Surround Sound - How many speakers needed? - Page 6 - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: How many speakers do you think are needed for home surround sound?
5.1 - L,C,R,LS,RS - SUB 0 0%
7.1 - L,C,R,LS,RS,LR,RR - SUB 0 0%
9.1 - L,C,R,LS1,RS1,LS2,RS2,LR,RR - SUB 0 0%
11.1 - L,C,R,LW,RW,LH,RH,LS,RS,LR,RR - SUB 0 0%
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post #151 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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I'd like to have 256 channels completely surrounding me in a spherical pattern with half of the speakers underneath a mesh floor.

Until that happens, 5.1 is just hunky-dory with me.
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post #152 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 06:16 PM
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I could not vote, no choice for 2.1.
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post #153 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 06:19 PM
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I voted for 11.1. Really, 5.1 seems like enough, but if you are going to consider intermediate positions, why not go as far as you can? Recognizing that most people really are limited to a 5.1 or 7.1 (height or extra rears) set-up, in reality.

I wonder if eventually (50 or 100 yrs from now) there will be a paint or material you apply 360 deg Horiz and maybe up and down 90 deg to achieve a perfect audio-radiating surface Ã* la the Vogon announcements when they destroyed Earth in HHGTTG.

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post #154 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 06:30 PM
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willdao, we all want 3d spatial surround sound though given the space constraints in most cases 11.x isn't a usable option for ht setups....

the only usable medium for 3d projection is holographic projecton, 3d on a 2d plain projection isn't there, the glasses idea to give a miscued look at an 35 degrees out of faze image to fool the mind it looking at out of screen projected 3d image..

if you have a strong dominance in 1 eye the current tech over projected image from a 2d platform isn't going to be any value for you..

look at toy story that is 3d animation, for live action 3d depth may not even be possible on a 2d surface.. i'm talking about the technical fact in what we all see. hearing is easy to fool, sight on the other hand isn't.
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post #155 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 06:55 PM
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If, like me, you enjoy listener envelopment rather than ping-pong surround, go for 11.1. My listening space is 20x25 but I doubt the effect would be substantially diminished in a smaller room.

IMO, even processed from 5.1, the front width channels are the greatest thing since sliced bread!

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post #156 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 07:06 PM
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Where's the 1.1 option to vote on?

I want it as simple and unobtrusive as possible. A single speaker soundbar (with multiple bouncing channels) and a subwoofer. And I want it all hidden in an extremely thin LCD with virtually no bezel around it.

Jim
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post #157 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mystic_sniper28 View Post

willdao, we all want 3d spatial surround sound though given the space constraints in most cases 11.x isn't a usable option for ht setups....

the only usable medium for 3d projection is holographic projecton, 3d on a 2d plain projection isn't there, the glasses idea to give a miscued look at an 35 degrees out of faze image to fool the mind it looking at out of screen projected 3d image..

if you have a strong dominance in 1 eye the current tech over projected image from a 2d platform isn't going to be any value for you..

look at toy story that is 3d animation, for live action 3d depth may not even be possible on a 2d surface.. i'm talking about the technical fact in what we all see. hearing is easy to fool, sight on the other hand isn't.


Hi, sniper...(I'm a mystic, don't shoot!)

IMO, while current 3D tech surely is just a waypoint on the holy grail of holographic imagery, still, I find the effect to be quite compelling, when done well. And, yes, I have one very dominant eye (my left eye being both "lazy" and pretty astigmatic); contrary to widespread misinformation on the web, mostly among layfolks latching onto this as "evidence" of why 3D will fail, this obviously is not necessarily a hindrance to fully perceiving the 3D effect. And, in any event, the percentage of people unable to perceive the effect is quite small, per capita

Also, regarding the efficacy of projecting 3D from a 2D surface--clearly this is possible, and, in fact, what it's all about! And your claim about 3D depth in live action is exactly contrary to what is being developed--depth into the frame, rather than egregious effects lurching into the fore-screen space. And, in fact, this kind of restraint is, in fact, largely responsible for the huge success of Avatar--granted, not live action, but still illustrative of the point. Look for this on ESPN 3D soon! (And Discovery 3D, etc.). When this becomes the "best 3D practices paradigm," as I think we all agree we want to have happen, then 3D will move into a more mature stage where the tech truly will enhance the viewing experience rather than promote a freakish, one-off experiment in mere esnsory titillation. That process is happening right now. Still, as we're all too aware, there will always be a huge market for Jackass 27 in 3D, or whatever. As in 2D.

And, it is picky folks like you (al of us on AVS in the aggregate, really)--who want the best experience possible--that will drive these best practices!

So, hear, hear!

Will

P.S. Love the alias!

P.P.S. Paul (pnw), I'm witcha, man...
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post #158 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 07:41 PM
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Just give me native and I am happy whether it is 5.1, 7.1, 9.1, 11.1. If it is recorded in 2 channel, all I need is L/R and sub.

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post #159 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 09:20 PM
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I voted for 7.1 even though I have a 7.2 setup.

I'm with the people here who think there needs to be FAR more 7.1 content available before we even THINK about adding even MORE channels. I'm also much more likely to invest in more subs for the LFE channel before adding more speakers. 7.4 here I come!

About the only thing I'd be willing to try adding is front height channels, but even then I won't be rushing to do so.

Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.


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post #160 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 09:30 PM
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imho (all of which may have been said before)... 5.1 channels are all you really need in an average living room, though in a larger space 7.1 may be best. Anymore speakers in a living room is overkill. If you cant get a cohesive soundfield in a living room with 5-7 speakers you need a new sound system anyway. Now in a dedicated home theater (large room, stadium seating, etc.), the more speakers the merrier.

My front channels are 6 foot tall electrostats, so front height channels seem redundant to me. But it seems odd that in these potential 9-11.1 systems they arent offering a channel directly above the listener for overhead sounds.
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post #161 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willdao View Post

I don't post a lot. But, when I do, it's sometimes a lengthy post, with at least a little bit of thought behind it. (Such is my rationale for dumping this treatise upon your heads, anyway...) So, here goes:

While it's easy to be a cynic, a naysayer--easy to tear down via pessimism rather than risk disappointment after getting stoked up and excited--with a little thought (and, yes, a dash of hope!), one can see these are truly terrific times to be in this hobby of ours. There are fundamental changes going on in the synchrony of 3D video, 3D audio (11.X), and the convergences of the wirelessly-networked PCs, game consoles, wireless game controllers--and even, with the Xbox Kinect, "controller-less" game controllers!--smart phones, home automation...all also broadband connected to the whole wide "out there" web. After mentioning these synchronistic elements, all converging, finally--and prepared to sweep each other along, again, synchronously, to and for the eventual success of all (sooner than later)--let me stay mostly on topic and just concentrate on the audio thang, and comment only at the end on the burgeoning video 3D revolution.

I'm squarely in the 11.X camp. Tom (Tomlinson) Holman, reputedly the "T and H" in "THX," has long advocated (and demoed) massive surround systems to geat effect and acclaim among those fortunate to hear his arrays (many of them longtime, entrenched 2-channel audiophiles, hidebound industry leaders, "elder satesmen" of the reputedly "jaded" audio press)--and considers the systems we are now moving towards (with an apparent 11-monitor cap, at least for the present) to be a minimum for truly accurate and enveloping surround sound...(the ideal max apparently being infinite, both humorously and seriously!)...Now, with his new (to most CE consumers) company Audyssey, we can enjoy a significant slice of that ultimate surround experience, provided one's room, and budget (and SO), permit relatively precise placement of high quality speakers and associated amplification, processing and sources.

Yes, Audyssey "only" adds four channels to the 7.X mix (with the "wides" being the most important/least subtle--indeed, said to be even more important than the rears, in say, a 9.1 setup), and these are not discrete channels, but algorithm-derived from the 7.X channels. (And, interestingly, if the source does not offer discrete 7.X channels, the whole will be derived from either 5.1 channels, or even 2 channels (!), piggybacking on Dolby Pro Logic IIx!) Still, the quality of the processing power of new chips/derivation from existing channels--even mere 2-channel stereo--can be stuningly effective in the right room.

Again, with the right source material and associated equipment, ideally placed. For many, this is not possible. But for a hard AVS core, with dedicated rooms (or without spouses or spousal complaints), this is wholly intriguing and desirable. More is more in the best sense: the auditory sense.

A la Spinal Tap: "Turn it up to 11."

That's me. Maybe you! In any event, the upside is that it does NOT take a whole revolution in source media, source playback decks, etc. to enjoy this tech--just a properly-decoding pre-pro or receiver, some more amplification, and some more speakers. There is no format war or dependency upon wide consumer adoption or "chicken/egg media vs. hardware dilemma" to affect the "success" of the 11.X evolutionary surround sound experience. It exists. You can buy into it and experience it for yourself RIGHT NOW. And forevermore, oblivious to the larger market acceptance, or whether discrete 11.X channels are ever supported by the media oligopoly, the Bluray Group (Sony), or anyone else other than some CEA member getting that first 11.X receiver or pre-pro into your grubby little mitts. This ain't gonna be like the video 3D infancy we're also seeing right now. "Success" of the "format" is already assured, no matter what adoption-levels become per capita, as no significant CE industry or media company re-ordering or capital outlays are needed, or have to be recouped. Whomever buys the necessary equipment buys it. Whomever doesn't, doesn't. That is its "success." End of story. Not at all like 3D video...

Which, as an aside, I happen also to see as being spectacuarly effective (ahem, at least as a new technology launch, if not in terms of a lot of first-gen media efforts) and adopted--despite many of the hindrances, as reported above--because of the simple fact, similar to the whole of the limited capital-outlay effect mentioned re:11.X, that 3D adds little to the cost of already advanced-processing displays, and the fact that many of the tweaks required by 3D also enhance 2D viewing, so consumers will be "adopting" 3D equipment quite naturally, as part of the synchrony of the evolutionary process of TV improvement and normal purchasing turnover patterns ...and maybe they'll invest in a few more 3D glasses when the prices drop and more media is available, which won't take long. Relatively. (Relative, say, to HDTV adoption.) And, as first mentioned, there's the whole synchrony of meshed, inegrated, networked tecnologies that will be simultaneously pushing and pulling us all--along with our tech toys--into a totally new 3D communications and entertainment world. The synchrony will both affect and effect--positively--the success of all the new technologies, at least in terms of the larger trends. (The whole is far greater than the sum of its parts.) And, they'll be relatively cheap to implement. According to the natural evolution that has--suprise, surprise!--already brought us to this point (philosophically, in fact, we're already long past "this point," perceived!), and will carry us along even further, quite naturally. To mix metaphors, the stream already exists and is flowing. + See the big picture; hear it, too.

My 2-cents. Exciting times for 3D audio and 3D video! And, and, and...



Will

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post #162 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 10:14 PM
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I voted for 11.1, which is my system (but with 4 subs). I use Audyssey DSX wide and height speakers (with a Denon 4810). I thought the difference between 7.1 and 11.1 would be subtle but to my ears, the difference is pretty huge. I can't go back to 7.1

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post #163 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by streetsmart88 View Post

i voted for 11.1, which is my system (but with 4 subs). I use audyssey dsx wide and height speakers (with a denon 4810). I thought the difference between 7.1 and 11.1 would be subtle but to my ears, the difference is pretty huge. I can't go back to 7.1

mark

+1

While they understandably won't detail manufacturers or pricepoints prior to official product launches, I've gotten confirmation from Audyssey that there WILL be more 11.X receivers/pre-pros coming this fall. (Units like the 9.X-limited Onkyos don't count)...hopefully at significantly lower prices than the otherwise worthy 4810CI (arguably overkill for those with external amplification, just needing the processing and maybe just a few channels of amplification).
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post #164 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 11:06 PM
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I currently have an 11.1 setup, but my Onkyo NR-5007 can only power 9.1 at a time. I mostly use it in Dolby PLIIz Height mode and it sounds great. Overhead and rear effects at the same time are very cool, but one only notices how cool when going back to a 7.1 or 5.1 configuration. I'm about to do some in-wall speaker installation in the basement, and I'm going for 11.1 there also, just for future-proofing.

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post #165 of 494 Old 06-16-2010, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMoreDigital View Post

Nice graphic SoundChex...

Even though I have a room set-up for 9.1Ch surround sound I voted for 7.1Ch.

I think we need to get some consistent 7.1Ch content released on Blu-ray before moving on-to anything higher!

my thoughts exactly... megadittos rush!!

i would even like to see a new blu ray released with 7.1 true hd.. it seems that dolby has completely dropped out of the 7.1 mixes..whereas liongate consistently turns out 7.1 dtshdma tracks... and they sound awesome.. i find myself watching ALL 7.1 blu rays that come out even if it is a sub par movie as far as content... i just love the 7.1 and i can hear the difference easily from 8 discrete channels vs 6 discrete channels.. so yeah

when i start seeing blu ray 3d ubersalles quadzilla surround channels available in 11.4 or 9.2 or whatever.. then i will be like.. damn i need that.. but i wont do it until the sources are there

i kind of took a leap of faith getting the 7.1 and my room is pretty cramped.. it is a 11x22 ft room ... i find myself getting angry when i look at the blu ray stats and i see great movies in only 5.1.. so i could imagine how angry i would be if i had 6 more speakers waiting for a blu ray with a 12 channel track.. i would be livid.. haha
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post #166 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 12:07 AM
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Why? You can enjoy 11.X now, oblivious to whether there's (ever) 11.X discrete content; the speakers don't have to just sit there!

Listen to discrete 7.1--when you can get it--but with 11.X derived from that. Or 11.X from 5.X channel sources. Or even 2-channel sources expanded by Dolby PLIIx. They're not mutually exclusive!

And "waiting" for more 7.X content has zero linkage or effect on whether the "threshold" desirability of 11.X exists. The two simply can't be logically linked...

We'd ALL liike as much discrete content as possible. But, the assumptions sometimes being expressed around here about the inter-relatedness (or, rather, mutual-exclusiveness) of various generic "surround sound number-dot-X formats" seems to indicate a lack of real understanding about how these processes actually work--how they accomplish their goals...and how relatively effective they are--when properly set up.

IF you have the room, and can afford it, and get quality gear, and set it up exactly properly, and get your SO to tolerate it, and desire to go these extra steps in order to get a noticably better experience than 7.X currently gives you, then more is better. Now. But rationalizing your not wanting to take all these steps based on whether more media content is available in discrete 7.X is disengenuous--to yourself, as well as others! Explore the real reason(s) you're willing to remain happy with your current setup. Ain't nothin' wrong with that.

Oh. And actually EXPERIENCE a proper 11.X system before ruling it out as a desirable option. If you can.


Will

P.S. If I had MY 7.X druthers (i.e. limited to only 7 main channels), I'd EASILY trade back surrounds for Wide Surrounds. Whether with discrete (I'm sure) or derived source material. No brainer. Audyssey has been criticizing Dolby's ill-chosen rear-surround choice from its inception--and rightly. Seriously.
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post #167 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 12:30 AM
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Well, no time to read all posts right now, but I suppose I am in the extreme minority with the exact 9.1 setup already in place that is mentioned in the survey as option number 3.
I suppose most people have a family room type setup, with either 5.1 or 7.1 surround, so those people probably feel that if anything MORE is offered, they will be paying for something they won't use.
Just as well, it also costs even more money for yet an additional pair of speakers over the current 7.1 offerings.
My biggest feature request would be to have the proposed 9.1 available, AND also have the proper digital room correction system like Audyssey that will help properly calibrate those two different sets of side surround speakers.

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post #168 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 12:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smarty-pants View Post

Well, no time to read all posts right now, but I suppose I am in the extreme minority with the exact 9.1 setup already in place that is mentioned in the survey as option number 3.
I suppose most people have a family room type setup, with either 5.1 or 7.1 surround, so those people probably feel that if anything MORE is offered, they will be paying for something they won't use.
Just as well, it also costs even more money for yet an additional pair of speakers over the current 7.1 offerings.
My biggest feature request would be to have the proposed 9.1 available, AND also have the proper digital room correction system like Audyssey that will help properly calibrate those two different sets of side surround speakers.

...along with a new Oppo 3D Universal Bluray player?

(Btw, that's a veery skeery clown...)
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post #169 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 12:34 AM
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Originally Posted by willdao View Post

...along with a new Oppo 3D Universal Bluray player?

I'm sure I have no idea what you are talking about!... [looks up at sky for falling debris]

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post #170 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smarty-pants View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by willdao View Post

...along with a new Oppo 3D Universal Bluray player?

I'm sure I have no idea what you are talking about!... [looks up at sky for falling debris]

Just another risk you need to consider before you choose to install that "oh-so-tempting" Center Overhead Speaker...?!

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post #171 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 02:05 AM
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Im running 9.2 and very pleased with the effect
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post #172 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 02:57 AM
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Just another risk you need to consider before you choose to install that "oh-so-tempting" Center Overhead Speaker...?!

That reminds me of a very old Isao Tomita (vinyl) album which incorporated digitally encoded "pyramid" audio effects.

At the time, the digital equipment needed to decode these "pyramid" audio effects was way out of my price range. Probably still is!

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post #173 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 05:16 AM
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Just another risk you need to consider before you choose to install that "oh-so-tempting" Center Overhead Speaker...?!

Watch out for objectionable sounds coming from the "debris port": if you hear "chuffing," better run!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeeMoreDigital View Post

That reminds me of a very old Isao Tomita (vinyl) album which incorporated digitally encoded "pyramid" audio effects.

At the time, the digital equipment needed to decode these "pyramid" audio effects was way out of my price range. Probably still is!

You didn't miss anything; the effect was kinda lame; you just got showered by old Alan Parsons arena debris in the fortissimo passages...




Will
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post #174 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 05:26 AM
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Im running 9.2 and very pleased with the effect

Hi, Got2LoveGadgets, and welcome aboard the AVS Love Boat!

(Um, you do know this place is very Hotel California-ish? "...you can never leave?")

Where are you placing the extra speakers, beyond the 5.X array? As an add-on to the "normal" Dolby 7.X array, with new Wides? Or new Heights? (And using Dolby PLIIz or Audyssey?) OR: skipping the Rear surrounds and going with both Wides and Heights, per Ausyssey's recommendations--i.e. with a Denon receiver (the Onkyos, due to a deliberate and highly questionable design choice, only permit one or the other)?

Will

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post #175 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 05:49 AM
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Hi,

There was no style for 7.1 with front heights (not rear surrounds). This is what I have at the moment and enjoy it with movies, but turn off the heights for music (5.1 only).

Thanks for the poll.

Cheers, Feri


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post #176 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 07:07 AM
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Using a 7.2 system right now and I'm very happy with it for movies, of course listening to my SACD's or DVD-Audio discs drops to 5.2
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post #177 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

"Eight speakers for the eight corners" would rely on phantom imaging for an ear-level soundstage...

Yes. If this is your definition of phantom imaging. This would be a good thing in my estimation; an image based in signal phase information is superior to one based on loudness alone. IMHO of course.

My idea would give you an actual 3D sound space. The current systems really give you just a flat plane. People seem to want the 3D effect -- witness the drive toward front height speakers from systems like Dolby Pro Logic IIz.

I'm just saying if we're really going to do this, let's do it right and define a sound volume instead of just a sound stage with augments hanging off it.

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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

...making it less stable than current L/C/R set-ups.

I don't see how it could be any less stable than what we have currently. Phasing information is pretty much nonexistent in current 5.1 and up systems.

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You'd have no speakers at your sides, so it would end up less spacious sounding than current 7.1 set-ups. Corner placement is generally a bad idea for the front speakers, since it would reduce articulation compared to current layouts.

I'm talking about the eight points that define the sound volume, not the eight physical corners of the listening room. No reason you can't pull the speakers out away from the corners. Just like you do today with conventional stereo and 5.1/7.1 systems.

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Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

The whole reason for adding more speakers is to improve things like imaging stability, envelopment and clarity. Your suggestion would do the opposite, relying more on phantom imaging and shrinking the listening area to a small sweet spot (a la quad from the 1970s).

You might think that. I on the other hand think it would create a more coherent sound volume that would give full height information front to back and side to side. Which would be a good thing.

But none of this matters if neither Dolby nor THX acts on it. And the odds of that happening are just about nil. So no worries mate. My idea isn't likely going to bother you any time soon.
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post #178 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 08:44 AM
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I see absolutely no benefits beyond 5.1 DTS-HD MA/Dolby TrueHD/PCM.

I've listened to 7.1 PCM & DTS-HD MA.

I think anything more than 5.1 is pure gimmick.
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post #179 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 09:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post

I don't see how it could be any less stable than what we have currently.

Phantom images are inherently unstable, because they're formed in your brain. You move, the phantom image moves with you. Works for someone sitting in the sweet spot, but not for any listeners that area off-axis.
Quote:


I'm talking about the eight points that define the sound volume, not the eight physical corners of the listening room. No reason you can't pull the speakers out away from the corners. Just like you do today with conventional stereo and 5.1/7.1 systems.

Which is it: "eight speakers for the eight corners" or "pull the speakers out away from the corners"? They can't be in the corners and away from the corners at the same time. As for conventional systems, they aim to have the critical front speakers at ear level. Hard to get that effect with speakers at 8 points above and below you.
Quote:


You might think that. I on the other hand think it would create a more coherent sound volume that would give full height information front to back and side to side.

The old quad layout attempted to do that on a single plane: four speakers for four corners (sound familiar?). The idea was to create four soundstages (front, back, left, right) using phantom imaging. Didn't work too well. Turns out our human hearing has a hard time creating stable phantom images at our sides, where we're relying on a single ear (the other ear is in acoustical shadow and not helping much with localization).

Even worse, it shrank the sweet spot. With stereo, you had to sit exactly between the L/R speakers in order to get proper imaging. Listeners to the left or right of you would hear centre-mixed sounds image at the wrong location (left or right of centre). Now imagine the same imaging problem, but from front to back as well. That's quad.

By comparison, conventional 7.1 set-ups work much better. Sounds intended to image to the left, right or behind the listeners will always come from those directions, whether you're in the seat to the left or right of the sweet spot, or the row behind or in front of the sweet spot. No magic involved, just speakers placed to the left, right and behind the listeners (makes it hard for those sounds to image from the wrong direction). Simple AND effective.
Quote:


So no worries mate. My idea isn't likely going to bother you any time soon.

Pointing out problems with your proposed system doesn't mean I'm worried or bothered; it just means I'm pointing out problems with your proposed system.

Sanjay
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post #180 of 494 Old 06-17-2010, 09:42 AM
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5.1 is the most effiecient (cost/benifit) IMHO. 6.1/7.1 is a nice bump up but after that you are into big time dimishing returns. If you have the space a true rear with sides is the way to go. What are most theaters using now? I believe it is 5ch with matrixing over how many speakers they have?

The niche were 9.1+ might work well is in the HTIB set ups. 9 cheap speakers will be better then the 5 cheap speakers? Mark my words Bose will be all over this.

My review comparisons of Energy RC-70s to Veritas V6.3
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