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jtbreen

RP-404C Sounds Tinny

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Posted (edited)

Hey all, 

 

Looking for some advice. I've just purchased the RP-404C for my home theater and I just can't seem to get a good sound out of it. Dialogue sounds very thin and is often drowned out in louder scenes when the L/Rs are firing. The center is placed just below my projector screen and is on a stand. It's angled slightly up to the main listening position and is about 3" from the wall. I'm using a Sony STR DN1080 as my AVR and I've had the issue with all audio streams including TrueHD and DTS-HD. My old (and relatively cheap) Infinity speaker was far more clear and cut through the mix even in loud scenes. 

 

I've run the Sony Auto Cal multiple times, tried different calibration modes (Full Flat, Engineer, Front Reference) and have boosted the center trim level up to 3db above what the auto cal set it to. I've checked all levels with an SPL and have the center running slightly hotter than the rest. If I boost it higher, it's overpowering and really sticks out unnaturally in the mix. I've currently got the crossover set at 70Hz but have experimented with 60-100Hz and nothing sounds great. 

 

Any advice on getting a better sound? I really expected more and so far am quite disappointed with the performance. 

Edited by jtbreen

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@jtbreen,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Just my opinion based on my experience with 4" drivers.  

I really don't think a center channel with such small woofers, even though there are 4 of them, has the oooomph to have much impact in a HT setting unless the room is on the really small(12ft x 14ft max) side and the front mains are small also.  What size is your room and what are your left and right front speakers.

 

Bill

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Posted (edited)
Quote

,

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Just my opinion based on my experience with 4" drivers.  

I really don't think a center channel with such small woofers, even though there are 4 of them, has the oooomph to have much impact in a HT setting unless the room is on the really small(12ft x 14ft max) side and the front mains are small also.  What size is your room and what are your left and right front speakers.

 

Bill

Thanks for the quick reply. The room is definitely small, 11x10 and listening position is about 8 feet away and is totally unobstructed. I'm using the RP-6000F has the L/R mains, which was recommended to me by several installers as the correct pairing with the RP-404C. Also, my previous center only had 3" drivers and again, cut through the mix. Really at a loss here! 

Edited by jtbreen
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Got it.  Maybe experiment with the LPF settings on the RP-404C.  Start at say 100Hz and work your way down to say 70Hz and hear how it sounds.

 

Bill

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What are your L/R speakers?

 

I would suggest moving the center farther away from the wall since it is rear ported.

 

Also, make sure you don't have anything on in your receiver such as Late Night mode or whatever it may be called which will reduce output. 

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31 minutes ago, wuzzzer said:

What are your L/R speakers?

 

I would suggest moving the center farther away from the wall since it is rear ported.

 

Also, make sure you don't have anything on in your receiver such as Late Night mode or whatever it may be called which will reduce output. 

 

RP-6000Fs. I'll try moving it out a bit more. Unfortunately because of the small room size, I can only move it out so far without it becoming an obstacle. How far would you recommend I move it out? Its about 3-4" right now.

 

I've turned off any of the dynamic compression and also experimented with it on just to see. Didn't make much of a difference. The Sony also has different calibration modes that apply different room correction. I've experimented with all 3 and turned it off completely and nothing really sounds that good. I'm just shocked that a center channel that was 3 times the price of my previous one can't output a decent sound. I've heard it on display and it was nice and clear and the reviews are for the most part fantastic. Really getting frustrated!

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Sounds like a new speaker as you said. Would give it a little more time to settle into the space, and yes even a couple of more inches out if possible.

Welcome!

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I replaced my KEF center channel speaker almost two years ago with the  RP-404CA and the difference in quality was quite noticeable from the moments the 404 was connected. Maybe there is something defective withe your speaker. I run mine thru Yamaha AVR and run my center channel a tad louder than my mains because I like the dialogue centered on the TV but the 404 blends seamlessly with my Fortes. 

 

It is quite clear and sounds very very good but I dont boost the bass way up on the center channel speaker because my subwoofer gives me plenty of bottom end either listening to 2 channel audio or 7 channel surround.

 

Good luck with sorting out your 404 - 

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I would move it about twice as far as you have it now if you can. 

Also, try listening with all of the automatic setup stuff disabled.  With the receivers I've had that have Audyssey, etc, I've tried it both ways and prefer to adjust the sound manually.  There's just so much crap in modern receivers that can make everything sound like garbage if it's all turned on.

Plus, make sure you have the speaker wired in phase. 

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Thanks for the advice all. Going to try pulling it out a bit further and rerun calibration and see if that fixes things. Appreciate all the replies! 

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I pulled the unit about 7" from the wall and reran the calibration. Does seem to sound much better. Still not quite as good as what I was expecting though and found the dialogue still is a bit buried in louder scenes. Granted, I was watching The Dark Knight Rises and I know Nolan movies are infamous for buried dialogue, so will continue to test with other films. I calibrated the levels manually to 70db and bumped the center to about 72db. I find if I bump it much more than that, it sounds out of place in the mix and non-dialogue in the center like footsteps becomes far too loud. 

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