On all 3 front channels?
Do you have the Denon connected via HDMI? to your players?
The problem is in the Denon, almost certainly the Denon. It may be something as simple as some settings you currently are using in the Denon receiver are not good for speech, Perhaps some special surround mode? Or, perhaps you have the Denon set to decode a type of sound that is not exactly to the one being set, so it is messing up the decoding.
I have a Denon 4806 receiver, and can safely say it is WAY too complicated.
Thanks for the replies. I find that music and background sound is very good indeed. I am letting the BluRay player decode and am using the 5 analogue outputs to the Denon which is in ext. mode...meaning it is acting as 5 separate basic amps with a volume control. Speech coming from the center channel sounds totally muffled and sounds as though its from a 39cent speaker, although the NHT supposed to match the other speakers in sound quality. I am using HDMI directly from the Panasonic to the Sony hidef for video only, since my Denon has no provision for HDMI. I have adjusted the Panasonic to recognize that only video is HDMI. Any suggestions?
Do you have your TV muted? I used to run the HDMI direct to my TV and the sound to my pre/pro. If I forgot to mute my TV the timing in the sound from my TV did not match that coming from my HT system and it made it very difficult to understand. While you wrote that only the video is being sent via the HDMI to the TV, I would double check this. Since you indicate that this only happens with videos (vs. music only), it may be the cause.
Outside of this, it would seem it would be a set-up issue. If I am correct, you have run the full set-up, speaker placement/distances, etc. . . from the DVD player and during set-up the test signals all worked well?
I just keep going back in my mind to the dual outputs using the HDMI and the analog 5.1 channel output. Since it is not your HT receiver that is decoding anything (ie. based on the analog input approach and assuming you haven't programmed the Denon to do any changes to the analog signal).
I don't think my DVD player (Oppo) allows me to restrict the HDMI output to just video, but I may be mistaken.
As other have suggested I would check:
1) The set-up parameters of the center channel in the Denon
2) Use a different input/channel of the Denon for the center to see if it a problem within the Denon specific to the center input you are using (e.g. bad amp channel)
3) If possible substitute a satellite speaker for the center speaker to see if the problem is the speaker itself
4) Also play music through all channels as another way to check the center speaker
5) Turn off the center channel in the panasonic so the dialogue is handled by the front L and R speakers
This all should help pinpoint the problem.
Thanks for the suggestions. When I put my ear to the center channel, it is working...its just the QUALITY (bad) of that speaker is not good. I will connect the output wires that go into the center channel to one of the towers to see if it is indeed a defective center channel speaker. I'll get back. Thanks again. By the way...there is a definite page for HDMI distribution on my BD-55 Panasonic... HDMI Video, HDMI Audio, Both. I have it set only to Video. The TV sound is set to "off" on the Sony.
Lots of DVDs and Blue Rays are mixed with the dialogue rather low relative to all other sounds. Presumably, the viewer is expected to raise the volume until the dialog can be clearly heard. Unfortunately, loud effects are then LOUD! I think that's the idea - recreate the in-cinema experience, but it can create the issue that you're describing. Particularly since you don't have an issue with TV content, which does not feature this type of audio mix.
My fix is to manually raise the level of the center channel while leaving all other audio channels at their "default" level.
Just one more ideafor you to consider.
Marty - you did it!! I've been futzing with this thing for about a year....and your simple answer to turn down the other speakers is correct. The sound from the middle seemed fuzzy because the other speakers were just swamping the poor little center speaker. Thanks again. If you're near Scottsdale, Arizona, stop by for some good scotch and tunes. Let me know. Stan