Question What happens to the LFE when listening in a 2ch Stereo?

gooner26

Active Member
Hi

I have a really nice stereo set up that I am happy with , sounds great with movies too via coaxial from Blu-Ray player into my pre-amp that feeds Meridian DSP speakers. So basically it’s a 2ch set up.

My question if someone can help is what is happening to the LFE channel in movie soundtracks when listening through a 2ch stereo set up? I take it I’m still receiving the LFE but it is folded down into 2ch? so am I losing any information in the Bass?

Im sure I read a Dolby white paper recently and it gave the impression you are not.

Regards Danny
 

GrazzaB

Well-known Member
Hi

On my Denon X4500 there is the facility to just use the front left and right speakers either with or without the sub when inputting just a stereo signal. I just use the speakers without the sub as they’re floorstanders and sound very good for stereo.

Edit: sorry I don’t think I’ve answered your question! Re. the LFE yes it will be folded down into your speakers, but depending on how low they reach you will miss some of the LFE information as it can go below 20hz on occasion and much more regularly under 30hz, which even large floorstanders would struggle with.

Cheers
 
Last edited:

494930

Distinguished Member
I've not tested it myself, but I was under the impression that the LFE channel gets discarded if there's no subwoofer assigned to play it. Your L/R channels still have plenty of bass but it's not as loud/deep as the LFE channel provides.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
It depends on what's doing the processing.
Most AVRs and media players will discard the LFE when playing back using x.0, but some players (Oppo, I believe, and JRiver on a PC) will allow you to retain the LFE and send it out of the main speakers.

LFE is a channel, not a speaker so much like the centre, if it's not present it can still be retained.
 

gooner26

Active Member
Am I missing out on much not being able to decode dts & dolby atmos on my stereo amp?

my 2ch is quite expensive but if I made the switch to an av receiver and a 3.1 system it would be a budget set up.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
What’s your source?
And what’s your stereo amp?
 

Conrad.

Moderator
Yes, that looks to be the case. What's the source though?

For example, my integrated amp is all digital but has no decoding. I have two sources, a PS4 and a PC. Both are set to output in PCM which goes to the integrated.

The PS4 loses the .1 channel when outputting 2 channel PCM. The PC (when using JRiver) can be set to retain the .1 but mix it in to the 2 channel stereo in the same way the centre channel is mixed in.

If I use a different player (plex, for example) the .1 is just discarded.

Then my amp has bass management as it has sub out. If I don't use that, everything is sent to the mains, including the .1 in the 2 channel from JRiver.

So depending on what your player does with the .1 will depend on whether you retain it or not.
 

gooner26

Active Member
The source is the 218 with optical & coaxial inputs.

The digital inputs accept signals up to 192kHz, and the analogue inputs are converted to digital at 96kHz sampling.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
What's playing the DTS disc?
 

Conrad.

Moderator
Ha, no worries, we got there in the end.

There's not much info on that but I guess that it's discarding the LFE channel when converting to PCM. Usually if something keeps it, or has the capability to, it has options. You have a surround Downmix option in the player, you might want to try that and see how that sounds, but it might confuse the front soundstage.
 

gooner26

Active Member
To be honest my system sounds amazing even though it’s only 2 speakers. I think it’s powered by 300w which helps.

But I have always wondered what a dedicated sub would do for me , I’ve never actually heard one before. You know how it is , you read all these Hi-Fi /home cinema magazines and you wonder if the grass would be greener on the othe side.
 

Conrad.

Moderator
I'm sure it does, and those Meridians go low (45Hz at -3dB) but they're not super powerful and big, room filling bass for movies needs power. You're also missing anything under 50Hz, of which there's a good amount. It depends on what you watch as well. If you're 80% old classic or period drama then maybe not so much, but if you're a Marvel fan then yeah, a sub should make a difference.

You could get a budget(ish) processor and connect the pre outs to the analog in of the 218. Not sure if that's the right way to do it or you'd be better connecting everything to the processor and connecting the speakers to the pre-outs.

Then you could connect a sub and add more speakers as necessary
 

The latest video from AVForums

Bowers PI7 wireless in-ear headphones review coming soon to AVForums
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom