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STEREO BETTER THAN DOLBY DIGITAL???

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by STEREOHEAD, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. STEREOHEAD

    STEREOHEAD Member

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    I have a home theater in a box system, Im not really a home theater enthusiast, but I do enjoy music and movies (dont we all?) so...I just noticed, my movies, games and music, sound better in stereo than dolby digital, I mean, in stereo sound moves from one side of the screen to another and theres a deeper bass sound and it generates a pretty cool virtual center sound. When I use Dolby Digital, voices sound too much like coming from the front speaker, like It makes me look at the speaker, and theres also a loss of bass sound, I mean on stereo I can feel and listen to the engine of a bike, but on dolby digital I can just listen to it...not bad sound just not as good...

    So.. I know home theaters in a box tend to be weaker, I get that, but then why would 2 speakers sound better than 5, specially music, Dolby Pro Logic II, even on music mode, blurs the sound...well thanks a lot for reading, hopefully you can explain this mistery to me :P btw Im using a PS3 and optical cable for the sound.
     
  2. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    I'm not sure if this is a serious post or not.
    sure some things might sound better in stereo, this would be lp's recorded in stereo and cd's recorded in stereo.
    DD isn't a sound format like stereo it's something different than that, i'm sure one of the experts will chime in.
    For movies if they sound better in "stereo" then you have something wrong with the settings in the system.
    DD can produce soundtracks in stereo or 5.1 or 3.0 or whatever the disc makes available.
    Also you didn't say if you're watching dvd's or lu-rays.
     
  3. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like either a speaker calibration problem or the front speakers are a whole lot better than the center. It could also be that a particular movie is mixed with too much coming from the center channel. But over-all, movies in DD 5.1 should almost always be better than stereo. And yes, an in-expensive htib might not sound that good in DD. It probably doesn't have a very good DSP (Digital Signal Processor-the thing that seperates the channels) compared to a better receiver.

    Music in stereo can be better than 5.1, and usually is. The mix is really relevant in whether music in 5.1 is as good, or better, than stereo. And some members just don't like music in 5.1.

    Which system do you have and did you calibrate it at all? Maybe we can help you tweak it a bit.
     
  4. STEREOHEAD

    STEREOHEAD Member

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    Yeah Im using MP3s for music and DVDs for DD 5.1 Testing. Ive been reading online and I found out, Dolby Digital is a ¨lossy¨ format, so Im thinking that might be the reason why stereo is giving me more present sound.
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Mp3s are a lossy format too.
     
  6. STEREOHEAD

    STEREOHEAD Member

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    Oh ok ok, I think it is that DSP thing you say, its got to be, because obviously the sound is weaker when I use Dolby Digital, in stereo, the bass makes sounds like footsteps feel more real and 3D. My system is an RCA its a cheap model, I bought it at walmart like 2 or 3 years ago, it was like 200 I think, maybe less, I remember I bought it cuz I wanted the Dolby Pro Logic II thing Id see behind my PS2 game cases.

    What do you recommend me to buy, my room is small, I just want good definition not a lot of noise. Music is really a lot better in stereo, hands down, but for movies I do think I need a better system now.

    They still sound better in stereo. In my case...
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Well-Known Member

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    What is the make and model of your HTiB. Is the DVD player built-in, or is the HTiB just a receiver/speaker package. If you have an external DVD player, how do you have it connected. I have a feeling you have a connection or setting wrong if you're hearing what you describe.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  8. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    We need some kind of firm budget. Amazon is taking pre-orders on the new Onkyo/HT-3300 5.1 system for $329. It would be an ideal in-expensive match to the PS3 for those on a small budget. Even this should trounce that RCA.
     
  9. STEREOHEAD

    STEREOHEAD Member

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    The model is RT 2760, Im using the PS3, optical cables for audio and HDMI for video, Im pretty sure I have it connected well, its probably the the DSP thing.


    well that home theater looks great, a friend of mine has the Sony DAV-HDX275 (Im not really sure it is that exact model, but it does look the same) I visited him yesterday, and the sound was great (playing God of War 3), is that Onkyo better? or at around the same level? its just that Im more familiar with the sony brand, and that fight against the titans sounded so epic! for a home theater in a box at least. about a budget, Id say id like to spend under 400 dlls.
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Well-Known Member

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    I strongly suspect the main problem is a calibration issue, especially since you say stereo sounds good. You can spend the rest of your life buying new equipment, but unless you set it up properly, you will always have "problems". Stereo typically doesn't require any calibration. Surround sound does.
     
  11. gene c

    gene c Well-Known Member

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    I would think the Onkyo 3300 would be better. And it has Audyssey automatic setup and room eq so it would do the speaker calibration for you.
     
  12. STEREOHEAD

    STEREOHEAD Member

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    You were partially right! I adjusted the center speaker and subwoofer levels all the way up, now the sound is sooo much better, I also tried puting the center speaker behind the TV but Im still not sure if that is what I want to do, I mean even though the sound feels warmer it also gets less defined. Stereo continues to have better sound though, its just higher definition, specially the bass sound, i.e.steps on wooden stairs sound more real and 3d. I´m pretty sure its a reciever issue (because the subwoofer level is on max and I still dont get the same definition when on dolby digital), I have to say I never knew sound could improve so much through calibration, even music got so much better, I never cranked those two speakers up too much for fear of distortion.



    I´ll go with the Onkyo one, it has very good reviews online, seems perfect for my room. Thanks for the info.
     
  13. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Well-Known Member

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    Do you have your speakers set to "large" or "small"?
     
  14. STEREOHEAD

    STEREOHEAD Member

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    I couldnt find that option, I already ordered the onkyo system though, so hopefully my audio problems will be solved when it arrives. You guys have been great thanks a lot for the info!
     
  15. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Well-Known Member

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    Originally Posted by STEREOHEAD

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  16. STEREOHEAD

    STEREOHEAD Member

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    That function is actually used in case u have to place your surround speakers infront of you, but yeah I guess Dolby DIgital just requires a better system. Thanks though!
     
  17. MrEd

    MrEd New Member

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    I understand that what you want is the best sound, right now, out of the system you have. You are using the MP3 format, which is a lossy format, but you are consistanly using it for your testing. So, you should be able to hear a difference between the two modes. First, the loud voices in the center channel can be fixed by lowering the output of the center channel. In most receivers, this is mesured from -10db to +10db. But the sound quality may or may not get better with changes. First check to see that the output of the front speakers is at +10db. If not, you may want to adjust that. If the speakers have a decent frequency response, in other words, would sound better than a $30 boom box, this will make a difference. Also, see if there is any sort of equalization settings and try the different ones for what sounds best to you. The stereo separation would most likely be due to the DSP, as you were told. But, why stereo sounds better than Dolby Digital would possibly be due to the movie itself, the settings of the movie sound, or the sound of the HTiB. First, the movie may have only been recorded in stereo, even older movies were in mono. Top Gun was one of the first to be recorded in Dolby Surround. Another was Back To The Future. They have been recoded into Dolby Digital. Secondly, when a movie loads, and you are at the main menu, you have to go to settings to choose Dolby Digital, DTS, etc. It will most likely default to 2 channel audio if you don't choose which would make stereo sound better. Also, the stereo setting won't put as much a strain on the amplifier as would 5.1, 6.1, etc. audio will. If you look at the specs. in the manual, you will notice difference in the performance of the amplifier output in stereo mode vs. surround mode. I have a THX Certified receiver. If I play a movie in Dolby Digital or DTS, it sounds good enough that I don't mind it. But, there is a slight loss of treble compared to stereo. But, for playing music, Dobly Digital stinks! The sound quality is as if I was using a handheld transistor radio. Only stereo replicates the sound quality of the original recording. Maybe it is different with music recorded in 5.1, but I don't know of any. Also, even on my receiver, in stereo mode, the music is louder at the same volume with what seems to be a better dynamic range.
     
  18. lachyusa

    lachyusa Member

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    tony I really need to know which is better infinity TSS- 1200 high performance & harman kardon HKTS 60 I have a denon receiver and I need to get good speakers ,I got around 1,000 to spend
     

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