Are Wides worthwhile?

tebbo65

Well-known Member
Hi all,
I am after opinions about introducing wide speakers into a 7.1.4 system, basically is it worth it? I have read various points about them which may or may not be accurate listed below. Comments on these points for accuracy would be appreciated.
For info, although I have the speakers available I'm not going to swap out my AVC just for wides but may be a consideration when/if I upgrade. Only really concerned about one main listening position.

  • Although wides fill the gap between the L&R and side surrounds this is only really beneficial for multiple seating whereas I'm only really bothered about a single LP.
  • Wides can/do make the front stage sound bigger more authoritative but only by matrixing signal from the L&R.
  • Dolby Surround upmixer does NOT upmix to wides.
  • New versions of Dolby are going to utilise wides more. But when & how?
  • DTS X Pro will use wides but DTS X and Neural are limited to 7.1.4 (issues with DTS X Pro being implemented).
  • Very few Atmos soundtracks have wide channel signal in the mix.
 
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Solution
Thanks all for your contribution for my 'are Wides worthwhile' question. Much appreciated and as always superb, concise opinions
Assume by "DSU" you mean "up-mixer" - I'm pretty sure that DSU stands for Dolby Surround Up-mixer :)

But, yes, agree that DTS up-mixer supports front wides.

Not sure about Auro.

mb3195

Distinguished Member
how close are you to your sides? I found that the side surrounds became less obvious with wides in the chain.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
Depends on your seating to where those wides would be positioned. If the audio is already moving to the surrounds without a perceivable dip then perhaps not bother with wides and use rear surrounds for a 7.1.4. Obviously this will again be determined by your seating arrangements and whether you have to room to effectively place rear surrounds. Having four Atmos speakers seems to suggest that you have.
 
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tebbo65

Well-known Member
Depends on your seating to where those wides would be positioned. If the audio is already moving to the surrounds without a perceivable dip then perhaps not bother with wides and use rear surrounds for a 7.1.4. Obviously this will again be determined by your seating arrangements and whether you have to room to effectively place rear surrounds. Having four Atmos speakers seems to suggest that you have.
I'm already running rears so would be going to a 9.2.4. config with wides.
Interesting what you say about the perceived panning dip, in that would panning be improved irrespective of how effective it is at the moment and is that the only benefit that wides would bring?
 
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tebbo65

Well-known Member
how close are you to your sides? I found that the side surrounds became less obvious with wides in the chain.
Interesting, the side surrounds are 2m distance from the MLP. If I did introduce wides they would sit slightly forward of half way between the L&R and the side surrounds.
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
I can't really say because all rooms and set ups are different. I had wides available with my old X6200 but that ability on my current X6500 was dropped, not that I had the room (or permission) to use them. What I did notice with going to the X6500 was that the object based audio between fronts and surrounds was far better. Could this be down to AL32 over AL24 as I'm running the same speakers. In that situation then wides would more than likely have filled, or carried out those functions with the X6200.

Size of your room, probable speaker positioning is going to be the difference. You have the ability and if you could borrow a pair of speakers and experiment, apart from running Audyssey then what do you have to lose. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
 
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tebbo65

Well-known Member
I can't really say because all rooms and set ups are different. I had wides available with my old X6200 but that ability on my current X6500 was dropped, not that I had the room (or permission) to use them. What I did notice with going to the X6500 was that the object based audio between fronts and surrounds was far better. Could this be down to AL32 over AL24 as I'm running the same speakers. In that situation then wides would more than likely have filled, or carried out those functions with the X6200.

Size of your room, probable speaker positioning is going to be the difference. You have the ability and if you could borrow a pair of speakers and experiment, apart from running Audyssey then what do you have to lose. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Very true, I have the speakers but would need to upgrade to an AVR/C/P that supports wides, hence the debate and insane procrastinating :rolleyes:.
 
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Deleted member 901590

Guest
Although wides fill the gap between the L&R and side surrounds this is only really beneficial for multiple seating whereas I'm only really bothered about a single LP.

Not sure I agree with that, I think it's best to look at the gaps in the angles between the floor speakers you have now versus, e.g., Dolby guidelines. If you have a big gap versus the guidelines between FL/SL and FR/SR then it suggests front wides could be more of a benefit to you... whether at MLP or otherwise.

Dolby Surround upmixer does NOT upmix to wides.

From memory, no, DSU now supports front wides. I think if you do a search on AVF, you can confirm this.
 
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tebbo65

Well-known Member
Not sure I agree with that, I think it's best to look at the gaps in the angles between the floor speakers you have now versus, e.g., Dolby guidelines. If you have a big gap versus the guidelines between FL/SL and FR/SR then it suggests front wides could be more of a benefit to you... whether at MLP or otherwise.



From memory, no, DSU now supports front wides. I think if you do a search on AVF, you can confirm this.
That's what I thought, however that was the case but a firmware update on Denon & Marantz AVRs and AVPs fixed this over a year ago. Some other brands still lack it though Inc. Trinnov.......whoa!!!
As far as DTS goes DTS-X Pro supports wides via DTS neural DSU - stand to be corrected.
 
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Deleted member 901590

Guest
As far as DTS goes DTS-X Pro supports wides via DTS neural DSU - stand to be corrected.

Assume by "DSU" you mean "up-mixer" - I'm pretty sure that DSU stands for Dolby Surround Up-mixer :)

But, yes, agree that DTS up-mixer supports front wides.

Not sure about Auro.
 
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tebbo65

Well-known Member
Thanks all for your contribution for my 'are Wides worthwhile' question. Much appreciated and as always superb, concise opinions
Assume by "DSU" you mean "up-mixer" - I'm pretty sure that DSU stands for Dolby Surround Up-mixer :)

But, yes, agree that DTS up-mixer supports front wides.

Not sure about Auro.
 
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Solution

tebbo65

Well-known Member
You're quite, correct must be the brain fog. I had it in my head Digital Surround Up-mixer... Duh!
Not bothered about Auro to be honest.
 
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tebbo65

Well-known Member
Thanks all for your contribution for my 'are Wides worthwhile' question. Much appreciated and as always superb, concise opinions and advise.
Now convinced here along with chatting with @Mr Wolf and listening to Anthony Grimani's expert take on Wides, I have decided to go for it and buy a Denon x8500ha to accommodate. What with Brexit, Covid, Environmental issues & that nutter Putin, what the heck, need something positive to shout about :rolleyes: .
Cheers all.
 
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Deleted member 901590

Guest
Except, of course, I'm talking b0ll0cks if your plan is to continue using external power amps. Then, you're best to have it in ECO mode as that makes no difference to pre outs.
 
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Electric_Haggis

Standard Member
That's what I thought, however that was the case but a firmware update on Denon & Marantz AVRs and AVPs fixed this over a year ago. Some other brands still lack it though Inc. Trinnov.......whoa!!!
As far as DTS goes DTS-X Pro supports wides via DTS neural DSU - stand to be corrected.
Do we have confirmation which brands or models will now definitely upmix to Wides with DSU as well as Neural-X?

Anthem AVM70? Denon? Marantz? Yamaha?...
 
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tebbo65

Well-known Member
Do we have confirmation which brands or models will now definitely upmix to Wides with DSU as well as Neural-X?

Anthem AVM70? Denon? Marantz? Yamaha?...
Denon & Marantz definitely. Obviously, if going beyond 11 channels unit would also need to support DTS-X Pro as well.
 
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tebbo65

Well-known Member
Update: Wides, very surprising well worth upgrade.
 
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NewAcousticDimension

Active Member
Update: Wides, very surprising well worth upgrade.

Interesting. Would be great if you could report what your speaker angles to MLP are for fronts, surrounds, surround backs and (now) wides. Then, it at least gives a picture to people of the angles you "filled in" and the effect that it had for your listening enjoyment.
 
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tebbo65

Well-known Member
Interesting. Would be great if you could report what your speaker angles to MLP are for fronts, surrounds, surround backs and (now) wides. Then, it at least gives a picture to people of the angles you "filled in" and the effect that it had for your listening enjoyment.
Original 7 channel bed layer spot on Dolby layout recommended spec. As stated earlier, wides have gone in slightly forward of half way between the side surrounds and mains on the same line as the side surrounds. If you look at the Denon / Marantz speaker position guide that's how mine are as opposed to the Dolby guide which has wides sat more towards the side surrounds.

Benefits:
  • Wider more open front stage.
  • Much improved panning from mains to side surrounds.
  • Suprising amount of native content in true Atmos/DTS-X mixes , more use than rears I would suggest.
  • I've yet to hear a DD+ Atmos streamed track which engages the Wides. However if wanted, using Neural-X upmixes to Wides.
  • All native 2.0/5.1/7.1 DD or DTS soundtracks utilise the Wides when upmixed via DSU or Neural-X (DTS - Pro). Though, I do believe this is processor specific and dependant on sound format firmware updates.
Are Wides a necessity, no. Would I miss them if I took them away, definitely just as I would miss rears.
 
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