Originally Posted by Audiophil
I might be missing something here, but you want to have center channel audio coming from behind your listening position? Dialog on screen in front of you will be coming from behind you with video content?
While Roger's suggestion would work, why not just use the 975's "night mode"? This will process the audio with compression and avoid large changes in audio level. The center channel audio would still remain up front too.
Actually, yes. I am SO fed up with not having control over all the different formats, differences between show / movie sound levels and commercial levels, crappy mixes from just about every source I hear, I just want some control back. I love the idea of getting control of the mix. I talked once to a theatre owner who had just redone his movie theatre, and put in top line audio, but didn't pay for THX certification because he didn't like the sound insulation / muting requirements. To him, a big room should sound like a big room, and echo had a small place in the world of high fidelity. I agree with that perspective.
I tend not to like audio rooms that have been carpeted, and use subwoofers. I like simple excellent systems with very clean midrange, and don't get off on the sensation of feeling air move my body any place other than my eardrums. I'm very suspicious of room sampling, computer processing, messing with the audio signal.
I don't want to festoon my living space with 5, 7, 12, or however many speakers some corporation is peddling in order to push me to attend theatrical movie presentation. Sensurround did nothing for me, and I have no need for or pleasure in hearing space ships or laser effects move from behind right to front left, and I DEEPLY resent having to buy a bunch of ugly boxes for my living space just to get an unmuddied mix of dialogue and other sounds (and the girlfriend wouldn't let me do that anyway).
I think stereo sound is excellent and preferable to multichannel when reproducing music, and perfectly adequate for movies and tv. I think you get a much better return on investment from two quality speakers than 12 mediocre ones, and it's much easier and simpler to balance two speakers in a room than letting some computer try to do it with multiple speakers. The more complexity added to a system, the harder it is to balance / control, and you loose more than you gain.
It would be nice if directors, actors, and sound recorders, a much higher percentage of the time, understood and appreciated that mumbled dialogue is EXTREMELY burdensome to the viewer. When that dialogue is separated into a single channel among seven, then badly mixed back in to a 2 channel output, it can be frustrating enough that viewers will rebel and look for solutions where they can bypass all this corporate trademarked multichannel garbage and get enough control to actually hear what people are saying on the extortionist cable monopoly service for which they are paying.
If they're going to separate most of the dialogue into one channel, I like the idea of taking it to a speaker much closer to my ears. I'm not delighted I need to spend $600 to do so, but I understand that production licensing of these pervasive formats means I have to shell out. But I'm going to use my box the way I want to. My brain rather easily can match dialogue from behind me with moving lips on a screen in front of me. Not going to be a problem. And as I said, low volume listening will be much clearer.
Sorry for the rant, and it's also good to know about 'night mode.' As I said, however, that's one more algorithm I'd rather not have to trust, and would rather come up with a simple solution. Many thanks for the help.