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THX Front speakers, effects

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Nic Rhodes, Nov 12, 2001.

  1. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Several of you have contacted me re effects of front speakers with / without THX mode engaged and what it does. So for Stewart C, Johno and a couple of others, this is my thoughts on this.

    The basic question asked?
    Is there a difference in sound quality that comes from the fronts when you engage THX Cinema mode?

    THX is a set of standards that I generally buy into. They are divided into several areas and I need to explain what they do / their effect. Fuller / better descriptions are elsewhere, like THX web site. Others will no doubt have more time than I to explain THX in detail.

    THX Power amps
    Basically I don’t buy into this one at all so I will leave it at that.

    THX Processors / Receivers
    At it’s best with PL sources. They performed de-correlation and re-equilization. The first makes mono rears different and the second tames the treble in the smaller domestic environment. (Most sources, until DVD, were mixed for the cinema only. Now days this has changed.)

    THX Speakers
    Special crossover characteristics and dispersion (for treble) needed for the front speakers. For rear / side duties di-poles were recommended.

    In the heady days of ws VHS and laserdisc then THX was brilliant. It really addressed the problem. Now days with re mixed digital DVD signal, it’s use is less obvious.

    The advent of multi channel music has cause THX some problems. The dispersion characteristics that were so good for PL films, now works against it. THX has been around for 10+ years now. Pressing the THX button on your receiver will alter the amount of treble (re-equilization) going to the L, C and R speakers. However if the speakers are THX badge’d, it also means that there are some quite ‘unusual’ dispersion characteristic that aren’t the best for music (but brilliant for movies). This is why many of use ‘conventional’ speakers for L, C and R and THX di-poles for rears.

    Many loudspeaker designers have already realized this and therefore don’t send their speakers for certification. THX has realized that there is a problem and therefore have THX2 Ultra specifications which eases these ‘movie based’ requirement gearing the speakers more to both movies and music. It is a welcome development IMHO, I have yet to hear it in practice however.

    That is why KEF market a THX kit, that is awesome for films. However for those who like stereo and multi channel music as well then the Ref L and R speakers are best matched with the Ref Centres (100 and the cool 200c) and then add the THX di-poles for the rears. Different speakers for different markets. People need to decide what they want to use their kit for.

    THX certification is therefore a two edged sword. You need to know the pro and cons.

    Anyone else like to add anything?
     
  2. graham.myers

    graham.myers
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    I have a dedicated HC room. Woo Hoo.

    I use the denon THX amd coupled with the KEF THX reference series and they kick butt.

    I am very pleased with this and very rarely listen to music in that room.
     
  3. uncle eric

    uncle eric
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    Nic,
    As you might know I have a full M&K 150 THX set up.
    This is powered by the A1SE.
    I never ever engage THX eq on my amp. Maybe I'm mad but I think it all sounds better without.

    Eric
     
  4. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Eric

    This is what I am trying to get over to people and probably why I was contacted in the first place. DVD are now often re mixed and therefore don't need the benefit of THX and music has never worked well with THX, you do begin to question it's effectiveness for modern new set ups. At least THX is addressing this.
     

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