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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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.
 

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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.

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
 

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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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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
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.php?/topic/175882-boxy-sounding-center-channel/&tab=comments#comment-2263322
 

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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 :D). But that seems to be universally not done.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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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.
The problem there is probably that the boomy low end is determining your overall level. We have a similar problem here. My wife likes to play Pandora, but the channel she likes to listen to has a very pronounced low end. I adjust the bass level down then you can hardly hear anything, so I then have to turn the overall volume up.

So, try reducing the center channel bass, then turn up the level, and voice clarity should be fine then.


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.
As with my last post, system calibration won’t compensate for poorly equalized program material. You have to fix that locally.


There is never an issue with TV broadcasts.
Tune in to MyGyver reboot on CBS. Some of the worst equalized voices I’ve ever heard.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
The problem there is probably that the boomy low end is determining your overall level. We have a similar problem here. My wife likes to play Pandora, but the channel she likes to listen to has a very pronounced low end. I adjust the bass level down then you can hardly hear anything, so I then have to turn the overall volume up.

So, try reducing the center channel bass, then turn up the level, and voice clarity should be fine then.



As with my last post, system calibration won’t compensate for poorly equalized program material. You have to fix that locally.



Tune in to MyGyver reboot on CBS. Some of the worst equalized voices I’ve ever heard.

Regards,
Wayne
Wayne - Thanks. I have been experimenting today...standing the center channel speaker up on end, swapping it out for another speaker, etc., etc.
It is now situated about 12" up off the stage floor, angled up about 30 degrees.

This Klipsch RC-64 II is awesome on music videos, recorded concerts, etc. It is good on most broadcast TV. It is sucky on some FM broadcasts, with male voices sounding like they are in a well, with an extra lower octave or two added. This speaker also excels at special effects, bomb blasts, gunshots, thunder, etc.

As stated, it does not do well on some movie dialog. The "Titanic" is just fine with the center dialog. "Love & Mercy" is not so good, especially in the opening scene where Brian Wilson is sitting at the piano mumbling to himself.

In the movie "Sully", some times the dialog is perfectly fine, other times boomy (male & female), and other times quiet and very hard to understand.

It would appear that the problem originates with the source material, rather than my components. I will find out more after my new Integra processor arrives. Hopefully, it will be good news!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
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 :D). But that seems to be universally not done.

Regards,
Wayne
That seems to be the issue. As a music fan, I do not want to take anything away from the RC-64's performance. But...I'm not sure how to get around that, and have the dialog be decent.

The bass output, very smooth, with good musical impact, rivals that of my tower speakers.
 

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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 :D). But that seems to be universally not done.

Regards,
Wayne
Agreed source material makes a HUGE difference - I now have several DSD tracks from HD Tracks and wow what clarity ! That being said - the Dirac mixed phase and alignment filters does an amazing job of bringing a coherent sound stage - especially in the vocal range.... its hard to describe until you hear it ...Im a believer :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
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
My center has four 6.5" cast basket cerametallic woofers. And a compression horn driver (Klipsch RC-64 II). These are the smallest woofers in my theater setup, with most of them being 10", or 12" in size. Throw in several 8's in the surrounds.

You say a center with a smaller woofer would be a solution. How much smaller? At the other end of the spectrum, this center does have impact out the wazoo...something that I do not want to give up.

I'm beginning to think that there is no perfect solution. We can either have a center with great music rendition, huge impact with gunshots, bomb blasts, car crashes, but (sometimes) dialog is sucky, or maybe we can have good dialog without any male voice and female voice boominess, but sacrifice that other positives listed above?

Again, when the Integra arrives we will do what we can with the EQ. My room was designed from the get go for sound, including custom built acoustic panels (home made), plus dimensions to avoid standing waves.

Thanks to you (and everyone) for your input!

edit: I am not the Lone Ranger on this issue, as when you do a search on center channel issues, boomy male voices, dialog difficult to understand, you will find many complaints similar to mine.
 

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It would appear that the problem originates with the source material, rather than my components. I will find out more after my new Integra processor arrives. Hopefully, it will be good news!
Quality of source material definitely varies so you can probably chalk up some of your situation to that. Perhaps of bigger concern though is the fact you don't have room EQ enabled. There could be a time alignment problem, phase issue at the crossover range, SPL variation, etc. Trying to find a solution manually - without test gear or room correction - is like finding a needle in a haystack. It's more luck than anything else really. It may be better to hold off doing further analysis until the new receiver arrives. A solution at this point is likely more by accident than consequence.


My center has four 6.5" cast basket cerametallic woofers. And a compression horn driver (Klipsch RC-64 II). These are the smallest woofers in my theater setup, with most of them being 10", or 12" in size. Throw in several 8's in the surrounds.

You say a center with a smaller woofer would be a solution. How much smaller? At the other end of the spectrum, this center does have impact out the wazoo...something that I do not want to give up.
Typically centers with smaller woofers exacerbate 'boomy' or muddled voices. Why? Because they have a higher crossover point, which means the sub(s) have to play higher in the frequency range in order to compensate. Above 80Hz is where a lot of the male voice resides, something that's tricky for most subwoofers to produce cleanly. It's generally best to let your speakers handle that range.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Quality of source material definitely varies so you can probably chalk up some of your situation to that. Perhaps of bigger concern though is the fact you don't have room EQ enabled. There could be a time alignment problem, phase issue at the crossover range, SPL variation, etc. Trying to find a solution manually - without test gear or room correction - is like finding a needle in a haystack. It's more luck than anything else really. It may be better to hold off doing further analysis until the new receiver arrives. A solution at this point is likely more by accident than consequence.

Typically centers with smaller woofers exacerbate 'boomy' or muddled voices. Why? Because they have a higher crossover point, which means the sub(s) have to play higher in the frequency range in order to compensate. Above 80Hz is where a lot of the male voice resides, something that's tricky for most subwoofers to produce cleanly. It's generally best to let your speakers handle that range.
I turned on the "Dynamic Compression" setting on the Panny BD player. It seemed to help. But, I would still like to get the region below 100 hz cleaned up. Maybe some EQ will handle that.

Along with the new Integra, I just ordered the Panny DMP-UB900. Maybe that will help a bit also.

Overall, the system sounds great. Eleven speakers total. Made up of VMPS RM2 towers, dual Madisound kit built subs, Klipsch RC-64II center, with RB-81 II's for the side surround, RB-61 II's for the rear surround, plus a pair of Dynaco A25's for the rear left and right ambience (Dyna-Quad) speakers.

The place really rocks when listening to a concert at reference levels.

The center is absolute killer on music.

What would be the correct freq. range for the center channel? What x-over point do we want, to eliminate any potential boominess?
 

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What would be the correct freq. range for the center channel? What x-over point do we want, to eliminate any potential boominess?
I don't necessarily know if there is a 'correct' crossover point for the center, but you might want to try 60Hz. The RC-64 has a -3dB point of 57Hz so it should be fine with that, provided you don't listen too loud of course. At 60Hz most of the dialog will move to the center, limiting the contribution of the sub. I still think you should hold off until the new receiver arrives though. Without measurement equipment, or room EQ scans, it's still a shot in the dark.
 

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What would be the correct freq. range for the center channel? What x-over point do we want, to eliminate any potential boominess?
To eliminate (or at least minimize) the boomy male voices, I’d say crossover as high as you can. 200Hz would be ideal, or as close to that as you can get it.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
To eliminate (or at least minimize) the boomy male voices, I’d say crossover as high as you can. 200Hz would be ideal, or as close to that as you can get it.

Regards,
Wayne
My processor has multiple x-over options, and 120 hz is now selected. But what speaker (s) is effected? I have no idea, and the menu does not state, only showing the frequency options. Is this for the center speaker? Is it for the subs? Mains?
The remote on my NAD T163 started working again, and this is referencing the x-over settings on the NAD.
The Integra will arrive today, and certainly will offer more x-over options.
 
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