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October 29, 2010

Question of the Month: Convert To Apple Lossless

Filed under: Audio Knowledge,AV question,Question of the Month — Alan @ 11:29 am

Q. Recently I noticed that if you right-click on songs you’ve downloaded from iTunes, you can “Create Apple Lossless Version.” My husband and I did an experiment this morning and it took a song from 8MB to 25MB. The whole thing happened quite quickly, almost as though it “unzipped” something. Do you know how this works?—A.C.

Apple Lossless

(I don’t use iTunes so I posed the question to Andrew Welker, Axiom Audio Engineer, and to Chris–“Club Neon” on the Axiom forums. —A.L.)

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October 26, 2010

Reader Question: What is 5.1?

Filed under: AV question — Alan @ 11:29 am

Q. What does the “.1″ stand for in Dolby Digital and dts multichannel surround sound?

A. The “.1″ channel—and it is a separate, discreet sixth channel—handles only the lowest frequencies present in movie soundtracks or multichannel music recordings. Technically, it’s “bandwidth-limited,” which means it carries bass frequencies of 100 Hz and lower, hence the “.1″ designation. The remaining five channels of Dolby Digital or dts are full-bandwidth channels, carrying the full frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz if no subwoofer is used. When you set the speaker designations in your A/V receiver’s setup menu to “Small,” the receiver’s bass management system (a crossover) routes the frequencies below 100 Hz to the subwoofer (LFE) output jack. Most receivers let you choose the crossover frequency for the deep bass.

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October 23, 2010

Reader Question: Surround Speakers Placement

Filed under: AV question — Tags: — Alan @ 8:25 am

Q. How high up on the walls should I mount the surround speakers?

If you are using multidirectional, quad polar type surround speakers like the QS8s, generally from 12 inches to 5 feet above the level of your ears when you are seated will often produce the best sense of surround envelopment. Multidirectional surrounds like the QS8s or QS4s tend to be very accommodating and “unfussy” as to surround speakers placement and it isn’t even necessary to have them at identical heights or distances. Every room is different, of course, and some experimentation with a couple of stepladders to support the surrounds while you listen is useful. With direct-radiating surrounds, higher is usually better, but keep them at least 3 inches away from the ceiling to avoid boundary effects from the ceiling.

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October 20, 2010

Will the QS8 rear speakers work well for music playback?

Filed under: AV question — Alan @ 3:22 pm

Q. I love the sense of surround envelopment that I get from my QS8 rear speakers with movie soundtracks, but I’ve read that the new DVD-A and SACD multichannel music formats are mixed using direct-radiating speakers at the rear. Will the QS8s work well for music playback?

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