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I actually quit experimenting with matrixing because of my preference for full range overheads, I just wasn't happy with any of the slim solutions that I tried, and would have to completely move my equipment storage to use the proper AVR's to be happy.
What are your requirements for slim AVRs?

For me the Marantz slimlines are just fine and are just over 4" tall each, 8 1/16" tall stacked.

Going over 50w/ch with height channels doesn't seem that likely in a home theater setup. Having L/C/R all driving a constant 50w/ch in a scAtmos configuration just doesn't seem likely. The NR1403's can probably peak at ~65w with 1ch driven. While that is well below the 125W+ of a big AVR even then it is less than 3db of difference.

With efficient speakers (mine are 89db) the height speakers would be way too loud before I ran out of power. The FH/RH speakers are at 12ft away and this should allow them to hit ~96db. TM are closer so they should reach ~103db each. My main speakers at 11ft can really only hit ~100db each even with a 150W external amp. It might not quite hit THX headroom requirements at 105db but it is still louder than comfortable...

If you need an external amp I have an 16 channel amplifier sitting here that can do 5x200w bridged plus 6x80w on the remaining channels... Of course it weighs 95lbs... :)

-Rich
 

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I've been thinking about this, using multiple AVR's to matrix Wides still might be a preferred option, even with the ability to do native 9.1.6, while I know native Atmos & DTS-X will use them for objects and Nueral-X will also incorporate them, I still don't remember hearing if DTS-X or Neural-X will do 6 overheads, or if they are even considering it?
A 7.1.6 + matrixed Wides, may really end up being the best overall experience.
Just a thought.
I think I read somewhere that most DTS:X content is actually 7.1.4 and the wides in DTS:X are still handled/matrixed by Neural:X in DTS:X mode if the content is 7.1.4 and not 9.1.4.

So it really is matrixed wides for most content except atmos. :)

I am not sure that FrankenAtmos is going anywhere when the costs to do it are so much lower than the RMC-1 and the others that can currently do it natively.

It would be interesting to hear a native 7.1.6 vs scAtmos 7.1.6 to see how much of a difference it makes.

-Rich
 
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What are your requirements for slim AVRs?

For me the Marantz slimlines are just fine and are just over 4" tall each, 8 1/16" tall stacked.

Going over 50w/ch with height channels doesn't seem that likely in a home theater setup. Having L/C/R all driving a constant 50w/ch in a scAtmos configuration just doesn't seem likely. The NR1403's can probably peak at ~65w with 1ch driven. While that is well below the 125W+ of a big AVR even then it is less than 3db of difference. With efficient speakers (mine are 89db) I think the height speakers would be way too loud before I ran out of power.

If you need an external amp I have an 16 channel amplifier sitting here that can do 5x200w bridged plus 6x80w on the remaining channels... Of course it weighs 95lbs... :)

-Rich
Mainly line level in and out so I don't have to do anything but a set it and forget it volume control, I might have missed something, butt everything I found had one or the other, not both.

I'm set for amps, running all separate's, I've got 17 channels of power available.
Thanks though.
 

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Mainly line level in and out so I don't have to do anything but a set it and forget it volume control, I might have missed something, butt everything I found had one or the other, not both.

I'm set for amps, running all separate's, I've got 17 channels of power available.
Thanks though.
I have my slimlines set at volume 50 when they turn on with +12db on the analog input. This works better than setting them at 80 (0db) because they tend to hiss at that volume level. The hiss is dramatically reduced in "pure direct" mode but this application requires pro-logic II mode so that isn't an option.

I calibrate the main AVR with it set that way and it works fine. The Marantz slimlines don't have a preout for the center channel so that is one limitation that they have. I actually broke out the service manual and figured out how to add a preout but then I decided that they should have enough power to run the height channels. Plus they took up the rack space that used to hold my adcom gfa-7500 so I didn't really have room for external amplification. :)

In reality the tritton headphone decoder boxes would probably work fine for what you are doing. They have a set and forget volume with line level inputs and outputs. The pain is that they need a ADC box in front of them. The ADC boxes that I tried produced some white noise which I could hear both through the tritton and through the technics prologic AC3 decoder I tried, perhaps a higher end ADC wouldn't produce the noise.

I have the IR inputs turned off so my remotes never change their volume level.

-Rich
 

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I think I read somewhere that most DTS:X content is actually 7.1.4 and the wides in DTS:X are still handled/matrixed by Neural:X in DTS:X mode if the content is 7.1.4 and not 9.1.4. So it really is matrixed wides for most content except atmos. :)
The term matrixing can mean very different things:
- The matrixing applied by DTS:X to extend the number of speaker feeds above 7.1.4 (e.g. to include wides) is based upon a center-extration a la Dolby PLII: Identical info in two adjacent speakers is extracted from both speaker feeds and send to a 3rd speaker right in the middle. A better term for such process would be 'up-mixing'. Very effective, and IMO potentially indistinguishable from discretely feeding such 3rd speaker.
- The 'post-processing' matrixing that is being used by a number of manufacturers claiming to be able to extend above the 7.1.4 limit, is mostly mixing two adjacent speakers into an additional speaker placed in-between them. Not so exciting, and effectively diffusing the soundstage.

It would be interesting to hear a native 7.1.6 vs scAtmos 7.1.6 to see how much of a difference it makes.
This difference is very noticeble when 2-channel bed info is being sent to the L and R overhead arrays*). While this 'bed channel' sound is reproduced by all 6 overhead speakers in a true 7.1.6 configuration, with Scatmos all sound collapses to the Top Middle pair. Same happens with DSU.

*) ATMOS has 9 bed channels, 2 of which are overhead channels which in the consumer version are translated into objects sent to multiple overhead speakers.
 

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This difference is very noticeble when 2-channel bed info is being sent to the L and R overhead arrays*). While this 'bed channel' sound is reproduced by all 6 overhead speakers in a true 7.1.6 configuration, with Scatmos all sound collapses to the Top Middle pair. Same happens with DSU.

*) ATMOS has 9 bed channels, 2 of which are overhead channels which in the consumer version are translated into objects sent to multiple overhead speakers.
You can avoid that «mono signal snap to center» behaviour by using PLII music mode. Altough it might not behave correct in other situations.
 

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The term matrixing can mean very different things:
- The matrixing applied by DTS:X to extend the number of speaker feeds above 7.1.4 (e.g. to include wides) is based upon a center-extration a la Dolby PLII: Identical info in two adjacent speakers is extracted from both speaker feeds and send to a 3rd speaker right in the middle. A better term for such process would be 'up-mixing'. Very effective, and IMO potentially indistinguishable from discretely feeding such 3rd speaker.
- The 'post-processing' matrixing that is being used by a number of manufacturers claiming to be able to extend above the 7.1.4 limit, is mostly mixing two adjacent speakers into an additional speaker placed in-between them. Not so exciting, and effectively diffusing the soundstage.
Good point.

I agree that I should have used "up-mixed" I will adjust for future posts. As you pointed out, clearly there are difference between Neural:x, Neo:x, DSU, Audyssey DSX, PLIIz, etc in how they up-mix 5.1/7.1 content.

Is the wide extraction on Neural:X similar to or the same as Neo:x?

With the overheads identical content appears to be very common and PLII/scAtmos is very effective. How often do the L/SR and R/SR actually get identical content to matrix the wides? I suppose this would happen when panning...

This makes sense as to why it seems to me that upmixers like Audyssey DSX play a lot more content on the wide channels than Neo:x/Neural:x do.

Thanks,

Rich
 

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Is the wide extraction on Neural:X similar to or the same as Neo:x?
It's the same. 2 channels come in, 3 channels go out. The 3rd channel is standard centre extraction, with that info being cancelled in the original 2 channels. As Maikel says, it can sound indistinguishable from 3 discrete channels.
 

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You can avoid that «mono signal snap to center» behaviour by using PLII music mode. Altough it might not behave correct in other situations.
I will have to try music mode with some of the demos like helicopter and see how it works.

Are most people using music or movie mode for scAtmos?

If using music mode what do you have "Center Width" set to?


It seems like "Panorama" and "Dimension" should be essentially disabled given that the scAtmos system doesn't use surround speakers and wouldn't want to spread sound to them.

From this manual: http://www.minnetonkaaudio.com/info/PDFs/Manuals/SurCode_for_Dolby_ProLogic_II_AAX-Manual.pdf

minnetonkaaudio.com said:
Music Mode
This mode is the most versatile feature of Pro Logic II. It activates the settings for Panorama,
Dimension, and Center Width. These settings help a consumer to make stereo or “Lo/Ro” material
into one that takes advantage of their multichannel listening environment. Particularly attractive
for automotive entertainment systems, this can be used anywhere a simple upmix from stereo is
required.

Music Mode controls
PANORAMA
When enabled, this control 100% diverges the stereo signal to the surround speakers as well as
the front Left and Right.
DIMENSION
This adjusts the front–to–back panning or “focus” of the signal from the front speakers to the
rear speakers.
CENTER WIDTH
This diverges the Center output signal from the Center to both the Left and Right outputs. At
the 0º setting, there is no center width and the center stays only in the center channel. At the 90º
setting, there is maximum divergence with a phantom center.
This is also a good article on PL vs PLII and the modes.


http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1225389


The differences other than the autobalance seem to be a delay on surround channels in movie mode and the ability to spread sound more widely to the surrounds which wouldn't apply to a 3 channel scAtmos setup.

It seems like most of the advantage of ProLogicII over ProLogic in scAtmos would actually be in the flexibility of the music setting. When using only L/C/R the article implies that there isn't a big difference between the original ProLogic and the ProLogicII Movie mode. I did find that the original ProLogic works well for scAtmos.

Bass management is also not really useful for scAtmos given that the Subwoofer is controlled by the main AVR so the prologicII AVR's are configured to not have a subwoofer.

eetimes.com said:
Pro Logic II can be implemented as a "one mode for all programs" decoder, as may be ideal for simpler products. The "Movie" mode shown in Table 2 works very well in that application. The Movie mode is very similar to the Pro Logic mode, with the main difference being that Pro Logic has a 7 kHz surround filter and a mono surround output, while the Movie mode has no surround filter and stereo surround outputs. The Pro Logic emulation mode included in the technology package is as robust as the original Pro Logic decoding mode without having to provide separate decoding circuitry in the product.

The Movie and Pro Logic modes both use sufficient delay in the surround channel(s) to ensure the sounds from the front speakers arrive at least 10 ms before the sounds from the surround speakers. This creates the Haas precedence effect, which helps ensure dialogue and other frontal sounds intended to relate with the on-screen action are actually perceived as originating there.

Table 1. Comparison of key decoder features


Table 2. Description of Pro Logic II decoder features


Lastly, the autobalance is turned off in Music mode, considering vocalists are sometimes deliberately placed off center in the mix.

Figure 5. Basic decoder system block diagram


Pro Logic II has a decoder structure basically identical to Pro Logic except for the stereo surrounds, as shown in Figure 5. Since the time Pro Logic was originally introduced, the concept of bass management and the use of subwoofers has become commonplace. Pro Logic II includes a bass management feature to derive a proper subwoofer feed or to allow bass to be reproduced from the main speakers, as appropriate for the application.

The main reason I switched to a PrologicII AVR instead of staying with the older prologic units was because it is more modern and has features like room correction but now I see that music mode might have some good configuration flexibility.

I am sure that real 7.1.6 is still better than scAtmos but perhaps music mode will allow scAtmos to get closer until the real thing is affordable to me.

-Rich
 

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Hi hope someone can give me a correct answer.
I have a marantz 7010 configured in a 7.2.4 configuration. Today I was experimenting to pair it with my marantz 7009 which is configured in a 9.2.2 setting. I want to use the wide channels from the 7009 only when I use the dts neural up mixer from the 7010. I tested it with the dts neo x 11.1 file found on the dredd blu Ray and the test sounds worked great.
Are these matrixed wide channels the same as the wide channels if I used a 9.2.2 config in the 7010 because these are always matrixed channels in dts x?

Thanks in advance
 

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You can avoid that «mono signal snap to center» behaviour by using PLII music mode. Although it might not behave correct in other situations.
Depends entirely on the Center Width setting.

I will have to try music mode with some of the demos like helicopter and see how it works.
With Scatmos, the two input signals to the PLII decoder are identical for a) a bed channel and b) a panned signal located midway between front/rear. The good news is that we want a Mid speaker output signal in both cases. The difference is in how much we want from the front/rear speakers at the same time. For the bed channel, we want all three outputs to be identical. For the panned signal, we want nothing from the front/rear speakers. Cannot have both.

The panning illusion will not be damaged if there's still some signal present in the front/rears. And the array will still work even if there's an emphasis in the mid speaker.

A PLII decoder's Center Width control usually has a 0-7 range -- 0 being full steering to center output same as Movie mode, and 7 being nothing from the center output, ever. A setting of 4 will produce 3 equal output signals when the inputs are equal. That will emulate the ideal "array" output for bed channels. But it will be less precise for pans, as the pan never reaches full isolation to the Mid speaker. Even so, this will still sound more precise than a passive "upmixer" as the mid output is never silent. With PLII the mid speaker will always be silent if only one input has a signal, regardless of the adjustments. So a setting of 4 might be a good compromise.

If you set the Center Width control to 3 instead of 4, the Mid speaker will gain more weight over the other outputs, both for pans and for beds, which might also be a good compromise setting. I'd give both 3 and 4 a try and see how they fare with both pans and beds. If you look only at one type of source, you will optimize for that one at the expense of the other.

It seems like "Panorama" and "Dimension" should be essentially disabled given that the scAtmos system doesn't use surround speakers and wouldn't want to spread sound to them.
Correct. Ideally, you would want to tell the PLII decoder that only L/C/R speakers are connected. That ensures no energy is ever lost to the unused outputs.
 

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Interesting, I need to check if the NAD T743's have that adjustment.
 

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Love this thread, many passionate hobbyist around here, this is a great place to learn.
Mainly I lurk around the thread, sometimes ask questions etc. . Sadly, I won't be using the multi avp/avr method
anymore . I'm willingly to give up my multi- av-equipment for reasonable price. I take great care of my stuff. Two avp's one avr
all can do wides. See below. Pm me for details. You ask why no more multi-setup!
Now i'm being a wise-guy,😜
I ordered the Trinnov Altitude 32 and should have it soon, I wish some of you genius around here could be near where I live so I could pick at your brain power.😬
Better stop talking about trinnov here!
Thanks
PeterV
 

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Interesting, I need to check if the NAD T743's have that adjustment.
Sure does. See p.24 of the manual for CW adjustment, and p.16 for deactivating the surrounds. ;)
 

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The two receivers that I use for my height speakers in Scatmos are a pair of ancient Marantz SR4400s. In addition to PLII and DTS Neo:6, they have a DSP mode called "Multi-Channel Stereo." The manual describes this as:

"This mode is used to create a wider, deeper and more natural soundstage from two channel source material. This is done by feeding the left channel signal to both left front and left surround speaker and the right channel signal to both right front and right surround speaker. Additionally, the center channel reproduces a mix of the right and left channel."

I generally find this to be a decent compromise when watching DSU upmixed audio from my main AVR. In my specific situation, this works better for me than PLII Music would, because I'm also extracting VOG speakers using the surround channels of both secondary AVRs. PLII Music only distributes the audio across its "front" channels (equating to TF, TM, and TR), ignoring its surrounds. Multi-Ch Stereo sends some to the surrounds as well.

Of course, this does not work at all for genuine object-based Atmos content. It completely muddies the overhead soundstage. As such, I've programmed activities into my Harmony Hub to switch surround modes in the Marantz AVRs using Alexa voice commands. "Turn on DSU" switches to Multi-Ch Stereo. "Play At Most" (which Alexa will recognize when I say "Atmos") switches to DTS Neo:6 (which I favor over PLII Movie in my system).
 

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The two receivers that I use for my height speakers in Scatmos are a pair of ancient Marantz SR4400s. In addition to PLII and DTS Neo:6, they have a DSP mode called "Multi-Channel Stereo." The manual describes this as:

"This mode is used to create a wider, deeper and more natural soundstage from two channel source material. This is done by feeding the left channel signal to both left front and left surround speaker and the right channel signal to both right front and right surround speaker. Additionally, the center channel reproduces a mix of the right and left channel."
Yup. It's a simple passive process that can be duplicated with a Radio Shack project box, a bunch of female phono connectors, and a pair of resistors.

I generally find this to be a decent compromise when watching DSU upmixed audio from my main AVR.
It's no worse than what the Lyngdorf MP-50 "Matrixing" is apparently doing (final conclusion still TBD).

In my specific situation, this works better for me than PLII Music would, because I'm also extracting VOG speakers using the surround channels of both secondary AVRs.
If you use the 2 surround outputs of 2 decoders, you're summing 4 signals together to produce the VOG, right? You could get the very same signal by summing the two C outputs, as they already combine L and R of each side for you.

Either way, as you noticed, the VOG is on all the time, and that muddles things. If, OTOH, you drove it from the C outputs of the PLII Scatmos decoder, it would be active less of the time. And if you had another PLII decoder :eek: connected to the PLII derived Lmid and Rmid outputs, the VOG would only come alive when those two were the same.

Having said all that, it's still not the right solution for VOG. Hence, I advocate virtual VOG presentation. ;)
 

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Yup. It's a simple passive process that can be duplicated with a Radio Shack project box, a bunch of female phono connectors, and a pair of resistors.
Why would I bother with all that when it's already built into the AVRs I have anyway? :)

If you use the 2 surround outputs of 2 decoders, you're summing 4 signals together to produce the VOG, right? You could get the very same signal by summing the two C outputs, as they already combine L and R of each side for you.
I have two VOG speakers, one for the left side of the room and one for the right. Described here:

http://www.highdefdigest.com/blog/dolby-atmos-beyond-7-1-4-part-4/

In a genuine Atmos track, using Neo:6 in the secondary AVRs, I have been able to successfully get a panning motion from one side of the room to the other through both VOGs. (The helicopter effect in John Wick, for example.)

Using Multi Ch. Stereo for DSU content is a kludge, but it's better than letting everything collapse to the Top Middles with PLII Movie.

Either way, as you noticed, the VOG is on all the time, and that muddles things.
It's only on when there's content in the height channels. Given that DSU sums everything on the left side of the room to mono, and the same on the right, I don't see this as being any muddier than a typical 7.1.4 system.

Having said all that, it's still not the right solution for VOG. Hence, I advocate virtual VOG presentation. ;)
If by "virtual" you mean a phantom image between the Top Middles, that's great if it works. In my room, the low ceiling combined with the Top Middle speakers being mounted on the side walls (a limitation of speaker installation done before Atmos was ever a consideration) means that sounds don't image above my head very well. Hence why I added VOGs to anchor sounds in that location.
 

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In my room, the low ceiling combined with the Top Middle speakers being mounted on the side walls (a limitation of speaker installation done before Atmos was ever a consideration) means that sounds don't image above my head very well. Hence why I added VOGs to anchor sounds in that location.
So for each overhead side (L/R), PLII is applied to Top Front and Top Rear channels to feed an additional Top Middle speaker through Center extraction (a la Scatmos) and in addition to that, a "VOG" Top speaker is fed by the combination of two surround channels that PLII creates out of those same Top Front and Top Rear channel by means of Ambience extraction. Pretty inventive, I like it! :smile:

PS Did you consider using 4 VOG speakers each with their own ambient feed? :D

Schermafbeelding 2017-10-02 om 08.49.31.png
 

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So for each overhead side (L/R), PLII is applied to Top Front and Top Rear channels to feed an additional Top Middle speaker through Center extraction (a la Scatmos) and in addition to that, a "VOG" Top speaker is fed by the combination of two surround channels that PLII creates out of those same Top Front and Top Rear channel by means of Ambience extraction. Pretty inventive, I like it! :smile:
Yes, essentially. It gets complicated with having to combine both the left and right Surround outputs of each secondary AVR to mono-ize them into one speaker.

PS Did you consider using 4 VOG speakers each with their own ambient feed? :D
I did consider it, yes. Because the Marantz receivers are 6.1 models, I could even do 6 VOG speakers using the Surround Left, Right and Back outputs of each AVR.

At a certain point, however, I had to decide how much overkill was too much even for me. :)
 
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