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Cinema level low in HT system

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ctbarker32

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I have a pair of Aerius i's and a cinema center channel. Preamp is the multi channel analog McCormack MAP-1. Aerius i's are powered by McCormack DNA .5 SE stereo amp. Cinema and surround channels are powered by three Outlaw m200 monoblock amps.

I just got a new DVD player (Oppo 970). I was calibrating video and audio using Video Essentials DVD and I discovered that the Cinema center was about 6 db lower in level than the left/right Aerius i pair. The Oppo DVD has an audio channel trim capability so I am able to boost the level of the center channel to match.

Should I be concerned that I have to boost the Cinema so much? It is located directly beneath the tv in the same plane as the left and right speaker. I use a radio shack SPL. I was so concerned that I dismantled the Cinema and vacuumed it and verified that the electrostatic panel and all the drivers were emitting sound. I also swapped out all my cables to the center channel.

I don't remember going through this with my previous DVD player. I did email Oppo and they kindly checked the output of the center channel and said that all channel levels were the same.

The only thing I can think of is that the Outlaw mono amp is slightly quieter in level than the McCormack amp.

I'd be interested in anyone's thoughts.

Thanks.

-CB
 

garmtz

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It will probably have to do with the gain of the center channel amp or natural differences in sensitivity between the different speakers. No need to worry.
 

ctbarker32

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garmtz said:
It will probably have to do with the gain of the center channel amp or natural differences in sensitivity between the different speakers. No need to worry.
You are undoubtedly correct. I just get a little worked up when things seem to be out of whack! I did just check the Aerius i and Cinema manuals and they do list the sensitivity for both as 89db/2.83 volts/meter.

Thankfully, the Oppo player has channel trim adjustments so I can make all the channels match. Otherwise the DVD player sounds and looks great.

Thanks.

-CB
 

Genesis

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Hi CB...I have the Cinema i and Vantage up front with completely different source equipment than you. I also had to boost the signal to the center by 5 db to compensate, using the Radio Shack SPL meter, and I was very particular about mounting the SPL on a tripod exactly at ear level :)
 

ctbarker32

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Genesis said:
Hi CB...I have the Cinema i and Vantage I also had to boost the signal to the center by 5 db to compensate
Thanks so much for the feedback. This is so very helpful! I guess the Cinema has a smaller panel size and thus reduced output? I don't know why I didn't notice this before, but after a complete cleaning and recheck of my connections and level balancing with the test tones my systems seems to be sounding quite good. I guess I will try to relax and enjoy my new DVD player.

How do you like the Vantage? I've listened to the Summits and was impressed. I am planning on upgrading my aging Aerius i's in the future. I am torn between the Vista and the Vantage. Since I have a good musical sub (Rel Strata III) I was thinking I might be able go with the Vista and save some cash. I have heard the Vantage but I have not auditioned the Vista yet.

Your thoughts would be interesting.

Thanks.

-CB
 

Genesis

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ctbarker32 said:
How do you like the Vantage? I've listened to the Summits and was impressed. I am planning on upgrading my aging Aerius i's in the future. I am torn between the Vista and the Vantage. Since I have a good musical sub (Rel Strata III) I was thinking I might be able go with the Vista and save some cash. I have heard the Vantage but I have not auditioned the Vista yet.
I love the Vantage...best speaker purchase I've made in years. How big is your room? I'd take the Vantage over Vista, even combined with your Rel. I've been auditioning various integrated amps over the past few weeks and the sub-out feature of certain int amps is a total plus in defining soundstage in two channel mode...I set my Depth sub to 2-channel/multi-channel mode and the low pass cut-off filter to 35 Hz. Not only do I get outstanding bass from the Vantage, but the ability to achieve lower than Vantage capability with the Depth going below 35 Hz....absolutely perfect in two channel. If you need to tweak the sensitivity wrt the Vantage bass with or without sub, the Vantage has the ability thanks to the onboard amp.
 
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