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Lexus' Mark Levinson: is it "worth" it?

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Just thought I'd throw this out there in the event that someone cares to offer an opinion.

I'm in the midst of mulling the purchase of a 2010 Lexus HS 250h. The only rub is that, for whatever stupid reason, Lexus is not sending any cars to the US with the Mark Levinson premium stereo option. (Which is bizarre since the car is loaded with every other technogizmo imaginable).

I'm leaning toward special ordering the car with Levinson. Just curious if any technophiles out there would like to sing the praises of the Mark Levinson system (thereby justfying the special order and resultant delayed gratification), or say the stock system is really good and you'd not notice much difference with the ML (meaning I could drive the car off the lot today).

For the sake of this discussion, I'm interested in the quality of the system and not concerned about the additional price.
post #2 of 63
I wouldnt call myself a technophile, but I do appreciate a great clear sounding unit. I havent sat in the HS250 yet, but have tested the ML in all other Lexus systems. In a majority of the cars it is WELL worth it. Probably the only model it is not worth it is the GS IMO, and of course the best being the ML system in the LS460 with 19 speakers and 7.1 surround sound. Of course you can go aftermarket and improve the system further, but for an OEM system, the ML system is VERY hard to beat.

As far as Lexus building cars without it, its how Lexus Corp. U.S. allocates cars to the U.S. Looking at the website, its only available through special order for the entire U.S.

If you havent already, check http://www.clublexus.com/forums/ for all your Lexus needs.
post #3 of 63
Thread Starter 
Thanks, GFerg! (And I have been to clublexus and find it a great site). I finally bit the bullet and special ordered the HS with, of course, the ML system. I know I'll be happy I did (and would have been endlessly questioning my decision if I didn’t...)
post #4 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by RGHessel View Post

Just thought I'd throw this out there in the event that someone cares to offer an opinion.

I'm in the midst of mulling the purchase of a 2010 Lexus HS 250h. The only rub is that, for whatever stupid reason, Lexus is not sending any cars to the US with the Mark Levinson premium stereo option. (Which is bizarre since the car is loaded with every other technogizmo imaginable).

I'm leaning toward special ordering the car with Levinson. Just curious if any technophiles out there would like to sing the praises of the Mark Levinson system (thereby justfying the special order and resultant delayed gratification), or say the stock system is really good and you'd not notice much difference with the ML (meaning I could drive the car off the lot today).

For the sake of this discussion, I'm interested in the quality of the system and not concerned about the additional price.

Interesting, I special ordered an HS250h in October for the same reason. In my case, I currently own an RX400h with ML, and I love the sound. I had previously owned an RX300 with the Lexus 300 standard "premium" system which I found to be inadequate. Yes, that's just one data point on a different car, but I'm guessing it will be true here also. Actually, I'm BETTING it will be true as indicated by my special order!
post #5 of 63
Never heard the new systems, but it shouldn't dissappoint!

I test drove a LS 460 UL and it had the "stock" Mark Levinson Radio, and it was very good.

as far as factory radio's, VW's Dynaudio or Audi's B&O systems look like they are true Mobile Hi-Fi..
post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by RGHessel View Post

Just thought I'd throw this out there in the event that someone cares to offer an opinion.

I'm in the midst of mulling the purchase of a 2010 Lexus HS 250h. The only rub is that, for whatever stupid reason, Lexus is not sending any cars to the US with the Mark Levinson premium stereo option. (Which is bizarre since the car is loaded with every other technogizmo imaginable).

I'm leaning toward special ordering the car with Levinson. Just curious if any technophiles out there would like to sing the praises of the Mark Levinson system (thereby justfying the special order and resultant delayed gratification), or say the stock system is really good and you'd not notice much difference with the ML (meaning I could drive the car off the lot today).

For the sake of this discussion, I'm interested in the quality of the system and not concerned about the additional price.

I think they made the assumption that "green people" aren't audio or music lovers..

FAIL!
post #7 of 63
Not to rain on your parade, but don't expect anything amazing from the ML option. And while it may be impossible to audition it in the HS 250h, ideally you want to hear the ML in the model you're considering.

I opted for the ML in my 2009 ES, but it was based purely on past experience with others' MLs in other older models. Not apples-to-apples by any means. All I can say is, "Oops."

If you were going for the flagship LS, chances are you'd be pretty happy, since most of their resources will be focused there. Otherwise, it's a roll of the dice, IMHO. If you read the ClubLexus A/V moderator's posts, you'll find him to be quite critical of the marketing-hype empty shirt the ML has become.

Issues with my ML:

System response has not been tuned to the cabin at all as far as I can tell -- there's a very noticeable peak in the 200Hz octave that cannot be tamed with the tone controls. Turning on the DSP improves it somewhat, but it still sounds tubby.

The disc player is problematic. Most DVD-As with both 5.1 and hi-res stereo content will only play in stereo even if you select 5.1 in the setup menu.

Last but not least, there is no true 5.1 sound from this system! Even when the display indicates it's playing 5.1, front and surround channels both emanate equally from the dash, door and rear deck speakers. I am still in the process of trying to have this defect addressed.

My 1999 ES stock system had a balanced, natural sound. I've noticed over the years that more recent models have had poorer sound quality -- apparently Lexus has been trying to make the ML a must-have option, at least for those who find music reproduction to be important.

At the very least, try to spend some time listening to a couple tracks you are very familiar with in the IS or the ES with and w/o ML -- that should give you some indication of how it will sound in the HS.
post #8 of 63
sobi, that is some good feedback.

Save the ~ multi-thousand dollar factory stereo option and take it to a TRUE specialty car audio installer. The kind that will make custom bezels and custom speaker mounts.. and redirect the funds spent at the factory to your own high end car stereo. If they are good you won't see the difference, but oh wow you will hear it..
post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by sobi View Post

Issues with my ML:

System response has not been tuned to the cabin at all as far as I can tell -- there's a very noticeable peak in the 200Hz octave that cannot be tamed with the tone controls. Turning on the DSP improves it somewhat, but it still sounds tubby.

That is exactly my impression of the ML in my GS. I was able to fix it, though, as detailed at ClubLexus.

Quote:
Last but not least, there is no true 5.1 sound from this system! Even when the display indicates it's playing 5.1, front and surround channels both emanate equally from the dash, door and rear deck speakers. I am still in the process of trying to have this defect addressed.

You will not have much luck getting them to fix this, as it is apparently intentional. The 5.1 discrete sound is overlaid with additional processing. Gerisinger's and Eid/House's patents explain the concept.
post #10 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

That is exactly my impression of the ML in my GS. I was able to fix it, though, as detailed at ClubLexus.

You will not have much luck getting them to fix this, as it is apparently intentional. The 5.1 discrete sound is overlaid with additional processing.

Interesting links, thanks.

I was able to speak with someone from Harman Becker, manufacturer of the amps and speakers, who was able to tell me what's up with this particular system. The '07 - '09 amp, apparently due to cost constraints, has limited throughput capacity, so the system will do discrete 5.1 for compressed DD and DTS streams, but it down-mixes 5.1 DVD-A LPCM to stereo. The 2010 ML amp, on the other hand, has upgraded electronics and can now handle discrete 5.1 from DVD-A. (I confirmed this in an ML-equipped 2010 model at my local dealer using a test DVD-A I made.) I also confirmed that my ML system does do discrete 5.1, only with DD and DTS.

Since I'm leasing this car, and I'm not sure I will keep it, mods like yours are currently out of the question. However, the solution I'm using right now is better than nothing: After plotting the system's DTS 5.1 frequency response, I'm ripping my 5.1 DVD-A discs and processing the content with a 6-band parametric equalizer plug-in, then re-encoding it to DTS-CDs. It's not perfect, but it sounds much better.
post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by sobi View Post

I was able to speak with someone from Harman Becker, manufacturer of the amps and speakers, who was able to tell me what's up with this particular system. The '07 - '09 amp, apparently due to cost constraints, has limited throughput capacity, so the system will do discrete 5.1 for compressed DD and DTS streams, but it down-mixes 5.1 DVD-A LPCM to stereo.

That's the way it is in my '06, too. Harman told me it was a lmitation of the Pioneer DVD player, and they couldn't get any resources to change it back then. Looks like they finally succeeded.

Quote:


Since I'm leasing this car, and I'm not sure I will keep it, mods like yours are currently out of the question. However, the solution I'm using right now is better than nothing: After plotting the system's DTS 5.1 frequency response, I'm ripping my 5.1 DVD-A discs and processing the content with a 6-band parametric equalizer plug-in, then re-encoding it to DTS-CDs. It's not perfect, but it sounds much better.

Understand about the mods and leasing. Your solution is good. I was making cassette tapes thru a graphic EQ back in the '70s for just that reason. Worked swell.
post #12 of 63
Let me share with you my experience with ML. We had a 2008 ES350 with the premium package and it was totaled by a teenager texting running a red light. We were sick because we loved the 2008 Ruby color and was afraid we would never find another in such good shape as our car. Lo and behold, the dealership, on the same day as our accident, got a 2008 ES350 Ruby Ultra Premium Edition with the ML surround sound. I really knew my old car audio system and fashion myself as somewhat of an audiophile. Was there a difference to warrant the added expense of the ML system? The answer is a resounding yes. I can literally sit in my car and be front row center. The sound has a transparency, a broad sound stage and a depth that easily rivals many home theater systems. Music that I have heard all my life was revealed in a new clearer way. I have auditioned many car audio systems, but none match the ML system. Go for it!!
post #13 of 63
ML in my 07 IS250 is outstanding. Only the subwoofer is suspect if you like it loud and like bass haevy music.

Finally broke down and am in the process of adding a dedicated 12" sub and amplifier.
Edited by Gaugster - 10/27/13 at 12:56pm
post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by sobi View Post

Last but not least, there is no true 5.1 sound from this system! Even when the display indicates it's playing 5.1, front and surround channels both emanate equally from the dash, door and rear deck speakers. I am still in the process of trying to have this defect addressed.

Actually there is no "TRUE" 5.1 anywhere.... except of course in the movie theaters. The '.1' channel (or Low Frequency Effects channel) is a separate low frequency channel which is kept separate for the theaters so that they can better control the low frequency sound pressure. But in consumer electronics (even home theater systems) the LFE track is simply mixed in with the mains and the "subwoofer" is simply an extension of the main channels.

As for DD and DTS. These are simply forms of compression used for multiple channels and the dirty word there being "compression". You would probably be better served (in terms of clarity) by simply running from an uncompressed file format in stereo. The only real advantage DD and DTS offer is a better spacial effect and that to a certain degree CAN be had in a simple stereo signal through a bit of work with an audio editor (I use Adobe Audition). A popular trick I like to use is to delay the higher frequencies by 50 or 100 Milliseconds, or delay an entire channel for a good reverb effect.
post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by sobi View Post

Last but not least, there is no true 5.1 sound from this system! Even when the display indicates it's playing 5.1, front and surround channels both emanate equally from the dash, door and rear deck speakers. I am still in the process of trying to have this defect addressed.
This is a procedure for the 2006 ML that lets you find the 5.1 "DVD-V" content on a DVD-A disc. Might see if that works. Since I play all my music from a Vaistech iPod adapter, I do not worry about 5.1.

DVD Audio

1) Make sure that MLS is off by accessing the surround button via the DSP button. This will allow you to view the selected disc format in the title/group box

2) Insert DVD A and bring up the first screen by tapping the touch screen. Be sure that the emergency brake is set and the car is in park. Note--you can't do this while your driving!

3) Touch the upper right hand button, "page 2". This will bring you to the second screen

4) Touch the lower left button on the second screen "search". This will bring you to the third screen

5) Press the "+" button once to advance to group 2 of the disc

6) Press "enter

7) You should now be on screen 1 again. View the format in the box that is top row, second from the left to see what the format is...ex. Dolby Digital 3/2.1, DTS 3/2 etc

8) You are looking for the group that provides true discrete 5.1. This will be either DTS 3/2 or DTS 3/2.1 or Dolby Digital 3/2.1. DTS is the preference

9) Repeat steps 3) through 5) advancing through the groups available on the disc until you find 6).
post #16 of 63
Why are you guys responding to a thread (sobi) that is 3 and a half years old?

Also there are plenty of true 5.1-channel systems in the home world. Just set all speakers to "large" and make sure you have full frequency speakers. The none of the mains or surrounds will go to the subwoofer, just the LFE.

What none of you mentioned is that the ML systems have a button in the menus labeled "surround". That attempts to synthesize surround out of stereo sources. So if you play a 5.1-channel DVD-Audio disc with the "surround" button enabled, the system will attempt to synthesize surround out of an already surround recording. Not a good way to use the system.
post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

Why are you guys responding to a thread (sobi) that is 3 and a half years old?
Why not?
Quote:
Also there are plenty of true 5.1-channel systems in the home world. Just set all speakers to "large" and make sure you have full frequency speakers. The none of the mains or surrounds will go to the subwoofer, just the LFE.
Why are you telling us how home 5.1 works? We all know that.
Quote:
What none of you mentioned is that the ML systems have a button in the menus labeled "surround". That attempts to synthesize surround out of stereo sources.
I use that mode all the time. But that was not the issue. The OP wants to hear 5.1 discrete sources.
Quote:
So if you play a 5.1-channel DVD-Audio disc with the "surround" button enabled, the system will attempt to synthesize surround out of an already surround recording. Not a good way to use the system.
That's why I posted a way to hear 5.1 content on DVD-A discs.
post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

The none of the mains or surrounds will go to the subwoofer, just the LFE.
Well, that's not really true. The subwoofer in consumer electronics is simply an extension of your main channels. In other words what is coming from your subwoofer is exactly what is coming from your mains (and that includes the lfe track which is mixed in with the mains). It's frequency is simply cut off is all. Your subwoofer has little to do with reproducing an actual lfe track. It's not a separate channel in consumer electronincs. It is mixed in with the mains and your subwoofer channel then becomes a combination of the left/right main channels through a low pass filter.

Long story short.... you can hear the LFE track just fine on your mains (given full frequency speakers) with no subwoofer at all. A sub woofer is simply an extension of the mains with a low pass filter attached to it. The idea behind that of course is so the subwoofer doesn't have to deal with frequencies outside of its range and can better concentrate on the ones it was built for.... but if you were to remove that low pass filter from the subwoofer channel and place a full range speaker on it what you would hear is EXACTLY the combination of your left and right speakers... because that's what it is.

I do a lot of video editing and of course lots of 5.1 editing with that. There has always been great debate in the video editing world on the use or need of an lfe track since the only ones who truly take advantage of it are the commercial movie theaters. What ever you produce on the LFE track ends up coming out on your main channels in the consumer electronics world anyway so you may as well simply produce it on your mains and forget the lfe track altogether..... same difference.

In the world of consumer playback devices 5.0 channel surround is the exact same thing as 5.1
Edited by bigbarney - 10/24/13 at 6:46pm
post #19 of 63
You've obviously never mixed 5.1 channel music or 5.0 channel music.

It isn't that complicated. So, I'm not sure why you would say there were no true 5.1-channel sources. I was just listening to a DVD-Audio disc that had the full-range rhythm section mixed into the LFE. The sub then provides a low pass filter on the full range signal. I don't like the technique but it is valid and it is a discrete LFE source in the 5.1 channel mix. I've also heard that channel redirected as a mono height channel (some SACDs did this). So there is plenty of source material that has a discrete mix in the LFE channel (which is full range in DVD-Audio, SACD and Blu-Ray).

Is that what you were trying to say didn't exist?
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

You've obviously never mixed 5.1 channel music or 5.0 channel music.

It isn't that complicated. So, I'm not sure why you would say there were no true 5.1-channel sources. I was just listening to a DVD-Audio disc that had the full-range rhythm section mixed into the LFE. The sub then provides a low pass filter on the full range signal. I don't like the technique but it is valid and it is a discrete LFE source in the 5.1 channel mix. I've also heard that channel redirected as a mono height channel (some SACDs did this). So there is plenty of source material that has a discrete mix in the LFE channel (which is full range in DVD-Audio, SACD and Blu-Ray).

Is that what you were trying to say didn't exist?

NOPE.
I'm not talking about the source. The source IS definitely six channels (5.1). The point I'm trying to make however is that is that on output it is not 5.1 because the lfe track is mixed with the mains.That being the case, the lfe track serves no purpose whatsoever. You can accomplish the exact same goal by creating a 5 channel source and simply taking whatever you had planned on recording to the lfe channel, and record it to the mains.. The bottom line is that the lfe track is completely redundant and unnecessary because there is no such thing as a discrete lfe output in consumer electronics.

And yes... I mix LOTS of 5.1 music. I also mix DTS and DTS HD MA
Edited by bigbarney - 10/25/13 at 5:20am
post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

What none of you mentioned is that the ML systems have a button in the menus labeled "surround". That attempts to synthesize surround out of stereo sources. .
Yes... and what that button does is screw around with some of the frequencies/phases of the music and send the result to the different channels. You can accomplish a similar goal by doing that to a stereo signal manually in an audio editor and playing it back on a normal stereo. Granted the spacial effect won't be as great since you're not dealing with as many discrete channels.... but you can get a pretty good spacial effect none the less if you know your way around your editor
post #22 of 63
Let me try one more time, then I surrender...

First, you can't "mix" DTS or DTS-HD MA. Those are encoding schemes or methods. They take 5.1 or 7.1 (or 2.0) channel already-mixed music and encode them so that your receiver can decode them later. Mixing involves taking multitrack recordings and combining the individual tracks (or more correctly "the stems") into a 2.0, 5.1, 7.1 or whatever channel mix. In the old days, mixing boards were used for mixing. Now a combination of DAWs, such as ProTools and mixing consoles, such as this: http://www.avid.com/US/products/Avid-System-5 are used.

The reason the LFE exists is headroom. When you are mixing there are often times you want to add bass emphasis, whether it be a bass drum or low note on a bass guitar or a synth. In order to add that emphasis, you would then have to lower the level of the other 5 channels. Doing this reduces the dynamic range of the mains. So, instead the emphasis can be added as needed in the LFE without affecting the other channels.

Also the use of that LFE channel in SACD as a main height channel (see http://www.sa-cd.net/showthread/160/2429 for old discussion) is another way the LFE channel can be used discretely.

Yes, if you have a 5.0 channel source and your system is properly tuned, all that will come out of the subwoofer is a low pass of what would have gone into the mains. The mains then get a high pass version of the signal. This assumes that the mains are set at "small". Your ML system also does this since the subwoofer handles frequencies (ML subwoofer-only frequencies in the car are usually below 50Hz not 80Hz) that the other woofers cannot handle.

So, I'm not arguing with you that the method you describe doesn't happen. What I am saying is that it doesn't always happen. It is up to the recording engineering, the remix engineer (in a movie), the mastering engineer and the authoring software on how the LFE is presented. It isn't only one way and there are many examples of the LFE being used as "discretely" as the center or surround channels.

Finally, my point on the "Surround" button in the ML system is that it should be disabled before playing a discrete 5.1-channel source. Otherwise you get pseudo-surround added on top of surround and you lose much of the localization that the ML engineers worked to put into the system.

BTW, I really enjoy my ML system and use it mostly with DVD-Audio discs (at least for 5.1-channel sources). The only system I've heard in a car that was better was the premium system in a much larger Mercedes Benz vehicle.
post #23 of 63
Hold on here....
This is what I said:
Quote:
The subwoofer in consumer electronics is simply an extension of your main channels.
What you're talking about is not exactly what I would deem as "consumer electronics" and the thread you point to CLEARLY states that:
Quote:
Would you agree that most of the people that listen to multichannel SACDs do so in the same setup as their home theater? I doubt very much that many people have a separate SACD player with a separate amp and 5 identical full range speakers for SACD. I would personally love to have a setup like this, but money and space do not permit this. Since most people spinning the mc mix of SACDs do so in a multitasking room, and many in a multitasking player, they will have the .1 hooked up to the sub. Those who do not use the 6 channel outs for DVD movies (most people, but my receiver isn't DTS, so I need those for DTS), could theoretically implement this solution, as then they would only need to connect 5 channels, and run the .1 to a separate amp for this purpose. This works great as long as they have full range speakers all around. Many people (probably not audiophiles) use a 5 small satalites and a sub. With this configuration, and using 5 channel analog in, would require the persons amp to do bass managment on the analog inputs, to filter out the bass from the 5 channels and send it to the sub. Many that I'm aware of do not do this, not in the price range of someone with a 5 sat, sub config would have. Even if they would use 6 channels from the player to the amp, many mc mixes don't use the .1 anyways, so they still can't use their amp for bm, but must rely on the player to implement bass managment for SACD.

It's just to complicated for the average user to get working. Granted the target audience for such a feature isn't the mass market, it still shouldn't be overly complicated to execute.

As for mixing dts and dts hd ma, I am well aware of what they are and I used a mere expression to speed the dialog. However if you need things spelled out in point blank form, I shall do so from now on. I am also well aware of Pro tools along with Avid mc (I own both)

Your headroom argument only works if the lfe track is discrete from input to output and in consumer electronics, it is not.
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

The source IS definitely six channels (5.1). The point I'm trying to make however is that is that on output it is not 5.1 because the lfe track is mixed with the mains.
The LFE is almost never mixed with the mains. That can only happen when the mains are "large" and there's no subwoofer in the system.
Quote:
That being the case, the lfe track serves no purpose whatsoever. You can accomplish the exact same goal by creating a 5 channel source and simply taking whatever you had planned on recording to the lfe channel, and record it to the mains.
You could for music, but for movies, that would require a change in the source content, either reducing the transfer levels to consumer media (gain scaling), or peak limiting. The industry decided to have the option to avoid both.
Quote:
The bottom line is that the lfe track is completely redundant and unnecessary because there is no such thing as a discrete lfe output in consumer electronics.
The LFE content is not redundant, but yes it does usually get commingled with the bass redireced from the other channels. That does not reduce its usefulness in delivering extra bass effects and dynamics. And it is particularly nice to be able to discard LFE without diminishing the rest of the bass when playing in smaller systems. That would not be possible under your proposal.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

Hold on here....
This is what I said:
What you're talking about is not exactly what I would deem as "consumer electronics" and the thread you point to CLEARLY states that:
As for mixing dts and dts hd ma, I am well aware of what they are and I used a mere expression to speed the dialog. However if you need things spelled out in point blank form, I shall do so from now on. I am also well aware of Pro tools along with Avid mc (I own both)

Your headroom argument only works if the lfe track is discrete from input to output and in consumer electronics, it is not.

You're on your own. I surrender (white flag or whichever type of flag they use in the north country). Enjoy your GS or whicheven Lexus you have with ML. It's a good system.

Good luck...
Edited by alk3997 - 10/25/13 at 2:34pm
post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

The LFE is almost never mixed with the mains. That can only happen when the mains are "large" and there's no subwoofer in the system.
You could for music, but for movies, that would require a change in the source content, either reducing the transfer levels to consumer media (gain scaling), or peak limiting. The industry decided to have the option to avoid both.
The LFE content is not redundant, but yes it does usually get commingled with the bass redireced from the other channels. That does not reduce its usefulness in delivering extra bass effects and dynamics. And it is particularly nice to be able to discard LFE without diminishing the rest of the bass when playing in smaller systems. That would not be possible under your proposal.

Thank you! This makes sense.
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

The LFE is almost never mixed with the mains. That can only happen when the mains are "large" and there's no subwoofer in the system.

Oh dear gawd.
So in other words you are agreeing that a subwoofer is not required depending on how you have your system set and how large your main speakers are. Point proved. You are in fact exactly right. The subwoofer channel is not a discrete channel and therefore can be totally omitted provided your main speakers are big enough. The ONLY way that can happen is if the LFE track is MIXED IN.
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

Oh dear gawd.
So in other words you are agreeing that a subwoofer is not required depending on how you have your system set and how large your main speakers are. Point proved. You are in fact exactly right. The subwoofer channel is not a discrete channel and therefore can be totally omitted provided your main speakers are big enough. The ONLY way that can happen is if the LFE track is MIXED IN.

OK, I can't resist - yes, and if you mix all 5.1 channels together, that is called Mono. So, none of the channels are now discrete based on your definition so 5 of them are not required. In that configuration they must all be MIXED IN and those other 5 speakers can all be "totally omitted" (totally). I'm sure somehow that mixing into mono doesn't count but it really does spoil your whole argument.

Now I've had enough of this pointless (and incorrect) argument.
Edited by alk3997 - 10/25/13 at 3:29pm
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by alk3997 View Post

OK, I can't resist - yes, and if you mix all 5.1 channels together, that is called Mono. So, none of the channels are now discrete based on your definition so 5 of them are not required. In that configuration they must all be MIXED IN and those other 5 speakers can all be "totally omitted" (totally).
The other channels are indeed discrete from input to output.. There is no debate there at all. It is the lfe track which is NOT discrete from input to output. It is simply mixed in with the mains and the subwoofer is nothing more than an extension of the mains. You can include one or not and still get full bass response either way. You can't say that with regard to a truly discrete channel (like the left or right channel for example)
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

Oh dear gawd.
So in other words you are agreeing that a subwoofer is not required depending on how you have your system set and how large your main speakers are. Point proved. You are in fact exactly right.
The question of using a subwoofer is like the question of using surround speakers -- the end user decides. There are no forced outcomes.

Quote:
The subwoofer channel is not a discrete channel and therefore can be totally omitted provided your main speakers are big enough.
There is no such thing as a subwoofer channel in consumer content. 5.1 has an LFE channel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbarney View Post

It is the lfe track which is NOT discrete from input to output. It is simply mixed in with the mains and the subwoofer is nothing more than an extension of the mains.
The LFE channel is indeed a discrete channel with unique content as I stated in my first post (#24). Yes, there are isolated cases where the LFE channel has been used for music productions to carry the same bass as the main channels, but that is a fool's errand. Probably done for marketing reasons, not technical/sonic benefit.

Quote:
The ONLY way that can happen is if the LFE track is MIXED IN.
The user can decide how to handle the LFE channel in the playback system:

1) Rout it to a subwoofer
2) Rout it to the main speakers
3) Discard it

Do we all agree?
Edited by Roger Dressler - 10/25/13 at 4:28pm
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