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Baldrick35

Centre Speaker muffled

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Hi Folks,

 

I’m hoping I can get a bit of help with, well, what I hope is a set-up issue and not a technical issue. I’ve written a pretty detailed background below (a short novel – sorry!) which I hope helps.

 

Background is: I have a Marantz SR5009 receiver running a set of Arron speakers - ATS-5s at the front, SS-120 rears and, up until recently, an Accusound Ref 8.6 centre. I’m afraid there’s no sub at the moment – which has recently been pointed out to me as something I should address, but that’s another story… It’s all in a moderate sized loungeroom, 4.2m x 3.2m

 

So when I got this set-up towards 3 years ago, I plugged it in, let Audyssey do its thing and that was pretty much it… I know I eventually had to set the rears to ‘small’ because Audyssey set them to ‘large’ (crazy!) and maybe I did something else – I really can’t remember in detail – but largely it worked nicely from the get go (I’m sure a pro could have tweaked it better of course, but from where I started it was a damn fine solution!)

 

I recently grabbed an Aaron CC-120 centre speaking – I badly want the CC-240 but it turns out Aaron closed down recently so I jumped at a 120 that was available, thinking it would at least be a tad better than the Accusound. (Still keen on a CC-240 if anyone’s got one hanging around they want to offload??? :) )

 

Again, I plugged it in, let Audyssey do its thing, but this time it just didn’t all gel like it previously had.

 

Biggest problem funnily enough is the centre, it just seemed a bit muffled. I thought it might have been just due to a new speaker needing time to settle in, so I left it for a bit but the more I listened the more I could hear it. Plus, the volume I had to turn the system up to in order to (just) understand dialogue was now 55+, as opposed to 45 that previously worked a treat for just about everything.

 

Next step of experimenting was to put the Accusound back in, but it seems even with the Accusound it was sounding like it had a thick towel draped over the front.

 

So it feels like something has gone awry and I can’t figure out what!

 

It really seems like tonal thing more so than a volume thing – people with deeper voices sound muffled while higher voices are a bit better but not perfect. I’ve also dabbled with increasing the volume of the centre speaker and that hasn’t really helped much (and I never had to do that before.)

 

A couple of key tweaking areas I’ve tried:

 

Dynamic EQ: I set this to ON initially and have experimented with on and off. It seems better with this OFF. Since turning it off I can understand dialogue a bit better, but it’s still not right.

 

Dynamic Volume: Currently set to HEAVY. I’ve tried turning it off and I find I have no volume in the system at all when I do that (definitely not how it was before my centre speaker experiment)

 

Crossovers: I have to note that in my original setup I never played with the crossover setting, partly because I didn’t understand it, partly because I didn’t have a sub and, ultimately, cos it just kinda worked – so I never ventured there and I haven't touched them myself this time either, but at the moment it looks like this

Audyssey says Front ‘Full Band’, Centre ‘40Hz’ and Surround ‘Full Band’
If I look at manual config it says it’s doing Individual selection, but ‘Surround’ is the only one I can select and it says ’40Hz’

 

Bass: LPF for LFE 250Hz

 

So, there’s my story – sorry for the length but hopefully there’s good info in there for receiving advice.

 

Many thanks in advance!!
Cam

 

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You could try resting the Marantz. But it will loose any changes you have made to say names of inputs, settings you changed etc.

It could be the Marantz had a hickup along the way and a reset is always worth a try but go into the menus and even take pics so you can easily put the settings back.

This might be how to reset

http://manuals.marantz.com/SR5009/NA/EN/GFNFSYvyalrwrt.php 

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6 minutes ago, rocky500 said:

You could try resting the Marantz. But it will loose any changes you have made to say names of inputs, settings you changed etc.

It could be the Marantz had a hickup along the way and a reset is always worth a try but go into the menus and even take pics so you can easily put the settings back.

This might be how to reset

http://manuals.marantz.com/SR5009/NA/EN/GFNFSYvyalrwrt.php 

Thanks Rocky! Interestingly I found a forum discussing the Marantz SR7009 (as opposed to the 5009 but pretty much the same creature) and a lot of people were reporting a similar issue and trying reset with mixed outcomes... I was holding off in the hope it was just a basic setting issue - mostly because, as you say, it'll lose all existing settings. But your tip on the menu pictures is great, so thanks for that! I'll see what else comes  up but may well do the reset option soon. 

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2 minutes ago, jamiebosco said:

"Muffled" sounds like it may be a phase issue. Perhaps double check your speaker cables. 

 

Of course, good point. I did check a couple of times since I was switching back and forth between the speakers, so I think they're correct - but you've got me going back for a tripple check now cos it's definitely a contender! Thanks! 

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If brand new may need a few hours of breaking in.

 

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44 minutes ago, Baldrick35 said:

Dynamic EQ: I set this to ON initially and have experimented with on and off. It seems better with this OFF. Since turning it off I can understand dialogue a bit better, but it’s still not right.

 

Dynamic Volume: Currently set to HEAVY. I’ve tried turning it off and I find I have no volume in the system at all when I do that (definitely not how it was before my centre speaker experiment)

This doesn’t make sense to me.

 

100% need dynamic eq on

 

and dynamic volume to heavy is bad, should sound fine in off. It’s only useful for tv watching won’t need it for movies and such. Heavy is a bad thing and far too extreme. So not good if you need to engage to sound ok.

 

what procedure did you follow for audyssey ?

 

 

http://www.willowville.net/ht/Audyssey Setup Guide.pdf

 

If haven’t follow to letter

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hmm interesting situation. firstly i use to have the ats5 fronts and 240 centre. seems many people post how good they are but i sold mine. i regarded them as over rated. i suggest dont go chasing that 240 centre.

 

your room size is small not medium, sorry. the ats5 will need a decent distance from the walls. same for the 120 centre dont go sticking it back inside some tv cabinet.. the front needs to be "beyond" the box if you get my meaning also make sure you angle it up so the tweeter would have a direct line to your ears when sitting.

 

basically the xt audyssey is not great and you need to reset the speaker sizes to small, 80hx cross over and lfe sub only (NOT shared with fronts) the audyssey settings.. turn them off. all of them they are junk

.

Al has given you a good link, the only thing to add is i read an interview with the boss at audyssey who said you move the mike out 1 foot from the first position in different directions , which is similar to the diagram. to be honest after using my denon with the xt32 audyssey the other earlier versions are very limited.

 

i am sure you can get it all working

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Since both the new centre and your original centre are changed then it would seem that the retuning is not to your liking. Dont think the autotuning is magic. It can only change the frequency response and levels according to the measurements it makes and the capacity the AVR has to adjust frequency response. Like all complex systems if the observations are skewed then the outcome can diverge off in many ways.

I confess I know no details of your AVR specific process.

But firstly, consider where the measurement mic is placed as this must have a major impact on measurement results. High frequencies are directional and on axis measure brighter and may result in the AVR reducing high frequency output. Further a better quality centre may disperse high frquencies better and then if measured off axis appears brighter in comparison.

Secondly from what you say of higher pitched voices being clearer suggests that the lower voices could be conversely losing dialogue cues by being overwhelmed by low frequencies. It could be that the AVR is relatively increasing the bass from the centre now imposing a false "boom" to the centre output.

There are so many ways an autotuning can stuff it up really. Of course on average they are likely to bring general improvement, but without a complete understanding of your speakers, your room, your ears, and your preferences it has an incomplete set of data to work with.

You could accept that auto eq may not be able to account for the variables in your situation and do it manually. However you get there, without a sub, the goal is to make the LCR's sound the same to achieve a smooth image, and be not too bright, not too heavy, and not too honky, but just right for you. Perhaps a little more bass from the LR to achive more impact if it does not impose on the balance, since you have been negligent in your duties to aquire a sub.

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sorry mate i mis read your first post.. you dont have a sub? bet you were told the ats5 wont need one? wrong. i tried that in my HT room and it sounded poor.  buy a sub and set it up the entire system as per Als link. then decide if it suits your needs.

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Have you just tried in running a test tone and hearing if any of speakers sound vastly different? Also turn all audyssey, dynamic eq etc off.

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2 hours ago, hopefullguy said:

sorry mate i mis read your first post.. you dont have a sub? bet you were told the ats5 wont need one? wrong. i tried that in my HT room and it sounded poor.  buy a sub and set it up the entire system as per Als link. then decide if it suits your needs.

No worries, appreciate the input! I have to admit it was my own idea not to get a sub - I really brought it with music as the first purpose, but a reasonable surround setup as secondary. Figured with a smallish room, with a couple of large fronts I just wouldn't need the sub and I'd be happy enough... Turns out it's doing very little music and a heap of surround. And now I understand that the surround setup works quite differently to stereo and a sub is pretty much essential!...so I guess I'll be shopping for a sub then... Errrr, any recommendations? :lol:

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23 hours ago, :) al said:

This doesn’t make sense to me.

 

100% need dynamic eq on

 

and dynamic volume to heavy is bad, should sound fine in off. It’s only useful for tv watching won’t need it for movies and such. Heavy is a bad thing and far too extreme. So not good if you need to engage to sound ok.

 

what procedure did you follow for audyssey ?

 

 

http://www.willowville.net/ht/Audyssey Setup Guide.pdf

 

If haven’t follow to letter

OK well that's interesting feedback - I generally like to avoid the additional processing things such as dynamic volume, but when I turn it off I have to turn the volume right up to 60 or 70 (on the 0 - 98 scale) to really hear anything, and even then I'd say have the sound is barely there. That definitly seems strange to me, but I just thought maybe that's the way the receiver likes to play it.

 

I followed the on-sreen Audyssey instructions - so turn everything on. let it detect speakers, then do all the listening points (is it 8? Can't remember)... I think I'll give it another go though - it does occur to me that I had a water 'fountain sound' in the room from a noisey fishtank and that probably didn't help things.

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5 minutes ago, Baldrick35 said:

OK well that's interesting feedback - I generally like to avoid the additional processing things such as dynamic volume, but when I turn it off I have to turn the volume right up to 60 or 70 (on the 0 - 98 scale) to really hear anything, and even then I'd say have the sound is barely there. That definitly seems strange to me, but I just thought maybe that's the way the receiver likes to play it.

hi i would change the volume scale on the marantz so it says in respect to reference. ie 0 is reference volume will make more sense to you then volume wise :)

 

7 minutes ago, Baldrick35 said:

I followed the on-sreen Audyssey instructions - so turn everything on. let it detect speakers, then do all the listening points (is it 8? Can't remember)... I think I'll give it another go though - it does occur to me that I had a water 'fountain sound' in the room from a noisey fishtank and that probably didn't help things.

not just the onscreen instructions, i would follow to the letter the guide i posted a link to. its essential. deviate at your peril

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20 hours ago, Bringer said:

Since both the new centre and your original centre are changed then it would seem that the retuning is not to your liking. Dont think the autotuning is magic. It can only change the frequency response and levels according to the measurements it makes and the capacity the AVR has to adjust frequency response. Like all complex systems if the observations are skewed then the outcome can diverge off in many ways.

I confess I know no details of your AVR specific process.

But firstly, consider where the measurement mic is placed as this must have a major impact on measurement results. High frequencies are directional and on axis measure brighter and may result in the AVR reducing high frequency output. Further a better quality centre may disperse high frquencies better and then if measured off axis appears brighter in comparison.

Secondly from what you say of higher pitched voices being clearer suggests that the lower voices could be conversely losing dialogue cues by being overwhelmed by low frequencies. It could be that the AVR is relatively increasing the bass from the centre now imposing a false "boom" to the centre output.

There are so many ways an autotuning can stuff it up really. Of course on average they are likely to bring general improvement, but without a complete understanding of your speakers, your room, your ears, and your preferences it has an incomplete set of data to work with.

You could accept that auto eq may not be able to account for the variables in your situation and do it manually. However you get there, without a sub, the goal is to make the LCR's sound the same to achieve a smooth image, and be not too bright, not too heavy, and not too honky, but just right for you. Perhaps a little more bass from the LR to achive more impact if it does not impose on the balance, since you have been negligent in your duties to aquire a sub.

Ha! Yes it's becoming evident to me that my "negligence" is causing me issues :) I really thought it was going to be 80% a music system and a bit of surround viewing, but it's basically the opposite - so it seems it's time I remedied that one!

 

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On 24/11/2017 at 2:47 PM, Baldrick35 said:

 

Dynamic EQ: I set this to ON initially and have experimented with on and off. It seems better with this OFF. Since turning it off I can understand dialogue a bit better, but it’s still not right.

That will be a combination of personal preference affected by your room acoustics.  Without a visual reference to what it is actually doing, all you can do is make a decision based on what your hearing.  

On 24/11/2017 at 2:47 PM, Baldrick35 said:

 

Dynamic Volume: Currently set to HEAVY. I’ve tried turning it off and I find I have no volume in the system at all when I do that (definitely not how it was before my centre speaker experiment)

Is this like "Dolby Volume?  Where is compensates for diagnorm shifts?  I'd probably by-pass this.  

On 24/11/2017 at 2:47 PM, Baldrick35 said:

 

Crossovers: I have to note that in my original setup I never played with the crossover setting, partly because I didn’t understand it, partly because I didn’t have a sub and, ultimately, cos it just kinda worked – so I never ventured there and I haven't touched them myself this time either, but at the moment it looks like this

Audyssey says Front ‘Full Band’, Centre ‘40Hz’ and Surround ‘Full Band’
If I look at manual config it says it’s doing Individual selection, but ‘Surround’ is the only one I can select and it says ’40Hz’

You have a sub now, right?  Without a sub connected, you don't get to decode the LFE track.  Lucky studios created the "consumer mix" which has some LFE in the L and R front channels at -10dB.  

On 24/11/2017 at 2:47 PM, Baldrick35 said:

 

Bass: LPF for LFE 250Hz

 

So, there’s my story – sorry for the length but hopefully there’s good info in there for receiving advice.

 

Many thanks in advance!!
Cam

 

This should should never be past 120Hz.  LFE is based on 1/200th of the principal sample rate - ie 48000Hz / 200 = 240Hz and where the max upper limit of any digital audio is one half of the sample rate, hence the band of LFE is 20 to 120Hz.  Most people tend to bring this down a touch if the sub is not really well designed or chuffs giving cues to the listener of it's location.  

 

Optimal crossover for HT is 80Hz.  This was chosen after extensive research where they found 50 to 120 to be desirable for a wide range of programs but 80 seemed to be best for the majority.  It also works best with the human voice.  Given dialogue is the key to film sound, it makes sense to use 80Hz.   

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