My first thought after running Audyssey XT32 and then switching on Audyssey DSX Wides was that the size of my acoustic space had quadrupled in volume. The Plat's sound big.. no HUGE.. all by themselves. But the addition of the wides, (which, by design, are intended to mimic the reflections at 60 degrees found in many highly regarded theaters and auditoriums), made the walls move back and the space expand. Everything just got bigger.
My next thought was that I was immersed in a "new" sonic hologram. Let me explain...
Years ago, I had the experience of listening to a pair of Wilson Watt Puppy II's. They threw up a sonic hologram in front of the listener that was truly uncanny. The sound bore nor relationship to the speakers whatsoever. It was just in a space in front of the listener, which each individual instrument and voice in it's own space, with some in front, some behind, some left, some right, but each independent of each other... and of the speakers.. It was very 3-dimensional and believable... more so than any other sonic experience I've had.. before or since. It was like the visual hologram in I, Robot where Dr. Cromwell is "projected" in front of Will Smith and says: "My responses are limited. You must ask the right questions." That was a visual hologram. This was a sonic hologram.
However, that sonic hologram, as cool as it was, was only "in front of the listener." This new sonic hologram with the Plat's, Silver Monitors and Audyssey DSX Wides was not just "in front of the listener"; the listener, (me), was now in the middle of... a PART of.. the hologram.
This was a new and unique experience for me.
I watched King Kong on BluRay. There are any number of scenes I could mention, but the one that comes to mind is the scene where they find the footprint, just before the brontosaurus stampede. The scene starts with the group walking through the forest. There are sounds of bugs flying around, (big bugs
), they are close and they are far away. There are the ambient sounds of the forest; birds in the trees, the sounds of leaves rustling, the footsteps of the men, etc. At one point, one of the men starts shooting at the bugs. When I have watched this scene in the past, I could hear all these sounds, but they could often be localized to one speaker or the other. IOW, the sound seemed to be coming from the speakers... not holographic.
With the new system, these sounds now become one giant soundstage that the listener is immersed in the middle of. The sounds are no longer "attached" to the speakers... they just exist in this huge 3-dimensional soundscape. The sounds of the forest are larger, deeper and more believable than ever before.Editorial Disclaimer: I am well aware that my comments above are totally subjective and are not in any way scientific; nor do they employ any objective, measurable or quantifiable differences. I would love to be able to provide the reader with measurements and easily quantifiable data to support my listening impressions. However, I have neither the equipment, not the expertise to use it, to provide the reader with factual data to support what I hear.
It is difficult to assign the credit for these huge improvements in my system to any one upgrade. I know for sure that the Plat's are the best speakers I have ever owned. I knew that before I did the Silver Monitor Wides. I also know that the Silver Monitors are an excellent timbre-match for the Plat's, and I'm sure that plays a huge role in the immersiveness of this system.
However, I can't fail to give credit to the Audyssey DSX Wide processing. This system in my Integra 80.2 is, without doubt a huge part of the ability of my system to "pull this off." In addition, I suspect that Audyssey XT32 is responsible for enhancing the timbre-match and integrating the system to the "whole."
I was asked to list the rest of my gear:
Oppo BDP 83
SA 8300 HD CATV
Earthquake Sound Cinenova Grande 5, (driving the Plat LCR's, CC and rear surrounds)
Emotiva XPA-5 (driving the Silver Monitor Wides and Sides)
BenQ W10000, (next component to be upgraded)
SeymourAV 120" Diagonal, electric drop-down screen, (XD screen material)
Panamorph UPH480 Anamorphic lens
Crowson Tactile Transducer
Buttkicker BKA 1000 amp
PS. More specific listening impressions to follow.