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#171309 - 06/28/07 05:53 PM 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer?
ereed Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 148
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Do you guys prefer 2 channel music or multichannel music better? Cds, HDCD, DVD-audio, SACD. Which do you prefer? I do not want to take 2 channel recording and listen to them in multichannel unless it was recorded in multichannel. I do not want to buy both versions, just the ones that are supposed to be better. Is one better than another, or is it just personal preference?
_________________________
Axiom M60s, VP150, QS8s, EP500 -- Rotel 1075 & 1068 -- Panasonic BDT500 -- Panasonic 60S60

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#171310 - 06/28/07 06:14 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
CV Offline
Founder, Axiom Upgrade Club
shareholder in the making

Registered: 07/20/06
Posts: 11273
Loc: Richland, WA, USA
I've had more "oh wow" moments listening to multichannel discs (SACD and DVD-Audio) than to normal CDs. I think a major problem is that most of the music I listen to doesn't really use recording and mastering quality as a point of pride. My showcase material ends up being music I'm not quite as into, but on the other hand, it's a nice change of pace. Currently, SACDs seem to sound the best on my system, using my PS3 for playback. I have an Oppo, but I'm not as satisfied with it, which I attribute to using its analog outputs (not enough HDMI inputs in my receiver). So DVD-Audio playback suffers. In an older incarnation of my system, I favored DVD-Audio. I've really had fun with concert DVDs, but only a select few. That's a major flaw I've found with putting together a better and better system. Bad recordings abound, which forces me to try to appreciate new kinds of music simply because they've reviewed well in that respect.

Anyway, I've said all that to say that I don't have an easy answer. There's no consistency in quality in any of the formats, but I like having the ability to play each one just in case there's a must-have.

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#171311 - 06/28/07 09:17 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
The only multi-channel recordings I have are all DVD-music. And the only outstanding one is The Eagles: Farewell I Tour. ELO is good too but certainly not in the same league.

If every multi-channel recording could be like The Eagles, I would say eliminate 2-channel and bring on multi-channel. Alas, like most 2-channel recordings, it appears to me that most multi-channel recordings are sub-par.

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#171312 - 06/28/07 10:17 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6255
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
I definitely prefer listening to music in multichannel. My favorite is SACD, followed closely by DVD-A and DTS music discs. I even listen to stereo redbook music CDs in Dolby Digital PLIIx music. Just my preferences. YMMV
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#171313 - 06/28/07 10:33 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10412
Eric, assuming that I'm listening on a setup with an HT receiver or processor and surround speakers, I never listen to CDs or other 2-channel material without taking full advantage of the surround processing(DPLII, etc.)and surround speakers. It isn't a matter of 2-channel material being "intended" to be listened to with just front speakers(as is sometimes said), but that there was no choice available in the past. The reflected ambience that came from the sides and other directions besides the front had to be mixed in to the front channels because there was no place else to put it. The DPLII or similar processing extracts this surround sound from the front channels and sends it to the surround speakers where it belongs, making the listening experience a little more realistic. If you don't have a multi-channel recording of a particular piece you shouldn't let that stop you from enjoying your full setup.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#171314 - 06/29/07 02:36 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
I have 2 Multichannel music systems - Toshiba SD9200 DVD Audio and Philips SACD 1000. (No universal yet) For kicking back, I prefer 2 channel, in particular, a SET tube amp sourced by either an Ah Njoe Tjoeb tube output CDP or Scott tube FM tuner. a bit of 12 year old Laphroaig and water ... 2 channel.

I gave up smoking so I don't spend much time with my 2 channel garage system, but the Kenwood KA9100 integrated amp (silver faced beautiful looking, beautiful sounding), Dahlquist DQM 905 speakers, veoldyne subwoofer, Sony CA9ES 5 disc CDP is a great sounding 2 channel system.

I've listened to music on my 5.1 and 7.1 systems. They just seem too much ... unfocused, keep wanting to make it louder in order to get it to sound better. Ultimately, I'm not impressed with multichannel for music. For movies and blowing things up, there's nothing like multichannel.

JMO
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#171315 - 06/29/07 11:03 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: 2x6spds]
ereed Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 148
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Well, my rotel prepro will take DPIIx, etc and my denon dvd player has dvd-audio. But the cds I have are regular cds which I only listen in stereo mode. I've never tried the DPIIx and didn't know what it was for, thought it was movie thing, not music. I haven't bought any DVD-audio yet and was just wondering if it was just hype or worth getting or just keep buying regular cds which happens to be hdcd now if its a good recording. So do you guys use DPIIx for all regular 2 channel cds? Honestly I have no idea what diff sound modes are for and how or when I should use them, such as DPIIx, DTS music, and other surround formats. I only know Stereo, DTS, and DD for movies. ha ha I'm just now starting to listen to music more now and would like to expand my collection and get the best out of my system.
_________________________
Axiom M60s, VP150, QS8s, EP500 -- Rotel 1075 & 1068 -- Panasonic BDT500 -- Panasonic 60S60

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#171316 - 06/29/07 11:31 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10412
Eric, the full DPLIIx expands two or five channel material to seven speakers. Since you don't have a 7.1 setup, DPLII is what would be used to expand 2-channel material to the side surrounds, as described in my previous reply. For 5-channel movie material just the regular DD or DTS would be used, because there aren't any back surrounds for DPLIIx to expand the side surround material to.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#171317 - 07/01/07 07:00 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
ereed Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 148
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Ah, thats where the x comes in. Thought it was just updated version of DPII. I'll play with some music today and see how I like it compared to standard 2 channel.
_________________________
Axiom M60s, VP150, QS8s, EP500 -- Rotel 1075 & 1068 -- Panasonic BDT500 -- Panasonic 60S60

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#171318 - 07/01/07 10:00 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Regarding the use of PLIIx: music and Neo6: music, I've enjoyed them on very few works. Others on this forum say that they use the formats to listen to all 2-channel pieces but I just don't find the same value and I wish I did. Maybe this has to do with my room. If some of you out there could have a look at my room on the wall of fame and give me your opinion, I'd appreciate it. I sit about 12 feet away from all of my surrounds and 8 feet from the fronts.

Now having said that, I was experimenting with the Oscar Pererson: We get Requests album the other day and was simply blown away by Neo6 with some tweaks. As I've mentioned before, this is excellently recorded with a wide soundstage, great imaging and dynamics. With Neo6, the stage gets even further expanded. But I went a step further and tweaked my fronts and center. I adjusted my fronts to minimum volume (-12 on my Denon) and then turned the center up to -9.5. Wow! The soundstage remained wide and tall but now it got very, very deep with no loss in imaging. And it still sounded like it was all happening in front of me rather than beside or behind me. It was stunning and this is now going to be one of my favourite ways to demo my system.

So then I tried Clapton: Unplugged and no matter what I did, it sounded best on 2-channel. PLIIx and Neo muddied it up. Ditto with a few others that I tried. Then I tried Dead can Dance: Into the Labyrinth and as I reported on another post, track 3 sounds like you are in a huge cathedral on Neo which is exactly what it's supposed to sound like. I can't get that same effect in 2-channel. It was simply incredible.

I haven't quite figured out why yet but perhaps these multi-channel modes work better when close-miking techniques aren't used. Close-miking apparently contains minimum ambience. I don't know much about the recording process but it sounds to me like the Oscar Peterson CD I mentioned is not close-miked and maybe that's why Neo works so well. And ditto with track 3 of Into the Labyrinth.

I've read on many posts that people can't tell the difference between PLIIx and Neo6 but there's no mistaking it on my system. In my set-up, PLIIx wraps the soundstage around me while Neo6 expands it in front of me. I don't know if that has to do with my receiver, the room or both. PLIIx does not sound natural to me with music because music doesn't "wrap around" like that in a natural setting.

And then there's Logic7 on the Harman Kardons. Everyone raves about this and I wish I had it so that I could try it out. Maybe one day HK will license this to others.

I want to figure out how to make more use of these surround modes so any comments on any of this would be greatly appreciated.

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#171319 - 07/01/07 11:04 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
avdude Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 118
Loc: Ont, Canada
Mojo.. I found the same thing while listening to EC "unplugged" I tried all the different modes on my reciver and found that stero was best! The Eagle's, farewell sacd is only sacd I have as of yet and it just blows me away in multi.. I have no mode choices when using multi but my I see or hear no need for them .. Multi ch from a good sacd recording is just amazing... I have yet to find a regular cd that was bettered by using multi over stero mode.. But I am just new to my M60's and testing them has been a wonderful experience ..

Avdude
_________________________
Pio VSX1018,LPA-1,M60,M3,Qs8,Vp150,HSU VTF3,,Pio 5080,PS3..

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#171320 - 07/01/07 11:58 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: avdude]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
You should get the Eagles: Farewell Tour I DVD. Those guys are consummate artists & performers. Besides, they understand the value of excellent sound quality. Blind-folded, no one would be able to tell that they are not right there in my basement when that DVD is on. It's amazing! It sounds like the SACD is exactly the same SQ.

You need to take a trip back to the factory and listen to a 500 or 600 sub . Take the Hsu with you and see how it compares.

Anyway, gotta go. My 10 year-old just made me breakfast so I better go see what I have to clean up .

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#171321 - 07/01/07 03:32 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
ereed Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 148
Loc: Charlotte, NC
Yes, my rotel has many modes such as neo6, dts music, etc, etc and thats why I started this thread to see who likes which better. But like you said, diff sound modes sound better with certain songs, not the whole album or all cds which makes it confusing. I do not want to pull out a cd and listen to each mode to see which is best each time I want to listen to music, its gonna be pain in the butt.
_________________________
Axiom M60s, VP150, QS8s, EP500 -- Rotel 1075 & 1068 -- Panasonic BDT500 -- Panasonic 60S60

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#171322 - 07/01/07 04:27 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Quote:

I do not want to pull out a cd and listen to each mode to see which is best each time I want to listen to music, its gonna be pain in the butt.




Yes, I remember that life with the gramophone was much easier .

Just don't get as fanatical as Sirquack. He runs a room response curve every time the humidity changes .

Welcome to the world of audio.

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#171323 - 07/01/07 05:16 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5446
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
>>Just don't get as fanatical as Sirquack. He runs a room response curve every time the humidity changes

Sure, but he lives in the midwest so that only happens a couple of times a year.

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#171324 - 07/01/07 10:52 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10412
Mo, very definitely the closer the miking on a recording, the less ambience that DPLII, Logic 7, Neo:6, etc. have to work with. To a certain extent the "Dimension" adjustment on DPLII(x)Music can compensate for this by sending more ambience(not simply a volume adjustment)to the surrounds and ocasionally I adjust it.

On the "wraparound" effect, are you sure that the "Panorama" setting hasn't been turned on? DPLII is specifically designed to keep front channel material out of the surrounds, but setting "Panorama" defeats this and adds some front channel channel sound to the surrounds for an effect that may be the wraparound that you've described. This is sort of part-way to all-channel stereo, an effect that I don't care for and never use. Otherwise, I've never experienced this.

All in all, of the roughly 1,000 CDs that I have, the number that I've found to sound worse with the various ambience processes is zero.
_________________________
-----------------------------------

Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#171325 - 07/01/07 11:04 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Thanks for that answer. I do indeed have Panorama turned on and that could be the culprit. I'll have to experiment with that and the Dimension setting and report back.

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#171326 - 07/01/07 11:07 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: bridgman]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13344
Loc: Iowa
Only a couple? Most people don't realize what real humidity is....
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M80s-VP180-QS8s-EP600-2xEP350 Denon3808 Outlaw7700
M22-OWM22-VP100-Denon2805
Audio Nirvana

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#171327 - 07/02/07 01:06 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Wow! I put on Clapton: Unplugged, turned the PLIIx Panorama off and wham-o...no more wrap-around effect. But it sounded muddy and not as defined as stereo.

So I kept tweaking. I had Dimension set to 4, I bumped it to 6, and for whatever reason I got deeper bass...slightly deeper than stereo mode and definitely deeper than direct (the 600 was on by the way).

My fronts and center were set within a couple of dB around zero. So I turned down the left & right to -12 and the center to -9.5. I noticed that the bass was now pounding. I turned the sub from -6 down to -12 (the lowest it can go) and it was still too much. I had to dial it down on the back of the 600. Also, the sound-stage was now deeper...not wider but definitely deeper like the experience I reported on Oscar Peterson in Neo. And Clapton sounded too laid back and about 4 feet behind my foundation wall . So I turned the center up to -4.5 and he came forward but in general the soundstage was deep. By deeper, I mean deep behind my fronts. I already had depth between me and the fronts.

Then I switched to stereo and lost quite a bit of the depth behind my fronts and lost the bass but this felt far more rocking than before. I can't say that I liked stereo more than PLIIx. I'd have to say that the choice depends on one's mood.

Then I put on Oscar Peterson. I found with this that I was getting the wrap-around effect again even though I had Panorama off. So I dialed down the surrounds from the +4 for the sides and +8 for the rears to 0 and +2. The wrap-around effect disappeared and I got a nice broad and deep soundstage very similar to the Neo that I reported before.

Then I put track 3 of Dead Can Dance: Into the Labyrinth and I created an instant cathedral. I turned up the volume on the surrounds and the cathedral grew by leaps and bounds.

So after Johnk's suggestion to turn Panorama off, I am now much happier with PLIIx. I don't know if I'll use it on every album but I will definitely try more of it and experiment to better understand it. I love the way these surround modes give depth behind the fronts and expand the soundstage on some recordings.

What does the dimension setting do by the way and why do I end up with more bass when I turn it up? Also, it appears that even though I have my cross-over set to 80Hz, the M80s still put out a lot of bass that ends up cancelling with my 600.

I'd also like to hear from others if they get a deeper soundstage behind their fronts when using these surround modes with their front speakers turned down. I am sure this has a lot to do with placement of the surrounds and room acoustics.

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#171328 - 07/02/07 02:44 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
I was just tweaking with the Dimension setting. This adjusts the front & rear positioning of the surround field. Higher settings move the surround field to the front and lower settings move it to the rear.

I also listened to Oscar Peterson again, this time at a normal listening level instead of quietly and noticed that the wrap-around effect was still there with PLIIx even with the surrounds dialed down low. There was no wrap-around with Neo at all.

So I've come to the conclusion that if the source contains significant ambience content, use Neo to avoid the wrap-around effect. If there isn't (ie. recorded with a close mic), use PLIIx.

What I don't understand however is why PLIIx and Neo sound nearly identical on track 3 of Into the Labyrinth. There's definitely ambience on that track but somehow it appears to be channeled down the centre of the room rather than to the sides.

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#171329 - 07/02/07 11:27 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
I generally prefer Neo6, but in the last week or so, I've just been listening in Stereo, with no sub. The M80s can really push bass--it's great!
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I am the Doctor, and THIS... is my SPOON!

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#171330 - 07/02/07 01:15 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
avdude Offline
veteran

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 118
Loc: Ont, Canada
Thanks Mojo.. after reading your post last night .. I was playing around with my reciever and realized that I have those options on my Pioneer also .. I didn't realize there were settings for panorama, Dimension, etc.. Wooo Hoo more settings to play with ... My kids hate you .... hehehe... They are always freaking out when i come in and start adjusting the sound on vid games, movies and the such, while they are playing .. I always get the "Dad it sounds great quit screwin wiff it" To which I reply .. Ya it does , but it can sound better.. I didn't like much of what the panoramms did but the dimension modes made noticeable differnces as i flipped through them .. I Also added back in my Bose 301 to make a 7.1. I rewatched the Bridge scene from Saving Pvt Ryan and i was ducking from the bullets.. Also i was mistaken when said I had the sacd of the Eagles farwell tour.. I do have the DVD version and your right it is fantastic.. Adding in the bose just make's me want to get some Qs4/8 now to finish off my Axiom system .. Road trip .....

Avdude
_________________________
Pio VSX1018,LPA-1,M60,M3,Qs8,Vp150,HSU VTF3,,Pio 5080,PS3..

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#171331 - 07/03/07 11:59 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: avdude]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
One other thing I tried tonight with PLIIx that I felt made a worthy difference. You might want to try this. I tried it with Norah Jones: Not too late. This by the way is a great CD. Great songs, great sound quality. I loved it.

With the center on, Norah sank towards the back of my wall and gave a deeper-sounding, more laid back presentation. With the center channel off, Norah came forward and was quite tall and broad. One isn't necessarily better than the other; it simply depends on your mood.

By the way, the most realistic and intimate rendition was in stereo. Norah was dead centre 7 feet in front of me, exciting my cochlear duct with her relaxed, lonesome voice.

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#171332 - 07/04/07 12:21 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10412
Mo, since you haven't mentioned it yet, note that the Center Width setting is also available, moving center channel material, such as vocalists, anywhere from all in the mains(with a similar phantom center effect as in Stereo) to all in the center speaker.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#171333 - 07/04/07 12:33 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Hi John,

I did try adjusting the centre width setting. Like you say, it makes the centre narrow or wide but it doesn't ever make it as "open" (wide and tall) as stereo. At least it doesn't on my system.

BTW, do you know why higher dimension settings give me more bass? When I set the dimension to 0, my mid-bass almost disappears but when I set it to 6 it comes back.

There was one other thing I forgot to mention. Track 2 of this CD has a "funny-sounding" (kind of a very distorted wa-wah) trumpet...very cool by the way. In stereo, the trumpet is slightly to the left and slightly above the VP150 and it sounds "right". In PLII mode, the trumpet is in the left side of the VP150 and it sounds like it's buried in a box. If I turn the VP150's volume up enough, this effect gets minimized but does not completely go away.

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#171334 - 07/04/07 12:45 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10412
Don't have anything definite on the bass matter, but for a guess I'll throw out that at the highest setting the ambience(which of course also includes bass)is being reproduced more from the main speakers which do better with the bass, while at the 0 setting it's being reproduced more from the surrounds with a lesser bass capacity.
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#171335 - 07/04/07 10:19 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: SirQuack]
a401classic Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/29/06
Posts: 1194
Loc: Alpharetta, GA
Quote:

Only a couple? Most people don't realize what real humidity is....




You're right, Randy! But I'll trade you New Orleans humidity for Iowa humidity any day.

As to the question at hand, for me it really depends on the style of music, how it's recorded (live or studio), and certainly the mood I'm in. However, most of the time I find myself in stereo with no sub, but that seems to be changing. After several tweeks and calibrations and lots of suggestions and help from the forum here, I seem to have the system dialed in to my room very nicely, short of room treatments, and the sub is now on 90+% of the time.

Scott
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Scott

My HT

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#171336 - 07/04/07 10:40 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
maphiker Offline
buff

Registered: 09/16/05
Posts: 50
Without doubt, I prefer multichannel recordings. For me DVD-audio and SACD are both superb. As for PLII,PLIIx, Neo-6, etc., I find that when a stereo CD has been recorded with high quality, use of these DSPs can result in a sound almost as good as a multi-channel recording. If the CD is not recorded well, I don't expect that any DSP will help it much.
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maphiker

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#171337 - 07/04/07 08:44 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Quote:

Don't have anything definite on the bass matter, but for a guess I'll throw out that at the highest setting the ambience(which of course also includes bass)is being reproduced more from the main speakers which do better with the bass, while at the 0 setting it's being reproduced more from the surrounds with a lesser bass capacity.




Nice theory JohnK and I wish it was the case. I played 20Hz to 25Hz test tones today in PLIIx and varied the dimension. This in turn varied the amount of bass! From prior testing I did, I knew that it couldn't be any of the speakers passing any bass. I decided however to invoke stereo mode and re-test. There was no bass from any of the speakers.

So how is it that bass is a function of the dimension setting ? If anyone has any other theories, I'd appreciate hearing them.

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#171338 - 07/05/07 12:26 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10412
Trouble following your first paragraph. My "guess" was based on your question about "mid-bass" handled at least in part by the speakers, but are you now indicating that a 20Hz tone played by the sub almost alone varies with the dimension setting? Also what was meant by no bass from any of the speakers(including the sub?)when in stereo?
_________________________
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#171339 - 07/05/07 08:31 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Sorry I wasn't very clear. You said it best. A 20 to 25 Hz tone played by my 600 alone varies with the dimension setting.

What I meant by no bass from any of the speakers is that when a 20 to 25 Hz tone is played in stereo mode, it comes out from my 600 only. All other speakers don't respond. So I can't figure out why the dimension setting is varying the bass.

I googled this last night to better understand how the algorithm for PLIIx may be messing with the LFE but I had no luck.

I am very perplexed about this and I'm wondering if Denon messed up on the PLIIx implementation. I'd like to hear from others if they are experiencing the same thing please.

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#171340 - 07/05/07 07:28 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
joema Offline
local

Registered: 12/21/03
Posts: 273
Loc: Nashville, TN
Quote:

Do you guys prefer 2 channel music or multichannel music better? Cds, HDCD, DVD-audio, SACD. Which do you prefer? I do not want to take 2 channel recording and listen to them in multichannel unless it was recorded in multichannel...



IMO native multichannel is the best musical experience, but only for material that's (a) artistically suitable and (b) technically well-mixed. It's becoming less an issue since there's so little quality multichannel material.

Simpler arrangements seem to benefit less from multichannel. More complex, textured arrangements IF engineered and mixed properly are better suited.

However any material can be ruined by a mixing engineer who takes a "gimmicky", unrestrained approach.

If you have multichannel capability, these albums are very impressive, significantly better than the stereo versions (which may themselves be very good):

Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (SACD)
Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (SACD)
Roxy Music - Avalon (SACD)
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms (DVD-A)
Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (DVD-A)
Eagles - Hotel California (DVD-A)
The Beatles - Love (DVD-A)

Note: a key reason multichannel sounds so good (if properly done) is NOT because of the high sampling resolution, but because it's been re-mixed.

Unlike remastering which can be more automated, re-mixing requires a high degree of artistic involvement. IOW the performance must be "pulled apart", and decisions made about what tracks go on what channels. The entire acoustic pallet must be re-thought. When it's done well, nothing is better. Unfortunately it's rarely done well, multichannel sales are not encouraging, so sadly the trend is unfavorable.

Using PLII or Logic 7 to convert stereo material to surround can work pretty well for some material. However it's not nearly as good as a native multichannel release. I've listened to several of the above stereo CD albums using PLII, vs the native multichannel version which is much better.

That said, PLII and Logic 7 can improve the experience for some stereo material. It's hard to predict which stereo material works well in surround using these methods. Often newer material with more phase differences works well.

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#171341 - 07/05/07 07:38 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: joema]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17809
Loc: NoVA
It's great to see that there are some good SACD/DVD-A recordings, but for the most part, the catalogs seem fairly white bread--no risks taken. I'm just not interested in most of the music on them. I have DSOTM, but only because of the technical prowess (although it's growing on me). Of the list above, only Dire Straits and the Beatles appeal to me. Other things in the catalog I like, I already have the album. I suppose it's prohibitively expensive to get new, or less popular artists (or genres), onto multichannel formats.
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#171342 - 07/05/07 11:18 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10412
Okay, I just now ran through some experiments. Set the crossover to 200Hz so that no speaker contribution would be significant in the low bass. Took my Stryke test-tone CD and played from 20Hz up. Takes about one second to cycle from 0 to 6 on Dimension, so I was able to make quick comparisons. The level of bass did in fact get somewhat lower at the lowest(0,1)settings and this effect seemed to be over by the median 3 setting, with essentially no change between 3 and 6. I then ran mid-range tones up to 1KHz(played entirely by the speakers, of course)and observed essentially the same effect of a somewhat lower level at the 0 and 1 Dimension settings.

Since DPLII works(at least primarily)by detecting phase differences indicating reflected ambience rather than direct sound, and then removing a variable proportion of the reflected sound from the front channels and steering it to the surrounds, it would seem that pure test tones, which are simply direct tones with no reflections involved, should be unaffected by the Dimension settings. Nevertheless, some volume decrease appears, both in the bass and mid-range, at the lowest settings. What if any purpose this would have is unclear, but shouldn't raise any concerns. The lowest settings aren't frequently used for ambience steering, and if when they are used the volume decrease is noticeable(isn't noticeable to me when playing actual music)then the volume control could be raised slightly.
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#171343 - 07/06/07 12:22 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Quote:

The level of bass did in fact get somewhat lower at the lowest(0,1)settings and this effect seemed to be over by the median 3 setting, with essentially no change between 3 and 6. I then ran mid-range tones up to 1KHz(played entirely by the speakers, of course)and observed essentially the same effect of a somewhat lower level at the 0 and 1 Dimension settings.




Thanks for doing that. At least now I know that it's not me, my environment or my system. Let me experiment with it too to see how the level is affected from 3 to 6.

Quote:

The lowest settings aren't frequently used for ambience steering...




I'm not sure what you mean by this. The lower the dimension setting, the greater the ambience (the greater the surround field).

Quote:

...and if when they are used the volume decrease is noticeable(isn't noticeable to me when playing actual music)then the volume control could be raised slightly.




I actually noticed this effect when playing music. I have to raise my volume significantly in order to improve the bass.

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#171344 - 07/06/07 12:42 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10412
The comment about the lowest settings simply indicated that I generally use the median setting of 3, which on most recordings provides a satisfactory surround effect. The lowest setting would only be used in an attempt(possibly fruitless)to squeeze some extra ambience out of a very closely recorded item, or one recorded in an exceptionally "dead" venue.
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#171345 - 07/06/07 08:17 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Understood. Thanks.

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#171346 - 07/07/07 12:11 AM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JohnK]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
It appears that 3 is a good compromise on the majority of the pieces I've experimented with. Oscar Peterson: We get Requests definitely sounds much much wider and deeper when set at 0 though.

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#171347 - 07/10/07 02:03 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: ereed]
JKP005 Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/25/07
Posts: 37
Loc: Bay Area
Multichannel hands down. 2 channel bores me and in my opinion is as obsolete as Mono. I have a Sony SACD player with mods done by an outside company and the sound is beyond my ability to put into words. Multichannel SACD's like Dire Straits, Mark Knofler, Depeche Mode, Allison Krause, Buddy Guy and a bunch of others is in a whole nother world beyond 2 channel. A voice coming out of the center channel with no other ditstractions is something to hear. Not only does multi sound better it is entertaining!
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#171348 - 07/10/07 05:51 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JKP005]
JaimeG Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/25/02
Posts: 556
Loc: Ashburn, VA
I concur.
Just curious; what mods were done to your SACD player?
- Steely Dan's 'Gaucho' SACD is pretty darn good; if you don’t already own it, I highly recommend it.
~Jaime
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#171349 - 07/10/07 07:39 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: JKP005]
pmbuko Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 04/02/03
Posts: 16298
Loc: Leesburg, Virginia
Quote:

I have a Sony SACD player with mods done by an outside company and the sound is beyond my ability to put into words.



Was it also beyond the outside company's ability to put the differences made by their mods on a chart or two (or three)? I have an unmodded Sony SACD player and with the right disc, the audio is stellar.
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#171350 - 07/12/07 08:31 PM Love those old black vinyl disks in stereo [Re: ereed]
arkiedan Offline
regular

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 8
Hope I'm not the only one here still using a turntable? I listen to those big black disks in 2-channel usually, unless it's an old "quad" encoded disk. Then I listen in surround.

And, some cds sound better in stereo, to me anyway. Others are mixed for multi-channel and sound best that way, again, to me anyway.

I haven't treated my present room but my last listening room was great for stereo. Back in those days we called it "live end-dead end" treatment and 2-channel was very close to multi. The deal was to deaden the forward walls and leave the back and side walls behind the listener hard and live. Properly done, stereo was amazingly close to the original recording. Come to think of it, I wish I could treat my new room that way but sadly I can't.

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#171351 - 07/12/07 08:40 PM Re: Love those old black vinyl disks in stereo [Re: arkiedan]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
Hi,

Can you please describe for us where exactly you put deadening material and what that material was?

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#171352 - 07/13/07 07:56 AM Re: Love those old black vinyl disks in stereo [Re: Mojo]
arkiedan Offline
regular

Registered: 07/12/07
Posts: 8
Mojo,

Many years ago I was reading one of those now defunct hifi mags and they had a tech article on room treatment explaining live end-dead end (lede). Understand - this was before such things were generally known and I and many others were very intrigued.

Since I had a fairly new audio/video room downstairs I had to try it. I treated my room, a fairly large basement rectangle, with a compressed fiberglass matting (can't remember what it was called) between 2X6 framing I installed, just like a standard home fiberglass job. I found some black and dark maroon fabrics (thin and open like speaker fabric) to cover the entire area and installed that in sections over the whole deal. The treatment did a great job of deadening the forward, speaker end of the room.

The idea was to completely deaden eveything but the ceiling back to just short of the listening position and to leave everything beside and behind the listener hard drywall. The floor was, of course, well-carpeted.

The treatment, in addition to deadening any reverberation forward of the listener allowed for reverb beside and behind the listener. Without understanding the physics involved everyone who used LEDE was amazed at the open, airy sound. As I recall it had little affect on bass but that wasn't a consideration at the time. The mids and highs were open and gloriously clear.

This was viable, by the way, because the room was out of the way and because my wife (not an audiophile) rarely came down to listen so there were no decor objections. It was very plain and all business.

Hope that answers your question. I'm sure there are far better solutions today but none this inexpensive.

By the way, back then I was using Adcom amps and the first Lexicon surround processor with a Pioneer Elite pre-amp. Now I use an old Sony Es receiver. My Onkyo 805 is on the way right now so I'll finally get to play with the newer surround sound processing you fellows all talk about. Can't wait. Still, I'll be listening to those records in two-channel until I can't hear any more (maybe, and sadly, sooner than I think).

See ya, arkiedan


Edited by arkiedan (07/13/07 08:08 AM)

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#171353 - 07/16/07 12:20 AM Re: Love those old black vinyl disks in stereo [Re: arkiedan]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Currently, add me to the preferred 2 channel group.

I just got my dedicated 2 channel system set up. Von Schweikert VR1s, Sophia Electric Baby tube amp w/ a whopping 8W, Rotel 1070 pre amp, Project Debut TT and an iPhone (yes you read that right). I just moved so my HT setup is still on boxes. I finally have space to use my "extra" gear for a 2nd setup. The room is half glass with windows that probably won't be treated. The room is pretty "hot" but loving the sound regardless.

I'm once again re-appreciating my vinyl. I've listed to some Cuban jazz, George Benson and now I'm listening to Julia Fordham's first album. MP3's are pretty impressive from the line out on my iPhone. Because of this board, I tried Rodrigo y Gabriela and it's sounded incredible on my iPhone.

Lovin it...

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#171354 - 09/27/07 09:10 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: Mojo]
haylo75 Offline
veteran

Registered: 03/20/07
Posts: 131
Loc: Kansas City, MO USA
This thread was very informative. Thanks to everyone I've been playing around with PLIIx in earnest after receiving my A1400-8. I have to say I prefer it over 2 channel for a lot of stuff now. Using my RSX-1057 I have the following options and ranges. I surmise that DPLIIx is implemented the same universally across all receivers/pre-pros, but using it on my RSX-1057 is my first exposure to it. My current settings are in parentheses.
  • Panorama: On/Off (Off)
  • Dimension: 0-6 (3-4)
  • Center Width: 0-7 (2-3)
Honestly, vastly different settings sound much better on different recordings, but I tire of continually tweaking after awhile. For my setup, the above settings seem to be the sweet spot. I still switch back to just the M80s when I'm in the mood or when a recording just doesn't work well with PLIIx.
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#171355 - 09/27/07 09:47 PM Re: 2 channel or multichannel which you prefer? [Re: haylo75]
Mojo Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3292
That pretty much mirrors my settings but also have a look at and experiment with point 7 below:

I spent hundreds of hours tweaking my system and at least 60 hours on the EP600. This included moving speakers around.

So here were my conclusions from the whole experience in my 4,000 cubic foot, bright room:

1. EP600 sub moved away from the corner.

2. EP600 set to flat and no cross-over and calibrated to 80dB.

3. All speakers set to small. They are not all calibrated to 75dB as I had to adjust some by ear to get the desired effects (see link below).

4. Denon x-over at 60Hz for stereo and 80Hz for all movies.

5. Denon x-over at 80Hz for PLIIx movies and music.

6. Stereo: listen at calibrated levels.

7. PLIIx for music: for some pieces (jazz and classical), lower the volume on the fronts by 5dB to deepen the sound-stage. For all other pieces, use calibrated levels. For some other pieces, go to a phantom centre.

8. PLIIx for TV/cable: calibrated levels

9. PLIIx for movies: calibrated levels but sometimes boost the center as required. A couple of times I used a phantom center.

10. Dolby and DTS for music and movies: calibrated levels with some minor and movie-dependent adjustment on the centre.

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