Underwhelmed with Upgrade from 2.2 to 5.2.2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Underwhelmed with Upgrade from 2.2 to 5.2.2

Been 2.2 for the past twenty years or so, I recently got a Marantz NR1710, Fronts are Acarian Alons IV, (80hz) powered by an external power amp (Rotel 1090). ATMOS speaker are JPW minim, (4.5 inch woofers, crossed at 80hz) and Rears are smaller Denons speakers with 3 inch woofers crossed at 150 hz. Subwoofers SVS PB12-NSD and a VBSS (18 inch DIY). SVS is situated on my right, While VBSS is directly behind me.

Followed the installation guide 110 degrees for the rears and the ATMOS speakers are installed overhead near the corners pointed at the MLP

So I played my First movie earlier (5.2), have not tried ATMOS yet, will try that tomorrow as I am still fiddling with the streamer. I got sounds from rears, but I was expecting a bit more immersive experience. I am wondering if the small Denons could be the culprit, would a larger surrounds speakers make a big difference in the movie watching experience ?
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post #2 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qguy View Post
Been 2.2 for the past twenty years or so, I recently got a Marantz NR1710, Fronts are Acarian Alons IV, (80hz) powered by an external power amp (Rotel 1090). ATMOS speaker are JPW minim, (4.5 inch woofers, crossed at 80hz) and Rears are smaller Denons speakers with 3 inch woofers crossed at 150 hz. Subwoofers SVS PB12-NSD and a VBSS (18 inch DIY). SVS is situated on my right, While VBSS is directly behind me.

Followed the installation guide 110 degrees for the rears and the ATMOS speakers are installed overhead near the corners pointed at the MLP

So I played my First movie earlier (5.2), have not tried ATMOS yet, will try that tomorrow as I am still fiddling with the streamer. I got sounds from rears, but I was expecting a bit more immersive experience. I am wondering if the small Denons could be the culprit, would a larger surrounds speakers make a big difference in the movie watching experience ?
All should be set to "small" even the huge Acarians.

Try turning off Dynamic EQ.

What are using for a center?

Having a weak center vs the left and right can diminish immersion.

The tiny rears don't help either.
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post #3 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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No Center speaker at the moment. Will try one tomorrow and see how that goes,

Dynamic EQ is off

Will try a larger bookshelf tomorrow

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All should be set to "small" even the huge Acarians.

Try turning off Dynamic EQ.

What are using for a center?

Having a weak center vs the left and right can diminish immersion.

The tiny rears don't help either.
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post #4 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 11:53 AM
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Yes, the speakers will have an effect on the sound. However, more often than not, the set-up is the issue. Do all your speakers have line-of-sight to your seated ears (high back chairs?)? If not, that is the first order of business. Are you positioning the subs in the exact same place they were with the old speakers? That is job2, re-doing the interface between the speakers and the subs. This includes re-positioning the subs for best FR in the room / at your seat. It also means revisiting the crossover frequencies you have been using, as 4.5" woofers probably need a bit higher crossover than 80. There is also the issue of your subs being capable into and above the crossover points. For instance, if your speaker rolls off at 100Hz and your sub only has output to 100Hz, then odds are pretty good that you will have a lean and thin sounding mid-bass.

You should also check that all the speakers are set up to provide 75 dB (or whatever volume level you are using). You can download a dB meter to your phone if you do not already own one. Relying on the internal processing of your receiver to get it right is not a good idea, so check it yourself and adjust things until you get more of what you are looking to get...
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post #5 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 11:56 AM
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give it some time .. fiddle with placement on the surrounds.. you are on to something though , atmos is different , but not necessarily a night/ day upgrade.. and a lot of the difference is room limited .. the subs are the thing in ht .. and you started off in 2.2 with a good set up...

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post #6 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Sub is capable up to 250 hz
All speakers has line of sights to MLP

I will address the 80hz crossover for the ATMOS speaker and change to 120

No issue with bass response as both subs are nearfield



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Yes, the speakers will have an effect on the sound. However, more often than not, the set-up is the issue. Do all your speakers have line-of-sight to your seated ears (high back chairs?)? If not, that is the first order of business. Are you positioning the subs in the exact same place they were with the old speakers? That is job2, re-doing the interface between the speakers and the subs. This includes re-positioning the subs for best FR in the room / at your seat. It also means revisiting the crossover frequencies you have been using, as 4.5" woofers probably need a bit higher crossover than 80. There is also the issue of your subs being capable into and above the crossover points. For instance, if your speaker rolls off at 100Hz and your sub only has output to 100Hz, then odds are pretty good that you will have a lean and thin sounding mid-bass.

You should also check that all the speakers are set up to provide 75 dB (or whatever volume level you are using). You can download a dB meter to your phone if you do not already own one. Relying on the internal processing of your receiver to get it right is not a good idea, so check it yourself and adjust things until you get more of what you are looking to get...
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post #7 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qguy View Post
Rears are smaller Denons speakers with 3 inch woofers crossed at 150 hz. Subwoofers SVS PB12-NSD and a VBSS (18 inch DIY). SVS is situated on my right, While VBSS is directly behind me. I got sounds from rears, but I was expecting a bit more immersive experience. I am wondering if the small Denons could be the culprit, would a larger surrounds speakers make a big difference in the movie watching experience ?
Yep, 3" woofers crossed at 150Hz --- geez, that's like Bose-cubes bad.

You don't need to spend big bucks to get decent sound out of your rears, but come on dude, to combine those with your hulking fronts is like mating an elephant with a mouse.

Get something with at least 5.25" woofer (6.5" is better), 8 ohms impedance, and as close to 90db sensitivity as you can find because your Marantz is not particularly robust. About $150-300/pr is all it takes.
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post #8 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qguy View Post
and Rears are smaller Denons speakers with 3 inch woofers crossed at 150 hz.
Those would be a bit underwhelming in my book, looks to have already been addressed here though.

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Followed the installation guide 110 degrees for the rears
Probably O.k., but experiment through a range of angles and aim up to and including somewhat forward of your listening position, see what you think.

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and the ATMOS speakers are installed overhead near the corners pointed at the MLP
Where do you sit relative to these speakers? When you say corners - do you mean room corners, like the back corners, or where the wall/ceiling meet?

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would a larger surrounds speakers make a big difference in the movie watching experience ?
Larger and/or more capable. They don't need to be massive, but I think it'd be nice if they could cross at 80Hz as well.
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post #9 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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unfortunately I am limited to that size as space is an issue, There is a door where the rear surrounds is supposed to be, the small, i mean tiny Denon is installed at the corner, 2 inches away from the door handle. I have an Usher X-719, 40lbs bookshelf with 7 inch woofers that I can use, but space prevents me. I will try it though temporarily.

I was actually looking for Bose cubes as they would fit, but the Denon looks better






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Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Yep, 3" woofers crossed at 150Hz --- geez, that's like Bose-cubes bad.

You don't need to spend big bucks to get decent sound out of your rears, but come on dude, to combine those with your hulking fronts is like mating an elephant with a mouse.

Get something with at least 5.25" woofer (6.5" is better), 8 ohms impedance, and as close to 90db sensitivity as you can find because your Marantz is not particularly robust. About $150-300/pr is all it takes.
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post #10 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 10:12 PM
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I personally do not like surround sound. I had 5.1 before, sure, I could hear sound flying and all, but it's so fake. I particularly did not like the voice in the center channel. I actually reversed back to 2.1 and never happier. With a good 2.1, I can hear the sound stage, the 3D effect even though the sound is not flying around. Just because you hear sound flying around doesn't necessary give you the 3D, the feel of realism, the natural of the sound and people talking in 3D space.
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post #11 of 36 Old 05-15-2020, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jonas2 View Post

Where do you sit relative to these speakers? When you say corners - do you mean room corners, like the back corners, or where the wall/ceiling meet?
ATMOS speakers installed corner of the wall and ceiling, directly in line with the MLP. Not in the rear/back corner
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post #12 of 36 Old 05-16-2020, 07:47 AM
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I personally do not like surround sound. I had 5.1 before, sure, I could hear sound flying and all, but it's so fake. I particularly did not like the voice in the center channel. I actually reversed back to 2.1 and never happier. With a good 2.1, I can hear the sound stage, the 3D effect even though the sound is not flying around. Just because you hear sound flying around doesn't necessary give you the 3D, the feel of realism, the natural of the sound and people talking in 3D space.
It is to a degree, content dependent. You're right in that 2.1 (and 3.1, in my experience) can sound awesome. Did you ever try 4.1? There is some content that is so well done in surround that it pays off, and some that is just not very satisfying. Modern processors do a pretty darn good job of making use of minimal setups. Some of it does come off as artificial, but there are times when I can't tell if things are in my room, or if they are taking place elsewhere in the house or outside! Then I realize, whoa, it's the sound track. I've never been fooled in 2.1 or 3.1, even though it can be cohesive and pretty convincing, but when the whole system is going, it can be really great. Freaks the cats out too.

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ATMOS speakers installed corner of the wall and ceiling, directly in line with the MLP. Not in the rear/back corner
Good! That should be O.K. then.

7.2.4 System: Display: Sony XBR-65X930D; Processing: Anthem AVM60
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post #13 of 36 Old 05-16-2020, 10:11 AM
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It is to a degree, content dependent. You're right in that 2.1 (and 3.1, in my experience) can sound awesome. Did you ever try 4.1? There is some content that is so well done in surround that it pays off, and some that is just not very satisfying. Modern processors do a pretty darn good job of making use of minimal setups. Some of it does come off as artificial, but there are times when I can't tell if things are in my room, or if they are taking place elsewhere in the house or outside! Then I realize, whoa, it's the sound track. I've never been fooled in 2.1 or 3.1, even though it can be cohesive and pretty convincing, but when the whole system is going, it can be really great. Freaks the cats out too.
One day I'll try surround sound again, maybe the processor and programs have improved from the 90s. I have all the speakers and amps I need to do even more than 5.1 sitting around, I just did not like it those days.

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post #14 of 36 Old 05-16-2020, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
One day I'll try surround sound again, maybe the processor and programs have improved from the 90s. I have all the speakers and amps I need to do even more than 5.1 sitting around, I just did not like it those days.
Dolby Digital is a big step up vs Pro Logic in terms of performance of the center and surrounds.

I started before Pro Logic in the mid 80s with Shure's proprietary surround system in their, at that time, leading edge HTS 5000 processor and the processor in my current mid level Denon is miles ahead as it is of my old Pro Logic Denon.
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post #15 of 36 Old 05-16-2020, 11:13 AM
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unfortunately I am limited to that size as space is an issue, There is a door where the rear surrounds is supposed to be, the small, i mean tiny Denon is installed at the corner, 2 inches away from the door handle. I have an Usher X-719, 40lbs bookshelf with 7 inch woofers that I can use, but space prevents me. I will try it though temporarily.

I was actually looking for Bose cubes as they would fit, but the Denon looks better
Ugh, the Bose cubes would be no better, more likely worse, than the Denons.

Take a measuring tape and figure out PRECISELY what your maximum possible dimensions are for those spots, and we might be able to suggest better alternatives.
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post #16 of 36 Old 05-16-2020, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
I personally do not like surround sound. I had 5.1 before, sure, I could hear sound flying and all, but it's so fake. I particularly did not like the voice in the center channel. I actually reversed back to 2.1 and never happier. With a good 2.1, I can hear the sound stage, the 3D effect even though the sound is not flying around. Just because you hear sound flying around doesn't necessary give you the 3D, the feel of realism, the natural of the sound and people talking in 3D space.
To each his own so I won't knock your preference

but in real world reality that we live in think about this scenario for a second

You are standing in the middle of a room blind folded and in front of the room you have your brother, to the left of the room you have your sister, to the right of the room you have your mom and to the back of the room you have your dad

Each one of them speaks to you one at a time.... even with your eyes closed and not being able to see them you'd be able to tell which direction the sound is coming from correct? Well while surround sound is flawless and perfect like real life it at least provides some close approximation of that feeling.

I remember one time a girl I was seeing came to visit and brought her dog with her. I put on a movie and we started watching. During some scenes the dog was fooled enough to look at certain speakers with ears raised when it would hear ambiance surround sound coming and I would chuckle and tell her that the dog is probably expecting to see someone there but there's no one and it's just speakers the dog is reacting to.

But like I said.... everyone is different in what they like so if you like the 2.1 I can understand and respect that
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post #17 of 36 Old 05-16-2020, 12:43 PM
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To each his own so I won't knock your preference

but in real world reality that we live in think about this scenario for a second

You are standing in the middle of a room blind folded and in front of the room you have your brother, to the left of the room you have your sister, to the right of the room you have your mom and to the back of the room you have your dad

Each one of them speaks to you one at a time.... even with your eyes closed and not being able to see them you'd be able to tell which direction the sound is coming from correct? Well while surround sound is flawless and perfect like real life it at least provides some close approximation of that feeling.

I remember one time a girl I was seeing came to visit and brought her dog with her. I put on a movie and we started watching. During some scenes the dog was fooled enough to look at certain speakers with ears raised when it would hear ambiance surround sound coming and I would chuckle and tell her that the dog is probably expecting to see someone there but there's no one and it's just speakers the dog is reacting to.

But like I said.... everyone is different in what they like so if you like the 2.1 I can understand and respect that
For object-enabled tracks like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, I would add that when it's mixed properly, it is less speaker-centric and more ATMOSpheric. Many a time with the right movie audio mix, I can literally pinpoint certain sounds coming from seemingly nowhere, as in no speaker is located there! THAT is the true magic of object-enabled audio technology and it shouldn't simply be relegated to the common complaint of "I don't hear much activity going up there!"
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post #18 of 36 Old 05-17-2020, 12:15 PM
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You might consider replacing the Denons with these:

https://www.ebay.com/p/69588792?iid=264643131546

Use two, sell two, you come out just about even, given the pair price. Will easily outperform the Denons. Cross over at 100Hz, give or take 20Hz.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.

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post #19 of 36 Old 05-17-2020, 12:47 PM
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So I played my First movie earlier (5.2)
What movie and format?

I’ve noticed that some movies don’t have a whole lot going in the surrounds vs others.
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post #20 of 36 Old 05-18-2020, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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What movie and format?

I’ve noticed that some movies don’t have a whole lot going in the surrounds vs others.
Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen on Amazon Prime.
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post #21 of 36 Old 05-18-2020, 02:17 PM
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Dolby Digital is a big step up vs Pro Logic in terms of performance of the center and surrounds.

I started before Pro Logic in the mid 80s with Shure's proprietary surround system in their, at that time, leading edge HTS 5000 processor and the processor in my current mid level Denon is miles ahead as it is of my old Pro Logic Denon.
I did not response, but believe me, I am thinking about this on and off after I posted here. Yeh, I was using Pro Logic only at the time.

OK, I don't want to buy any receiver or AV amps, I have so many power amps they're coming out of my ears already!!! So I definite don't want anything with power amp. What kind of 5.1 processor I need to buy? I am still old school, I mainly use RCA connections for my system. My DVD player is just a Toshiba DVD recorder with HDMI output. Can you make a suggestion what receiver/processor I need? This I need to have hifi quality as I'll be using it as preamp for 2.1 for music also.

Also, I am looking at wireless connection to the rear speakers. I am going to use my little Monitor Audio Silver bookshelf for rear, any suggestion what to buy? I went on Amazon and some actually comes with little amplifier. Are those good enough for rear speakers? Or I better use my own amps? The reason I ask is I would like to make the footprint of the rear speakers as small as possible, my amps are of good size and is hard to hide away.

I just want to get enough information so I can have a clear understanding what I am getting into. I am changing my system, just bought a 82" Samsung tv, still looking for a tv stand and all. Going to hang the tv on the wall, put all the amps and stuffs on the stand under the tv.

Alan

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post #22 of 36 Old 05-18-2020, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by alan0354 View Post
I did not response, but believe me, I am thinking about this on and off after I posted here. Yeh, I was using Pro Logic only at the time.

OK, I don't want to buy any receiver or AV amps, I have so many power amps they're coming out of my ears already!!! So I definite don't want anything with power amp. What kind of 5.1 processor I need to buy? I am still old school, I mainly use RCA connections for my system. My DVD player is just a Toshiba DVD recorder with HDMI output. Can you make a suggestion what receiver/processor I need? This I need to have hifi quality as I'll be using it as preamp for 2.1 for music also.

Also, I am looking at wireless connection to the rear speakers. I am going to use my little Monitor Audio Silver bookshelf for rear, any suggestion what to buy? I went on Amazon and some actually comes with little amplifier. Are those good enough for rear speakers? Or I better use my own amps? The reason I ask is I would like to make the footprint of the rear speakers as small as possible, my amps are of good size and is hard to hide away.

I just want to get enough information so I can have a clear understanding what I am getting into. I am changing my system, just bought a 82" Samsung tv, still looking for a tv stand and all. Going to hang the tv on the wall, put all the amps and stuffs on the stand under the tv.

Alan
This is about the least expensive standalone processor out there that I'm aware of.

https://emotiva.com/collections/home...roducts/mc-700

Wireless speaker kit.

https://www.svsound.com/products/sou...hoCp0oQAvD_BwE
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post #23 of 36 Old 05-18-2020, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
This is about the least expensive standalone processor out there that I'm aware of.

https://emotiva.com/collections/home...roducts/mc-700

Wireless speaker kit.

https://www.svsound.com/products/sou...hoCp0oQAvD_BwE
How about 5.1 processor, I have no intention doing a 7.1. I don't necessary have to have the cheapest as the sound quality of the front, center are important.

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Not hooked up: Nakamichi Stasis PA-7 power amp, Velodyne VA1210 sub, Kef Reference Series center, Kef Bookshelf speaker, Monitor Audio bookshelf speaker, Infinity rear speakers. Acurus 3X200W amp.
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post #24 of 36 Old 05-18-2020, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by qguy View Post
Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen on Amazon Prime.
For music, try The Beatles: Abbey Road (either the Atmos mix or the DTS-HD MA mix). Make sure your AVR is processing the mix correctly. Atmos will be Atmos, DTS-HD MA processed as DTS-X:Neutral.

For a movie, try Doctor Sleep, it has one of the best Atmos mixes out there.

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Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen on Amazon Prime.
Keep in mind that not all movie audio are mixed equally. Some are absolutely incredible, while others are complete garbage and won't sound good no matter how expensive your setup is. Try blu-ray movies if possible. They sound worlds better than streaming audio quality.
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post #26 of 36 Old 05-19-2020, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by qguy View Post
Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen on Amazon Prime.
Download and play these Dolby Atmos demos and I'm sure you'll change your mind!

Amaze

Conductor

Leaf

Silent

Unfold

Unfold 2

Nature's Fury
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First and foremost, stick with phantom as your center channel...

Second, use a blu ray and not a streaming service. I don't care what anyone says, streaming audio, while good, is not blu ray good.

And finally, for your rears, since space is an issue and quality sound is still highly desired, I strongly recommend the Martin Logan SLM line.

https://www.martinlogan.com/en/product/motion-slm
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post #28 of 36 Old 05-19-2020, 04:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Nice, but the price is prohibitive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirrel! View Post
First and foremost, stick with phantom as your center channel...

Second, use a blu ray and not a streaming service. I don't care what anyone says, streaming audio, while good, is not blu ray good.

And finally, for your rears, since space is an issue and quality sound is still highly desired, I strongly recommend the Martin Logan SLM line.

https://www.martinlogan.com/en/product/motion-slm
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post #29 of 36 Old 05-19-2020, 04:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks

I watched Extraction earlier, not ATMOS, but I did get a lot of sound in the back, smiling a bit better now

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Originally Posted by SuperFist View Post
Download and play these Dolby Atmos demos and I'm sure you'll change your mind!

Amaze

Conductor

Leaf

Silent

Unfold

Unfold 2

Nature's Fury
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post #30 of 36 Old 05-19-2020, 06:20 AM
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Thanks

I watched Extraction earlier, not ATMOS, but I did get a lot of sound in the back, smiling a bit better now
People immediately went to technical issues but never asked what you were expecting. A lot of movies simply don't have a lot going on in the rears and some have so much that it's a muddled mess. Typically, you're not going to have constant engagement from the rear speakers.

I don't have any particular suggestions off the top of my head but you can google a list of good movies for testing surround sound. I find scenes with rain really make guests turn their heads if they're not used to surround. Movies with a lot of music also perform well. The opening of Baby Driver might be a good one. It's not very long but I really like the introduction to the bridge of the Enterprise in the 2009 Star Trek. It feels very alive.
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