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February 24, 2011

Why is “delay” important for DVD-Audio or SACD surround music systems?

Filed under: AV question — Tags: , — Alan @ 7:59 am

Q. I keep seeing criticisms on audio forums of the new DVD-Audio and SACD high-resolution audio formats that suggest that “they have no bass management or delay.” I know what bass management is, but why is “delay” important for DVD-Audio or SACD surround music systems?  What is DVD audio delay? — M.B.

A. One of the most acute abilities of human hearing is our knack for instantly sensing the direction and intensity of specific sounds. If we lacked this ability, there wouldn’t be much fun in stereo or home theater multi-channel surround sound, and more important, this directional hearing ability plays a huge role in self-preservation.

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February 23, 2011

Stereo Speaker Placement: Where to Put M3 Bookshelf Speakers?

Filed under: AV question — Tags: , — Alan @ 12:58 pm

Q. I have a dedicated listening room of 10ft 4in X 19ft 6in. What is the manufacturer’s recommendation for stereo speaker placement of the m3s? Thank you for your time,

— Aaron

A. The general guidelines for stereo speaker placement apply to the M3s as they would to any compact loudspeaker: Keep them away from corners (which will unnaturally boost the bass output) and separate them by about half your listening distance. You want to achieve a smooth, continuous soundstage across the front with no “hole-in-the-middle” effect. The latter is a symptom of too wide separation between the two speakers.

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February 7, 2011

Speaker Placement: Are the M80 Floorstanding Speakers Hard to Place?

Filed under: AV question — Tags: — Alan @ 3:46 pm

Q. I own a set of M80’s and have had no problems with speaker placement. Why is it I see some people on the message boards (most don’t even own M80’s) say that these speakers are so hard to place? When asked “Where did you hear this,” they say that Alan has said so. If this is true, why would they be any harder to place than any of the other speakers that Axiom offers?

A. I’m delighted you’ve had no speaker placement problems. Readers sometimes repeat what I’ve said without mentioning the context in which I made the remarks.

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February 1, 2011

No Surround Effects with Dolby Digital Content?

Filed under: AV question — Tags: , — Alan @ 3:38 pm

Q. I have a Dolby Digital/dts A/V receiver but I don’t hear any surround effects when I receive High-Definition TV programs from my satellite tuner. And when I play DVDs, I also feel there should be better surround effects. I thought “Dolby Digital” is supposed to be a big improvement. What gives? — R.H.

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