Does Dolby ProLogic II enhance 2 channel music? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 02-17-2010, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Just looking for opinions here. I just got a new AVR (Yamaha V765). Will be hooking it up tomorrow. I've read a little about Dolby PL II on the Dolby site.

I'll try it and eventually decide for myself but was wondering if anyone thinks having sound coming out of all 5 speakers (I have a 5.1 setup) enhances the listening experience. And if so, do you think it works better for certain types of music or is it equally great or equally "sucky" for all types? FWIW, I listen to both rock and classical, depending if I want to relax or get energized.
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post #2 of 32 Old 02-17-2010, 04:42 PM
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Works great for me. It has several parameters that can be adjusted to suit different types of music. I use it all the time (DPL IIX for a 7.1 system).
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post #3 of 32 Old 02-17-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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Quote:


I'll try it and eventually decide for myself

You already know the answer.

It's a subjective choice. I never use it when I listen seriously. Sometimes I'll turn it on if I've just got music in the background, party, etc, but I always stick with straight 2-channel stereo.
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post #4 of 32 Old 02-18-2010, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

You already know the answer.

It's a subjective choice. I never use it when I listen seriously. Sometimes I'll turn it on if I've just got music in the background, party, etc, but I always stick with straight 2-channel stereo.

It is subjective...I have a yamaha also and like the 7 Ch Stereo setting as it fills up the room..for music while splitting the speakers in a left/right channel array

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post #5 of 32 Old 02-18-2010, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

It has several parameters that can be adjusted to suit different types of music.

Can't underscore the above enough. Being able to customize the surround processing to your personal preference and varying source material is extremely helpful. The PLII Music mode can be adjusted to be as subtle or as agressive as you like.

For someone used to 2-speaker playback, I would suggest initially setting the Centre Width to 7 (no centre info extracted) and Dimension to +3 (minimal surround extraction). You can then start moving the Centre Width parameter towards 0 (zero) to find out just how much centre fill you like. Same with the Dimension parameter, adjusting it towards -3 until you find out how much surround extraction sounds best to you. Will vary with material, but definitely worth experimenting with.

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post #6 of 32 Old 02-18-2010, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaltwaterCat View Post

It is subjective...I have a yamaha also and like the 7 Ch Stereo setting as it fills up the room..for music while splitting the speakers in a left/right channel array

Got mine hooked up today and am kind of digging this 7 ch stereo setting myself (even though I have just 5 speakers.) Definitely good for rock and roll. Haven't tried classical yet.
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post #7 of 32 Old 02-19-2010, 05:49 PM
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FWIW, I have Dolby ProLogic IIx, Lexicon Logic 7, DTS neo:6, and a 7 channel stereo mode to play with. I'm always flicking back and forth between different processing and plain old 2 channel. I don't think the type of music matters as much as the individual recording. Some 2 channel recordings sound great with some fake matrix processing applied and some just sound weird. Many times, I find myself reverting to stereo. If I had to rate the different processing I'd say...
  1. Dolby ProLogic IIx
  2. Lexicon Logic 7
  3. DTS neo:6
  4. 7 Channel Stereo
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post #8 of 32 Old 02-19-2010, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Can't underscore the above enough. Being able to customize the surround processing to your personal preference and varying source material is extremely helpful. The PLII Music mode can be adjusted to be as subtle or as agressive as you like.

For someone used to 2-speaker playback, I would suggest initially setting the Centre Width to 7 (no centre info extracted) and Dimension to +3 (minimal surround extraction). You can then start moving the Centre Width parameter towards 0 (zero) to find out just how much centre fill you like. Same with the Dimension parameter, adjusting it towards -3 until you find out how much surround extraction sounds best to you. Will vary with material, but definitely worth experimenting with.

Actually, you have Dimension backwards: +3 is most surround extraction, -3 is least. At least that is how it works and sounds on my Onkyo:

"Dimension

With this setting, you can move the sound field forward
or backward when using the Dolby Pro Logic II Music
or Dolby Pro Logic IIx Music listening mode. It can be
adjusted from –3 to +3 (default is 0). Lower settings
move the sound field forward. Higher settings move it
backward.


If the stereo image feels too wide, or there is too much
surround sound, move the sound field forward to
improve the balance. Conversely, if the stereo image
feels like it is in mono, or there is not enough surround
sound, move it backward."

I normally use a center width of "4" and a Dimension of "0" or "+1". I also prefer "Panorama" turned "On".
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post #9 of 32 Old 02-20-2010, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

Actually, you have Dimension backwards: +3 is most surround extraction, -3 is least. At least that is how it works and sounds on my Onkyo:

Seems it is implemented differently elsewhere. For example, the Meridian 861 manual says "-3 puts the balance to the rear of the room while +3 puts it to the front". The Acuras ACT-3 uses 0-6 for dimension settings (0,1,2 = front, 3 = neutral, 4,5,6 = rear).

In any case, instead of giving a number, I should have simply said to use the setting with the minimal surround extraction.

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post #10 of 32 Old 02-20-2010, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Seems it is implemented differently elsewhere. For example, the Meridian 861 manual says "-3 puts the balance to the rear of the room while +3 puts it to the front". The Acuras ACT-3 uses 0-6 for dimension settings (0,1,2 = front, 3 = neutral, 4,5,6 = rear).

In any case, instead of giving a number, I should have simply said to use the setting with the minimal surround extraction.

And manufacturers wonder why their manuals are so confusing sometimes.

I looked on the Dolby site before I posted to see if there was any sort of standard and found none.
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post #11 of 32 Old 02-20-2010, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

FWIW, I have Dolby ProLogic IIx, Lexicon Logic 7, DTS neo:6, and a 7 channel stereo mode to play with. If I had to rate the different processing I'd say...
  1. Dolby ProLogic IIx
  2. Lexicon Logic 7
  3. DTS neo:6
  4. 7 Channel Stereo

Mine can do all those excepte Lexicon Logic. I gotta say they all sound very similar to me although I haven't spent too much time listening carefully to each one.
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post #12 of 32 Old 02-20-2010, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

And manufacturers wonder why their manuals are so confusing sometimes.

You no like manual?

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post #13 of 32 Old 02-20-2010, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lmacmil View Post

Mine can do all those excepte Lexicon Logic. I gotta say they all sound very similar to me although I haven't spent too much time listening carefully to each one.

General Characteristics
  • Dolby ProLogic IIx - Creates an enveloping sound field. The surrounds and rears are readily noticeable on a lot of recordings. That can be good or bad. One guy, voice and guitar should not be emanating from both the front soundstage and beside you. Best with larger bands and more complex music.
  • Lexicon Logic7 - Less emphasis on an enveloping surround field and more of an emphasis on the front stage. Works best with "smaller" acoustic recordings and voice.
  • DTS neo:6 - More like Dolby than Lexicon but I never seem to like it and find myself jumping back to the other two processing modes or stereo.
  • 7 Channel Stereo - No attempt at steering or sound field creation at all, simply more speakers radiating sound. Not bad for entertaining large groups where you just want evenly distributed sound for everyone.

With all of this processing available, I still find myself going back to 2 channel more often than not for 2 channel recordings. It's always been a trial and error affair for me and it may have something to do with the fact that I just like my Magnepan MG3.6's ability to create a realistic soundstage. I've been listening for about 2.5 hours this afternoon and almost all of that has been in 2 channel. Mark Knopfler, Golden Heart is in the Oppo at the moment. Before that Diana Krall, Live in Paris. Mighty Sam McClain, Keep On Movin. Ronnie Earl, Still River. Pat Coil, Schemes And Dreams. I'm relaxed.
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post #14 of 32 Old 02-20-2010, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

You no like manual?



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post #15 of 32 Old 02-20-2010, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnefied View Post

I've been listening for about 2 hours this afternoon and almost all of that has been in 2 channel. Mark Knopfler, Golden Heart is in the Oppo at the moment. Before that Diana Krall, Live in Paris. Mighty Sam McClain, Keep On Movin. Ronnie Earl, Still River. Pat Coil, Schemes And Dreams.

I just finished listening to a 6 CD set of the complete organ music of Buxtehude in DPL IIX. Sounded like I was in the church where it was recorded. The recordings were made in 1957 on analog reel-to-reel tape. Not sure of the number of tracks. Except for some slight tape hiss, they sound spectacular.
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post #16 of 32 Old 02-20-2010, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

I just finished listening to a 6 CD set of the complete organ music of Buxtehude in DPL IIX. Sounded like I was in the church where it was recorded. The recordings were made in 1957 on analog reel-to-reel tape. Not sure of the number of tracks. Except for some slight tape hiss, they sound spectacular.

Cool! I don't appreciate how relaxing music is until I shut off the TV and start listening. Suddenly it dawns on me that a few hours have gone by, I'm totally relaxed, and my mind hasn't been on anything else the whole time. Luckily, if my wife doesn't want to listen she just wanders off to another part of the house with a book or watches TV. She's pretty understanding about my audio addiction. The kids wouldn't be caught dead near the music so they head off to their gaming room to slaughter aliens. I can't do it often but once a week it's really nice.
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post #17 of 32 Old 02-21-2010, 12:43 AM
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It also depends on the room ... multichannel rooms tend to have more absorption so stereo can sound lacking ... stereo rooms tend to be more reflective to create spaciousness.

In my treated room it's PLIIx all the time ...
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post #18 of 32 Old 08-19-2013, 09:25 PM
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i used prologic II... i used this settings Dimesion -2 , Center width 4 , Center Image 0 , & listening mode : wide..sounds great to me
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post #19 of 32 Old 08-20-2013, 12:50 AM
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Wow. Some serious thread necromancy.

Anyway, I like DPLII the best, although sometimes All Channel Stereo works great, depending upon the material. although lately I've been listening to a lot more material in 2 channel format and finding it more pleasant that way.

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post #20 of 32 Old 12-25-2013, 11:57 AM
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I listen to dubstep with female vocals: Nero, Bassnectar etc
It has a lot of wierd sound effects and bass.
Anyone else listen to this stuff with surround processing?
Would it sound good in PL II, all stereo or something else?

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post #21 of 32 Old 12-29-2013, 10:59 PM
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I listen to a lot of movie score music and I pretty much use Dolby PL IIx all the time. The other genres of music I listen to, I prefer live recordings. I also enjoy listening to live recordings using PL IIx . It really adds to the playback of the live recordings.
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post #22 of 32 Old 12-30-2013, 06:35 AM
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I personally prefer DTS NEO:6 (music), with the center channel output set to 0 (still need to maintain a stereo image), so it's essentially a matrixed 4.1 mix.
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post #23 of 32 Old 12-30-2013, 08:14 AM
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I think i like PL IIx the best. I use center width=0, panorama=ON, dimension=0.
I think i like it better than stereo.

I will try Neo and the others as well.

thanks

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post #24 of 32 Old 12-30-2013, 10:01 AM
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Does it enhance stereo music? Not in my opinion. It certainly makes it sound different but enhancement would connote improvement and I don't agree that surround processing in an improvement to stereo music listening.
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post #25 of 32 Old 12-30-2013, 10:17 AM
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i think it's personal preference - some may like and others not

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post #26 of 32 Old 12-30-2013, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by bao01 View Post

i think it's personal preference - some may like and others not

Exactly my point.
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post #27 of 32 Old 12-30-2013, 06:07 PM
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Does it enhance stereo music? Not in my opinion. It certainly makes it sound different but enhancement would connote improvement and I don't agree that surround processing in an improvement to stereo music listening.

It's also room dependent. For example, if your listening space is in a loft that doesn't have sidewalls near the mains, ambient channels help quite a bit to create spaciousness.

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post #28 of 32 Old 12-31-2013, 11:49 AM
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Another 2ch upmix to try is JRiver's JRSS.

You can go into JRiver's room correction and alter the volume of the surround speakers and get the amount of spaciousness you like.
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post #29 of 32 Old 12-31-2013, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

You can go into JRiver's room correction and alter the volume of the surround speakers and get the amount of spaciousness you like.
Do you know what is being sent to the surround speakers (e.g., copies of the front speakers, or decorrelated info, or...)?

Sanjay
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post #30 of 32 Old 12-31-2013, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Do you know what is being sent to the surround speakers (e.g., copies of the front speakers, or decorrelated info, or...)?

It's definitely not just a copy of the front speakers. The extra surround speakers don't appear to be putting much out in the low frequency range plus also there is a reverb added.

My previous favourite for upmixing 2ch was Yamaha's '7ch stereo mode' but then I discovered JRiver's JRSS and liked what it did a bit better.

It is all very room dependent and speaker dependent and preference dependent though.

These days I am back to 2ch only as the set of speakers I am using at the moment throw a nice deep and wide soundstage and localisation is pinpoint sharp at the same time. Upmixing to surround speakers now doesn't really improved soundstage width or depth and only degrades localisation.
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