defeating Pro Logic II?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris Shelly, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    My new receiver comes with Pro Logic II. I must be the minority but I don't much care for Pro Logic II. I was hearing things in the surrounds that I felt did not belong there. The surround field was more enveloping but not as natural or realistic as regular Pro Logic.

    I thought no big deal I will configure Pro Logic II to run like regular Pro Logic. However my Panasonic SA-HE200 does not offer any sort of way to defeat it as far as I can tell. I thought it was part of the Dolby spec to include regular Pro Logic decoding with Pro Logic 2?

    Chris
     
  2. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Chris: Hmmmm. I have found DPL II to be VASTLY superior to the old DPL. To my ears, old DPL was highly center channel oriented. DPL II opens the soundfield up so much better.

    The obvious questions...have you checked your speaker levels carefully and made sure that your are in DPL II Movie/Cinema for TV and movies? And DPL II Music for music based programming? Don't forget that DPL II Music's settings can be customized.

    If you still don't like DPL II, you should have a 3rd setting for just plain old Pro Logic (sometimes called Emulation mode.) It takes the DPL II Cinema mode and makes the surrounds mono and also runs them thru a 7 kHz highpass filter (which is the basic setup for old DPL.)
     
  3. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    Hello Chuck,

    I calibrated my speaker levels using my RS SPL meter. DPL II is not exactly bad but I noticed in some scenes that I get sounds coming out of the surrounds that don't belong there. I guess it could be the widened sound stage and it takes a little while to get used to it. Of coarse a purist would blame the circuitry trying to artificially pump up the sound stage. That is exactly what DPL II does. DPL II is a nice feature that sells alot of receivers. It is great as long you have the option of turning it off.

    According to the owners manual I have 3 options for DPL II. Movie, Music and Panorama. For Music and Panorama I have the options of Center Width Control and Dimension Control. When I toggle between the different options I don't get anything like an Emulation mode.

    Interestingly an Emulation mode is part of the DPL II specs. It is required because DPL II does not work well with noisy program sources. For whatever reason Panasonic decided it was not going to include this option. I doubt it is cost because it is already there.

    Chris
     
  4. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Chris: I took a quick look at your receiver's manual. The Panorama mode is an adjustment parameter (for many makers) while in DPL II Music mode. (It's that way in my Denon and my Yamaha.) IOW, my DPL II Music mode allows Center Width adjustment, Dimension control adjustment and Panorama on or off. So, you do just have DPL II Music and Movie modes.
    I admit that I'm surprised that Panasonic didn't give you the choice to go back to plain old DPL. But it's clear they didn't.
    Here's another thought to try. Try using the DPL II Music mode exclusively for music and movies. I read over at another forum that DPL II's inventor, Jim Fosgate, uses the Music mode for everything. Since the Music mode allows you to tweak things more, you may be able to get things more to your liking.
    **This is the opinion section**
    When it comes to 2 channel matrix surround decoding, I don't think that many of us could rightfully say that we are purists (although I understand many of us would like to [​IMG] ) My reason for this is that while some may prefer old DPL, it pays to keep in mind that it was only as good as we could do back when it came out. And, there was a vocal group back then that didn't want to abandon the even earlier Dolby Surround.
    Now the state of the matrix decoding art can give us full-range, stereo surrounds. IMO, I don't think that's a bad thing. And as I noted above in an earlier reply, to my ears, it's a much appreciated step forward.
    Good Luck with getting things sounding great!
     
  5. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    Hey Chuck,

    I noticed that many late model receivers contain Panorama instead of Emulation. It is almost like Dolby is completly phasing out the original DPL process in favor of DPL II. If this happening officially I have no idea.

    Does your Yamaha and Denon let you defeat DPL II?

    I agree totally with you about DPL II being Superior matrix. I was actually excited I was getting a receiver with this option. Of coarse knowing it can be disabled if I wanted or so I thought. Many films especially pre-digital were mixed with the original DPL matrix limitations in mind. When running these older films in DPL II it not how the director originally wanted it to sound like. Depending on the mix it could actually be very different and inaccurate. Because of this regular DPL should be standard on all DPL II receivers.

    I am going to experiment with DPL II some more and see if I can grow and like it. It is a mute point because I only use this mode about 1% of the time anyway.

    Chris
     
  6. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Chris: Yes, both of my units (a Denon 3803 and a Yamaha 5550) allow me to go back to plain old Pro Logic. A while back, I read somewhere that the main reason for still leaving old DPL on the feature list was for "poorer" decoding conditions. What that means is anybody's guess. It does make some sense to me in that the rears going back to mono could help with an extemely noisy signal...

    Why makers are now beginning to leave it off is a question to me. Maybe they feel it's confusing to customers that figure any Pro Logic setting is Pro Logic II. Hence the change from my earlier Denon 3802 calling it Pro Logic and my new 3803 calling it Emulation. Apparently Panasonic believes poor signal conditions are so few and far between that plain DPL just isn't necessary. It seems obvious to me is can't be a cost issue since it's on the Dolby chip already.

    Best of luck getting things to your liking...
     
  7. Stephen Dodds

    Stephen Dodds Second Unit

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    DPL2 replaces DPL because it is basically better.

    If you are hearing things out of your rears you shouldn't, I'd make sure they are calibrated to the right level.

    If they are calibrated correctly now, and you still don't like it, disconnect one speaker and run the rears in mono. Voila, DPL.

    And roll off the tops and bottoms too.


    Steve
     
  8. mike_doyle

    mike_doyle Agent

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  9. GregK

    GregK Screenwriter

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  10. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    I think I will be sending my receiver back to J&R. This is the most difficult and unfriendly piece of equipment I have ever used. It offers no flexibility. It is highly automated but try and do something manually and it displays NOT POSSIBLE even though it should be. As an example my DVD player is locked into DD. Try and select DPLII and it says NOT POSSIBLE. In order to run DPL on the DVD input I have to go into the set up menu and disable the COAX input. Granted 99% of the time you don't want to run a DVD in anything else but DD but it is nice to know that you can.

    Today I hooked up my digital cable and yep...I get a low level hum in the surround speakers on some channels. I never got this before on my older receiver.

    I really think regular DPL should be standard on all receivers. Most manufactures don't even bother to list it in the spec sheets. Making shopping difficult.

    Chris
     
  11. David Ison

    David Ison Stunt Coordinator

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    chris
    if you want to run your dvd player in pro-logic change the output(audio) of the dvd player to analog in the dvd menu.using the coax ,the rec. "sees" only a DD signal or DTS signal.
     
  12. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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  13. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Chris: Hopefully, using the dipoles will work out ok for you.

    In my case, once I had DPL II, I switched from dipoles to direct radiators/monopoles. Obviously I had to move their locations to a point behind me. I have been much happier. And they sound MUCH better with surround based music.
     
  14. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Mike: Ooopps! Almost forgot!

    While many receivers allow 3 different adjustments to Dolby Pro Logic II Music mode, there are some makers that don't equip their stuff to do it. (Who knows why they don't but Dolby doesn't require it.) I took a look at HK's 325 and 525 manual and could not find where one would/could make any such adjsutments. So, unfortunately, it looks like you're out of luck on your 320. (Onkyo did not put the adjustments on some of their models last year either.)
     
  15. mike_doyle

    mike_doyle Agent

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    Oh well... I mainly use the Logic 7 anyhow... I have to use DPL II for DD 2.0 which is what a lot of ppv movies on my dish are encoded in.. was hoping i could open it up a little more.... Guess not.
     

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