DTS/ Dolby Configurations?

Happy Masked Guy

Standard Member
Hi all, I’m new to the forum so please excuse any lapses in my not observing site etiquettes, I’ll need to plead ignorance for now.

I’m wholly new to the world of home cinema, and recently invested in a 5.1 speaker setup with an Epson projector and a Pioneer VSX-934.

My questions—for now—revolve primarily around selecting and configuring sound modes for individual films.

I have set up the receiver via the MCACC microphone in the correct seating area, with my surround speakers in (roughly) the right locations. All the speakers are setup correctly, to my knowledge.

From there I spent a LOT of time calibrating my speaker distances and DB levels, to get the sound as good as I’m able. I set up and watched Ghost in the Shell (ScarJo version) on the Dolby 5.1 setting on my receiver, and it was pretty much perfect. Was so glad. Finally nailed it.

I’d heard a lot about the original Jurassic Park (my favourite film) being DTS, so checked that out last night. I set up the film, then, naturally, selected DTS Virtual Xon my receiver.

I was disappointed and confused.
The clarity of the sound was great—especially with regard to dialogue. However, the sound seemed much less robust, thinner, with noticeably less presence.

My question, I suppose, is this: Do I need to recalibrate my speaker volumes etc for/ between specific sound mixes, ie, Dolby / DTS? Or am I doing something wrong?

I also tried standard DTS Neural on its own, which sounded similarly thin.
When I put Jurassic Park to Dolby, it was much more bassy and robust, and had more oomph—but the dialogue was slightly harder to make out.

Any and all advice with regards to this are much appreciated. TBH, this isn’t something I’d ever once considered before. In the past, I’d always just chucked on a film without once considering its sound mix!

Seems like as soon as I went for a proper 5.1, THAT’S when the sound became...difficult.


In short, please help. If a Blu Ray says ‘DTS master’ on the back, but also a Dolby symbol, should I just lump with the Dolby? How can I improve my DTS setting?

Does anyone have any similar thoughts and experiences with switching between DTS and Dolby on their receivers?

Thanks much guys.
-Andrew.

P. S—my speakers are set to small (I don’t have floor towers) and my crossover is 100Hz. I use Q Acoustic 3020s as FL, FR, with the matching centre speaker for the range. For surrounds I have 3010s, up on the walls on either side. The sub is pretty good too.
 
D

Deleted member 39241

Guest
Welcome!

Firstly, it's trial and error and there is no right or wrong way. The aim is to find something that sounds good to you and pleasing to listen to, seems like you are nearly there :smashin:

Dialogue is obviously important so let's work on that.

With crossover at 100hz, that means all frequencies below 100hz are sent to the subwoofer. You could get some dialogue fall into this range, deep male voices for example, so try lowering it on the centre speaker to 80 / 60 / 40. I think your AVR allows different crossover settings for each speaker? Have a try on all of those settings and see how it sounds.

It is a balancing act as if you set it too low, you could lose bass that is too low for the centre speaker to play.

Also centre speaker positioning is important, you could post a picture of your room and see if any tweaks might improve things.

Although, if you can get dialogue sounding good with some sources and not so good with others, maybe you just need to adjust the level of the centre speaker for different content.
 

Damp Squid

Active Member
On a Blu Ray disc the default soundtrack will mostly be DTS HD Master Audio, with an option to select a Dolby Digital track, which is a lossy format. Although some discs will have a default Dolby True HD track which is similar to DTS HD In terms of audio quality.

So once you have done a calibration and the levels and speaker distances have been calculated by the AVR you will be good to go. If you select DTS virtual X or some other upmixing you are not listening to the original soundtrack. I would stick to the default track.
 

Happy Masked Guy

Standard Member
Welcome!

Firstly, it's trial and error and there is no right or wrong way. The aim is to find something that sounds good to you and pleasing to listen to, seems like you are nearly there :smashin:

Dialogue is obviously important so let's work on that.

With crossover at 100hz, that means all frequencies below 100hz are sent to the subwoofer. You could get some dialogue fall into this range, deep male voices for example, so try lowering it on the centre speaker to 80 / 60 / 40. I think your AVR allows different crossover settings for each speaker? Have a try on all of those settings and see how it sounds.

It is a balancing act as if you set it too low, you could lose bass that is too low for the centre speaker to play.

Also centre speaker positioning is important, you could post a picture of your room and see if any tweaks might improve things.

Although, if you can get dialogue sounding good with some sources and not so good with others, maybe you just need to adjust the level of the centre speaker for different content.
Hi Rambles!
Thank you for your response and suggestions. I’ve tweaked a few things which have helped a lot, which I’ll detail here.
I play my Blu Rays on a late model Playstation 3. I wasn’t sure which piece of equipment was decoding the mix—the Playstation, or my Receiver. I found out the Playstation was doing it, so I changed the HDMI setting to Bitstream. After that, when the film was started, the receiver would set itself to the master audio detailed on the back of the Blu Ray (more often DTS Master 7.1).
There seems to be pretty significant differences between the DTS mix and the Dolby Atmos/ 5.1.
Firstly, DTS is much more even in the front and centre speakers, so I set them all evenly. DTS also benefitted from a boost in the surround speakers, and it needs an extra oomph in the Sub department. This helped things significantly!
DTS is so far my preferred sound mix—individual elements seem to have much more clarity and room to breathe, with dialogue coming through especially clearly. Jurassic Park 3D was amazing, and Thor Ragnarok 3D was great too (if you get the chance to see both, I highly recommend them).
So yeah, my education continues!
All the best,
Andrew.
 

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gibbsy

Moderator
I would move your centre speaker so that it is sitting proud of the edge of the cabinet by around 25mm. You are more than likely getting reflected highs and mids off that shelf top. Repositioning should help with dialogue clarity and help get rid of some Ssssssss.
 

Happy Masked Guy

Standard Member
I would move your centre speaker so that it is sitting proud of the edge of the cabinet by around 25mm. You are more than likely getting reflected highs and mids off that shelf top. Repositioning should help with dialogue clarity and help get rid of some Ssssssss.
thanks Gibsy! I’ve pulled it out a wee half inch over the edge. I have a towel underneath it to absorb any extra vibrations too.
 

Happy Masked Guy

Standard Member
On a Blu Ray disc the default soundtrack will mostly be DTS HD Master Audio, with an option to select a Dolby Digital track, which is a lossy format. Although some discs will have a default Dolby True HD track which is similar to DTS HD In terms of audio quality.

So once you have done a calibration and the levels and speaker distances have been calculated by the AVR you will be good to go. If you select DTS virtual X or some other upmixing you are not listening to the original soundtrack. I would stick to the default track.
thanks man! Yeah, I’ve set the PS3 to Bitstream, which I (think) should allow the receiver to decode and send it out to the speakers.
For the record: does ‘multistream’ also mean surround?
Thanks for your help man.
Andrew.
 

gibbsy

Moderator

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