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Dolby Surround and Carver Sonic Holography - AWESOME!!!!

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#1 of 3 anthonymaw



  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 18 2009

Posted October 18 2009 - 03:40 PM

Hi all I'd like to express my delight at a recent new addition to my HT system - a Carver Sonic Holography processor from the 80's.  

Unfortunately these devices are NOT made any more and are hard to find used even on eBay but I picked one up last year for $170 USD.

Carver's Sonic Hologram technique does not seem to be replicated by any other current manufacturer, maybe due to patent issues.

This is unfortunate because their system is unique in the way that it works and extremely effective.

I have to say that the combination of Dolby Surround sound and the Carver Sonic Holography creates a truly immersive HT experience!!  

The whole point of the Sonic Hologram generator is to create the illusion of making the left and right stereo speakers disappear using phase inversion techniques.

The regular Dolby 5.1 surround effects create a solid Centre speaker and Rear Surround Effects output but the Left and Right speakers literally "disappear" sonically and you really get that sonically immersed sound effect.

A few downsides:

Because the technology uses controlled phase inversion signals to cancel out the cross-talk audio that is heard by each ear, there is approximately a one square meter "sweet spot" between your speakers where the sonic hologram / Dolby surround effect can be heard.  Everywhere else in the room it just sounds like regular stereo / surround.  

For speakers you need ones with perfectly vertically aligned speaker drivers otherwise the sonic hologram effect won't work either.

To be sure, this old 80's analog circuitry does add some noise to the sound system, most noticeably slight but noticeable background "hiss" but it's very tolerable.  It would be nice if Carver would update their technology and digitally create the sonic hologram.

My recommendation - if you can score one of those Carver Sonic Holography processors cheap on eBay or other sources - GET IT - you will never have a home theatre listening experience like it!

Regards, to all.

#2 of 3 ViHiFi



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  • Join Date: Jun 16 2010

Posted June 16 2010 - 01:29 AM

Hey Anthony, This is an interesting idea. I recently assembled a 5.1 Pro Logic Surround Sound system and was checking online to see if my old Carver Sonic Hologram had any resale value. But now I want to try this setup and am unsure how to hook it all up.  I am using my preamp out and power amp in on my receiver for my Surround sound processor and had to unhook my Carver C-9 to do so. Any info on how to best set it up would be appreciated. Thanks

#3 of 3 anthonymaw



  • 3 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 18 2009

Posted April 24 2011 - 08:56 AM

Hello ViHiFi.  Sorry for the belated reply. I hope this information can still help you:  I have a standalone 1U Carver Sonic Holography processor inserted into the Front-Left and Front-Right outputs of my Dolby 5.1 decoder preamp and the power amplifier that drives the FL and FR speakers.  The center and rear channels remain unmodified.  There is a "sweet spot" in my home theatre setup of approximately 1 square meter exactly between the front speakers where the sound effect is just mind blowing and I find myself looking over my shoulder sometimes to see if it's someone actually knocking on my door or just the movie sound effects - it's so real!  Regards, Anthony Maw, Vancouver, Canada