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Because the sound in the wides are not just added there, the equivalent sound is removed from the fronts and sides in the process.

It exactly like the sound in the heights, it is extracted from the base layer speakers.

So even though the AVR has FW processing it is just like a PL I or PL II extraction ?

In which I will save my money on the AVR and just buy 2 more PLII extraction boxes.
 

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Because the sound in the wides are not just added there, the equivalent sound is removed from the fronts and sides in the process.

It exactly like the sound in the heights, it is extracted from the base layer speakers.

So even though the AVR has FW processing it is just like a PL I or PL II extraction ?

In which I will save my money on the AVR and just buy 2 more PLII extraction boxes.
Atmos has a "snap to speaker" option that moves a sound to the nearest available speaker. Since extracted speakers aren't registered in the renderer for Atmos, it assumes you don't have those speakers and sends it to the nearest speaker it knows you do have. So front wides would end up a either the front mains or the sides, depending which is closer to the audio object. I don't think this is used that much since it doesn't allow traditional panning, but it's hard to be sure. DTS:X doesn't use it and neither does Auro-3D so they work predictably with extracted channels.

That function can apply to any channel in Atmos, but front wides came to light in particular because of Dolby's own 9.1.6 channel test demo. The version on their demo blurays used snap to for the front wide channels, but not top middle so this was noticed as it made it that much harder to set up extracted front wides. The downloadable version turned snap to off and works fine with extracted front wides.

Otherwise, there's no real other difference beyond questions of room correction and how perfectly discrete you need the extra channels to be.
 

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@MagnumX In order to use my front wides and a mixer.
It appears I need to buy a mixer for each side L and R.
Also what is the wiring schematic too install a mixer?
Do I install the mixer and then just rerun audessey?
As for my AVR settings. Do I put it on 7.4.6 for speaker layout?

My gear is listed below. I use an emotiva amp to power front L/R, front wide L/R, center.
Thanks in advance.
 

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@MagnumX In order to use my front wides and a mixer.
It appears I need to buy a mixer for each side L and R.
Also what is the wiring schematic too install a mixer?
Do I install the mixer and then just rerun audessey?
As for my AVR settings. Do I put it on 7.4.6 for speaker layout?

My gear is listed below. I use an emotiva amp to power front L/R, front wide L/R, center.
Thanks in advance.
It's pretty straight forward. Just plug Left Front Pre-outs (both L/R) from the AVR into Mixer L/R Input 1 (it's a stereo mixer) and then plug the side surround pre-outs into Input 2. Take the stereo outputs and plug them into an amplifier. The controls on the front determine how much of each channel goes to the output (i.e. set them equal for mid-way between or you can adjust them if your front wides are closer to the front than the sides, etc.) Take the amplified output and send it to the left and right front wides. You can continue to use your existing mains since unlike Pro Logic extraction, it's not removing the center output from the mains. Obviously, you will need a stereo amp to power the speakers (I used this one for my surround #1 speakers for example: https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-50Wx2-TDA7492-Amplifier-Adapter/dp/B00F0H8TOC/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=SMSL+SA50&qid=1578530875&sr=8-3). It has the added advantage of having its own volume control for adjusting the level of the speakers independently of even the mixer.

That's what I did (rerun Audyssey) with the mixer turned on (so it averaged the array). It's best to set the levels first, though (The Dolby Atmos 9.1.6 channel test found on Dolby's web site works well for this as that one does not use the "snap to" function). Set the wides to match the front/side levels. Then run Audyssey. Audyssey will be averaged for the combination of the two sets of front speakers (main L/R and half the input to the front wides, etc.)

Use whatever layout you intend to use for actual use (i.e. 7.4.6 is fine as the front wides aren't part of the setup on the AVR as it doesn't know they exist).

I actually use three of those mixers (one for front wides, one for surround #1 and one to mix L/C/R with front height to create a "dialog lift" effect (mixes L/C/R into front heights so the front effects and dialog appear to come from the screen instead of below it. Front height is normal and passed through the mixer).
 

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It's pretty straight forward. Just plug Left Front Pre-outs (both L/R) from the AVR into Mixer L/R Input 1 (it's a stereo mixer) and then plug the side surround pre-outs into Input 2. Take the stereo outputs and plug them into an amplifier. The controls on the front determine how much of each channel goes to the output (i.e. set them equal for mid-way between or you can adjust them if your front wides are closer to the front than the sides, etc.) Take the amplified output and send it to the left and right front wides. You can continue to use your existing mains since unlike Pro Logic extraction, it's not removing the center output from the mains. Obviously, you will need a stereo amp to power the speakers (I used this one for my surround #1 speakers for example: https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-50Wx2-TDA7492-Amplifier-Adapter/dp/B00F0H8TOC/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=SMSL+SA50&qid=1578530875&sr=8-3). It has the added advantage of having its own volume control for adjusting the level of the speakers independently of even the mixer.

That's what I did (rerun Audyssey) with the mixer turned on (so it averaged the array). It's best to set the levels first, though (The Dolby Atmos 9.1.6 channel test found on Dolby's web site works well for this as that one does not use the "snap to" function). Set the wides to match the front/side levels. Then run Audyssey. Audyssey will be averaged for the combination of the two sets of front speakers (main L/R and half the input to the front wides, etc.)

Use whatever layout you intend to use for actual use (i.e. 7.4.6 is fine as the front wides aren't part of the setup on the AVR as it doesn't know they exist).

I actually use three of those mixers (one for front wides, one for surround #1 and one to mix L/C/R with front height to create a "dialog lift" effect (mixes L/C/R into front heights so the front effects and dialog appear to come from the screen instead of below it. Front height is normal and passed through the mixer).
@MagnumX Why would I need to purchase amplifiers if I already have an emotiva amp?
Wouldn't I use that...I mean between the AVR and Emotiva I can power 18 speakers and only have 15.
 

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@MagnumX Why would I need to purchase amplifiers if I already have an emotiva amp?
Wouldn't I use that...I mean between the AVR and Emotiva I can power 18 speakers and only have 15.
If you have available amplifier channels left, yes, you can use them just fine. I use my old Yamaha 7.1 Receiver as an amp even in 7.1 Input Mode (4 channels for front/rear heights and 2 for front wides. My "Top Middles" are powered by the Pro Logic processors I use as they have like 65W per channel built-in. Only my "surround #1 " speakers use that amp above. The rest are powered by the Marantz 7012 AVR.
 

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It's pretty straight forward. Just plug Left Front Pre-outs (both L/R) from the AVR into Mixer L/R Input 1 (it's a stereo mixer) and then plug the side surround pre-outs into Input 2. Take the stereo outputs and plug them into an amplifier. The controls on the front determine how much of each channel goes to the output (i.e. set them equal for mid-way between or you can adjust them if your front wides are closer to the front than the sides, etc.) Take the amplified output and send it to the left and right front wides. You can continue to use your existing mains since unlike Pro Logic extraction, it's not removing the center output from the mains. Obviously, you will need a stereo amp to power the speakers (I used this one for my surround #1 speakers for example: https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-50Wx2-TDA7492-Amplifier-Adapter/dp/B00F0H8TOC/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=SMSL+SA50&qid=1578530875&sr=8-3). It has the added advantage of having its own volume control for adjusting the level of the speakers independently of even the mixer.

That's what I did (rerun Audyssey) with the mixer turned on (so it averaged the array). It's best to set the levels first, though (The Dolby Atmos 9.1.6 channel test found on Dolby's web site works well for this as that one does not use the "snap to" function). Set the wides to match the front/side levels. Then run Audyssey. Audyssey will be averaged for the combination of the two sets of front speakers (main L/R and half the input to the front wides, etc.)

Use whatever layout you intend to use for actual use (i.e. 7.4.6 is fine as the front wides aren't part of the setup on the AVR as it doesn't know they exist).

I actually use three of those mixers (one for front wides, one for surround #1 and one to mix L/C/R with front height to create a "dialog lift" effect (mixes L/C/R into front heights so the front effects and dialog appear to come from the screen instead of below it. Front height is normal and passed through the mixer).
What I derived from this is the following:
Front main L/R would be pre-out to mixer input 2
Side surrounds L/R would be pre-out to mixer input 3
Front Wides L/R would be mixer output to Amp

What I don’t understand is how are the Front main L/R and Side surrounds L/R being powered then?

Is the speaker signal output from the AVR from both pre-out and speaker wire connection? Therefore the mains and side surrounds are powered through the AVR and signals sent directly from the speaker posts?
In other words pre-out them to the mixer to create wides and also directly wire them to the AVR.
Yes I’m stupid if your wondering.
 

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It's pretty straight forward. Just plug Left Front Pre-outs (both L/R) from the AVR into Mixer L/R Input 1 (it's a stereo mixer) and then plug the side surround pre-outs into Input 2. Take the stereo outputs and plug them into an amplifier. The controls on the front determine how much of each channel goes to the output (i.e. set them equal for mid-way between or you can adjust them if your front wides are closer to the front than the sides, etc.) Take the amplified output and send it to the left and right front wides. You can continue to use your existing mains since unlike Pro Logic extraction, it's not removing the center output from the mains. Obviously, you will need a stereo amp to power the speakers (I used this one for my surround #1 speakers for example: https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-50Wx2-TDA7492-Amplifier-Adapter/dp/B00F0H8TOC/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=SMSL+SA50&qid=1578530875&sr=8-3). It has the added advantage of having its own volume control for adjusting the level of the speakers independently of even the mixer.

That's what I did (rerun Audyssey) with the mixer turned on (so it averaged the array). It's best to set the levels first, though (The Dolby Atmos 9.1.6 channel test found on Dolby's web site works well for this as that one does not use the "snap to" function). Set the wides to match the front/side levels. Then run Audyssey. Audyssey will be averaged for the combination of the two sets of front speakers (main L/R and half the input to the front wides, etc.)

Use whatever layout you intend to use for actual use (i.e. 7.4.6 is fine as the front wides aren't part of the setup on the AVR as it doesn't know they exist).

I actually use three of those mixers (one for front wides, one for surround #1 and one to mix L/C/R with front height to create a "dialog lift" effect (mixes L/C/R into front heights so the front effects and dialog appear to come from the screen instead of below it. Front height is normal and passed through the mixer).
What I derived from this is the following:
Front main L/R would be pre-out to mixer input 2
Side surrounds L/R would be pre-out to mixer input 3
Front Wides L/R would be mixer output to Amp

What I don’️t understand is how are the Front main L/R and Side surrounds L/R being powered then?

Yes I’️m stupid if your wondering.
They still run off the AVR. Since matrixed doesn't remove the center content from the mains signal, you don't need to power them externally. The pre-outs are active all the time, even when powering the same channels.
 

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@MagnumX would you recommend using a mixer for Top Middles also?
 

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@MagnumX would you recommend using a mixer for Top Middles also?
I haven't tried it, exactly, but I certainly found, at least with my layout that leaking some of the front/rear correlated signal back to the front/rear heights improved my overall imaging and helped to correct the trajectory for having side heights that were 2 feet outward (since they're on the side wall in a 12' wide room) and ~7 inches lower than the front/rear heights. It's hard to say whether it improved imaging over Pro Logic steering, which might be a bit more aggressive than natural imaging, but it didn't hurt any, that's for certain. OTOH, a near discrete top middle is locked solid in place for all seats for a middle point (it'll still pull a bit if you sit closer to the front or rear speakers as that's just the way it works with any correlated stereo (or more) pair due to the so-called precedence effect (That's why it's best to sit dead center for stereo material without a center).

Basically, you could try it. You'll probably need whatever amp channels to power top middle anyway and you can just connect the mixer for the matrixed front wides temporarily to see how you like it (or the mixers aren't horribly expensive and don't take up much space either way). If you don't like it, you could go Pro Logic or Pro Logic II extraction or whatever instead (or for those with the 8500, use the real top middle, although it won't work with all material). Matrixed channels don't necessarily sound great when running a pink noise channel test as you can usually tell all three speakers on each channel are running all at the same time, but it's a different story with actual material, IMO. It doesn't lock things in place like a discrete output, but I think it's still an improvement over just two speakers, especially for off-center seating as you might be sitting closer to the front wide in the front row left of center than the left main or surround speaker (depending on the room/chair layout). Here, my left and right front row seats are closer to the wides so sound goes "around" where it would just go in a straight line across before, making the image at the chair or in front of it or whatever instead of to the left of it (plus the benefits of stereo array playback for 2-channel music, which to me sounds clearer and with more depth due to the room cancellations and extra sound arrivals that simulate a more bipolar or dipolar type front speaker). I'm sure some people would hate matrixed channels as they want all discrete all the time. It's not for them. But even real cinemas array the side surround speakers that would otherwise only be for an object at home).
 

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@MagnumX to clarify I was referring to Top Middle L/R using a mixer from Front Height L/R and Rear Height L/R.
Not Top Middle center. My understanding is you are doing this with PL1. Just wondered if it would cause weird audio effects if done with a mixer to matrix them instead. I guess I’m saying the front wides are essentially just another pair of surrounds so no issue...but the ceiling speakers are more audio que specific so would matrix cause a weird effect.
 

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@MagnumX to clarify I was referring to Top Middle L/R using a mixer from Front Height L/R and Rear Height L/R.
Not Top Middle center. My understanding is you are doing this with PL1. Just wondered if it would cause weird audio effects if done with a mixer to matrix them instead. I guess I’m saying the front wides are essentially just another pair of surrounds so no issue...but the ceiling speakers are more audio que specific so would matrix cause a weird effect.
That's what I was talking about and why I said I didn't try it as I'm already using Pro Logic extraction there. Like I said, it's easy to try first and if you don't like the results, you can always try Pro Logic or whatever. It'll behave like any other matrixed array. You'll get front and rear height added in the middle and front and rear heights will continue to produce the same sounds they did before. But it puts a real speaker in the middle which can help off-center seating and/or bridge angles that are too far apart. Personally, I think as long as the timbre is a good match in those positions, it will work OK. Whether you're happy with matrixed results compared to more discrete, I can't say for certain.
 

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What options are there for PL1 boxes similar to the idea of the mixer? I wouldn’t want to use another big AVR for ProLogic if I decided to go that way.

Not sure if they make those mixers you referenced on demand or what not, but they say usually shipped within two months.
 

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Hey everyone!

I'm sorry for not reading through all the 75 pages of this thread, but, maybe, someone can give me a quick answer. I now run a 7.1.4 with Denon X4400H/Emotiva A-500 combo.

Using methods described in this thread, is there a way to add a couple of height channels and two front wides into my setup (4 additional channels total)? And if there is, can you please point me to a right schematic? Also, what additional AVR would you say may fit this task best?
 

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Hey everyone!

I'm sorry for not reading through all the 75 pages of this thread, but, maybe, someone can give me a quick answer. I now run a 7.1.4 with Denon X4400H/Emotiva A-500 combo.

Using methods described in this thread, is there a way to add a couple of height channels and two front wides into my setup (4 additional channels total)? And if there is, can you please point me to a right schematic? Also, what additional AVR would you say may fit this task best?
Per my recent discussion on this matter:

Originally Posted by Phillihp23 viewpost.gif
It would be great to decode my front wides but I found it complex and some appeared to have issues, I read through some of the thread on here about it. It just seems complex and also requires a bit of additional equipment.

MagnumX
It's not complex, but can be a bit messy as you need two Dolby Pro Logic 1 or Pro Logic II sound processors (or AVRs) and you need to output the preamp channels to them so that one set gets front left + side left inputs (and then outputs front left, side left and front wide left) and then repeat again for the right side. The "center channel output" creates the new in-between speaker the same way it does for L/R input with a hard center channel speaker used as originally intended. We're just changing the inputs to create a "center" between other sets of speakers in surround instead of just Left/Right. Do this again if you want extracted top middle and you have 4 Dolby Processors or AVRs and you have to keep track of all the wire labeling since obviously you're not using what's on the labels at that point. You can even then take the pre-outs for top middle left/right and create a "VOG" channel center-output there AGAIN. Pretty cool, eh? The basics are pretty simple. Just extract a center from two other in-line signals.

There's another thread on here (https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-re...ive-audio.html) that deals with the subject in more detail, but it gets quite long. The basics are as outlined here.

Room Correction Concerns:

IF you use AVRs with Room Correction, you're all set. Set your main AVR to room correct. But then also room correct again with the secondary AVRs. It will simply re-correct the already corrected signals including the new ones (no harm no foul). You can also correct the main channels with say a stand alone processor and send the newly created middle channel to something like a Dirac Live unit (e.g. MiniDSP) for correction. Since many only believe in corrected below the Schrodinger limit anyway (typically below 250Hz in most rooms), you can just correct for bass and forget about the rest if you want. It won't make that much of a difference in tone/timbre and your sub is doing most of the work anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by n00b2 viewpost.gif
@MagnumX I thought that going down the PLII extraction route means Audyssey can't be calibrated for those extracted channels? Not a dealbreaker but a limitation of trying that. I also thought the extraction only works when the two adjacent speakers produce an identical signal to try and image a central position. Seems like it would work better for a TM/CH/VOG situation where you are trying to extract a central speaker rather than FW which is partway between fronts and surrounds and would rarely get an identical signal between them.
Other Concerns:


From what I've READ about PLII processing (I'm using PL 1), it appears to be mighty sensitive to volume setting differences between the two (i.e. you have front height left set to 0 and rear height set to +3 and it's not going to work right). I have not had that experience whatsoever with Pro Logic 1. It couldn't care less if the levels are off. It will adjust as normal. Distance can and DOES affect it (leak-through of extracted channels back into the mains starts), but this in my experience is a GOOD THING as you have some control over the balance of it all. I know "fully discrete" sounds great on paper, but whether it's Pro Logic 1's tendency to "steer harder" towards the center than PLII or the fact my "top middle" speakers are in the "surround height" position and slightly lower than the front/rear heights as well (due to a steel beam box in the room), I found letting a bit leak (changing the distance by 0.2 feet did the trick for me) gives enough of an "array" effect that it pulls the imaging over back in line with the mains both horizontally and vertically enough to fool my ears completely (tested with the Atmos helicopter demo; when it sounded "straight" in tracking I kept that setting. It's still "more discrete" than a matrixed effect and perhaps in a more perfect room it would be fine regardless (yes you do get panning between the speakers either way and with real material, you couldn't tell one from the other except for that trajectory change and perhaps smoother panning (less center pull) as well.

In any case, I find my "top middle" sounds freaking AWESOME now and I'm in a 24' long room with heights end-to-end and it images perfectly across the entire length of the ceiling). And it's used with EVERYTHING. Print-through tracks, 11-channel limits, Auro-3D not supporting both locations...it doesn't matter. It's simply extracting a speaker in the middle of the two like DTS:X Pro supposedly will do. It doesn't interfere. It just spans the room, bridges phantom imaging in long rooms and locks the channel in position for off-axis seats. In short, it's pretty much invisible, but solves the problems with huge angles in large rooms that might have multiple rows of seating, etc. This is why I think DTS:X Pro will rule the roost if they ever can get it released. It's not dependent on the objects or channels in the soundtrack. You can extract in-between positions all day long to create more channels (noise might be an issue after so many splits, but done digitally with at least an 8-channel framework, I don't see any issue really).


@MagnumX What is this Mixer matrix for front wides entail? Equipment etc. and how does it connect into the main AVR x8500h?

MagnumX
It's very very simple. You output the same channels you would with a Dolby Processor, but you only need a small active mixer box (here's the one i used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) so it takes up very little space. The mixer "adds" the channels together. Thus, in-phase material (aka "correlated") gains +3dB and out of phase material cancels out depending on just how out-of-phase it is. You are left with a speaker "output" from the box that isn't very discrete (only +3dB at most) above the main channels (thus you will have an "array effect" since the original channels will play too, not just the newly created one) and even the new channel has the main channels in them as well (3dB below the center point).

Assuming your speakers timbre match well, what you have left is an array effect which means that the "phantom image" will be directly between the two sets of speakers (i.e. right at the new speaker if you are seating equidistant from the mains, the same as a phantom image would if something imaged there normally, except now you have a hard source there that works better for off-center seating and technically would bridge long angles as well if the room was large enough to "need" speaker in-between). You gain very little for the MLP in most rooms (although I find it does improve "stereo" mode quite a bit in that it reduces side wall reflections for front wides and gives an extra sound arrival that gives more "depth" like a bipolar or dipolar speaker does when used in the front instead of the sides).

Add to that a similar effect with height and you've improved your room further in stereo mode and the soundstage is even larger sounding in terms of depth and some height (depending on the amount of "lift"). Thus, I have 6-channel stereo mode that sounds more like my Carver Ribbon dipolar speakers do upstairs (they have a tall but narrow 48" tall and 2" wide driver that limits floor and ceiling reflections and gives an extra rear arrival that makes stereo imaging seem more "real" in the room to my ears). This little 4 to 6-channel "stereo" mode does the same thing with multiple speakers except that it also reduces side wall reflections a little bit while creating their own extra arrival. Trust me. It sounds BETTER than 2-channel stereo. I ran Audyssey with this mode ON so it corrected the matrixed array effect instead of a single speaker (no different than running Audyssey on ONE speaker with multiple D'appolito drivers really, IMO)

Summary:

Using Pro Logic processing to extract a center channel gives "near discrete" output (although that can be modified with the distance parameter to create a little or a lot of an array effect). This is what you want if you want to simulate something as close as possible to higher channel Atmos mixes.

An active mixer (well technically a passive mixer too, but they don't put out enough output level, IMO) gives a "Matrixed" effect in that channels are added together for a mere +3dB separation in sound (like the old matrix surround decoders except we're only interested in the center output) so you get a stereo array effect, but with hard speaker locations that will still image better for off-axis seating. This also gives some flexibility to where the surround speakers actually sound like they're coming from. For example, I have front wides in front of my front row of seats, side surrounds behind it and surround #1 behind the second row of seats with the rears behind th last row of seats. Adjusting the amount of the mix together of the two sets of channels (front + side for Front Wide and side + rear for Surround #1 ) lets me have the phantom image of the "side" speakers along side the seats even though the actual speakers are in front of or behind them. This maximizes the amount of room I have for chairs as they can now sit closer to the walls without having a speaker right in your ear!

Addendum

You could also technically create discrete outputs (or use one of the newer processors that do it anyway) and use active mixers to add "arrayed" side surrounds to all the side speakers like the actual cinemas do! (i.e. front wide would have discrete rendered front wide material PLUS arrayed side surround and surround #1 would have it discrete for objects passing through, but also play the side surround channel for the wider side effects). This would be ideal and behave exactly like the cinema does for multiple rows of seats! Objects would be discrete but "channels" would be arrayed.

Regarding Front Wide Use in Soundtracks

Now what about Front Wide content in actual Atmos soundtracks and DTS:X? It's hard to verify given the existing equipment, but I can tell you this much. Front wides are located between the mains and the first set of side surrounds. Whether an Atmos track has front wides engaged or not, anything panning between the mains and the side SHOULD be played back through the front wides. This is where Atmos gets a bit messed up because that's the way it's supposed to work! An object should be rendered as panning relative to the nearest speakers in use as the object passes by or appears there, etc. If "many" or "most" Atmos soundtracks are not using the front wide speakers, there's something wrong. Either the film mixing guy isn't panning objects between those speakers are front wides are effectively turned off for the mix! That should not even be allowed, IMO, but Dolby DOES allow it and that's why you get crappy soundtracks like those from Disney where only 7.1.4 layout speakers work at all!

Now DTS:X Pro will do the same thing as above with extraction, but internally to the decoder itself. Thus, even if every single DTS:X soundtrack out there is 7.1.4 "channels" it doesn't matter! It will create up to 30.2 channels from those channels the same way by extracting hard "near discrete" channels between the existing channels! Now why apparently the 8500 does not use Neural X for front wides is beyond me. I'm pretty sure my 7010 (currently not in use sitting in the back room) did extract front wides with DTS:X, but short of swapping out the receivers just for that (and a LOT of wiring since I'm set up for 11.1.6), I can't be certain. It SHOULD do it as that's what Neural X is for as long as enough channels are available.

The problem with using 5.1.4 + FW with DTS:X is that it's going to copy the sides to the front wides location (for whatever reason), but oddly that's exactly what you would get in a real cinema typically as all those extra Atmos speakers on the sides are typically discrete for moving objects, but set up as arrays for the "side surround" channel. Thus, "side surround" events play through them all, but only objects play approaching one at a time through each speaker as it pans through them. But this may do something unexpected in your room by moving the "side surround" image forward from where you may want it in your layout (e.g. if you have the side surround directly to your sides, it will now seem to come from between the front wides and your sides, which may be undesirable as it's similar to putting your side surrounds in front of you instead of to the side or somewhat behind you).

Conclusion:

Thus, I can only conclude given the horrible limitations of certain Atmos soundtracks and the as of yet fixed 11-channel DTS:X limit that at this juncture in time, it may actually be BETTER to use extracted and/or matrixed extra channels beyond 7.1.4 as they will work with EVERYTHING as the system doesn't know they're even there.
 

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What options are there for PL1 boxes similar to the idea of the mixer? I wouldn’️t want to use another big AVR for ProLogic if I decided to go that way.

Not sure if they make those mixers you referenced on demand or what not, but they say usually shipped within two months.
l

I use the Onkyo ES-600 Pro and got them on eBay. It doesn't have pre-outs for the center though, but does have a built-in amp (speaker level outputs).

Pre-out wise, there's the Technics SH-AC500 which I have used before and works well. There's a Sony model I considered as well on eBay, but I forget the model offhand. I'd have a look on eBay to see what you can find for a good price.

As for the mixer, there are other places that sell it out there I believe. Any active stereo mixer should work really.
 

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I use the Onkyo ES-600 Pro and got them on eBay. It doesn't have pre-outs for the center though, but does have a built-in amp (speaker level outputs).

Pre-out wise, there's the Technics SH-AC500 which I have used before and works well. There's a Sony model I considered as well on eBay, but I forget the model offhand. I'd have a look on eBay to see what you can find for a good price.

As for the mixer, there are other places that sell it out there I believe. Any active stereo mixer should work really.
I found a seller for the mixer. Amazon deliver tomorrow. Can you clarify this “ Set the wides to match the front/side levels. Then run Audyssey. Audyssey will be averaged for the combination of the two sets of front speakers (main L/R and half the input to the front wides, etc.)”

The mixer has dials for the inputs. Do I just play a source material and turn both the input dials on the mixer for mains and side surrounds equally up until they sound equal with the mains and side surrounds volume? Then run Audyssey?
 

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I found a seller for the mixer. Amazon deliver tomorrow. Can you clarify this “ Set the wides to match the front/side levels. Then run Audyssey. Audyssey will be averaged for the combination of the two sets of front speakers (main L/R and half the input to the front wides, etc.)”

The mixer has dials for the inputs. Do I just play a source material and turn both the input dials on the mixer for mains and side surrounds equally up until they sound equal with the mains and side surrounds volume? Then run Audyssey?
More or less (I use a sound pressure level meter from Radio Shack to match them). Since they all play at once, it should bump up about 3dB when they're equal (or you can unplug your speakers temporarily, but then you can't hear to compare).
 

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More or less (I use a sound pressure level meter from Radio Shack to match them). Since they all play at once, it should bump up about 3dB when they're equal (or you can unplug your speakers temporarily, but then you can't hear to compare).
I have a decimal meter. Would this make sense. Place the meter in the MLP. Play a test tone. Take a reading. Turn up the dials on the mixer until I see a 3dbs increase?
 

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I have a decimal meter. Would this make sense. Place the meter in the MLP. Play a test tone. Take a reading. Turn up the dials on the mixer until I see a 3dbs increase?
That should do it. But keep in mind that it will play also with the mains and side surrounds in their test tones! Ultimately, you want them all to be even so take a measurement of the front/sides first (make sure they're even). Then turn on the front wides, get the +3dB measurement and then turn down the front and sides (using the test tones of them which will now be louder too) until they match your center and your other surrounds (so they're all even). That should adjust the front wides at the same time (since it's comprised of them).

Also keep in mind that Audyssey's output may be very different from the AVR's output so I'd shut it off for the tests if it's already calibrated. After everything is set, you can then run it again. You'll probably need to check the levels afterward as well since I find Audyssey isn't always right on the money from the listening position. That will verify they're all the same still either way. You can adjust the levels afterward more or less safely since it adjusts frequencies, not levels in the actual room correction, although since they are averaged, a huge change might affect something, but probably not a small adjustment to get them even if they're slightly off.
 
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