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post #181 of 276 Old 09-14-2014, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
I wanted a) not to cut holes in the ceiling, b) total flexibility for aiming, c) no shiny trim or logos. Matt black disappears.
Did you install them in a stud on the ceiling or use these?

http://www.lowes.com/pd_68734-2191-2...ductId=3323542
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post #182 of 276 Old 09-14-2014, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
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They say you need a transformer also they are cheaper than the other ones, does that mean not as good quality or sound?
No need for a transformer. That's an option for large distribution systems. I ordered mine without the transformers.

Maybe they cost less because they are not weatherproof, or maybe they sell more cause they look nice. Compare the detailed spec sheets to see the performance differences. The drivers are not 100% identical in size, for example. The response and SPL limits are a little different IIRC.

I used EZ anchors. I added a thin layer of rubber between the U-bracket and the ceiling to ensure it does not buzz with vibration.

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs

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post #183 of 276 Old 09-15-2014, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
No need for a transformer. That's an option for large distribution systems. I ordered mine without the transformers.

Maybe they cost less because they are not weatherproof, or maybe they sell more cause they look nice. Compare the detailed spec sheets to see the performance differences. The drivers are not 100% identical in size, for example. The response and SPL limits are a little different IIRC.

I used EZ anchors. I added a thin layer of rubber between the U-bracket and the ceiling to ensure it does not buzz with vibration.
Good I just wanted to make sure that they won't fall off if I do that as well. If I can only put one pair of ATMOS on ceiling should it be in front or in the back Any suggestion?
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post #184 of 276 Old 09-15-2014, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Good I just wanted to make sure that they won't fall off if I do that as well. If I can only put one pair of ATMOS on ceiling should it be in front or in the back Any suggestion?
I would say to follow the Dolby guidelines for top-middle.

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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post #185 of 276 Old 09-17-2014, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
I would say to follow the Dolby guidelines for top-middle.
Top middle so that's in the middle of the ceiling!

Hum do you think four ATMOS in a 13 x 11 x 9 is too much I have 7 at ear level?

I found these that should work well with the seven LS50! KEF E301



They have the same type of drivers as the LS50


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post #186 of 276 Old 10-23-2014, 09:14 AM
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Rodger:

I will be interested in the results you obtain when upgrading to Atmos. It appears as though your sides/rears are mounted high on on the wall so the angular separation between them and the ceiling speakers is not huge.

I have the same issue. The tweeters of my sides/rears is right about 6 feet - which was the recommended height when the world only knew about 7.x. While I could lower the surrounds it would not be without substantive mess and expense. I think my room is a good bit larger than yours (22 x 19 x 8) but I'm still concerned about this issue in my room.

Lastly, I have been looking at celing speakers as well and was concernned that the Tannoys that you selected were a bit large. After seeing them in your room, they aren't exactly invisible

Also, I very much appreciate your contributions to this forum.

When are you expecting your 7200 (which is probably what I will purchase as well)?

Last edited by audioguy; 10-23-2014 at 09:47 AM.
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post #187 of 276 Old 10-23-2014, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
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I will be interested in the results you obtain when upgrading to Atmos. It appears as though your sides/rears are mounted high on on the wall so the angular separation between them and the ceiling speakers is not huge.
The FH/TH speakers are 40° elevation. I will use them as FH so I can hear Neo:X. But will also try TH to see if that alters the result.

The rear speakers are elevated 130° (the TR zone said to be 125-150°), which, being a 10° higher angle of incidence than the fronts, may seem steep, but it is just 30° above the surround "plane" which is elevated 20° for all 4 surround speakers. I think a 30 deg offset is adequate to distinguish the heights from the surrounds.

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I have the same issue. The tweeters of my sides/rears is right about 6 feet - which was the recommended height when the world only knew about 7.x. While I could lower the surrounds it would not be without substantive mess and expense. I think my room is a good bit larger than yours (22 x 19 x 8) but I'm still concerned about this issue in my room.
While the common wisdom is to align tweeters to ear level for front speakers, or aim tweeters to the head, that's all about ensuring the frequency response is not degraded. The acoustic center of a speaker is not the tweeter axis, but closer to the midrange. So your imaging elevation might be a bit lower than you think. And with your wider room, that too lowers the effective angle.

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Lastly, I have been looking at celing speakers as well and was concernned that the Tannoys that you selected were a bit large. After seeing them in your room, they aren't exactly invisible
You should see them with the lights off. Invisible.

Quote:
Also, I very much appreciate your contributions to this forum.When are you expecting your 7200 (which is probably what I will purchase as well)?
My hat is off to you as well, sir. I have been following your blind A/B thread. I, too, suffer expectation bias, and I bought the SSP-800 to get access to HDMI content and PEQ. But I was hoping it would not sound too much worse than the Tag McLaren AV32DP I'd been using since it trounced an older Meridian 861 I was using. Imagine my surprise when the SSP acquitted itself with a degree of textural detail I was just not expecting. Knocked me out, in a good way.

My dealer buddy will turn one around for me the minute he can lay hands on one. I'm expecting it will be very soon, as they are in the US.

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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post #188 of 276 Old 10-23-2014, 04:16 PM
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Rodger:

In my case the tweeter and midrange are concentric so it is what it is.

The A/B testing was really interesting for me. (1) While I heard differences in the various combinations, they were MUCH, MUCH smaller than what I heard when not listening blind and level matched (and while not a big surprise, the prettier, heavier, cooler, newer, slicker Datasat was almost always the clear winner when not listening blind); (2) I had no clue that 1/2 db difference in volume would make such a huge difference; (3) The Integra with Audyssey, while not equal to the Datasat and Dirac, did amazingly, amazingly well at about 1/10th the price; (4) the ability to discern differences decrease quickly as the number of channels increases (when not using room correction). In fact, I could hear zero difference when all channels were perfectly matched. That's why we did the initial test with 2 channels and no room correction.

Lastly, why have you selected the 7200 versus one of the other models?
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post #189 of 276 Old 10-23-2014, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
In my case the tweeter and midrange are concentric so it is what it is.
Ahh!

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I had no clue that 1/2 db difference in volume would make such a huge difference;
Yes, we found the same back when there was a war between Dolby and DTS on DVD. I think Interview with a Vampire and Twister have such a 0.5 dB difference.

How are you measuring the levels? SPL meter with sine wave, SPL with noise? Sine wave electrical measurement?

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Lastly, why have you selected the 7200 versus one of the other models?
The 7702 is the cheapest processor with 7.2.4 and XT32.

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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post #190 of 276 Old 10-23-2014, 07:15 PM
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How are you measuring the levels? SPL meter with sine wave, SPL with noise? Sine wave electrical measurement?

The 7702 is the cheapest processor with 7.2.4 and XT32.
We used OmniMic and it provides a frequency sweep. We can then measure one against the other, expand the resolution on the charts so that 1/2db is the base and compare them. That is how I aligned the two systems so the volume matached EXACTLY!!

And that is also how I get each of the 7 channels matched perfectly for channel balanc. I have to set the smoothing to 1/3 octave since the channels do not look exactly alike after Audyssey or Dirac does its thing. Audyssey does a good job but I end up making changes to most of the channels by .5 to 1 db using this method.

Thanks for the note on the 7702. I have a friend who can get me one of those at reduced pricing. (Unless Datasat has an 80% off sale).
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post #191 of 276 Old 10-26-2014, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
I wanted a) not to cut holes in the ceiling, b) total flexibility for aiming, c) no shiny trim or logos. Matt black disappears.

These are "outdoor" speakers like JBL Control 1. Unlike consumer speakers, these come with detailed specs, which I wanted to see.
I'm using outdoor speakers also for my atmos speakers . Most of them have a 90 degree or more dispersion and come with easy mounting hardware to use for a ceiling or wall. I have 4 Yamaha aw390 in white for atmos speakers. My 7 listening level speakers are from axiom audio . My rear surround speakers are the qs8 but I might have to trade them in for a direct firing speaker which is required for atmos. By the way , nice your theater man !!!
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post #192 of 276 Old 10-26-2014, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HT-Eman View Post
I'm using outdoor speakers also for my atmos speakers . Most of them have a 90 degree or more dispersion and come with easy mounting hardware to use for a ceiling or wall. I have 4 Yamaha aw390 in white for atmos speakers. My 7 listening level speakers are from axiom audio . My rear surround speakers are the qs8 but I might have to trade them in for a direct firing speaker which is required for atmos. By the way , nice your theater man !!!
Thanks! Let us all know in the Atmos at Home thread how it all sounds once you have it up and running. People will want to see the details of your setup, too, so get some pictures!

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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post #193 of 276 Old 10-31-2014, 02:48 PM
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Very nice Roger!

Do you ever do home theater demos? I'd love to hear Atmos in action.

Seth-o-Plex 11.2! - LG | Onkyo | Mirage | SVS
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post #194 of 276 Old 10-31-2014, 03:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Very nice Roger!
Do you ever do home theater demos?
Thanks! Almost never do any demos, as there's not much interest in such matters around here -- or at least not that I have seen. But I'm open to it.
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I'd love to hear Atmos in action.
Me too. The AV7702 is supposed to be here in 1 week, and then the fun begins to get it dialed in. It would be fun to have a home theater enthusiast visit. If you see my updates here or the AV7702 thread saying good things (like it's working well), feel free to ping me again and we can find a time.

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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post #195 of 276 Old 10-31-2014, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
Thanks! Almost never do any demos, as there's not much interest in such matters around here -- or at least not that I have seen. But I'm open to it.
Me too. The AV7702 is supposed to be here in 1 week, and then the fun begins to get it dialed in. It would be fun to have a home theater enthusiast visit. If you see my updates here or the AV7702 thread saying good things (like it's working well), feel free to ping me again and we can find a time.
You can count me in!

Time to purchase wife a new car and she is looking at Subaru Forester. Getting over Santiam Pass in the Winter is not fun.......but I'll feel better with studded tires!

I've been waiting on your pioneering efforts before I commit. Am pretty much following your guidance. If the Marantz 7702 is a keeper, then I'll sell Marantz 8801 and hope for best. Would be nice if 7702 was 2.2 compliant........don't want handshake issues with 4k Blueray and 1100 ES. Switching is one of my biggest worries......
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post #196 of 276 Old 10-31-2014, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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You can count me in!
Will do!

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I've been waiting on your pioneering efforts before I commit. Am pretty much following your guidance. If the Marantz 7702 is a keeper, then I'll sell Marantz 8801 and hope for best. Would be nice if 7702 was 2.2 compliant........don't want handshake issues with 4k Blueray and 1100 ES. Switching is one of my biggest worries......
Might have a look at this new HDMI splitter. It is intended to help with that if the source does not offer dual HDMI outputs.

HDS-12i scalable splitter.
http://www.transformativeengineering.com/

Watch the video here:
http://www.ravepubs.com/rave-video/c...hdmi-splitter/

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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post #197 of 276 Old 11-06-2014, 04:08 PM
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I've ordered the 7702 so am looking forward to your install so I can get guidance. Still working on ceiling speakers and hoping Mark Seaton will come thru quickly!!
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post #198 of 276 Old 11-21-2014, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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The AV7702 has been here one week, and it took me that long to get it working right. I guess it was my cockpit error, as nobody else was near it, but somehow a setting I made had gotten changed. A minor thing -- the front speakers were set by Audyssey to Large, and I set all speakers to small/80 Hz. But that changed somehow back to front Large and I spent a few days chasing my tail. All sorted now!

Anyway, as I have found before with Audyssey, it does a nice job matching all the speakers. The levels were also dead on. (Although I first had to buy those XLR 10 dB pads for my 4 surrounds, and had to turn down the gains on the 4 subs >6 dB to keep the Audyssey gain trims from bottoming out.) After that, XT32 ran without a hitch.

I like the Atmos effect. The bubble is definitely more elevated than before. Tried TF4 and the trailers in 7.1 and Atmos. I'd say the effect is more pronounced than 5.1 to 7.1, but not massively more. Looking forward to more discs.

DSU works well on 5.1 movies, music and TV.

More importantly for me, how does it work on stereo music? For 2-ch music, the soundfield seems elongated -- very strong ambience stuff coming from the rear speakers, delayed enough to cause a slap echo effect on occasion (Money For Nothing – Dire Straights). I tried some surround encoded test signals to see if the rears were just jacked up. But no, they output no more than the other channels with steered content. But with decorrelated content, it's a different story. I have a 2-ch decorrelated noise signals, and in PLIIx that comes out of all the speakers at the same level. From DSU the rears are hot, maybe 6-8 dB.

That explains why I found it necessary to drop the rears 6 dB just to reduce the annoyance/distraction of certain reverbs, and round out the space. Even then, I miss the spatial wrapping or widening effect I get from PLIIx, resulting from some of the L/R coming from the side speakers. This really makes the space feel bigger, not just longer.


I like the vocals spread across the L/C/R, so I turned on Center Spread. But something still did not feel right. The vocals felt very forward in the room. The I finally remembered that we long ago found that that is caused by all 3 speaker being to closely timed – I creates some coherence side effects that are not pleasant. The solution is to add 2 ms delay in the center speaker. That’s built into PLIIx Music mode. And doing the same for DSU works just as well. (Except that it had to be done in the speaker setup menu, so it affects everything. No matter, it is not audible with other content.)

DSU uses decorrelation in the surround outputs, which is great for opening the space, but it also has the effect of homogenizing the space -- it feels like there is "ambience stuff" everywhere, but it's like a cloud layer. And due to the way the multiband steering works, the more correlated stuff (mid and lower frequencies) stay up front and the higher frequency stuff gets put in the surrounds. The same thing happens with wideband decoders to a lesser extent, but even so, PLIIx and Logic7 use some HF filtering in the surrounds for Music modes. But as DSU has no "Music" mode there's no such filter and no center delay offset (or reduction of rambunctious surround effect).

Lastly, while movies sound fine with XT32, and I did what I could to tweak the subs to get the best spectral balance and level, the sound lacks definition and punch compared with the SSP-800 (and its PEQ). They are not miles apart, but that last mile makes all the difference in music enjoyment. It also makes a difference for movies. I tried Star Trek and Dark Knight today, and with the 7702 I hear plenty of deep bass. With the SSP I hear shuddering and feel the drama. It's one of those things you don't know is missing until you hear it in comparison.

Next steps: I’ll have to break out the REW kit and see if subwoofer timing might help the crossover region. I’ve also worked out a way to do some “free” target curve editing by putting an EQ in series with the Audyssey mic. Just needs a simple 5V bias circuit.
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Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs

Last edited by Roger Dressler; 11-22-2014 at 12:50 PM.
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post #199 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 06:24 AM
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Ah yes, finally, The Marantz arrived! Great review, Roger!
We want pics!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
I like the Atmos effect. The bubble if definitely more elevated than before. Tried TF4 and the trailers in 7.1 and Atmos. I'd say the effect is more pronounced than 5.1 to 7.1, but not massively more. Looking forward to more discs.
Very interesting. I was expecting Atmos would deliver more spectacular difference.

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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
DSU works well on 5.1 movies, music and TV.
Does the DSU expand the 5.1 mix to 7.1.4 or to 5.1.4?
Did you try to compare movies with non-Atmos content - 7.4 vs. 7.4.4?

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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
Lastly, while movies sound fine with XT32, and I did what I could to tweak the subs to get the best spectral balance and level, the sound lacks definition and punch compared with the SSP-800 (and its PEQ).
Audyssey XT32 advertises two subs support, does that not include timing settings too?
What were the subwoofer tweaks you did?

Thanks,
G
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post #200 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
Next steps: I’ll have to break out the REW kit and see if subwoofer timing might help the crossover region. I’ve also worked out a way to do some “free” target curve editing by putting an EQ in series with the Audyssey mic. Just needs a simple 5V bias circuit.
Nice report, Roger. WRT to the above, this is a very interesting idea and I am sure that many people who use XT32 would be interested in understanding how you do this. Will you be posting details of the method at some point?

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post #201 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 10:32 AM
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Very interesting. I was expecting Atmos would deliver more spectacular difference.
I have never had rear surrounds here (no room behind MLP to make them worthwhile) but I am surprised that Roger finds they make such a big difference. I certainly find that Atmos makes a huge difference to 5.1, both in terms of adding overhead sound but also in terms of making the whole soundstage more precise and more cohesive (presumably achieved during mixing by using the new, advanced facilities they now have with the advent of Atmos). An interesting story concerns my experience with a friend's very high quality system when setting up Atmos with him. Due to an amp assign error the rear surrounds were not actually playing. We had listened to half of Transformers: Age of Extinction before we realised! Both of us are very experienced listeners, but we simply didn't realise that the rear surrounds were silent. Once we had, we rectified the error in setup and it is true we could then hear a difference. HST all that, it seems to me that rear surrounds are the least important in the system and the ones I would give up if I had to for some reason (if I had them to start with).

Quote:
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Audyssey XT32 advertises two subs support, does that not include timing settings too?
One of the problems with Audyssey is that it never at any stage measures the combined output of the subs and mains, so the FR at the splice is a calculation not a measurement. This generally results in Audyssey getting the phase response wrong around the XO region and necessitates altering the sub delays (distances) until FR is optimised (requiring REW or similar). IDK if that is what Roger was experiencing or not. The only other sub tweaks that XT32 natively allows are for level. I understand Roger likes bass a little, so I imagine he tweaked the levels
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post #202 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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We want pics!
Everybody else takes pics of the front panel. Here's what's behind it



HDAM board:


Quote:
Very interesting. I was expecting Atmos would deliver more spectacular difference.
Does the DSU expand the 5.1 mix to 7.1.4 or to 5.1.4?
Did you try to compare movies with non-Atmos content - 7.4 vs. 7.4.4?
Since I have had very little "run time" with it, aside from TF4 and lots of 2-ch music, I cannot yet talk about Atmos from a well experienced perspective. I like what I have heard thus far from Atmos content and DSU on 5.1 movies, and will not be going back, if that tells you anything. I'll even purchase the Auroible update "in the interest in AV science."

DSU will expand stereo to 5.1.4 or 7.1.4, or to whatever speakers you have connected except Lw/Rw for reasons only Dolby knows.

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Audyssey XT32 advertises two subs support, does that not include timing settings too?
What were the subwoofer tweaks you did?
Too lazy to go upstairs, I turned on the unit from the computer browser app, and indeed can confirm it sets the distance and level of each of the 2 sub outputs individually. Then the EQ is the same for both, I am told.

In my room the front subs are Sub1 and the rear subs are Sub2. The fronts cover the deeper bass, and the rears cover the upper bass. To get the blend between them to work well (per REW), I offset the gain by 5 dB in the SSP-800, in favor of the fronts. With XT32, I found the deep bass quite lacking, no "shudder" effect, so I offset the gains of the subs. It helps a lot, but it is still lacking they dynamic punch I get from my SSP setup. I think we sometimes put a lot of blame on our room/speakers when it may well just be what we're feeding into the speakers. What a huge difference in sound, space, clarity, impact, and detail between these two systems, yet the room, speakers, amps, cables, and sources are 100% identical. People might be surprised.

And I do not blame the 7702. It's all down to Audyssey. Thus far, not a long term solution. I'll see if I can beat it into submission with some EQ tricks and further sub tuning as has been advised.

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs

Last edited by Roger Dressler; 11-22-2014 at 01:34 PM.
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post #203 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 01:07 PM
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post #204 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 01:17 PM
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Roger thanks for your brief preview!

I have a question do you think that having 4 on ceiling speakers is really much better than two? Are we taking 50% improvement in sound or more like 10%.

In the KEF room (7 KEFLS50 and 2 B&W AM-1 on ceiling) I set up for the kids. I have two on ceiling B&W AM-1 but I might put a second pair if it is worth it!

The room is small but I have two feet of space behind the seats, the kids like to be close to the 96" screen for that immersive effect

PS: I am glad I went with on ceiling speakers for ATMOS they can be nicely oriented for the best sound.
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
I have never had rear surrounds here (no room behind MLP to make them worthwhile) but I am surprised that Roger finds they make such a big difference. I certainly find that Atmos makes a huge difference to 5.1, both in terms of adding overhead sound but also in terms of making the whole soundstage more precise and more cohesive (presumably achieved during mixing by using the new, advanced facilities they now have with the advent of Atmos).
I was reading Imagic's review of TF4 in his Atmos 5.1.4 setup and how it compares with 7.1. Night and day he reports.

I submit it is not a proper comparison, because his 7.1 setup is disadvantaged by a compromised setup. He states the surrounds are all at ear level! a) That is not how they should be positioned, and b) that is not how any home theater I have seen in the pages of AVS Forum is configured.

In my room, the surrounds are all at 20° elevation. I routinely hear "overhead" effects -- no, not exactly discrete flyovers, but ambience and often some specific sounds. I get a nice bubble effect -- it is by no means a flat soundfield. One thing I noticed is that even before I installed Atmos, the Atmos content sounded more "surround involved" and spacious than typical mixes. Mixers are rediscovering their surround panpots. Even when A/B comparing TF4 I could have sworn that certain height effects I heard in the Atmos mode were also happening in 7.1. But make no mistake, the Atmos presentation was clearly doing things I have never heard in my room before. Atmos (and DSU) will be a long term residents in my system.

So perhaps the situation is the opposite in my case. I am disadvantaging Atmos by not moving all the surrounds down to ear level to better delineate the benefits of the height speakers. Hence I am not immediately doing the "day and night" cartwheels. But here are the reasons I will not be changing my speaker setup:
a) The surrounds are built into the walls. I guess I could invert the driver units to put the tweeters on the bottom, but I am loath to do even that as all the speakers are silicon sealed into the baffles to kill air leaks.
b) I do not want to use DSU for all my non-Atmos content, 'specially music, which is 90% of my diet.
c) No dubbing stages and no movie theaters have surrounds at ear level. Why should I?

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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post #206 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wse View Post
Roger thanks for your brief preview!

I have a question do you think that having 4 on ceiling speakers is really much better than two? Are we taking 50% improvement in sound or more like 10%.

In the KEF room (7 KEFLS50 and 2 B&W AM-1 on ceiling) I set up for the kids. I have two on ceiling B&W AM-1 but I might put a second pair if it is worth it!

The room is small but I have two feet of space behind the seats, the kids like to be close to the 96" screen for that immersive effect
There is indeed a degree of diminishing returns already taking effect with heights. There is no question that adding one pair of heights expands the spatial dimension of the system. Adding the second pair is nothing like as much additional benefit. For the specific case you describe, I would not feel compelled to add a second pair.

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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post #207 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 01:35 PM
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No dubbing stages and no movie theaters have surrounds at ear level. Why should I?
Because in real life sounds don't emanate solely from locations above our heads. We want to reproduce the "director's intent", don't we

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I was reading Imagic's review of TF4 in his Atmos 5.1.4 setup and how it compares with 7.1. Night and day he reports.

I submit it is not a proper comparison, because his 7.1 setup is disadvantaged by a compromised setup. He states the surrounds are all at ear level! a) That is not how they should be positioned, and b) that is not how any home theater I have seen in the pages of AVS Forum is configured.
It's how Dolby position them in their HT demo rooms... I agree it isn't mandatory but it will give more separation between the listener level speakers and the overheads. The closer the surrounds are to the listener level, the less one will perceive the overheads, surely?

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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
In my room, the surrounds are all at 20° elevation. I routinely hear "overhead" effects -- no, not exactly discrete flyovers, but ambience and often some specific sounds. I get a nice bubble effect -- it is by no means a flat soundfield.
Isn’t this though why you don't hear such a difference between Atmos and regular 7.1? If your surrounds are elevated, then you will be getting some sort of 'overhead' effect anyway, just from the higher surrounds? Now we have the option of 'real' overhead speakers, surely the advice to lower the surrounds, if possible, is good? In theaters, with their much higher ceilings, they have not lowered the surrounds, but then they don't need to in order to create/preserve the separation between those and the overheads.

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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

One thing I noticed is that even before I installed Atmos, the Atmos content sounded more "surround involved" and spacious than typical mixes. Mixers are rediscovering their surround panpots. Even when A/B comparing TF4 I could have sworn that certain height effects I heard in the Atmos mode were also happening in 7.1. But make no mistake, the Atmos presentation was clearly doing things I have never heard in my room before. Atmos (and DSU) will be a long term residents in my system.
Absolutely. I have observed the same thing with Atmos mixes.

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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
So perhaps the situation is the opposite in my case. I am disadvantaging Atmos by not moving all the surrounds down to ear level to better delineate the benefits of the height speakers. Hence I am not immediately doing the "day and night" cartwheels. But here are the reasons I will not be changing my speaker setup:
a) The surrounds are built into the walls. I guess I could invert the driver units to put the tweeters on the bottom, but I am loath to do even that as all the speakers are silicon sealed into the baffles to kill air leaks.
b) I do not want to use DSU for all my non-Atmos content, 'specially music, which is 90% of my diet.
c) No dubbing stages and no movie theaters have surrounds at ear level. Why should I?
a) - absolutely. I'd be the same. But convenience isn't the same as 'proper'.
b) - agreed.
c) See above

(I can’t believe I am purporting to tell Roger Dressler how to set up a HT, so please take this in the spirit it is intended! )
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post #209 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Because in real life sounds don't emanate solely from locations above our heads. We want to reproduce the "director's intent", don't we
I agree 100% with both statements. However, they are not related.

According to Brian Vessa, Executive Director, Digital Audio Mastering, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Chair of SMPTE 25CSS (where all the work on immersive cinema standards is happening), the definition of mixer's intent is what the mixer heard when he mixed the soundtrack. This may seem so obvious that it should go unsaid.

Let's look a an example in 5.1 mixing. The 5-ch surround panners can move sounds around the plane. It is quite common to do an "interior pan" by pulling the cursor from the front to the rear of the "room". The sound is of course played from the speakers on the walls. That sound reaches the speakers by a way of a simple method that spreads the sound among the speakers in some fashion. No fancy processing going on, just an expanded pairwise panner. The mixer heard the sound wrap down the side walls as it moves from front to rear. If the system supports 7.1, the sound actually makes it all the way to the rear.

Now let's take the case of object audio. The object's trajectory is captured and delivered to the playback system. If the playback system uses the same renderer as heard during the mix, the sound in the cinema is the same. With today's renderers, the effect will be much the same as heard in the first example -- sounds wrapping down the walls. All good so far.

Now along comes WFS to render positional objects with a totally different effect. Sounds can actually seem to be inside the room, or outside the room. People can all hear sounds at the same point in the room (over in that corner) or they can each hear the parrot on their own shoulder. The question becomes what did the mixer intend? Did the trajectory of that cursor tell us he would have preferred the WFS effect? Or are we to consider not only the cursor position, but which renderer was used to interpret that position to the speakers?

By Mr. Vessa's definition, we cannot ignore the renderer when interpreting intent. Whether someone might prefer the WFS result is not sufficient to know it was what the mixer intended.

And so we have come back to the question of surround height. Lowering them might sound nicer. It might be able to portray reality better. But if it was not what the mixer heard, we cannot assume it is what was intended. Nor can we exclude the possibility that while some effects may be subjectively improved, some may likewise be degraded.

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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post #210 of 276 Old 11-22-2014, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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It's how Dolby position them in their HT demo rooms... I agree it isn't mandatory but it will give more separation between the listener level speakers and the overheads.
Exactly. Agreed.

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Isn’t this though why you don't hear such a difference between Atmos and regular 7.1? If your surrounds are elevated, then you will be getting some sort of 'overhead' effect anyway, just from the higher surrounds? Now we have the option of 'real' overhead speakers, surely the advice to lower the surrounds, if possible, is good? In theaters, with their much higher ceilings, they have not lowered the surrounds, but then they don't need to in order to create/preserve the separation between those and the overheads.
I think we have to look at separation in terms of directional angles, not linear distance. Dolby's cinema guidelines say the angular separation should be at least 30-35° for cinemas that have their surrounds elevated 20-30°. I meet that criteria. BTW, I heard very nice overhead effects at the Arclight cinema, before they installed Atmos. It's clearly better, in cinemas and my home, with the Atmos speakers.

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a) - absolutely. I'd be the same. But convenience isn't the same as 'proper'.
The problem with "proper" is that we have two conflicting definitions. What's proper for the goose in not proper for the gander. (My need to maintain a proper presentation for non-height listening.)

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(I can’t believe I am purporting to tell Roger Dressler how to set up a HT, so please take this in the spirit it is intended! )
Are you kidding? It's so great to hear from interested and interesting people to talk with about these matters. I have found no one in my little (ice)berg who remotely cares about this stuff.

Deadwood Atmos theater
AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
Aerial Acoustics 7B/CC3B fronts, B&W CWM8180 surrounds, Tannoy Di6 DC heights, Hsu ULS-15 subs
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