Author Topic: Low volume dialogue  (Read 925 times)

Offline naboo

Low volume dialogue
« on: August 25, 2020, 08:38:54 PM »
Hi

I have a Yamaha rx v581 amplifier in the TV room. It was an insurance claim some years ago. I am quite happy with the amp, but it came with tiny 5.1 speakers (also Yamaha).

I'm happy with the sound I get, but it always feels as if the dialogue, coming mostly from the centre channel, I guess, is too soft. I've managed to up just that channel (I think) but not much difference.

Are there other things I could do, short of buying other speakers?

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Offline BiZKiT

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2020, 04:24:31 AM »
Get a bigger center. Those speakers are severely limited.

Offline naboo

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2020, 05:46:05 AM »
Get a bigger center. Those speakers are severely limited.
Thanks, haven't really dabbled with the 5.1 stuff so much, hope it'll be OK to just replace the centre for now, or does it have to be matched with the front?

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Offline jlaubza

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2020, 08:19:07 AM »
Ideally, a matching center speaker is the way to go but i use a cheap Sansui center speaker with audiophile grade tower speakers and it works just fine. Also, you can amplify the center channel separately from left and right front speakers - have you turned the volume up on the center channel?

Offline naboo

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2020, 10:51:02 AM »
Thanks, I'll check the volume on the centre again. I did do it, but it was a while ago and maybe it's lost in the meantime, with all the power issue.

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Offline TimbaLand

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2020, 11:24:47 AM »
I used A mid tier Yamaha AVR in the past and dialogue was not impressive. I donít k ow if it was the AVR or the speakers I used but I have seen the issue about dialogue coming up a lot with Yamaha especially entry to mid level
HT: Marantz AV7705|RMB1585|RMB156|RB956 Optoma UHD40| Nvidia Shield
Stereo: Mark Levinson No 380s, 335| Cary Audio 200 TS| Bluesound Node
Speakers: B&W 802 Diamond, HTM2 Diamond|  B&W ASW850 and Velodyne DD15 Subwoofers | 685 and DS3 surround |4x CCM

Offline arvie

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2020, 03:07:52 PM »
it may depend on the source material as well.

sometimes vocals are unclear (at lower volumes) with some TV shows, but if I change to a movie with 5.1 soundtrack then vocals are really clear.

it really helps to match your centre to your fronts though and the placement of the centre can make a difference as well.

Offline naboo

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2020, 07:07:06 PM »
Thanks @arvie. The system is on the correct settings, but placement is something I haven't considered. Might be worth my while to move it up, as it is kind of low placed. Will play around with that.

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Offline pwatts

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2020, 10:53:13 PM »
I have one of the best centre speakers available, with amp and processor to match, and still struggle sometimes to make out dialogue. If equipment are considered decent, the other causes in my opinion are:
- poor source material (e.g. compressed web rips or dstv crap)
- room acoustics, i.e. speaker placement/angling, reflections etc.
- incorrect processor settings. For years I fought against DRC as being evil until I realized that it has it purpose, especially in a small and constrained environment. Same goes for some of the EQ options that some processors offer with the deliberate intention of improving dialogue intelligibility. Play around, it only costs time.

Offline cybasoul

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2020, 11:51:27 AM »
Manually measuring the spl of all channels and matching them does help. For the center you can even make it louder than the mains. I use a phone app the match the levels of all my speakers, including the sub. Only after then I'd EQ.

1 - Placement
2 - Spl levels
3 - EQ (if you can)

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Offline naboo

Re: Low volume dialogue
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2021, 03:26:52 PM »
Apologies for replying to such an old topic, but I think others may benefit from my experience (in other words, I hope I am not the only person who didn't RTFM).

I originally posted this question, because I was really struggling to hear the dialogue from my AV system, and I wanted to know if there was anything I could do to fix it. A couple of suggestions on this thread but nothing really helped. Then, sometime this year, I saw some post for a small microphone. I contacted @fdlsys and he explained that this microphone was not usable for my requirement, that it was used to set up AV gear. I then read up on this a bit, and lo and behold, my Yamaha supports something called YPAO that can be used to calibrate my set-up.

Apparently my AVR should have been supplied with something to this effect (I bought it new) - so I probably missed it in the packaging and chucked it (still can't believe that, I usually literally dissect the packaging).

Anyway, I popped the mic up on a stand, ran the auto-calibration-thingy, and was done a minute or so later. The result was nothing short of astonishing - so I thought I'd share it - check if your amp has this capability and run the calibration. If you need a mic and in you're in Joburg, you are more than welcome to borrow mine.