Originally Posted by Chris_Stephens
Im sitting in front of a 40 now listening to the Quad DTS Dark Side of The Moon..
Audio Research 610T tube amps ( monsters )
Wilson Maxx Series 3
Lots of crazy interconnects
First this is a remarkable recording.. Truly stunning.. Now I want to mention again this is NOT the HORRIBLE 5.1 dolby Dark Side Of The Moon. This is a almost unobtainium DTS QUAD version. Dark Side was of course recorded in quad in Abby Road by Alan Parsons. This DTS quad is the only true reproduction of Parsons work. Parsons supervised the DTS quad remaster for DTS..
This disc has lucid 360 degree imaging. Point sources that move slowly in 360 degrees very smoothly. You can move your seat and face the rears and get a great image from only the rears. You can face a R and a RR and get image between them.. Its a full 360 sound field. This requires 4 channels of the same gear. Amps, speakers, interconnects to really do justice to this recording. The speakers need to be laid out in a quad placement as well..
OK so all that said...
The 40 is just remarkable. Nothing even close im afraid. Levinson 502 is a far distant second. I dont have access to the casablanca now. However I am located close to Theta so when this room finishes remodel in about 6-8 weeks I will repeate this setup and A/B the Theta.. But honestly I cant even imagine another surround processor being close. Its just such a huge difference that its more like a magnitude of difference.
Details.. What I listen for on DSoTM...
Track 1 - Speak To Me
This is a quick way to use this disc. Its got it all.. For a quick system evaul I will use this track.
The heart beat is a very confined image with no sense of space or air and this is only on the left. The other noises all have huge spacious images. Wonderful sense of air around the items and a great 3 dimensionality for each thing all placed around in the 360 degree field..
The raspy noise slowly pans 360 degrees around you. This is a perfect 360 degree pan. Same tonality and image as it moves thru every speaker. The lunitic laughing also pans in different directions. Again everything has its own space and image.
Remember this is 4 channels of full range. SO bass is also present in the rears. This is perfectly matched bass in this track from all channels.
Vocals are defined and from a precise center spot. No need for center channel here ! hahah.. Not forward and not too far back..
Track 2 - Breathe
This has all sorts of stuff from the rears and lots of rear and side imaging. The running steps are amazing clear from behind you. The very electronic sounds up front are flat imaging wise and precise.
All the stuff that spins around you in this track is crazy. Each source having its own distinct image size/width and these distinct sounds spin around 360. So its easy to judge image in all 4 channels as the image stay the same size as its moves around in 360 space.
Track 3 - Time
The opening before the clocks chime is remarkable. You are sitting in the center of a room full of clocks. Each one at a specific distance from you and at a specific point in 360 space. Its amazing... Once the bells start chiming its easy for a amp/preamp/speaker to start getting congested in the midrange so I use this to see if everything stays distinct. Overall the clocks are all to closely mics for me and it makes the clocks sound 100 feet tall....
The first bass note is of course remarkable. The texture to the synthesizer is awesome. The harmonics and how those change as the note progresses is graeat. Each bass note is awome in its sonic characteristics.
The drums are all in he rears and EVERY hit on the drums is panned potted around so each drum stroke is in a different location in the rear image. These also seem to have different depths int he rear. This is a good check for rear imaging.
The backing vocals in the rear with its phasing in stereo in the rear is fun..
The textures and space around the lead guitar up front in the center is just full of gritty harmonics.. Forward and nicely forward..
Remarkable backing vocal up front sound 15 feet behind the lead vocals and in thier own much larger space..
Track 5 - The Great Gig In The Sky
This is my fav track on this album..
The Steinway Grand is recorded in natural quad. Its a bit diffused in the image. The cymbals and high hat are clear and hyper crisp. The drum work and image is very clean..
BUT its the vocals that set this track apart... Recorded in a big room at Abby Road its just a wonderful example of how to record properly. CRAZY detailed.
Track 6 - Money
Each of the cash register sounds is in a circle around you. L then R then RR then LR and back to the front again...
The vocals are processed thru something odd. Weird and distinct in texture and image.
This track doesn't sound quite as good as the previous tracks. I feel.
The highly gritty guitar 100% in the left rear is fun tho. It does then move all the way around thru all channels making a nice 360 around you in a HUGE image as it goes.. Bit fat wide gritty guitar..
The whole song has a reverb plate going on and it all sounds like your in a huge room..
The voices at the end of the song are VERY clear and easy to understand every person distinctly.
Track 7 - Us and Them...
Us and them has a nice lesie organ in the background over centered betwen the right and right rear..
Each word in the lyrics is repeated in each speaker with the exact same image shape and timber. This goes Left then Right Then Right rear and left rear. Its like a calibration test only with vocals..This makes it easy to judge if your system is the same in all channels. It also hits center up front as well which is where the primary vocals are.
Vocies towards the end are clear and centered up front.
The sax is very nicely recorded and 100% right only..
Backing chorus come from all 4 channels with each person in a different speaker. Nice effect..
Track 8 - Any Color You Like
Pretty much like the rest of the disc..
The synsizer has this huge image and is played in multichannels so its possible to just that the whole system sound the same from all channels.. Us and Them is better at this tho...
The guitar is moved all over the place in this very forward image. Again great to test if all the channels match in all sonic characteristics.
Track 9 - Brain Damage..
Great guitar texture. Gritty and pretty much all harmonics..
Pretty much just more of the same on this track... The chorus from all 4 speakrs is great....
The lunitic laughing from all around is a good test....
Track 10 - Eclipse...
More of the same...
I fogure if a surround porocessor can do this disc, movies are easy... This disc is a true test of the rears...
You do gotta setup the processor kinda oddly to do this disc..
Full range to all speakers. No center or sub..
No surround processing or THX..
This is easy to do on a 40 using a profile..
Again equal channels. Speakers/amp/interconnects..
Getting back to the 40... Its the only processor so far to even have real imaging in the rear or sides... Its truly 4 completly equal channels of everything internally. Everything else I have hear so far just is missing all sorts of wonderfull stuff in the rears...
This all translates to movies..
So after careful consideration I am soon going to declare the 40 the very best surround processor. I realize this is a bold statment. But I do a lot of A/B and I am using serious tests.. For me then I think I am working towards a conclusion I can feel pretty confident in...
I am going to sort this out.. With full A/B's...
Also soon I am going to really open a 40 up and go over it technically. I will take pics. I want to work out technically whats makes this sound so good. Something is different then other processors and I want to work out what it is..
Ahhh..... what a nice recording... Its also so great to listen to.
If anyone is interested in getting a copy of the DTS DSoTM send me a email chris.stephens @ xtremeprojectors.com I will steer you in the right direction..