How do I fix sound volume incompatibility between front and center channel speakers? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-19-2005, 12:21 AM
The sound coming from my center channel speaker is very low compared to my two front speakers. If I increase the volume of the receiver to enable me to properly hear the center channel speaker, the front speakers become too high. If I reduce the volume to bring front speakers to a tolerable level, I can barely here the center channel speakers. How can I fix this?

My set up is Harman Kardon AVR 130, Athena ASF2 floor standing front speakers. I use a Paradigm Atom bookshelf speaker as my center channel but plan to replace it with Athena ASC1 center channel in the future.

I have set up the front speakers as large speakers in the receiver set up, as they are actually large flooring speakers. If I change it to small speakers in the receiver set up (changing the programming not the physical set up), would the front speakers be compatible with the center speaker? Thanks.

02-19-2005, 05:19 AM
I bet you didnt use the test tone to set the level of each speaker so when you use the mastewr volume they wont do what they are doing. Set all to small if you have a sub. No sub,set to no sub in menu and lg for front mains.

02-19-2005, 05:42 AM
Check your settings and use those test tones. They do a pretty durn good job of "eyeballing" workable levels. Likewise, you are aware that by using these, you can adjust each channels' level individually, aren't you? You should beable to increase the volume of the center channel without affecting any other speaker. Check your manual for instructions on this.

Assuming you've done the above, another thought that you might have hit upon is a gross mismatch between the tonal balance and relative efficiency of your mains vs. your center. The F2's are incredibily efficient (92 -93 db/watt) and can blow out walls with just a few watts. And, they do have their own tonal character, particularly in he all important mid range.

The Atom, while a fine speaker in it's own right, is a much smaller speaker and as such is probably much less efficient. Granted, since I can't find the specs on this out of production model I'm guessing, but it's an educated guess. This means that for these to attain the same relative loudness as your mains will require proportionatly more power, perhaps more than your receiver can compensate for.

Then, there's that tonal imbalance, or timbre matching. Not much can be done here. If one speaker accentuates/attenuates one range and the others accentuates/attenuates another, there WILL be an imbalance.

I'd suggest you go for the Athena center channel as soon as possible, check your setup and use those test tones and see if this cures your problems. Sumptin' tells me it just might.

02-19-2005, 06:57 PM
I didn't know about the teat tone or adjusting the center cannel volume. Thanks you very much for the advice.

I bought the Athena ASC-1 today but it is too big for my TV wall unit. I.e. I cannot keep it horizontally, either on a shelf or on top of the TV. At present, I have placed it vertically, beside the TV. So basically, my choice is to keep the Athena ASC-1 vertically, beside the TV or buy the smaller Athena C.5 center cannel speaker that comes with the Athena Point 5 speaker system. What shall I do? What's wrong with keeping a center cannel speaker vertically?

02-20-2005, 05:49 AM
Get the smaller speaker if thats the only way to use it right. Next to the tv wont cut it. Get into the reciever menu and set each speaker to the same volume{ a radio shack spl meter will work wonders for this} Then when you use the master volume, one speaker wont be to high or low.