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The official "Theta" thread - Page 187

post #5581 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

Is the implication above (regarding separation of speakers) that 3D audio technology yields more benefits and is more accurately implemented in a movie theater with say 30 feet ceiling and space, versus a home-theater with say 8 feet ceiling? In other words, you need the physical height for proper separation?
Angular separation (degrees) more than physical separation (feet). For example, I've seen people do a 7.1 layout with the sides speakers slightly behind them and the rear speakers spread a bit too wide apart. End result: sounds more like a 5.1 layout because you really can't hear rear-vs-side separation in the surround field.

Better to place the side speakers directly at your sides or slightly forward (80-90 degrees from centre) and spread the rear speakers out between 60-90 degrees apart (but not wider). This will give you rear-vs-side separation in the surround field (one of the hallmarks of a good 7.1 layout). Doesn't matter if the room is big or small (number of feet separating sides and rears), more important is that their placement angles are well separated.

Same goes for front speakers vs height speakers. Physical distance is less important than angular separation. I have a friend who successfully incorporated heights in a small room with only 7' high ceilings. His fronts are slightly below ear level (under the screen) and his height speakers are in-ceiling. There is no question which direction sounds are coming from because the angular separation doesn't cause the front speakers to be confused with the height speakers. He didn't need a high ceiling to get that effect.

That would have been difficult if he had been using 6' high tower speakers. Like I mentioned, the trick there is to move the heights to a separate angle (place them wider than the fronts and move them closer to the listener) so their contributions aren't masked by the front speakers. This will give you a sense of sound overhead instead of merely a taller soundstage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

Is there a format war between DTS versus Auro versus etc., and is there a trend yet as far as who has the most coded into movies, and who has the most installs in movie theater?
DTS has been out of the theater business for a while, having sold off their theatrical division (and re-naming it Datasat), so they aren't competing with Atmos or Auro in theatres. In commercial cinema, Atmos is way ahead of Auro when it comes to number of cinemas installed and number of soundtracks encoded.

For home video, I don't see a format war brewing. Folks can have Auro3D and Neo:X, just as they've had the choice between PLIIx and Neo:6 for over a decade. Manufacturers can (and do) license from multiple companies. The goal is to eventually move away from channel based audio to object based audio (like video games have been using). More than one company will do that, and manufacturers will license from more than one company. Your CB3HD doesn't force you to choose between TrueHD and DTS-HD MA. Theta licensed both.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

I have a similar setup to yours I believe, all speakers at recommended heights except for the side surrounds which have to go on ceiling (and which I added to go from 5.1 to 7.1 partly because of your recommendation). To properly implemented a coded movie, these side speakers would have to come down? Or does the technology have built in setup parameter that tells CPU, don't send a dog barking sound up to the ceiling side surround?
Information in the side channels will go to your side speakers, whether they are on the floor or in the ceiling. There is nothing in the CPU that tells it where your speakers are. This might change when object-based audio comes to consumer electronics.

In the mean time, if you are installing height speakers for channel-based soundtracks (Neo:X or Auro), then you need to separate the height speakers from your in-ceiling side speakers (and floorstanding front speakers). The best way to do that is put the heights somewhere between the fronts and sides, maybe moved in a little closer to the listening position (more of an overhead location than your in-ceiling sides).
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

Reading your rearrangement of speakers above and the sheer complexity involved, and seeing as how my current setup as is has us so "lost" into audio movie scenes so often, I do wonder if home application of 3D cine audio will share a similar fate as 3D (multi-channel) music or 3D video?
Most people don't have a 7.1 layout, so the numbers will be even smaller for people willing to do more than 7 speakers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

Is there a point of diminishing return merely because of the limited space of a typical home theater, where adding 4 more don't improve enough to be worth the effort? I guess that's the million dollar question?
Sure there is a point of diminshing returns. If you add extra speakers and can't hear their contribution (i.e., you don't notice the difference whether they're turned off or on), then you've crossed the point of diminishing returns. Some people feel that going beyond 5.1 speakers is a waste. I can clearly hear the difference between sounds at my sides vs sounds coming from behind me, so I don't see 7.1 as diminishing returns. Would I put another pair of surrounds between my sides and rears? Don't know if I would get much in return for that. Would I be able to hear those same speakers if placed overhead? Absolutely. So, for me, diminishing returns don't have to do with number of speakers but where you place them.
post #5582 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Sound mode preset is irrelevant. The CB3 HD will sense the multi-channel PCM signal and play it back with the front LCD panel showing "Multi-Channel PCM" being played. This will override whatever you sound mode you have the CB3 HD set to for that HDMI input.tongue.gif

Only if the mode is a multi-channel mode. If, for example, it is set to Stereo it won't.
post #5583 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

No, it's the reverse. The unity gain is for the inputs of an external preamp into the Gen VIII. The Gen 8 is a great preamp/dac for those who may use other brands of prepros. They can still use their processors for movies connected through the Gen 8 with unity gain and then switch to the Gen VIII for two channel.

You must have misread my post. When a two channel digital source drives the Gen 8 directly and the Gen 8 outputs it's analog signal to an external pre-amp or volume control, the Gen 8 should be set for unity gain. This disables the Gen 8 internal volume control allowing the downstream pre-amp to be the sole volume control. This allows the Gen 8 with its internal volume control to be used in the same configuration as a Gen V would be used.
post #5584 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekale View Post

Only if the mode is a multi-channel mode. If, for example, it is set to Stereo it won't.

That is my experience as well.
Although I must say I never noticed it with the Compli-blu because on day one I set the CB-IIIHD up to have multiple inputs coming from the player.
Where I began to notice is with multi-channel Hi-Rez computer music files.

At first I thought that only "my" CB IIIHD was not working properly at all for Multi-channel PCM from computer files, reinforced by the fact that other people could achieve surround sound. But my first thought was that the software for my particular unit must have had a bug I did not notice for a very long time because I had no player for Hi-Rez Multi-channel computer music files, so everything was set for only two channels.

When I finally installed a Hi-Rez multi-channel music player I though when I saw the display change to MCPCM, it should be playing MCPCM, but it was only Hi-Rez stereo!

It was not until I changed the default setting from stereo to something Multi-channel that It began to actually play music files that played back correctly and I did in fact have the ability to play Hi-Rez Multi-channel music files and the problem was not caused by my very old software version.

Until your post I was still uncertain as to whether or not only my old software required a setting other then Stereo.

People should be aware of this, it's very important NOT to have a default setting of STEREO if they intend to play Hi-Rez Multi-channel computer music files!
Edited by bigbrother52 - 10/6/13 at 9:50pm
post #5585 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekale View Post

Only if the mode is a multi-channel mode. If, for example, it is set to Stereo it won't.

Curious as to whether you ever mentioned this as a problem to John B., as I know you have issues with playing computer music files that needed to be addressed.

Or is this something you actually found in the manual?
Edited by bigbrother52 - 10/6/13 at 10:00pm
post #5586 of 6796
I just received the 12 channel digital output card from Craig and install was very simple. I should be receiving a Trinnov demo unit today to try in house for a few days, Curt Hoyt was kind enough to work this out for me. We will set it up together although he will be on line to assist. After initial set-up Curt will fine tune everything in person in house later in the week. I will be running all sources digital 7.1 out from the CB3HD to the Trinnov MC digital inputs.I currently have a 8.2 setup that will be optimized and re-mapped by the Trinnov. I expect after Curt visits he will recommenced another 2 or 3 front height speakers.My front speakers are left/right and below the screen, Among other things I am looking forward to re-mapping the front center up into the middle area of the screen

This setup should really shine when the PR3 card is released shortly. If the demo is half of what I am expecting then there will be 2 Extreme Cards, and a Premium card for sale very shortly.
post #5587 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by LJG View Post

I just received the 12 channel digital output card from Craig and install was very simple. I should be receiving a Trinnov demo unit today to try in house for a few days, Curt Hoyt was kind enough to work this out for me. We will set it up together although he will be on line to assist. After initial set-up Curt will fine tune everything in person in house later in the week. I will be running all sources digital 7.1 out from the CB3HD to the Trinnov MC digital inputs.I currently have a 8.2 setup that will be optimized and re-mapped by the Trinnov. I expect after Curt visits he will recommenced another 2 or 3 front height speakers.My front speakers are left/right and below the screen, Among other things I am looking forward to re-mapping the front center up into the middle area of the screen

This setup should really shine when the PR3 card is released shortly. If the demo is half of what I am expecting then there will be 2 Extreme Cards, and a Premium card for sale very shortly.

Just for kicks, you could do a comparison between running a two channel source through the Xtreme cards, and digi out from CBIII into the Trinnov in bypass mode (i.e. not Trinnov processing engaged). This would give you a direct comparison of the DACs in the Trinnov with digital volume control and the XTreme cards with analog volume control. The former is exactly the same DAC / VC technology as what is used in the $40K ADA reference, so it would be interesting to know how the Xtreme card compares.
post #5588 of 6796
Yes Edorr, many A/B's to test..
post #5589 of 6796
Pardon my ignorance, but are Auro3D or Neo:x simply processing codecs on chips or are there likely to be discreet soundtracks on Blu-ray for example?

Sean
post #5590 of 6796
The label 2L.NO already has an Auro 9.1 discrete release available on blu Ray. Been out for about a year or so I should say now.

In the cinema there have been a few auro native releases. A lot are Indian movies, but Elysium and Red Tails are a couple of block busters released in Auro that I can think off.

After hearing auro thru their beta decoder running into the Datasat RS20i at Genesis Tech UK I am totally sold on the tech. It really is mind blowingly good. And I'm sure theta will be adding auro / neo in the near future.
post #5591 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevekale View Post

I can see a Gen VIII Series 4 coming before too long if Jitter Jail II is that good.
It does not need Jitter Jail II. The Jitter Jail II was really needed for HDMI. The big deal with Jitter Jail II is that is can address HDMI jitter. The the Gen VIII inputs are already asynchronous inputs because of jitter jail.
Edited by Bulldogger - 10/7/13 at 6:12pm
post #5592 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwinterberg View Post

You must have misread my post. When a two channel digital source drives the Gen 8 directly and the Gen 8 outputs it's analog signal to an external pre-amp or volume control, the Gen 8 should be set for unity gain. This disables the Gen 8 internal volume control allowing the downstream pre-amp to be the sole volume control. This allows the Gen 8 with its internal volume control to be used in the same configuration as a Gen V would be used.
No. What Cannga is describing is a fixed output from the Gen VIII when you use the Gen VIII solely as a dac and have an external preamp. You would not use unity gain in this case. He's not asking about two digital sources with the first outputting an analog signal into the Gen VIII and then that input being output into an external preamp.
Edited by Bulldogger - 10/7/13 at 6:43pm
post #5593 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

). This would give you a direct comparison of the DACs in the Trinnov with digital volume control and the XTreme cards with analog volume control.
That's not going to tell you whether it is solely volume controls that are creating any preference. It's not that simple.
post #5594 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraalphahotel View Post

Pardon my ignorance, but are Auro3D or Neo:x simply processing codecs on chips or are there likely to be discreet soundtracks on Blu-ray for example?

Sean
Post-processing. Discreet sound tracks are currently limited to 7.1. I suspect that is mainly because HDMI 1.4 and below can only transmit 8 channels of audio. HDMI 2.0 will be able to transmit up to 32 channels. That's going to make it possible to have discreet sound tracks with audio that has more than 8 channels. You can be sure that someone will create a new format with more than 8 discreet channels and then we will be looking for another hardware update at some future date. But, that's the beauty of the Casablanca, is that it is upgradeable so far to handle any new formats.
post #5595 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

No. What Cannga is describing is a fixed output from the Gen VIII when you use the Gen VIII solely as a dac and have an external preamp. You would not use unity gain in this case. He's not asking about two digital sources with the first outputting an analog signal into the Gen VIII and then that input being output into an external preamp.

I think everyone has the same signal path in mind, but the confusion is about how you call it. "Unity gain" usually refers to an analog input in a preamp being past through at 0db attenuation (aka as "bypass)). "Fixed output" is used for a DAC outputting an analog signal from one of its digital sources without any attenuation. For the application we are talking about here, you would have a digital input with no attenuation going analog out of the DAC into the preamp.
post #5596 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

That's not going to tell you whether it is solely volume controls that are creating any preference. It's not that simple.

Correct. You would compare the Extreme DAC / Analog VC with the Trinnov DAC / Digital VC.
post #5597 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

I think everyone has the same signal path in mind, but the confusion is about how you call it. "Unity gain" usually refers to an analog input in a preamp being past through at 0db attenuation (aka as "bypass)). "Fixed output" is used for a DAC outputting an analog signal from one of its digital sources without any attenuation. For the application we are talking about here, you would have a digital input with no attenuation going analog out of the DAC into the preamp.
Right. The correct term and selection for the Gen VIIi, in this application is fixed volume. Unity gain would not be the appropriate selection.
post #5598 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Correct. You would compare the Extreme DAC / Analog VC with the Trinnov DAC / Digital VC.
Right.You would have to compare with the Casablanca DIRECTLY connected to the amps and the Trinnov piece directly connected to the amps separately. If you use some sort of bypass function on the Trinnov and use it's analog stages to drive the amps , you are not hearing the analog stages of the Xtreme dacs. The Trinnov peice is what is driving the amps in both scenarios though the source may be different.

What I would try to determine is which unit has the better sounding dacs with no room correction employed. If you determine that the Trinnov does then it wins on all fronts. If the Xtreme dacs sound better compared, both units without room correction, then the logical set would be to add the ability to add room correction and use the Xtreme dacs, Dirac Live.
Edited by Bulldogger - 10/7/13 at 7:47pm
post #5599 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

No. You set the Gen VIII to fixed volume and let the external preamp do volume control. The only reasons that you would need another preamp with the Gen 8 is if it was a superior volume control. It you need the Gen VIII to do volume control, you really don't need an external preamp in the first place. When the Gen 8 is set to fixed volume, it basically behaves as any fixed output source. The Gen VIII can be set for fixed volume, variable volume or unity gain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

You said, "The Gen VIII has a unity gain setting that is intended to be used when it outputs into a pre-amp or external volume control." What you are describing is INPUT into the Gen VIII from an external source. You are inputting the analog signal of the source into the Gen VIII. Even if you use the Gen VIII with a digital input from a digital source, you would still set it for fixed volume and use the external preamp for volume control. Unity gain is for using another analog volume control into the Gen VIII so that you don't use two volume controls. For example if you wanted to route the output from the Xtreme dac through the Gen VIII. You would use fixed volume when using the Gen VIII solely as a dac.

What series Gen 8 are you using? I don't think the series 3 has a "fixed" setting, at least if it does I haven't found out how to select it. As best as I can figure, the series 3 is configured to output a fixed volume by selecting unity gain for the selected input. The selected input can be any of the Gen 8 inputs either digital or analog.
post #5600 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Case in point. Paul McGowan @ Owner and chief designed at PS Audio has been an staunch advocate of not using a preamp in the chain for years. As an engineer, he cannot rationalize why an preamp (which is in theory "subtractive") could improve sound quality, and has been preaching this point of view for years. After repeatedly hearing about good preamps improving sound, he finally tried one and is now a convert and proud owner of a (Aesthetix Calypso). He is still losing sleep at night trying to rationalize how the hell this is possible. Go figure.

Ed, I am not surprised at all. This scenario has been discussed/experienced times and again over the years, one that I remember was with Robert Harley about 15-20 years ago. Without a preamp, people often find that the sound may be purer, but it lacks bass and dynamics. In fact, I think the reason it sounds "purer" has something to do with the fact that there is no bass to muddle the sound :-).

I went through everything myself: My Theta Pro Basic has a built in analog stage so I could bypass preamp, and then next was something called the Ultimate Volume Control or something nutty like that: basically a bunch of resistor, each volume level has a resistor. DAC goes to the volume control, which plugs into the Krell amp. In the end, the lack of dynamics was also the end of my experiment.
post #5601 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

For height imaging to really work, height content has to be encoded in the soundtrack so that inadvertent sounds don't image overhead.

Sanjay, I take this to mean a 3D soundtrack, say DTS Neo:X, has to be planned from the beginning, you just don't take for example a DTS HD movie and re-code or "convert" it to DTS Neo:X, right?
post #5602 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

Sanjay, I take this to mean a 3D soundtrack, say DTS Neo:X, has to be planned from the beginning, you just don't take for example a DTS HD movie and re-code or "convert" it to DTS Neo:X, right?
Most of the time, using Neo:X as surround processing will sound fine. In fact, going from a ring of sound around you to more of a 3D bubble of sound (using height speakers) will likely be preferable to most listeners. But once in a while, you might get something up there that could distract you. No surround processing is perfect.

By comparison, using Neo:X as a decoder means that the only sounds being sent to the height speakers are ones intended by the mixer. The downside is that you need Neo:X encoded material for that. As of now, there are only 3 Blu-ray titles with Neo:X encoded heights and wides.

If you currently use PLIIx to scale 5.1-channel soundtracks to your 7.1-speaker layout, then you're already using surround processing to "convert" 2 surround channels to 4 outputs. Does it sound objectionable? Does it feel like the surround information is coming from the wrong direction? If not, then you won't hear problems when using PLIIz or Neo:X to extract height outputs.
post #5603 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwinterberg View Post


What series Gen 8 are you using? I don't think the series 3 has a "fixed" setting, at least if it does I haven't found out how to select it. As best as I can figure, the series 3 is configured to output a fixed volume by selecting unity gain for the selected input. The selected input can be any of the Gen 8 inputs either digital or analog.

My Gen. VIII Series 3 does not indicate "Unity Gain" in the menu settings.

Mine says "Fixed Vol.", I think BD's unit indicates Fixed Vol. but would like him to chime in as well.

My guess is that the difference is due to when it was built and if the Fixed Vol. Option was installed at the time it was built.

As you know they're all built or upgraded with that option installed now, perhaps when the option to have it or not disappeared that's when they started to use the term Unity Gain instead.
post #5604 of 6796
post #5605 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by cannga View Post

Ed, I am not surprised at all. This scenario has been discussed/experienced times and again over the years, one that I remember was with Robert Harley about 15-20 years ago. Without a preamp, people often find that the sound may be purer, but it lacks bass and dynamics. In fact, I think the reason it sounds "purer" has something to do with the fact that there is no bass to muddle the sound :-).

I went through everything myself: My Theta Pro Basic has a built in analog stage so I could bypass preamp, and then next was something called the Ultimate Volume Control or something nutty like that: basically a bunch of resistor, each volume level has a resistor. DAC goes to the volume control, which plugs into the Krell amp. In the end, the lack of dynamics was also the end of my experiment.

In my experience, it all boils down to the quality of the preamp. There is no question that inserting a pair of cables and an active circuit in the signal path takes away some transparency. However, you do get something back (dynamics, timbre etc.). In my experience It takes a very good preamp for the benefits to outweigh the cost (I mean sonically, not financially). Anything solid state under $10K did not do the trick for me. At best it was equivalent. The Ref5 SE was quite a revelation, but not cheap, especially if you throw in a good PC and IC.
post #5606 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbrother52 View Post

My Gen. VIII Series 3 does not indicate "Unity Gain" in the menu settings.

Mine says "Fixed Vol.", I think BD's unit indicates Fixed Vol. but would like him to chime in as well.

My guess is that the difference is due to when it was built and if the Fixed Vol. Option was installed at the time it was built.

As you know they're all built or upgraded with that option installed now, perhaps when the option to have it or not disappeared that's when they started to use the term Unity Gain instead.

Thanks, makes sense.
post #5607 of 6796

I'm becoming less excited about these announcements. The music industry is all over the place regarding fidelity and haven't got their act together. At one time I'd be jumping for joy about this announcement, now I'm skeptical. If these Blu-ray discs just have the album in 24/48 with the same compressed dynamics as the CD versions, who cares. So many sound engineers these days have given up on making dynamic recordings. Everything new is brickwalled with the thought it will only be played back on portable devices. Other than a few of us, who sits in a chair and listens to an album straight through like a concert performance? Anyone try to listen to a CD or a new album at the same calibrated level as a home theatre mix? Be prepared to turn down the volume and/or replace some speaker drivers. Every album is different. What's the artists intent? Well...in many cases, there is little artist intent. Music isn't even recorded in the studio by bands anymore. Need a track for a song? Record it in a bathroom, upload it to an engineer and tell him to make it sound good once you've got the drummer's tracks, etc. Then every step of the way, crank it up in the recording so consumer doesn't need to touch the volume knob at all during listening (except to turn it down once their ears are bleeding.)

Unless these are some secret dynamic studio mixes that have been unearthed, I'm uninterested. Otherwise, what's the point of a LOUD, clipped mix at 24/48? Nothing.

Surprise me, Universal.

Surprise me.
post #5608 of 6796
96kHz. Some 192kHz. I'm all for more content being available in high-res. Hopefully this is thawing.

You also get a FLAC version though not clear what resolution.

I'm looking forward to listening to 96kHz material on my CB XX.

http://store.universal-music.co.uk/restofworld/pure-audio/pure-audio/icat/pureaudio-pureaudio
post #5609 of 6796
There have been a couple of aborted efforts over the years to sort out the proper speaker delay settings for the CBIII. As I am struggling with this issue, I thought I would bring it up again.

The main delay setting page mandates a minimum 15ms delay for the rear speakers. There is a separate delay setting page for DD/DTS sources that can be used to offset the rear delay. Of course, one can further adjust the rear delays if the rear speakers are closer to the seating position. In my case my rear speakers are 5 feet closer to my seating area than my fronts, so I have a rear delay of 20ms for non DD/DTS and 5ms for DD/DTS. But the CBIII does not seem to readily cope with SACD over HDMI. My Oppo outputs an LPCM digital stream. Thus, without further tinkering, I will have a 20ms rear delay relative to the front, when in fact I want a 5ms rear delay.

Here is what I propose to do and I wonder if you think it a good idea. I plan to designate a separate input button for SACD and set the front delays at 10ms and the rears at 15ms. Is this the right approach?
post #5610 of 6796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleanor D View Post

There have been a couple of aborted efforts over the years to sort out the proper speaker delay settings for the CBIII. As I am struggling with this issue, I thought I would bring it up again.

The main delay setting page mandates a minimum 15ms delay for the rear speakers. There is a separate delay setting page for DD/DTS sources that can be used to offset the rear delay. Of course, one can further adjust the rear delays if the rear speakers are closer to the seating position. In my case my rear speakers are 5 feet closer to my seating area than my fronts, so I have a rear delay of 20ms for non DD/DTS and 5ms for DD/DTS. But the CBIII does not seem to readily cope with SACD over HDMI. My Oppo outputs an LPCM digital stream. Thus, without further tinkering, I will have a 20ms rear delay relative to the front, when in fact I want a 5ms rear delay.

Here is what I propose to do and I wonder if you think it a good idea. I plan to designate a separate input button for SACD and set the front delays at 10ms and the rears at 15ms. Is this the right approach?

This is exactly why the Casablanca in all versions have multiple inputs/sources which you can customize for the source. You are on the right path!
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