Originally Posted by Sorin Alexa
Just coming from Denon and Audissey, i had to "upgrade" to Sony and bought one just based on reviews (this is the first time i did so) and i am not sorry.
The only questions were exactly regarding sound fields and processing applied. There is no off mode for sound fields so please tell me if i understood correctly:
- AFD - uese for stereo, should only apply room correction and DCAC calibration? - what if i want to add some compression for late night listening?
- the new series from sony have a "Portable Audio" sound field, is this supposed to be the Sony implementation of lossy format restorer?
- HD-DCS, same as AFD for multi-channel sources (Studio being the desired mode)?
- how about "Sound Optimizer" function, what is this supposed to do? Is this the Sony version of Audissey Dynamic Eq? is this working when AFD is applied?
I know, i have a lot of questions, but the Denon was more straight forward.
It's likely confusing because of the way Sony groups sound modes into categories a bit differently than Denon. The 3 categories are A.F.D./2 Channel sound mode, Movie mode, and Music mode. The receiver remembers the last sound field used for each of the 3 modes, so if you use one of the sound fields under A.F.D./2 channel sound mode, switch to a Movie mode, and then switch back to an A.F.D./2 channel sound mode, it will be the last A.F.D./2 channel mode you used. Same goes if you switch back to a Movie mode or Music mode. So, it essentially gives you an easy way to swap between your favorite sound field in each of the 3 modes quickly.
Let's start with the A.F.D./2 channel sound mode. Despite the name of the category, the sound fields included under this category are not strictly for 2 channel content, nor do they all result in 2 channel output. The "/" between "A.F.D." and "2 channel sound mode" should be read as an "or" (i.e. A.F.D. or 2 channel sound mode). In this category, there are 4 separate sound fields...
1) A.F.D. Auto - This is the equivalent of "Auto" on a Denon. It can be used for any format the receiver supports, any supported channel count from Mono to 7.1, and any input used (HDMI/Optical/Coaxial/Analog/Network/AirPlay/Bluetooth/USB). It is the sound field you would use if you don't want the receiver to add any surround effects to the audio. Whatever the native channel count of the content is, that is what the receiver puts out (provided you have at least that many speakers connected to the receiver). It only downmixes if you have fewer speakers connected than are originally contained within the content. Note: if you have a subwoofer connected then the receiver will use the crossover settings you input during setup to generate an LFE signal for frequencies below the crossover point. So, if you want to listen to your 2 channel content in 2.1 with a sub, this is the sound field you would want to use.
2) Multi Stereo - Outputs 2 channel left/right or monaural signals from all speakers. However, sound may not be output from certain speakers depending on the speaker setup.
3) 2 Channel Stereo - The receiver outputs the sound from the front left/right speakers only. There is no sound from the subwoofer.
Standard 2 channel stereo sources completely bypass the sound field processing and multi channel surround formats are downmixed to 2 channels.
4) 2 Channel Analog Direct - You can switch the audio of the selected input to 2 channel analog input. This function enables you to enjoy high quality analog sources. When using this function, only the volume and front speaker level can be adjusted. All digital processing is disabled. You cannot select “2ch Analog Direct” while using the BD, DVD, GAME, VIDEO 2, VIDEO 3, Bluetooth, USB, Home Network, SEN, and AirPlay function as there are no analog inputs for these sources.
All sound fields in this mode alter the audio in some way, either adjusting reverb, upmixing, adjusting frequency response, or some combination thereof. There are 7 sound fields in this mode, counting the 3 different settings for HD D.C.S.
1) HD D.C.S. - Digital Cinema Sound (HD-D.C.S.) is Sony’s new innovative home theater technology using the latest acoustic and digital signal processing technologies. It is based on precise response measurement data of a mastering studio. With this mode, you are able to enjoy Blu- ray and DVD movies at home with not only the high quality of sound, but also the best sound ambience, just as the movie’s sound engineer intended in the mastering process. As mentioned above there are 3 different HD D.C.S. settings.
a) Dynamic - This setting is suitable for an
environment which is reverberant but lacks a spacious feeling (where sound absorption is not sufficient). It emphasizes the reflection of sound and reproduces the sound of a large, classical movie theater. Thus, the spacious feeling of a dubbing theater is emphasized and a unique acoustic field is created.
b) Theater - This setting is suitable for a general living room. It reproduces the reverberation of sound just like in a movie theater (dubbing theater). It is most appropriate for watching content recorded on a Blu-ray Disc when you want the atmosphere of a movie theater.
c) Studio - This setting is suitable for a living room with the appropriate sound equipment. It reproduces the reverberation of sound provided when a theatrical sound source is remixed for a Blu-ray Disc to a volume level suitable for home use. The level of reflection and reverberation of sound is kept to the minimum. However, dialogues and surround effects are reproduced vividly.
2) PLII Movie - Performs Dolby Pro Logic II Movie mode decoding. This setting is ideal for movies encoded in Dolby Surround. In addition, this mode can reproduce sound in 5.1 channel for watching videos of overdubbed or old movies.
3) PLIIx Movie - Performs Dolby Pro Logic IIx Movie mode decoding. This setting expands Dolby Pro Logic II Movie or Dolby Digital 5.1 to discrete 7.1 movie channels. This setting is only available if your speaker setup includes rear surrounds a.k.a. surround backs.
4) PLIIz Movie - Performs Dolby Pro Logic IIz mode decoding. This setting can expand a source sound from a 5.1 channel to a 7.1 channel to which a vertical equipment is applied, and gives a dimension of presence and depth. This setting is only available if your speaker setup includes front heights a.k.a front presence speakers.
5) Neo:6 Cinema - Performs DTS Neo:6 Cinema mode decoding. A source recorded in 2 channel format is decoded into 7 channels.
Regarding Sound Optimizer, that is a setting used to normalize volume from one source to another. For example, some sources tend to be recorded at low levels while others are recorded "louder". Ever switched from a movie that was at a comfortable listening level to a CD without turning the volume down, first? Chances are you got a rude awakening as CD's tend to be recorded louder. Sound Optimizer allows you to input a "high" or "low" setting for each source. This adjusts the gain for each source and the setting is remembered for that source so that the next time you switch to it, you won't have to adjust your volume to avoid being blasted or not being able to hear the sound. Supposedly it does not effect the dynamic range of the audio you are playing as the gain is applied evenly. I have never actually used it as I use the same input to play movies and music. Note that Sound Optimizer adjusts the gain in the digital domain, so is not available when using the 2 channel analog sound field. It (like most other processing) is disabled when playing multichannel content that has a sampling rate higher than 96khz.