How to Choose a Loudspeaker -- What the Science Shows - Page 165 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #4921 of 5322 Old 09-16-2019, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
Thanks for stating this explicitely, Floyd. I have done demos of stereo vs. multichannel and I usually begin by using one of the RCA Living Stereo SACDs (Reiner's Scheherazade) because so many audiophiles already know it well. After playing the stereo track of the opening movement, I ask the audience to predict how the 3channel track will sound different. Almost universally, they predict there will be more central detail and depth as well as stability compared with the phantom center. Again, almost universally, they are surprised to find that the most obvious consequence of adding the discrete center channel and center speaker is that the soundstage is notably widened beyond the positions of the L/R speakers.

Although this would not be an example of the type of processing or surround sound you are using: One of my favorite AVR processing modes I used whe listening to music on my home theater system was (I think) a "5 channel stereo" signal. But I only had my L/C/R speakers set up at the time so with that setting it defaulted to producing a stereo image including the center channel. It was amazingly pleasing: the whole from stage had a big, rich, thick quality with the addition of the center channel in that mix.


That said, even though I have a nice surround set up, I have never, ever heard a system employing a center channel that sounds as effortlessly dimensional, coherent, and images like a decent two channel set up. (I include professional film mixing theaters in there BTW).
I'm always aware of the center channel in sound set ups.


Not that I discount it can't be done, and perhaps listening to discrete surround music in your set up would be eye-opening. But my main point is that I'd say one reason why 2 channel music listening is so persistent among audiophiles (the folks who are inclined to sit and listen to music and appreciate these things), is that it's almost effortless to get a really cool and somewhat "convincing" and coherent sense of imaging and soundstaging with just a pair of speakers, where it seems achieving a similar effect adding more speakers isn't so simple and easy.
(Heck, I've put off even integrating subwoofers I bought for a year or more because it's such a hassle to dial them in totally right).
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post #4922 of 5322 Old 09-16-2019, 05:41 PM
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^^^^ thank you ^^^^
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post #4923 of 5322 Old 09-16-2019, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
Not that I discount it can't be done, and perhaps listening to discrete surround music in your set up would be eye-opening. But my main point is that I'd say one reason why 2 channel music listening is so persistent among audiophiles (the folks who are inclined to sit and listen to music and appreciate these things), is that it's almost effortless to get a really cool and somewhat "convincing" and coherent sense of imaging and soundstaging with just a pair of speakers, where it seems achieving a similar effect adding more speakers isn't so simple and easy.
I am afraid that I do not agree. Over the years, I've played with this issue and the only connection I can make with your observations is to wonder if some of the "effortless, "really cool" and "somewhat convincing" impression is enhanced by the knowledge that there really is no center source. So, yes, I am often so impressed and have, at times, gotten up off my seat to listen close enough to confirm that, indeed, the center speaker is not active.

OTOH, in tests with mono, stereo and multichannel sources upmixed and downmixed for comparisons, stereo was always less convincing than a 3 channel system in reproducing a central source whether it was a solo voice/instrument or any number of them. I cannot comment on whether it is/was more difficult to achieve that than to achieve good stereo; that is blurred by obsession. ;-)
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post #4924 of 5322 Old 09-16-2019, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
Although this would not be an example of the type of processing or surround sound you are using: One of my favorite AVR processing modes I used whe listening to music on my home theater system was (I think) a "5 channel stereo" signal. But I only had my L/C/R speakers set up at the time so with that setting it defaulted to producing a stereo image including the center channel. It was amazingly pleasing: the whole from stage had a big, rich, thick quality with the addition of the center channel in that mix.


That said, even though I have a nice surround set up, I have never, ever heard a system employing a center channel that sounds as effortlessly dimensional, coherent, and images like a decent two channel set up. (I include professional film mixing theaters in there BTW).
I'm always aware of the center channel in sound set ups.


Not that I discount it can't be done, and perhaps listening to discrete surround music in your set up would be eye-opening. But my main point is that I'd say one reason why 2 channel music listening is so persistent among audiophiles (the folks who are inclined to sit and listen to music and appreciate these things), is that it's almost effortless to get a really cool and somewhat "convincing" and coherent sense of imaging and soundstaging with just a pair of speakers, where it seems achieving a similar effect adding more speakers isn't so simple and easy.
(Heck, I've put off even integrating subwoofers I bought for a year or more because it's such a hassle to dial them in totally right).
Rich, I find your perceptions interesting regarding stereo imaging vs. the inclusion of a center channel.

As for setting up subs, I often skip doing things that I anticipate will be a hassle, I feel you there. Sometimes I choose to pay someone proficient to do those things for me so that I can finally enjoy the end result. Given the contribution of good bass to musical enjoyment, I'd like to see you get those subs in the mix!
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post #4925 of 5322 Old 09-16-2019, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
I cannot comment on whether it is/was more difficult to achieve that than to achieve good stereo; that is blurred by obsession. ;-)

Then it's not clear you disagreed with my point as to why two channel remains favored among audiophiles.


Take any competently designed pair of speakers, and you can set them up in the classic triangle relative to the listener, and you will pretty much automatically get imaging and soundstaging - a singer appearing right in the center, instruments arrayed in space, a dimensional sound stage in which sonic images appear to be simply hanging in space between the speakers, not "coming from" speakers.


It takes more equipment, additional judicious choice of processing for most sources (when upmixing as would be the case for most music sources), and more set up care (matching center to mains both in terms of speaker design, and placement etc) to hope to achieve as seamless an imaging effect once you introduce a center channel.


Disagree?
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post #4926 of 5322 Old 09-16-2019, 06:56 PM
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if my system plays a speaker setup say with klipsch towers and gives x results...then same system plays focal towers set way, then plays magnepans set way...I think all would agree they all sound different. no book will tell you which sounds best to you. but everyone will have opinion on best in my room and with what music. If I cared to share simplistic measurements wouldnt change anyones mind. the point of sharing 3 different types of speakers in the same room just shows people like different stuff.

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post #4927 of 5322 Old 09-16-2019, 07:28 PM
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Then it's not clear you disagreed with my point as to why two channel remains favored among audiophiles.
Not really. I am just not aware any difference of the effort involved in either setup arrangement.


Quote:
Take any competently designed pair of speakers, and you can set them up in the classic triangle relative to the listener, and you will pretty much automatically get imaging and soundstaging - a singer appearing right in the center, instruments arrayed in space, a dimensional sound stage in which sonic images appear to be simply hanging in space between the speakers, not "coming from" speakers.
Granted. I start with that and simply put the center speaker midway between them.


Quote:
It takes more equipment, additional judicious choice of processing for most sources (when upmixing as would be the case for most music sources), and more set up care (matching center to mains both in terms of speaker design, and placement etc) to hope to achieve as seamless an imaging effect once you introduce a center channel. Disagree?
Yes.
In reverse order:
1. Matching is accomplished by using the same speaker for L, C and R.
2. No extra processing is involved as I use only discrete multichannel sources in their original form. No upmixing or downmixing (except for experimentation).
3. The only "additional equipment" is the center speaker and the amplifier for it. (There are other speakers/channels but they are not part of this discussion.)
My system consists of a player that outputs whatever channel configuration is in the source material, a 6channel preamp and power amps to suit.
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post #4928 of 5322 Old 09-16-2019, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
Thanks for stating this explicitely, Floyd. I have done demos of stereo vs. multichannel and I usually begin by using one of the RCA Living Stereo SACDs (Reiner's Scheherazade) because so many audiophiles already know it well. After playing the stereo track of the opening movement, I ask the audience to predict how the 3channel track will sound different. Almost universally, they predict there will be more central detail and depth as well as stability compared with the phantom center. Again, almost universally, they are surprised to find that the most obvious consequence of adding the discrete center channel and center speaker is that the soundstage is notably widened beyond the positions of the L/R speakers.

Although this would not be an example of the type of processing or surround sound you are using: One of my favorite AVR processing modes I used whe listening to music on my home theater system was (I think) a "5 channel stereo" signal. But I only had my L/C/R speakers set up at the time so with that setting it defaulted to producing a stereo image including the center channel. It was amazingly pleasing: the whole from stage had a big, rich, thick quality with the addition of the center channel in that mix.


That said, even though I have a nice surround set up, I have never, ever heard a system employing a center channel that sounds as effortlessly dimensional, coherent, and images like a decent two channel set up. (I include professional film mixing theaters in there BTW).
I'm always aware of the center channel in sound set ups.


Not that I discount it can't be done, and perhaps listening to discrete surround music in your set up would be eye-opening. But my main point is that I'd say one reason why 2 channel music listening is so persistent among audiophiles (the folks who are inclined to sit and listen to music and appreciate these things), is that it's almost effortless to get a really cool and somewhat "convincing" and coherent sense of imaging and soundstaging with just a pair of speakers, where it seems achieving a similar effect adding more speakers isn't so simple and easy.
(Heck, I've put off even integrating subwoofers I bought for a year or more because it's such a hassle to dial them in totally right).
I think the real reason for that is that majority of recordings are stereo (historical reasons most likely - tape players are expensive and bulky, so we got vinyl that has trouble even with 2 channels).
And 3 channel setups are much harder to setup with speakers in one plane - most people would want a TV or something like that in the middle, especially if the house is small, and even more if living in apartment. (is it necessary to do the same plane, BTW?)

And while we are here,I already asked, but anyone knows an upmixing matrix for 2 to 3 channel conversion?

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post #4929 of 5322 Old 09-16-2019, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
2. No extra processing is involved as I use only discrete multichannel sources in their original form.

I've no quarrel with your assertion that three channel sound is superior to two channel stereo.


Still, I have to wonder how broad is the availability of "discrete multichannel sources."


It occurs to me that a huge amount of music these days is enjoyed by people using ear buds. Since most folks lack a center ear, I suspect they will be indifferent to 3.x mixes. I will also hazard the postulate that people using ear buds who could care less about 3.x mixes far out number the people using 3.x music playback. I will further postulate that music producers have noticed this discrepancy as well.


Given this market, is there really a path forward for industry adoption of 3.x recordings however good they may be?


Whoops! Sorry Kal, when I wrote this post aats' post was not visible. I did not mean to pile on.

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post #4930 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 02:54 AM
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And while we are here,I already asked, but anyone knows an upmixing matrix for 2 to 3 channel conversion?
DSU, Neural:X and Auro 2D all work with 3 Channels:





For this, DSU with "Center Spread: On" and Auro 2D are the ones you want. With "popular music" such as shown above, DSU with "Center Spread: Off" and Neural:X are darn near mono with nearly everything collapsed to the center channel. To my ear Auro sounds the most like stereo as the L&R are left untouched and how much being put into the center channel is adjustable.
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post #4931 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 03:32 AM
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Thanks, but what I meant, as before is a "raw" matrix.
So basically "inside" of a mixer, so I can implement it myself (maybe if I can see a benefit).
Some kind of a table that contains gains and processing derived from 2 channels to 3 channels.

I can, of course, play with m/s processing myself to try achieve something, but a "starting point" would be nice.


I've found a plug-in that can do that (auro), but I am not sure if it is possible to use in Linux

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post #4932 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 05:40 AM
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I think the real reason for that is that majority of recordings are stereo (historical reasons most likely - tape players are expensive and bulky, so we got vinyl that has trouble even with 2 channels).
Granted and, in practice, I play stereo sources as stereo with great enjoyment. No upmixing or downmixing.
Quote:
And 3 channel setups are much harder to setup with speakers in one plane - most people would want a TV or something like that in the middle, especially if the house is small, and even more if living in apartment. (is it necessary to do the same plane, BTW?)
Ideally, they should be equidistant from the listener and that often means that the center is a bit back from the more widely-spaced L/R speakers. Positioning it with a TV should not be a problem if the TV is flat and above the center speaker.

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I've no quarrel with your assertion that three channel sound is superior to two channel stereo.

Still, I have to wonder how broad is the availability of "discrete multichannel sources."
To be sure but that was not the issue under discussion.

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It occurs to me that a huge amount of music these days is enjoyed by people using ear buds. Since most folks lack a center ear, I suspect they will be indifferent to 3.x mixes. I will also hazard the postulate that people using ear buds who could care less about 3.x mixes far out number the people using 3.x music playback. I will further postulate that music producers have noticed this discrepancy as well.
I cannot tolerate headphone listening. In terms of spatial representation, it is much inferior to normal 2-speaker stereo.

Quote:
Given this market, is there really a path forward for industry adoption of 3.x recordings however good they may be?
No one here has suggested that. The discussion was about whether a discrete center channel/speaker is better than a phantom center from a stereo pair and, by extension, whether a discrete center channel/speaker is better than a phantom center in a 5.0 or other multichannel setups.

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post #4933 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 07:45 AM
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On the theme of why audiophiles aren't more in to surround:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
Not really. I am just not aware any difference of the effort involved in either setup arrangement.


Granted. I start with that and simply put the center speaker midway between them.


Yes.
In reverse order:
1. Matching is accomplished by using the same speaker for L, C and R.

Which could greatly limit the speaker choices for many audiophiles (many speaker manufacturers do not make matching center channels).



Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
No extra processing is involved as I use only discrete multichannel sources in their original form. No upmixing or downmixing (except for experimentation).

Which is a method limited only to the music available in a discrete format, a limitation not acceptable to most people, and therefore "not worth it" as a starter. And once you go beyond the available discretely produced surround titles, we are in to selecting processing as another variable.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post
3. The only "additional equipment" is the center speaker and the amplifier for it. (There are other speakers/channels but they are not part of this discussion.)
My system consists of a player that outputs whatever channel configuration is in the source material, a 6channel preamp and power amps to suit.

Again, more complication and expense for most people, which means spreading the finances and choice of speakers thinner.


It is still obvious to me why many stick with a 2 channel set up, despite that some wonderful experiences can be had if you go for surround.


In my own experience, I have had a great many two channel set ups and it's taken little effort to plunk a pair of speakers down and get the coherent sound an imaging I've mentioned. I have five pairs of speakers that I switch around all the time (I like the different sounds) and I can drop any of them in to essentially the same spot and, boom, that great stereo illusion. Whereas quite a bit more effort went in to designing my surround set up, L/C/R speakers chosen to match, and as pleasing as it sounds playing music via various upmixing choices, it never coheres in the effortless way any of the two channel speakers do. So even personal experience trying to do this shows me it's more difficult (and this continues when I listen to other surround systems and I note the same challenges).


That said, I find that when the source is actually mixed discretely, e.g. movies is where I experience that, for musical sections the imaging is more seamless than upmixed sources. I'm often amazed at how the addition of surround seems to raise even front channel sounds "out of and above and between the speakers." I can certainly see the appeal of listening to discretely recorded surround for music! There just isn't enough of the right music in that format to interest me, and I get such an immersive experience from my 2 channel system there is little impetus for going to the trouble.
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post #4934 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 08:11 AM
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On the theme of why audiophiles aren't more in to surround:
That was not what we were talking about but OK.
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Which could greatly limit the speaker choices for many audiophiles (many speaker manufacturers do not make matching center channels).
That is a non-sequitur since it was in response to "Matching is accomplished by using the same speaker for L, C and R." Same means same and not a so-called matching center.

Quote:
Again, more complication and expense for most people, which means spreading the finances and choice of speakers thinner.
I don't know what "most people" means in this context since, in general, most people don't even know about anything we discuss on this forum. We do this because we enjoy it enough to spend our money on it. How much is a very personal decision based, only in part, on what one has to spend and how much one wants something. More costs more.

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It is still obvious to me why many stick with a 2 channel set up, despite that some wonderful experiences can be had if you go for surround.
Me, too.

Quote:
That said, I find that when the source is actually mixed discretely, e.g. movies is where I experience that, for musical sections the imaging is more seamless than upmixed sources. I'm often amazed at how the addition of surround seems to raise even front channel sounds "out of and above and between the speakers." I can certainly see the appeal of listening to discretely recorded surround for music! There just isn't enough of the right music in that format to interest me, and I get such an immersive experience from my 2 channel system there is little impetus for going to the trouble.
I am not disputing any of that.
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post #4935 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 08:19 AM
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On the theme of why audiophiles aren't more in to surround:
I am very much into my surround system but I don't care for up-mixing my 2-channel music. The effect is nice but something is lost.
My room is difficult to add rears so it is 5.1 for me. Quality over quantity.

Also, overheads would be compromised and, honestly, don't worry much about the helicopter's overhead position during the movie.

Atmos in cinema is another head-scratcher. All speakers are above and then there is even more above. Seriously, I have to try to listen for the overhead sound.
Still, there is plenty of money to be made and the industry is full of experts at making HT gear obsolete, while at the same time, making it less reliable. I'm looking at you HDMI.

Then there is the MQA farce...

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post #4936 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 08:28 AM
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On the theme of why audiophiles aren't more in to surround:

Which could greatly limit the speaker choices for many audiophiles (many speaker manufacturers do not make matching center channels).

Which is a method limited only to the music available in a discrete format, a limitation not acceptable to most people, and therefore "not worth it" as a starter. And once you go beyond the available discretely produced surround titles, we are in to selecting processing as another variable.

Again, more complication and expense for most people, which means spreading the finances and choice of speakers thinner.

It is still obvious to me why many stick with a 2 channel set up, despite that some wonderful experiences can be had if you go for surround.

In my own experience, I have had a great many two channel set ups and it's taken little effort to plunk a pair of speakers down and get the coherent sound an imaging I've mentioned. I have five pairs of speakers that I switch around all the time (I like the different sounds) and I can drop any of them in to essentially the same spot and, boom, that great stereo illusion. Whereas quite a bit more effort went in to designing my surround set up, L/C/R speakers chosen to match, and as pleasing as it sounds playing music via various upmixing choices, it never coheres in the effortless way any of the two channel speakers do. So even personal experience trying to do this shows me it's more difficult (and this continues when I listen to other surround systems and I note the same challenges).

That said, I find that when the source is actually mixed discretely, e.g. movies is where I experience that, for musical sections the imaging is more seamless than upmixed sources. I'm often amazed at how the addition of surround seems to raise even front channel sounds "out of and above and between the speakers." I can certainly see the appeal of listening to discretely recorded surround for music! There just isn't enough of the right music in that format to interest me, and I get such an immersive experience from my 2 channel system there is little impetus for going to the trouble.
Agree, and since I'm 100% music and no HT, no reason to change based on what I've heard with others who have a physical center.
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post #4937 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 09:05 AM
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Budget is also a consideration for some people and I'm pretty sure for mixed usage most people will take 2 good channels over 5 mediocre ones.
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post #4938 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 09:24 AM
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Budget is also a consideration for some people and I'm pretty sure for mixed usage most people will take 2 good channels over 5 mediocre ones.
And even for those who aren't constrained by budget, notice how 'centers' are taking over the high-end world.



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post #4939 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 09:31 AM
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And even for those who aren't constrained by budget, notice how 'centers' are taking over the high-end world.



So called "high-end" is more of a joke now than something worth looking at now imo (there are exceptions obviously)
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post #4940 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 09:33 AM
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So called "high-end" is more of a joke now than something worth looking at now imo (there are exceptions obviously)
True, lots of them, obviously.

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post #4941 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
... That said, even though I have a nice surround set up, I have never, ever heard a system employing a center channel that sounds as effortlessly dimensional, coherent, and images like a decent two channel set up. (I include professional film mixing theaters in there BTW).
I'm always aware of the center channel in sound set ups.


Not that I discount it can't be done, and perhaps listening to discrete surround music in your set up would be eye-opening. But my main point is that I'd say one reason why 2 channel music listening is so persistent among audiophiles (the folks who are inclined to sit and listen to music and appreciate these things), is that it's almost effortless to get a really cool and somewhat "convincing" and coherent sense of imaging and soundstaging with just a pair of speakers, where it seems achieving a similar effect adding more speakers isn't so simple and easy. ...
I'm old enough to remember the hifi world of the 1950s when as a kid I first became interested in audio. That was the era when stereo was just starting to take off and my older brother was one of the first in our neighborhood to buy an early stereo system. I was mesmerized by a sound effects album he bought with a ping pong ball bouncing back and forth between the two speakers.

Prior to that the best systems and recordings were all in mono. I recall reading in hifi publications comments from audiophiles of that era downplaying stereo as a gimmick and crediting mono with offering the purest, most cohesive sound in the simplest setup. Many were thoroughly satisfied with listening to their 1-channel recordings on their single speaker and had no plans to upgrade. Perhaps there are similarities in that evolution of 1-channel to 2-channel that might be applicable to the further evolution from 2-channel to ever more channels.
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post #4942 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 12:37 PM
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Compromised music videos

I happen to enjoy a good video concert, as do most of my friends. Seeing the performers and hearing decent sound is high entertainment. It is also one of the few opportunities to hear multichannel audio for popular music, and artists we appreciate.

Sadly, what we get is often either no center channel or what should be in the center channel distributed among all three fronts. Mostly we get a conventional stereo soundstage, with - maybe - some acoustical ambient sound, and - probably - some surrounding applause at times.

Several years ago, at an AES convention, there was a workshop demonstrating what surround sound could do. On stage were several well-known pop and country recording engineers, and one from NHK the Japanese national broadcast network. I attended a bit of the setup and heard samples of what was to be demonstrated, and during the event I sat adjacent to the center aisle - interesting that at a "spatial sound" event, there were no symmetrical stereo seats - one could stand in the aisle, as I did from time to time. It was interesting that few people did.

What did I hear? From the pop and country guys it was old fashioned stereo with some ambiance mixed in - no noticeable center channel. For me, about 3 feet away from the symmetrical axis the center phantom images flopped almost completely to one side - surprise, surprise. Much discussion centered around the "difficulty" of mixing a center channel and how one could not trust customers to have one, much less a good sounding one. At the time, even Bose was delivering identical LCRs . All the demos were pan-potted pop.

Then it was NHKs turn. It was explained that they faced the challenge of using a center channel in a way that did not disrupt the complex, natural, soundstage of classical music but that delivered high quality sound and anchored the central images for off axis listeners. They succeeded remarkably well. One could get up and walk around in what amounted to a generous "sweet spot". It was impressive. This was, and I presume still is, what Japanese listeners get off air. Lucky them. It is also what is in numerous well-recorded multichannel programs.

So, if the engineers are not educated in the use of a center channel and choose to blow off anyone who has a decent - not even superb - sound system, this is what we get. I always get up and listen to what comes out of the center channel in concert videos. I am routinely disappointed. Fortunately the music survives - "translates" as it is called - but it is not a "literal" translation. Having a good, well edited, accompanying video is significant compensation.
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post #4943 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave in Green View Post
I'm old enough to remember the hifi world of the 1950s when as a kid I first became interested in audio. That was the era when stereo was just starting to take off and my older brother was one of the first in our neighborhood to buy an early stereo system. I was mesmerized by a sound effects album he bought with a ping pong ball bouncing back and forth between the two speakers.

Prior to that the best systems and recordings were all in mono. I recall reading in hifi publications comments from audiophiles of that era downplaying stereo as a gimmick and crediting mono with offering the purest, most cohesive sound in the simplest setup. Many were thoroughly satisfied with listening to their 1-channel recordings on their single speaker and had no plans to upgrade. Perhaps there are similarities in that evolution of 1-channel to 2-channel that might be applicable to the further evolution from 2-channel to ever more channels.
I agree, when much of popular music was hard panned to the R or L channel and thereby sits on the face of the speakers or exactly center, you bet I preferred mono. Gimmick it was in the early 'show-off' days and even well into the 60s with early Beatles, Monkey's, Beach Boys and many others. Versus that disaster, I also preferred mono. Thankfully, there were folks like Bob and Wilma Fine and Jack Pfeiffer who managed, IMO of course, who could really get it right.

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post #4944 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 01:03 PM
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It's taking a long time for the music recording world to catch up to the surround audio for video world. Why? Cost! Recording studios have been working in stereo for decades. The cost to set up control rooms to mix in even 5.1 is an enormous undertaking. Most mixing consoles are still designed to mix and monitor in stereo. Major retool to design them for multichannel. Big name manufacturers (Neve, SSL, API) that make the high channel count consoles in many of the remaining big studios are vintage pieces of equipment and are worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Control rooms have been designed for stereo. Major issue to change to surround, it's not just add some more speakers. Many control rooms I worked in were barely big enough for two speakers, the console and the racks of outboard equipment necessary to make records. It's not just recording studios, you also have mastering studios that have been designed and built for stereo. The demand for multichannel music mixes is growing and I'm sure there is some progress on that front, but it's not going to happen for a lot of music only releases any time soon.
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post #4945 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post
I have never, ever heard a system employing a center channel that sounds as effortlessly dimensional, coherent, and images like a decent two channel set up. (I include professional film mixing theaters in there BTW). I'm always aware of the center channel in sound set ups.
What upmixers have you tried and with what kinds of music in these observations?

Quote:
perhaps listening to discrete surround music in your set up would be eye-opening.
It sure was for me in mine. You really owe it to yourself to give it a try. If "not being aware of the speakers,"--any of them--or even the room around you is what you seek, nothing can do that like a well done immersive track on a good system.



Playing with various upmixers has given me the opposite impression of what you describe above (with adjustable Auro, at least). Listening to a piece of music via the 2 channel track in Stereo vs. the 2 channel track upmixed vs. the immersive track can be very instructive. In those comparisons I always find I'm "most aware of the speakers" with the 2 channel track played in Stereo by a pretty wide margin. That's with Auro though, if all you've tried is Neural:X or DSU with center spread off, then yes, the center channel can become obnoxious with much music.
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post #4946 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
...

Then it was NHKs turn. It was explained that they faced the challenge of using a center channel in a way that did not disrupt the complex, natural, soundstage of classical music but that delivered high quality sound and anchored the central images for off axis listeners. They succeeded remarkably well. One could get up and walk around in what amounted to a generous "sweet spot". It was impressive. This was, and I presume still is, what Japanese listeners get off air. Lucky them. It is also what is in numerous well-recorded multichannel programs.

So, if the engineers are not educated in the use of a center channel and choose to blow off anyone who has a decent - not even superb - sound system, this is what we get. I always get up and listen to what comes out of the center channel in concert videos. I am routinely disappointed. Fortunately the music survives - "translates" as it is called - but it is not a "literal" translation. Having a good, well edited, accompanying video is significant compensation.
So we're talking discrete three channel. Any thoughts on using Dolby Pro Logic II Music, Dolby surround, or NAD EARS to extract the center channel? Particularly for classical music?

Tony

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post #4947 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by aats View Post
Thanks, but what I meant, as before is a "raw" matrix.
So basically "inside" of a mixer, so I can implement it myself (maybe if I can see a benefit).
Some kind of a table that contains gains and processing derived from 2 channels to 3 channels.

I can, of course, play with m/s processing myself to try achieve something, but a "starting point" would be nice.
I see. It sounds like you're trying to develop your own upmixer. I can't help you with that.
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post #4948 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post
So we're talking discrete three channel.
Yes, I thought it was pretty explicit that I was talking about discrete channels, regardless of the count.
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Any thoughts on using Dolby Pro Logic II Music, Dolby surround, or NAD EARS to extract the center channel? Particularly for classical music?
Nothing salutary.

Kal Rubinson

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Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #4949 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygeno View Post
So we're talking discrete three channel. Any thoughts on using Dolby Pro Logic II Music, Dolby surround, or NAD EARS to extract the center channel? Particularly for classical music?
The demos were all 5 channel, but I was describing the front soundstage. Upmixing cannot be as good as an original multichannel recording because the information delivered to the center channel in an upmixer is whatever happened to be common to L & R channels. There may be some post processing, but my ears indicate that often it is not adequate or is inappropriate.

In a dedicated multichannel mix the information delivered to the center channel is almost certainly processed to be directionally, spatially and timbrally compatible with the rest of the soundstage, and can include time manipulated components sent to other channels.

In my hierarchy of tolerable-to-enjoyable upmixers the best ones deliver the least degradation of the front soundstage. Currently that is Auro3D, but I have not auditioned all of the current offerings. The original Lexicon Logic 7 was superb - I have not heard the current version.
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post #4950 of 5322 Old 09-17-2019, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floyd Toole View Post
The demos were all 5 channel, but I was describing the front soundstage. Upmixing cannot be as good as an original multichannel recording because the information delivered to the center channel in an upmixer is whatever happened to be common to L & R channels. There may be some post processing, but my ears indicate that often it is not adequate or is inappropriate.

In a dedicated multichannel mix the information delivered to the center channel is almost certainly processed to be directionally, spatially and timbrally compatible with the rest of the soundstage, and can include time manipulated components sent to other channels.

In my hierarchy of tolerable-to-enjoyable upmixers the best ones deliver the least degradation of the front soundstage. Currently that is Auro3D, but I have not auditioned all of the current offerings. The original Lexicon Logic 7 was superb - I have not heard the current version.
Thanks for your thoughts on this. True discrete multichannel surround has always been tricky for me because I would think one would need 5 channels that were matched. Do you find this to be so?

Tony

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