the sound from my centre. It turns out i am hearing distortion as the listening level is quite loud, my main speakers are coping fine though. I set the crossover to 120hz which helped a bit, i then lowered the bass to -5db on the centre, this helped with the distorted voices but there is still a little sign of distortion. I guess i need to experiment a bit more.

Now that i have lowered the bass levels going to the centre, will this also mean that the sound below the crossover setting will in turn send less bass to the sub for the centre only, im wondering if there voices were booming a little from the sub.
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
Hi, I have set my crossover's individually 10 above the lower level should mean good integration with your sub,
Sorbuthane pads could used to test the centre,or a piece of glass or a granite chopping board!
Position of the sub could make an effect on an overblown performance.
Hope this helps.

speed

My floorstanders go really low but i have the xover set at 60hz for now. I experimented with music and moving the setting from 60hz to 80hz did not make much difference.

Thanks for the suggestion. I have been able to test the centre by sitting it on the floor, if you read my last post you can see it is distortion that is the problem. I also think if i had my sub too high then voices might be booming through my sub to some degree. A bit more experimenting to do.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
I was looking at Auralex Mopads but these are a bit thick and 12" is too long, maybe they are easy to trim. Is there a brand you recommend if i wanted to buy some flat pads about 20mm.

Last night i did a little testing during a movie. I turned my sub off so i could listen to the bass coming from the centre speaker. I also sat my speaker on the floor and angled it up using my gel mouse mat. This means the cabinet wont be affecting the sound from my centre. It turns out i am hearing distortion as the listening level is quite loud, my main speakers are coping fine though. I set the crossover to 120hz which helped a bit, i then lowered the bass to -5db on the centre, this helped with the distorted voices but there is still a little sign of distortion. I guess i need to experiment a bit more.

Now that i have lowered the bass levels going to the centre, will this also mean that the sound below the crossover setting will in turn send less bass to the sub for the centre only, im wondering if there voices were booming a little from the sub.

Auralex MoPads come in two parts so you could just use the thinner section. They're also easily trimmed to size.

View attachment 888466
Adam Hall also do a similar product.

With regards to your 120hz crossover on the centre then by doing that you're re-directing more bass to the subwoofer. I'd play around with the various settings and see which sounds best although rather than have different settings for each speaker I'd set them all the same e.g 80hz then test other settings like 60hz, 90hz etc.

If you've lowered the bass on the centre by -5db then that shouldn't affect what's going to the subwoofer. That's assuming you're using the individual speaker bass and treble tone controls and not a global adjustment.

If you're hearing distortion are you sure there isn't a problem with the speaker itself?
 

speed1268

Prominent Member
Auralex MoPads come in two parts so you could just use the thinner section. They're also easily trimmed to size.

View attachment 888466
Adam Hall also do a similar product.

With regards to your 120hz crossover on the centre then by doing that you're re-directing more bass to the subwoofer. I'd play around with the various settings and see which sounds best although rather than have different settings for each speaker I'd set them all the same e.g 80hz then test other settings like 60hz, 90hz etc.

If you've lowered the bass on the centre by -5db then that shouldn't affect what's going to the subwoofer. That's assuming you're using the individual speaker bass and treble tone controls and not a global adjustment.

If you're hearing distortion are you sure there isn't a problem with the speaker itself?

Hi, Depending which centre you have either 60 or 80 would be fine and 50/60 for your main.
It would be a good idea as stated to check the centre,connect it to another output /swop centre and right for example.
I have a system which you use a meter to check levels and then you can alter crossovers.No individual bass! You probably have but try setting everything on individual settings to 0, then set x-over and go from there!
Sorry I can't remember if you were able to set sound eq's[emoji849].
Nice looking kit I googled to check x-over!

speed
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
Auralex MoPads come in two parts so you could just use the thinner section. They're also easily trimmed to size.

With regards to your 120hz crossover on the centre then by doing that you're re-directing more bass to the subwoofer. I'd play around with the various settings and see which sounds best although rather than have different settings for each speaker I'd set them all the same e.g 80hz then test other settings like 60hz, 90hz etc.

If you've lowered the bass on the centre by -5db then that shouldn't affect what's going to the subwoofer. That's assuming you're using the individual speaker bass and treble tone controls and not a global adjustment.

If you're hearing distortion are you sure there isn't a problem with the speaker itself?

Sorry for the long reply, i dont want to bore people but all going well you can understand what i have wrote.

Many thanks for the suggestions re the pads, i have ordered some Adam Hall Eco 2 isolation pads, they are a pair and they are 265mm wide each, i can use one or use i can use them both, these ones are 40mm high so they are not as high as the Auralex ones and i can trim off what i dont need.

I followed your suggestion and experimented with the crossover and the bass levels today. I was also concerned that the centre speaker could be faulty. So i set the receiver so there was no surrounds speakers showing, i unplugged my power amp and this stops my fronts from playing, i switched off the sub at the back, i now only had my centre playing and this would allow me to hear exactly how it was performing.

I choose a recent movie called A Monster Calls, there is a tree monster in the movie and it talks a lot in a deep deep darth vader like voice. I crank my receiver up to zero (loud), my meter shows the voices reaching over 90db, this is the level i like for watching movies. The monsters voice is distorting and its obvious it is too much bass for my centre speaker. 2 things can make it clean again, 1 - moving the crossover up to 140hz but we dont want this because it will send the signals below this to the sub. 2 - If i set the xover to 80hz and set my centre bass to -5db this then gives me a clean sound from the speaker, this bass setting is only for the centre channel, my receiver has separate bass/treble settings for front/centre/rear. So now i was happy with the sound from my centre but please read the next bit.

I switched on my sub so that i only had my sub and centre running, playing the monsters voice i could hear voice bass coming from the sub albeit it was not too over blown, i disconnected the centre speaker so i was only listening to the sub only, i could hear some of the bass from the monsters voice, i moved my centre crossover to 60hz, this means less voice signal is going to the sub, so now my sub was sounding better without the rumbling bass from the voice and my centre was just fine with the crossover at 60hz and the bass at -5db. I discovered that altering the bass for the centre channel does actually affect the bass signal going to the subwoofer.

So i guess going forward i will stick with these settings. Maybe i will need to adjust the bass on the centre up for some movies but ill leave the crossover at 60hz.

Another movie that i tested was Silence (liam Neeson) but it did not have the deep voices that i wanted, near the end he is talking with some asian man and the treble from the voices sounds terrible through my centre speaker, you would think my tweeter was faulty, it was not this harsh during the monster movie. These speakers are known for being on the bright side but i think there is differences in the bass and treble applied to some movie soundtracks.
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
Hi, Depending which centre you have either 60 or 80 would be fine and 50/60 for your main.
It would be a good idea as stated to check the centre,connect it to another output /swop centre and right for example.
I have a system which you use a meter to check levels and then you can alter crossovers.No individual bass! You probably have but try setting everything on individual settings to 0, then set x-over and go from there!
Sorry I can't remember if you were able to set sound eq's[emoji849].
Nice looking kit I googled to check x-over!

speed

Thanks im glad you like my system, thanks for looking up my kit in order to assist me.

You are right with regard to the crossover setting and playing with them and adjusting the bass. I have addressed a lot of the things in my previous post. It was easier just typing it all at once, well it just seemed easier for me. So 60hz is what i have choosen for my xover for the centre and the bass is set to -5db. I dont have a sound eq i just have a separate bass/ treble setting for the fronts, rears and centre.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Sorry for the long reply, i dont want to bore people but all going well you can understand what i have wrote.

Many thanks for the suggestions re the pads, i have ordered some Adam Hall Eco 2 isolation pads, they are a pair and they are 265mm wide each, i can use one or use i can use them both, these ones are 40mm high so they are not as high as the Auralex ones and i can trim off what i dont need.

I followed your suggestion and experimented with the crossover and the bass levels today. I was also concerned that the centre speaker could be faulty. So i set the receiver so there was no surrounds speakers showing, i unplugged my power amp and this stops my fronts from playing, i switched off the sub at the back, i now only had my centre playing and this would allow me to hear exactly how it was performing.

I choose a recent movie called A Monster Calls, there is a tree monster in the movie and it talks a lot in a deep deep darth vader like voice. I crank my receiver up to zero (loud), my meter shows the voices reaching over 90db, this is the level i like for watching movies. The monsters voice is distorting and its obvious it is too much bass for my centre speaker. 2 things can make it clean again, 1 - moving the crossover up to 140hz but we dont want this because it will send the signals below this to the sub. 2 - If i set the xover to 80hz and set my centre bass to -5db this then gives me a clean sound from the speaker, this bass setting is only for the centre channel, my receiver has separate bass/treble settings for front/centre/rear. So now i was happy with the sound from my centre but please read the next bit.

I switched on my sub so that i only had my sub and centre running, playing the monsters voice i could hear voice bass coming from the sub albeit it was not too over blown, i disconnected the centre speaker so i was only listening to the sub only, i could hear some of the bass from the monsters voice, i moved my centre crossover to 60hz, this means less voice signal is going to the sub, so now my sub was sounding better without the rumbling bass from the voice and my centre was just fine with the crossover at 60hz and the bass at -5db. I discovered that altering the bass for the centre channel does actually affect the bass signal going to the subwoofer.

So i guess going forward i will stick with these settings. Maybe i will need to adjust the bass on the centre up for some movies but ill leave the crossover at 60hz.

Another movie that i tested was Silence (liam Neeson) but it did not have the deep voices that i wanted, near the end he is talking with some asian man and the treble from the voices sounds terrible through my centre speaker, you would think my tweeter was faulty, it was not this harsh during the monster movie. These speakers are known for being on the bright side but i think there is differences in the bass and treble applied to some movie soundtracks.

A lot will depend on how the films have been mixed with regards to what's actually going to the subwoofer in the LFE channel. Also throw in your room acoustics and no EQ to compensate and that could add to the issues you've been having. Experimenting with the crossovers and adjusting the bass/treble can alleviate that to some degree as you've found out.

It sounds like you've found a happy medium though. :smashin:
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
A lot will depend on how the films have been mixed with regards to what's actually going to the subwoofer in the LFE channel. Also throw in your room acoustics and no EQ to compensate and that could add to the issues you've been having. Experimenting with the crossovers and adjusting the bass/treble can alleviate that to some degree as you've found out.

It sounds like you've found a happy medium though. :smashin:

Yes and i got there through the good advice given on the thread and some experimenting. I have an isolation pad under the centre speaker and its tilted up just slightly and it is not facing me directly. I dont know if the pad will make a difference but i now to what to listen for and what to adjust in the future.
 

EdwardScissors

Established Member
I watched Wakefield last night, i put the centre speaker bass back to zero, there was no problem with bassy voices or distortion so i guess it does depend on how the soundtrack is mixed.
 

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