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DSP Poll

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Squirrel God, Feb 16, 2003.

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  1. Set Echo to Maximum (Soundfield DSPs)

    2 vote(s)
    1.5%
  2. THX/Logic 7/Etc only

    29 vote(s)
    21.6%
  3. Pure Dolby Digital or DTS and Pro Logic (I/II)

    101 vote(s)
    75.4%
  4. Would if I could, but can't right now

    1 vote(s)
    0.7%
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  1. Squirrel God

    Squirrel God
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    Been playing about with my shiny new Yamaha receiver for the past 24 hours and really like the DSP programmes. However, in conversation with others, I realise they're not popular with everyone.

    As I have a small lounge, I've been particularly impressed with the 'Spectacle' programme on my receiver which I combine with the Matrix 6.1 mode (which creates a virtual rear speaker for 5.1 input). The 'Spectacle' program gives me the feeling of a really wide soundfield (supposedly comparable to a 70mm movie theatre, according to the manual) and really enhances the existing soundtrack IMO.

    So - do you love DSP programmes or do you hate them and prefer to stick to a 'pure' reproduction of the soundtrack?

    If you love them, what DSP programmes do you use?

    :)
     
  2. Steve.EX

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    Yamaha DSP's are often refered to as "echo armies".
    When listening to them pay attention to both dialogue effects precision, in my experience installing all that echo and delay does nothing for a well constructed soundtrack.
    Most people i know of use these things for a short while before resorting to vanilla DD/DTS.

    Steve.
     
  3. CounterWhine

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    Hate 'em.

    In 4.5 years living with a Yamaha DSP-A1 (did I mention it was for sale?), I never used the DSP modes. As Steve says, they just drown out the soundstage with echo.

    Bells and whistles for the tickbox junky (IMHO).

    D.
     
  4. gringottsdirect

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    Tried them but never use them now.
     
  5. ReTrO

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    DSP's are nasty little blighters.

    The only one I ever use, subject to amp, is THX post processing. Sometiems that doesn't even sound better.
     
  6. Squirrel God

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    I know that most DSP programmes add varying degrees of echo (mainly to the rear surrounds) as you can clearly hear this when you undertake any discrete channel testing with a calibration disk. This did worry me at first but I find that when I watch a movie, some of the processing modes really work well and you soon forget the whole concept of artificial echos, delays and so forth (at least I do). Naturally, you do also have the option of adjusting these effects to varying degrees, to match your own personal 'tolerance level'.

    Nonetheless, I think a lot of my regard for DSP has much to do with the size of my room which, as I mentioned in my first post, is very small.

    I can appreciate a 'pure' reproduction but as my setup is very cramped, the depth I get from the DSP programmes is a godsend IMO. I think that if you have a decent sized room (and I don't mean a big room, just one with a few feet between the speakers), then you wouldn't need any of the DSP programmes - they would be redundant. But there are many who watch in small lounges (like myself) or bedrooms where the DSP can make quite significant differences.

    I also think that you have to bear in mind that any DD or DTS surround soundtrack will have been processed in some way itself anyway to add various effects to the resultant soundfield. So whether your DSP chip adds effects posthumously or the effects are added prior to decoding, they are still there anyway.

    Having said all this, it's only been 24 hours since I got my system up and running so my tastes might change in a couple of weeks or so.

    Interested to hear more views .... :)
     
  7. Gambit

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    DSP modes= satan's spawn.
    As you know SG, I'm all for purity of signal and DSP modes just degrade and alter what the director/ sound mixer want you to hear. I agree with ReTrO that THX post-processing is ok but I don't use that as a rule either. Purity is key, it's like using loudness or tone controls on stereo amps- no, no, no.
     
  8. Squirrel God

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    See, I used to use loudness and tone controls as well :D

    Are you against graphic equalizers as well then, Gambit? :)

    I see what you're saying, but a 5.1 soundtrack would've been created for movie theaters primarily, not for home cinema setups, so it would sound different in most homes anyway.
     
  9. Gambit

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    Graphic equalisers are satan himself's agents amoung us.
    I hate them :mad: they are the single worst thing you can put in a signal path bar a big block of plastic. I'd be happy if I never have to sell one again and I don't as people have realised they are awful. I think only JVC still sell new one's in this country now. Awful, awful things.
     
  10. Squirrel God

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    I didn't know graphic equalizers were hardly sold anymore :eek:
     
  11. Steve.EX

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    Tag Mclaren :TMS
    Lexicon : Logic 7
    Meridian : Tri-Field

    All are proprietry DSP's - NONE are satan's spawn etc (try telling Lex owners that Logic7 is second rate!)

    with respect to Yamaha (and i have owned several generations of them) their DSP's are perhaps a little heavy handed.

    Steve
     
  12. Squirrel God

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    Your initial post made me think you were against DSPs per se. Now it sounds like you're for them, just not all of them.

    To clarify, my initial "love 'em or hate 'em" question was about DSPs in general, not just Yamaha's. I'm sure there are better DSPs out there, my receiver is hardly 'state of the art', but I was interested in people's views of DSPs in general.

    So please could you elaborate on what makes the particular DSPs you mention worthwhile?
     
  13. Gambit

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    Not heard Tag's or Meridian's DSP's so won't comment, but agree that logic 7 is ok... for music, if you want your music in surround, but I like my music in stereo- that's how it was recorded and how it would sound live;) If I've got a film, I'll use DD or DTS- they're what it was mixed in, and how it was recorded to sound.
     
  14. Steve.EX

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    As regards DD/DTS etc i do not use any form of DSP (other than THX for DD ONLY) full stop, if it's in mono then it's mono etc,
    There are many here who believe THX processing to be a thing of the past, i wholly do not subscribe to this, if nothing else most dvd soundtracks will still contain the mix devised for auditorium playback which lends it a "brightish" tone given the artificial lift to the high frquency bandwidth to allow for amongst other things the front speaker array being placed behind the screen etc. THX removes this lift and looks to replicate the "x-curve response" that a properly set-up cinema would look to achieve, to the uninitiated turning THX on or off may well seem like the equivalent of turning a treble tone control up and down, but it is much more advanced than that to include re-equalisation, timbre matching, decorrelation for rear channels, some of these are applied to the surround back channels also so THX-EX is not exactly the same thing as Dolby Digital EX.
    I do not apply THX to PL2 or DTS etc.
    The other DSP's listed i have particularly enjoyed to transform 2 channel music into "something else?" (although some LEX users reckon L7 to be the very best despite it's relative age and the advent of PL2 and the like and leave L7 processing on REGARDLESS of source)
    Both L7 and Tri-field and to a lesser extent (i feel) TMS are genius in their subtlety (IMHO) you might listen to a 2 channel program and be mistaken for thinking the rears etc were not on it is only when you switch back to stereo that you lose the very real sense of width and depth that was present. Most other alternatives i have listened to have had what i call the "fairground" type of sound with all speakers banging and crashing and all sense of space and precision is lost.
    I would also say that with film type material (L7 in particular) has an absolutely rock solid soundfield with absolutely wonderful (and stable) rear channel steerage with none of the "pumping" associated with PL (and still PL2).
    At no point have i found either L7 or Tri-Field to be anywhere like as artificial and processed sounding as others.
    Of course this is all at a premium (with the exception of many Harman Kardon products which sport L7 and i would have to say that if i had a choice between L7 processing and PL2 then i would take L7)
    I am sure to of upset some here but there you go.

    Steve
     
  15. Reiner

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    I also have a Yamaha amp (DSP-A1) with more than 40 DSP modes (I think) but never use them. Only play around with them once in a while. If it's stereo I leave it in stereo - though some songs do sound good with the DSP engaged I found this does not necessarily apply to the next song on the same album - and since switching the DSP everytime would be too much work ;) I rather leave them turned off.
    Couldn't say I noticed much of an improvement for surround sound, it's different but not better - IMHO.
    However note that I do not use the front effect speakers which are proprietery to the higher end Yamaha amps/receivers.

    And though Yamaha DSP modes are probably better than those of the competion incl. some AV preamps (but excluding L7, DPLII and the like) I would not buy an amp just for this reason, in fact I think I could live without those.

    On a further note a lot of non-THX amps do offer similar functions to THX (e.g. Cinema Re-Eq) but then again THX is not a DSP mode like "Stadium", "Church" etc., even though the functions are carried out by a DSP chip.
     
  16. Stuart M. Robinson

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    Guys,

    Whenever I get into discussions about ‘DSP’ modes, I always try to separate them into two groups. On the one hand you’ve got the modes that take the original material and steer it around the room, then there are the modes that actually alter the fundamental ‘sound’ by changing its frequency response or adding echo.

    In the first group; Dolby Surround, Dolby Pro Logic, Pro Logic II, Logic 7. Second group; the “hall” and “stadium” modes of mass-market boxes, Yamaha’s simulations and Lexicon’s Church, Nightclub, Concert Hall and Cathedral.

    For me, the first group are always more acceptable, they may push content into the surrounds that might not sound best there, but at least they don’t add oodles of bucket-brigade delay or an arbitrary midrange boost which makes Maria Callas sound more like Moira Stuart in a cave.

    Has anyone here listened to the MC-12’s Church, Nightclub, Concert Hall or Cathedral modes? I’d be interested in what you think because they’re actually the same modes as found in the company’s 960L processor, the box used to add an acoustic environment to recordings in studios. See: http://www.lexicon.com/960L/

    One other random point: Steve.EX mentioned Logic 7 being old, but it’s not, in fact the version in the current MC-12 software is only about six months old, and is the best yet according to most Lexicon owners. Dr. David Griesinger, who designed Logic 7, continually tweaks it; so with almost every software upgrade folks get an improved version.

    By-the-way, and this one’s for Gambit, how many “live” music events have you been to where the sound only came from two loudspeakers directly in front of you? ;)


    Stuart M. Robinson
    SMR Group – http://www.smr-group.co.uk/
     
  17. CounterWhine

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    I think Yamaha's DSP modes were designed by David Cronenburg. I use them to lure people to my home then melt their brains Scanners stylee.

    Mwu-ha-ha!

    D.

    PS. No, really!
     
  18. Ian J

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    Looks like it works then if your post is anything to go by.
     
  19. Dave20

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    DSP sux DD/DTS rules forever :D

    hows much is a mint A2 worth now adays?
     
  20. EvilMudge

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    Referencing Squirrel Gods thread, how many people use DSP modes and how many go for plain Vanilla DD/DTS?
     
  21. Squirrel God

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    Can you add 'phantom rear modes' in there as well? These don't involve echo from my understanding and don't fit elsewhere ... happy to be told me I'm wrong though....

    Or if you remove the 'set echo to maximum' condition from the soundfield DSP option, then I'm sure it would fit in there...
     
  22. EvilMudge

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    Think I'd better outline what the various options are:
    Soundfield DSPs are the modes that attempt to add ambience and spatial depth to ordinary recordings, basically the Hall, Church, Stadium modes found on most amps.

    THX, Logic 7 and others are the post processing modes that add something to the output in order to recreate a specific condition, so virtual centres (rear and front) will go in here, as will Pro-Logic II Music and Tri-Field.

    DD and DTS, are self explanatory, but I'll put pro-logic and pro-logic II movie in with there as well, since they are decoding encoded material.

    Also if you're going to point out that Logic 7 is an encoding format, I'm well aware of it, but felt that it's more commonly used as post processing than to decode Logic 7 encoded material.
     
  23. gringottsdirect

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    Voted pure DD / DTS / DPL2.
     
  24. Spligsey

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    Films: DD THX
    DTS THX

    Music: Trifield



    Adzman
     
  25. cribeiro

    cribeiro
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    I played around a bit with the DSP modes in my Yamaha, and found most of them unuseful. In general, I didn't like them, but I am sure that you can build something like that (in some high-end material) which really works.
    What I liked was the PLII for music, it expands the sound making a kind of wider stage which is really great. Nevertheless, it can really spoil the music with certain recordings. I think it is a matter of taste primarily. The point is, what is "good taste". My friends say I have it, I don't know. Anyway, taste is something very subjective, so I will never say somebody he is listening crap because he is using dsp's. I have a friend that has a terrible ear for music, for him it is the same my hifi (1100 euro roughly) than his radiocassette (30 euro?). I think he is lucky, he has something less to worry about. On the other side, he will never enjoy things I do. But I will never enjoy good food as he does. You see what I mean?
    Answering to Gambit (I will post a link in the thread this is related to, it is only that it also fits here), I don't agree about his opinions, I think he simply sticks to the high-end idea of "pure sound", whitout any criticism, simply because it is supposed to be the elite. Of course, the person that recorded a song tries to show something, and if you process the sound you loose that. But you also gain, you may discover certain hidden timbers and sounds which you didn't notice before they were there, learning with that about music. In addition, I must tell him that I completely disagree about his idea about the equalizers... Have you ever seen a music recording studio? They are present everywhere. The point is that it is not the same what they use than a home-eq., which mostly spoils the signal making it unclear.
    In general, I don't like to use dsp for anything. I like to use plII for music too, but some recordings are not suited for that, for example I have material from Queen that can drive you crazy playing around the 4 speakers, because they included lots of echoes and overlapping voices in many songs. In that case, I switch to normal stereo. I use PLII when it only makes the stage wider.
    I also have to say that some recordings are really bad in terms of sound quality, but appreciated for its contents, and there some processing can bring the sound into shape. In this case, for example, dsp can be nice. I watched once a movie at home, I don't remember which, and it was completely lacking of surround and ambience, I tried with some dsp, enhancing here and there, and I could enjoy it much more than the original recording, which felt damped.
    Again, some recordings already carry echoes, for example recordings of concerts (and I am sure it is post-recording process of the sound), and then if you add even more, it sounds very artificial.
    Ok, I could spend hours like this, I hope it helps and also that you send me some answer to open my mind more.
     
  26. cribeiro

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  27. EvilMudge

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    My what a straight laced bunch we are on this forum.

    Question though, and I'll add an option and will adjust votes if necessary, would you use THX/Logic 7/Trifield if you owned an expensive enough processor/amplifier?
     
  28. Gambit

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    In fairness, because I sell hifi, I do have an oportunity to listen to systems far above the price range I can afford, and therefore have listened to many system and my opinion is not based on wanting to be "elite". I have heard music through PLII and I don't like it. I have heard music through £20k+ systems and they show, in my opinion, a very good amount of detail- I don't need PLII to add anything (and thats all it does- good stereo amps don't "hide" anything from you that PLII can unlock). Good stereo systems can wash over and fill the room just as well as a DSP.


    I was refering to the home graphic equalisers, yes, not the studio ones. But that stated there is something to be said for one singer and a truely live band accoustic, and I do have these sort of recordings and I like them.
     
  29. Sgt.Colon

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    I like Vanilla :)
     
  30. Gambit

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    Allways relevant, never tiresome.:D
     
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