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LOTR: DC Region 2 sound...a bit better

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by daninthemix, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    Since I posted my thoughts on the first LOTR release back in the summer, I thought I would give the 4 disc set the same treatment...

    The following points were raised in discussing the original release: 1 Dialogue muddy and hidden deep in the sound mix, 2 EXCESSIVE use of LFE, 3 Extremely dull tonal balance, 4 General lack of detail/coherance and involvement

    With the new release, I noted the following changes:

    1 Dialogue has been brought forward to front of the sound mix, where it should be! However, it certainly isn't crystal clear, compared with the best, and I can swear I detected some slight HF clipping on some

    2 The LFE has been toned down a lot, BUT - there's still too much of it, and I feel it is used inappropriately. I found I needed to set my sub's volume to half what is usual to get acceptable levels of bass - doing so made the rest of mix seem bettter. RE bad use of bass, it doesn't seem to make it's presence felt at the moment of impact (troll hammer on ground, colapsing bridge on wall etc,) but rather somewhere 'near' the point of impact, massively reducing the effect.

    3 This has been addressed in this release - apart from excessive LFE (which can be corrected by sub adjustment), tone seems neutral

    4 This is still nowhere near as detailed and satisfying to listen to as other films in my collection. There is an inherant 'rightness' about a well mixed film that simply makes you forget about the sound and enjoy the film. I have dozens of examples, Gladiator, Conan the Barbarian, T2, Fargo, Oh Brother, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead...the list goes on. And yet, the greatest film of last year and one of the biggest releases ever gets a sub-standard sound mix. Why?

    I have ordered the R1 version of the original because the general consensus on the previous thread back in the summer was that the R2 and R1 versions differ massively. My other thread a day or so ago on the quality of EiV releases was a precursor to this I guess, because I'm trying to understand what is happening to these films!!!

    My comments apply equally to the DD and DTS sound mixes BTW. It begins...
     
  2. Timmy B

    Timmy B
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    BTW, Bjoern reckons that the pal LotR EE is ALOT better than the ntsc, which he reckons is horrid. And with his setup he should know!

    You moan about the disc but dont tell us wot system u use?!

    He also thought the original pal had an excellent picture, and was also mich better than the ntsc. I mentioned that EiV should be congratulated on such a great transfers, but it fell on deaf ears, as every1 here hates EiV with a passion. EiV almost always have the same extras as newline, with great transfers and 6.1 sound.
     
  3. daninthemix

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    Yes I seem to remember you as one of the 'pro-EIV' lot. I am not jumping to any conclusions at all, I have finally ordered the Region 1 DVD of the original and will come to my own conclusions when it arrives.

    What my system is should be irrelevant due to my statement made previous:

    If you're still bothered about it being a factor let me assure you it clocks in just over 12 grand and quite simply is not an issue here.
     
  4. Timmy B

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    Why should it be irrelevant from looking at that statement?
     
  5. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    Because it shows that my system is capable of rendering what I consider to be a 100% convincing performance, quality of source material permitting.
     
  6. tk2001

    tk2001
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    My friend had the original 2-disc LOTR R2 version and he brought it around to compare it to my R1 2-disc version. I'm sorry to say, but he and I noticed that there was a noticable difference between the two versions - R1 was slightly sharper, colour separation was better and colours were slightly more vibrant. We both had to admit that the R1 version of LOTR was mixed MUCH louder than the R2 version though.

    BTW, he recently brought over the 4-disc LOTR R2 SE and the picture still wasn't as good as the R1 2-disc set.
     
  7. Timmy B

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    From an email from Bjoern:

    "The LOTR extended cut version is a LOT better in PAL, then it is in NTSC!
    The one i tested was a german R2 PAL that i borrowed. After my testings, i
    immediately sold my R1 and yesterday ordered the australian R4 PAL for me.
    The R1 is a blurry mess in comparison to the PAL disc. And it is NOT a
    problem of it being NTSC and thus having less potential vertical resolution.
    The compressionist and the used equipment simply messed up."

    His website is @ http://www.videophile.info/

    If you look at this dvd reviews he really does put alot of effort in always backs up his views with screenshots.

    "Because it shows that my system is capable of rendering what I consider to be a 100% convincing performance, quality of source material permitting."

    LOL, you really are full of it:p
     
  8. Timmy B

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    Also regarding the original 2 disc sets:

    "I sure hope its better than the original release, because that was a blurry mess in my book The PAL is much better. Really hope they didn't filter the extended cut even half as much. The higher possible bitrate due to being spread over 2 discs is promising. Although it has to be noted that the reason of the softness in the original release is NOT the bitrate but excessive filtering on their part. The PAL release shows this nicely."

    Every1 is going to have their own opinion based on preferance and display, but at least Bjoern proves what he says with detailed screenshots, and even shows his system in action.

    Which is alot more than you and your "12 grand" system do.

    But ofcourse, what equipment people use is not an issue?! I think it is an issue when you are talking about an opinion of a dvds sound or pic quality.
     
  9. daninthemix

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    The reasons the gear should not be an issue is that I already said the majority of films in my collection played through my system do not draw any attention to themselves - they have good sound mixes.

    Unless you're suggesting my system goes 'Ah Lord of the Rings, that's a bag of old ****e, let's do our worst on this one lads'.

    As for being 'Full of it' just for stating that a hifi or av system can render a convincing performance...well surely that's what the whole thing is all about?? Or have you been chasing your tail for years and no longer believe this to be possible...

    I had no quibbles with the video quality of LOTR, it's the uninspiring and uninvolving sound mix that gets me.
     
  10. BadAss

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    I can understand peoples reservations about the original release but my R1 copy of the DC has a very well balanced mix imo. No complaints here. But I do stick with the DD track which sounds more involving than the DTS, which although has better effect stearing does sound rather cold. Switch to DD and all the warmth and atmosphere returns. Now its either an effect of DD throwing more bass to the L/R channels (I use Kef Ref 2s) which may show up on my system and not on sats as DTS may have mixed all the bass to the LFE channel.

    I think its a case of if your not happy with what youve got then try and get another region untill you find a mix your are happy with. As every ones systems differ and the mix on regions differ youll never get a diffinative region/sound track.

    Not only that I went to see TTT last night on a THX cinema and didnt think the sound track there had the same impact as my own system. I was very surprised.

    My system, TMAV32R processor, Rotel 1095 amp, Kef Ref2s/200c on the front, Rel strataII Sub, Pioneeer 737 DVD player.
     
  11. DodgeTheViper

    DodgeTheViper
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    Badass,
    What sound system was used in the cinema ?

    Cheers
    Kev
     
  12. BadAss

    BadAss
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    It didnt say. No logo at the start apart from the THX logo.
     
  13. DodgeTheViper

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    Pees me off when they dont say. That cinema is particulary bad for it ! Not once have i seen the DTS introduction at that cinema !
     
  14. bowenjones

    bowenjones
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    I watched the extended cut again tonight and I did
    notice on several occasions that the musical score and
    dialogue dipped in volume at times.
    As I hadn't seen the film at the cinema and deliberately
    ignored the theatrical dvd release, the first time I saw
    it I was so immersed that I didn't notice the sound problems
    apart from a few lines of dialogue which were incoherrant.
    I know about the problems with the poor pitch correction
    that was applied (I have the region 2 copy) and would like
    to know if the region 1 is significantly better in dts than the
    region 2.
    I cannot fault the picture quality though - absolutely faultless
    as far as I'm concerned but I would consider getting the region
    1 if the sound was that much better.
    As for the film itself, why I didn't go to the cinema to see it is
    anyones guess - absolutely awesome!
    The system I have is the Videologic Digitheatre DTS, not the
    best I know but still able to find faults with the sound on some
    dvd's.
     
  15. daninthemix

    daninthemix
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    On a separate note I have just seen the Two Towers in the cinema. What a stunning film! I just cannot believe it. For some reason the sound was only in stereo (this was @ Showcase in Bristol), but the picture of that three day old film print was lovely and crisp, and the film itself was incredible.

    I intend to pay a trip to Warners next week to get a decent sound presentation as well (and to experience this masterpiece again). Am I alone in thinking that Golem is perhaps the first piece of CG to actually truly forward the film-making art in terms of character and emotion for an artifical character?
     
  16. daninthemix

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    Right, I got the Region 1 DVD of the 2-disc set this morning. It took all of about two minutes to realise what is on this disc is a COMPLETELY different sound.

    I'm talking much more detail, dialogue is more lucid and is considerably more up-front. The excessive bass is gone....

    I'm not even going to bother going on other than to say this is reason enough for me to boycott EIV.

    An interesting note BTW - I ordered this from CD-Wow, and it is actually the Canadian release, handled by yet another distribution company. I would be interested as to who is unsatisfied with their region 1 release whether it is the US or the Canadian one, although they are *probably* the same. The Region 4 Australian release will have been done by someone else, too (NOT EiV), so...

    The picture is fantastic as well on this release...I think EIV make stuff for people who enjoy watching films with their TV speakers :D
     
  17. bowenjones

    bowenjones
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    Thanks daninthemix,
    I'll be ordering the region 1 version asap.
    Does anyone know where I can get it at the
    cheapest price but also from a reputable online
    site with good service?
     
  18. daninthemix

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    If you want to get the Canadian region 1 version like me then www.cd-wow.com is the place. You may want to go for the US one though, and I am not aware of any place that does this for less than £18, so the usual suspects apply (play.com, dvdconcept.com etc).
     
  19. bowenjones

    bowenjones
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    Is there any French on the cover of the Canadian version
    and also is it a New Line release like the U.S version?
     
  20. daninthemix

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    There is French on the spine, and the 2nd sound mix on the disc is French 2.0 (as opposed to English 2.0).

    The distribution appears to have been handled by Alliance Atlantis (www.allianceatlantis.com). I think that includes the transfer. Like I said it sounds good - much better than R2, but you'd have to contact them if you want to know if it's IDENTICAL to the New Line US release.
     
  21. Squirrel God

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    Let's see what you got for your money. Don't be shy ;)
     
  22. daninthemix

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    Oh alright then (mutter):

    Toshiba SD900E - decoding onboard, going straight into:
    3 x Marantz PM-14mkII KI Signature integrated stereo amps, driving:
    Kef Reference 201s + 202c + q8s

    All running off a PS Audio p600 power plant...cabling throughout by Kimber (Reference Power Kords, 8TC, KCAG, etc, etc blah blah).

    What be your thoughts on LOTR then Lord of all Squirrels (whichever version you may have)...?
     
  23. Squirrel God

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    Not watched it yet! Saving it for Christmas day :blush: It's the Extended Edition, R1, 4-disk without the bookmarks - bought from CD-WOW 'cause I love 'em so much :D

    We all feel better now you've posted your gear btw :)
     
  24. swarrans

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    I ordered the 4 disk R2 version (not sure why now!) from CD-Wow but it hasn't arrived yet - it's on it's 7th day since "being sent" by CD-Wow.
    I realise things may get screwed by by the Xmas post but I'm starting to worry it won't arrive in time for Xmas day.

    If it never makes it perhaps I should order the R1 version instead?...

    I guess picture quality is (just) more important to me than sound quality (and my system is much more modest Denon/ Sony NS900V/Accoustic Energy speakers than a lot of people on the Forums) but I do hate it when the intelligibility of dialogue gets swamped by overblown LFE.

    Still, I hope the R2 version turns up tomorrow anyway...

    Simon
     
  25. Madskilzz

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    I ordered r1 LOTR extended on the 9th Dec from CD-WOW,
    plan was to watch the film the Sunday before Christmas and watch LOTR Two Towers at the local Warner Bros on Christmas Eve.......thanx to the theiving sh@thead who stole it :mad: I ain't getting my replacement copy til after christmas.

    Fairplay to CDWOW they offered to give me a full refund or post a replacement, I can't praise them highly enough.
     
  26. swarrans

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    Sorry to hear that Madskilzz - I must admit I've got the feeling mine's been nicked too. However, as you say CD-Wow have the great reputation which is why I ordered it from them (and they said they would cover any customs charges if they were applied) so hopefully if I don't get it time for Christmas, at least I'll get a free replacement in the New Year.

    It does make you wonder if DVDs can continue to be mailed like this when the "man in the street" starts ordering them as a matter of course rather than paying silly store prices and mailed volumes increase - I mean they are SO obviously DVDs and therefore highly nickable/boot fair-able/Ebay-able.....

    I REALLY hope it comes tomorrow!

    Simon
     
  27. bowenjones

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    Swarrans,
    You could always pop down to the shops and buy
    the region 2 version and then return the set you get
    from cd-wow to the shop when our postal service decides to deliver it to you.
    Providing you don't remove the cellophane and keep the
    receipt then you'll have no problem getting a refund by saying
    it was an unwanted gift.
    A supermarket would be your best option.
     
  28. swarrans

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    Coo, that's a good idea - maybe it was worthwhile ordering the R2 version after all!
    I guess I'll be able to live with the "morality" of it - after all I suppose it's not a major problem for Asda!

    Simon
     
  29. sweetmate

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    Sorry to pass judgement on you dan, but that is the weirdest audio setup i've seen in awhile!

    You are using 3 £2000 stereo integrated amps (so six channels) to power a mixture of 3 kef reference fronts and 2 kef Q speakers for rears!?! And you are using the dvd players onboard DD and DTS decoding?!?

    So how do you enjoy any other sources through your speakers, and how can you have a balanced sound field when your rears are a fraction of the quality of your front speakers. And why dont you have a sub????!!!

    Sorry but that is the oddest use of 12,000 pounds for Home Cinema sound i've ever seen.
     
  30. micb3rd

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    Is you system properly calibrated to dolby reference using a SPL meter daninthemix?


    You are using a 12 grand system and you are not using a pre amp and a extremly good subwoofer no wonder the bass sounds funny, add a pair of SVS Ultras or Velodyne HGS 18 flattened with a parametric EQ and you will see great improvement.
     

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