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Speech seems to be quiet

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Brad_Porter, Jul 19, 2002.

  1. Brad_Porter

    Brad_Porter
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    I have had two systems and two amps in the past and always come across this problem - I wonder if its just me or is it a known small (and rectifiable) glitch.

    I first had a Sony DB-940 amp with the PASCAL 705 speakers and now I have the Denon-3802 with Def Techs ProCinema80.

    I have set all the levels with a sound pressure meter and placed the speakers to Dolby specs etc. But on both systems it just appears that speach on certain DVD's appears to be quiet. I always have to up the db to hear it beter.

    Is this a know small glitch? Do must home cinema-o-philes always have the center speaker louder?

    Just want to know :)
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    On some discs the speech does appear to be at a lower level, if you struggle to hear it then it does´nt hurt to increase the centre channel a couple of db, you can always turn it down again.

    The other option would be to use the Dynamic Range Compression this reduces the volume level between the quietest & loudest sounds of the film, means you can increase the volume level to hear dialogue yet not be blasted out of your house when there´s an explosion (some people like this though!!:D )
     
  3. Brad_Porter

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    Cheers Jase - as always - a helping hand!!
     
  4. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Brad,

    You probably don't want to hear from me again but I had a Sony 1070 and Def Tech Pro Cinemas and didn't have undue problems with speech from the centre.

    There are some DVDs where the centre channel is recorded a bit on the low side (I seem to recall complaints about Phanton Menace) and this could be your problem.

    If it's only on some films it is unlikely to be a fault in the speaker.

    Not many people here have the Def Techs but I thought that they were good satellites, partnered with a REL Q Bass in my case.
     
  5. sifowler

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    Am I right in thinking that Dynamic Range Compression is only possible with Dolby Digital?

    Its certainly not an option for DTS on my Denon amp.
     
  6. Brad_Porter

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    Always happy to hear from you or anyone! Dont mean to come over all 'know-it-all' I just must have done I suppose!!

    So.....you have a REL as well then??? You hate the 150 as well then!!!
     
  7. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I sold my Q Bass and now have a REL Storm.

    I must admit I have never heard a 150 so have no opinion either way.
     
  8. Jase

    Jase
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    I originally thought it was only for Dolby Digital but on the DTS track of Rambo III (R1) you can engage it, most other DTS discs you can´t. Maybe its something that can be included at the encoding stage.:confused:
     
  9. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Brad

    Try changing the position of the centre speaker temporarily. It often works wonders. Under a tv often sounds 'dull' and many tweak the level a few db as it sounds nicer. Not strictly 'audiophile' but 1-2 db gain on centre and 3db gain on sub works very well but don't tell the purists.:blush:
     
  10. Brad_Porter

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    Cheers Nic,

    Ill give them small tweaks a go.

    Brad
     
  11. Hotblack

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    Hi Brad

    Your problem sounds very similar to mine (thread: Is my Sony STR-DB940 gutless). I have the same amp and sub and the centre channel has dropped off completely.

    To expand on your points, I have tweaked the dB level on the centre (had it at +10 and still too low) and it's on ALL DVD's not just some. The sub's also refusing to work (sub does work, had it tested, and the centre is fine too) so I naturally blamed the amp despite Richer Sounds saying there is nothing wrong with it. I will be getting the Denon A10-SE of russraff soon so I hope it is the amp. Will let you know.

    HotBlack
     
  12. Brad_Porter

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    The issue is really odd. It may be the fact that I have bad room accustics or something. However, I was watching Mulholland Drive yesterday (certain parts were watched over and over again :D ) and the center channel was appauling. I have to have the volume up on my 3802 to -16 db and still the quiet moments were extremely quiet.

    Bugger - never can get the damn thing perfect.
     
  13. juboy

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    It's also worth noting the physical position of your front speakers... chances are you have the L and R channel speakers towards the respective corners of your room. They're also probably either floorstanders or on decent speaker stands.

    Now compare this to your centre speaker... probably freestanding in terms of room placement and possibly mounted on top of your TV?

    The speakers in the corners will tend to have bass and lower mid frequencies slightly boosted by their proximity to rear/side walls and superior support, which can then slightly 'drown' the freestanding centre.
     
  14. penfold

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    Nic Rhodes is right. I had the centre speaker on the cabinet shelf under the TV. I knew it sounded kinda dead but I was too new to this to actually know what was going on. I bought a £4.99 shelf with adjustable legs to sit on top of the TV(sloped top, unfortunately). Blu-tacked it all down to minimise vibration, and blu-tacked the ctr speaker on top, pointing slightly down and EXACTLY towards my head when seated. You wouldn't believe how much more open it sounds. Not a purists solution, I know...

    Also Brad, I assume you've calibrated the speaker distances correctly on the denon?
     
  15. Brad_Porter

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    Where can I get a stand for my center speaker - I have the M&K S85C and a Sony WEGA 32inch W/S TV. I didnt know these 'center' stands exisited!

    I dont think it will balance safely on top of my television so I wont chance it. Really need a stand or clamp/stand.

    ....distances are calibrated fine on the denon.

    Cheers for info by the way - that goes to all of you.
     
  16. Ian J

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    Brad,

    Are you sure that it's not just the film. I haven't seen it so I don't know but not all DVDs are brilliant soundwise.

    What about other films.

    I have my centre under the TV which sounds OK to me and I had the resident M&K expert up last weekend and he didn't find anything wrong with it - unless he was just being polite.
     
  17. Brad_Porter

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    Hi Ian - long time no speak...

    It might be, I have a play tonight. You are right though, a fair portion of films seem to have less then great mixes for the center channell. Its not a majority, but its a few.

    How comes you get the M&K guy coming round your house, then?
     
  18. dfield2000

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    I've also got a str 930 and I agree that the centre channel can sometimes come across at low volumes which occasionally leaves you struggling to hear the dialogue. One of the worse offenders for me was the opening beach landing scene on Saving Private Ryan. It does say in the manual of the 930 that some discs have the centre channel recorded at a slightly lower level and it recommends cranking up a bit. I've put mine up +3db but I'm reluctant to put it up anymore.

    Juboy's post seems to make allot of sense, as I've recently moved house and bought some new stands for the front pair, and due to the shape of the room it means the centre speaker is wedged in the corner and therefore further away from the listening position and lower down compared to the front two. Since I've been using this setup the centre channel problem seems to have got worse.
     
  19. stranger

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    also moving the centre speaker forward or back relative to the tv screen can make a difference-start with the front baffle level with the screen and work from there. half an inch made a hell of a difference in clarity for me and I always have the centre level3-4db up in level.
     
  20. dfield2000

    dfield2000
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    that has started me thinking that the 'screen depth' option might be doing something to the centre channel. I've got it set to 'Mid', which is supposed to (according to the manual anyway) make the sound appear to be coming from inside the screen. I'll try switching it off to see what difference it gives.
     
  21. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    My centre is boosted by 3 db as well but some films are better recorded than others
     

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