The official Dolby Atmos thread (home theater version) - Page 55 - AVS Forum
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post #1621 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by chi_guy50 View Post
I am a bit befuddled by this discussion of the proper type of speaker for Atmos tops. I haven't seen any authoritative prescription yet, but is there any guidance to this point for in-ceiling speakers?

Assuming I will want a timbre-match with the rest of my system--and unless my manufacturer (Polk Audio) comes out with an Atmos-specific in-ceiling speaker in the next few months(!)--my options are going to be very limited.
Remember that good room EQ such as XT32 will help timbrally match the speakers, so long as they aren't miles apart in the first place. Might be worth asking Polk what they would recommend if they don't currently offer anything suitable.
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post #1622 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Nightlord View Post
And for those who don't have the movie - for soundtrack purposes get the DVD not the BluRay... the bass is clipped on the latter.

( First 15 mins is my most used 'demo' for my small tvroom theater so far )
Good point about the DVD. Those cannon shots are way better on the DVD.
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post #1623 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
It's near the beginning of the movie, just after the captain spots the French ship through his telescope. The enemy launch an attack on the ship and the captain gives the order to 'beat to quarters'. Following that, there is a scene where the action shifts to below decks and in that scene you can clearly hear crew members running about above decks. In a good system, you will hear their footsteps clattering on the wooden deck and the sound is clearly coming from 'above' you, even in a 5.1 system. The effect is exaggerated if you have Height speakers and use one of the upmixing algorithms such as PLIIz, DSX or Neo:X.

However, good though this is, and as I have said ad nauseam, Atmos is about much, much more than 'height effects'.

If you have Master and Commander, try the scene and see how it plays for you.


Thanks. I just played the scene and I do hear the footsteps overhead.

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post #1624 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by tjenkins95 View Post
Thanks. I just played the scene and I do hear the footsteps overhead.
Great effect isn't it? But don't think that effects like that mean that you won't benefit from Atmos.
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post #1625 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
The moving part is hard, the mixing part is easy.
As long as the sounds in question are "dry", i.e. without any additional spatial information like reverberation, I would agree. If such spatial information requires more than one channel (angle of incidence) then up/downmixing and panning isn't simple anymore. Atmos doesn't offer a solution to this.
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post #1626 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post
As long as the sounds in question are "dry", i.e. without any additional spatial information like reverberation, I would agree. If such spatial information requires more than one channel (angle of incidence) then up/downmixing and panning isn't simple anymore. Atmos doesn't offer a solution to this.
Mixing reverb is handled the same as mixing direct sounds, in that there's no reverb processing in the renderer, just speaker mapping, which adds no phase/delays. In that sense, reverb is handled "dry."

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post #1627 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by chi_guy50 View Post
I am a bit befuddled by this discussion of the proper type of speaker for Atmos tops. I haven't seen any authoritative prescription yet, but is there any guidance to this point for in-ceiling speakers?

Assuming I will want a timbre-match with the rest of my system--and unless my manufacturer (Polk Audio) comes out with an Atmos-specific in-ceiling speaker in the next few months(!)--my options are going to be very limited.

Edit: Keith, I just saw your post 1617 above, which at least partially answers my concerns. Do you have any further guidance to offer?
I'm no expert but I haven't seen anything to make me think we need anything "special", i.e. waiting for the manufacturer to come out with "an Atmos-specific speaker". The "Atmos speakers" we are talking about are the upward-firing modules that use reflected sound. They are "special" in the sense of having specific dispersion characteristics so they "beam" properly and the reflection isn't too diffuse, so you can't just take any old bookshelf speaker and point it up at the ceiling and have a good Atmos effect.0

But if you are going to actually install physical in-ceiling speakers, I don't there is any special requirement beyond the standard credo of trying to get a good timbral match to your other speakers. And perhaps trying to aim for a speaker with good dispersion characteristics. It's just another channel producing audio along with the rest of your speakers. I think you are overthinking it in this respect.

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post #1628 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
Mixing reverb is handled the same as mixing direct sounds, in that there's no reverb processing in the renderer, just speaker mapping, which adds no phase/delays. In that sense, reverb is handled "dry."
Maybe I'm misinterpreting your former post but mixing reverberation does most likely add "phase/delays". Just like mixing the same sound with a slight delay into one channel will create a highly audible comb filter while playing those delayed sounds from two different locations (speakers) does not.

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post #1629 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
It would be weird if the did the latter, since legacy soundtracks don't contain any intended height content.
There's the much-mentioned M&C footsteps, which by accident or design image overhead.

Speaking of the latter, why don't they just apply height cue processing like Atmos (see below) to 5.1 and 7.1?

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There's nothing I can see about the Atmos speakers that tries to get around the physics of speaker directivity, and all Andrew said in response to Scott's question about what prevents listeners from hearing the direct sound from the increasingly omnidirectional lower frequencies was that there's a "secret sauce" that NDA prohibited him from sharing.

My guess that this is processing yhe signal electronically with HRTF and/or the type of processing SRS and similar use to fool our ear/brains into hearing sounds come from directions other than where the speaker is.

If that's the case any speaker may work, but a coaxial would be best, the bigger the better to increase directivity down to lower freq.

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You have very good sense of the processing required. Here's how Dolby describes it in their patent application:

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In an embodiment, the adaptive audio system utilizes upward-firing drivers to provide the height element. In general, it has been shown that incorporating signal processing to introduce perceptual height cues into the audio signal being fed to the upward-firing drivers improves the positioning and perceived quality of the virtual height signal. For example, a parametric perceptual binaural hearing model has been developed to create a height cue filter, which when used to process audio being reproduced by an upward-firing driver, improves that perceived quality of the reproduction. In an embodiment, the height cue filter is derived from the both the physical speaker location (approximately level with the listener) and the reflected speaker location (above the listener). For the physical speaker location, a directional filter is determined based on a model of the outer ear (or pinna). An inverse of this filter is next determined and used to remove the height cues from the physical speaker. Next, for the reflected speaker location, a second directional filter is determined, using the same model of the outer ear. This filter is applied directly, essentially reproducing the cues the ear would receive if the sound were above the listener. In practice, these filters may be combined in a way that allows for a single filter that both (1) removes the height cue from the physical speaker location, and (2) inserts the height cue from the reflected speaker location.

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post #1630 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:09 AM
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OK, maybe it is semantic, but I'm distinguishing between the acoustic differences between EQ'ng the speaker electronically and EQ'ing the room physically, which differences I'm sure you understand.

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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
Sure does, Noah - it wouldn’t be much use if it didn't But it's as you said - it changes the sound emitted by the speaker. It doesn't change the frequency response of the speaker.

What I mean is this: if a manufacturer managed to make a hypothetical speaker with an entirely flat FR from 20Hz to 20kHz, when the speaker was placed in a normal room, the measured in-room response of that speaker would be nowhere near flat. Electronic EQ could then bring the measured in-room response back to flat. But nothing has changed the FR of the speaker.

I think we both agree with each other, but, for me, it's an important distinction to make because so many people seem to believe (based on what they say here on AVS) that the room doesn't really affect the measured in-room FR of their system (ie room and speaker combined).

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post #1631 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post
Maybe I'm misinterpreting your former post but mixing reverberation does most likely add "phase/delays". Just like mixing the same sound with a slight delay into one channel will create a highly audible comb filter while playing those delayed sounds from two different locations (speakers) does not.
The reverb is already baked into the essence before the sound leaves the mixing session. Just like when a sound is mixed into any other delivery format, stereo, 5.1... And since part of the mixing process is to confirm the 5.1/7.1 complete mix sounds correct, by definition whatever it sounds like in that form is deemed acceptable. Were there problems, they would be fixed. And indeed sometimes mixers want to adjust the balance or positioning of sounds in these derivative configurations. Both Atmos and MDA have such ability as the issue does exist.

When that 7.1 track arrives to a consumer, in parallel with the specific object and its embeded reverb, it will be subtracted from the mix inits entirety to reveal the "bed." Now the sound can be rendererd to whatever speakers. There will be no opportunity for some form of downmixing to cause any unintended phase issues.

If what you are concerned about is stereo compatibility, these racks will have the same compatibility as any current 5.1/7.1 soundtrack. Do they suffer phase issues? I've never noticed it from movies, but I have two 5.1 music discs where the stereo downmix has vocal combing due to a slight offset in the center channel. But those discs also carry a separate stereo mix, so downmixing isn't required.

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post #1632 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Tnedator View Post
I think the spec says timbre matched monopoles. Nothing about coaxial. As far as I know, the Coaxial aspect came from people saying they would be good options, probably mostly due to cost and partially due to small mounting footprint.
Well-executed coaxials have a significant advantage over conventional 2-ways, which is an absence of lobes in off-axis response due to constructive/destructive interference in the overlapping freq ranges of two sdrivers spaced apart.

An additional important advantage for surrounds, which are often much closer to the listeners than the L/C/R, is that much less distance is required for the sound from the two drivers to integrate.
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post #1633 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by batpig View Post
But if you are going to actually install physical in-ceiling speakers, I don't there is any special requirement beyond the standard credo of trying to get a good timbral match to your other speakers. And perhaps trying to aim for a speaker with good dispersion characteristics. It's just another channel producing audio along with the rest of your speakers. I think you are overthinking it in this respect.
Many thanks for that feedback which pretty much coincides with my initial feelings. I wasn't overthinking, but rather trying to extrapolate from the recent discussion of desirable characteristics for the ceiling speakers (e.g., this and the following).
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post #1634 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
stereo compatibility
Not only that but what if Marc suddenly starts to use this new fancy Atmos 9-channel IR-based reverb plugin and we want to play that on standard 7/5.1?

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post #1635 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
Well-executed coaxials have a significant advantage over conventional 2-ways, which is an absence of lobes in off-axis response due to constructive/destructive interference in the overlapping freq ranges of two sdrivers spaced apart.
That's why I am using coax's for my heights. Kef and Tannoy (and it appears Pioneer) make 2-way coax speakers. Tannoy has some that easily mount on pivots or in-ceiling or in-wall. They even have some that install liked a lighting can. I bought 4 of the Di6 DC. Rather industrial looking (invisible in the dark ), but good specs for response and power.

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post #1636 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
There's the much-mentioned M&C footsteps, which by accident or design image overhead.
So you're claiming that current non-Atmos soundtracks are mixed with sounds intended to image overhead at a movie theatre and you're offering M&C as your counter-example to what I said (legacy soundtracks don't contain any intended height content)?

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post #1637 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post
Not only that but what if Marc suddenly starts to use this new fancy Atmos 9-channel IR-based reverb plugin and we want to play that on standard 7/5.1?
The mixers will make sure whatever they do sounds right. Don't you trust them?

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post #1638 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
That's why I am using coax's for my heights. Kef and Tannoy (and it appears Pioneer) make 2-way coax speakers. Tannoy has some that easily mount on pivots or in-ceiling or in-wall. They even have some that install liked a lighting can. I bought 4 of the Di6 DC. Rather industrial looking (invisible in the dark ), but good specs for response and power.
How important do you think it is to use speakers from the same manufacturer as the mains, Roger? Or how unimportant if you will? I am assuming your mains aren't Tannoys though - ICBW there. I haven’t made any decision wrt to my top speakers yet. I have M&Ks for all the others.
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post #1639 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
The mixers will make sure whatever they do sounds right. Don't you trust them?
They mix something that sounds right in their dubbing stage, yes sure, but do they check for compatibility with 7/5.1?

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post #1640 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
How important do you think it is to use speakers from the same manufacturer as the mains, Roger? Or how unimportant if you will? I am assuming your mains aren't Tannoys though - ICBW there. I haven’t made any decision wrt to my top speakers yet. I have M&Ks for all the others.
When I installed the main speakers, I needed in-walls for the 4 surrounds, but Aerial does not do those, and I was not about to change the L/C/R over that! I went with B&W and while the driver complement looks similar, a 3-way with same sizes and crossovers, the voicing is quite different. All that was corrected with a healthy dose of PEQ, and the blend is now seamless.

The advice to use speakers from the same manufacturer was born before EQ was prevalent. Now it is. So I think the "matching" issue is much less of a concern these days.
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post #1641 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
That's why I am using coax's for my heights. Kef and Tannoy (and it appears Pioneer) make 2-way coax speakers. Tannoy has some that easily mount on pivots or in-ceiling or in-wall. They even have some that install liked a lighting can. I bought 4 of the Di6 DC. Rather industrial looking (invisible in the dark ), but good specs for response and power.
Yes, those look very nice and would be tempting except that I already have eight B&C 8" coax surrounds.

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So you're claiming that current non-Atmos soundtracks are mixed with sounds intended to image overhead at a movie theatre and you're offering M&C as your counter-example to what I said (legacy soundtracks don't contain any intended height content)?
No, I said "by accident or design", which I believe makes it clear that I was only speculating.

The more important thing is, why haven't they used height cue processing before now to make it intentional?

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post #1642 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
The reverb is already baked into the essence before the sound leaves the mixing session. Just like when a sound is mixed into any other delivery format, stereo, 5.1... And since part of the mixing process is to confirm the 5.1/7.1 complete mix sounds correct, by definition whatever it sounds like in that form is deemed acceptable. Were there problems, they would be fixed. And indeed sometimes mixers want to adjust the balance or positioning of sounds in these derivative configurations. Both Atmos and MDA have such ability as the issue does exist.

When that 7.1 track arrives to a consumer, in parallel with the specific object and its embeded reverb, it will be subtracted from the mix inits entirety to reveal the "bed." Now the sound can be rendererd to whatever speakers. There will be no opportunity for some form of downmixing to cause any unintended phase issues.

If what you are concerned about is stereo compatibility, these racks will have the same compatibility as any current 5.1/7.1 soundtrack. Do they suffer phase issues? I've never noticed it from movies, but I have two 5.1 music discs where the stereo downmix has vocal combing due to a slight offset in the center channel. But those discs also carry a separate stereo mix, so downmixing isn't required.
Roger, what percentage of theatrical releases get re-mixed for their BD release these days? A friend close to JBL told me that one of the post houses uses one of the smaller JBL Synthesis systems for this purpose.
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post #1643 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by markus767 View Post
They mix something that sounds right in their dubbing stage, yes sure, but do they check for compatibility with 7/5.1?
Absolutely. That's what pays the bills. The whole world is 5.1, and will remain so. When stereo goes away, then I will worry about 5.1 viability.

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post #1644 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
When I installed the main speakers, I needed in-walls for the 4 surrounds, but Aerial does not do those, and I was not about to change the L/C/R over that! I went with B&W and while the driver complement looks similar, a 3-way with same sizes and crossovers, the voicing is quite different. All that was corrected with a healthy dose of PEQ, and the blend is now seamless.

The advice to use speakers from the same manufacturer was born before EQ was prevalent. Now it is. So I think the "matching" issue is much less of a concern these days.
Thanks for that. As you know I am a firm believer in EQ. In which case, I could be tempted by those Tannoys. I’d go for the smaller version in my room (Di5 DC). I like the idea of the 90 degree conical dispersion.

(This exchange between us reminds me I was intending to send you a diagram. Clean forgot - will do it after dinner (it's 7pm here now)).
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post #1645 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:08 AM
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Roger, what percentage of theatrical releases get re-mixed for their BD release these days? A friend close to JBL told me that one of the post houses uses one of the smaller JBL Synthesis systems for this purpose.
"Remixed" is a strong term. That has happened on some Disney titles, where the balances and spatial positioning was changed quite a lot (especially for the music). That is the exception. Usually it is a pass to correct for errors missed on the theatrical, re-conforming to the video transfer, some EQ and dynamics and even low-level compression tweaks to work better at home. That happens regularly these days. Yes, they need a decent playback system to make such subjective judgments. If only they could detect when some errant high-pass filter was left active in the LFE channel!

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post #1646 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
Yes, those look very nice and would be tempting except that I already have eight B&C 8" coax surrounds.
4 for main, 4 for height? Are any of them in operation, or still in boxes?
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AV7702 Atmos 7.4.4, SSP-800 PLIIx 7.4
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post #1647 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:32 AM
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Great effect isn't it? But don't think that effects like that mean that you won't benefit from Atmos.


Trust me - I will be a day one user of Atmos in my home theater using a Denon X5200W and 4 ceiling speakers. I have experienced Dolby Atmos in the theater with two movies - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug.
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Epson Powerlite Home Cinema 5030 UB
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post #1648 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post
I've used PLIIz since it first came out. Atmos is to PLIIz what 5.1 is to mono.
That is a bold statement, and since you have heard "Home Atmos" already, it makes me very excited.
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post #1649 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post
4 for main, 4 for height? Are any of them in operation, or still in boxes?
They're installed in DSX layout back from when I had a Denon 4810.

Four are now inactive since I moved to a JBL AV1 (Lex MC-4), intended to be fed by a Trinnov Optimizer.

I haven't yet succeeded in configuring the inputs/outputs, but will be calling Curt Hoyt for help after I finish up new L/C/R's and bass trap panels.

Noah
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post #1650 of 12594 Old 07-21-2014, 12:20 PM
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....after I finish up new L/C/R's and bass trap panels.
Go on.



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