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Which sound mode do you use for Cinema

  • THX Cinema DD

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  • THX Surround EX DD

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  • NEO:6 Cinema

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best sound modes for the Onkyo TX-SR608?


I have been using mostly THX Cinema and S2 Cinema where available.


Does anyone have any reccomendations as to which mode is better for Cinema and Music respectively?


Also any pro's or cons between DD or DTS Neo:6 modes as well?


I'm mainly interested in the pros and cons between the DD, DTS and THX modes.
 

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Good question. I second. Any suggestions for best sound mound to watch tv/movies that won't have everyone in the rest of the house asking, "where's your headphone's?" I have the system tuned, but when using TV Logic, Neo: 6 Cinema, THX Cinema etc. Action scenes are insane by comparison if you want to hear dialogue any other time and I've had enough turning the volume up and down and up and down. I don't want an overly compressed sounding signal where everything sounds muddled, but this is nuts.
 

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I have the Onkyo NR717 with all the modes you list. I did a HUGE amount of test/listening on all modes, and I will qualify my answer by saying you should go with what sounds best to YOUR ears in YOUR listening room.


For TV I like the Neo:6 and it is my default listening mode. It splits 2 channel sound from the TV into 5.1, and it does a pretty good job, I think. I get very clear dialog from the center channel, and I think it has a better bass than the DD.


If you play movies, the AVR will detect and play the codec, so if the movie was done in DD you will hear DD, and it sounds real good to my ears.


The DTS mode sounds pretty good with DVD/Blu-ray that uses that format. My 717 knows when I pop in a Blu-ray with DTS and uses it. You can change it to another mode, but the DTS mode sounds pretty good with clear dialog from the center channel at normal dialog listening levels, then when the explosions and music get going especially near reference listening levels, the DTS mode turns them up about a third louder than the dialog.


For music, there is a "Pure Audio" mode which takes out all the electronic enhancements, and I think it makes all the sounds more brilliant. For music I like it better than the Neo:6 because it is the most accurate sound.


For music, you might also try "all speakers stereo." If you have speakers which match each other pretty well, you can get a really "punchy" musical sound, and in general it will play louder with a more pleasant sound (less compressed) than other modes.

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With regards to Mr. Kwickness' comments, in my Onk 717 there is an adjustment you can make in the setup menu (tools menu) that lets you hear the sounds with the big swings in dynamic level (good for music and and loud movies), a medium level, and a mode which will pretty much tame the large sound swings, for a very pleasant movie or TV listening experience. The latter mode is much less "in your face" and is preferred by my wife, who doesn't like the loud sounds.
 

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DD 5.1 and DTS are not surround modes. They are data compression codecs whose sole purpose is saving space on a disc, much the same as zip files. If a source is encoded with either of those codecs, the receiver must use the corresponding decoder to unzip the file. The end user has no choice.


Neo:6 and ProLogic II are surround modes from DTS and Dolby designed to expand stereo sources to 5.1. They work about the same. Use the one that sounds better to you. I personally prefer PLII.


All channel stereo modes take the two channel signal and duplicate it to the other pairs of speakers. So, voices that should image in front come equally from the surround speakers. It's fine for background music at parties, but not much else, in my opinion.


Pure Audio modes usually bypass all receiver processing, including bass management and room correction software such as Audyssey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From my tests on 2 channel content: DTS neo 6 has a more up front sound stage, less surround effects. And more use of the main speakers as opposed to the center channel.


Dolby on the other side, has a more focused center channel routing as well as a wider sound stage using the surround much more.
 
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