THX with HDsound ?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Michael Eriksen, Dec 16, 2008.

  1. Michael Eriksen

    Michael Eriksen Stunt Coordinator

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    I just recently upgraded to a receiver that decodes HD sound. Using the Onlyo sc-886 pre amp with a sunfire power amp.

    Now..... i almost only use it for blu ray and dvd movies.

    When playing blu ray, its usually TrueHD 5.1 og 7.1 or pcm 5.1, 7.1 og DTS ma 5.1 og 7.1

    Is it best to just set the receiver to trueHD and Dts, og should I apply THX processing with these sound formats ? In that case what does people usually use......THX surround EX....or THX ultra2..or maybe DPLIIx ?

    Its my understanding that Surround EX is best used with 6.1 sources, while ultra2 is better for 5.1 sources ?


    Also, i understand that if i apply THX ultra2, I somewhat cancel the audessey settings...

    So my problem is mostly how to set the receiver to play HD sound formats..whether to use THX processing, and in that case, which one.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    I have settled on PLIIx after some experimenting. That sounds best to ME. Maybe you will like one of the THX modes better. Best thing to do is try them.

    The THX modes do not mess with Audyssey except for the high end of the curve. Audyssey curve is sloped at the high end less then the THX (or the other way around). If you press RE-EQ while using a THX mode, you will get a flat curve. I tried it different ways and noticed only a minor difference with my setup. You results may vary since we don't have the same speakers, room, etc.
     
  3. Michael Eriksen

    Michael Eriksen Stunt Coordinator

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    So you use PLIIx also with the 7.1 HD sources TrueHD and DTS MA ?
     
  4. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    PL IIx is Pro Logic.
    You use Pro Logic (simulated surround) instead of the real thing? PL IIx sounds better to you? Something is wrong somewhere! [​IMG]
     
  5. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Actually, it expands 5.1 is expand it 7.1. The only thing that is wrong is your understanding of what it is doing. Dolby - What is Dolby Pro Logic IIx?



    No, I just use TrueHD or DTS MA for 7.1 sources.
     
  6. Brent_S

    Brent_S Second Unit

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    There is no "best" mode to use. It's all a matter of taste. I use THX Ultra2 for 5.1/7.1 sources and THX Cinema for 2.0 video sources. Mainly so that I'm getting the Audyssey "flat" curve...programmed a sequence into the Harmony to automatically disengage Re-EQ when the activity starts. As David says, it's subtle, but it makes me happy, placebo if nothing else. And...kind of like those wanting to see TrueHD/DTS-HD icons from bitstreaming when inplayer decoding to LPCM should be identical, I want to see THX-U2 on the LED since I spent the money for Ultra2...even if my gear's in an armoire at the back of the room, I know it's there. ;-)

    I also use THX-Music to expand DVD-A/SACD to 7.1. Even though it's not clear which Audyssey curve is selected (Re-EQ is N/A in THX-Music), I seemed to prefer it a bit over the other music modes. FWIW, I use plain stereo with Audyssey engaged for regular 2 channel audio...expanding 2 channel music to surround either ends up gimmicky or collapsing the soundstage to much to the center channel, IMO.

    -Brent
     
  7. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    I know well what it is and does. It just sounded like you used and preferred that, instead of TrueHD or dtsHD MA.
     
  8. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Sorry Ed. For some reason your post sounded condescending and I reacted poorly. Should not post before dinner. Please accept my apology.

    It doesn't change the HD soundtracks, it only matrixes (sp) the back 2 speakers. It is similar to DD EX or THX Ultra or Select2.
     
  9. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    It's alright........when I said something was wrong somewhere, I was thinking in the receiver, a setting or something. I'd probably do that too, if I had 7.1 speakers setup. I will, after I refoam my main front speakers.
     
  10. Michael Eriksen

    Michael Eriksen Stunt Coordinator

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    So on 7.1 HD sources you dont apply any thx processing ?
     
  11. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    I don't. Brent does. Try it both ways and see what you like. There is no right or wrong answer here.
     
  12. Brent_S

    Brent_S Second Unit

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    Not the most scientificly rigorous test in the world, but this may be of some interest to this thread.

    Last night, wasting time, I was flipping back and forth between TV and the Blu-ray player...watching basketball, football, doing a bit of projector fine tuning, that sort of thing. As I mentioned earlier, I have the activity commands on my Harmony send the Re-EQ toggle when they run. Only problem with this is it's a toggle, so if I change activities during a viewing session, the toggle actually reengages Re-EQ.

    As I settled down to examine my latest video tweaks using "Planet Earth" on Blu-ray (Attenborough edition, if it matters), I realized I forgot to check the state of Re-EQ. PE is hardly a reference quality or demanding sound track, just some narration, nature sounds, and a bit of background music. I toggled the Re-EQ command a few times and settled on what I thought sounded best. Naturally, to test myself I then had to check the 805 to see what I'd landed on. Since my gear is enclosed in an armoire at the back of the room and the 805 doesn't display listening mode/volume type changes via HDMI, I was strictly going by ear at this point. Despite the lack of any major high frequency content on the PE sound track, I'd selected Re-EQ off. Obviously, just my personal taste...YMMV...not an indicator of future performanc...yada, yada, yada...

    I did similar comparisons picking my other listening modes and whether to leave Audyssey on/off. Make enough A/B/X comparisons, and I usually forget which mode it should be in based on key presses so I just cycle until I find something that consistenly sounds better and then see where I landed. For 5.1 playback, that was DPLIIx for me. Neo:6 can be interesting, but since it use frequency steering instead of phase, it can get gimmikcy on some sources, IMO. Since THX-U2 is basically an extension of DPLIIX, the next question after settling on DPLIIx was straight or THX flavored post processing. For THX vs. plain DPLIIx, you can set up a quick A/B by using "surround+" to get to the DPLIIx (or other non THX) mode of choice. Then press THX to get to the THX mode of choice. Now you can A/B by either pressing surround or THX...of course, if you press one or the other twice in a row, you'll advance to the next mode so you have to keep track of where you are in this case. Otherwise, this is about as close to blind testing as one can do to themselves. I also don't just do these self testing sessions just once. It never hurts to revisit days, weeks, or even months apart. For instance, last night wasn't the first time I'd done the Re-EQ cycle. Makes the engineer in me feel better to know I'm consistent. :)

    -Brent
     
  13. David Willow

    David Willow Babbling Idiot
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    Thanks alot! I was quite happy with just leaving it on PLIIx until I starting posting in this thread. Now I'm back to doing comparisons. Nothing like HTF to bring out dormant OCP behaviors. [​IMG]

    I still think I like PLIIx, but I did switch to some of the THX modes a few times. I'm sure I'll continue to goof over the holidays. May even tune my sub to 16hz to see how it performs. Of course this mean running Audyssey a half dozen times. Jeesh! [​IMG]
     
  14. Brent_S

    Brent_S Second Unit

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    Glad to help. [​IMG]

    Since misery loves company, I had to rerun Audyssey myself this week. The Mrs. decided the carpet in the theater room needed stretching. On the lumpy carpet part, she was correct, but it entails removing everything that can be (relatively) easily moved from the room...speakers, various subs (daily driver and a couple of prototypes), completely disconnecting the equipment armoire from the wall plates b/c the umbilicals weren't quite long enough, etc. What a pain.

    -Brent
     

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