bass management for multichannel inputs

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Jay_O, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. Jay_O

    Jay_O Auditioning

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    Does anyone know which recievers do bass management for the multichannel inputs?
    I know Harman Kardon has a few. There Bass management is quite extensive which is a good thing. The avr 525, 7200, 630 and soon to be 7300.

    What about Yamaha, Onkyo, Denon or Pioneer elite? I really havent read anything on them.

    If I recall the high end Pioneer Elite 49tx, and Denon 5803 do. Plus most of the upper crust recievers do its just I cant afford that type of bread.

    I was looking to keep this at around $700.00 at the max. I mean unless someone can point me towards a Pioneer Elite 49tx for 1000 clams. Yeah ok thought so.

    Thanks in advanced
    Jonathan
     
  2. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    At that pricepoint I don't think there is another,however the HK does BM in digital domain which means that it will convert the analog signal from your DVD-A/SACD player to digital before applying BM.I don't know the rate of the A-D conversion though.
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Jay-O: while not as tidy a solution as built-in b.m., you could always buy an ICBM from Outlaw. And with it, you will know that there will be no low-res digital circuits reducing the resolution of your sacd/dvd-audio signal sources (not that analog b.m. circuitry is 100% perfect either but you see what I mean).

    Or, if your speakers are large enough, you could take the advice of a lot of surround music engineers & be part of the lunatic fringe that doesn't use b.m. at all for their surround music. [​IMG] Since each person's system is different, with yours this could actually sound perfectly fine. Plus no worrying about if crossover slopes are matched so there aren't any sonic "holes" in your music, and the additional distortion that accompanies any type of b.m. operation. While the receiver's amps will be fully powering all speakers--and as some people warn about--it will reach its limits faster, depending on how loud you listen to your music this may not be a problem (it isn't in mine). And anyway, not all surround titles put low bass in the rear channels or even the front mains. And quite often they don't even use the center channel.

    Not to scare anyone but surround music is still a rather new frontier & solid answers aren't always easy to come by. Personally speaking using b.m. with movie sound effects is not a critical thing but with music I don't like hacking up their signals, no matter what type of b.m. system is used.

    Speaking of answers (sketchy ones anyway!), I've been playing around with this problem on a system using a Harmon/Kardon AVR630 set at 80Hz and so far just using my own ears, can't distinguish much of any difference between a bass-managed system and a full-range configuration. If anything, the b.m. system sounded slightly boomier because the sub (Velodyne 12") was being burdened with frequencies meant to be in the 5.0 channels. I could eliminate the boominess by adjusting the sub's x-over down to about 50Hz but what about those sounds between 50Hz and 80Hz? From what I can tell, surround music tracks are not being mixed like surround movie soundtracks so this is why I am hesitant to adhere to the HT standard bass-managed/80Hz x-over configuration.

    I sure wish the Dolby Corp. guys that have posted here before would say something about this..............

    LJ
     
  4. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Then I hope your speakers are single driver full range type,that totally devoid of any type of crossovers.
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Lewis: speakers have their crossovers designed for one set of particular low/mid/high frequency drivers for that specific enclosure. In other words, a nice-n-tidy controlled environment.

    The crossovers for a 5.1 system in someone's unspecified living room and for an unspecified satellite/sub system?? Yikes, what a mess. There's a crossover in the receiver and a crossover in the subwoofer. Do they have the same cutoff slopes? What about electronic phase differences between these two systems? Most subs I see only have a switch with "0" and "180" degree positions--not real accurate. And different subs have different sonic personalities & in turn can sound different than the satellites--what happens to a certain sound that is being split by the above crossover and sent to the 5.0 speakers & the sub in their shared crossover region?

    And from personal experience this stuff about 80Hz being totally non-directional isn't exactly accurate and plenty of times I can hear one part of a bass guitar or certain drum from the mains & the rest from the sub--this may be O.K. for jumps to hyperspace but not when I'm listening to Pearl Jam for 55 minutes.

    Even if a crossover is set perfectly electronically speaking, what about room interactions caused by two similar sounds emanating from two different physical locations? A whole other (big) can of worms to deal with. Really, what percentage of music enthusiasts own sound meters and test discs & will take the time to sit down and set-up their systems perfectly using these items? And will their room acoustics LET them do this?

    I know some of the above are worst-case scenarios and won't always occur. And I realize positioning five full-range speakers for best sound isn't a picnic either. But a person still has to do this anyway even with b.m.--for example upper bass sounds can become really boomy or nasal sounding if the speaker isn't placed correctly so this has to be dealt with also. I'll admit b.m. would reduce the need for placement experimentation since low bas is very picky about where it emanates from, but it certainly doesn't totally eliminate proper speaker placement guidelines.

    And don't forget: unlike with movies, when playing music full range sound is always present and any configuration problems will eventually make themselves known and there is a good chance they can eventually become mentally irritating. This is why I put HT systems and music surround systems in two different categories when trying to choose components for them and when actually setting them up.

    LJ
     

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