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Best Surround Processor Currently Available? - Page 8

Poll Results: Best Multi-Channel processor currently on the market?

This is a multiple choice poll
  • 11% (23)
    Classe SSP800
  • 10% (21)
    Bryton SP3
  • 1% (3)
    ADA Mach IV
  • 13% (27)
    ADA Mach IV+Trinnov
  • 20% (42)
    Datasat RS20i
  • 15% (32)
    Theta CB3 HDMI + Extreme Dacs
  • 5% (12)
    Krell Evolution 707
  • 11% (24)
    Mcintosh MX151
  • 7% (15)
    JBL Synthesis with SDEC 4500
  • 14% (31)
    Other (comment on your answer)
207 Total Votes  
post #211 of 817
Thread Starter 
Yeah it's a beauty but not worth $40k IMO. At $20k retail, then we can talk.
post #212 of 817
I've been saying that's the king of the hill for a year, now!

Yes, Peter you can do it from the touch screen or VNC with an ipad or laptop. I used the laptop bdcause it was easier with page-up page-down commands.

Dan
post #213 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

What a massive touchscreen user interface. Can this processor be set up 100% from the front panel?

Yes, it can.

It's also very easy to plug a USB keyboard and/or mouse into the back USB port, and still use the screen on the unit.

I used the ADA control software via wireless on my laptop to do the ADA portion of the setup, and I used VNC wireless on my laptop to do the Trinnov portion of the setup.

The sonics are special -- and this coming from a former 861v6 guy.
Edited by Brucemck2 - 4/7/13 at 8:49am
post #214 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by CINERAMAX View Post

What a massive touchscreen user interface. Can this processor be set up 100% from the front panel?

I personally much prefer having the exact same screen on an iPad using VNC. You can fiddle with settings it from the listening position. I have a dead boring Trinnov-Pro processor box sitting invisibly behind my rack. Volume control and input switching is also done on the iPad using iRule. Welcome to the wireless age.
post #215 of 817
The uk price for the reference is £48000 / $73600. I bet you could buy a house for that price in parts of the states. Lol.
post #216 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrang View Post

I was with Tony on the two demos, as I was keen on the possibilities of Datasat as well, but I concur; we haven't been blown away yet.

Hopefully some different options arise to get a proper demo. I frankly do love the Marantz 8801 and Mac amps driving my 11 channels of Diamond, but am always keeping an ear open for genuinely better options if they exist.

Agreed. I had the rs20, now have the Marantz, and it's 90%. You may hope the $$$ would provide exponential advantages, but I didn't think so....
post #217 of 817
in my humble opinion, the Marantz 8801 should have been included in this poll...
post #218 of 817
For those wondering how Trinnov performs in a real room, attached are after and before shots of the frequency response of my behind screen center channel before and after Trinnov processing.

Each colored line is a different seating location. The olive green line is the money seat.

The frequency response in every seat improved markedly. This is particularly impressive given that the five measurements used to establish the Trinnov corrections were all within 6" of the money seat. (At ear; at ear height but 6" forward, left and right; At ears but 6' high).




ps -- many thanks to Curt Hoyt and to Keith Yates for helping me to dial in the room
Edited by Brucemck2 - 4/8/13 at 9:46am
post #219 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post

in my humble opinion, the Marantz 8801 should have been included in this poll...

+1
post #220 of 817
One thing the latest generation of high end processors seem to be lacking is surround synthesis features, aka Lexicon Logic 7. Perhaps they do have something similar but it's not mentioned in the few spec sheets I read.

Now if all you do is play Blurays, that is recently produced movies, the advanced audio codecs are indeed exceptional. No comparison there. But what about old material? How do these newer processors enhance the legacy sound tracks, of which I include DD5.1?

This is why I have stuck with Lexicon since the CP3. IMO, they excel with surround synthesis.

IMO, if all you want to do is decode the newer audio formats, you can do it a lot cheaper then the units listed with comparable performance.
Edited by Glimmie - 4/8/13 at 5:41pm
post #221 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

One thing the latest generation of high end processors seem to be lacking is surround synthesis features, aka Lexicon Logic 7. Perhaps they do have something similar but it's not mentioned in the few spec sheets I read.

The Bryston SP3 has something called "Stereo-7", but the operating manual does not descibe what it does...

From the JBL SDP-45 manual:

STEREO7: The Stereo7 (Seven-Channel Stereo) Mode converts stereo
input to surround sound. The stereo signal is distributed to the 7
SAT/CBL channels plus sub-woofer, creating a giant stereo image in
your listening space.

STEREO7x: This post processing uses a matrix decoder and a complex
array of delay and reverberation processing to create a pseudo surround
sound effect from a stereo input signal.
Edited by Peter Nielsen - 4/8/13 at 6:04pm
post #222 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

One thing the latest generation of high end processors seem to be lacking is surround synthesis features, aka Lexicon Logic 7.
That's a highly specialized field with relatively few groundbreakers, like Jim Fosgate and David Griesinger. Most manufacturers these days simply license technologies from Dolby and DTS, so there isn't much differentiation between various brands if you're looking for something unique in surround processing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

IMO, if all you want to do is decode the newer audio formats, you can do it...
...in the player, IMO. Moving that function to the pre-pro doesn't buy you anything.
post #223 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

That's a highly specialized field with relatively few groundbreakers, like Jim Fosgate and David Griesinger. Most manufacturers these days simply license technologies from Dolby and DTS, so there isn't much differentiation between various brands if you're looking for something unique.

Here's a proprietary synthesized surround solution in an audiophile oriented hardware unit:

http://www.illusonic.com/immersive-audio-processor/

Anyone with a perspective on how their approach would compare with current Pro Logic and similar offerings?
post #224 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

One thing the latest generation of high end processors seem to be lacking is surround synthesis features, aka Lexicon Logic 7. Perhaps they do have something similar but it's not mentioned in the few spec sheets I read.

Now if all you do is play Blurays, that is recently produced movies, the advanced audio codecs are indeed exceptional. No comparison there. But what about old material? How do these newer processors enhance the legacy sound tracks, of which I include DD5.1?

Not sure what you mean by synthesis but don't PLIIx, PLIIz and Neo:X count?
Edited by GGA - 4/9/13 at 12:01pm
post #225 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGA View Post

Not sure what you mean by synthesis but don't PLIIx, PLIIy and Neo:X count?

But those are modes are done in the mix. They are analog coded via phase shifts, 1970s technology but still deliberately mixed in. I am referring more to modes like LOGIC 7 and other modes that can make 7.1 surround from PL2 or stereo sources. I realize this is ear/brain trickery and many high end users don't like it. And yes there are always artifacts and the more you push the process, like 7.1 from a mono source, the worse the artifacts get. But I just like having it as an option that I can use or turn off.

I do find though that some old material like 70s TV series sound best when in center channel only.
post #226 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Nielsen View Post

The Bryston SP3 has something called "Stereo-7", but the operating manual does not descibe what it does...

From the JBL SDP-45 manual:

STEREO7: The Stereo7 (Seven-Channel Stereo) Mode converts stereo
input to surround sound. The stereo signal is distributed to the 7
SAT/CBL channels plus sub-woofer, creating a giant stereo image in
your listening space.

STEREO7x: This post processing uses a matrix decoder and a complex
array of delay and reverberation processing to create a pseudo surround
sound effect from a stereo input signal.

Well JBL/Harmon owns Lexicon so this is probably a cross licensing of LOGIC 7?
post #227 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post


Here's a proprietary synthesized surround solution in an audiophile oriented hardware unit:

http://www.illusonic.com/immersive-audio-processor/

Anyone with a perspective on how their approach would compare with current Pro Logic and similar offerings?

No.  Their literature is suggestive but not revealing.  I have asked for one for review.

post #228 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Well JBL/Harmon owns Lexicon so this is probably a cross licensing of LOGIC 7?

Very unlikely. If this was the case, then why would they rename it? cool.gif
post #229 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

But those are modes are done in the mix.
While there are 3 titles encoded in Neo:X, 99.9999999% of the time those modes are used as surround processing (not decoding), designed specifically to be used on unencoded material.
Quote:
They are analog coded via phase shifts, 1970s technology but still deliberately mixed in.
Those modes have always been digital, never been implemented in the analogue domain. They're not from the 1970s, but at least 2-3 decades later.
Quote:
I am referring more to modes like LOGIC 7 and other modes that can make 7.1 surround from PL2 or stereo sources.
PLIIz can make 9.1 surround from stereo sources; Neo:X can make 11.1 surround from stereo sources. Both can also be applied to 5.1 and 7.1 sources.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

Well JBL/Harmon owns Lexicon so this is probably a cross licensing of LOGIC 7?
Doubt it. The first seems like a Party/ All-Channel Stereo mode. The second talks about using reverb, which neither Logic7 nor QuantumLogic use. Probably something already built into the Bryston.
post #230 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Anyone with a perspective on how their approach would compare with current Pro Logic and similar offerings?
As Kal says, their literature is not revealing but they do suggest some things in the instruction manual and on their website, especially when explaining why speakers are placed at certain locations and what content is steered to those speakers.

For example: they mention "dry" content being steered to the centre speaker. This sounds like what Lexicon was going to do with QuantumLogic Surround, separating dry and wet (reverberant) parts of the recording. They also mention placing wides to simulate a larger space, like how Audyssey generates early reflections with DSX or Yamaha generates reverb with their Cinema DSP modes. With multi-channel content, they talk about extracting rears and heights, which is how PLIIz and Neo:X approach surround processing.

I can't tell which of these approaches they're using: dry/wet separation, generating ambience, extracting ambience. Maybe it's all three simultaneously.
post #231 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post


Those modes have always been digital, never been implemented in the analogue domain. They're not from the 1970s, but at least 2-3 decades later.

OK, I missed the "x".
post #232 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post

Here's a proprietary synthesized surround solution in an audiophile oriented hardware unit:

http://www.illusonic.com/immersive-audio-processor/

Anyone with a perspective on how their approach would compare with current Pro Logic and similar offerings?
Nothing much in common with PLII. It does seem to have similarities with Quantum Logic, but that expressely uses blind source separation to decompose the audio and enable moving sound sources, which is more involved than what Illusonic describes. The closest available to that would be Neo:X, technologically, but Illusonic is much more scalable/flexible than any incarnations of Neo:X seen to date.

A friend read several of Faller's papers, and deduced it uses:

- time-frequency representation of signal using auditory filter-banks (critical bands)
- short term magnitude average estimate for each band
- cross-correlation between input channels, for each band
- and the well-known "if it's uncorrelated, then it's diffuse, put that in the rear/height channels" and
- if it's correlated in L/R, put it in the center

Aside from the processing and speaker flexibility, the bass management and EQ functions look very well thought out. Very much looking forward to Kal's review. Tried to find a price for the unit, but none popped up. Any idea?

Kal, I have access to a good sound room in SoCal with more "3D" speakers than this can ever drive -- if perchance you want to see what it does in that environment. I know, it's a long way from home...
post #233 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glimmie View Post

But those are modes are done in the mix. They are analog coded via phase shifts, 1970s technology but still deliberately mixed in.
Fosgate's PLII was designed first and foremost to process 2-ch content into 5.1 surround. There was no explicit encoder at the time, just the encoding of sound into stereo, which is actually quite powerful.
Quote:
I am referring more to modes like LOGIC 7 and other modes that can make 7.1 surround from PL2 or stereo sources.
While Fosgate was at Harman developing 6-Axis in the Citation line, he pitched Dolby on using it as a successor to Pro Logic (which was never intended for music). Concurrent with that, Harman pitched Logic7. It was a battle of analog vs. digital, and of different philosophies on how to render a surround space. Ultimately, I rejected both as there were too many flaws for my taste. Years later, after Fosgate and Harman parted ways, he took a clean sheet approach to the matter and I was hooked. That is now known as Pro Logic II. Jim designed it in analog, and Dolby engineers converted it to DSP.
Quote:
I realize this is ear/brain trickery and many high end users don't like it. And yes there are always artifacts and the more you push the process, like 7.1 from a mono source, the worse the artifacts get. But I just like having it as an option that I can use or turn off.
Exactly the kinds of issues I am discussing. And I am by no means claiming PLII (or PLIIx) is perfect. Only that I have yet to hear one I like better for long term listening. Maybe that one could be Illusonic.
Edited by Roger Dressler - 4/10/13 at 11:07am
post #234 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

A friend read several of Faller's papers, and deduced it uses:

- the well-known "if it's uncorrelated, then it's diffuse, put that in the rear/height channels" and
- if it's correlated in L/R, put it in the center
That's pretty much standard for most extraction-based surround processing technologies, so I wonder why they said that "dry" content rather than "correlated" content gets moved to the centre.
post #235 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

That's pretty much standard for most extraction-based surround processing technologies, so I wonder why they said that "dry" content rather than "correlated" content gets moved to the centre.
Just a choice of terms. I do not see them as particularly different.

The manual also states that the process can discern early reflections and place them in the respective height speaker. Neat trick.
post #236 of 817
No US distributor yet for illusonic.
post #237 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post


While Fosgate was at Harman developing 6-Axis in the Citation line, he pitched Dolby on using it as a successor to Pro Logic (which was never intended for music).

I thoroughly enjoyed 6-Axis when it came out, and still fire it up from time to time even now. Some things sound really good in it as long as you don't ask too much. "Simpler surround for simple people from a simpler time" or something like that, eh?

Of course, as a consumer I only had knowledge of what was available and not what was in the works, so to speak. Plus there was no deep exploration of these things all over the Internet like now, though honestly we could do without some of the (edited) on some boards.

As you know, I'm a big Fosgate fan, and I can forgive you for rejecting 6-Axis because you embraced PLII. wink.gif

As for the current crop of hopeful replacements for PLIIx, Logic7, etc., so far all I hear are wishful thinkers whose ambitions far outstrip their accomplishments. Current iterations are hopelessly complex, and they have "interim" stamped all over them. The proliferation of over-promising products is indicative of the chaos, and some companies have failed miserably at trying to make it all--or at least some of it--work. Marketing buzz, show booths with staged demos, and vague Web sites don't make solid products, but they sure do excite us. Someday this will all bear fruit, but the tree does not appear to be at fruit-bearing capability right now.

The best surround processor currently available is probably a universal disc player. It will do everything it says it will do.
Edited by filecat13 - 4/10/13 at 11:31am
post #238 of 817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randy Bessinger View Post

No US distributor yet for illusonic.

 

Christina Schmidlin, Director
Hellikon - US Distributor
christina schmidlin <christina@hellikon.com>
post #239 of 817
Weird. The owner just wrote me yesterday and said none but maybe he meant dealers. He said all support from Switzerland. Rebate on retail because of that. How is illusonic related to hellkon? I must be missing something.
Edited by Randy Bessinger - 4/10/13 at 4:24pm
post #240 of 817
Dear Randy,

MRSP is CHF 19200, which translates USD 20520.
This is a high-end audiophile product.

Since we don't have yet a distributor/reseller in the US, we could give you a rebate to account for missing local support.
Of course you could get directly from us remote support. Warranty would also be directly handled through us, including shipping carried by us.

Let me know if you have further questions.
Thanks for your consideration.
Christof



Christof Faller
Owner & Managing Director

office: +41 43 466 9454
mobile: +41 76 572 2914
mail: christof.faller@illusonic.com
skype: christof.faller

Illusonic GmbH
Bahnstrasse 23
8610 Uster
Switzerland

http://www.illusonic.com




On Apr 9, 2013, at 4:25 PM, Randy Bessinger wrote:

what will be retail price in US $?
Sent from my iPad
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