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Home Theater Speaker Help

Old 03-27-07, 01:36 PM
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Home Theater Speaker Help

Hi. I have a JBL DCR 600 II receiver, and I have been using the 5.1 speakers from an old Panasonic HTIB system (the SC-HT95, if it matters). When I moved, I put the system away for a while, and I only hooked it up earlier this week. I've noticed that while the speakers mostly sound fine for my purposes (not a huge room, in an apartment building where I wouldn't want anything particularly loud/room shaking 'cause I don't want the cops coming!), I have trouble hearing dialogue from the center speaker.

Would purchasing a larger center channel speaker help? Is there a way to configure my current system to fix this? If I do purchase a larger center channel speaker, what do I buy? The other speakers sound fine, and even the center channel speaker sounds fine when I play something like ESPN HD for a baseball game, which only uses the center channel. But if I watch a movie, like, say, the Matrix, which I tested things out with, either I can't hear the dialogue well, or the gunshots and music and the like is way too loud. The same goes for other things I tested.

I'd appreciate any advice you can give me on what to do. I'm on a very tight budget, being a student and all....
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Old 03-27-07, 01:45 PM
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It is likely that the center speaker is not up to the task of producing clear dialog. The center channel is the most important speaker in a surround system. If you cannot tweak it by using the test tones and trying to boost the center some, you may need to get something else.

IMHO almost anything would be better, even a small bookshelf speaker. Check out some of the big box stores and see if they have any mis-matched pieces where you could simply by one speaker.
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Old 03-27-07, 01:48 PM
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are you sure the wired are connected correctly? even with a htib, you should be able to get decent (not complainable) sound out of the center speaker (after all, isn't it the same speaker as the sides?). Anyway, you may be able to manually turn up the center speaker if the wiring isn't the problem. ( or perhaps it's been set too low).
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Old 03-27-07, 02:02 PM
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Page 39

http://manuals.harman.com/JBL/HOM/Ow...%206-13-02.pdf

Column 3

Adjust your speaker output first.


Why arent you using the speakers that came with the set?
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Old 03-27-07, 02:31 PM
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SoSpacey, I don't have the set.... I had the Panasonic HTIB, but when my belongings were in storage, someone stole the DVD/Receiver unit (and oddly, left everything else), so I purchased this receiver from Harman Kardon through eBay, but it was just the receiver.

Thanks for the suggestion on configuring the volume, I'll give that a try when I get home!
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Dick Grayson, everything is wired correctly, I'm pretty confident of that.
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Thanks for the suggestion, Brian.

Originally Posted by SoSpacey
Page 39

http://manuals.harman.com/JBL/HOM/Ow...%206-13-02.pdf

Column 3

Adjust your speaker output first.


Why arent you using the speakers that came with the set?
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Old 03-27-07, 02:50 PM
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Hmm-one question: is it possible that it could be receiver's processing and not the speaker? I boosted the volume, and the dialogue on the center channel seems softer than the other noises out of the center channel. :/

I'm thinking of buying a new steup in the Fall, and I'm wondering if I will be better served with replacing my speakers, the receiver, or just getting a new HTIAB. My budget at that point, assuming my calculations on what I can save between now and then are right, would be about $400-500. And again, I'm in an apt. building, I'd like an accurate surround experience but this isn't exactly a giant home theater in one's basement so I don't need that kind of volume.

Is there something I should replace now, should I live with it until the Fall, and what should I get in the Fall?
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Old 03-27-07, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by jedidiah
Hmm-one question: is it possible that it could be receiver's processing and not the speaker? I boosted the volume, and the dialogue on the center channel seems softer than the other noises out of the center channel. :/

I'm thinking of buying a new steup in the Fall, and I'm wondering if I will be better served with replacing my speakers, the receiver, or just getting a new HTIAB. My budget at that point, assuming my calculations on what I can save between now and then are right, would be about $400-500. And again, I'm in an apt. building, I'd like an accurate surround experience but this isn't exactly a giant home theater in one's basement so I don't need that kind of volume.

Is there something I should replace now, should I live with it until the Fall, and what should I get in the Fall?
First check to make sure the speaker is wired correctly. Red-Red and Black-Black. I know this sounds simple but if it is not correct the speaker will be out of phase and would sound "softer".

IMHO for $500 the Onkyo set is nice but at that price point everything is a compromise.

Why don't you try to get it working before worrying about upgrading!
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Old 03-27-07, 03:08 PM
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*sheepish grin* A fair point, Brian. :P

It is wired correctly.... I just double-checked.
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Old 03-27-07, 03:40 PM
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I had basically the same problem.Many DVDs I watched the dialogue was very soft.I upgraded my center channel speaker from a KLH (i still use the KLH as surrounds) to a Boston Acoustics CRC that I got off Woot.com for under $60.00.It made a world of difference and now all the dialogue is loud and clear.
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Old 03-27-07, 03:58 PM
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Thanks, Misery.

Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can get a reasonably priced center channel? I was at the local big box stores yesterday looking for an HD xbox cable, and I walked past their home audio section, and they didn't seem to have any speakers outside of HTIB systems. I could go to a specialty store such as Tweeters or whatnot, but my impression was that the markup was very high there.
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Old 03-27-07, 04:13 PM
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If you are not picky

http://www.crutchfield.com/S-LZSaVvx...=108PC25&cc=07
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Old 03-27-07, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Brian Shannon
Not picky. Thanks, Brian, I just ordered it.... Hopefully that will do the trick.
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Old 03-28-07, 12:19 PM
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It does seem to help! Thanks, Brian! (And it got here amazingly quickly, given that I got standard ground shipping!)
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Old 03-28-07, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jedidiah
It does seem to help! Thanks, Brian! (And it got here amazingly quickly, given that I got standard ground shipping!)
Glad I could help and remember for the future, speakers are very important. People often buy fancy electronics with lots of lights and buttons and wonder why their theater sounds bad.
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