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#7530 - 01/01/03 07:23 AM what do you guys think of THX certs.
KingofOld Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 12/27/02
Posts: 17
I am trying to decide between two receivers Denon 1803, and Kenwood 6070 as far as specs go they are similar Denon 80w per channel/Kenwood 100w. They both have the features/inputs I need except that the Kenwood is THX certified thus featuring Thx surround EX. The Kenwood is a little more expensive but I certainly don't mind if the upgrade to THX cert is worth it. Is THX certification more than just dare I say a "marketing tool" or are the features it offer unique and valuable. What kind of audible difference does it make in movie soundtracks over a reciever that isn't THX certified? Thanks for the help.

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#7531 - 01/01/03 04:53 PM Re: what do you guys think of THX certs.
Semi_On Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 737
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
In my opinion, it's little more than a marketing tool at this point. There are also other issues involved that sometimes prevents something from being certified. For instance, it costs money to do so and many lower end models aren't certified because the target market doesn't care about the cert. Additionally, Yamaha doesn't certify anything because they won't give LucasArts access to their DSP technology (which is incredibly impressive).

If both carry the features you want, throw both on a credit card, put them in your system, listen to both and return the one that doesn't sound as good as the other.

Lastly, both do DD EX and DTS ES, superior to THX EX to me, though the Denon also offers Neo:6 which is pretty swank as well.

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#7532 - 01/01/03 09:09 PM Re: what do you guys think of THX certs.
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10395
Jake, although it certainly can be used as a marketing tool, it's far more than that. I've read enough about the tough series of tests that equipment has to go through to get THX certification(manufacturers discussing how thorough it is and how they had to make changes when problems were turned up)that I'm impressed. This of course doesn't guarantee that it's better than a similar piece of equipment without the certification, but it's a definite plus that it meets a set of standards.

As to the 1803 vs 6070, examine all the features carefully. Note that the 6070 has the interesting Circle Surround II processing, in addition to DPL II and DTS Neo:6. I was also impressed by the Sound & Vision test on the 6070. Whether the extra THX processing features added are audibly better is debatable and I don't have an opinion.

I suppose that I would lean toward the 6070. Note that their prices are nearly identical since both are available in the $400 area.
_________________________
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#7533 - 01/02/03 03:16 PM Re: what do you guys think of THX certs.
Pinoy Offline
veteran

Registered: 10/26/02
Posts: 115
Loc: Kansas City, Missouri
It is true that THX certified speakers and receivers have to pass THX tests and therefore meet the minimum THX quality requirements. Such tests also require that the manufacturer spend money which in turn are tacked on to the price of whatever you are buying. Other manufacturers may opt to spend the money to improve their systems or sell their products at lower prices instead of paying for the certification process. Although their products would pass the THX certification, they opted not to go through the process.

I have listened to non THX certified speakers and receivers that sound much better than the THX certified ones. I just wanted to stress the fact that THX certification is not an absolute assurance that it is better than non certified ones.

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#7534 - 01/06/03 03:15 PM Re: what do you guys think of THX certs.
DanTana Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 162
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
I'm also in the process of comparing AV receivers, so far I think I'm narrowed down to the Onkyo SR-TX800, JVC RX-DP9VBK or the Kenwood VR-6070. The Onkyo seems to have all the latest bells and whistles plus OSD. The JVC is the oldest but super nice specs but not all the latest formats supported ie Dolby Prologic II, NEO:6. Kenwood seems to be the best price to performance ratio. I've found the JVC for 529.00 online so it's becomming a tough choice. I want a THX receiver because I know then it will support THX modes for movies better. With the specified 80mhz sub crossover, although some are adjustable, and proper encoding. Too bad makers must pay to be certified, I think this is hurting the industry. Isn't George Lucas rich enough?

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#7535 - 01/06/03 04:06 PM Re: what do you guys think of THX certs.
Semi_On Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 737
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
In reply to:

The JVC is the oldest but super nice specs but not all the latest formats supported ie Dolby Prologic II, NEO:6.




That is reason alone to eliminate it from your choices. DPLII is fantastic and should not be passed up. I doubt your cable or satellite broadcast are in DD.

In reply to:

I want a THX receiver because I know then it will support THX modes for movies better.




This is false. There is no such thing as a THX "mode" in movies. Movies that have the THX logo have paid Lucasarts to verify that they used a transfer technology that meats the minimum requirements for the company. I've seen plenty of THX certified movies that were less than spectacular and plenty of non-THX movies that were jaw dropping.

In reply to:

With the specified 80mhz sub crossover, although some are adjustable, and proper encoding.




This is true of all DD and DTS receivers with bass management.

In reply to:

Too bad makers must pay to be certified, I think this is hurting the industry.




How is this hurting the industry? There are plenty of companies that don't pay to have their hardware certified because they either know their customers are competent enough to listen to their hardware and verify that it's far superior to whatever bottom basement junk CC or BB are selling or because they don't wish for Lucas to have access to their proprietary DSP technology. There are also plenty of receivers out there with the base THX certification that are utter crap. Neither of these groups are struggling for sales so I'm inclined to think the industry isn't hurting at all.

Use your ears. If you like the sound, buy it.

Regards,
Semi

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#7536 - 01/06/03 10:05 PM Re: what do you guys think of THX certs.
DanTana Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 162
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
Semi_On, Forgive my ignorance. I am neither an audio expert nor an audio engineer. I probably represent a vast majority of consumers who are caught up in some of the hype, that accompanies "THX" certifications. If "A" receiver had 10,000 watts per channel and .00001 distortion but no THX, but "B" had 100 watts and .05 distortion with THX, I would be hard pressed not to think I wasn't getting all my money's worth without THX certification. And that is why I say it is hurting the industry. Although I have not read the EXACT specifications that a receiver must undergo to pass THX certification. I feel that a company that wants to stay ahead is almost obligated due to consumer pressures, and the fact that they get charged for this only makes it worse. I bet you would see many, many more companies with THX certification if they didn't have to pay the royalty to put that 1" logo on their receiver, and this is passed on to the consumer. And any company who choses not to, ie Yamaha, is left behind in consumer eyes as maybe not worthy to pass these qualifications. Pioneer advertises their receivers as being the first THX Ultra 2 certified receiver. Onkyo, Kenwood, Harmon Kardon, JVC, and Denon among others all advertise this feature. Now I understand Ultra 2 is much more rigorous to pass, but consumers see this as the "Holy Grail" of audio. Like it or not THX is here to stay until someone comes up with a newer, latest and greatest standard.

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#7537 - 01/06/03 11:04 PM Re: what do you guys think of THX certs.
Semi_On Offline
aficionado

Registered: 09/18/02
Posts: 737
Loc: Scottsdale, Arizona
In reply to:

If "A" receiver had 10,000 watts per channel and .00001 distortion but no THX, but "B" had 100 watts and .05 distortion with THX, I would be hard pressed not to think I wasn't getting all my money's worth without THX certification.




THAT is what's hurting the industry, if anything. People like have specifications to judge things. They aren't comfortable with subjective decisions like what sounds better. As a result they buy way too much or way too little HT for their needs because they're so obsessed with specifications that are largely meaningless due to the amount of specmanship involved. Yamaha does VERY well with their receiver lines. Obviously, the lack of THX certification doesn't hurt them that much. Certainly, a company of their size could afford the certification process.

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think it has a huge impact on the industry. Some people need reasurance when spending large sums of money. For those people, THX is out there and they can feel comfortable knowing they have the bare minimum of what Lucas feels a home theater requires to enjoy movies. Some people need poorly documented specifications to compare one receiver to another so they can as well feel justified in their purpose. Some, prefer to rely on their own hearing being as that is the device which will ultimately judge the fit of a home theater. For all these people, there are products, each with the requisite characteristics to make those customers happy.

I prefer this to, say, the computer industry (my other passion) where the unaware compare Dell's $500 P4 to Gateway's in order to make sure they have the fastest Pentium on the market for their web surfing and email (all the while never aware of their 100MHz FSB, 5400rpm HDD and SDRAM...).

In reply to:

I feel that a company that wants to stay ahead is almost obligated due to consumer pressures, and the fact that they get charged for this only makes it worse.




I'm with you on the charging thing, but Lucas has to fund THX somehow and the man isn't into movies for altruism (anyone doubting that need only rewatch his last two "movies"). I don't think receiver manufacturers feel OBLIGATED. Some use it for exactly as it's intended, as a marketing ploy to help the consumer feel a bit better about spending $800 on a receiver. Certainly, Bob Carver doesn't feel obligated to get his Sunfire's certified.

In reply to:

I bet you would see many, many more companies with THX certification if they didn't have to pay the royalty to put that 1" logo on their receiver, and this is passed on to the consumer.




You're obviously right as it would be an easy thing to default to but then it'd be useless as a marketing ploy as EVERYONE would be certified with at least the base THX rating. For a lot of companies, it doesn't offer them a compelling product. They don't see a marketing gain for the customers they target to pay for it. Some target customers, like you, that mandate it. This market is large enough to bare the brunt of many niches with many vendors. I don't think anyone will be going out of business over it any time soon.

In reply to:

And any company who choses not to, ie Yamaha, is left behind in consumer eyes as maybe not worthy to pass these qualifications.




Yamaha's financial reports seem to indicate otherwise and I don't know many people that scoff at Yamaha receivers. Anyone that picks a JVC or whatever other crap company Best Buy is whoring around over a Yamaha simply because Lucas asures them they will have the minimum receiver needed to enjoy one of his movies, probably wouldn't appreciate the difference anyway.

In reply to:

Now I understand Ultra 2 is much more rigorous to pass, but consumers see this as the "Holy Grail" of audio.




I don't think that many people that can actually afford an Ultra 2 receiver and know enough about the hobby to warrant investing in one actually consider it the holy grail of audio.

In reply to:

Like it or not THX is here to stay until someone comes up with a newer, latest and greatest standard.




Standards suck in a hobby based on subjectivity.

And, as a marketer, I love THX. I have to applaud anyone that can convince people their crap is top rate by buying a little emblem.

Regards,
Semi

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#7538 - 01/07/03 12:03 AM Re: what do you guys think of THX certs.
DanTana Offline
veteran

Registered: 01/06/03
Posts: 162
Loc: Chicago, Illinois
I found two decent articles about THX, one being on http://www.thx.com. and the other being http://www.greengart.com/Columns/column036.htm. Now if we were talking computers I could talk with much more expertise than audio. But admittedly I am "refinding" audio again after a long hiatus after a fire destroyed my home several years ago. Audio components took a backseat to things like clothes and spoons and forks. So I am far behind what has been out there the last several years. Although my computer is near state of the art with RDRAM, RAID 0, 7200 rpm drives, 140mhz bus speed overclocked. I would like my audio to be comparable without spending a ton of money. That is why I am here, to ask advice from others who obviously know more than me about Axiom speakers, which I have heard nothing but raves about. And I feel by getting THX I should have a minimum decent starting point. And I agree with Avi Greengart on this quote, "You may not agree with parts of the THX philosophy, or you may simply consider the THX logo, certification, and processing a poor value for the added cost (all licensing programs add to the cost of the product). There are undoubtedly a lot of products out there that equal or exceed the quality of their THX-certified competitors. Still, when you use THX-certified speakers with THX-certified processors, a lot of the interaction guesswork has been taken care of for you, and that can have a significant impact on the quality of your system. If you have the budget, go for it."



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#7539 - 01/07/03 11:30 AM Re: what do you guys think of THX certs.
Patchwork Offline
veteran

Registered: 09/23/02
Posts: 199
I have to say I agree with Semi On 100%.



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