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Better for movie dialogue -- LCR or just LR with phantom center? - Page 2

post #31 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryLove View Post

Paradigm signature , paradigm studio, bowers and Wilkins nautilus series, and energy c series were all tried.

In some rooms, it works better with the center. In other rooms it worked better without. I am not sure of the reason.

So you used all the same speakers for the front stage? All 3 towers or did you have the matching center? The matching center is not the same speaker.
post #32 of 71
Bill is an "expert", but that doesn't mean his view is gospel, or that everything he says is 100% true for everyone. Earl Geddes, Floyd Toyle, and Siegfried Linkwitz all have very different ideas about what the ideal speaker would be, yet they are "authorities" on audio reproduction.


I will add that I lived with a phantom center setup for years. Adding a center gave an immediate and extremely noticeable improvement to the entire front stage.
Edited by Jay1 - 7/17/13 at 4:44pm
post #33 of 71
For MOVIES, unequivocally get a speaker (vertical or horizontal) for your DISCRETE center channel. The key here is DISCRETE.

A phantom center will never be discrete. Never.

For music, I think stereo is great. But for 5.1 DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD MOVIES, absolutely get a speaker for the center channel.
post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

Worse. Dialog is panned to the center speaker, L/R sounds to those speakers. When you forgo the center the dialog is routed to the L/R, where it has to compete with the rest of the L/R content.
The usual reason for poor dialog reproduction is simply a poor center speaker. To some extent you can compensate for it by turning up the center channel level.

Amen to that.

I've tried Phantom center with plenty of great speakers for movies. None of them did as well as a very good center speaker.
post #35 of 71
Obviously this is another case of personal preference agree-to-disagree. Yeah, that sounds good. smile.gif

I don't mean to pick any sides here. Hope I don't offend anyone. Just my preference. wink.gif
post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

So you used all the same speakers for the front stage? All 3 towers or did you have the matching center? The matching center is not the same speaker.
Energy I ran the same speaker. Others I used the matching center. Of course: since the earlier explanation was "your center must not have been as good a speaker as your L/R", I assumed that was assumed.

Access to "one speaker" is not routinely easy... nor would it have been pragmatically possible in some of the configurations.

I've certainly heard many "identical speaker" setups, but not had a chance to A/B phantom on them (except in the Enerfy setup mentioned above where it improved dialog clarity significantly)

The issue seems to be more by room than simply an issue with the speakers. The same 3-channel front soundstage was fine in an entirely different environment.

I wonder if comb filtering is a part of it. A 125hz wave is about 9ft long.
post #37 of 71
My opinion, phantom sucks, MTM horizontal center suck too.

They can both suck it.
post #38 of 71
In the past I've opted for a phantom center setup over a bad center speaker, but I much prefer a good center speaker.

To my ears three identical speakers LCR sounds the best. It's what I have now and I really like the front sound stage I get wink.gif
post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

...To my ears three identical speakers LCR sounds the best. It's what I have now and I really like the front sound stage I get wink.gif

+1
post #40 of 71
I don't think a phantom center from a great pair of speakers is bad, but I do think having a discrete center speaker is usually better for discrete 5.1 movies (not matrix DSP derived from 2.0 movies).

If a movie is in 2.0, then using only 2 speakers (L/R) is better.
post #41 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I don't think a phantom center from a great pair of speakers is bad, but I do think having a discrete center speaker is usually better for discrete 5.1 movies (not matrix DSP derived from 2.0 movies).

If a movie is in 2.0, then using only 2 speakers (L/R) is better.
That depends. If the source is 2.0/2.1 then chances are it will be just as good played back on 2.0/2.1 as it will in x.1. But remixes of old 2.0 sources can sound better in x.1. When an x.1 remix is done common channel content is panned to center, while content discreet to the L/R are hard panned to the L/R. Since that's how it's mixed it's also how it will sound best at playback. The only material that can't be made to sound a lot better in x.1 than in 2.0/2.1 is that which was originally recorded in mono. It can be improved on by applying delay effect processing to the original signal to create one side, inverting the polarity of the processing to the other side, to create a false stereo image. If the engineer is skilled even that will sound somewhat better in x.1 than 2.0/2.1, again because that's the playback system that it was mastered on.
post #42 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

That depends. If the source is 2.0/2.1 then chances are it will be just as good played back on 2.0/2.1 as it will in x.1. But remixes of old 2.0 sources can sound better in x.1. When an x.1 remix is done common channel content is panned to center, while content discreet to the L/R are hard panned to the L/R. Since that's how it's mixed it's also how it will sound best at playback. The only material that can't be made to sound a lot better in x.1 than in 2.0/2.1 is that which was originally recorded in mono. It can be improved on by applying delay effect processing to the original signal to create one side, inverting the polarity of the processing to the other side, to create a false stereo image. If the engineer is skilled even that will sound somewhat better in x.1 than 2.0/2.1, again because that's the playback system that it was mastered on.

So Dolby Pro Logic II (5.1) could improve dialogue if the movie is in 2.0 ?

In the PAST I was usually unimpressed. But that was in the past. biggrin.gif

Perhaps these DSP modes have improved.

I think some movies could benefit. I will have to try today.
post #43 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

So Dolby Pro Logic II (5.1) could improve dialogue if the movie is in 2.0 ?

In the PAST I was usually unimpressed. But that was in the past. biggrin.gif

Perhaps these DSP modes have improved.

I think some movies could benefit. I will have to try today.

I think the benefit of Dolby ProLogic II from a 2.0 movie mix is more about getting some surround effects coming from your surround speakers than it is getting signals directing to your center speaker. I think that is the biggest difference.
post #44 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

So Dolby Pro Logic II (5.1) could improve dialogue if the movie is in 2.0 ?
I doubt it. Applying PLII with the AVR is a far cry from remastering in the studio. It would be like listening to stereo mixed music in PLII, which IMO completely ruins it. When I do listen to a CD or FM on my HT I switch over to 2.0.
post #45 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I doubt it. Applying PLII with the AVR is a far cry from remastering in the studio. It would be like listening to stereo mixed music in PLII, which IMO completely ruins it. When I do listen to a CD or FM on my HT I switch over to 2.0.

Yes, if a source is 2.0/2.1, I always play back in 2.1 mode (stereo + subs).

I didn't understand your previous post. I thought you meant PLII.
Quote:
But remixes of old 2.0 sources can sound better in x.1.

What is x.1?

Do you mean if a movie is 2.0, then 2.1 mode (L/R speakers + subs) sounds better?
Edited by AcuDefTechGuy - 7/18/13 at 8:39am
post #46 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by hdnewbie21 View Post

I think the benefit of Dolby ProLogic II from a 2.0 movie mix is more about getting some surround effects coming from your surround speakers than it is getting signals directing to your center speaker. I think that is the biggest difference.

That's my impression as well. When a movie is in 2.0, I always play back in 2.1 mode (stereo + subs).

I never use Pro Logic matrix DSP. biggrin.gif
post #47 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I doubt it. Applying PLII with the AVR is a far cry from remastering in the studio. It would be like listening to stereo mixed music in PLII, which IMO completely ruins it. When I do listen to a CD or FM on my HT I switch over to 2.0.

What a shame, but it is your audiophile preference.
post #48 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I didn't understand your previous post. I thought you meant PLII.
No, I meant the use of studio tools that can take a stereo source and reconfigure it as L/C/R, with the material that appears only in the left channel of the stereo mix going to the L, that appearing only in the right channel of the stereo mix going to the R, and that which appears in both going to the C. For that most parts voices are mixed to both the left and right in stereo recordings, so this process puts them in the C but not the L/R. A similar process can remove the vocals from a stereo mix, leaving only the instruments, a trick often used by radio stations when they add gag lyrics to a song.
post #49 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

No, I meant the use of studio tools that can take a stereo source and reconfigure it as L/C/R, with the material that appears only in the left channel of the stereo mix going to the L, that appearing only in the right channel of the stereo mix going to the R, and that which appears in both going to the C. For that most parts voices are mixed to both the left and right in stereo recordings, so this process puts them in the C but not the L/R. A similar process can remove the vocals from a stereo mix, leaving only the instruments, a trick often used by radio stations when they add gag lyrics to a song.

I see. Sounds very interesting. But there is nothing like this available to the mass market, is there?
post #50 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

But there is nothing like this available to the mass market, is there?
PLII can take a stereo source and reconfigure it as L/C/R, with the material that appears only in the left channel of the stereo mix going to the L, that appearing only in the right channel of the stereo mix going to the R, and that which appears in both going to the C. Try it for yourself.
post #51 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

PLII can take a stereo source and reconfigure it as L/C/R, with the material that appears only in the left channel of the stereo mix going to the L, that appearing only in the right channel of the stereo mix going to the R, and that which appears in both going to the C. Try it for yourself.
I never tried that myself, I thought it was just a decoder.
post #52 of 71
Sorry to get technical but I'm assuming you're talking about PLIIx which is a big improvement over the non-x version.
I've tried PLIIx and it does a pretty convincing job.
But the fact remains that there is more than just dialog in the center channel.
The beauty of a great 5.1 soundtrack whether for film or music is the soundstage it creates.
post #53 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I thought it was just a decoder.
Old Pro Logic was a decoder, intended to be used with material encoded in Dolby Surround (aka Dolby Stereo in commercial theatres).

PLII was created by Jim Fosgate as surround processing, intended to be used with unencoded material. Of course, knowing how it operates electrically allowed Dolby Labs to create an encoder, so that 5.1 channels can be downmixed and recovered in a predictable manner. So, aside from surround processing, it can also be used as decoding (though I've only seen PLII encoded material rarely, that too only on TV).

Since music production isn't standardized the way movie soundtracks are, PLII Music mode lets the user choose how much surround and centre information is extracted. For example: the Centre Width parameter can be set from Max (phantom centre) to Min (anything common to both channels extracted to C and cancelled from L/R), separated by 7 steps inbetween. So rather than use a one-size-fits-all approach, the user gets to adjust the surround processing to their personal tastes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I never tried that myself
Push the button. Not like you're going to hurt anything.
post #54 of 71
Hey Sanjay,

very interesting comments yours and thanks for sharing, though.
Sorry for being a bit OT, but could you tell me what's the basic difference between DPL IIx Music and Cinema?? I have a Denon 2809 AVR and to my ears MUSIC has been always better for whatever I'm listening to...
post #55 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Push the button. Not like you're going to hurt anything.
I do. The only stereo material I listen to is music, and when I play music through my system I push the button to defeat the surround, because it sounds bad to me otherwise. Otherwise I leave the surround in auto detect mode and let it do its thing.
post #56 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I never tried that myself, I thought it was just a decoder.

Yes, but a decoder that does exactly what you described for the center channel. As far back as Pro Logic, the center channel was encoded by adding it equally to left and right channels. Decoding it only meant to remove signals common to both left and right (anything mono) and use it as the center channel content. The surround content was encoded by adding it out of phase to left and right channels. That is the part that makes it unpleasing to use Pro Logic on plain unencoded stereo music, because it tries to extract unpredictable content from left and right channels to create surround channels. We'd need a center-only setting.
post #57 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by psgcdn View Post

Yes, but a decoder that does exactly what you described for the center channel. As far back as Pro Logic, the center channel was encoded by adding it equally to left and right channels.
That's not my point with respect to the original question, which is that when an x.1 DVD is mixed they use an x.1 playback with L/C/R, and the result is optimized for listening to the DVD on an x.1 system with L/C/R. If you don't use an L/C/R for playback it won't deliver what's been put on the disc as intended. Close, maybe, but no cigar.
post #58 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

PLII can take a stereo source and reconfigure it as L/C/R, with the material that appears only in the left channel of the stereo mix going to the L, that appearing only in the right channel of the stereo mix going to the R, and that which appears in both going to the C. Try it for yourself.

Thanks. I will try it. biggrin.gif

The last time I used PL was probably 10 years ago. I have never tried PLII or PLIIx. biggrin.gif
post #59 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Old Pro Logic was a decoder, intended to be used with material encoded in Dolby Surround (aka Dolby Stereo in commercial theatres).

PLII was created by Jim Fosgate as surround processing, intended to be used with unencoded material. Of course, knowing how it operates electrically allowed Dolby Labs to create an encoder, so that 5.1 channels can be downmixed and recovered in a predictable manner. So, aside from surround processing, it can also be used as decoding (though I've only seen PLII encoded material rarely, that too only on TV).

Since music production isn't standardized the way movie soundtracks are, PLII Music mode lets the user choose how much surround and centre information is extracted. For example: the Centre Width parameter can be set from Max (phantom centre) to Min (anything common to both channels extracted to C and cancelled from L/R), separated by 7 steps inbetween. So rather than use a one-size-fits-all approach, the user gets to adjust the surround processing to their personal tastes.
Push the button. Not like you're going to hurt anything.

Wow. I had no idea you could setup PLII like that. Very cool. How do you personally set up your PLII in your system?
post #60 of 71
biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

PLII can take a stereo source and reconfigure it as L/C/R...................
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I never tried that myself, I thought it was just a decoder.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Wow. I had no idea you could setup PLII like that. Very cool.

rolleyes.gif

biggrin.gif
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