New Sound modes questions

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by CharlieNash, Dec 11, 2002.

  1. CharlieNash

    CharlieNash
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    Hi,

    I just got a THX certified reciever, and have a few questions about new sound modes.

    Like:

    Dolby Digital EX
    DTS ES - Discrete
    DTS ES - Matrix

    I know what normal DTS 5.1 and DD 5.1 do, what do these other variants do besides adding the rear center channel?

    My AV reciever is a full DD 6.1 and DTS 6.1 system, but I don't have the rear surround center speaker installed (no room, space behind me is a window).

    My question is when running a DTS ES dvd, should I use normal DTS mode, or is using ES going to give me something extra? Also what is the difference in the DTS modes?

    I have a bunch of DTS ES dvds, and the AV reciever defaults into the encoded mode (I think all my dvds so far are DTS ES - Discrete). Should I use what it defaults, or will it not matter much?

    However I have noticed I have a few DVDs that say DD EX on the back (Blade II), but they seem to default into regular DD 5.1 on my system, will switching to DD EX give me anything extra since I'm not using the center rear speaker?

    For anyone with a THX setup, I know THX surround is just another surround variant, but what exactly does it do when you have THX set to "on"? The THX modes my player has is THX off/on, THX surround off/on.

    BTW is circle surround II better than pro logic II?

    One thing about the rear center surround speaker, is it best to use a "center speaker" (like you have up front), or just the same speaker you have for right/left etc?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    I too wonder what exactly the THX settings do to the sound.. also what the RE-EQ setting does.. and does this work for both THX and "normal" sound modes. The manuals on some of the amps are a bit lacking...

    FOr your question.. I reckon that the ES/EX settings will make no difference at all as you are not using the rear centre.

    I believe (someone no doubt will correct me) that DTS ES discs are discrete channels where as the Matrix/DD EX use the normal rer channels to create the rear centre channel (ie the information is embedded in the rear channels).

    So I do not think you are missing out.. the biggest difference I reckon will be whether you decide to use the THX processing or not!.

    BTW which receiver did you buy ?

    Cheers

    Matt
     
  3. CharlieNash

    CharlieNash
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    Yeah I think I just read that actually, Matrix/EX is a mixed 6.1, DTS Discrete is true 6.1, sorts that out :)

    I got a Kenwood KRF-X9060D.

    I have no idea what THX on/off does, I hear no difference at all.

     
  4. garmtz

    garmtz
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    Nothing!
    Using DTS ES or DTS should not make a difference in your system. You are probably better off using the mode that the DVD has been encoded with.
    Use what it defaults to.
    For DD, no "flag" in the data exists, that will tell the decoder it is EX- encoded. Dolby was developing something for this problem, but it turned out lost of decoders had problems with the new codec.
    Mostly re-eq. But THX also decorrelates the surrounds with 5.1 movies with mono surround content (decorrelating means it tries to make the two channels different by fiddling with the phase of the channels). I think the THX on/off is re-eq, the THX surround on/off is the dynamic decorrelation of the surrounds.
    Some will prefer CS II for music, as it sounds a bit more lively than DPL II. I tend to prefer DPL II with movies though, where it's more conservative steering makes less errors.
    Use the same speakers as you are using for the sides. Don't use center speakers! And don't use one, but two back surround speakers, if the amp allows this.
     
  5. CharlieNash

    CharlieNash
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    I looked on the back of the amp, and it only has one output for rear surround back (the traditional output for speaker wire). It's a shared output for surround back/subwoofer. Does this mean I can only ever use a subwoofer or surround back? I was guessing a powered subwoofer would connect to the pre-out subwoofer jack (shows it that way in manual). My subwoofer now is not powered, so I don't know if it's standard to see an RCA jack on a subwoofer. Actually from a few pictures I've seen of different subs, they had red/white rca jacks on the back, this confuses me since the subwoofer out pre-amp on every reciever i've seen has been a single rca cable.

    But it also has a "pre-out" (red/white rca jack type thing) for rear surround back. I saw a few other people with this amp say you need to power the 2nd surround back speaker using the pre-out (how do you do this?). My speakers don't have RCA jacks on them, so I am at a lose of how to do this..., and considering how much high quality av cables are, I'd never get one long enough to reach the back speakers.

    BTW what is the whole deal with pre-outs? I've never seen speakers that had RCA connections on the back. Also some of the pre-outs confuse me. Subwoofer and Center only have one jack (black), surround hack has two jacks (red/white), and surround and front have 2 jacks each (red/white). How can that work when front and surround is 2 speakers not one, and both require the red/white connection.

    Do all powered subwoofers have a pre-out on them? (since I'd want to hook it up that way, so it gets the digital signal) I was looking at a few, but the ones I've seen only have the speaker wire connections I think.
     
  6. CharlieNash

    CharlieNash
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  7. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The pre-outs are to bypass the internal amplifiers in favour of an external amp.

    Another part of THX processing that hasn't been pointed out is that the subwoofer crossover is made at 80Hz. This suits me as that is where I want my crossover to be anyhow.
     
  8. James45

    James45
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    IMO CS2 sounds hollow in comparison in DPL2
     
  9. CharlieNash

    CharlieNash
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    Is CS II Mono mode just mono in each speaker? I really wish it had a 6 channel stereo mode, my old pioneer had a 5-Channel stereo mode.
     
  10. Brendon

    Brendon
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    Ok, if I may..


    Dolby Digital and DTS are sound compression formats. When decoded/uncompressed, they are capable of carrying up to 5.1 channels of sound. These are front left, front right, centre, surround left and surround right and a dedicated subwoofer channel. (i'll come on to EX & ES later...)

    When films are mixed for playback in a cinema and are then played back in a cinema, they sound fine.

    Cinemas have the front three channel speakers behind the screen and a whole slew of surround speakers along the side and rear walls. The rear surround channels probably use up to 15 or so speakers each to reproduce their sound.

    The audience also sits a fair way from the screen and therefore the front channels too.

    Ok, now the home. Again we have three front channels, but this time they are not behind a screen. They most likely flank the screen, with the centre sitting either above or below it. You'll also have two surrounds, not twenty. Chances are the you'll be sat much closer to them than in the cinema. I guarantee your viewing room is much smaller than your local flea pit too.

    Ok, now play back the soundtrack originally mixed for playback in a cinema. Chances are it will sound pretty good going on great. However there will be a different sound, due to the speaker arrangement, room dimensions, number of surrounds etc.

    THX amps, processors and receivers try to overcome the difference in three distinct ways:

    I'll quote from the THX website on this...

    "Re-equalization™ takes the edginess or "brightness" out of your home cinema sound, compensating for the fact that sound mixed for theatres will sound too bright when played back through flat response speakers in your home.

    Timbre Matching™matches the tone of your front speakers to your surrounds to compensate for the fact that only two surround speakers are used in a typical Home Theatre system instead of a full array as in a movie theatre.

    Adaptive Decorrelation™ gives a stereo "feel" when your surrounds are playing mono and automatically switches off when they are playing stereo."

    This and other THX approved technologies/practices (80HZ crossover between subwoofer and satellite speakers, individual channel time alignment, amplifier performance over time at given reference levels etc) contribute greatly to the overall sound heard.

    I would like to submit Monsoon Wedding (DD 5.1) and the Abyss (DD 5.1) as examples of where at least one of these three technologies have rendered obvious and great improvements in soundtrack reproduced in my living room.

    Ok, Dolby Digital EX was a co development between Dolby & THX and is merely called Dolby Digital Surround Ex in the cinema. It's home incarnation was initially restricted to THX only equipment and was called THX Surround Ex. (So much for THX not being a sound format!). Once this window of exclusivity expired, manufactureres could license Delby Digital Ex for their home kit. This is the same as THX Surround Ex except without the THX post processing going on after the rear channel has been extracted.

    So, the THX mode on your amp supplies THX post prosessing (re-eq etc etc), whilst THX Surround is most probably the THX implementation of Dolby Digital Surround Ex.

    Confused ? you will be....

    Bren

    PS I'll happily agree to disagree with anyone who feels like explaining why THX is "pointless".
     
  11. CharlieNash

    CharlieNash
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    umm thanks Brendon.

    But I already knew most all of that if you read the whole post.

    All I was wondering is what EX and ES added besides a rear center channel, because I've been using 5.1 systems since they came out, and this was my first 6.1 system.

    And no I'm not confused, since I already knew most of that. ;)
     

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