Adding Center Channel


I currently have my 2 channel providing the Audio for my projector. Unless I turn the volume up significantly the dialog is too low. I was told adding a inexpensive AV Receiver and center channel would help, so I did. I purchased a Marantz NR1607 and Monitor Audio Gold center channel. The NR1607 is used to drive the center channel only. The problem is I hear dialog through my main speakers before I hear it through the center channel. It almost sounds like an echo. I've tried everything and I can't solve the problem. Is it because I have two different amps(1 driving the main speakers and the AV receiver for the center channel)? I've contacted Marantz and Oppo via the phone and they couldn't resolve the issue. Any suggestions?
ricred1
Hi Ric,

On many HT receivers, there is in the setup menu a method to sync the audio via delay settings. Have you exhausted all means in the settings?

This should be an easy fix, although some menu setups can be quite confusing, even for techs.

Good luck,Dan
Adjusting the audio delay settings didn't help. According to Marantz and Oppo's tech support the problem is because I'm using two different amps. One to drive the main speakers and one for the center. 

How are the source and amps connected? Does the 2 channel preamp have a HT bypass input?

My preamp has HT bypass. The Oppo is connected to my DAC via an Optical cable
Then the Marantz front preouts connect to HT bypass input on the preamp and analog output of DAC connect to an input on Marantz, correct? If this is not correct, can you please describe the connections between the Marantz, preamp, Oppo, and DAC.
The Marantz is used to drive only the center channel and isn't connected to my preamp. I had it connected as follows: from projector to Marantz via HDMI, from Marantz to Oppo via HDMI, Oppo to my preamp via Optical cable. My DAC is connected to my preamp via  balanced cables.
Sync problem is being caused by your connections. You have created two different signal paths for the 3 speakers.

Oppo HDMI output > Marantz > Center Speaker

Oppo Optical output > DAC > Preamp > Amp > L&R Speaker

The issue is not using different amps, but using 2 different outputs on the Oppo. Both amps must receive a signal from a single output.

What is the right way to connect it?
Hi Ric,

You don't have it connected properly for a combo 2-channel/HT add-on system.

You need to connect the L&R line level RCA cable from the Oppo to your pre-amp for listening to 2-channel music.

You need to connect the Oppo to your HT receiver using an HDMI cable.

You will need to connect the center channel speaker to the center channel speaker output of the HT receiver.

You will need to connect the L&R front speaker pre-outs on the receiver to your HT input on your pre-amp.

Once you do this you will need to engage the HT bypass on your 2-channel pre-amp when you want to listen to multi-channel output from your Oppo player.

You will also need to go through the setup sequence on your HT receiver to tell it you have X number of speakers (3?) and set up the speaker balance (probably automated using a MIC).

If you run into any issue with this, let me know. I would be happy to help. I've done this type of combo system many times with good success, but I always used the HT receiver to power the center channel and the L&R rear surround speaker.

Enjoy,

TIC

Connect the Marantz front preouts to the HT bypass input on the preamp. Then when you select that input, the Marantz VC controls volume on all speakers. Even though sound quality of L&R may not be quite as good as before, the sync problem should be eliminated.

tls49,
thanks , it worked. No more sync problem and the L&R speakers still sound great when watching television or movies. Of course I turn the center channel and AV receiver off when listening to 2 channel. In addition, I decided to go to the next level Monitor Audio center channel. 

I wonder why OP's dialog is low without a center channel.  My center amp is power cycling itself, so I deleted the center channel in my processor menu and returned to a phantom center.  The sound seems just as good without them, so I suspect the Parasound JC 1 amp and KEF R600C are redundant.  We do sit centered at the near-field apex, and the KEF Reference 107/2s image splendidly.

dbphd,
Prior to getting the center channel and AV receiver, the sound was coming through my 2 channel system. 

"Prior to getting the center channel and AV receiver, the sound was coming through my 2 channel system."

So?  Do you get a strong center image for a soloist in stereo?  If so, why should HT dialog be any different?  I'd look elsewhere for the problem.

Yes, I  have great imaging/ soundstage with 2 channel. I've already added the center and AV receiver for when I'm watching TV or movies. There is a significant difference with the center channel.  When I listen to music I turn off the receiver/ center channel.

ricred1, glad to help, and happy everything is working better for you.

tls49,
thanks again.
I'm thinking of trading up from the Monitor Audio Gold C350 to the Platinum PLC350 center channel speaker. Has anyone compared the two? I don't have the opportunity to compare the two and would like some feedback. Any thoughts on the value of expensive center channel speakers?