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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this a good measuring stick to use when purchasing speakers? i have an Onkyo 805 and i am pretty much set on getting the Ascend 340's but saw some Crystal audio speakers that are in my budget minus the subon the THX website. What makes a speaker a THX speaker? Thanks for your help.

http://www.crystalaudiovideo.com/product.aspx
 

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THX certified products meet the standards of quality and performance that are laid out by THX.


Does that mean that all of the speakers that aren't THX certified wouldn't meet those standards if the speaker company chose to pay for the certification process?


Absolutely not.
 

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This article is a little dated, but it explains the entire concept of THX certification for home theater:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/techn...to-use-it.html


I, myself, have THX Ultra2 certified speakers, and find value in the certification:
http://www.atlantictechnology.com/de...asp?NodeId=127


BTW, the Crystal speakers you refer to above are THX "Select" certified. This is different than Ultra2 certification. The article above explains the difference, but basically, Select is for smaller rooms than Ultra2. Bottom line, *many* speakers can meet the Select certification requirements. The Ultra2 requirements... not so much.


Craig
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 /forum/post/17027154


THX certification just means that a product meets THX-set minimum standards and that the company paid a rather sizable sum to license their name.


When THX certifies things like doors: ( http://www.engadget.com/2008/09/04/h...uiethome-door/ ) drywall ( http://www.urbanlime.com/entry,104,T...QuietSolutions ) and speaker stands ( http://www.amazon.com/Monster-THX-Ce.../dp/B000BSY926 ) it doesn't mean much to me anymore.

Whether THX certifies doors, drywall or speaker stands is immaterial to their THX certification of speakers. Speaker certification requires a specific group of properties, including minimum SPL capabilities, FR and directivity. If you don't find those properties useful, that is your right, but the OP asked:
Quote:
THX cert??? Is this a good measuring stick to use when purchasing speakers?

Whether they certify other things is immaterial to the question.


Craig
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john /forum/post/17027651


Whether THX certifies doors, drywall or speaker stands is immaterial to their THX certification of speakers. Speaker certification requires a specific group of properties, including minimum SPL capabilities, FR and directivity. If you don't find those properties useful, that is your right, but the OP asked:



Whether they certify other things is immaterial to the question.


Craig


There are numerous products out there that exceed THX certification specifications but do not get certified because the cost is often prohibitive. I think it is very amusing that THX doesn't share their "proprietary" requirements in labeling things as certified, only generalities.


Putting a label on something doesn't make it "better." As long as one does research on the products that one is buying, it is easy to meet or beat THX specs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys for the help understanding THX. I went to there web site and read up some more. For HT the center channel is the most important peice? I think i read 80% of the movie track comes from this speaker. With that said My need is 90% movies. I have not search speakers for the past 6 yrs and kinda blown back by how many speaker companies there are now. Would it be out of line to say that I should purchase the best center channel and peice everything else in? My room size is 21L x 16w x 8 h and we sit 15 ft from my system. Like i said my first choice is Ascend 340 speakers right now. If you have anything you can recommend please do. i am trying to stay under a 1k. Thanks for your help.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ser182 /forum/post/17027765


Thanks guys for the help understanding THX. I went to there web site and read up some more. For HT the center channel is the most important peice? I think i read 80% of the movie track comes from this speaker. With that said My need is 90% movies. I have not search speakers for the past 6 yrs and kinda blown back by how many speaker companies there are now. Would it be out of line to say that I should purchase the best center channel and peice everything else in? My room size is 21L x 16w x 8 h and we sit 15 ft from my system. Like i said my first choice is Ascend 340 speakers right now. If you have anything you can recommend please do. i am trying to stay under a 1k. Thanks for your help.

The ideal front LCR (left center right) setup is using the same 3 speakers across the front. Many people have to compromise and use a horizontally-modified speaker (thus making it a "center") since we don't have a lot of room under a TV/screen, etc.


The Ascend 340s are good speakers for the money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have a 12" sub that will be getting replaced also.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 /forum/post/17027748


There are numerous products out there that exceed THX certification specifications but do not get certified because the cost is often prohibitive. I think it is very amusing that THX doesn't share their "proprietary" requirements in labeling things as certified, only generalities.


Putting a label on something doesn't make it "better." As long as one does research on the products that one is buying, it is easy to meet or beat THX specs.

You're right, being THX certified doesn't neccesarily make things "better", but in the case of speakers, there are differences. Just as Craig was saying.


Minimum SPL capability and vertical dispersion characteristics come to mind. Are there other speakers that will give you these same qualities? Definitely, but when buying a THX certifed speaker, you know that it does.


BOTOH, there are also quality speakers that don't meet those standards for one or more reasons. They may actually work better in certain circumstances though.
 

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The speakers in question honestly look a little white-vanish to me. Not saying that's what they are, but they have that look. There have been other speaker brands over the years that have first been dismissed as white-van operations (Fluance & Premier Acoustic come to mind) but ended up offering solid products at impressive price-points.


These, on the other hand, look a lot more like a Chinese OEM design that someone paid to use the THX name for marketing. I'm guessing the THX Select cert is a fairly easy one to meet regardless of actual sound quality. I'm not sure I'd personally take the risk on these, especially when there are so many other great known quantities in the price-range.
 

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I own a Denon 3808ci and I would imagine it would be THX cert. if Denon paid for that. I would guess most quality audio equipment would meet that standard. This IMO is much more important than THX cert. http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=89614 . That is why I put up a ceiling mount, thus replacing my horizontal center. It sounds a whole lot better with 3 matching fronts. The soundstage across the front is "seamless"-When speaker searching/purchasing I would audition as many brands as you can....take notes, listen at someones' house if you can. I purchased Aperion speakers, they have a free 30 day in home trial.
 

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 Here's another pretty thorough article explaining how and why things are THX certified . It's not something that happens haphazardly. Meaning a company doesn't just make a speaker and send it off and have it tested and it comes back THX Ultra 2 or Select 2 approved. A component is designed to be THX certified. I won't debate whether it's overrated or not, and I agree it doesn't automatically make a product "better" than another, but the idea is that when a product is THX certified (speakers and receivers especially), then the buyer knows they should be able to perform in accordance with pre-defined criteria.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 /forum/post/17027748


There are numerous products out there that exceed THX certification specifications but do not get certified because the cost is often prohibitive.

There are also a lot of products that are not candidates for THX certification because they wouldn't meet the spec's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 /forum/post/17027748


I think it is very amusing that THX doesn't share their "proprietary" requirements in labeling things as certified, only generalities.

How many companies that own "proprietary" information are willing to share that information in detail? If they did, it wouldn't be proprietary anymore.



Here's what Brian Florian had to say in the article I linked:
Quote:
The Certification Process


As romantic as it sounds, manufacturers do not simply submit a product to THX for testing and then get a yea or nay. A THX product starts with the manufacturer purchasing the expensive and confidential THX Design Manual for the product in question. THX products are designed to be THX products. The manufacturer knows what they have to do from square one. Once they have a working sample, it is sent to THX where it is tested, for a fee, and either checks out and a license granted, or it is sent back with a report on what needs to be addressed. THX tells us that they have yet to receive a product which got everything 100% right on the first try.


Licensees then pay a small per-unit license fee for the manufactured product.


I hope everyone can appreciate why, to this day, the particulars of THX's criteria are not public. They are a business like any other and they need to protect their intellectual property. If everything was out in the open, people could just say, "It meets or beats the THX criteria", and THX would get nothing. They'd fold, and we'd never get all the benefits they've brought this industry over the years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 /forum/post/17027748


Putting a label on something doesn't make it "better."

No one said it did. The certification simply means it meets or exceeds a set of standards proprietrary to THX. "Better" is a value judgment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 /forum/post/17027748


As long as one does research on the products that one is buying, it is easy to meet or beat THX specs.

Maybe. Still, with certified products one can be assured that they will meet their specifications and they will work together as a system.


For example, take the THX crossover. It's not just an 80 Hz crossover. It has the exact slopes to work exactly with THX speakers and subs. *ALL* THX speakers have the same LF rolloff, which works with any THX processor to provide the correct splice between speakers and subs.


If you buy non-certified speakers, the crossover in your receiver may or may not be optimal with them.
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/techn...he-slopes.html

One would need to do a lot of research to find the slopes of the crossovers in the receiver(s) being considered. I don't know of any receiver manufacturers who publish that particular spec.


Craig
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fireman325 /forum/post/17028875

Here's another pretty thorough article explaining how and why things are THX certified . It's not something that happens haphazardly. Meaning a company doesn't just make a speaker and send it off and have it tested and it comes back THX Ultra 2 or Select 2 approved. A component is designed to be THX certified. I won't debate whether it's overrated or not, and I agree it doesn't automatically make a product "better" than another, but the idea is that when a product is THX certified (speakers and receivers especially), then the buyer knows they should be able to perform in accordance with pre-defined criteria.

Steve,


That's the exact same article I linked above in Post #3, just formatted differently.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ser182 /forum/post/17027765


Thanks guys for the help understanding THX. I went to there web site and read up some more. For HT the center channel is the most important peice? I think i read 80% of the movie track comes from this speaker. With that said My need is 90% movies. I have not search speakers for the past 6 yrs and kinda blown back by how many speaker companies there are now. Would it be out of line to say that I should purchase the best center channel and peice everything else in? My room size is 21L x 16w x 8 h and we sit 15 ft from my system. Like i said my first choice is Ascend 340 speakers right now. If you have anything you can recommend please do. i am trying to stay under a 1k. Thanks for your help.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Browninggold /forum/post/17028381


I own a Denon 3808ci and I would imagine it would be THX cert. if Denon paid for that. I would guess most quality audio equipment would meet that standard. This IMO is much more important than THX cert. http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=89614 . That is why I put up a ceiling mount, thus replacing my horizontal center. It sounds a whole lot better with 3 matching fronts. The soundstage across the front is "seamless"-When speaker searching/purchasing I would audition as many brands as you can....take notes, listen at someones' house if you can. I purchased Aperion speakers, they have a free 30 day in home trial.

I would not advise starting with a horizontal CC and piecing around that. I would look for a front speaker *system*, all timbre matched. This easiest way to accomplish this is to get 3 identical speakers for the front. However, you can also use a horizontal CC that is timbre matched to the L/R's if necessary. There are some horizontal speaker designs which minimize the issues elicited in the article linked to by Browninggold. Here are a few examples:

http://www.emotiva.com/erm1.shtm
http://www.atlantictechnology.com/de...asp?NodeId=127
http://www.klipsch.com/na-en/products/rc-64-overview/
http://www2.kef.com/US/Loudspeakers/Q-Series/iq60

In addition, the Crystal CC speaker in your original post would not elicit this problem as it only uses one woofer and one tweeter in a horizontal box. Each of these CC's solves the problem in different ways, but they each work. (Most horizontal MTM's do *not*!)


Craig
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Browninggold /forum/post/17028381


I own a Denon 3808ci and I would imagine it would be THX cert. if Denon paid for that. I would guess most quality audio equipment would meet that standard.

THX certification is not just about power output of the amplifiers, or the quality of the equipment. In order to be THX certified, a receiver must have THX processing. It must use THX's Bass Management scheme, it must have THX Cinema mode, it must have Re-EQ, Decorrelation, Timbre-matching, etc. It can't get certified without those items, and it can't get those items without being certified.


From the article linked by Steve and I:
Quote:
What is absolutely key here is that these are not simply "minimums" a product must meet, but many are actually design considerations. For example, the line level outputs must not only meet a certain voltage capability, but their output voltage must be a certain level relative to an input signal, be it analog or digital.


Things like this are important because not only must each THX piece be excellent at what it does, but it must also work in concert with the other pieces to create a synergistic whole. By predetermining the output voltage for a reference level signal, as well as the output impedance, the amplifiers (which we'll talk about in a minute) can be designed and spec'ed in anticipation of that output, and the S/N performance of the WHOLE system is assured, without any "matching" effort required by you, the end user. THX controllers are a perfect match for THX amplifiers, end of story. You can think of this in terms of dynamic range windows: when they all line up, you get maximum performance all the way through.


The second, somewhat distinct aspect of certification of a THX Controller is the inclusion and implementation of various design features, including the THX Post-Processes. Here we are starting to get into what I was previously saying about THX addressing the realities of home theater.

Also, here is the list of what is measured in a THX controller:

Metrics Tested on THX Controllers:


Reference Output Voltage

Voltage Gain

Input Impedance

Gain Control Range

Gain Tracking of the Master Gain Control

Overload Source Voltage

D.C. Bias Current at the Input

Maximum Output Voltage of Low-Level Outputs

Output Source Impedance

Polarity

D.C. Offset at the Output

Frequency Response Deviation

Signal Time Delay

Noise Output Voltage

Input Level Indicator (Clipping Indicator)

Video Path Switching

Video Level

Sync Level

Bar Tilt

Pulse/Bar Ration

K-Factor (K-2T)

Frequency Response Amplitude (0.5 to 4.2 MHz)

Group delay (0.5 to 4.2 MHz)

Chroma Gain

Chroma Delay

Differential Gain

Differential Phase

Noise

Video Conversion

Harmonic Distortion and Noise

Difference-Frequency Distortion

Dynamic Range

Digital Data Sampling Rate Support

Input Mode Control and User Interface Design

Input Mode Switching

Automatic Detection of Data Types

Output Modes and Post Processing

Equalization and Tone Controls

Signal Headroom

Bass Management

Filter Characteristics

LFE Channel Level Scaling

Loudspeaker Position Time Synchronization

Auto Calibration

Auto Setup

Output Levels

Dialogue Normalization


It's a *lot* more than just measuring the power output of the amps.


Craig
 
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