Who boosts the center channel output?

Posted by: GregM

Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 01:10 PM

As it is the holidays I may treat myself to a speaker or other HT upgrade.

One thing I have always tried to do is set my speakers to the reference level (used to be 75db pink noise through all speakers except the sub which is supposed to be 85) and just live with it. In many movies, it seems dialog comes across as muted and if I turn the main volume up, the rest of the soundtrack is deafening when the bombs begin to drop.

I am sure I am not the only one who experiences this. So how many of you ignore the exact reference level and boost the center by a few db to get it to where you want it to be?

Greg
Posted by: Murph

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 02:00 PM

Sure do, about 1.5 db for me.
I think this is very common practice as movie producers are always trying to overwhelm us with sound vs. dialog.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 02:37 PM

Ditto what Murph said. I leave mine at +3dB, not because the vp160 is lacking; just the opposite. It improves intelligibility and because the sound quality is so good, I don't feel like the sound quality is taking a hit by boosting the 160 a little over my M60s.
Posted by: CV

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 02:55 PM

I don't boost mine, but I still understand people. I'm not sure if that's a gift or a curse.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 03:41 PM

Charles, maybe your center's wiring is reversed, because none of us understand you!
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 05:29 PM

With my current configuration, I've not needed to boost my enter.
Posted by: cb919

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 05:34 PM

Short answer - I boost mine as needed, but return it to calibrated level after use (I do not like it boosted for music listening).

Longer answer (in case anybody finds it useful) - When I calibrate, I do it so that the center is at 0dB and offset all other channels relative to that. That way I can easily note if my center is boosted and by how much rather than by trying to remember what the calibrated offset is. I have shortcuts on my Harmony remote for center up and down in all of my programmed activities which is extremely useful.
Posted by: MarkSJohnson

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 05:49 PM

Yeah, I should have mentioned that I return it to "calibrated" for multi-channel" music listening.
Posted by: dakkon

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 08:47 PM

Before i had a VP-180 i did boost my center. However, since getting a VP-180 i have no longer increased the level on the center higher than it needs to be.. The larger center made a HUGE difference.
Posted by: GregM

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/22/12 09:36 PM

Glad I am not the only one. My VP-150 is a top notch performer and since my hearing isn't the best, it could be me.

I am also watching the Harry Potter movies and with many words softly spoken with a British accent I miss more than I normally would. That is the nice thing about Stallone movies . . . not much dialog to miss.

Greg
Posted by: cb919

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/23/12 09:51 AM

I compared my VP150 with an M2 for center channel duties. There was a noticeable improvement (to me, in my room) with a vertical center channel over the VP150. You might want to give an M2 or M22 a try for center duties if you have the space. Keep in mind I have the in on wall versions, and the improvement was enough for me to go through the effort to cut, patch and paint my drywall for the speaker switch.
Posted by: casey01

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/23/12 12:50 PM

For the sake of convenience, no matter the manufacturer, small centre channels are always a compromise and because of the design there is the added issue of an unwanted boost in the 300-500HZ range which gives the human voice, depending on placement, an unnatural sound. The vertical designs like the M2, although small, are more even across the frequency range, hence, a more natural sound from the human voice. Like has been said many times before, although not often practical, the ideal set-up is the same identical speakers across the L/C/R.

The larger centres like the 180 and 160 with the bigger drivers and bigger boxes eliminate a lot of the problems that exist with their smaller cousins by adding considerably to the frequency range and as a result, generally don't require that extra volume boost either.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/24/12 10:54 PM

Unless I am not able to listen to a movie at normal levels due to sleeping kids etc. but usually I don't boost the center.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/25/12 05:05 PM

I still boost my 180 center, just like my previous 150. Audyssey has it set to -10dB and the l/r around -6dB, so I bump it up to equal or a bit more.
Posted by: michael_d

Re: Who boosts the center channel output? - 11/26/12 05:53 PM

I run my VP160 about 3 db over the mains. I've tried it matched and didn't like it.