Discussion & Comparison: 7.1 Post Processing of 5.1 Movie Tracks - Who does it best?

Cliffk

Agent
Joined
Sep 21, 1998
Messages
31
Hi all!
I'm getting ready to upgrade from a Yamaha RX-V2095 to a new receiver in the $1,500 - $2,000 (street price) range. I have Atl. Tech's Sys 350 (dual subs) plus a pair of their 251.1LR's currently serving front effects duty. Since I have a dedicated HT, I'll have no problem moving the 251.1's to the rear wall. My listening breakdown is 98% movies and 2% music (although never critical listening). I have distributed a/v downstairs; thus, Zone 2 output and discrete volume control and source selection are a must.
Understanding that DTS-ES and DD-EX material is quite scarce, the thrust of this thread is to elicit opinions regarding various receivers ability to post-process 5.1 movie tracks to a pleasing and exciting 7.1 experience. Again, I don't care about music and I'm not overly concerned with 2.0 or 4.0 post-processing.
A primer for discussion on this topic:
One of the oldest and perhaps best respected 7.1 post-processing is Harman's Logic 7. I have experience with the Lex DC-2 (not owned personally though
), and I must say I love Logic 7. Unfortunately, my budget doesn't allow for the purchase of an MC-1 + amp, so I had looked at the HK AVR 8000. However, I've gotten some pretty negative comments from an honest dealer friend of mine concerning build quality, etc.
On the newer side of things is Cirrus's Extra Surround implemented in the Outlaw and Rotel pre/pros. I'm on the Outlaw waiting list, but will probably not buy one b/c of very poor zone 2 implementation (I've posted on this earlier without much response, but will be following up later with another thread). Having not heard this processing, I would welcome comments from those who have. Also, it this processing implemented in any receivers in my price range?
Another new 7.1 post processing scheme is THX Ultra 2. This seems to have a great deal of potential and got very favorable reviews in the latest issue of HT mag (Pioner Elite VSX-49TX). The VSX-47TX would be in my price range. Again, anyone with experience with this format please tell me how it sounds.
Those are the three that I'm most familiar with.
So, my questions are (in addition to above):
What other 7.1 schemes are out there?
On what receivers in my price range are these formats implemented?
How do the various formats compare?
Thanks so much for your help and time in responding.
-Cliff
 

Greg_R

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I'm pretty sure that THX Ultra 2 is not a post processing scheme. THX-ReEQ (which comes with Ultra 2 certified speakers) will EQ the channels after processing (to equal the presentation in a movie theater). I don't believe it does any sort of mixing or steering of sound information. Are you talking about Dolby Pro Logic II?
 

Cliffk

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Sep 21, 1998
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31
Greg R,

From THX's website:

THX Ultra2 uses seven channels of amplification to play back any multi-channel-encoded program through a single fixed seven-speaker/one subwoofer layout. In the new THX Ultra 2 Cinema mode or THX MusicMode, all program material with 5.1 channels or more is auto-detected and proprietary processing is applied that blends the directional and ambient surround information prior to replay through four surround speakers — two at the side and two at the back.
That sounds like post-processing to me.

DPL-II is processing of 2.0 and 4.0 source material, not 5.1.

-Cliff
 

John Tompkins

Supporting Actor
Joined
Aug 30, 2000
Messages
660
Unfortunately, my budget doesn't allow for the purchase of an MC-1 + amp, so I had looked at the HK AVR 8000. H
CliffK, If you had enough greenbacks to buy the hk 8000(1800.00~1900.00) then why couldnt you pick up a dc-2 used (1700.00ish) and hk pa5800 5 channel (300.00) and maybe an old reciever to drive 2 rears (for now untill down the road).. well not exactly the same amount but very close
 

Greg Hamilton

Stunt Coordinator
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Mar 20, 1999
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As an owner of the 8000 I'd like to know what issues your dealer friend had with the AVR8000 (just interested). I'll bow down to the fact that the AVR8000 doesn't have the flexibility when applying Logic7 as does the Lexicon products, but the AVR8000 is no slouch. -gh
 

Cliffk

Agent
Joined
Sep 21, 1998
Messages
31
Greg H,

He said that they had experienced an abnormally high number of quality control issues with the 8000 (and the entire HK receiver line-up). He mentioned things like audio dropout, losing memory settings, bad/dead amp channels, etc. Based on these quality issues, he just advised me to steer clear of it. I'll have to say it disappointed me due to my bias toward Logic 7.

How has your experience been? I certainly haven't ruled out the 8000 entirely, but I am a little apprehensive about the concerns he raised.

Take care,

Cliff
 

Al_Reb

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Joined
Mar 4, 2002
Messages
41
He said that they had experienced an abnormally high number of quality control issues with the 8000 (and the entire HK receiver line-up). He mentioned things like audio dropout, losing memory settings, bad/dead amp channels, etc. Based on these quality issues, he just advised me to steer clear of it.
Sorry to jump in here, but as an owner of HK AVR 8000, I think I must.

I've had it since the end of Feb. and have not had any problems with it at all. And IMO, one of the best sounding receivers in it's price range.
I know Greg and other owners had functional problems with the remote, but I didn't have any. I even checked the "EzSet" against my Radio Shack SPL and it's close. Maybe it's my room? Granted the remote is clumsy but it's not a system killer.IMO
As far as price goes, I got mine for $1599 and is worth every ¢. Also, you can thank Greg for finding out you can use Logic 7 with DD & DTS. I didn't even try it, until I read his post(s) in here. The manual isn't clear on this. It's not as flexible as a Lexicon but you can't have everything.

I also have the HK PA 4000 amp for 6.1/7.1 and multi room. I just recently finished the installation of the HK KP1 (key pad+ remote sensor) in the bed room. The Zone II remote included with the 8000 was nice because I didn't need to get another damn remote.
The only draw back of the Zone II remote is it can't turn on the multi function on the 8000, but I just leave it on. I just turn the amp on/off with the key pad in the bed room.
Can you find better? Sure, but it won't have the Logic 7. Unless it's a Lexicon or HK and now that I have experienced Logic 7 with DD & DTS, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Heh heh, I even use Logic 7 with XM. I'm sick, I know.
 

Greg Hamilton

Stunt Coordinator
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Mar 20, 1999
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87
I'm very happy about my AVR8000. I don't regret purchasing it for a minute. I'm also jealous of Al_Reb's multi-room setup.

Cliff has your dealer friend actually seen or heard the AVR8000?
Ain't she beautiful - look at all her purtee colors


 

Cliffk

Agent
Joined
Sep 21, 1998
Messages
31
Glad to hear of the positive experiences you all have had with the 8000. Yes, my friend has heard the 8000 being a dealer of the unit. He was not commenting on the sound quality of the piece, but rather was cautioning me on the possibility of having problems due to the experiences he has seen.

As I said, I haven't totally ruled it out. To get this disucssion back a little more to the intent of my thread, I pose these questions to you 8000 owners: First, are you using it in a 7.1 set up? Second, how does its version of Logic 7 compare with other 7.1 post processing formats? Anyone compared to the Pioneer Elite's THX Ultra 2 7.1? To Sherwood's 7.1 proprietary processing, etc.?

-Cliff
 

Greg Hamilton

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Mar 20, 1999
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Al_Reb has it running in a 7.1 setup. I, on the other hand, only have it running in a 5.1 setup. I have not heard any other 7.1 surround formats - sorry.
 

Camp

Senior HTF Member
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Dec 3, 1999
Messages
2,301
To Sherwood's 7.1 proprietary processing
Sherwood has a 7.1 processing scheme of their own?? Are you refering to Circle Surround? If so, I think it only does 5.1 and is tailored for music more than movie soundtracks.
There's also 6-Axis but it's 5.1 and dead as it was only ever found on the Citation pre/pro. Supposedly very good however.
 

Cliffk

Agent
Joined
Sep 21, 1998
Messages
31
Camp,

While not having a catchy name to go by, the Sherwood Newcastle R-963 does have a 7.1 matrix mode for 5.1 tracks (according to this month's S&V review). That's what I'm referring to. After all, L7, CES, THX Ultra 2 etc. are all 7.1 matrix modes. And that's what I'm after, who does this matrixing (or post processing) of 5.1 movie tracks the best? Whose proprietary adaptation is the best?

-Cliff
 

Dave E H

Supporting Actor
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Apr 23, 2002
Messages
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I just upgraded my 2095 to a Pioneer VSX-49TX. I got it a week ago, but for various reasons didn't watch an entire movie until tonight. note: don't have my new SVS yet, so that's gonna skew my opinion even more after tomorrow.

At any rate, THX Ultra 2 is IMPRESSIVE. the 2095's front effects are pathetic in comparison. Don't get my wrong - I dearly loved my 2095, but the combo of MCACC auto calibration and the THX Ultra 2 processing for 5.1 soundtracks just kicks much booty. We were watching a flick with several 'wind blowing' sequences and the sound was so smooth and the pan between the speakers was effortless.

I can't speak for the comparisions between the Pioneer & other 7.1 schemes, but it's night and day different/better than the 2095.

Note: I kept all my speakers the same and did the same thing with my front effects that you are talking about - pull 'em down and use them as the rear surrounds.
 

Al_Reb

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Mar 4, 2002
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Greg, nice pics.
"sarcasm"
Looks a little vacant back there. Ya need to hook up some more stuff.
"sarcasm"

Camp, try these, ¿¡£¤‰Ž€±”“Ø·ÞŒÆÅÐ
ž‡»«Ç¹²³¢¼½¾•°’‘ ¶ø¥þ®œæåßðƒ©ªº †¬…÷›‹µ™¸çק

heh heh, If I told you how I can do these, you would lose all respect for me.:b
 

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