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Neural X and DSU both spoil the sound?

indus

Distinguished Member
I've been using neural x and dsu for about a year now. I initially preferred neural x as there was more sound coming from the height speakers but then realised it was unnatural.

Since then I've been using DSU.

However I've now come to the conclusion that overall DSU also spoils the sound. Some of the time it will add some nice effects but a lot of the time it obscures/smears what is coming from the native base 7 speakers.
To my ears it can therefore also make speech less intelligible sometimes.

The last few films I've watched with DSU off and they sounded wonderful.

Anybody agree?

(I have to admit that my height speakers are not eq'd as I use a standalone dirac unit to eq the base 7 speakers)
 

Roku2

Distinguished Member
I disagree, but I dont have heights only upfiring speakers
 

Jase

Distinguished Member
I find the upmixing results vary film to film. With some it adds to the overall soundstage (Edge of Tomorrow) and others (War Horse) there's not a great deal of improvement over the 5.1/7.1 mix. Neural:X is my least favourite with DSU and Auro3D being my preferred choices.

Neural:X is bloody awful with Stereo/2ch PCM. DSU and Auro2D/3D (in particular) are much better.

Can't say any of them obscure anything like speech though.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I prefer using my Yamaha receiver's DSP Programs and their use of my height speakers than I do the upmixing associated with either DSU or Neural:X. The DSP Programs give me far more control over the audio and allow me to manipulate it according to my own tastes.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
We are all going to have different opinions based on our own tastes and in my case what both Neural and DSU bring to the party greatly enhances my listening enjoyment. I prefer Neural when playing DTS HD encoded blu ray to DSU, perhaps it's better suited to engaging my KEF R50 modules. As for central dialogue I cannot say either coding makes it any worse, especially on disc. As for dialogue with broadcast then Sky make a pretty good job of ****ing that up all on their lonesome.;)
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I think the only benefit associated with DSU in respects to dialogue is its Centre Spread option. You get the option of widening the centre channel out to the left and right channels, but not adjustment option for this as the case was with Dolby Pro LOgic Music. Neural:X has no option at all as to the width or spread of the centre channel. I also believe DTS had issues with the handling of dialogie when DTS:X was initially launched. Many receivers received an update to address this issue.

I've never been happy with the centre channel and tend to believe it more to do with the fact it is being portrayed via a single speaker as opposed to blaming it upon the decoding or mode used. It simply makes audio that consists of a lot of dialogue sound bland due to the mono aural nature of its portrayal via a single speaker. I'm guessing that this is why Dolby included their Dialogue Spread option? I know that there was a film director who suggested using Pro Logic Music as opposed to the more conventional Pro LOgic Movie option because it facilitated widening the centre channel so I'm not alone in my thinking.
 
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Roku2

Distinguished Member
Denon receivers have a Dialogue Level feature. Even raising it by 0.5 dB makes a huge diference in clarity of dialogue whether with DSU or Neural X being applied
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Denon receivers have a Dialogue Level feature. Even raising it by 0.5 dB makes a huge diference in clarity of dialogue whether with DSU or Neural X being applied

What you are referring to has nothing at all to do with either Neural:X or DSU. Most if not all AV receivers include a dialogue level adjustment option. This simply increases the level of the centre speaker. The same adjustment applies to all audio irrespective of the mode or the format. Note that it does not just effect the dialogue, it adjusts the level associated with the centre speaker.
 

Roku2

Distinguished Member
What you are referring to has nothing at all to do with either Neural:X or DSU. Most if not all AV receivers include a dialogue level adjustment option. This simply increases the level of the centre speaker. The same adjustment applies to all audio irrespective of the mode or the format. Note that it does not just effect the dialogue, it adjusts the level associated with the centre speaker.
So if we jsut raise center level from the trim controls that would be the same as raising the Dialogue Level located under Audio settings?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
So if we jsut raise center level from the trim controls that would be the same as raising the Dialogue Level located under Audio settings?

Basically yes.

THe only benefit to using the dialogue adjustment is that the calibrated centre speaker level is retained so you can revert back to the calibrated setting without having to make note of what that level was. The same is true of the subwoofer adjustment. You'd also be able to set these differently for different sources on a Denon receiver.
 

Roku2

Distinguished Member
Basically yes.

THe only benefit to using the dialogue adjustment is that the calibrated centre speaker level is retained so you can revert back to the calibrated setting without having to make note of what that level was. The same is true of the subwoofer adjustment. You'd also be able to set these differently for different sources on a Denon receiver.
But from what I was told, raising subwoofer level from Audio settings rather than from trim controls raises levels from 0dB rather than from calibrated dB levels.
So for example if calibrated sub levels are -6dB and you only want to raise those levels by 1dB higher, you end up with overall subwoofer set at +1dB rather than -5dB
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
No, the adjustments add or subtract 12db from the calibrated levels. Try it and turn the feature on while it is set to 0. The associated centre channel will not change. How can you negate the calibrated levels and still maintain a level that corresponds to all the other speaker levels? What if you are sat 25' away from the receiver, the centre channel would be inaudible if set back to its default and you'd need the dialogue adjustment to simply hear it. No, the adjustment does not override the level settings and simply adjusts the volume relative to that calibrated level.
 
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Roku2

Distinguished Member
No, the adjustment add or subtract 12db from the calibrated levels. Try it and turn the feature on while it is set to 0. The associated centre channel will not change. How can you negate the calibrated levels and still maintain a level that corresponds to all the other speaker levels? What if you are sat 25' away from the receiver, the centre channel would be inaudible if set back to its default and you'd need the dialogue adjustment to simply hear it. No, the adjustment does not override the level settings and simply adjusts the volume relative to that calibrated level.
Good to know, because up to now I was adjusting dialogue from Dialogue Level but subwoofer from trim controls, for fear that changing subwoofer level from Audio settings would disregard subwoofer calibration levels. Npow I can tweak both dialogue and subwoofer from Audio settings without changing calibrated speaker levels :)
 

Roku2

Distinguished Member
I've heard a rumour that Roku is getting his own entire forum? Will you be moderating it and asking people not to post on topic posts if submitting posts there?
Such a forum would require a strict and lineant moderator, you'd be first draft for the job :cool:
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I found this article for anyone that may be interested:
Up-mixed: Dolby Surround v DTS:Neural:X | High-Def Digest

Which concluded with:

FINAL THOUGHTS

At this point it was time to put my system back together for a review. It's fair to say, for more thorough and conclusive results, we'd probably want to check a hundred hours of content, but after these four demos and dozens of hours enjoying each up-mixer with a full 7.2.4 system engaged, I have a pretty good handle of how they each peform (from an audience perspective). More important than finding a "winner" is that we enthusiasts get to have an utterly smile-inducing surround sound experience whenever we want. In that sense Dolby Surround and DTS:Neural:X perform remarkably well (they also each have MUSIC modes).

What can we take away from this and similar experiements?

For the most part you could leave your AVR in one format or the other and never notice; that's what I did back in the Pro Logic IIx days. Likewise, if your first generation DTS:X-capable Denon or Marantz AVR is temporarily locking each up-mixer to its own branded codecs, you'll enjoy the results, but you might notice variances in the way your system sounds depending on content. However, assuming you have a choice between the two, Dolby Surround excels at spacial recreation and voice placement. It's more refined and delicate. If you feel as though you need more oomph overhead, DTS:Neural:X is a little louder and I also enjoyed the way it panned aggressive sound effects.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I found this article for anyone that may be interested:
Up-mixed: Dolby Surround v DTS:Neural:X | High-Def Digest

Which concluded with:
Good article, obviously done by someone with impeccable taste, Denon X6200 and KEF R speakers. Need I say more.:D

I've read it before and agree that DTS:X is more aggressive. I played out the same scene from Season 3 of Black Sails, the battle on the beach. Although the high effects were apparent on both formats it seemed noticeably louder on DTS. On DSU the canonballs seemed to whoosh above you, whereas with Neural they went wump.

Am I making any sense? Oh well. Popty ping.:confused:
 

Roku2

Distinguished Member
Good article, obviously done by someone with impeccable taste, Denon X6200 and KEF R speakers. Need I say more.:D

I've read it before and agree that DTS:X is more aggressive. I played out the same scene from Season 3 of Black Sails, the battle on the beach. Although the high effects were apparent on both formats it seemed noticeably louder on DTS. On DSU the canonballs seemed to whoosh above you, whereas with Neural they went wump.

Am I making any sense? Oh well. Popty ping.:confused:
It makes total sense. Use one, the other, or neither, based on your personal preference...
Of course if you own a Yamaha receiver then you can opt for its DSP programs instead
 

indus

Distinguished Member
Perhaps its just me then. I have had one of the two upmixers engaged for about a year and swore that dsu in particular was great.

However increasingly there is doubt in my mind. DSU definitely can add a degree of immersion at times but I think it comes at a cost ie you lose some of the nuances of the original 6 or 8 channel mix.

It's not a free lunch
 

markymiles

Distinguished Member
I've been using neural x and dsu for about a year now. I initially preferred neural x as there was more sound coming from the height speakers but then realised it was unnatural.

Since then I've been using DSU.

However I've now come to the conclusion that overall DSU also spoils the sound. Some of the time it will add some nice effects but a lot of the time it obscures/smears what is coming from the native base 7 speakers.
To my ears it can therefore also make speech less intelligible sometimes.

The last few films I've watched with DSU off and they sounded wonderful.

Anybody agree?

(I have to admit that my height speakers are not eq'd as I use a standalone dirac unit to eq the base 7 speakers)
Nice to read this. I get the feeling that after most go to the hassle of fitting ceiling speakers they are then indoctrinated into the object based speaker fan club. I'm not knocking it as I imagine I would be the same. It is good to read your viewpoint for a change though. I'm yet to be blown away with any demo and at times I think the sounds coming from above are distracting. I certainly noticed neural x messing with the front soundstage speech.
 
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