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#279497 - 11/18/09 01:03 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17781
Loc: NoVA
Re: Bioshock, I wouldn't worry about killing characters. It's kind of a rails game.
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#279501 - 11/18/09 01:13 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
It's even worse. You can wire them both up, but you can't switch between them without re-running the Audyssey, because it is their DSX which creates the wide channels.
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#279506 - 11/18/09 02:11 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: ClubNeon]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: kcarlile

Re: Bioshock, I wouldn't worry about killing characters. It's kind of a rails game


Part of it is also that I waited so long to play Bioshock I donít want to just blow through it, but thanks for the info.

 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon

It's even worse. You can wire them both up, but you can't switch between them without re-running the Audyssey, because it is their DSX which creates the wide channels.


Thanks, I hadnít gotten to the point of finding that out yet.
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3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#279547 - 11/18/09 11:56 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
jakewash Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 10398
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
I have no plans on width channels, possibly height though, but who am I kidding, unless I can get one thrown in with the BIG flatscreen next year, I am stuck with my 3808 for a very long time...... not that the 3808 is a bad thing to be stuck with
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#279710 - 11/19/09 04:03 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: jakewash]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I got some time and did some experimenting with different speaker configurations.

For reference my room is 13íx 21íx 8Ď-11í vaulted. Carpeted, mostly bare walls with 3 big chaise lounges. Equipment in my signature.

First Test:
C M80 10.5í 50Hz 0 degrees ear level
L/R Mains M80s 11.5í 40Hz 26 degrees ear level
L/R Height QS8s 11.5í 100Hz 45 degrees 8í high
L/R Wide M22s 8.5í 80Hz 60 degrees ear level
L/R Surround QS8s 7.5í 100Hz 120 degrees ear level
C Back VP150 6.5í 80Hz 180 degrees ear level

I ran auto setup and Audyssey but only in the three listening positions. They detected and calibrated all speaker positions. The M22s and VP150 were set to 60Hz but I manually adjusted them to 80Hz.

I demoed the my usual suspects. Star Wars III, LOTR FOTR, Master and Commander, Appleseed, Kaena The Prophecy, Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon SACD 5.1, The Bangles SACD 2.0, Boston SACD 2.0.

First thing I found was that you do not need to rerun Audyssey to switch between using the height and wide speakers. Just changing listening modes does this. I settled on comparing Dolby PLIIz (8.1), Neo 6 + Audyssey DSX (8.1) and Neo 6 (6.1). With height speakers hooked up I could not select Dolby PLIIx or PLIIx + Audyssey DSX so I chose Neo 6.

Neo 6 (6.1) - sounded about the same as PLIIx. Didnít notice any immediate difference in running only three calibration point rather than the full eight.

Dolby PLIIz (height speakers) (8.1) - subtle but noticeable vertical expansion of the front soundstage sometimes. A sort of ďwall-of-soundĒ effect but only with ambient sounds not a noticeable difference in passages w/o ambience. Worked great for movie scenes with echos, wind, waterfalls. A very nice effect that blended seamlessly with the QS8 surrounds filling the whole room with ambient sounds not just the sides and back. Very noticeable when missing.

Neo 6 + Audyssey DSX (wide speakers) (8.1) - more noticeable effect of expanding the front soundstage. Not all scenes benefited but many more than benefited from the height speakers. This effect was quite seamless between the mains and surrounds even when sitting in the nearest listening position the soundstage didnít collapse to the wide speaker.

The effect worked very well when something was moving on or off stage left or right however it didnít add anything I noticed to front to rear pans. However, one possible issue is on screen objects occasionally sounding like they are off to the side of the screen the same way it sounds if you have an HDTV and put your L/R mains say 12í apart. Bigger soundstage but sometimes the sound isnít exactly following the on screen action.

Second Test:

I just swapped the positions of the M22s and QS8s so the QS8s became the wide and the M22s became the height speakers. I reran Audyssey and it made the same settings as before so again I switched the M22s and VP150 to 80Hz.

Neo 6 - same as above

Dolby PLIIz - much less noticeable benefit from the M22s up high. The QS8s are much better suited for this role in my room.

Neo 6 + Audyssey DSX - also much less noticeable benefit. Still more than the height speakers in this test but not nearly as good using the QS8s as wide speakers as it was using the M22s.

Music:

Dolby PLIIz - nice improvement to ambient music. Degraded quality of the front soundstage for SACDs either 5.1 or 2.0 with no noticeable benefit.

Neo 6 + Audyssey DSX - expanded front soundstage but just sounded to wide at least for studio and small stage recordings. Didnít degrade the front soundstage but no noticeable improvement either. Canít comment on concerts as I forgot to try it.

Summary:

No need to rerun Audyssey to switch between height and wide modes.

Canít select Dolby PLIIx + Audyssey DSX when height speakers are calibrated. However, PLIIx + Audyssey DSX is selectable if no height speakers.

M22s worked best as wide speakers while QS8s worked best as height speakers.

Height speakers subtle but nice enhancement when ambient sounds present.

Wide speakers make more of a wall-of-sound effect and enhance more scenes than height speakers. Effect is mostly good but can pull sound away from on screen action. Mostly helps off screen side pans but didnít do anything for front to rear pans. Note someone not using QS8 surrounds may notice more benefit from front to rear pans using wide speakers.

Each effect is nice in itís way but neither is a clear winner to me yet.

Ongoing test:

I reconfigured putting the QS8s back on surround back duties and put the M22s in as wide speakers and recalibrated using all 8 positions. Iíll continue to experiment with more material especially games to see if either format offers any clear advantages to me over the other.

Cheers,
Dean
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3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#279715 - 11/19/09 05:50 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10899
Loc: Central NH
Wow, Dean... nice going. Are the photos still at the lab?
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#279719 - 11/19/09 07:28 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Argon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/24/04
Posts: 1443
Loc: Oak Ridge, NC
It is good that you took a break from typing to test!
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#279735 - 11/19/09 10:05 AM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
 Originally Posted By: grunt
No need to rerun Audyssey to switch between height and wide modes.

Canít select Dolby PLIIx + Audyssey DSX when height speakers are calibrated. However, PLIIx + Audyssey DSX is selectable if no height speakers.

Actually, that's why you need to re-run the calibration. Audyssey DSX can create either height or wide, but only the one which was set up when it was run. (At least that's what I gathered from the review of some Onkyo receiver with Audyssey DSX.)
_________________________
Pioneer VSX-1018AH-K, PDP-5020FD, DV-79AVi
Axiom M22s, VP150, QS8s
Sony PS3, surround backs
-Chris

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#279768 - 11/19/09 12:55 PM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: ClubNeon]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: ClubNeon

Actually, that's why you need to re-run the calibration. Audyssey DSX can create either height or wide, but only the one which was set up when it was run. (At least that's what I gathered from the review of some Onkyo receiver with Audyssey DSX.)


I see you were talking only about Audyssey DSX and not the height and wide channels in general. I concur that there was no way to access the DSX height channels when the wide channels were hooked up. However, PLIIz does still work to provide height channels even when the wides are their. Changing between PLIIz height and DSX wide is a simple matter of cycling between listening modes. You just have to choose Neo 6 and not PLIIx as your surround mode.

Well I imagine if I get ambitious I will hook up just the height speakers to see if I can compare PLIIz and DSX height channels. Not sure how much difference their could be but I am noticing some differences bewteen PLIIx and Neo 6 in how they handle the back speakers.

Sucks you canít choose to opt out of the back channels in favor of he heights. With the QS8s I would gladly give up the back channels in favor of the heights base on what Iíve heard so far. Having a pair of QS8s up front and high is much more enveloping on ambient sounds than having them anywhere in the back, at least in my setup. And if running the wide channels it makes it easier to push the surrounds back farther while till keeping the side soundstages seamless.

Cheers,
Dean

_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#279771 - 11/19/09 01:09 PM Re: New HT Room Advice [Re: grunt]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
 Originally Posted By: MarkSJohnson

Wow, Dean... nice going. Are the photos still at the lab?

I dare not post any photos of the Rube Goldberg setup I had going. Heck there are probably a few forum member who would go all apoplectic if they just saw my cable (miss)-management right now. Not for the faint of heart. ;\)

 Originally Posted By: Argon

It is good that you took a break from typing to test!

It just looks long cause of all the ďwhite spaceĒ I put in to hopefully make it easier to read. ;\)
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3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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