Front Height vs Rear Surround - Page 2 - AVS Forum

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Audio Theory, Setup, and Chat

sdurani's Avatar sdurani
12:52 PM Liked: 1020
post #31 of 85
01-14-2011 | Posts: 19,880
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post

Switching to Audessy DSX is like changing Dolby True HD back to Dolby Pro Logic II?

You're confusing two different technologies. TrueHD is a lossless data-packing alogrithm that stores information in a smaller space. Pro Logic II is surround processing that scales 2 channels to 5 speakers. One isn't at odds with the other; in fact, they can be used together.

It's like comparing eggs to frying. They're two different things. One isn't at odds with the other; in fact, they can be used together (you can fry an egg, just as you can apply PLII to a TrueHD soundtrack).

Frying an egg doesn't mean the result is no longer an egg. Applying PLII to a TrueHD soundtrack doesn't mean it is no longer lossless (any more than applying bass management or time alignment does).
HIMS's Avatar HIMS
01:32 PM Liked: 10
post #32 of 85
01-14-2011 | Posts: 184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamg (Ret-Navy) View Post

To answer your question. I made the move to Front Height and front Wide channels. I now have an 11.2 system. Since listening to the Height and Wide channel sound, I can say with 100% certainty that I would give up my Rear surrounds (*) for either the Front High or Wides any day.

* - Rear Surrounds or Back Surrounds, not the Standard Surrounds.

I have the Onkyo 5007 and can run the rear surrounds and either the front wide or High. I can not run the front wides and heights at the same time. I would be surprised if the Dennon can do that. If you can, then give up the Rear Surrounds for the new Wide/High channels. If you can't then your real decision is to go for the Wide or Height channels, or both. If you can only do one set now, go with the Heights. I think they add more movie theater sound than the wides.


I second this. I went to heights from rears and won't go back. For my setup it was way better.
Tulpa's Avatar Tulpa
01:44 PM Liked: 59
post #33 of 85
01-14-2011 | Posts: 10,026
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquayonex View Post

Please don't be offended, I didn't mean to imply you've made a bad decision in your setup.

I'm not offended, but you're exhibiting the same misunderstanding a lot of "ProLogic, et al. haters" are doing.
GregLee's Avatar GregLee
02:15 PM Liked: 78
post #34 of 85
01-14-2011 | Posts: 3,250
Joined: Jul 2002
I prefer front heights (Dolby PLIIz) to back surrounds (Dolby PLIIx).
arjo_reich's Avatar arjo_reich
03:16 PM Liked: 10
post #35 of 85
01-14-2011 | Posts: 331
Joined: Jul 2005
While it may only be true in room configurations like mine, front-high's added a wonderfully unexpected sense of immersion to the expanse of darkness above the projector screen in my narrow, rectangular room with vaulted ceilings.

My couch is 13 feet away from my 106" diagonal screen. The front LCR are in-wall at 3 ft. high and the front high are wall-mounted and approximately 13 ft. off the ground with the speakers aimed about 45 degrees down at the couch.

...as always, your mileage may vary.
Aquayonex's Avatar Aquayonex
05:36 PM Liked: 10
post #36 of 85
01-14-2011 | Posts: 353
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

You're confusing two different technologies. TrueHD is a lossless data-packing alogrithm that stores information in a smaller space. Pro Logic II is surround processing that scales 2 channels to 5 speakers. One isn't at odds with the other; in fact, they can be used together.

It's like comparing eggs to frying. They're two different things. One isn't at odds with the other; in fact, they can be used together (you can fry an egg, just as you can apply PLII to a TrueHD soundtrack).

Frying an egg doesn't mean the result is no longer an egg. Applying PLII to a TrueHD soundtrack doesn't mean it is no longer lossless (any more than applying bass management or time alignment does).

Wow! This is great! Thank you! I was just going by what the front of my Onkyo SR604 said. (I'm buying a 608 soon.)

Still trying to decide which will give me a more immersive experience, front high or surround back. Hmmmm... I'd prefer not to cut/drag wire to experiment too. Hmmm...
bguzman's Avatar bguzman
11:33 AM Liked: 27
post #37 of 85
01-20-2011 | Posts: 784
Joined: Dec 2006
I posted this in the amp thread but have yet to get a response. I am hoping that someone with experience can enlighten us with their opinions on PLIIx vs. PLIIz.

I've been spending the last couple of weeks fine tuning, playing around with, my new AVR-790. The first thing I noticed was how much more rich, warm, full the sound is when compared to my last receiver, Sony DG910 . I am now experimenting with PLIIz and front height speakers in my 7.1 set up. For the last three years I have had 7.1 with surround back speakers. This despite the fact that my sofa is up against my back wall. I mounted some front height speakers, an old pair of KSB-1.1 Klipsch, but am wondering if I should use direct radiating or bipolar, Klipsch S-1? I would like to hear from others who have ventured in the PLIIz realm and have opinions about the experience. Also do I have to re-run Audyssey each time I switch from front heights to surround backs or the other way around?
SoundChex's Avatar SoundChex
12:21 PM Liked: 110
post #38 of 85
01-20-2011 | Posts: 2,739
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

I prefer front heights (Dolby PLIIz) to back surrounds (Dolby PLIIx).

In the future, it seems we're to be saved the need to make that choice--as we'll soon 'want' to have all of Front Height, Front Wide, and Rear Surround pairs in place.

This new DTS Neo:X technology looks like it is intended to perform both (1) as an encode|decode process for future 11.1 DTS-HDMA BDs, and (2) as an 11.1 upmix post-processor, otherwise.


Tulpa's Avatar Tulpa
01:16 PM Liked: 59
post #39 of 85
01-20-2011 | Posts: 10,026
Joined: Jan 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundChex View Post

In the future, it seems we're to be saved the need to make that choice--as we'll soon 'want' to have all of Front Height, Front Wide, and Rear Surround pairs in place.

There was a guy posting here a while back who wanted all three, AND biamping his fronts. And wanted it for under a grand.

13.x for $999, I want in on that deal.
tony123's Avatar tony123
10:06 AM Liked: 25
post #40 of 85
01-21-2011 | Posts: 4,994
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I'm experimenting at the moment with PLIIz. I split the side surround signal to go to side and rear surrounds. This freed up my processor to give height channels. So now I have 9.2 running with rears and heights. I expected some delay issues in the surrounds, but so far I'm quite happy. I don't know if it's a placebo effect or not, but the front does seem "fuller".
Square88's Avatar Square88
05:01 AM Liked: 11
post #41 of 85
01-23-2011 | Posts: 41
Joined: Jan 2011
Im stuck in the same boat. Do I want Surround back or front highs or front wides? I think im going to cut the speaker wire long enough for the surround back locations then mount the speakers in each of the three postion for a full week. After 3 weeks I will mount the speakers in the location I enjoyed them in the most. That should give me plenty of time to decide what sounds best.

I will have cut all the speaker wire I will need to go all the way around the room if need be so the only cost would be my time and a few holes in my walls.
SoundChex's Avatar SoundChex
12:24 PM Liked: 110
post #42 of 85
01-23-2011 | Posts: 2,739
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Square88 View Post

I'm stuck in the same boat. Do I want Surround back or front highs or front wides? I think I'm going to cut the speaker wire long enough for the surround back locations then mount the speakers in each of the three position for a full week. After 3 weeks I will mount the speakers in the location I enjoyed them in the most. That should give me plenty of time to decide what sounds best.

For the last few years, it has been usual for mid-priced Yamaha AVRs with seven on-board amps to allow connection of nine speakers at the same time . . . and provide the ability to select playback in either a 7.x_Standard speaker or a 7.x_FrontHeight speaker configuration on a disk-by-disk basis.

Does your "unidentified" AVR actually limit you to connecting only seven speakers?
noah katz's Avatar noah katz
10:54 PM Liked: 183
post #43 of 85
01-23-2011 | Posts: 20,776
Joined: Apr 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamg (Ret-Navy) View Post

Since listening to the Height and Wide channel sound, I can say with 100% certainty that I would give up my Rear surrounds (*) for either the Front High or Wides any day.

same here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamg (Ret-Navy) View Post

Surrounds for the new Wide/High channels. If you can't then your real decision is to go for the Wide or Height channels, or both. If you can only do one set now, go with the Heights. I think they add more movie theater sound than the wides.

I haven't tried them separately, but I'd take the Wides for the increase in soundstage width.

And there's every reason to believe that the improved blending with the surround soundfield is due to the wides, not heights.
Bazzy's Avatar Bazzy
12:59 PM Liked: 30
post #44 of 85
01-30-2011 | Posts: 1,239
Joined: Mar 2008
Hi,

I noticed that AdamG stated that he strongly preferred the Heights over the Wides in his DSX set up although Audyssey strongly maintain that the Wides offer the greatest improvement.

No disrespect to AdamG in any way as I am very novice but my very limited understanding is the speaker placement is quite critical & a huge factor when setting up the Wide & Height speakers. Audyssey state that they must be positioned out according to an angular spread from the listening position of 45 degrees for the Heights & 60 degrees for the Wides (+/- 10 degrees).

From AdamG's picture, it seems that the Height Speakers are set directly above the Main L&R speakers as required for Dolby Pro-Logic IIz but not far apart enough for DSX Height guidelines & the Wides are nowhere near to being 60 degrees apart & seem way too close to the Main L&R speakers. I am just wondering, could this be the possible reason why the Wides do not seem as effective as the Heights in his set-up? I hope AdamG understands my reasons for asking this & that no way was any criticism the intention.

Bazzy!
Roger Dressler's Avatar Roger Dressler
08:57 PM Liked: 363
post #45 of 85
02-01-2011 | Posts: 8,966
Joined: Jul 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazzy View Post

Audyssey state that they must be positioned out according to an angular spread from the listening position of 45 degrees for the Heights & 60 degrees for the Wides (+/- 10 degrees).

From AdamG's picture, it seems that the Height Speakers are set directly above the Main L&R speakers as required for Dolby Pro-Logic IIz but not far apart enough for DSX Height guidelines

Just to make a small clarification, the DSX height positions will work swell for PLIIz, too. Dolby have said:

---the height speakers may be positioned directly above the Left and Right mains, or for even better performance, located wider than the Left and Right mains

---an ideal location for the height speakers would be to position them at a 45 degree position relative to the listener (sweet spot)

SoundChex's Avatar SoundChex
11:00 PM Liked: 110
post #46 of 85
02-01-2011 | Posts: 2,739
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Just to make a small clarification, the DSX height positions will work swell for PLIIz, too. Dolby have said:

---the height speakers may be positioned directly above the Left and Right mains, or for even better performance, located wider than the Left and Right mains

---an ideal location for the height speakers would be to position them at a 45 degree position relative to the listener (sweet spot)

Presumably after Q2.2011, we'll likely find ourselves with a three-way conundrum: Where to place the Front Height speakers for an AVR equipped with all three of the Audyssey DSX, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, and DTS Neo:X processors?

Hopefully there will be an overlap in the setup location criteria for Front Height speakers which will satisfy all of the Audyssey DSX, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, DTS Neo:X, and Yamaha CinemaDSP post processors. So far, it seems that 'something like' ±45° from the centerline, and +45° elevation will do the job...?! If that's true, then we can all avoid '(post processor) vendor lock-in' () when we buy a new AVR.

[Conveniently, my Home Office system Front Heights are already located 'close to' {±45°,+45°} . . . and will likely still remain unmoved when they are asked to become Top Front Left, Right speakers (TpFL, TpFR) in some "next decade" surround system! ]
Bigus's Avatar Bigus
12:47 AM Liked: 51
post #47 of 85
02-02-2011 | Posts: 4,258
Joined: Feb 2003
I rather like the idea of a second ring above the main ring. 9 channel mains (LCR, wides, side surrounds, rears), 9 channel heights above. Obviously the most important of those will likely be two fronts, either L/R or LW/RW. Unfortunately L/R and LW/RW split the recommended +/- 45 deg we have now, as L/R is typically +/- 30 and LW/RW +/- 60.

A center height might be very useful as well. Add a pair of rear heights as well, and phantom imaging from directly overhead should be reasonably achievable.

So why not just add a height above each ear-level counterpart? Well, other than the cost, complexity, amps needed... oh yeah. Would be nice if these algorithms actually had parameters that could be set for where your speakers were actually positioned. If you have heights at L/R or LW/RW, or sides, or rears, or even a center, tell that to the algorithm and let it extract appropriately. Hmm... now that's a thought.
Bazzy's Avatar Bazzy
03:01 AM Liked: 30
post #48 of 85
02-02-2011 | Posts: 1,239
Joined: Mar 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundChex View Post

Presumably after Q2.2011, we'll likely find ourselves with a three-way conundrum: Where to place the Front Height speakers for an AVR equipped with all three of the Audyssey DSX, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, and DTS Neo:X processors?

Hi,

I really do hope that we do find all three formats on a AV Receiver - I too have pre-wired for both Wides & Heights and am very excited about DSX & Neo:X. I would really like the option to be able to switch & compare between the two as one may perform better according to different types of material.

I hope that manufacturers do not just go for one or the other but I have a feeling that is exactly what they will do. Onkyo seems to be more forward thinking than most when it comes to implementing new formats so I really hope that their 2011 AV Receivers will offer both DSX & Neo:X!!

Bazzy!
Bazzy's Avatar Bazzy
03:15 AM Liked: 30
post #49 of 85
02-02-2011 | Posts: 1,239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Dolby have said:

---the height speakers may be positioned directly above the Left and Right mains, or for even better performance, located wider than the Left and Right mains

---an ideal location for the height speakers would be to position them at a 45 degree position relative to the listener (sweet spot)


Hi!

Roger matey, you have made my day!! Being a novice, I pre-wired my place for Two sets of Height Speakers - one set for DSX & another for DPLIIz. I did this, as the height requirements for the two formats seemed very different - one directly above the main L&R speakers & other at L&R 45〫from the listening position. Even in my average size room, that mean't quite a difference & I did not want to make mistake or take a chance for the sake of a few metres of speaker cable!

Now, thanks to the info you have provided, I can safely know that running a single set of "common" Height speakers will suffice for all formats! A few metres of speaker cable is a small price to pay for peace of mind & not having to cut into walls/ceilings especially after one has done the decorating!!

Bazzy!
bguzman's Avatar bguzman
07:42 AM Liked: 27
post #50 of 85
02-02-2011 | Posts: 784
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OK now back to the thread, "Front Heights vs. Rear Surrounds". I have spent the better part of a month listening to front heights in my room that unfortunately has the sofa against the back wall. Prior to this I had a 7.1 set up with rear surrounds. Last knight I put my rear surrounds back in the setup and re calibrated. The difference in the front sound stage was quite noticeable. I have a projector in this room and with PLIIz the sound seems to be coming from the whole screen instead of the bottom with PLIIx. I ran through a couple of movies and surround effect is still strong with PLIIz. One of the movies was Kick Ass with a 7.1 sound track. So for now, until I fold under upgrade-itis and get a 9.1 receiver, my rear surrounds look like this;



So I officially vote for front heights.

bguzman
HIMS's Avatar HIMS
09:06 AM Liked: 10
post #51 of 85
02-02-2011 | Posts: 184
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I agree, I believe that the soundstage is much more impressive with front heights.
Bazzy's Avatar Bazzy
12:01 PM Liked: 30
post #52 of 85
02-02-2011 | Posts: 1,239
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bguzman View Post

OK now back to the thread, "Front Heights vs. Rear Surrounds". I have spent the better part of a month listening to front heights in my room that unfortunately has the sofa against the back wall. Prior to this I had a 7.1 set up with rear surrounds. Last knight I put my rear surrounds back in the setup and re calibrated. The difference in the front sound stage was quite noticeable. I have a projector in this room and with PLIIz the sound seems to be coming from the whole screen instead of the bottom with PLIIx. I ran through a couple of movies and surround effect is still strong with PLIIz. One of the movies was Kick Ass with a 7.1 sound track. So for now, until I fold under upgrade-itis and get a 9.1 receiver, my rear surrounds look like this;



So I officially vote for front heights.

bguzman


Hi bguzman,

Like you, my listening position is also right up against a back wall so I did not do any pre-wiring for the Back Speakers thinking that there was probably no point but being a novice, always had a little worry in the back of my head thinking that there was a possibility that in future, I may possibly lose out & will not be getting the best/most out of any system. Thanks to your post, I can now also rest easy based on your findings, that the Front Speakers contribute way more than Rear Backs. That pic was just what I needed to see!

Many Thanks,

Bazzy!
sdurani's Avatar sdurani
12:12 PM Liked: 1020
post #53 of 85
02-02-2011 | Posts: 19,880
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bguzman View Post

I have spent the better part of a month listening to front heights in my room that unfortunately has the sofa against the back wall. Prior to this I had a 7.1 set up with rear surrounds.

If you're going to compare properly set up height speakers with improperly set up rear speakers, then it's no surprise that you end up preferring the heights. With the sofa against the back wall, there is no space behind you for proper/effective placement of the rears. Imagine if someone compared height speakers that were on the floor to rear speakers placed several feet behind them; it would be no surprise if they ended up preferring the rears.
bguzman's Avatar bguzman
12:50 PM Liked: 27
post #54 of 85
02-02-2011 | Posts: 784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

If you're going to compare properly set up height speakers with improperly set up rear speakers, then it's no surprise that you end up preferring the heights. With the sofa against the back wall, there is no space behind you for proper/effective placement of the rears. Imagine if someone compared height speakers that were on the floor to rear speakers placed several feet behind them; it would be no surprise if they ended up preferring the rears.

Yes this is true, that is why I stated this in my post, for others in my situation with sofas against the back wall. Other set ups would definitely show vastly different results. This was not an all or nothing just my particular case and room configuration, YMMV.
lamcam's Avatar lamcam
09:42 PM Liked: 10
post #55 of 85
02-28-2011 | Posts: 9
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Forgive me if has been asked. I've read somewhere that most, if not all, 7.1 blu-ray movies are encoded with rear surround mix. So if I was to use front height or front wide configuration, am I not going to miss all the sound intended for the rear? I'm confused about which way to go. My receiver can do one or the other but not both. Please advise.
Tulpa's Avatar Tulpa
10:28 PM Liked: 59
post #56 of 85
02-28-2011 | Posts: 10,026
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamcam View Post

Forgive me if has been asked. I've read somewhere that most, if not all, 7.1 blu-ray movies are encoded with rear surround mix. So if I was to use front height or front wide configuration, am I not going to miss all the sound intended for the rear? I'm confused about which way to go. My receiver can do one or the other but not both. Please advise.

The receiver will mix the rear surround channels into the side surrounds. You won't lose any sound.

It's the same thing that happens when people play a 5.1 Blu-ray or DVD on a system with no surrounds, just speakers up front. The surround info gets mixed into the fronts. Same thing with people who just have TV speakers going. All the sound is there, it just gets rerouted.
Airion's Avatar Airion
08:00 PM Liked: 60
post #57 of 85
03-01-2011 | Posts: 788
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I've been using front height speakers for the past few weeks, and I love 'em. Even watching The Wire on DVD, I'm surprised how much they add. Ambient sounds on the streets or the echoes from voices in a large courthouse, it really puts you there. I can mute the heights with the push of a button (they're run by a separate amp) so it's easy to compare.

My room isn't a good candidate for rear surrounds, as I've only got a few feet behind me. That said, I'd be hesitant to to give up my heights even in a larger room. No going back now. I just have doubts about how many minutes or seconds in the run of a movie that the additional rear information would improve things (but I say this without ever trying it of course) versus what I know I get out of the heights.
sdurani's Avatar sdurani
09:45 PM Liked: 1020
post #58 of 85
03-01-2011 | Posts: 19,880
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airion View Post
I just have doubts about how many minutes or seconds in the run of a movie that the additional rear information would improve things (but I say this without ever trying it of course) versus what I know I get out of the heights.
"Minutes or seconds"? The rear speakers are as active as the side speakers. Any sounds that are not hard panned (mixed exclusively) to the left or right surround channel will be reproduced in part by the rear speakers.
Airion's Avatar Airion
11:13 PM Liked: 60
post #59 of 85
03-01-2011 | Posts: 788
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post
"Minutes or seconds"? The rear speakers are as active as the side speakers. Any sounds that are not hard panned (mixed exclusively) to the left or right surround channel will be reproduced in part by the rear speakers.
They're as active as the sides but do they offer much of a perceptible improvement over two speakers that whole time? Honest question though, as I've never experienced it. But my thinking is, in a traditional 5.1 setup I've already got two speakers behind, three in front, and none up high. Is four speakers in back, three in front, and none up high really the best improvement? To my thinking at least, adding speakers to an axis which has none at all should be much more perceptible.
Dennis Erskine's Avatar Dennis Erskine
05:10 AM Liked: 47
post #60 of 85
03-02-2011 | Posts: 9,143
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Quote:
Presumably after Q2.2011, we'll likely find ourselves with a three-way conundrum: Where to place the Front Height speakers for an AVR equipped with all three of the Audyssey DSX, Dolby Pro Logic IIz, and DTS Neo:X processors?
I think if you'd take a typical residential space and do the geometry (or trig if you're bold), the differences between the three is rather tiny.

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