What receiver has best automatic volume control / dynamic compression? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking to replace our old Onkyo receiver (old enough to not have HDMI). Our primary concern - we have 3 small kids whose bedrooms are directly above our living room, and the stairs are right there as well. So loud sounds (gunshots, explosions, etc) wake the kiddos.

Currently we end up having to hold the remote half the time and constantly adjust volume, or sometimes we turn on the CC just to be able to understand the dialog.

Who currently does the best (strongest?) dynamic range compressions? I want to keep the dialog volume up so we can hear, but keep the loud parts down. I know, that's a sucky way to watch, but it's what we've got currently.

Any comments on any of the various brands' versions of this?
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 07:42 AM
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You want a receiver with Audyssey MultiEQ XT or XT32.
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 08:08 AM
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The feature you're describing from Audyssey is known as "Dynamic Volume" and is offered on most Denon, Marantz, and Onkyo models. Decide what other features/inputs/outputs you need as well as budget. Dolby also offers a similar feature known as "Dolby Volume" generally only found on the mid level and higher models.

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 08:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks - is it pretty level in effectiveness across models, or does it vary widely (sorta like how the different models have different Audyssey auto-calibration systems)? Has it changed much over the last couple years - been looking at some older models too to save some cash.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 08:33 AM
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Although there are different versions of Audyssey MultEQ, AFAIK, both Dyn EQ and Dyn Volume are the same across platforms/brands and haven't changed in the past 5 years since they were first introduced, so no worries going with an older model on clearance or refurbished.

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post #6 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks - that's exactly what I was looking to find out. Time to go shopping smile.gif
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 09:03 AM
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The most advanced dynamic range control algorithm available today is Dolby Volume..

Just my $0.02.. wink.gif
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 10:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dboy View Post

Currently we end up having to hold the remote half the time and constantly adjust volume, or sometimes we turn on the CC just to be able to understand the dialog.

Who currently does the best (strongest?) dynamic range compressions? I want to keep the dialog volume up so we can hear, but keep the loud parts down. I know, that's a sucky way to watch, but it's what we've got currently.

Any comments on any of the various brands' versions of this?

Our solution to this conundrum was to buy a new center channel in the form of a Klipsch, RC-64 II. The synergy between the Marantz, SR5007 and the RC-64 II cured most of what you ask. In the final, even with the best of receivers and matched speaker systems, THX theater reference level sound mixing standards rule the listening experience. The point, no matter what you do, even with the best compression algorithms, there isn't a perfect solution as that's the way movie sound tracks are mixed; impact explosions and gun fire mixed with whispers as one group sneaks up on another.

FWIW, we have our AVR set to:

Home Theater EQ > Off.

Dynamic Compression > Medium.

Dynamic EQ > On.

Center Channel LPF > 60Hz

As it is, Audyssey has the center channel turned down -11.5dB. The point, we have plenty of room to work with should we decide we need the center channel louder vs it's current settings. Set in this fashion, works to keep both my wife and I happy with me wanting more, not less. Also, one needs to mention that compression algorithms have changed/advanced and if your system isn't fully decoding what's happening, one will be losing out.

Hope the above helps with your nighttime viewing dilemma.

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post #9 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 10:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post

The most advanced dynamic range control algorithm available today is Dolby Volume..
Just my $0.02.. wink.gif

I'd sure be interested in Dolby Volume but there doesn't appear to be many AVRs that have it.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pds3 View Post

I'd sure be interested in Dolby Volume but there doesn't appear to be many AVRs that have it.

Correct any mischaracterizations but Audyssey's dynamic volume and Audyssey's Dynamic EQ raises the noise floor so you don't have the type of dynamic swings Dolby Volume corrects and makes for a more pleasurable, low level listening experience.

Fortunately/unfortunately, movie tracks are mixed to the lowest conversational levels with booms and bangs being an expected dynamic part of the sound track mix; ~75-105dB. This is not always home environment, conversationally user friendly.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pds3 View Post

I'd sure be interested in Dolby Volume but there doesn't appear to be many AVRs that have it.


Firstly it is more expensive to implement but offers significantly more tweaks than Audessey.
Due to the severe price competition in the AVR category many brands concentrate more on price rather than performance.

Go to the Dolby site for more info.

Just my $0.02.... wink.gif
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 11:33 AM
 
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When I Googled "Dolby Volume" this is the Dolby demo video I found. Not being argumentative, to be honest, listening with Sennheiser, HD-650 headphones, the sound quality didn't come across as superior to what Audyssey has to offer.

FWIW, the listening chain for the demo video is: Comcast Cable > Xonar, Essence, STX soundcard, no DSP in the listening chain > Sennheiser, HD-650 headphones > to my ears; tested at 10Hz > 14kHz with a dip at 4kHz.

The point is, so one knows what the standard my comment is based on.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pds3 View Post

I'd sure be interested in Dolby Volume but there doesn't appear to be many AVRs that have it.

The Denon 4311CI is the lowest Denon model with Dolby Volume, while Marantz has no current models with this feature and Onkyo starts off with the 818 having it.

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post #14 of 16 Old 09-05-2012, 12:08 PM
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The strength of Dolby Volume is that with its Modeler & Leveler modes one can dial in the desired. If one is not that critical and just looking for a generic controller the Audyssey should work fine. However if one is playing lossless HD source material and wanting to maxmize sonics while having some dynamic range control Dolby Volume is simply better.

Just my $0.02...wink.gif
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-09-2012, 06:06 AM
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This is convenient, as I was pondering the exact sane dilemna, which I've been trying to solve for 2+ years now. I've reached a pretty comfortable handle on it mainly by improving the speakers I've had, but I wanted to echo the OP's question.

Specifically, how does the Pioneer version of this (I have a SC-35) compare to the other versions available? My gut feeling is that any differrence I hear would not pass muster by blind A/B testing (ie would be a product of my imagination) and I should just keep my SC-35, but wanted to see if there were any good reasons to consider a switch.

Check out my WAF approved living room theater

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1526916/my...-1-living-room
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-09-2012, 07:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madhuski View Post

but wanted to see if there were any good reasons to consider a switch.

We replaced our center channel, repositioned our speakers in an unorthodox fashion to accommodate the furniture placement conditions and balanced the system using Audyssey with Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume turned on. One can easily defeat all the DSP setting by simply turning the gain of the center channel up a few dB and then when finished with the nighttime listening session, turn the gain on the center channel, back down again. Sometimes, choices need to be made between perfect listening conditions and perfect sleeping conditions.

One can also add a pair of personal headphones, mute the sound system and just listen via headphones. We listen with headphones and it's the Bee's Knees.....well the wife does. Another suggestion is to put a fan next to the sleeping children as the white noise of the fans will drown out a lot of movie related noise. They're cheap and do a bang up job of masking exterior sound. One warning, sleeping with a fan becomes very addictive as my wife and son both, must now have a functioning fan next to them while sleeping.

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