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High end PreAmps, Theta CBIIIHD. - Page 2

post #31 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Gotcah,

I f I understand this correctly, there is a newer analog only unit that is DIRAC LIVE only (DSPs). This is a full DSP like the TRINNOV, QSCs with all types of filtering, time alignment, etc??. So, being analog it contains A/Ds and D/As. This would be a unit, if I was interested, that would connect in after my SSP and I think I read there is a balanced version coming, too.

I imagine the digital version will only be TOS... no HDMI. Though digital would be great, I'm only HDMI in output (or is there a HDMI to multi channel TOS converter)?

Thanks...

That's how I understand it as well. The only part I'm not sure is how configurable the Dirac Live will be in the stand alone unit; i.e. flexibility of changing filters, time alignment, etc.

I don't think it will have any type of HDMI inputs or outputs. I doubt there is a converter out there because it would be in breach of HDMI license, that being said, there always seems to be a small outfit somewhere making these things or modifying electronics in a manner originally unintended by the licensor.
post #32 of 66
Digital interface may very well be 4x AES/EBU digital inputs. That's the pro standard, it already exists, and the connectors are XLR.

I'm still trying to figure out what changes would necessitate a new eq setup one the calibration is done. Unless you plan to go around changing speakers or their locations, what needs to be changed from the eq standpoint that will require recalibration as opposed to a simple level match? Once again, the room has specific modes that do not change, they are in concrete (or literally caused by it)- so you have fixed issues. If the loudspeakers are permanently installed, their interaction with room boundaries is also fixed; meaning once it's dealt with in the eq- it does not change. If you change subwoofers, or augment bass- that could cause a need for further eq- but given the equipment being used, I'm thinking there isn't much that you'll need to augment, unless bass is where you're making your compromise.

Tell me if I'm missing something here; but my thought is that once the system is installed, the only changes to the equipment list would probably be source components, or maybe the processor- those really shouldn't affect DSP settings save for levels (differing gain levels of random processors).

Don't get me wrong, I certainly see the cool factor of the automation built into devices like the Dirac and the Trinnov- I just find it curious that you don't see technology like this in the pro world: it's still very "old school" with calibrators adjusting DSPs.....
I wonder if it's a cutting edge vs bleeding edge situation?

Dan
post #33 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post
Digital interface may very well be 4x AES/EBU digital inputs. That's the pro standard, it already exists, and the connectors are XLR.
I'm guessing that the number of SSPs that can output digitally to those inputs is extremely limited, and none at 24/96, correct?

So this would be more for Pro digital Dacs like the MH ULN-8? A device that can take the output to a stand alone, digital Dirac Live and then convert the signal back to analog? That is, MH UNL-8 -> DL -> MH UNL-8 (or any other digital device shuch as the MH).
post #34 of 66
But that's precisely my point- once you start talking about the Dirac, you really are forcing yourself to look at pro pieces. This brings you right back to the AP20, with Dirac Live built-in, and other shortcomings. And you don't necessarily have to go with 8 channel dacs, although useful- there are plenty of 2 channel dacs available that accept AES inputs.

As an added bonus, since Mark has his background in the pro world- you may be able to get Catalysts custom made to accept AES input signals (if his amp OEM can do so).

short of doing some of those "turn the room around" type demos with the Trinnov, I can't see how these devices are really any more than set-it and forget-it if done right.

Dan
post #35 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post

But that's precisely my point- once you start talking about the Dirac, you really are forcing yourself to look at pro pieces.

Hi Dan,

I get your point about the AP20, but I'm trying to understand the stand alone unit. Why use the AES/EBU inputs if in fact one cannot output 24/96? Other than using it with Pro Pre-DACs, is there a purpose for this version? That is, from your experience, is there a consumer product that could take advantage to the stand alone unit's digital input/output (other than products from small vendors such as Mark Seaton that might be able to provide a modified versions of his products)? I guess I should be directing this question to Carl Huff, but is the analog version of the stand alone Dirac Live directed at the consumer market and the digital the pro market?
post #36 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post

Digital interface may very well be 4x AES/EBU digital inputs. That's the pro standard, it already exists, and the connectors are XLR.

I'm still trying to figure out what changes would necessitate a new eq setup one the calibration is done. Unless you plan to go around changing speakers or their locations, what needs to be changed from the eq standpoint that will require recalibration as opposed to a simple level match? Once again, the room has specific modes that do not change, they are in concrete (or literally caused by it)- so you have fixed issues. If the loudspeakers are permanently installed, their interaction with room boundaries is also fixed; meaning once it's dealt with in the eq- it does not change. If you change subwoofers, or augment bass- that could cause a need for further eq- but given the equipment being used, I'm thinking there isn't much that you'll need to augment, unless bass is where you're making your compromise.

Tell me if I'm missing something here; but my thought is that once the system is installed, the only changes to the equipment list would probably be source components, or maybe the processor- those really shouldn't affect DSP settings save for levels (differing gain levels of random processors).

Don't get me wrong, I certainly see the cool factor of the automation built into devices like the Dirac and the Trinnov- I just find it curious that you don't see technology like this in the pro world: it's still very "old school" with calibrators adjusting DSPs.....
I wonder if it's a cutting edge vs bleeding edge situation?

Dan

Hi Dan,

At this stage of the game I don't know what will happen in near the future. With all the problems I have been having I don't know what will stay and what will go. I am still fairly new to all this and may stumble upon something that may make me want to change say a speaker or a sub.

Not only that, what is to determine that I will be happiest with the initial cal? If I have the flexibility to change things myself after a calibration is done, I will be a lot better off.

I can really understand where you are coming from , but I am just too new to this game to have settled down enough to have confidence in my equipment choices. At least with a machine that will allow me the flexibility to do things myself will hopefully allow me to really find out what I do and don't like.

Also what is AES/EBU stand for?

And could you elaborate on the Pro piece AP20's short comings?

Cheers
post #37 of 66
There simply isn't enough info yet. I haven't even seen a picture of it or any pix of the upcoming balanced version. No PL IIx?? I think this is one I'd pass on (for now) but when it rolls out, may be good or maybe not. I'm certainly interested, too (especially on the DIRAC live standalone). I think, from what I've read of your goals, is a piece that is newly designed but stable and full featured. There are quite a few choices.
post #38 of 66
I'm not sure what digital unit you guys are referring to. As far as I understand there is only the AP20 and these two upcoming units:

Quote:


The DL2 will be 8 RCA analog IN/OUT and will retail for $2,300. However Dirac Research and KAD Products will team up for an 'early adopter special' and offer software and hardware bundled for $1,800 for a limited time.

The DL3 (summer 2011) will be 8 balanced analog XLR IN/OUT and a TOSLINK input (but no decoders) and will also include active crossovers and bass management. A final price for the DL3 has not set as of yet.
post #39 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

There simply isn't enough info yet. I haven't even seen a picture of it or any pix of the upcoming balanced version. No PL IIx?? I think this is one I'd pass on (for now) but when it rolls out, may be good or maybe not. I'm certainly interested, too (especially on the DIRAC live standalone). I think, from what I've read of your goals, is a piece that is newly designed but stable and full featured. There are quite a few choices.

Yes , it does not have PLIIx, but they have a system that basically does the same thing, and with Carlsbackground in this area, I don't doubt it will be of similar quality as the PLIIx.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

I'm not sure what digital unit you guys are referring to. As far as I understand there is only the AP20 and these two upcoming units:

The AP20 is the unit I am speaking of, it has 4 HDMI. And I don't need any more than that.
post #40 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanDave View Post

Also what is AES/EBU stand for?

And could you elaborate on the Pro piece AP20's short comings?

Cheers

JapanDave,
AES/EBU is a type of connector that is used in pro gear, but it can be found in some consumer gear. With regards to the AP20 one is not limited to use of Pro gear, unless you are planning to use the processor's digital out to take advantage of an aftermarket DAC or digital processor (e.g. Trinnov). But my understanding is that you intend to use the analog outs, so it should have no bearing for you (my questions were focusing on the stand alone Dirac Live unit that was going to have digital ins/outs, I just couldn't see a consumer market for it).

Thebland,
I get your point regarding PLIIx, that is why I made sure to bring it up, for some users that can be a deal breaker. For me it is not a deal breaker, and I'm betting that their own matrix design will be at least decent, considering the parties involved. I think for JapanDave (as it is partially with me) the Dirac Live in the AP20 is a great plus. All indications are that this is a very good room eq, with enough flexibility and user friendliness that he can learn as he progresses, meeting his needs for the moment. Peter (CINERAMAX) was more impressed with the room eq by Dirac Live than Trinnov...that is some pretty special company to keep. Then when you consider the price, it is certainly worth taking a gamble on. That being said, I understand Dan's points, but I also can see why JapanDave would like to try this alternative (especially since it is a path I'm considering )
post #41 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

I'm not sure what digital unit you guys are referring to. As far as I understand there is only the AP20 and these two upcoming units:

Those are the stand alone units I was referring to. I understand the consumer market for the DL2, but I cannot see a clear path for a consumer market for the DL3.

Actually now that you have stated that it will have 8 balanced analog XLR IN/OUT I can understand it better. So the DL3 is not a digital input-output only device. It is also interesting that it will also include also active crossovers and bass management. If this unit ends up costing around $3K, Thebland should consider getting it just to experiment with it. Even if he sells it for half the price he paid, the cost of experimenting will be less than the price of the tax for the Trinnov unit.
post #42 of 66
Quote:


Yes , it does not have PLIIx, but they have a system that basically does the same thing, and with Carlsbackground in this area, I don't doubt it will be of similar quality as the PLIIx.

The AP20 already has matrixing with PCM in, ie, if you do decoding in the BD player the AP20 will matrix 5.1 PCM to 7.1. I don't know the nature of the matrixing and I don't think it will take 2.1 to 7.1.

This doesn't help us if the source (sat receiver) doesn't do decoding.
post #43 of 66
Thread Starter 
Here is a pic of the front of the unit, touch screen and all.



And the back,



Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

The AP20 already has matrixing with PCM in, ie, if you do decoding in the BD player the AP20 will matrix 5.1 PCM to 7.1. I don't know the nature of the matrixing and I don't think it will take 2.1 to 7.1.

This doesn't help us if the source (sat receiver) doesn't do decoding.

Forgive my ignorance, but are there a lot of Sat receivers that don't do decoding?
post #44 of 66
It is beautiful isn't it?

Don't stop asking questions. It is a great forum. There are two processes in extracting an audio signal from a source. First the audio must "decoded" from the compressed audio "bitstream" (DD, DTS, DTS-MA, etc) into its individual channels, L/R/LFE/LS/RS. Second "DSP" must be performed on the decoded signals: distances set, bass management, crossovers, etc.

With a BD player you have the option of sending the signal out via bitstream or decoded. With former the SSP will do the decoding and DSP. With latter the SSP will only need to do the DSP. A signal that is decoded is usually referred to as being PCM.

There are no sat receivers nor DVD players that I know of that do decoding. They all send the signal out bitsteam. The AP20 can do decoding but it cannot at the present time matrix the decoded signal. Hopefully this will change in the near future.
post #45 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

It is beautiful isn't it?

Don't stop asking questions. It is a great forum. There are two processes in extracting an audio signal from a source. First the audio must "decoded" from the compressed audio "bitstream" (DD, DTS, DTS-MA, etc) into its individual channels, L/R/LFE/LS/RS. Second "DSP" must be performed on the decoded signals: distances set, bass management, crossovers, etc.

With a BD player you have the option of sending the signal out via bitstream or decoded. With former the SSP will do the decoding and DSP. With latter the SSP will only need to do the DSP. A signal that is decoded is usually referred to as being PCM.

There are no sat receivers nor DVD players that I know of that do decoding. They all send the signal out bitsteam. The AP20 can do decoding but it cannot at the present time matrix the decoded signal. Hopefully this will change in the near future.

Thanks for the detailed answer.

I hope I understood that correctly, but bluray players can decode but DVD players can't? Do bluray players decode DVD's? I have the oppo 83, will that do the decoding, b/c I thought that I had the option to send material either by bitstreem or PCM with this player? I am a bit confused with the termanology, sorry.
post #46 of 66
Hello all,

A friend and customer pointed me to this thread. I had missed it. I am very familiar with Dirac Live, the AP20 and the new DL2 and DL3 products.

Can I answer anyones questions?
______________
Best Regards,
Carl Huff
post #47 of 66
The bitstream signal is decoded into PCM.
You should read Wiki on PCM and AES.
DVD players do not decode.
BD players can decode into PCM or send out bitstream.
Have to go now.
post #48 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Huff View Post

Hello all,

A friend and customer pointed me to this thread. I had missed it. I am very familiar with Dirac Live, the AP20 and the new DL2 and DL3 products.

Can I answer anyones questions?
______________
Best Regards,
Carl Huff

Hi Carl,

Just continuing on from some questions I have asked before. I was curious as to how the AP20 will allocate channels to say the LFE channel? Being that each channel has the same amount of flexibilty, I can't get my head around how the subs will only receive the LFE content? Could you elaborate a little on that?
post #49 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanDave View Post

I can't get my head around how the subs will only receive the LFE content? Could you elaborate a little on that?

JapanDave,

I'm not sure if this answers your question, but if I remember the manual correctly, you can assign the content of a particular input (or input channel content) to a particular outgoing channel. So you can assign the LFE channel to output to particular channel outputs. (I hope I'm remembering the AP20 manual and not the MH ULN-8, but I think they both allow the same assigning flexibility).
post #50 of 66
"I was curious as to how the AP20 will allocate channels to say the LFE channel?"

Industry convention puts LFE on channel 4. The AP20 simply pulls apart the incoming signal and maps it to the respective channels pretty much the same way any Dolby/DTS decoder does.

Incidentally, I was browsing this thread and there was some concern about the AP20 decoding Dolby encoded content from a satellite receiver. I can tell you that it works. I have my HD Cable box plugged into an AP20 using TOSLINK. I am watching the Science channel in 5.1 Dolby encoded surround as I write this. The AP20 includes a Dolby AC3 decoder specifically for the purpose of decoding satellite, DVD and cable boxes.

_____________
Best Regards,
Carl Huff
post #51 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

The AP20 already has matrixing with PCM in, ie, if you do decoding in the BD player the AP20 will matrix 5.1 PCM to 7.1. I don't know the nature of the matrixing and I don't think it will take 2.1 to 7.1.

This doesn't help us if the source (sat receiver) doesn't do decoding.

Looks like the AP20 does do the decoding as Carl explains below, that is a plus for sure I would say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl_Huff View Post

"I was curious as to how the AP20 will allocate channels to say the LFE channel?"

Industry convention puts LFE on channel 4. The AP20 simply pulls apart the incoming signal and maps it to the respective channels pretty much the same way any Dolby/DTS decoder does.

Incidentally, I was browsing this thread and there was some concern about the AP20 decoding Dolby encoded content from a satellite receiver. I can tell you that it works. I have my HD Cable box plugged into an AP20 using TOSLINK. I am watching the Science channel in 5.1 Dolby encoded surround as I write this. The AP20 includes a Dolby AC3 decoder specifically for the purpose of decoding satellite, DVD and cable boxes.

_____________
Best Regards,
Carl Huff

So you can allocate any of the analog outs to be only LFE? Sorry I read the manual , but I must have skipped through some pages.
post #52 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanDave View Post

So I have come to the conclusion that for me at present stage I need something with EQ. But, I can't be flying in someone from the States to re-calibrate if something changes in my system. So where does that leave me?

C'mon, Japan has world class acoustics experts and rabid home theater fanatics. I've seen HiVi, etc. Call my friends at Sona, if they cannot help you, they will know who can.
post #53 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanDave View Post

I hope I understood that correctly, but bluray players can decode but DVD players can't? Do bluray players decode DVD's? I have the oppo 83, will that do the decoding, b/c I thought that I had the option to send material either by bitstreem or PCM with this player? I am a bit confused with the termanology, sorry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

DVD players do not decode.
BD players can decode into PCM or send out bitstream.

DVDs, STBs, and BD players all decode. Whether you can get 5.1 decoded channels is the only question. And there are DVD players with 5.1 outputs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanDave View Post

Looks like the AP20 does do the decoding as Carl explains below, that is a plus for sure I would say.

Basic DD decoding is nice, but you'll need a lot more than that for Japan DTV and Blu-ray.
post #54 of 66
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

C'mon, Japan has world class acoustics experts and rabid home theater fanatics. I've seen HiVi, etc. Call my friends at Sona, if they cannot help you, they will know who can.

Are you kidding. Have a look at the home theater magazines ,I think I have seen maybe one or two home theaters that had acoustics in mind when they were built over the last 5 years. 99% of the Home theaters here don't even address first reflections. There are base traps here that are 2" thick, I think I saw a company promoting venetian blinds as base traps. When an installer wants a SSP calibrated they call the manufacturer in, so unless you buy a Japanese product you are up **** creek without a paddle. I mean one guy who "is" a respected installer here told me that I won't need to treat the room, b/c movies sound tracks are all digitally mastered and that won't help the sound much at all. I was all ready to be bombarded how good bose is, but luckly here recommended B&W. Yeah, I am going to have guys like that build my room, no thanks.

2 channel on the other hand, now that is where I would happily say I could get the most professional help and some of the best in the industry to help me setup. Those guys that are into 2 channel know there stuff. But that is not going to help me any, as I am 99% movies.

I have talked to many, many people here and there is just not the demand here. Ask your friends about anamorphic lens's, they are almost none existant here. But I digress.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

Basic DD decoding is nice, but you'll need a lot more than that for Japan DTV and Blu-ray.

I am not sure I understand? Why would I need a lot more than basic decoding?
post #55 of 66
Quote:


DVDs, STBs, and BD players all decode. Whether you can get 5.1 decoded channels is the only question. And there are DVD players with 5.1 outputs.

Roger is of course right re STB as Dish and DTV do decode to 2.0 PCM. Perhaps some pro units decode to 5.1?

Haven't seen a consumer DVD player decode to 5.1 PCM other than the Meridian DVD-A player. There are not many consumer SSPs that take 5.1 PCM over coax. Meridian and the old Goldmund are the only ones I know. Perhaps in the pro world?
post #56 of 66
Quote:


I am not sure I understand? Why would I need a lot more than basic decoding?

I don't think you need more than basic decoding, but Roger can guide us better than anyone. What you do need is the ability to matrix expand 2.0/5.1 to 7.1, which the AP20 does not currently provide.

Note that the AP20 at this time can copy the sides into the rears to create 7.1, as is usually done in a cinema. If you have a 5.1 setup I am not sure if there are any major limitations other than not doing 2.0 to 5.1.
post #57 of 66
Quote:


Incidentally, I was browsing this thread and there was some concern about the AP20 decoding Dolby encoded content from a satellite receiver. I can tell you that it works. I have my HD Cable box plugged into an AP20 using TOSLINK. I am watching the Science channel in 5.1 Dolby encoded surround as I write this. The AP20 includes a Dolby AC3 decoder specifically for the purpose of decoding satellite, DVD and cable boxes.

Hi Carl,

Perhaps I am misinterpreting the manual but the AP20 does not seem to have the ability to expand DD 2.0 to 5.1. No question it can decode 5.1.

Quote:


The AP20 monitors the selected input signal from one of the S/PDIF or HDMI ports to determine the type of audio signal received. If a Dolby® Digital stream is detected, the AP20 decodes the audio and places it
on the first 8 channels (see Table 1).

If an un-encoded digital signal is received (i.e. 2-channel PCM), the signal is routed to the first two channels in the AP20 (Left and Right) and the others remain muted.
post #58 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

Hi Carl,

Perhaps I am misinterpreting the manual but the AP20 does not seem to have the ability to expand DD 2.0 to 5.1. No question it can decode 5.1.

I think that is the software upgrade he stated is coming down the pipe. If I understood him correctly, they are in the process of developing a matrix that will expand 2.0 to 5.1 (or 7.1).
post #59 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

Haven't seen a consumer DVD player decode to 5.1 PCM other than the Meridian DVD-A player.

I had a Denon 2900 that had multichannel decoding. Didn't realize that was the last one ever made.
post #60 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by JapanDave View Post

I mean one guy who "is" a respected installer here told me that I won't need to treat the room, b/c movies sound tracks are all digitally mastered and that won't help the sound much at all.

So, you did not call Sona yet, I take it? I sent them an email to inquire. Will advise.

Quote:


I am not sure I understand? Why would I need a lot more than basic decoding?

Most DTV STBs in US decode 2-ch audio. If you want to hear 5.1 AAC from Japan DTV, you'll need an AV processor that handles that. Or do the STBs provide 5.1 there?

I agree, if you have a BD player with onboard decoding, you will not need more HD codecs inside the AP-20. Sorry for false alarm.
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