Denon 2805, -35db, centre channel muddy.

pez

Active Member
Hi, I've got a thread over in the speakers section asking for advice on whether to upgrade my old AE Aegis Evo centre speaker, as night time listening means that I have to run my Denon AVR2805 at around -35db or its too loud for a toddler who sleeps upstairs. We can have the TV speakers at what feels like roughly the same volume as the 5.1 and AVR, but the voice clarity seems much better through the TV speakers (so much so that others who listed to it at night ask whats the point of home cinema if you cant make out the dialogue). The centre channel just sounds really boxy at low levels.

I've tried lots of different things so far, channel levels, placement, compression on and off, autosetup EQ many times, tried manually EQuing the centre but I cant seem to get it any better than the autosetup for voices.

Could it be that the receiver in question just isnt cut out for listening at low volumes even with compression on? Our room is over 7m by 4m, with the centre in the middle of the 7m wall and L and R about 2m out from it.

Does anyone else here have a Denon receiver in that series (1805, 2805, 3805 etc), and if so, are you able to make out dialogue at really low volumes from your centre?

pez
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Have you checked that the speaker itself is all ok? No blown tweeter/driver or one that's on it's way out?

Also, what crossover setting are you using?
 

pez

Active Member
No damage as far as I can tell on the centre speaker. 80Hz on crossover, and I'm going to be taking the centre down to a local specialist next week to compare it against other equipment. It will be interesting to see if it does have any damage. Speakers all set to small at the moment, but have tried large and combinations thereof.

In order to watch the Apprentice (don't judge me) last night, I had the TV speakers at a volume at which we could hear and understand the dialogue, and brought the AVR online and matched the audio with the delay option. That way we had pretty clear speech from the TV and other surround sound from the 5.1 setup.

I'm weary of spending on a larger/better/higher rated centre if it turns out its not the centre speakers fault. I see from your sig that you've got pretty high end equipment. Are you able to discern voices without difficulty at low volumes (I understand that our listening environments are going to be different)?

Is this a common complaint though? I've been googling muddy/boxy/unintelligible dialogue and centre speakers a bit recently, and have seen lots of threads across a few different forums (this forum suggests RXV677 Slightly Muddy Sound as a similar thread).
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
See what the specialist finds (if anything) but in the meantime are you able to swap one of your other speakers over purely to test out the centre channels amplification? If that ends up sounding muddy/boxy as well then you can start looking at other possibilities like the Denon itself or even speaker position, angle etc. Out of curiosity, what mode were you listening in? Dolby Digital?

I've been quite lucky with my systems over the years and only ever had an issue with dialogue on one centre channel speaker. That was a Kef Model 100C that needed to be bumped a couple of db higher than the calibrated 75db setting. I've no issues at any volume level with my current system.

Dialogue issues do crop up the Forums a fair bit. Most common would probably be people turning up the volume to hear dialogue properly and then being blasted out of their seats whenever there's an explosion/action scene and having to turn the volume back down again.
 

pez

Active Member
I've been running the auto setup a few times today, and I'm seeing the AVR struggling with that centre:

FL: -0.5db
FR: 0db
C: +12db
Sub: -2.5db
SL: 3.5db
SR: 1.5db

I think that's the highest boost it can give to a channel, so it looks like it wants it to be even louder.
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
Definitely something not right there if it's +12db (max). Check all the connections etc re-run the auto setup and if it's still +12db swap the centre speaker over to the front left or right amp and run the setup again. If it's still +12db then the speaker has an issue, if not, and you get a much lower figure then the centre channel amp could be at fault.

If it's the centre channel amp then it's worth trying a complete hard reset of the Denon just in case it's thrown a bit of a wobbler. You'll have to reconfigure all your settings again afterwards though.
 
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pez

Active Member
They appear to be OK.

The unit has 1x 120mm bass driver that feels like it's working when I touch it, tweeter in the middle sounds like it's working, and then another 120mm driver for mid on the right which also sounds like it's working.

Im looking forward to testing this against some other hardware.

Edit: posted at the same time. I'll swap them around tomorrow and see what readings that gives me. Cheers for the tips guys.
 

pez

Active Member
Well, I swapped over the Evo centre with one of my Evo 1 surrounds, and the +12db auto setup channel level followed it. I then took the centre down to Audio T in Cardiff who were kind enough to take a look at it, and allowed me to compare it against a B&W centre that had drivers of roughly the same size. The difference was like night and day!

Looks like my AVR will live to fight for a little while longer, but that centre speaker has seen better days!

It sounds like it's broken-it's sensitivity rating is higher than than the Evo1 and Evo3 so it shouldn't require a +12db from the auto setup, and it's almost completely lacking any midrange despite all 3 drivers appearing to be work.

Thanks for the troubleshooting tips!
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
No problem. :) At least you now know the culprit. Could be a blown crossover or something inside the speaker so might be repairable. Either that or it's time for an upgrade. :D
 

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