Feedback from ProLogic IIx owners, please ..

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by MaxMenon, Apr 17, 2004.

  1. MaxMenon

    MaxMenon Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Denon 2803 that does not do IIx.

    Having already spent a chunk of dough on it ... I am hesistant to jump on the new IIx receivers ...

    UNLESS ... they offer significant differerce in the movie watching experience.

    Please tell us what your thoughts are on the IIx decoding qualities.

    I use my 2803 as a preamp ... since I have seperate amps to drive the 7 speakers (the SB speakers are wired for mono operation).

    Thanks.

    Max
     
  2. MaxMenon

    MaxMenon Stunt Coordinator

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    Nobody ?
     
  3. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Unless you have alot of Dolby Surround or stereo software it will not do you any good. I believe it only adds the EX channel to PLII.

    Wes
     
  4. PaulKoss

    PaulKoss Agent

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    My undestanding is that you need 7 speakers to fully take advantage of IIx. With 5 speakers it is the same as Prologic II. Maybe somebody can correct me if I am wrong.
     
  5. MaxMenon

    MaxMenon Stunt Coordinator

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    I have four speakers for the rear (SL, SR, SBL, SBR).

    At present I play most DD 5.1 stuff in 6.1 mode .. where the Surround Backs take a matrix signal from the SL and SR speakers. Since its 6.1 ... and not 7.1 ... the two surround back speakers emit MONO sound.

    I know that in IIx .. the SBL and SBR are in stereo ... but does IIx really have a worthy audible difference ?

    Max
     
  6. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Max,

    PLIIx provides a much more distinct "wrap around" effect for movies and concert videos than discrete 5.1 or matrixed 5.1 does.

    For 5.1 surround music discs (DVD-A and SA-CD) it has been mixed results to my ears. Some discs/tracks that work tremendously well with PLIIx, and others that don't.

    An example of an excellent demo disc for PLIIx applied to a 5.1 discrete surround audio disc is Steely Dan's Two Against Nature DVD-Audio disc. The Track Almost Gothic features a vibraphone solo in the surround channels. With PLIIx, the vibes wrap around from side right to back left in a very convincing way to someone that's sat close to someone playing vibes once or twice [​IMG]

    Another excellent demo track is Emerson, Lake & Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery, the bonus track Lucky Man. Here the lead vocals move from back left to front center much more smoothly during the last verse.

    The entire disc fromt he Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is a great demo for both discrete 5.1 and PLIIx decoding on top of that. IMO, it might be the most innovatively mixed 5.1 disc to date -- although it can be a wee bit disorienting from time to time [​IMG]

    OTOH, some discs don't benefit from PLIIx as much. Examples include: The Eagles Hotel California, James Taylor's Hourglass and some others that I don't recall off the top of my head...

    Is PLIIx worth it for the improvement to movie reproduction alone? I think it is, but others might have a differing point of view.

    Cheers,
     
  7. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    Not listening to PLIIx, I think what you have is fine with DPLII. For me Logic 7 works fine and the only time I really appreciate it is with stereo sources, VHS, Satellite and those DVD's that's only presented in 2.0 or Dolby Surround. I make this point because the material that would allow you to enjoy PLIIx is very light. Granted you can use it on 5.1 material, but I don't think it's worth changing what is already a great system. Now if more movies start to come out on DVD in EX or my guess with a lable that says PLIIx compliant, then maybe a consideration. 5.1 or in your case 6.1 sounds so good, the sound improvement would be nominal.
     
  8. MaxMenon

    MaxMenon Stunt Coordinator

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    As I understand PLIIx is of not much use in DD-EX or DTS-ES ... since the SurroundBack channels already have a predetermined role.

    The main advantage (based on what I have read) ... is that IIx ... gives you full-range stereo sound from the surround back speakers when listening to two-channel or DD 5.1.

    I personally prefer to listen to two-channel music as two-channel .. since I don't like musical instruments showing up from behind me.

    I do have PLII ... and its used when watching cable movie channels ... and I love it ... it truly enhances 2ch movie soundtrack. Heck .. just yesterday I plugged in my camcorder (stereo mic) to watch a birthday video I had recorded ... and would you believe it ... on all those instances when I had spoken (from behind the camera ) ... PLII correctly put my audio in the rear speakers. All the other audio came from the front ... as it should be.

    Now PLIIx claims to better this by making a stereo pair out of the SBL and SBR spkrs. How much difference does it make ? I would like to hear from folks who compared PLII and PLIIx on 2ch and DD5.1 movie sources.

    Thanks.
     
  9. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Max,

    I've been working with PLIIx (and PLII) for a number of months.

    See above about movies. If you want a specific example, CSI:Miami and CSI have some of the more agressive surround tracks on HDTV, albeit delivered as DD 2.0. I find the soundtrack to be much more enveloping as 7.0 vs 5.0. There is no specific .1 track in DD2.0, so any subwoofer output is derived from the other channels [​IMG]
     
  10. MaxMenon

    MaxMenon Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you John ! Your feedback was very helpful.
     
  11. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Are there receivers that will alow you to engage PLII with the 5.1 multichannel DVD-A/SACD input? I thought these were all direct inputs to the amp section with no processing capabilities!

    Wes
     
  12. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Wes,

    It varies from product to product.

    I use a Meridian 861v4 Preamp/Processor, and it digitizes all analog inputs.

    Cheers,
     
  13. johnny..bon

    johnny..bon Second Unit

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    I went from a 5.1 PLII to a 7.1 PLIIx and right away I felt it was a big difference for watching TV. Watching DVD's, gladiator for instance gave much more direction to the sound. The part in the beginning where they were going to kill him, he takes his sword and throws it, I literally ducked, it sounded as if that sword passed right over my head. In the battle of carthage scene, it sounded as if the chariots were circling around the room. I never heard these directional effects wiyh a 5.1 system. So for me, I felt it was a big difference.
     
  14. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Actor

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    Wait a sec...Maybe I'm not up on my DPL IIx but I thought it worked with 5.1 as well.


    Jeff
     
  15. Alan Wise

    Alan Wise Stunt Coordinator

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    When I upgraded to my Denon AVR-3805 a few weeks ago, I also upgraded my speakers to 7.1 from 6.1. The majority of my DVD movie collection is set in 5.1, and the PLIIx does a fabulous job of turning these into 7.1 surroiund sound. As Johnny stated, Gladiator is a great example of this. I just watched "Master and Commander" and "The Last Samari" and those were excellent as well. I love 7.1 movie sound because of the added data points for the surround sound. Some day we are al likely to have 20.1 systems with speakers covering our walls.

    Bottom line: I admit to being an adict of PLIIx. Maybe someone will come up with a three step program to cure this (wow! how bout a 7.1 step program. There I go again!).

    Regards, Al. Wise
     
  16. ross ish

    ross ish Stunt Coordinator

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    moving from dpl II to dplIIx the rear center surround channels are much more active. On the whole, the side and rear surround are a lot more aggressive. Makes watching bland cable programming a lot more engaging. Moved from rotel rsp 1066 to 1068.
     

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