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Audiophiles and Surround Sound...

CDWallace
01-30-2007, 12:20 PM
This question is geared more toward audiophiles into surround sound, but can be answered by anyone who chooses. I only ask that if you have an opinion that you also supply a substantiated conclusion to you opinion.

I've noticed this more with focused audiophiles than those interested in surround sound. More audiophiles have the mindset that surround sound is a gimmick when it comes to music. Many have conclusions that music was not intended to be heard behind you and your typical CD has no surround properties recorded.

Of course, I completely disagree. Especially after learning that CD's do have surround properties, and that surround doesn't always mean hearing behind you.

Being a somewhat "reformed" (for a lack of better terms) audiophile, I understand how important things like soundstage presentation, for one, really are. I understand how it can easily be confusing to an audiophile to think the soundstage in surround will be misconstrude and elements misplaced. Just because a properly setup surround system (5.1) has 6 total speakers working as 1 in a 360 soundfield, doesn't mean the information EVENLY spread throughout the 360 degrees. (I hope I didn't loose anyone)

I'm hoping this thread can shed some light on the differences audiophiles have regarding surround sound and music.

SNAP
01-30-2007, 12:51 PM
2 channel music should be listened to only in 2 channel...........IMHO.........Some audiophiles claim that it should be listened to in "Line Direct" mode that is w/out any treble or bass adjustments. I dont go for that but I'll always check to see if there's any extra ambiance to the cd before I go 2 channel.
I have a few cd's that are DTS cd's and dolby digital cds so the extra channels are already there.

CDWallace
01-30-2007, 02:21 PM
Snap, if you had to change something about surround sound for music that would change your mind about listening to CD's in stereo only, what would it be?

I guess what I'm asking, to some degree, is if surround were configured to reproduce a stereo CD equally or better than stereo, being an audiophile, is this something you would consider? IYO, do you think, or do you feel most audiophiles think the above scenario is even possible?

To let everyone else in. I know its "mission impossible", but why not try to bridge the gap between surround and stereo playback, to the point where surround can be a viable, legitimate or even audiophile grade option for music playback. Call me crazy.

:eek:

m_vanmeter
01-31-2007, 07:23 AM
I had an interesting experience recently. I purchased the "Yanni Live" (OK, no flames please) DVD precisely because I knew it would challange my A/V setup. The first time through I just put the disk in the DVD and hit play. While good, the sound was a little "flat", lacking some of the spark these recordings usually have.

Then I checked the DVD on disk menu and there was a selection for Audio Options and "Stereo" was the default. I set it to 5.1 Dolby and the playback was noticeably brighter, more intense, more of a sound stage experience. I tried DTS playback next, and while the difference was subtle, there was a sense of expanded sound, richer mid-tones and highs, and my subwoofer got a little more of a workout - again subtle, but there.

I was surprised by the results, but now I will always check the on-disk options first. Even though the DVD may be menu selected for digital sound out, the on-disk menu may over ride the selection.

seriousfun
01-31-2007, 10:04 AM
This question is geared more toward audiophiles into surround sound, but can be answered by anyone who chooses. I only ask that if you have an opinion that you also supply a substantiated conclusion to you opinion.

I've noticed this more with focused audiophiles than those interested in surround sound. More audiophiles have the mindset that surround sound is a gimmick when it comes to music. Many have conclusions that music was not intended to be heard behind you and your typical CD has no surround properties recorded.

Of course, I completely disagree. Especially after learning that CD's do have surround properties, and that surround doesn't always mean hearing behind you.

Being a somewhat "reformed" (for a lack of better terms) audiophile, I understand how important things like soundstage presentation, for one, really are. I understand how it can easily be confusing to an audiophile to think the soundstage in surround will be misconstrude and elements misplaced. Just because a properly setup surround system (5.1) has 6 total speakers working as 1 in a 360 soundfield, doesn't mean the information EVENLY spread throughout the 360 degrees. (I hope I didn't loose anyone)

I'm hoping this thread can shed some light on the differences audiophiles have regarding surround sound and music.

(My first post here, but I have a long history with both consumer and professional audio - surround sound in particular).

This is a big subject!

The definition of stereo - from the Greek sterios, meaning solid - it doesn't mean two.

Stereophonic sound was developed to deliver a solid sonic image, first in the 1930s by a man named Blumlein, and then by researchers at Bell Labs, with its first commercial application with Disney's Fantasia (four channel sound - Left, Center, Right, and Surround). Every early demonstration involved three front channels; two channels can present a reasonable phantom image between them, but to this day it's a challenge.

Every sound we hear happens in a three dimensional space, and we have evolved with two ears that are positioned, shaped, and programmed (in our brains) to derive spatial characteristics from just these two ears.

5.1 was developed as the minimum configuration to deliver a convincing 360 degree sonic image (we still can't image height, or directly to the right and left, or from directly behind, without additional channels).

So, there has been surround music since the '30s, but only presented in theaters to accompany movies until the mid-'90s, when the first Dolby Stereo encoded CDs appeared. DTC-CD, DVD-V, DVD-A, and SA-CD discs have appeared, intended to deliver surround music to the over 100 million homes worldwide with surround systems, but the various formats have not taken-over CD or digital files, for various reasons. There are electronic ways to split a 2-channel stereo mix to a 5.1 speaker system, but I agree that these are silly (and not intended for audiophiles).

The surround music mixes on these discs have ranged from Mono (a 5.1 system is the ideal way to present a mono mix - anything from Caruso acoustic recordings to Beatles and Phil Spector mixes - using the dedicated full-range Center channel) to 6.1 (with a Center Surround matrixed in the Right Surround and Left Surround channels). Much recording from the early '50s to the mid '60s was done on three-track recorders, and some of these are currently being released in three-track stereo on SA-CD and DVD-A, like Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and the RCA Red Seal series, being heard properly in homes for the first time. These mixes have been either naturalistic, to present an acoustic event that happened in a room or a concert hall, or fantastic, to present an imaginary soundscape (the Flaming Lips Yoshimi... DVD-A is a perfect example), and they're all good!

It took many of the Hi Fi enthusiasts of the '50s years to convert from Mono to Stereo, and now it's taking many current audiophiles years to adopt surround music. By its nature, an audiophile 5.1 system should cost, well, a lot more than an audiophile 2.0 system. Many surround music mixes have been gimmicky, like ping-pong stereo mixes of the late '50s (and Beatles' early '60s mistake Stereo mixes). Some people just plain don't like change!

In general the intent of audiophiles is to hear the music presented as the artist, engineer, and producer intended, with no coloration (as with the "direct" switch, etc.). If something is remixed appropriately, or designed from the start for 5.1 presentation (like the Beatles' Love DVD-A), an audiophile should be compelled to listen to this as the creators intended.

The disc formats - DVD-A and SA-CD in particular - haven't been and won't be successes, for various reasons, but there is a bright future for surround music. With 5.1 being delivered on radio (XM has announced this), MP-3 and WMA surround, and downloadable files encoded with things like Dolby Headphone (so regular headphones on iPods can deliver a surround experience, consumers will demand the enhanced surround soundfield, and audiophiles, as always should lead the demand.

bmwcyle
01-31-2007, 06:09 PM
This question is geared more toward audiophiles into surround sound, but can be answered by anyone who chooses. I only ask that if you have an opinion that you also supply a substantiated conclusion to you opinion.

I've noticed this more with focused audiophiles than those interested in surround sound. More audiophiles have the mindset that surround sound is a gimmick when it comes to music. Many have conclusions that music was not intended to be heard behind you and your typical CD has no surround properties recorded.

Of course, I completely disagree. Especially after learning that CD's do have surround properties, and that surround doesn't always mean hearing behind you.

Being a somewhat "reformed" (for a lack of better terms) audiophile, I understand how important things like soundstage presentation, for one, really are. I understand how it can easily be confusing to an audiophile to think the soundstage in surround will be misconstrude and elements misplaced. Just because a properly setup surround system (5.1) has 6 total speakers working as 1 in a 360 soundfield, doesn't mean the information EVENLY spread throughout the 360 degrees. (I hope I didn't loose anyone)

I'm hoping this thread can shed some light on the differences audiophiles have regarding surround sound and music.

Start reading both. They will answer your questions.


http://www.theabsolutesound.com/

http://www.theperfectvision.com/:cool:

CDWallace
01-31-2007, 09:00 PM
BMW, thanks for the suggestions, but the absolute sound and perfect vision have yet to answer the question or find a solution to the problem. Thats why I'm asking around.

Thanks

daleb
02-01-2007, 10:25 AM
IMO the best recordings capture the original performance with the greatest fidelity which is maintained to the highest degree in the reproduction process.
A mono recording might well have greater fidelity than an inferior multi-channel recording, even though the ambience of the original venue might be perceived as very limited in comparison.
Audiophiles fretted over these same concerns when 'stereo' was first introduced.

SNAP
02-01-2007, 02:02 PM
CD,

I have cd's that are in surround sound and I love them. Those DTS cds are amazing. I also have a 2 cd set of John Barry's Greatest Hits that is actually in surround sound and it's also great.
I'm not one of those audiophiles that believe music should only be listened to in 2 channel.......line direct......That's soundproof walls, studio stuff...........I like a little ambiance.
And yes, those "true" audiophiles think it's impossible. And, no, you're not crazy.:)

Snap, if you had to change something about surround sound for music that would change your mind about listening to CD's in stereo only, what would it be?

I guess what I'm asking, to some degree, is if surround were configured to reproduce a stereo CD equally or better than stereo, being an audiophile, is this something you would consider? IYO, do you think, or do you feel most audiophiles think the above scenario is even possible?

To let everyone else in. I know its "mission impossible", but why not try to bridge the gap between surround and stereo playback, to the point where surround can be a viable, legitimate or even audiophile grade option for music playback. Call me crazy.

:eek:

edders
02-08-2007, 02:29 PM
Why worry if we Stereo/HiFi addicts become surround sound converts or not? If you love your cd music in surround, be it 5.1 or 6.1 then you don't need me to agree to your opinion. My preferances are for the tv/movie system and the cd music reproduction system to be separate from one another. Part of the reason is the acoustic space needed to really reproduce orchestral music well. It really takes a pretty large room for a 32 foot bass wave form to propagate, and adding bass traps and absorbent material to tame standing waves is important here. The other reason is that the speakers and amplifiers are somewhat different in the two applications. A surround system usually has smallish speakers with a subwoofer and a many channel high power amplifier. Stereo system can use much larger main speakers and require amps that are cleaner in sound than most surround receivers offer, subs are not usually required or desired.

We have been very fortunate to have enough real estate to allow for a living room (tv/surround), library (78's), and a separate music listening room (cd's/music). We do not have to make one room/system serve all purposes.

There are two things I note about contributors to this forum and similar ones:

1) They want one room/system to reproduce both cd music and DVD movies but, lean heavily toward the DVD movie experience as their primary reason for building such a system.

2) They believe that if it is two channel stereo only (btw, there was has always been three channel stereo) then they are getting cheated because they invested in surround sound and half of their equipment is going to waste while listening to music recorded on stereo cd's.

Summing up...music reproduction from stereo cd's and audio production from movies sources such as DVD's are best handled by systems and listening environments designed for that experience.

Besides, who wants to to mix popcorn and Mahler?

Ed

CDWallace
02-08-2007, 02:58 PM
Ed, please don't think I'm worried about it from a personal standpoint. My concern is the development of audio or lack there of then it comes to the intended "social status" boundries between those of High end 2CH, MC and HT. If there is no de-segrigation of audio, nothing will change and audio will continue to have a stunted growth.

Whether or not any agrees with my statement is a meaningless issue. But if the potential problem isn't addressed, then it will become an even larger distraction that it is.

"My preferances are for the tv/movie system and the cd music reproduction system to be separate from one another."

This is your preference and this is great. However, far to many feel that systems should not and can not be combined to reproduce both music and movies. They feels its "a gimmick" and non-audiophile.
(BTW, you should hear orchestra on a surround system setup for music...amazing)

"The other reason is that the speakers and amplifiers are somewhat different in the two applications. A surround system usually has smallish speakers with a subwoofer and a many channel high power amplifier. Stereo system can use much larger main speakers and require amps that are cleaner in sound than most surround receivers offer, subs are not usually required or desired. "

I disagree. Surround sound I'm reffering to is far from the HTIB people are use to. Its a whole nother breed in itself. We're talking the same quality and magnitude of gear (CDP, speakers, amps, etc) thats used in the same high end 2CH setups. Maybe I should have been a clearer on this point. The same equipment is used, same quality and both application can be used with the same setup. However, far too many are closed minded to explore this option. Thus the barriers between 2CH, MC and HT.

"There are two things I note about contributors to this forum and similar ones:

1) They want one room/system to reproduce both cd music and DVD movies but, lean heavily toward the DVD movie experience as their primary reason for building such a system."

This should not negate the fact that the same setup an be used for both applications. If you are fortunate enough to have the ample room, then by all means do as you please. But this shouldn't have any bearing on whether the system, be it for music or movies, can perform the task of both.

"2) They believe that if it is two channel stereo only (btw, there was has always been three channel stereo) then they are getting cheated because they invested in surround sound and half of their equipment is going to waste while listening to music recorded on stereo cd's."

This is a very sad misconception and part of the reason whey MC music and surround sound hasn't gone any further than it has. You'd be supprised how DSP can replicate the music venue and tranport you back to the recording...or as close as your system will allow I should say.

"Summing up...music reproduction from stereo cd's and audio production from movies sources such as DVD's are best handled by systems and listening environments designed for that experience."

MC and surround has advanced the industry to the point where both music and movies can be reproducted at audiophile level via one system. People (audiophiles, DIYer's and consumers alike) are not willing to take the time and see how. This is a hinderence to the growth of the hobby because it sets useless "social based" boundries.

Hence the original posting topic.

daleb
02-08-2007, 07:28 PM
Basically, you can go to either extreme. I prefer a system that has an edge in music listening vs. the other way around.
In other words, a speaker system that gives a good audition to music might sound just fine with cinema, but a system aimed at only cinema may lack finesse with music.
A lot of the film soundtracks are filled with music. Some is even good.:)
It all gets down to comparing with your own ears. And don't forget your acoustic environment. It is not always the hardware, but how it plays in your room.

dave33ca
02-09-2007, 02:17 AM
Personally I can't stand c.ds in anything other than stereo, I put my dvd player on pure direct as well as my receiver(denon 2910 and a denon 3805) and listen that way.. stereo just sounds better and I wish I could afford a dedicated stereo only listening enviroment! UGH!! :mad:

SLedford
02-09-2007, 07:33 AM
If we all had the resources, we could have a dedicated video room and dedicated audio room. Not sure how the sound setups would differ, but most of us do not have the space in our homes or resources for something like that.

My observation is that if your primary source of sound is movies, you can get by with cheaper (and inferior) speakers. My cheap Sony speakers sounded fine for movies, and if that is all I used my Great Room for, I would still have them. They were NOT great for the classical music I like to unwind with, hence the upgrade to the Paradigm speakers.

As far as surround sound with music CDs, I like what my system is putting out, especially the ones designed with surround sound in mind.

Just out of curiosity, how would the perfect setup look for movies vs sound?

daleb
02-09-2007, 11:26 AM
Yes, you can 'get by' with cheaper speakers, because you are dealing mostly with voice and noise, and less with music.
But with MC it is important to have timbre matched speakers, especially at the front. It does make a noticeable difference for action across the screen, as well as dialog, and origin of sounds.
And you find, of course, the mfrs. that make good speakers for music also make them for movies, and are very aware those nuances.
Other than the 2 channel audiophile designed speakers, I think the better MC systems meet both music and movies nearly equally.
One thing to consider in a room environment, is matching it closely to your speakers. Some being more forward sounding, others more laid back. This is only one of many characteristics. This would be important whether listening to music or movies.
It is accuracy you are after, that is why I think a well designed room would serve both with little or no compromise.
Unless you are trying to fill an opera house vs. a movie theater...and I doubt many of us have challenges on that scale.
Interesting article on this very subject:

http://www.axiomaudio.com/roomacoustics.html

CDWallace
02-09-2007, 01:13 PM
Delab - It sounds as if you have a little more experience than the average, but can you clarify a few things...for me.

"Yes, you can 'get by' with cheaper speakers, because you are dealing mostly with voice and noise, and less with music."

IMO, you shouldn't limit yourself with cheap products for movies or music. There is a difference between cheap and inexpensive. Cheap means a bad product. Inexpensive can mean a good product at an inexpensive price. You can find the best product for you price bracket, and this should be a standard all across the board.

I think the confusing thing, for me, is the difference between voice and noice vs. music. The information is still the same, be it voice, pink noice, acoustic guitar, orchestra, etc. Its the way the information is "organized" that distinguishes the differences. However, considering the information/signal is the same, why should you settle for "getting by" on the cheap? Many close-minded audiophiles (not reffering to you, BTW) use "MC is good for movies, but horrible for music" as an excuse to validate why they couldn't get MC right for thier music. In more direct perspective to the topic, IMO, MC for music has been dismissed for the very reason you mentioned earlier, cheap products. In thier minds, MC is a joke because of this.

"But with MC it is important to have timbre matched speakers, especially at the front. It does make a noticeable difference for action across the screen, as well as dialog, and origin of sounds. "

IMO, this is another standard that should be followed no matter what system you build, 2Ch or MC.

"Other than the 2 channel audiophile designed speakers"

What speaker did you have in mind when you were reffering to '2CH audiophile designed speakers?'

I really do appreciate the open dialog here. Its good to get a perspective from everyone.

Thanks again.

CDWallace
02-09-2007, 01:14 PM
"Just out of curiosity, how would the perfect setup look for movies vs sound?"

Sledford, I'll post my response to this very soon.

Meyvn
02-09-2007, 02:16 PM
I think that it's always best to listen to any format in the manner in which it was mastered. If you've got SACDS or DVD-A with surround mixes, then there is often a lot to be gained from listening to that mix witha surround sound system rather than puritanically sticking the the stereo version. However, that is not always the case; not all surround mixes are created equal. What I do not like at all is listening to stereo mixes in "pseudo surround" systems, meaning speakers surround me completely. It mixes the sound up when you do it that way, because of the way it projects at you. However, I have no problem whatsoever with listening to multiple sets of stereo speakers, properly configured in teh room; this is in fact what you're doing when listening to a more than one-way loudspeaker. The only difference is, in one way, it's in one box, and the other way, it's in multiple boxes.

CDWallace
02-09-2007, 03:18 PM
Meyvn -

"What I do not like at all is listening to stereo mixes in "pseudo surround" systems, meaning speakers surround me completely. It mixes the sound up when you do it that way, because of the way it projects at you. "

This may be a controversial statement, but 95% of the time my statement was correct. If you're having problems (not enjoying) listening to a stereo CD in surround sound via DSP processing, its because the setup/internal settings are incorrect for music listening.

DSP based surround should, as should true MC surround, replicate the recording as true to the original as possible. Soundstage shouldn't be off; depth, detail and imaging shouldn't be off. Just as if you were listening to a high end stereo setup, you're surround sound system should be just as accurate and even more enhanced to transport you to the recorded enviroment. If it doesn't do this, the its not setup right.

I've gotten hammered by sooo many audiophiles for that comment, but I've always found it to be true.

CDWallace
02-09-2007, 03:30 PM
""Just out of curiosity, how would the perfect setup look for movies vs sound?"

There is no perfect system, because there are no perfect components to complete the perfect system. There are components that have attributes the are very good, and when combined with other components of equal performance, you have a very good, almost perfect system.

As for the components, its a matter of doing you due diligence. You're better components are more expensive. Not always the case, but it normally is. Manufactors like Meridian, Arcam, B&K, Blue Sky, Cambridge audio, Vandersteen...are just to name a few companies that come to mind. But even these manufactors have products of their own that are better than others. There's a lot of factors that need to be taken into account when designing a system for overall best performance.

I've heard a B&K/Blue Sky setup that damn near scared me when I watched Star Wars Ep III. It amazed me when it play my George Duke classical CD too. That total system including installation costed around $5k. On the other end of the spectrum, I've heard a Meridian/German Physiks system with an Accuphase CD player that did nothing short of bring the artist/performance in the room with you. In fact, which I never thought could be possible, it truly embarrased the Meridian/JMLab Utopia setup the owner had in his bedroom. Like the systems, the room was very high end (as the home).

There are a lot of options to building a very good system.

daleb
02-09-2007, 03:49 PM
I was making a statement on what seems obvious to some people who do not put a lot of emphasis on audio quality.
You don't have to convince me. I am enlightened, and have been more so over the years. Many more than I care to admit to..but again, this was a statement on how little research people actually do with regards to audio.

You are likely to get a pair of well matched speakers that are manufactured by a reputable company, but many try to 'mix' even good speakers for a center channel, for example, that do have different (not necessarily good or bad in terms of quality) tonal characteristics. I have seen that on the forum more than once. ".. .it's only the center channel".. etc.

2 ch audiophile speakers? Most major and reputable speaker companies put out good 'pairs' of loudspeakers. I had a pair of KEF 104/2s I would put in that category. There are many more, of course.

Meyvn
02-09-2007, 08:33 PM
Meyvn -

"What I do not like at all is listening to stereo mixes in "pseudo surround" systems, meaning speakers surround me completely. It mixes the sound up when you do it that way, because of the way it projects at you. "

This may be a controversial statement, but 95% of the time my statement was correct. If you're having problems (not enjoying) listening to a stereo CD in surround sound via DSP processing, its because the setup/internal settings are incorrect for music listening.

DSP based surround should, as should true MC surround, replicate the recording as true to the original as possible. Soundstage shouldn't be off; depth, detail and imaging shouldn't be off. Just as if you were listening to a high end stereo setup, you're surround sound system should be just as accurate and even more enhanced to transport you to the recorded enviroment. If it doesn't do this, the its not setup right.

I've gotten hammered by sooo many audiophiles for that comment, but I've always found it to be true.

Well, I'm certainly not going to tell you what you're hearing, but I won't believe that until I experience it myself.

CDWallace
02-09-2007, 08:41 PM
Meyvn - If I were to walk you through the process to setup your surround system for music, would you be willing to give it a shot. As fare warning, its not a quick task and it require a little more time than you may think. However, the results are will worth the trouble.

Sound like something you may be interested in?

If you're game, shoot me an email. We'll take it from there.

Meyvn
02-09-2007, 08:45 PM
Meyvn - If I were to walk you through the process to setup your surround system for music, would you be willing to give it a shot. As fare warning, its not a quick task and it require a little more time than you may think. However, the results are will worth the trouble.

Sound like something you may be interested in?

Right now my "audiophile" system actually consists of "headphones," so to speak. the AKG K1000. In a few months I'll have a full-blown surround system setup for my new home theater. I'll certainly give it a try then, so long as your recommended setup is also what's best for movies and such. Once I have it set up, my system will not be very flexible, I'm afraid; I'm going to be making it out of SI Soundpads. I don't know if you've heard of them, but they've got a LOT of potential for very little money, and I'm trying to make an "invisible" system involving them.

CDWallace
02-09-2007, 08:57 PM
Meyvn - Best of luck on your HT project, but I don't think I will be of much, if any, help to you. Your intents are to use the soundpads for a complete HT, and I'm sure they will work out, but what I had in mind will be extremely difficult to pull off with those.

If I've miss understood you, then I apologize. If I understand you correctly, I will be of almost no help to you for music setup. I don't want to be a hinderence to anyone.

Best of luck though. Keep us posted.

edders
02-10-2007, 08:33 PM
MC and surround has advanced the industry to the point where both music and movies can be reproducted at audiophile level via one system. People (audiophiles, DIYer's and consumers alike) are not willing to take the time and see how. This is a hinderence to the growth of the hobby because it sets useless "social based" boundries.

Hence the original posting topic.[/quote]

Theaters usedsurround as a marketing gimmick to draw people into movies with sound effects "chillingly" comming from their sides and backs. It caught on in home video when there was no room to advance the video. When we were stuck with the NTSC video standard sound was the only thing that could be improved upon. Now that HD is here, I think people are spending more on the video screen than on the audio side. And I do not think most movies really are not THAT demanding in the audio realm, except for some booms and thumps which a sub can easily re create. My opinion is that SS is not desirable for listening to orchestral music that was recorded in stereo, as most was. The idea of stereo is to reproduce the source and let that source material fill the room. That is where room accoustics are so important to serious listening. I don't think my opinions will hurt the market. The people who want to spend more for a large screen HD tv rather than a smaller tv with a big surround system will hurt the SS market.

Ed

CDWallace
02-17-2007, 07:37 AM
"Theaters used surround as a marketing gimmick to draw people into movies with sound effects "chillingly" coming from their sides and backs. "

This is too broad of a misconception about surround sound to even go into detail. Audiophiles feel everything with surround sound, or something THEY don't equate at being "audiophile" is a marketing gimmick. This statement clearly show you may need to brush up on your history of surround sound, for commercial theaters and for music.

"It caught on in home video when there was no room to advance the video."

This is a long jump from commercial marketing gimmicks to no room for video advancement. Apparently, surround was discovered out of the bord'm of video? Very insightful! :rolleyes:

"When we were stuck with the NTSC video standard sound was the only thing that could be improved upon. Now that HD is here, I think people are spending more on the video screen than on the audio side. And I do not think most movies really are not THAT demanding in the audio realm, except for some booms and thumps which a sub can easily re create."

Not sure how this applies to the content of the thread, but thanks for sharing.

"My opinion is that SS is not desirable for listening to orchestral music that was recorded in stereo, as most was."

Have you listened to a surround sound system setup up primarily for music? BTW, its very difficult to record an orchestra with only 2 mics (stereo). 95% of the time, multiple mics are use and they are ultimately mixed down or condensed to a stereo product. Besides, everyone knows or should know that a MAJOR reason why producers/engineers/distributors produce 2CH CD's is because 2CH is far more widespread than MC. Everyone has a stereo, be it expensive or cheap. Everyone has one. That can't be said for MC...yet!

"The idea of stereo is to reproduce the source and let that source material fill the room. "

The louder you play it, the more it becomes MC. :confused:
Lost you, right. Think about it, what effect does the room play when you crank up the volume? And if you factor this in, how much will it cost you to take care of the problems the room can cause?

"That is where room acoustics are so important to serious listening."

Ohh so true!

"I don't think my opinions will hurt the market. "

But the can't do, its all a gimmick, its audiophile mentality is hurting the industry...the market will take care of its self. People will always spend money...its just what will they spend their money on. A psuedo-religion (the audiophile way) or a plot to steal their money (your perception of surround sound).

"The people who want to spend more for a large screen HD tv rather than a smaller tv with a big surround system will hurt the SS market."

People will always spend money, there is just too much to go around. The market will take care of itself, its the industry I'm talking about (Hi-Fi and SS). Hence the topic, to some degree.

JustEd - really like conversing with you about this. I hope other audiophiles will share there thoughts as well. :thumbsup:

CDWallace
02-17-2007, 07:38 AM
Sorry for the late post everyone. I've been very busy as of late.

edders
02-20-2007, 09:30 AM
This is a long jump from commercial marketing gimmicks to no room for video advancement. Apparently, surround was discovered out of the bord'm of video? Very insightful! :rolleyes:

Absolutely right, the NTSC standard and VHS tapes were a far cry from convincing video reproduction. The HiFi Stereo and surround sound however, could be reproduced quite well, so people were willing to spend money for good amps and speakers for their home system. Possibly you were still listening to the sound of a 19" Sony tv at that time? "-)

Ed

SLedford
02-20-2007, 10:51 AM
If you have ever been to a classical concert, in a stadium or at a concert, then played the same event on your surround sound system, you quickly realize that you are not getting the same sound. It may sound good, but it is not the same.

The stadium experience probably comes the closest, probably because it is just crowd noise. Short of having a separate small speaker for each instrument in the orchestra and in the same position as in real life, can we get this sound at home? And if we could, would we be willing to live with this setup from a visual & cost standpoint? I have friends who are struggling with their wives about the "ugly" speakers in their system - imagine trying to sell them on even more.

This is an interesting thread. I want to be able to close my eyes and not know whether I am in the theater listening to a live orchestra or sitting in my great room. How do we get there?

CDWallace
02-20-2007, 02:24 PM
"Absolutely right, the NTSC standard and VHS tapes were a far cry from convincing video reproduction. The HiFi Stereo and surround sound however, could be reproduced quite well, so people were willing to spend money for good amps and speakers for their home system. Possibly you were still listening to the sound of a 19" Sony tv at that time? "-)"

I'm still not sure what this has to do with the topic at hand. I certainly didn't believe you would be that misguided to think surround sound developed out of a need to "improve something" because video wasn't cutting it! Guess I was wrong.

Then again, its an even farther cry for me to think your comment is some sort of an insult or slight against me! If it were, you can do much better! :thumbsup:

Lets try to stay on topic if you don't mind. But thanks for the sidebar!

CDWallace
02-20-2007, 03:02 PM
"If you have ever been to a classical concert, in a stadium or at a concert, then played the same event on your surround sound system, you quickly realize that you are not getting the same sound. It may sound good, but it is not the same. "

This is the honest truth. Now...if this is difficult enough to come close to acheiveing with 5 or more speakers, amagine how much further away you are from live with only 2 speakers!! Thats my opinion yes, but it does make you wonder.

Unless you fork out the big bucks on equipment ($150-250k+) and calibrate the system correctly, it will be WAY too difficult to acheive the same sound as live. BUT, it is possible to achieve an very close to accurate, live sound. It would be ludicris to think you can have an exact match in performance of your system compared to live; especially if you at talking about a system within a reasonable price bracket (-$10k). However, this should not be a hinderence to building the best system possible for you price range and get as close to replicating the original performance as possible.

**It should be noted, I am an optimist is every aspect of the term. I feel you should always maintain a can-do attitude for everything. But, it is can't be done, then it can't be done. Thats when you find ways to come as close as possible to your goal.

"The stadium experience probably comes the closest, probably because it is just crowd noise. "

Stadium shouldn't even come close to "live." If it does, and your budget will allow room for improvement, then you are selling yourself and your system extremely short. Stadium is a place to start, but definately not a final destination for "live" feel sound. IMO, PL and PLII are better. But to each his own.

"Short of having a separate small speaker for each instrument in the orchestra and in the same position as in real life, can we get this sound at home? "

Yes, and it doesn't take a single speaker for each instrument. It's about having the 5 or 7 speakers you're using to work together as one. That one of the beauties of surround. It can be manipulated to achieve a personal goal...something that can't be done with stereo.

"And if we could, would we be willing to live with this setup from a visual & cost standpoint? I have friends who are struggling with their wives about the "ugly" speakers in their system - imagine trying to sell them on even more."

I can't do anything about estetics and preference of whats ugly and whats not. The WAF is always a big obstacle to overcome. As for cost, that all depends on the budget. If you can't afford it, then its not a factor. What you should do is find the best, most accurate and linear speaker and equipment for your budget. This requires extensive research. Your better products will cost more; it is what it is. But, there are many used products that may fall within the budget range. These are the products you should search for. I could name drop as to which company is superior, but this will no doubt open up a huge can of subjective worms; one may think I'm wrong and thier opinion of a better product is correct. However, companies like Meridian, YBA, Accuphase, or B&K, Arcam or Blue Sky or German Physiks or ATC; these are some of the best companies in the industry and their products are available to prove why they are the best. These are just few and yes they are more expensive. But like I said, the better products will cost you more. This is not to imply that companies like, Pioneer or Yamaha don't have good products as well. I personally run my system with a VSX-815. Far from superior, but the setup plays a bigger part than you think in making my surround system a step up in class.

"This is an interesting thread. I want to be able to close my eyes and not know whether I am in the theater listening to a live orchestra or sitting in my great room. How do we get there?"

Keep you checkbooks on standby, just in case. :eek:

Its a joke! :D

You must be willing to calibrate your speaker to work together as one speaker...operating in 360 degrees for accurate soundfield reproduction. You must grasp this concept from the start. Otherwise, you'll never get it right. The setup will take you a ways, but to be confused as to whats live a what not, you have to spend for the better products. It may not be what many want to hear, but it is what it is.

edders
02-22-2007, 09:42 AM
You are correct about surround sound. For that matter it is difficult to re create a concert hall even with a audiophile stereo system. One problem is the room you are listening in, unless it is "concert hall" size it will not have the same sound characteristics.

You may want to explore how different recordings are made. Many, if not most symphony recordings are done in that Symphony's home concert hall. Hence, there is already a lot of that halls acoustics in the recording. However, some engineers prefer to record the orchestra in a neutral studio environment, actually this is usually for smaller sized orchestral groups. In those recordings there is no ambient hall sound and they tend to sound more like you are in the middle of the orchestra itself. There are proponents for both methods and it is interesting to listen to a classical piece recorded in both environments.

I come from a time when large speakers were the norm, and I mean LARGE. One brother in law had a pair of JBL "Olympus" speakers. I helped another brother in law assemble a pair of University Sound System speakers which had 15 inch woofers, a tweeter, and a midrange horn as wide as my chest. We hand wound the coils for the crossover. Both systems sounded FANTASTIC, different but fantastic. I always wanted to own a pair of Altec Lansing "Voice of the Theater" speakers but never had enough money for them :-)

It is certainly possible to get great sound from smaller speakers. A lot of the actual listening experience has to do with how large your listening room is and how close you plan on sitting to the speakers. If you get a chance, try to listen to some speakers intended to fill large rooms with "quality" sound, thhey can be quite addictive. Then go to a good audio store and listening to some of the current high end (albiet smaller) speakers in a proper listening environment. They too can be quite addictive.

Most of all, enjoy!!!

Ed

edders
02-22-2007, 10:13 AM
I'm still not sure what this has to do with the topic at hand. I certainly didn't believe you would be that misguided to think surround sound developed out of a need to "improve something" because video wasn't cutting it! Guess I was wrong.

Then again, its an even farther cry for me to think your comment is some sort of an insult or slight against me! If it were, you can do much better! :thumbsup:

Lets try to stay on topic if you don't mind. But thanks for the sidebar![/quote]

Well it was in response to your response. Anyway, there certainly is not slight or insult intended. I do respect your perspective and am only trying to engage in a discussion stating my somewhat different viewpoint.

Yes, I do believe surround sound originated from a "need" to improve something in the home theater experience to increase sales, so call me crazy, stodgy, ultra conservative, or just paranoid :=) As I said, some of the surround movement was good as it lead to people purchasing much better speakers and amps than their home tv had. AND, tv/audio equipment started to be available with the proper connections for listening to the sound of tv broadcasts and or tapes (or Laser Disks at that time). Sorry if you took the 19" Sony tv comment as an insult, it was ment as humor. I owned one when surround started being available. IT was a good tv for NTSC but had a lousy speaker and no connections for using an external amp and speakers, so I spoke from experience.

Since you were talking about stereo only vs surround, I felt it on topic to comment on how, in my opinion, we got to be so focused on surround. And I really do think the emphasis on surround systems IS decreasing as people can now get much better video displays than were available in the early 90's.

My system is geared much more to music than surround and additonally, I have a separate listening room for stereo listening only. My peference is HiFidelity, which does not mean mono. I don't feel that multiple speakers to the front, sides, and rear are worth their space. I would rather devote that amount of room and money to larger main speakers with a quality amplifier. To some extent might be able to relate to the phenomenon of the HTIB (home theater in a box). Gosh some of those sound absolutely AWFUL, but I think people think they are getting something great because they have an amp, five speakers, and a sub. I would much rather buy a decent dolby receiver and the three main speakers (l,r,center). Think I stated before that I own a Nakamich surround receiver ONLY bgecause its ic's sound fairly smooth, unlike many surround receivers, and I need a dolby decoding for the center "dialog" channel which makes the speach in movies much more intelligible. I miss having soundtracks in two channel audio as they seem better balanced between the dialog and the "background" music. The way Dolby works, if it is not decoded, the music is usually too loud and the dialog too soft if left un decoded.

Anyway, hope no offense was taken...and enjoy you system!

CDWallace
02-25-2007, 08:22 PM
Ed - No blood no foul. Most audiophiles I've dealt with have been much worse with their comments. I shouldn't have placed you in that category prematurely. You are entitled to your opinion, and I respect it nonetheless.

I was hoping to hear from others. Not that I don't enjoy or appreciate the current round of conversation, but I would love to hear what others have to say about the topic. I'm assuming the lack of dialog means other either care not to contribute or don't care at all.

daleb
02-25-2007, 11:27 PM
Interesting topic, and I don't know about others but this only one among numerous on this forum I have an interest in.
So many subjects, so little time to hit them all! :)

maicaw
02-26-2007, 12:33 AM
....I was hoping to hear from others. Not that I don't enjoy or appreciate the current round of conversation, but I would love to hear what others have to say about the topic. I'm assuming the lack of dialog means other either care not to contribute or don't care at all.There have been threads on the merits - and lack- of in listening to surround for music alone, and with video/film - and discussions of the engineering and technology involved in the production [ and reproduction] of the music surround recordings here -some with many detailed replies -
A couple links for examples:
http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=8773
http://www.highdefforum.com/showthread.php?t=9193

To see for yourself what the interest and expertise has been on this subject here in the past; I'd suggest an advanced search using combinations of keywords such as music, stereo, soundtrack etc. separated by OR's
And searching in only one forum such as this one at a time - with the results listed by thread and number of replies. If you haven't done so already - also try searching for posts using the user ID of the guru's that turn up - like this guy http://www.highdefforum.com/member.php?u=12068

There have been some educational posts by industry professionals who apparently no longer post @ this site - I'd guess because of old security concerns that I think have been addressed.

BTW don't forget to scan the archives - this part of the forum - Speakers & Surround Sound - has 789 archived threads http://www.highdefforum.com/archive/index.php/f-42-p-2.html

daleb
02-26-2007, 11:45 AM
I find this a good reference on audio also:

http://www.paradigm.com/Website/AllAboutSound/AAS.html

CDWallace
02-26-2007, 12:09 PM
Delab, the link you provided is a great "survival guide" if you will. It covers the necessaties very well.

daleb
02-26-2007, 02:48 PM
Delab, the link you provided is a great "survival guide" if you will. It covers the necessaties very well.

It is one of the best around of it's type I've seen, especially considering it is from a manufacturer.

CDWallace
03-03-2007, 10:16 PM
Based on the number of overall views but lack of responses, this may be a "dead" issue like mentioned earlier than more ways than one. Its unfortunate a certain level of dialog was not have been established and maintained. I think people had somethings to contribute and just didn't for some reason. I would've loved to hear all thoughts. Oh well.

Stew4HD
03-03-2007, 11:18 PM
If you bring this thread to the top, now and then, new members will see it and might be able to comment. I just read through this thread and find it a very interesting topic.

I imagine each listener has their own idea of what a perfect sounding system is, if they care, that is. I learned a lot about sound when I first switched to a Dolby Pro Logic receiver from Yamaha. Yamaha is one of the world leaders in sound field technology and has been chosen to set up the acoustics in many theaters.

As was mentioned by you in one of the threads, the listening room is nearly as important as the equipment producing the sound. To me, a perfect set up lets me close my eyes and let the sound envelop me. I have been to a few concert where the acoustics were "just right" and just closed my eyes as I was "floating" on the music. I am sure now, looking back, that I had chosen the "just right" seat in the auditorium but I digress.

Audiophiles? The few that I have met attempt to be purests. One in particular was very close minded to new technology. The amp he owned was a tube type. He only listened to LPs and reel to reel tapes at home. He said that CDs hurt his ears due. He claimed to notice the audio change from the analog to digital converters and thus the loss of warmth. I just never heard it, even after he told me.

I have a mid priced system with floor standing front speakers. When I sit in my chair and listen to my favorite music, I am quite happy with the sound I hear, though I rarely feel myself floating within the music. I hope to one day build that perfect room with the proper acoustics to be able to float in the music and also be blown away by movies.

How's that? I am not sure it's on topic, but it's my opinion and thoughts.

edders
03-05-2007, 05:00 PM
Audiophiles? The few that I have met attempt to be purests. One in particular was very close minded to new technology. The amp he owned was a tube type. He only listened to LPs and reel to reel tapes at home. He said that CDs hurt his ears due. He claimed to notice the audio change from the analog to digital converters and thus the loss of warmth. I just never heard it, even after he told me.

If you were around when Cd's first became available you might agree more with that "audiophile" more. One of the mistakes many studios made was simply taking the master tape meant for LP's and using it to make CD's. Since they were compensated using the RIAA curve for vinyl, they indeed could sound harsh and lacking of "warmth." Companies like Telarc, caught on very quickly and released recordings intended solely for CD listening. Later, the older studios re-released many fine recordings after re equalizing them for CD audio. Also, the early converters, yes I owned one of the first two CD players released, were not all that great...not bad...just not great. The technology in both the players and the recordings has come a long, long way. Possibly the audiophile you made fun of, just did not have enough patience to wait for all the problems to be sorted out.

btw, I do not necessarily consider myself an "audiophile" but I do like good sound. Concerning tube amplifiers...are you aware of the different "Classes" of amplifiers? Many, not me, still prefer the warmth of tube amps. They are class A designs and recreate the entire sine wave of the original signal. Class AB amps, better solid state designs, can't quite do this but to me the difference is not all that great. To some, tubes were the technology of the day, they do have a distinctive "sound" as vinyl can have.

For all in these forums, may I advise broadening your understanding .

Ed

Stew4HD
03-05-2007, 05:41 PM
I do remember well when CDs first came out. They had warnings on them about and suggested that your speakers be turned down. I still have my LPs and a phono.

I just don't hear the difference but hat is probably because of all the rock concerts I attended when I was younger and ended up with tenitus.

CDWallace
03-06-2007, 05:47 AM
"As was mentioned by you in one of the threads, the listening room is nearly as important as the equipment producing the sound. To me, a perfect set up lets me close my eyes and let the sound envelop me. I have been to a few concert where the acoustics were "just right" and just closed my eyes as I was "floating" on the music. I am sure now, looking back, that I had chosen the "just right" seat in the auditorium but I digress."

It's good to reflect every now and again! You music-lover you!

"Audiophiles? The few that I have met attempt to be purests. One in particular was very close minded to new technology."

This is not just limited to the few you have encountered. Too many...not all, but too many are the same way.

"The amp he owned was a tube type. He only listened to LPs and reel to reel tapes at home. He said that CDs hurt his ears due. He claimed to notice the audio change from the analog to digital converters and thus the loss of warmth. I just never heard it, even after he told me."

Not to discredit your friend, but he may be telling the truth. Many audiophiles claim CD's are too harsh in the high end. Surround sound would normally takes care of this, but then you have the close minded thing again...so....


"I have a mid priced system with floor standing front speakers. When I sit in my chair and listen to my favorite music, I am quite happy with the sound I hear, though I rarely feel myself floating within the music."

This can be fixed and it may not cost you dime. Read back through my previous posting about 5 speakers working as one and email me with your questions. We'll have you floating again in no time. :)

"I hope to one day build that perfect room with the proper acoustics to be able to float in the music and also be blown away by movies."

Excellent goal to shoot for.

Thanks for you posts.

CDWallace
03-06-2007, 05:59 AM
"If you were around when Cd's first became available you might agree more with that "audiophile" more. One of the mistakes many studios made was simply taking the master tape meant for LP's and using it to make CD's. Since they were compensated using the RIAA curve for vinyl, they indeed could sound harsh and lacking of "warmth."

Ed - you may have a valid point, but within the last 25+ years or so, somebody managed to get things rights with CD's. However, many audiophiles still hold to their "roots" about not only CD's but a lot of the new technology and don't accept or even consider them as an audiophile caliber option.

"Companies like Telarc, caught on very quickly and released recordings intended solely for CD listening. Later, the older studios re-released many fine recordings after re equalizing them for CD audio. Also, the early converters, yes I owned one of the first two CD players released, were not all that great...not bad...just not great. The technology in both the players and the recordings has come a long, long way. Possibly the audiophile you made fun of, just did not have enough patience to wait for all the problems to be sorted out."

I wouldn't say he made fun of him, FWIW. Its a statement of a previous statement. It is what it is..at least according to the audiophile is question. I do feel that more tube/vinyl based audiophiles have had many opportunities since the release of CD's to consider the enhancement from its earlier stages, but are not willing for whatever reason. Its a revolving cycle; before there was stereo, there was mono and that was the audiophile way and stereo wasn't up to par. Now stereo is the king, and all else is non-audiophile. Before long, it will change again.

"For all in these forums, may I advise broadening your understanding."

I agree whole heartedly, and audiophiles should be included in this. But as an audiophile, why not start with surround sound?

maicaw
03-06-2007, 02:46 PM
... Possibly the audiophile you made fun of, just did not have enough patience to wait for all the problems to be sorted out."
I wouldn't say he made fun of him, FWIW. Its a statement of a previous statement. It is what it is...I don't know why you two and a couple of other frequent posters won't use the http://www.highdefforum.com/images/buttons/quote.gif like everyone else - Its very confusing to have the pastes from others seamlessly mixed in with your response - it's not just a private conversation - and the rest of us who are not participating actively - deserve consideration - and even you guys seem to get confused over who said what ( see quote above) -
at least put your pasted stuff in a highlighted box using the --http://www.highdefforum.com/images/editor/quote.gif button --
- more info here http://www.highdefforum.com/misc.php?do=bbcode
Thanks
BTW - my old 2002 DVP-NS915V Sony SACD/DVD player has a 22Khz "slow" response setting that is intended to return the harsh mis-mixed CD engineered "presence" back to vinyl dynamics when needed - it works for me on some CDs and without the pops and worn groove noises of my old vinyls - although I still keep my stacks of vinyl (incl 45s and 78s with a few turntables) and good stylus's
Just like I have projectors for my 8mm Kodacolor movies and 35mm slides - and ¾ U-Matic video tapes -
the archived analog originals are just more fun to play with than 2nd gen copies IMO
-even a working 5¼ floppy drive and a couple of shoe-boxes full of disks - gotta copy those:o

CDWallace
03-06-2007, 07:03 PM
Maicaw - You use the quote button, I use " ". Its all the same. Sorry its a little tougher for you to keep up, but take your time with it. No one seems to be confused at all. Everyone posts comments for the intended previous posting of their choosing. I've gotten no other complaints either. We post how we choose, as do you. Thanks for your posting and comment that was clearly on topic, though.

CDWallace
03-06-2007, 09:26 PM
So Maicaw, based on some of your statements, I think its a rather fair assumption that you're a true audiophile by nature.

How does high end surround sound fare with audiophiles?

I would also conclude considering your preference of media and articulation of words that you have experienced surround on a higher level than most; if nothing else, just to see what the fuss is about, no? If you would can you bring us up to speed on your surround exposure and how it rates to audiophile caliber systems of today? In your opinion, are there more cons than pro's?

We would love to hear from an audiophile directly. We're in no rush, so we'll wait patiently. Well, at least I'm not in a rush.

maicaw
03-07-2007, 12:41 AM
So Maicaw, based on some of your statements, I think its a rather fair assumption that you're a true audiophile by nature.
We have a wonderful acoustic hall at the University of Oregon -about 500 seats -Beall Concert Hall- It was built lovingly before the turn of the century (1900) for the University School of Music and is always a favorite of visiting classical musicians - invited by the University
I am spoiled by having twice weekly opportunities to hear such such great performers - live - in an intimate venue within walking distance of my home - and at "student" prices.
There are also performances by the same ensembles and more popular ones in a much larger and newer Performing Arts Center -seating several 1000s but it's acoustics are so bad - that everything is amplified through speakers over the proscenium - and since they are mic'd and mixed - the live performances sound like recordings.
How does high end surround sound fare with audiophiles?
I would also conclude considering your preference of media and articulation of words that you have experienced surround on a higher level than most; if nothing else, just to see what the fuss is about, no?My post #37 earlier in this thread http://www.highdefforum.com/showpost.php?p=257358&postcount=37 has links to my and others earlier posts in this forum - basically what I use - My 4 legacy stereo and surround speakers (4- JBL4311B "control monitors" are for music - the others -center and subs are added for movies only) - they are very old and very good but not high end - in my 22'x18' room with " plaster walls and ceiling and carpeted 2" thick wood floor they seem adequate for my tastes.
As far as media is concerned - my favorite is a SACD reissue of a 1973 4 channel tape by E Power Biggs - My amp (Sony DE885:o) and the JBL speakers are maxed out trying to produce the intensity of 4 Pipe Organs at the same time - one on each speaker - But it sure floats my musical boat
Bach: The Four Great Toccatas and Fugues - The Four Antiphonal Organs of the Cathedral of Freiburg played simultaneously by E. Power Biggs Release Date: April 01, 2003 - SS87983 SACD - multichannel/Stereo The other SACD Surround mixes such as a Mahler and Pink Floyd don't make me "float" however some of the DTS remix tracks on "Black and White Night' do sound a little better than the original stereo - but for much of that DVD I set the audio to stereo - A great SACD IMO is http://sonyclassical.com/music/66782/home.html ... Appalachian Journey features all-new music by Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor, ...Highlights of the new album also include performances by country superstar Alison Krauss, Yo-Yo Ma, Mark O'Connor and Edgar Meyer ... the poignantly beautiful ballad by Civil War era composer Stephen Foster called "Slumber, My Darling", and a new arrangement of the traditional "Fisher's Hornpipe".James Taylor is on it too - but I'm not a JT fan - the interesting thing is that the SACD is Stereo only -not multichannel - and it's a just perfect way to reproduce that instrumental stage performance :banana:

edders
03-07-2007, 06:56 PM
[quote=maicaw]...center and subs are added for movies only...

Good for you...and I DO mean that as a compliment!!!

Ed

CDWallace
03-07-2007, 07:28 PM
Can anyone explain WHY it wouldn't be beneficial to use a center channel to help lock in the sound stage and a sub or two to help with the low end? But, heres the catch. Give an example of what you are referring to. For example:

If you've heard a system where the center channel seemed to make the sound stage sound out of per portions, give us some background on the setup/situation.

In all fairness, though. If the example can explained as to why it sounded that way and how it should have been fixed and setup properly, be prepared for a rebuttal. IMO, the open dialog will help.

Anyone care to begin?

maicaw
03-07-2007, 09:59 PM
Maicaw - You use the quote button, I use " ". Its all the same. Sorry its a little tougher for you to keep up, but take your time with it. No one seems to be confused at all. Everyone posts comments for the intended previous posting of their choosing. I've gotten no other complaints either. We post how we choose, as do you. Thanks for your posting and comment that was clearly on topic, though.The vB code acessed by http://www.highdefforum.com/images/buttons/quote.gif is a software flag you and the others may not be aware of - if your pastes are highlighted by using the vB code -as here - they are invisible to searches, quotes and other functions so only your original text is retrieved,
and redundant references to other quotes posts, articles or pasted copy isn't mixed in with your words.
If you do a search for your own posts - it will show all the text in all your posts -
if you do a search on most other posters - it will only show the original stuff typed in - the "vB quoted" pastes and quotes aren't there (or even searched)

It's a valuable and easy to use tool that keeps these vBulletin forums from being as unsearchable as the old newsgroups were - with all their recursive references piled up on every new post -

The netiquette for vBulletin forums is a little different for that reason IMO :D

edders
03-09-2007, 10:17 AM
[quote=CDWallace]Can anyone explain WHY it wouldn't be beneficial to use a center channel to help lock in the sound stage and a sub or two to help with the low end? But, heres the catch. Give an example of what you are referring to. For example:


You may be getting tired of hearing my opinion, but since you asked....My brief post had to do mainly with the sound of powered subs. If you use good speakers, they should be able to produce believable accurate bass on their own. So why not use a powered sub anyway? Because, powered subs tend to have a one note bass sound, they are designed that way. Powered subs are best used for movie soundtracks where their peaky output can add some real punch to explosions and other sound effects. In many kinds of music, the peak output of a sub at the port frequency can ruin the bass in a performance.
This is much more noticeable on types of music such as jazz and classical, but sometimes on "acoustic" rock recordings as well. Listen to a recording with a insturment like a string bass doing a descending scale. On good speakers you should hear all the notes, ie different notes. On a system using a sub tuned for movie sound effects this tends to sound more like just one frequency of bass which is not how it is supposed to sound. In other words a powered sub tends to obscure or overwhelmes the different bass notes of some types of musical performances.
The reason for my congratulations is that it is good to hear someone running their system the way I do. I use the sub, a mirage 12", for movies if the extra boom is wanted (also have a nice 10" Velodyne). If we are listening to music or watching a musical, something with pretty good music in it, we turn off the sub and the result, to ME, is a much smoother and more realistic listening experience. It is extremely hard to get a sub balanced to where it adds some warmth without becoming a one note thumpper! And it seems by the time it is tamed that much it doesn't add the tump wanted for movie sound tracks. My mains in the living room are Infinity towers, sorry I forgot the model but think it is 2001). They do not go as deep as a sub, but their bass output is much more linear. The receiver we use, a Nakamichi, has very good bass output and is reasonably smooth for a surround unit. In my experience dolby receivers tend to have rather rough sounding output stages in them, I believe this is due to the kind of ic's used to balance cost vs power output.

Soundstage? Well it depends on how the performance was recorded. I do not use artifical surround effects such as stadium or hall when listening to stereo cd's. To my ears it actually messes up the sound stage, but I recognize that others might find the effect pleasing. In addition to the NAK on the HDTV setup in the living room I also have a separate Yamaha dolby 5.1 decoder. It is not currently being used as it was for my Adcom tuner/preamp and separate amp which now are used only for stereo in the listening room. Have had Yamaha and Denon surround sound receivers, and other manufacturers models of dolby decoders.

Ed

CDWallace
03-10-2007, 07:10 AM
"My brief post had to do mainly with the sound of powered subs. If you use good speakers, they should be able to produce believable accurate bass on their own. So why not use a powered sub anyway? Because, powered subs tend to have a one note bass sound, they are designed that way."

Ed, I completely agree with you as far as good speakers should be able to produce accurate bass on their own without the use of a sub. This should depend upon the speaker as well. IMO, a floor stander that can't accurately produce bass region cycles into the mid to low 30's without either destroying its drivers or the notes, its much of a floor stander. But if we are talking bookshelf speakers, which I too use, you can't expect that type of performance from its 5.25 or 6.5" driver. This is where the sub can be effective, once its properly integrated with the bookshelves. However, I'm not sure if I can agree with your notion that powered subs are designed to produce one bass note sound at a time. You may be referring to the problems ported subs can run into; especially when you use them for music. Once you crank them up to a certain volume, you start running into port noise and such. Its almost like the port is acting as another speakers, to some degree. Only thing is, the driver is trying to play the music accurately; the port is just playing the "noise." Then you have the muddiness in the bass and accurate is tossed out the window. Your better and more expensive subs have almost eliminated this problem, but it still persists even in those cases.

In my application and those I've recommended and built for others, I've always suggested a sealed sub. No port, no port noise. With a good driver, you get the more accurate responses. To help keep the bass region linear and keep the one sub from working too hard, I've used two, if space allows. When you position them properly around the room, the bass is almost flat with very few peaks...if any at all. But back to what you were saying, its always IDEAL to have speakers that can produce the lower bass to sub bass notes without the use of a sub woofer. Like you mentioned below, its not a walk in the part to get one or even two subs integrated perfectly with the bookshelves.


"Powered subs are best used for movie soundtracks where their peaky output can add some real punch to explosions and other sound effects. In many kinds of music, the peak output of a sub at the port frequency can ruin the bass in a performance. This is much more noticeable on types of music such as jazz and classical, but sometimes on "acoustic" rock recordings as well. "

Like I mentioned earlier, ported subs can have this effect, especially if you are using only one. To help alleviate this problem, stop up the port and see if that helps with the peaky boom. If you have the option, go sealed.

"Listen to a recording with a instrument like a string bass doing a descending scale. On good speakers you should hear all the notes, ie different notes. On a system using a sub tuned for movie sound effects this tends to sound more like just one frequency of bass which is not how it is supposed to sound. In other words a powered sub tends to obscure or overwhelmes the different bass notes of some types of musical performances."

See above responses.


}"The reason for my congratulations is that it is good to hear someone running their system the way I do. I use the sub, a mirage 12", for movies if the extra boom is wanted (also have a nice 10" Velodyne). "If we are listening to music or watching a musical, something with pretty good music in it, we turn off the sub and the result, to ME, is a much smoother and more realistic listening experience."

"It is extremely hard to get a sub balanced to where it adds some warmth without becoming a one note thumpper!"{

Also, please refer to above responses.

"In my experience dolby receivers tend to have rather rough sounding output stages in them, I believe this is due to the kind of ic's used to balance cost vs power output."

Not sure about that one, either.

daleb
03-11-2007, 02:11 PM
There are always exceptions, despite our search for audio Nirvana. Even the best floor standing speaker do not necessarily have the deepest bass especially for HT use.
Some have overcome this by including a powered sub in the enclosure with good success. NHT, AV123 Strata Mini and Def Tech towers are 3 popular examples.
While they work quite well, depending on the specific room, a separate sub that can be moved to a more advantageous location in that room 'might' be better. Nothing wrong in using a sub (quality one of course) with floorstanding speakers for cinema (or organ music for that matter) . Careful tuning and integration can yield excellent results. The sub is only there to supplement when needed, not detract. I can not really relate to the 'one note thumper' and a good sub covering 80hz down to 20hz. Not all 'good bass' is heard, but can be felt even if subtle. Maybe an 'octave' thumper?