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Audiophiles and Surround Sound...

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Old 02-09-2007, 01:13 PM   #16  
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Default I may be a little confused...

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.
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Old 02-09-2007, 01:14 PM   #17  
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"Just out of curiosity, how would the perfect setup look for movies vs sound?"

Sledford, I'll post my response to this very soon.
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Old 02-09-2007, 02:16 PM   #18  
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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.
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:18 PM   #19  
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Default Then the surruond isn't setup properly for music...

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.

Last edited by CDWallace; 02-09-2007 at 03:34 PM..
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:30 PM   #20  
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""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.

Last edited by CDWallace; 02-09-2007 at 03:33 PM..
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Old 02-09-2007, 03:49 PM   #21  
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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.

Last edited by daleb; 02-09-2007 at 03:52 PM..
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:33 PM   #22  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWallace
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.
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:41 PM   #23  
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Default What if I walked you through it...

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.
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:45 PM   #24  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWallace
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.
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Old 02-09-2007, 08:57 PM   #25  
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Default Not quite what I had in mind...

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.
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Old 02-10-2007, 08:33 PM   #26  
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Default Think it is about burnt itself out

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.

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Old 02-17-2007, 07:37 AM   #27  
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Default It will only end if the dialog stops...lets talk further

"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!

"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.
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.
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Old 02-17-2007, 07:38 AM   #28  
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Sorry for the late post everyone. I've been very busy as of late.
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Old 02-20-2007, 09:30 AM   #29  
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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!

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? "-)

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Old 02-20-2007, 10:51 AM   #30  
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Default Original sound still not duplicated

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?
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