Some Advice Needed - Setting up 5.1 Speakers


Distinguished Member
Appreciate some advice setting up 5.1 speaker levels.

I have an SPL meter so prefer to do things manually but I have tried the Audyssey.

To be honest running Audyssey comes up with pretty much the same results as when I do it manually.

My problem is that if I set each of the fronts and centre to 70 or 75dB then when I watch a movie I find that either

(i) With the volume set reasonable I can't hear the dialogue from the centre.

(ii) With the volume set so I can hear the dialogue from the centre, the effects from the fronts are deafening.

My fronts and centre use the same type of speaker (Canton CD50).

Obviously, I can manually turn down the fronts but if you end up setting the speaker levels manually by ear then what is the point of the auto-setup or SPL.

Wonder if I'm doing something wrong - any ideas?




Active Member
audessey sets your front speakers up at +75dB!?

i re-ran mine last night, it set it up at FL 0.0dB, C -4.0dB (non matching speaker), FR -0.5dB, SL 0.0dB, SL -0.5dB, SW +4.5dB (because the gain was a bit low)...

have you set all the speaker configurations correctly?


Active Member
jywg, you're getting confused. He means 75dB sound pressure level, not a relative channel gain on the amp of +75db. Anyway, which amps allow you to add 75dB of gain to a channel?!

It's unusual that you would struggle to hear the centre channel correctly if you've used either Audyssey, or a manual sound pressure meter, and set all channels to give an equal reading on the meter. Are you taking the measurements at the actual listening position? Also, it's worth checking the wiring on the centre speaker, just in case it's wired up out of phase. If so, it's possible that you could be getting some phase cancellation with the other channels.


Well-known Member
Whilst what you describe sounds extreme, there is a general phenomonen on DVDs that the dialogue is fairly quiet comapred to the effects. I'm not sure why it is, but its a frurstation of many people.

I have always run the auto set up's and then boosted the centre channel by about 4 or 5 dbs. For my 2809, i had to lower the SW by about the same as the audessy made it to loud. With those moves, i'm happy.

The various aydessy and dolby features on the very latest amps certainly helps, but i really dont know why soundtracks re mixed that way in the first place. I remember watching "walk the line" and having to constantly be on the remote control, turning it up for dialogue then dwon when the music came on. In fact i know people that have noticed itwho just have tv speakers.


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