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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure this question belongs in this sections, but it didn't seem quite right for the equalization section either.

I'm researching the possibility of purchasing an AV7005 processor to use with my Emotiva XPA-5.

My special need is that I'm 75 years old, and seem to have trouble hearing some of the dialogue, especially lower voices. I would like to have some control over boosting certain frequencies in the center channel where most of the voices are. I tried this with a UMC-1 (internal equalizer) before returning it and it worked reasonably well, given the limited number of bands.

I use a BFD equalizer on my sub. I am wondering if I could put a similar equalizer between the output of the processor and the input of the amp in order to have considerably more control.

I know that many will frown on putting an equalizer in that location due to it possibly having an effect on the sound, but not hearing the voices isn't exactly great either.

I'd be interested in hearing opinions on this, alternative suggestions, etc.

What equalizer would one recommend. I like the price of the BFD.

Thanks

Deane
 

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Hi Deane,

Depending on the 7005’s EQ capabilities, it’s possible that you might not need a separate EQ for the center channel. A slight boost in the 2-4 kHz range would give the vocals more “edge” and definition, and a boost at 6-7 kHz would make the sibilants more audible.

If you do decide to go with a separate EQ, the Symetrix 551E, Yamaha YDP2006 and YDG2030 are all excellent models you can find used on eBay for under $150. The first two are parametric, the latter is 1/3-octave. The Symetrix is analog, the Yamahas are digital.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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I see nothing wrong with useing an EQ to boost certain sounds so you are able to better hear them. All of the choices Wayne pointed out would be good.:T
 

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I'm not sure this question belongs in this sections, but it didn't seem quite right for the equalization section either.

I'm researching the possibility of purchasing an AV7005 processor to use with my Emotiva XPA-5.

My special need is that I'm 75 years old, and seem to have trouble hearing some of the dialogue, especially lower voices. I would like to have some control over boosting certain frequencies in the center channel where most of the voices are. I tried this with a UMC-1 (internal equalizer) before returning it and it worked reasonably well, given the limited number of bands.

I use a BFD equalizer on my sub. I am wondering if I could put a similar equalizer between the output of the processor and the input of the amp in order to have considerably more control.

I know that many will frown on putting an equalizer in that location due to it possibly having an effect on the sound, but not hearing the voices isn't exactly great either.

I'd be interested in hearing opinions on this, alternative suggestions, etc.

What equalizer would one recommend. I like the price of the BFD.

Thanks

Deane
I cannot recommend an EQ but I can recommend that you get one. If you choose to use the limited EQ in the AV7005 for the center channel, it will necessitate foregoing the use of Audyssey EQ for all the channels. IMHO, that would be highly unfortunate.

So, insert the chosen EQ in the center channel between AV7005, set it absolutely flat, run Audyssey (perhaps a few times) and, then, tweak the EQ to get the intelligibility you need. However, you may find that MultEQ XT plua DynamicEQ may take you a long way to your goal without the EQ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I cannot recommend an EQ but I can recommend that you get one. If you choose to use the limited EQ in the AV7005 for the center channel, it will necessitate foregoing the use of Audyssey EQ for all the channels. IMHO, that would be highly unfortunate.

So, insert the chosen EQ in the center channel between AV7005, set it absolutely flat, run Audyssey (perhaps a few times) and, then, tweak the EQ to get the intelligibility you need. However, you may find that MultEQ XT plua DynamicEQ may take you a long way to your goal without the EQ.
Actually Kal, my thinking is exactly as you have stated.

My first steps would be to see what is truly needed. I was thinking that an equalizer ahead of the final amp would indeed allow me to use Audyssey, and I'm happy you confirmed that. I certainly wouldn't acquire an equalizer until it was apparent that was a necessary step to take.

What I'm doing at this time is figuring out what options would be available for the future with the 7005.
 

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We've got to stop meeting like this. :blink:
 

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We've got to stop meeting like this. :eek:lddude:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Deane,

Depending on the 7005’s EQ capabilities, it’s possible that you might not need a separate EQ for the center channel. A slight boost in the 2-4 kHz range would give the vocals more “edge” and definition, and a boost at 6-7 kHz would make the sibilants more audible.

If you do decide to go with a separate EQ, the Symetrix 551E, Yamaha YDP2006 and YDG2030 are all excellent models you can find used on eBay for under $150. The first two are parametric, the latter is 1/3-octave. The Symetrix is analog, the Yamahas are digital.

Regards,
Wayne
Good advice, as usual Wayne.

When I was trying it with the internal EQ on the UMC-1 prior to returning the unit, I think I was messing around too low. I was in the 500 to 1000 hz range. The 7005 has a 9 band equalizer for each speaker, but as this thread has revealed, it doesn't work with Audyessy, plus it's a little spread out on frequencies. I will just have to do some experimenting when I get the 7005 (code for when my wife finally gives in).

I like the looks of the Symetrix and if I need something, will try to find one of those.
 

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If you’d prefer something a bit more intuitive than a parametric EQ, Symetrix also made graphic 1/3- and 2/3-octave EQs back in the same era that they made the 551E. I’ve never used them, but I’m confident they’re ever bit as good as the 551E. Symetrix EQs are harder to find than other pro brands, but do a saved search on eBay and they’ll come up sooner or later. They’re kinda “off the radar” compared other sought-after EQs from companies like Klark Teknik and BSS, which means they sell dirt cheap compared to their quality.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Already over 3 months since I started this thread. Wow. The AV7005 has been in place for several months now and is a magnificent machine.

I do not use Audyssey, I prefer to have complete control over what the settings are.

This thread was about making the voices clearer for my aging ears. I am using the on-board equalizer on the center channel, which works fairly well, but I'd still prefer more frequency choices from an external equalizer.

What I have done is something that might be regarded as a bit bizarre, but it's working. I remembered having access to an Audio Design and Recording Compex Limiter/Expander, built in the 1980s. I was left over from a radio station I used to own.

I put it between the AV7005 and the XPA-5. I have it set up to narrow the dynamic range of the center channel. The end result is that the very low voices and whispers are boosted about 5 or 6 db, and the extremely loud shouting is attenuated as necessary. Average levels remain about normal.

Perhaps not the purest approach to sound, but I figure if it makes it more intelligible, it's the thing to do.

I still may add an equalizer in series with it, haven't decided yet.
 

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You're not the only one that has trouble hearing the dialog in some movie sound tracks. I have often worn headphones during heavy dialog movies when the dialog is so crucial to the story. I'd like to be able to keep all the speakers active while headphones are connected so I could still get the full surround effect. Of course it's important to use open air type headphones. I think there should be an option on AVRs that would send the center channel info only to the headphone jack while keeping all the speakers active, including the subwoofer. I say this because many people have told me that they too have trouble hearing dialog, even on fairly good home theater setups.

You are not alone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've had time now to get the Compex compressor adjusted and it has performed miracles for my hearing of the dialogue. Because it only affects the center channel, it doesn't mess up the sound of the movie. I don't even realize it's in the audio chain.

Basically, what I am doing is raising the center channel output of the processor by as much as 10db, then setting the compressor to limit the volume overall to close to a normal level.

The end result is that when there are whispers and low voices, they are boosted way up, and when there is normal to shouting level dialogue, it is turned down. It happens so fast (milliseconds), that there is not a noticeable modification of the sound. It simply reduces the dynamic range, allowing the center channel to be run 10 db louder, but without it seeming any different.

I also use the equalizer on the AV7005 to boost the center channel a few db at 1kz.

While the Compex hasn't been made for over 20 years, and used ones still sell for up to $2000, it isn't a practical way to go. I just happened to have one available. What I would use if buying something would be the Behringer for about $100.

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/MDX1600.aspx

Behringer has some other low cost audio enhancers I may play around with sometime in the future.

Everyone's hearing challenges are different, but I certainly found a way to make some improvement in my hearing, and with the overall improvement in sound obtained by going with separates, we're really enjoying movies once again.:eek:lddude:
 

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Thanks for the link. I have the same problem, but my wife has Much better hearing so I have to turn it down just when it gets good for me. I was suprised you could not use the UMC-1 as I was looking at it and the 200X5 amp they make. I have not owned a Marantz 40 years, I will look at the 7005 spec's. My Onkyo AVR has fried something again :spend: looking at a upgrade. Maybe going back to seperates again. We watch a lot of Bluray movies and HD FIOS TV now so HD audio and video options are needed.

Louis
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the link. I have the same problem, but my wife has Much better hearing so I have to turn it down just when it gets good for me. I was suprised you could not use the UMC-1 as I was looking at it and the 200X5 amp they make. I have not owned a Marantz 40 years, I will look at the 7005 spec's. My Onkyo AVR has fried something again :spend: looking at a upgrade. Maybe going back to seperates again. We watch a lot of Bluray movies and HD FIOS TV now so HD audio and video options are needed.

Louis
So far as these hearing issues and modifications are concerned, I would think the UMC-1 and the AV7005 would be of equal capability. What one needs to be sure to have is individual channel equalization and level control.

My reason for returning the UMC-1 and going with the AV7005 had to do with the on-going issues overall, including the extremely difficult firm ware updating procedure. The AV7005 does not appear to have any issue whatsoever that I have encountered. Nothing against the UMC-1, I admire what Emotiva is trying to do, and I love my XPA-5. There's nothing like the relaxed sound of lots of power, even at average home theater volume.

I will add that I am ecstatic with what I have discovered can be done with processing of the center channel for hearing issues. I think it can be taken even further with experimentation. Behringer has some audio enhancer products I haven't examined, but they might even be a possibility to daisy chain with the compressor.

Each of us with hearing difficulties has a different issue, so what works for one may not work for the next person. I suspect you and your wife can both be happy with the sound with a compressor. What it does is let you keep the center channel from getting too loud which is worse for some than too low. Pain. When scenes get extremely loud, they don't hurt the ears because they aren't really loud, they just have the characteristics of loud. Sort of faux loud.
 

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On the Marantz, I would think it would be best to use Audyssey to equalize all your channels, and then if necessary supplement the center channel with an additional EQ.

I can't comment on the BFD or Behringer, but If you like control, I have used a Rane PE17, which is no longer manufacutred. It's a single channel, 5 band parametric equalizer, boost/cut +12/-15db, per band. You can even increase this by overlapping bands or with the in/out gain adjustment. Connectivity is via Balanced xlr and unbalanced 1/4" TRS connections, than can be used with a TRS to rca adapter. Dynamic range is 120db, SNR is 98. It is super low distortion, THD is .005, so won't color your sound, and very flexible covering any frequency between 10hz to 20khz. I think it would be suitable for simple manual adjustment over the center channel.

It would be best to install this via short XLR's between your Marantz pre out and the Emotiva Amp XLR inputs. Run it in with Audyssey mic for initial room calibration and then tweak after to augment the center channel. You may be able to find one on eBay, I actually have my personal unit available so $100 takes it. I was using it for my Subwoofer EQ, but I don't need it any longer with Audyssey XT32. Check out the specs, PM me if your interested http://www.rane.com/pe17.html
 

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Tired of turning on sub-titles to watch American movies

On the Marantz, I would think it would be best to use Audyssey to equalize all your channels, and then if necessary supplement the center channel with an additional EQ.

I can't comment on the BFD or Behringer, but If you like control, I have used a Rane PE17, which is no longer manufacutred. It's a single channel, 5 band parametric equalizer, boost/cut +12/-15db, per band. You can even increase this by overlapping bands or with the in/out gain adjustment. Connectivity is via Balanced xlr and unbalanced 1/4" TRS connections, than can be used with a TRS to rca adapter. Dynamic range is 120db, SNR is 98. It is super low distortion, THD is .005, so won't color your sound, and very flexible covering any frequency between 10hz to 20khz. I think it would be suitable for simple manual adjustment over the center channel.

It would be best to install this via short XLR's between your Marantz pre out and the Emotiva Amp XLR inputs. Run it in with Audyssey mic for initial room calibration and then tweak after to augment the center channel. You may be able to find one on eBay, I actually have my personal unit available so $100 takes it. I was using it for my Subwoofer EQ, but I don't need it any longer with Audyssey XT32. Check out the specs, PM me if your interested
Just found this thread. I have the EXACT same issue. Hey 'eyecatcher' is your Rane unit still available? I have an old (OLD) AudioControl 5 band - would that work (it's stereo). I'm tired of turning on subtitles to watch an English movie.

Jerry (also on Long Island)
 
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