CS400i sounds muddy/hard to hear dialogue

Justaguy_99Justaguy_99 Posts: 24
edited November 2010 in Troubleshooting
Let me preface this with the fact that I am in no manner of speaking an audiophile but competent when it comes to fixing things.

I have a 5.1 set of polks that I picked up from Craigslist that are in pretty decent shape. 2 rt2000is, 1 CS400i, 2 FX500is, and a PSW450. These are all connected (correctly) to an Onkyo 604.

My issue is with the center speaker. All of the other four channels sounds very crisp and clean with rich sound, but the center sounds muddy, softer, and makes it difficult to understand movies sometimes. I have tried remedying the problem with increasing the volume for that channel, narrowing the dynamic range, but it still doesn't sound quite right to me, and I believe these solutions are just masking the problem.

Being as this is my first quality speaker setup, I'm not sure if this is normal behavior or not. Everywhere I read, the CS400i is raved as a great center, but mine just does not sound that great to me.

How can I test mine to see if it's behaving normally? If it is, what are my options for solutions?

Thanks all for your time, I appreciate it.

Steve
Post edited by Justaguy_99 on

Comments

  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,622
    edited November 2010
    Switch one of the other good sounding speakers with the center and see if the bad sound follows the speaker. If so there is a speaker issue. If the center still sounds bad with the other speaker then there is, probably, an AVR issue.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • Justaguy_99Justaguy_99 Posts: 24
    edited November 2010
    Thanks. Can I do that with white noise or what kind of sample should I be playing?

    Cheers,
    Steve

    P.S. I used to live in Sunnyvale! Bought a place in San Leandro though. =)
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 12,622
    edited November 2010
    Play something you are familiar with so that you can easily tell if there is any difference. Hope your new home has a good room you can use soley for HT. :smile:
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin X1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on preamp, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,483
    edited November 2010
    Is there any tweeter output from the 400i?

    Greg
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:
    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\
    My response is: If you need 60 seconds to respond in one sentence, you probably should't be evaluating Polk speakers.....


    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • respercresperc Posts: 41
    edited November 2010
    Make sure the jumpers are in place. By jumpers, I mean the the gold bars on the rear of the speaker that connect one set of the speaker connections (probably red and black) to the other set. The upper set drives the tweeter (high range driver) and the lower set drive the woofers. If they are there, you could remove them and try each set separately, upper then lower. That should let you know if all the drivers are working. If they are already gone, use speaker wire to connect the jumpers, upper to lower, so all the drivers are getting a signal. Connect Black to black and red to red. BE VERY CAREFUL THAT NO STRAY WIRES ARE TOUCHING AS THIS WILL SHORT OUT YOUR AMP!!! Good Luck!!
  • respercresperc Posts: 41
    edited November 2010
    Also, if you need the manual for reference it is available on Polk's website
  • Justaguy_99Justaguy_99 Posts: 24
    edited November 2010
    Thanks for the replies!

    When I play music over all channels, the problem stays with the center speaker. I pulled off the grill to see if the tweeter was vibrating (I dunno how else to check a tweeter. :tongue:) and whoooops, the seal around it is definitely cracked/blown. Funny, I thought had inspected this before (I bought these over a year ago, but somehow I missed it, perhaps it was a recent development. Given the condition of the tweeter, I think I've got something to work on now.

    New question: Where does one find replacement tweeters for an 8 year old speaker? :confused: Is it easy to replace? I have decent soldering skills.

    Steve
  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,483
    edited November 2010
    Thanks for the replies!

    When I play music over all channels, the problem stays with the center speaker. I pulled off the grill to see if the tweeter was vibrating (I dunno how else to check a tweeter. :tongue:) and whoooops, the seal around it is definitely cracked/blown. Funny, I thought had inspected this before (I bought these over a year ago, but somehow I missed it, perhaps it was a recent development. Given the condition of the tweeter, I think I've got something to work on now.

    New question: Where does one find replacement tweeters for an 8 year old speaker? :confused: Is it easy to replace? I have decent soldering skills.

    Steve

    Steve,

    I had a problem with my CS400 a little while ago and thought it was my tweeter. It ended up being the crossover, but I did not find this out until I bought another tweeter. I have an extra one if you you would like to buy it. Please send me a PM if you are interested. I will sell it to you for a fair price.

    Greg

    Edit: I just realized that you cannot PM yet, you must get up to 10 posts to be able to PM. You only have 7 more to go though. Also, the tweeter is very easy to replace and doesn't require soldering.
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:
    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\
    My response is: If you need 60 seconds to respond in one sentence, you probably should't be evaluating Polk speakers.....


    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • Justaguy_99Justaguy_99 Posts: 24
    edited November 2010
    Hey Greg,

    Is the CS400 tweeter the same as the CS400i? It's my understanding that they were two different models?

    Steve
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,558
    edited November 2010
    Hey Greg,

    Is the CS400 tweeter the same as the CS400i? It's my understanding that they were two different models?

    Steve

    From what I remember the "I" series had a revamped Tweeter with slighty sonic improvements. You can however use a regular non "I" tweeter and it will work just fine.

    That tweeter looks like it took a shot. Replace it and see what happens. Sounds to me like it's not working.

    The 400 is a very nice center and the perfect match to your speaker package. I don't however see the need for the PSW450 in that system with the RT2000's as mains. The sub section in them rock.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Justaguy_99Justaguy_99 Posts: 24
    edited November 2010
    While I was at it, I decided to disconnect the jumpers reperc was mentioning earlier and test out each set of posts. The bottom set produce sound, but the top set produce NO sound, so maybe I have two problems here?

    Steve

    P.S. I was going to use the sub for LFE and plan to set it to the lowest crossover setting available. This is mostly a home theater setup.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,558
    edited November 2010
    While I was at it, I decided to disconnect the jumpers reperc was mentioning earlier and test out each set of posts. The bottom set produce sound, but the top set produce NO sound, so maybe I have two problems here?

    Steve

    The top set is the tweeter.Call Polk and get a new crossover and Tweeter just in case. They are cheap enough to do so.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • Justaguy_99Justaguy_99 Posts: 24
    edited November 2010
    Good deal. :smile: Should I care about silk vs. trilaminate and all that hooplah? I'd like the sound to match the towers. No I'm not padding my post count, why do you ask? :tongue:

    Steve
  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,483
    edited November 2010
    Steve,

    The tweeter in the CS400i you have (in the picture) is the tri-laminate tweeter as it has the silver color to it (that's the SL6502 and the one I have). The silk dome tweeter that came in most CS400i's has a grey color to it (that's the SL6506). If you take the tweeter out and look at the model on the side of the magnet you will know for sure though. The RT2000i uses the tri-laminate (SL6502) tweeter in it.

    Also, it may be that your crossover (or tweeter inductor, to be more accurate) is faulty as mine was. So, you may have two problems at once as you suggested.

    Finally, I am not sure if Polk sells the SL6502 or the SL6506 still. You can ask.


    Greg
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:
    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\
    My response is: If you need 60 seconds to respond in one sentence, you probably should't be evaluating Polk speakers.....


    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • Justaguy_99Justaguy_99 Posts: 24
    edited November 2010
    Oof, Polk is backordered for 90 days. Greg, what model tweeter did you say you have? Polk is recommending replacement with SL6507. I may buy the tweeter and see if the crossover can be repaired if it needs it.

    Thanks!
    Steve
  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,483
    edited November 2010
    Steve,

    I have the SL6502. I am not sure why they recommend the SL6507?? As far as I know neither the CS400 or the CS400i used the SL6507. The CS400 used the SL6502 and the CS400i used the SL6506. The RT2000i uses the trilaminate (should be SL6502) tweeter, and the tweeter that's in your CS400i is an SL6502 based on how it looks.

    Greg
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:
    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\
    My response is: If you need 60 seconds to respond in one sentence, you probably should't be evaluating Polk speakers.....


    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • Justaguy_99Justaguy_99 Posts: 24
    edited November 2010
    Well I pulled it apart, nice and easy: the tweeter is attached to the faceplate. Polk was right, it's an SL6506, which they say should be replaced by an SL6507. 90 day wait period sucks though, so I guess I'll be looking for this one on ebay or here if anybody has one.

    Much obliged all, sorry my "big" problem turned out to be so simplistic! I'll be sure to update once I've installed the replacement tweeter.

    Cheers,
    Steve
  • headrottheadrott Posts: 5,483
    edited November 2010
    Huh, I'm suprised Steve; that dome definately looks like an SL6502 dome. Although it may just be the color of the photograph and/or my monitor, lighting, etc.

    I guess the SL6507 is the newest replacement for the SL6506 that Polk makes. As I said, I have an SL6502 which should be equivalent to the tweeter in your RT2000i's. It will work and be a better match to the tweeters which I think are in your RT2000i's, but you may want to check those as well.

    Hopefully it's just the tweeter and not the combination of the tweeter and crossover/inductor.

    Greg
    Relayer-Big-O-Poster.jpg
    Taken from a recent Audioholics reply regarding "Club Polk" and Polk speakers:
    "I'm yet to hear a Polk speaker that merits more than a sentence and 60 seconds discussion." :\
    My response is: If you need 60 seconds to respond in one sentence, you probably should't be evaluating Polk speakers.....


    "Green leaves reveal the heart spoken Khatru"- Jon Anderson

    "Have A Little Faith! And Everything You'll Face, Will Jump From Out Right On Into Place! Yeah! Take A Little Time! And Everything You'll Find, Will Move From Gloom Right On Into Shine!"- Arthur Lee
  • newrivalnewrival Posts: 2,020
    edited November 2010
    I do have an extra tweeter im not using. However its attached to my CS400 Im about to sell. lol. But if it doesnt sell I'll let you know and part it out to you :)
    design is where science and art break even.
  • Justaguy_99Justaguy_99 Posts: 24
    edited November 2010
    Yeah, I wouldn't trust a cell phone camera for accurate color. =P I'll pull a tweeter from my RT2000i and see what it says. I would suspect it is the same model as the CS400i though? It's my understanding that the "i" series replaced the regular models after it was decided they were too bright and thus the different components.

    Steve
  • dudeinaroomdudeinaroom Posts: 3,625
    edited November 2010
    When you pull the tweeter out of your RT200i, hook the tweeter from your rt2000i to the leads on the center and see if you get sound. If you don't you will know if the crossover is blown.
  • I have the same issue now. Thanks for all the tips guys!
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