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Audyssey DSX wides vs. heights?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My current setup is 5.1, all Axiom speakers.

For now, I only have enough money to put up either DSX heights or wides. I've been scouring forums to get different opinions and I'm stuck. I've emailed Chris at Audyssey and even called Axiom. All different opinions.

SO, I'm looking for personal experience, not theory. Anyone listened to both configurations that prefer one or the other?

I am strongly leaning towards heights because I have a tall cathedral ceiling and I think it may add some really nice reflections up high. I like the idea of expanding the sound stage upward, rather than just getting wider (Brent agreed with this, btw).

Opinions anyone? No theory, if possible, just listening experiences.

post #2 of 11
Most member posts I have read that have been fortunate enough to try both (as wides are generally more difficult for WAF placement), generally prefer wides over heights with roughly 1/2 that have tried heights say it's worth it and the other 1/2 saying they add no additional improvement.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you. So, have you gathered that heights just don't play enough material to be worth putting them up? It sounds like the wides are utilized on every movie whereas the heights only kick in every so often?

Could placement be an issue with the heights explaining why some don't like them? Perhaps they aren't placed correctly?
post #4 of 11
More likely more simulated audio available for the front wides than the front heights rather than speaker placement. Although note that with Dolby, ideal placement for DD PLIIz front height is directly above the FL/FR speakers while with Audyssey DSX Front Height, ideal placement is above and out wider than the FL/FR speakers.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
So what about Dolby heights? How are these compared to Audyssey heights?
post #6 of 11
You'll find some prefer DD PLIIz over DSX Heights as it can provide a somewhat more enveloping istening experience with some audio tracks.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
So, how would I place my height speakers so I could switch between DSX and Dolby? Should I mount them according to the DSX specifications at 45 degrees (out a little wider than L and R)?
post #8 of 11
Although it will require a little more effort on your part, I would suggest temorarily mounting them and try both locations to determine which you prefer the best rather than going on someone elses preference. smile.gif
post #9 of 11
For me, and only me here is what I have discovered. I prefer the wides. I use DTS most of the time. I have tried the DSX but I am leaning to DTS right now. I may change my mind. Having said that I listened to Master and Commander of the Far Side of the World and I had quite the shock. Using wide speakers listening to the MA soundtrack on the BD I found that the left speaker was giving me sound from on deck. The wide speaker was giving me ocean noise as though I were standing on deck and could hear the ocean off to the side. I was not expecting this much improvement but glad it was there. I had used high speakers for a feature that had lots of helicopters for flyovers. OK, but I prefer the effect of the wides. Now I do wish I could engage my high and wides at the same time but have not discovered how to do this. My Onkyo NR-818 users manual implies I can do this but I to date have not been able to actually get it to happen.

The impression I get from the wides is that it smooths out the transition from the left and right front speaker to the side surrounds. The left and right wides add just enough information to blend the audio tracks from front to side. I really like the effect. We watch a lot of different types of movies in this house. If we are watching a chic flic I use the DSX for wides. Most of the chic flics don't really have a LOT of surround channel stuff going on. The DSX did seem to make the front stage a bit broader with the LCR track information. If I watch a action type of movie I use the DTS setting.

I hope you find what pleases you and report back to us.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Anyone else have any thoughts on placement of heights if I am going to use BOTH PLIIz and DSX height modes? is there a compromise position?
post #11 of 11
Originally Posted by Peter Freund View Post

Anyone else have any thoughts on placement of heights if I am going to use BOTH PLIIz and DSX height modes? is there a compromise position?

Place them as far lateral to the fronts as possible. Then you will have to experiment in terms of toe-in. Personally, my default audio is 9.2 with heights for film and music. Although I can run 11.2, I almost never do for anything in any of the DSX modes, except to try it out every now and then because it is there. The one major difference with PLII-Z is that it is extracted while DSX is not. With proper setup, one can get the effect of DSX because of the virtual imaging that will occur between the fronts and the immediate surrounds. For me, there is a muddying of the soundstage with DSX because the immediate surrounds are depressed in order to accentuate the Wides. Straight out PLII-Z is a lot cleaner and in film will have nothing much to do with sound effects, like a helicopter, but opens up the soundstage when the full orchestra comes in. Still it will come down to your preference and what you like.
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