Trouble with 5.1 system- poor sound quality

hi I recently bought a Csi a4 center to add to my rti8 fronts, owm3 surrounds, and PSW505 subwoofer. also bought a new denon s750h receiver and set up with Audyssey. The sound quality is pretty poor. The center sounds pretty weak and i have to keep the denon at a high volume (around 70) to get some good output. Overall the entire system is very underwhelming compared to my other home theater set up in the house with a much lower set of Polk speakers (RM7200 HTIB speakers). What could be going wrong?
the receiver seems powerful enough to drive this set up, isn't it?
Fronts and center have been set to Small with 80 hz cross over (Audyssey had set it to LARGE with 40 hz cross over - i overrode it)
what else can i do.

Answers

  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,638
    Your center is not a timbre match to your L&R speakers. It's important that the front 3 are matched. In addition, your center is 1dB less efficient, which may not seem like much, but considering it is the main speaker in an HT rig it's extremely relevant. I suggest you tweak the calibration settings manually to bring the center volume level up to be at least equal if not greater than your L&R.

    Another thing, that's a pretty weak AVR at 75 wpc with only 2 channels driven. Drive more channels and the wpc drops like a lead weight. Speaking of weight, it's only 19 lbs. I've got disc players that weigh over twice that!
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • kaku42kaku42 Posts: 31
    thanks. Both the Polk and Crutchfield advisors separately told e that that the center is timbre matched to L&R and that's the only reason i bought it. In fact, i bought it only a couple of weeks ago after confirming with them!
    they suggested that i need to go with either Csi a4 or a6. A6 was vetoed by my wife because its too big and i could only find it in cherry color.

    I will override audyssey to bring center up.

    i am also thinking of returning this AVR. Again Crutchfield told me that this AVR is more than enough to drive these speakers. is AVR x2600H ok? still not big enough - 95w with 2 channels driven but should be better?
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,638
    edited November 2020
    Apologies, I read it as RT8, so you do have a timbre matched front 3. I'd go up to the X3700H. Personally, I prefer Pioneer Elite AVR's. Among other things, such as power their calibration program is better.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • kaku42kaku42 Posts: 31
    thanks! which Pioneer would you recommend.
    i see that 3700h is only 10W more in a 2 channel driven system. lots of video features definitely but not sure worth the 500$ extra for that much power difference?
  • F1nutF1nut Posts: 45,638
    Well, I would suggest the SC-LX704, but it seems to be out of stock everywhere. In fact, it seems hard to find any Pioneer Elite AVR's as well as a lot of other brands, which I'm sure is covid related.

    Anyway, look for not only the wpc rating, but the weight of the AVR. For example, the Denon X2700H weighs 21 lbs. while the Pioneer SC-LX704 weighs 41 lbs. Beefy power supplies weigh a lot.
    Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a t-u-r-d by the clean end."


    President of Club Polk

  • gp4jesusgp4jesus Posts: 1,607
    Conceptually I agree w/Jess (F1). More power makes a happier sound system.

    I played around w/a “100WPC” Denon AVR driving Polk outdoor Atrium 55s - the sound is... well... sleepy. Connecting a 100WPC Belles really woke them up.
    Samsung 60" UN60ES6100 LED
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    Canare 14 ga - LCR tweeters inside*; CC outside
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    8 ga Powerline - LR woofers, inside* & out
    *soldered

    LR: tri-amped RTi A7 w/Rotels. Woofers - 980BX; M&T - 981
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  • rooftop59rooftop59 Posts: 7,068
    F1nut wrote: »
    Well, I would suggest the SC-LX704, but it seems to be out of stock everywhere. In fact, it seems hard to find any Pioneer Elite AVR's as well as a lot of other brands, which I'm sure is covid related.

    Anyway, look for not only the wpc rating, but the weight of the AVR. For example, the Denon X2700H weighs 21 lbs. while the Pioneer SC-LX704 weighs 41 lbs. Beefy power supplies weigh a lot.

    Yes the higher end denons and Yamahas sound significantly better for many reasons, overall build quality and power supply being chief among them. The 3700h is 27 lbs which while still light compared to high quality components, is about 50% heavier than your current receiver.
    Living Room 2.1: Dynaudio Contour 1.3mkii; Martin Logan Grotto sub; Musical Fidelity A308; Marantz SA 14S1; Sony UBP-x1000es
    Game Room HT: Denon AVR-X4200w; Sony UBP-x700; Definitive Technology SM450; Definitive Technology LCR2000; Definitive Technology StudioMonitor350; Mirage Nanasats; Sub - HSU VTF-2 MK5
    Master Bedroom
    Cambridge Azur 551r; Definitive Technology promonitor 800; ACI Titan Subwoofer
  • kaku42kaku42 Posts: 31
    Thanks all but after finally setting up with x2700h I tried listening to music (FM directly in receiver and then with CD player connected to it). Sounds bad in stereo mode. Muddled up a bit. If I switch to sound processing and play in surround mode at least it become much better as the center and even the surrounds sound much better and overcome the weakness of the fronts . Something has to be wrong. How can the rti8 sound so bad? I have bi-amped it. (Tried without bi-amp also)
    Can speakers go “bad” or am I missing something. I checked the polarities of the wires too. This is not about getting some incremental advantage with heavier power supplies but to get basic sound quality going !!
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 9,502
    Does Denon have a pure direct to take DSP and what not totally out of the equation?
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
  • kaku42kaku42 Posts: 31
    Yes - it has. Tried that. Slightly better but not not much
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 9,502
    Muddled. The tweeters are working?
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.

    Village Idiot of Club Polk
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