Centers and fronts for clear dialogues

skipppy89

Member
Dear folks!

I would like to ask for your experience and help. I'm looking to improve on my home theater system. I've been using a Denon X2300 with the speakers from my old and trusty Creative Gigaworks S750 with great satisfaction, but now that I moved to a bigger house, I found that I'd need some more power. I had a bargain for a JBL 225C center speaker, but I'm not really satisfied with the results. It is stronger and bassier for sure, but the dialogues sound like they come from a box compared to the clarity of my small satellite speakers (muddy, like it's missing the highs).

Apart from my centerpiece, I'd like to improve on my fronts as well to add some strength to my system, but I would really like to keep the clarity of the highs. What set would you suggest?

So far I've been checking out the Polk Audio Signature S35E and the Klipsch RP-440C for the center, and the Polk Audio S55E and the Wharfedale Diamond 12.4 for the fronts. Am I looking in the correct direction? Would these be an upgrade over the JBL 225? Would you have some other ideas in the bang for the buck category, which would provide me with some clear highs?

The room is a ~50 sqm living room and we usually watch movies on low-medium volumes.

Thank you really much for the input in advance!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Dear folks!

I would like to ask for your experience and help. I'm looking to improve on my home theater system. I've been using a Denon X2300 with the speakers from my old and trusty Creative Gigaworks S750 with great satisfaction, but now that I moved to a bigger house, I found that I'd need some more power. I had a bargain for a JBL 225C center speaker, but I'm not really satisfied with the results. It is stronger and bassier for sure, but the dialogues sound like they come from a box compared to the clarity of my small satellite speakers (muddy, like it's missing the highs).

Apart from my centerpiece, I'd like to improve on my fronts as well to add some strength to my system, but I would really like to keep the clarity of the highs. What set would you suggest?

So far I've been checking out the Polk Audio Signature S35E and the Klipsch RP-440C for the center, and the Polk Audio S55E and the Wharfedale Diamond 12.4 for the fronts. Am I looking in the correct direction? Would these be an upgrade over the JBL 225? Would you have some other ideas in the bang for the buck category, which would provide me with some clear highs?

The room is a ~50 sqm living room and we usually watch movies on low-medium volumes.

Thank you really much for the input in advance!

I don´t believe the speaker is at fault here assuming it´s fully working. The feedback has been quite the opposite what you described for it, so it´s likely other issue. I would first make sure the 225C is placed in open place (top of av-unit) not inside av-unit as it will colour the sound, place it close to seated ear height not shooting your knees too low. You can also try angling it more upward putting something under the front, two rubber door stoppers angled ones are good. I would also make sure to check after you have run Audussey that the speaker is set to Small size and crossover setting 90-100hz as it has tiny 4" drivers. Make sure there is space behind the speaker so it isn´t against wall with the two rear ports open, use port bungs if that is the case and re-run Audussey. If it sits on top of the unit, bring it at the front edge of it.

Bad_vs_Good_grande.png

You got some large room there, i hope you aren´t sitting too far away as you will be hearing less direct sound the further you sit. Also do you have some coffee table between speaker and listener plus if set too low inside cabinet = usually sounds muffled crap. Some rug/carpet hopefully in front of speakers if hard floors.

Another thing to check would be to try few settings under Denon menu called MultEQ XT and there you have Reference set as default, this will roll off the high frequencies which you don´t want clearly. Try the Flat setting and play the same movie again. Then try the Off setting so there will be no correction for speakers, this may well sound best as the low version of Audussey tend to correct the high frequencies with not so good end result.

Some people don`t like the Audussey Dynamic EQ so make sure you try turning it off. You may find the Dynamic Volume usefull if you listen at later evening and can´t hear the dialogue. There is different setting for it too. So you got now three things to try and you can find them below on the link (test one thing at a time, but first make sure the speaker is placed optimally and check crossovers):



Report back do you get some better results with it. Check that the speaker distances are about ball park, subwoofer shows further and that is normal. If you have no idea how to optimize Audussey run then watch this 9min clip and you will be wiser. There is many mistakes you could have done and due to it, it can sound poorer. Let`s try first to make it sound better rather than looking new product. If you run Audussey again you can do the 3mic positions too at this point. So first in the middle, second and third each side close by (30-60cm), mic on top of the cardboard mic stand, room 100% silent and get away from mic/speakers when it runs!

 

skipppy89

Member
Thank you for this absurdly detailed answer :) I will check out these things although I have a feeling I did most of these correctly so far. I just got a call from my local shop that they have received a 3700H, and it's en route to me, so I'll do the whole setup when it arrives.

Even if I keep the JBL center, I would like to upgrade my fronts. Which unit would you recommend for me that shines with highs? (with similar prices to the ones mentioned above)

Is it important to match the fronts with the center?
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
‘It is stronger and bassier for sure, but the dialogues sound like they come from a box compared to the clarity of my small satellite speakers (muddy, like it's missing the highs’ - have you confirmed that the HF driver is working?

With the grill removed and music with HF energy playing get close up to the speaker and use your hand to shield the individual drivers and confirm they are all working.

Joe
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thank you for this absurdly detailed answer :) I will check out these things although I have a feeling I did most of these correctly so far. I just got a call from my local shop that they have received a 3700H, and it's en route to me, so I'll do the whole setup when it arrives.

Even if I keep the JBL center, I would like to upgrade my fronts. Which unit would you recommend for me that shines with highs? (with similar prices to the ones mentioned above)

Is it important to match the fronts with the center?

Better to check those things as it doesn`t cost anything, time only. Most cases the speaker is placed poorly or setup wrong and due to that it will sound poor. Some have even connected it wrong either on receiver or speaker side, although Audussey should have gave you error if you would done this..

Yep ideally you would buy front three from same range. Studio 270 would be the ideal partner then, used in the review below with the 225C.
 

chris walkden

Novice Member
Dear folks!

I would like to ask for your experience and help. I'm looking to improve on my home theater system. I've been using a Denon X2300 with the speakers from my old and trusty Creative Gigaworks S750 with great satisfaction, but now that I moved to a bigger house, I found that I'd need some more power. I had a bargain for a JBL 225C center speaker, but I'm not really satisfied with the results. It is stronger and bassier for sure, but the dialogues sound like they come from a box compared to the clarity of my small satellite speakers (muddy, like it's missing the highs).

Apart from my centerpiece, I'd like to improve on my fronts as well to add some strength to my system, but I would really like to keep the clarity of the highs. What set would you suggest?

So far I've been checking out the Polk Audio Signature S35E and the Klipsch RP-440C for the center, and the Polk Audio S55E and the Wharfedale Diamond 12.4 for the fronts. Am I looking in the correct direction? Would these be an upgrade over the JBL 225? Would you have some other ideas in the bang for the buck category, which would provide me with some clear highs?

The room is a ~50 sqm living room and we usually watch movies on low-medium volumes.

Thank you really much for the input in advance!
My recent upgrade due to old shabby speakers, plus the annoyance of unclear vocals in movies when at lower levels late at night, These are overkill for the size of my room, but they are clear as a bell even when playing at low volume so not to annoy the neighbours at midnight. Klipsch rp8000f Mains and the RP504 centre.
 

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