How do you listen to high-res surround? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 03:16 PM - Thread Starter
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How do you listen to high-res surround?

Curious about people's gear. No so much speakers but amp/receiver setup.

Is it common to use some fancy external DAC? Or are most people just doing HDMI into a modern receiver?


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post #2 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 04:49 PM
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I'm using HDMI from an Oppo 203 to an Emotiva XMC-1 with Wyred 4 Sound amps.

Bill

My SACD collection and HRAudio.net Library, getting larger as my wallet gets smaller ;-).

Emotiva XMC-1, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE (preamp), SX-500s, ST-500, ST-250, Marantz SA-10, Oppo UDP-205, UDP-203, BDP-105, BDP-103, BDP-93, BDP-83, Panasonic TC-P60GT50, Panamax 5100EX, Salk HT2-TLs, Salk 1801b center, Salk 1801TL (surrounds) and two Rythmik F12SEs.
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post #3 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Mac View Post
I'm using HDMI from an Oppo 203 to an Emotiva XMC-1 with Wyred 4 Sound amps.



Bill


Nice setup Bill. Those oppos are demanding a sweet price these days.


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post #4 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post
Nice setup Bill. Those oppos are demanding a sweet price these days.
Thanks! Especially the prices of the 203 and 205 .

Bill

My SACD collection and HRAudio.net Library, getting larger as my wallet gets smaller ;-).

Emotiva XMC-1, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE (preamp), SX-500s, ST-500, ST-250, Marantz SA-10, Oppo UDP-205, UDP-203, BDP-105, BDP-103, BDP-93, BDP-83, Panasonic TC-P60GT50, Panamax 5100EX, Salk HT2-TLs, Salk 1801b center, Salk 1801TL (surrounds) and two Rythmik F12SEs.
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post #5 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post
Curious about people's gear. No so much speakers but amp/receiver setup.

Is it common to use some fancy external DAC? Or are most people just doing HDMI into a modern receiver?


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I use a PC-based server running JRiver software. In one system, it feeds an exaSound e38 multichannel DAC.
In the other system, the server can either go directly to a Marantz AV-8805 via HDMI or to a stack of Mytek DACs (via a miniDSP U-DIO8) that feeds the analog 7.1 inputs of the Marantz.

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post #6 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 06:38 PM
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Meridian 598 CD/DVD-Audio transport ---> MHR proprietary 3x S/PDIF link ---> Meridian 861 pre-pro.

Oppo 103 for SACD converted to Hi-Res PCM ---> HDMI ---> Meridian 621 HDMI switchbox which strips the Hi-Res PCM and outputs to ---> MHR proprietary 3x S/PDIF link ---> Meridian 861 pre-pro.

Meridian 861 ---> 5x ATC SCM20 ASL Mk11 active loudspeakers
Meridian 861 ---> Xilica 3060 for parametric subwoofer EQ and front rear sub array delays ---> 4x Seaton Submersive HP subwoofers

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post #7 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 06:54 PM
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Disk in, or Hard drive via USB 3 to, Cambridge Audio CX-UHD to Denon X8500H via HDMI.
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post #8 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 07:29 PM
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Oppo 203 via HDMI to Marantz AVR. I use an Emotiva 7 channel amp to power the 7 base speakers. The AVR powers the four height speakers for ATMOS.

I previously had an Oppo 105 analog direct to the 7 channel amp, skipping the AVR. However, I found I like the room correction (Audyssey) when using an AVR.
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post #9 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
I use a PC-based server running JRiver software. In one system, it feeds an exaSound e38 multichannel DAC.
In the other system, the server can either go directly to a Marantz AV-8805 via HDMI or to a stack of Mytek DACs (via a miniDSP U-DIO8) that feeds the analog 7.1 inputs of the Marantz.
Are there disks involved in this set-up?
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post #10 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morgiastic View Post
Are there disks involved in this set-up?
No. I just rip them when I get them.

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post #11 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Nice setups. I figured some folks were running some nice gear.

Keep em coming!

Samsung 55MU6290 -- Denon X1400h -- Klipsch RP600m -- RP450C -- Micca M-6S 6.5 -- Dual Klipsch RW-10
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post #12 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 09:39 PM
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JRiver on an Intel NUC into Marantz 7704 via HDMI.

Then into Xilica DSP and onwards to Powersoft amps and Procella speakers.

Cheers,
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post #13 of 41 Old 07-22-2019, 10:32 PM
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No. I just rip them when I get them.
Fair enough.
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post #14 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 09:19 AM
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HDMI into a nice beefy Yamaha AVR pushes my system fine. Speakers and room and EQ make more difference than anything electronic. Just about any DAC you buy, even inexpensive ones, is going to be audibly transparent. That isn't a wise place to put your money and effort.
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post #15 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 10:24 AM
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I have my OPPO UDP-203 connected to one Audiolab integrated amplifier and three Audiolab power amplifiers via analogue RCA/phono.

I'm fortunate that I have a fairly simple room layout.

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post #16 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sworth View Post
HDMI into a nice beefy Yamaha AVR pushes my system fine. Speakers and room and EQ make more difference than anything electronic. Just about any DAC you buy, even inexpensive ones, is going to be audibly transparent. That isn't a wise place to put your money and effort.


Yes this is probably true. I wouldn't mind to have some of the expensive gear here. But for my untrained ear I'm not sure how much it would help.


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post #17 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 11:10 AM
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I only play Discs using the OPPO UDP-203 UltraHD Blu-ray player connected to a NAD T777 A/V receiver via HDMI cable. (7.1 Triad speaker set-up)

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post #18 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post
Yes this is probably true. I wouldn't mind to have some of the expensive gear here. But for my untrained ear I'm not sure how much it would help.
You would be surprised how quality components can really make a difference in overall SQ. One of the biggest SQ improvements I've experienced beside speaker upgrades was the addition of Dirac room correction.

Bill

My SACD collection and HRAudio.net Library, getting larger as my wallet gets smaller ;-).

Emotiva XMC-1, Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE (preamp), SX-500s, ST-500, ST-250, Marantz SA-10, Oppo UDP-205, UDP-203, BDP-105, BDP-103, BDP-93, BDP-83, Panasonic TC-P60GT50, Panamax 5100EX, Salk HT2-TLs, Salk 1801b center, Salk 1801TL (surrounds) and two Rythmik F12SEs.
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post #19 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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You would be surprised how quality components can really make a difference in overall SQ. One of the biggest SQ improvements I've experienced beside speaker upgrades was the addition of Dirac room correction.

Bill
I believe it can, but man the cost goes up quick. I am going to focus on speakers for now. My budget for these sort of things is pretty limited.
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post #20 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 06:16 PM
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I believe it can, but man the cost goes up quick. I am going to focus on speakers for now. My budget for these sort of things is pretty limited.
What do you have now?
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post #21 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by morgiastic View Post
What do you have now?
Morgan


Super simple.
Denon x1400h
Elac Debut 6.2 L/R and Center
Micah in walls for the surrounds (5.1)
Dual Klipsch RW10 subs.

Fed over HDMI from a PC running Jriver.

I currently do not have a disc player. Sony X800 is on my short list.

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post #22 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 07:42 PM
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Super simple.
Denon x1400h
Elac Debut 6.2 L/R and Center
Micah in walls for the surrounds (5.1)
Dual Klipsch RW10 subs.

Fed over HDMI from a PC running Jriver.

I currently do not have a disc player. Sony X800 is on my short list.
That seems like a pretty credible system, especially with the X800. With the 1400 having room correction, I would think anything else your going to do would result in incremental improvement. Not saying that isn't worth pursuing, but at least you could be happily listening while you figured it out. I wasn't able to find anything on those Micah in walls, though.
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post #23 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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How do you listen to high-res surround?

Quote:
Originally Posted by morgiastic View Post
That seems like a pretty credible system, especially with the X800. With the 1400 having room correction, I would think anything else your going to do would result in incremental improvement. Not saying that isn't worth pursuing, but at least you could be happily listening while you figured it out. I wasn't able to find anything on those Micah in walls, though.
Morgan


Incremental huh. I don't want to hear that lol. But I get it. With the money people spend around here though I would hope things could get quite a bit better. But I am pretty happy. I've been encouraged to look at a better sub instead of tower speakers in another thread.

Sorry the in walls are Micca. Something cheap they sell on Amazon but I have been happy with them for surrounds.

Micca M-6S 6.5 Inch 2-Way In-Wall Speaker with Pivoting 1" Silk Dome Tweeter (Each, White) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0047PO2Z8..._3X8nDbGFZ6EEY

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post #24 of 41 Old 07-23-2019, 10:01 PM
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Incremental huh. I don't want to hear that lol. But I get it. With the money people spend around here though I would hope things could get quite a bit better. But I am pretty happy. I've been encouraged to look at a better sub instead of tower speakers in another thread.

Sorry the in walls are Micca. Something cheap they sell on Amazon but I have been happy with them for surrounds.

Micca M-6S 6.5 Inch 2-Way In-Wall Speaker with Pivoting 1" Silk Dome Tweeter (Each, White) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0047PO2Z8..._3X8nDbGFZ6EEY

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How much better something is is completely a matter of opinion, I think I've made substantial improvements to my system over the years, but I'm sure there's people who wouldn't think it's really any better than the Phillips HTIB I had so terribly many years ago. What I've done would be no value to them, lots to me.
But, what I was really trying to say was you appear to have everything you need except a device that will play the media that most high res surround is available in, so the Sony would resolve that missing link. Anything else is just going to be an improvement over what you already have.
To that end, one of the questions I would have is how well your surrounds mesh with the rest. My experience is that Audyssey helps with that more than I would have thought, but only goes so far. Both the Elacs and the Miccas appear to have 1" fabric tweeters, so that's probably a big step in helping Audyssey along.
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post #25 of 41 Old 07-24-2019, 06:27 AM
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Oppo 103 DVD-A / SACD (converted to LPCM to fix .1 levels) --> HDMI--> Marantz 8802A driving a 5.4.4 layout, I use Dolby Surround Upmixer 90% of the time on HighRes music.

HTPC Running JRiver MC 24 --> HDMI --> 8802A for ripped DVD-A, SACD Converted to FLAC, BluRays and demo Atmos tracks.

Rest of system is huge (18 ch of amplification) and complex (roll my own active crossovers and such with a pair of DBX DriveRack 4800), speakers are highly customized MartinLogan Electrostats, custom subs (including an IB) and MBMs. Deployed in a custom-built room replete with tons of commercial and custom acoustical treatments.

Correctly treating one's room is critical for maximum enjoyment of good multichannel recordings, as you want to hear the mix, not the rooms edits of it.
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post #26 of 41 Old 07-24-2019, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morgiastic View Post
How much better something is is completely a matter of opinion, I think I've made substantial improvements to my system over the years, but I'm sure there's people who wouldn't think it's really any better than the Phillips HTIB I had so terribly many years ago. What I've done would be no value to them, lots to me.
But, what I was really trying to say was you appear to have everything you need except a device that will play the media that most high res surround is available in, so the Sony would resolve that missing link. Anything else is just going to be an improvement over what you already have.
To that end, one of the questions I would have is how well your surrounds mesh with the rest. My experience is that Audyssey helps with that more than I would have thought, but only goes so far. Both the Elacs and the Miccas appear to have 1" fabric tweeters, so that's probably a big step in helping Audyssey along.
Morgan


That makes sense. Thanks for the help. The surrounds are definitely the weakest link. I think they fit well but wouldn't know any better unless I switched them out. This is a brand new home and our first. So the WAF opening up the walls again might be tricky. But down the road I'm sure it will happen.

Brett

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post #27 of 41 Old 07-24-2019, 08:03 AM
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My setup is very similar to Kal's

HTPC => USB => exaSound e38 => Analog => Marantz AV8805 => Sherbourn 7/2100 => Piega Speakers and HSU VTF-15h mkII sub

and

HTPC => HDMI => Marantz AV8805 => Sherbourn 7/2100 => Piega Speakers and HSU VTF-15h mkII subwoofer

I can use Dirac on the HTPC or Audyssey on the Marantz AV8805 or choose no room correction depending on what i want at the time.

Media Room: LG oled65c7, Marantz AV8805, Sherbourn 7/2100, Emotiva A-300, Studer A80, Studer Revox b795, Nakamichi RX-202, HTPC, exaSound e38, Sweetvinyl Sugarcube SC-2, (2) Piega P10, Piega Coax Center, (6) Piega AP 1.2, Hsu VTF-15h mk2
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Bedroom: Panasonic TCP55vt35, Pioneer SX-N30, Dune 3 Prime, (2) Elac Uni-Fi UB5

Last edited by mlknez; 07-24-2019 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Edited per sworths comments on room correction
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post #28 of 41 Old 07-24-2019, 09:43 AM
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The specific makes and models of components don't matter nearly as much as how they're implemented. Room correction is the lion's share of the battle to get great sound, and that doesn't have a brand name or spec sheet. I always see people with sig files packed with model numbers like alphabet soup. None of it tells me anything about how their system really sounds. Speakers matter because they actually make the sound. But the rest of the system is more a matter of convenience and features than it is sound quality.
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post #29 of 41 Old 07-24-2019, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
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Room correction is the lion's share of the battle to get great sound
How about the room, speaker placement and listening position?
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post #30 of 41 Old 07-25-2019, 12:04 AM
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I’m running LibreElec (Linux Kodi) on an Intel NUC via HDMI to a Denon X7200WA AVR for 7.2.4 decoding. This drives my 4 x Focal in-ceiling speakers and 2 x Focal rears.

The Denon has preamp RCA cables to an Arcam AVR600 to drive my main 5 speakers (L, C, R, SL, SR) - all Bowers and Wilkins 800 series. Two subs - both B&W 800 series. My front L + R (802Ds) are bi-amped (Arcam has 7 amplifiers).

All my music (audio only) is ripped to FLAC, except Atmos which is untouched as MKA files and decoded via HDMI Passthrough by the Denon. My concert discs ripped to individual MKV files per song so I can easily add to play lists.

Remote control via an iPad app.

A photo before I installed the Atmos in-ceiling speakers:
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