Does Audyssey XT 32 help achieve to correctly hear the surround sound effects of movies? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 04-25-2014, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I remember way back in 1991 when I went to USA to a friend's house and heard a movie played via VHS with an effect called "Dolby surround" from his Pioneer receiver. I couldn't believe how in the movie I watched (a baseball one) I could hear right behind me the people in the stadium cheering and shouting. It was great. Back to 2014 and I have gone through two AV receivers (the last one a NAD AV receiver) and with two different set of 5.1 speakers have NEVER, EVER achieved the surround sound effect I hear back in 1991. I have placed my surround speakers in the way that I have seen in some AV tutorials but have never heard any REAL surround sensation. Sure, the surround speakers do sound but I have never felt involved in the movie no matter how loud I turn the surround speakers. So back to my question: as I have a small child I am only able to watch movies in the night at low to moderate sound levels. Though I love B&W speakers and use them in my PC since I won't use them for their full potential I just bought a set of Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers. I'm tempted to buy a DENON X4000 AV receiver because I have always respected the brand and been reading a lot about Auyssey and it's current best version: the XT 32. Do you think by using the XT 32 speaker calibration feature I would FINALLY get to experience the surround sound sensation that I've been trying to achieve over all these years OR is just a question of now having a set of speakers specifically for HT like the Energy Take Classic 5.1 set and place them correctly if ever all this time I have been placing them inappropriately though I don't think so. I'm willing to pay the up to $1000 price of the X4000 if said receiver could really help me get what I want. Thank you very much for your insight.
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-25-2014, 03:56 PM
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Easiest option is to simply bump up the volume level of your surround speakers. Although XT32 would certainly be a huge improvement, matching it up with the entry level Energy Take 5.1 set would be way overkill. You'd be much better served spending about 1/2 of that cost on the AVR and the other half upgrading to better quality speakers.
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-25-2014, 03:56 PM
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Absolutely! Any receiver with Audyssey XT32 or any type of "Room EQ" program will give the results you seek. Keep in mind that speaker placement is not a stand alone solution. It is an important part of the whole. What you heard at your friend's place was either the result of an early room EQ program plus speaker placement or he manually measured, calculated and EQ's the room with the speakers in their proper places. In other words, I guess what I am trying to say is that you need both to achieve the result you want.

You don't need a specific brand or model of speaker either.
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-25-2014, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

Easiest option is to simply bump up the volume level of your surround speakers. Although XT32 would certainly be a huge improvement, matching it up with the entry level Energy Take 5.1 set would be way overkill. You'd be much better served spending about 1/2 of that cost on the AVR and the other half upgrading to better quality speakers.

Thank you but actually money is not the problem more than I just don't see the need to spend a lot of money in a set of 5.1 speakers (I love the M1 B&W set) that I would have to "hear" at minimum volume when I watch movies and my daughter is sleeping. It would be a complete waste to have expensive speakers if I am certainly going to under-use them.
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-25-2014, 04:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obonillaf View Post

Thank you but actually money is not the problem more than I just don't see the need to spend a lot of money in a set of 5.1 speakers (I love the M1 B&W set) that I would have to "hear" at minimum volume when I watch movies and my daughter is sleeping. It would be a complete waste to have expensive speakers if I am certainly going to under-use them.

Thank you for your answer. I think I'll get the Denon X4000 for the "peace of mind" that I have the latest and best Audyssey solution for my speakers knowing that also speakers placement is a must. Tonight I'm going to do some experiments with my old NAD AV receivers placing my speakers (bookshelf Triangle speakers) and play with them just to see if I could have better results. My upcoming Energy Take Classic speakers are not going to be available until next week. I know my Triangle speakers are way better than the Energy ones but they are too big (although are bookshelfs) and can't even turn them loud. They are overkill for me.
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-25-2014, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obonillaf View Post

Thank you but actually money is not the problem more than I just don't see the need to spend a lot of money in a set of 5.1 speakers (I love the M1 B&W set) that I would have to "hear" at minimum volume when I watch movies and my daughter is sleeping. It would be a complete waste to have expensive speakers if I am certainly going to under-use them.

Really doesn't matter if you listen at low volume or high volume, the benefits of having good speakers are obvious regardless the listening level.

Spending $1000 on AVR will have FAR less affect on your sound than spending the same amount on a better front sound stage (mains plus center).

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post #7 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kini62 View Post

Really doesn't matter if you listen at low volume or high volume, the benefits of having good speakers are obvious regardless the listening level.

Spending $1000 on AVR will have FAR less affect on your sound than spending the same amount on a better front sound stage (mains plus center).

Well, what can I say. I really appreciate all the help I have received in this forum. I have always loved mid/high end speakers and since I NEED small factor speakers (no more bookshelf size speakers for me) a month ago in the SPEAKERS section of this forum I asked the question about which could be the best 5.1 set of small/satellite size speakers for my home theater and I suggested brands like B&W, Focal and KEF and I even wasn't aware of the Energy Take Classic 5.1 speakers. Then, in said forum I received this advise: "A energy take classic 5.1 will do the job, those mentioned brands are over pricey for satellite speakers." So, I begin to read and read about those Energy speakers and was amazed by both professionals and amateurs reviews praising them. Of course, the small price is a factor but I wanted to hear them first hand. I went to Magnolia @ Best Buy and auditioned the B&W M1 speakers solutions (over $1000) and thought they sound nice though not as nice as the MM-1 B&W I use in my PC. Then I heard the Energy Take Classic and though I certainly can't say that are the best set of speakers I've heard in my life they sound to me quite good. Be sure that if I wanted to convert my living room in my personal man-cave I would have choose a good set of bookshelf size B&W but that's not my case.

So, in said forum ( http://www.avsforum.com/t/1525457/recommendations-on-good-compact-home-theater-speakers-b-w-or-focal-or-kef ) all I heard was: is a waste of money to invest $1000 in small speakers, you are better off investing in a good AV receiver. And now I read that it's better to invest more money in better speakers than a pricier AV receiver.

The lesson extrapolating both ideas is that both speakers and AV receivers should go hand in hand accordingly. Now I'm heading towards NOT buying a top of line AV receiver (well, by top of the line I'm talking about AV receiver costing more than 1000 though I know there are much highly priced receivers) but something in the $500 range and the extra $1000 I would save (they are selling me the Denon X4000 at $1.400 in my country) I could use it to buy a new AV receiver in 3 or 4 years.

Of course, I'm still looking. If my set of speakers for the forthcoming months and years is going to be the Energy Take Classic I need the BEST receiver I can get that would not be overkill for said speakers but that will help me get the right 5.1 surround sound I'm hoping. Some suggested me to take a look at the Denon AVR - E300 / E400.

Anyways, I'm going to keep searching and posting for more help in this great forum. Thank you.
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post #8 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 01:30 AM
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Don't know if you can buy from here. What country? Better budget match to small 5.1 speaker set. Pretty good price.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=0MJ-0022-00014
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post #9 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by obonillaf View Post

I remember way back in 1991 when I went to USA to a friend's house and heard a movie played via VHS with an effect called "Dolby surround" from his Pioneer receiver. I couldn't believe how in the movie I watched (a baseball one) I could hear right behind me the people in the stadium cheering and shouting. It was great.

Hi,

I think what you heard back in 1991 was mostly the result of the fine jobs of the recording amd mixing engineers of that movie you saw and heard at your friend's house. Can you remember what film it was?

So, no matter how sophisticated HT systems you/we may have if the recording itself is not up to par with modern surround sound requirements, well of course, seasoned with the creativity of those sound engineers in the studio room. Just a thought. smile.gif
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post #10 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 06:00 AM
 
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I do not agree with the notion that for small speakers it doesn't matter to spend more. I tried the Energy and returned them as they weren't in the same league as others. I tried many brands and have spent a lot of time trying and returning speakers. Speakers by far have a much greater impact on sound quality than EQ of the different receivers. I would say EQ makes the biggest difference for the sub. EQ can not change the dispersion or dynamics of a speaker and the better speakers did a better job of this IME.

As far as surround sound I had a great demo by a local dealer and the set up of surround speakers. He said many people boost their surrounds to make sure they hear them and call attention to themselves. He played a few demo clips for me and explained the surrounds do not normally call attention to themselves as it is not the intent for the director to have you take your eyes off the screen. He would play these clips and I would think that the surrounds weren't playing or barley noticeable. He would then hit the stereo button on the processor and the sound just collapsed to the front of the room. I then realized I was enveloped in sound but they weren't calling attention to themselves and I was put into the environment of what was playing. He explained speakers are level matched for a reason and if there is something in the material that should call attention to itself it will but much of the surround material is not mixed that way.

Anyway, it was a great demo of proper surround sound envelopment. I suggest people with decent set ups should try this demo, it may surprise how much the surrounds are adding to the experience without you even knowing it.
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post #11 of 11 Old 04-26-2014, 06:28 AM
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It depends on what you are looking for with "good" surround sound.

Room EQ will give you better tonal consistency for all speakers, especially if they are different makes and models. The tonal consistency helps the speakers image, so when sound is split panned between speakers, it sounds like it is coming from positions between the speakers.

Going from 5.1 to 7.1 would give you more enveloping sound.

Bipole or dipole surround speakers would give you a more diffuse sound that doesn't appear to come from the surround speakers. This is most useful if the surround speakers are too close to you, and the ability to hear the position of the speakers is distracting. Dipoles are the most controversial. They give the most diffuse sound, which is especially useful if they are really close. On one hand, this can give a very convincing diffuse effect. On the other hand, it can be unnatural and fatiguing at times. Also, dipoles can have cancellation problems with 7.1 setups, and they lack bass, due to the way they work. With 7.1 setups, many say standard monopole features will do the job. If they are close, bipoles would help, but I would reserve dipoles for close 5.1 surrounds.

Some tiny surround speakers can be really anemic. Nicer ones give a more full range sound. Most AV receivers can reroute the bass from surround speakers to your mains or your sub(s). The nicer ones will let you tune the frequency. Having surround speakers that are the same as your mains is probably overkill, but there is a benefit to moderately sized ones.


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