Center channel speaker sounds boxy? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 28 Old 04-07-18, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

I have gone through several center channel configurations in my HT. First was two BIC DV 84's placed head to head, wired in series. Sounded good, with a huge sound stage. But movie track audio was boxy sounding, especially male voices. Regular broadcast TV was just fine, however.

Now, we just upgraded to the Klipsch RC-64 II. Yes, on sale being last year's model.

It is awesome on music video, recorded or broadcast concerts, and regular live TV. But...center channel movie dialog still sounds boxy. And it sounds boxy with male voices on FM broadcasts. For the price ($$$), there should be zero boxiness in the Klipsch. BTW, we upgraded the side and rear surrounds to Klipsch Reference Series also. The main left and right speakers are VMPS Towers. The put out bass with an impact that will rearrange your intestines! The dual subs are from Madisound, being built from kits.

As much as I like all 55 pounds of this speaker, we may return it.

I know there are others who have experienced this issue. What did you you to remedy it, if anything?
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post #2 of 28 Old 04-07-18, 06:25 PM
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Re: Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

I have no idea what “boxy” sounds like, but if your complaint is with male voices, I’m going to hazard a guess that the problem actually is too much lows, causing them to sound boomy or muddy. A center-channel speaker with small woofers would be the solution. Alternately, if your receiver has dedicated center-channel EQ, a reduction of all bands below 200 Hz would make a huge difference.

Regards,
Wayne
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post #3 of 28 Old 04-07-18, 07:32 PM
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Re: Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

if you just upgraded to the Integra pre amp - then your ready for the ultimate in room/speaker correction EQ ...The DIRAC DDRC88BM will bring your system to a whole new level - especially in the dialog clarity department....
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post #4 of 28 Old 04-07-18, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

Thanks for the input. It is most helpful. The Integra has not arrived yet. But the EQ for the center channel should address this issue. Yes, the male voices tend to be a bit boomy, not so much muddy in coloration. Almost like multiple octaves are being added to the tone. But it is not all male voices. Some are worse than others.

Another issue is when the speech gets quiet, it is nearly impossible to make out what is being said. Maybe this is a problem with most movie dialog in the center. There is never an issue with TV broadcasts.

Some movie soundtracks are nearly crystal clear without any of this boominess or unwanted coloration in the center channel. And some movie dialog tracks are very hard to understand.

We had some friends over for a screening of "Love & Mercy" recently. One person complained she could not hear the actors speaking, so I turned the center way up to compensate.

The Integra has Audyssey MultEQ XT32, which was the flagship version of the firms auto calibration, room correction compensation, using 8 mike locations for EQ.

If the new Integra processor can fix this, that new center speaker ($$$) will be returned. Amazon has a 30 day return policy.

Last edited by Oleson, M.D.; 04-08-18 at 08:51 PM.
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post #5 of 28 Old 04-08-18, 07:20 AM
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Re: Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

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Oleson, M.D. wrote: View Post
Thanks for the input. It is most helpful. The Integra has not arrived yet. But the EQ for the center channel should address this issue. Yes, the male voices tend to be a bit boomy, not so much muddy in coloration. Almost like multiple octaves are being added to the tone. But it is not all male voices. Some are worse than others.

Another issue is when the speech gets quiet, it is neerly impossible to make out what is being said. Maybe this is a problem with most movie dialog in the center. There is never an issue with TV broadcasts.

Some movie soundtracks are nearly crystal clear without any of this boominess or unwanted coloration in the center channel. And some movie dialog tracks are very hard to understand.

We had some friends over for a screening of "Love & Mercy" recently. One person complained she could not hear the actors speaking, so I turned the center way up to compensate.

The Integra has Audyssey MultEQ XT32, which was the flagship version of the firms auto calibration, room correction compensation, using 8 mike locations for EQ.

If the new Integra processor can fix this, that new center speaker ($$$) will be returned. Amazon has a 30 day return policy.
Do you have Dynamic EQ engaged by chance? Try turning it off.

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post #6 of 28 Old 04-08-18, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

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primetimeguy wrote: View Post
Do you have Dynamic EQ engaged by chance? Try turning it off.

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There is zero EQ being used, dynamic, or otherwise.
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post #7 of 28 Old 04-08-18, 09:02 AM
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Re: Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

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There is zero EQ being used, dynamic, or otherwise.
So audyssey is turned off? Did you at least run it to set channel levels properly?

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post #8 of 28 Old 04-08-18, 09:12 AM
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Re: Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

there are several acoustic issues that lead to problems such as you described - mainly Impulse Response , Time Alignment, Room Acoustics - EQ'ing a speaker or adjusting the volume of a certain channel does not account for any of these issues - you merely have the same problem at lower or higher amplitude... most people just settle for putting a bandade on the most glaring issues .... when you hear a system that has been corrected of these problems is when you start to realize what you've been missing .....
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post #9 of 28 Old 04-08-18, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

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RTS100x5 wrote: View Post
there are several acoustic issues that lead to problems such as you described - mainly Impulse Response , Time Alignment, Room Acoustics - EQ'ing a speaker or adjusting the volume of a certain channel does not account for any of these issues - you merely have the same problem at lower or higher amplitude... most people just settle for putting a bandade on the most glaring issues .... when you hear a system that has been corrected of these problems is when you start to realize what you've been missing .....
I do not have my new Integra yet, so the EQ has not been tried yet.

The entire room is treated with acoustic panels, to greatly reduce "slap echo". The walls were constructed so they were not multiples of each other, to combat potential standing wave issues.

The center speaker is on the stage below the screen, angled so the speaker is in the plane with the listeners ears. We have seating for 13, on triple risers.

I would post a photo, but can't as I will not have my photos on a third party website.

You can see photos on this "other" forum...https://community.klipsch.com/index....omment-2263322

Last edited by Oleson, M.D.; 04-08-18 at 11:07 AM.
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post #10 of 28 Old 04-08-18, 01:59 PM
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Re: Center channel speaker sounds boxy?

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RTS100x5 wrote: View Post
there are several acoustic issues that lead to problems such as you described - mainly Impulse Response , Time Alignment, Room Acoustics - EQ'ing a speaker or adjusting the volume of a certain channel does not account for any of these issues - you merely have the same problem at lower or higher amplitude....
I find that often the program material itself is poorly equalized. No amount of treatment is going to fix that. Really, the audio engineers should high-pass voices at 200 Hz or so to prevent the male voice “boom” (unless we’re talking about James Earl Jones ). But that seems to be universally not done.

Regards,
Wayne



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