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How to get better speech intelligability?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by MJeeves, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    I have a good set-up and love the picture and sound quality of it. However, it is far from flawless and one of the problems I have is speech intelligability. Some DVD's I find the speech and dialogue hard to make out. Is there anything I can do to help improve this other than make the centre channel so much louder than the other channels (which I am reluctant to do)?

    Help appreciated. Thanks, M.

    My system: Pioneer 868 DVD Player, Pioneer AV5AiS Receiver, Audio Research SP9 Pre-Amp, Michell Alecto Monoblock Power Amps, Proac Response 2 loudspeakers (left and right main), Proac CC One (centre), Proac Tablettes (left and right rear), REL Storm 5 subwoofer (LFE), Sim2 RTX 55 DLP (tv) and all speakers are set to "large" using the Pioneer auto-set-up.

    ..
     
  2. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Can you not use your manual settings to increase the db of your centre speaker over the other surrounds?
     
  3. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    Yes, but won't that "collapse" the soundstage, making it sound more "monocentric"?
     
  4. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    I know what you're saying, but the best solution is to fiddle around with it so it sounds good to you. I have my centre speaker a lot louder than the others.

    The best thing to do is to do the automatic setup and then manually fiddle around with the settings until you're happy with it. Although I would have thought that the Pioneer's automatic setup would be near enough spot on :confused:

    Anyone else have any ideas?
     
  5. Mylo

    Mylo
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    Upping the level of the centre will indeed unbalance the system. Set all speakers to small first and see how that sounds.
     
  6. rOAdeh

    rOAdeh
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    I was speaking to Godfather when i picked up his DD15 and asked what benefits he had found from installing auralex in his room and he said that he found things to be much clearer - dependent on your waf requirements it might be worth investigating.

    Here's a pic of his room: http://www.velodyne.com/velodyne/coolinstalls/images/DD15-1.jpg - though i'll admit that photo is obviously concentrating on his DD15 rather than the auralex which does strike you somewhat if you enter the room!

    Hope you don't mind me posting that Henry!

    He did have quite a lot of the stuff around but you can easily mail auralex and they will happily give you recommendations.
     
  7. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Godfather's room is what I aspire to :D
     
  8. rOAdeh

    rOAdeh
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    ...tell me about it :)
     
  9. Kazman

    Kazman
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    I want Godfathers room too :D
     
  10. S H A D O

    S H A D O
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    Another option (if you're not watching at Reference Levels) is to engage the Dynamic Range Control (sometimes called Midnight Mode). Most Amps/Receivers have several settings for it. This can certainly help if you find you're constantly turning the volume up to hear dialogue and then back down again when there's an explosion. It also won't bugger up your calibrated channel levels either.
     
  11. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    Do you have any more info on this?

    Thanks, Martin :thumbsup:
     
  12. S H A D O

    S H A D O
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    Basically what it does is reduce the Dynamic Range between the quietest and loudest elements that make up the soundtrack. It enables you to have to have the overall volume louder but won't blast your eardrums apart when there's a loud explosion. It also makes the quieter parts of the soundtrack easier to hear. Most Amps will have settings such as OFF, Low, Mid and High (Off = No Compression, Low compression, Mid Compression etc) or MIN, STD, MAX (Minimum Dynamic Range, Standard and Maximum Dynamic Range).

    It's certainly worth experimenting. The Low setting works very well on my Denon. Just bear in mind it won't work if you engage THX Processing or if the soundtrack is DTS (only ever found one DTS dvd that let me engage it).

    More info here:- Scroll down to the Chapter titled - Some other functions of Dialnorm:

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_7_2/feature-article-dialog-normalization-6-2000.html
     
  13. geeWcee

    geeWcee
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    Godfathers room looks so clean lined that it actually looks like a Photoshop mock up.
    Brilliant stuff!
     
  14. lowrider

    lowrider
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    I didnt like the CC1 very much, lack of body, thin sound, on the other hand, the CC2 is the best center speaker I tested, and I bought it...

    I am sure it would solve your problem...
     
  15. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Nice setup there lowrider :thumbsup:
     
  16. lowrider

    lowrider
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    Thanks, 3 years upgrading to get here... :cool:
     
  17. jasper_mccrea

    jasper_mccrea
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    When I upgraded my centre, dialogue immediately became much better, but I didn't want to say this having never heard yours, and thought proac made pretty decent speakers. But if lowrider says it's not great, maybe there's something in that.

    I also found moving my speaker from above the telly (it was quite big at the time) to a stand just below screen height helped more with vocal placement, but that's a slightly different issue (though it was on a stand, and not the top of the teevee..). Have you got yours on something solid enough?
     
  18. danny daniell

    danny daniell
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    Try running the Pioneer auto-setup several times over,it is possible that you may get different results.I read somewhere that the auto-setup is not always 100% correct first time over. It may also be a good idea to double check it with a sound pressure metre afterwards.

    Regards Dan :)
     
  19. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    The Pioneer auto setup (MCACC) is meant to be one of the best out there though, especially on the newer AX5Ai version which has advanced MCACC. Doesn't this version allow for room reverb and allow results to be seen on the PC via RS232?
     
  20. MJeeves

    MJeeves
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    Yes, it is. I'll try and tweak the position of the centre speaker but putting it on a dedicated stand and marble shelf. Then, if I'm still not happy with the dialogue intelligibility I'll play with the "MIDNIGHT" mode and centre channel level.

    Thanks for your halp guys. I'll keep you posted!

    :thumbsup:
     
  21. lowrider

    lowrider
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    Placing the center speaker under the TV instead of above gives a more credible stage, voices come from the screen rather then from the ceiling, also, because a shelf is more stable than the TV top, you get better sound...
     
  22. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    I experimented with this too and found that centre below the tv gave better results.
     
  23. danny daniell

    danny daniell
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    I thought that it was worth suggesting this as part of a process of elimination.If the auto-setup gives the same results 2nd time over,then it would prove the system was infallible,it is just that some reviewers have written that auto-setup can diagnose wrong polarity on speakers etc,however,as this is the latest version it may no longer be an issue.

    Dan :)
     
  24. Tejstar

    Tejstar
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    Good point :thumbsup:
     

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