Have any Opinion on "Virtual" Surround Sound Modes?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Richard Burzynski, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    I am referring to the ones that work off of stereo signals for playback on 2 channel systems. I'm not referring to DPL.
    When I first started reading about them a few years ago, I thought it was a hokey idea. But now that I'm building a 2 channel system in the living room, I want to give it a try for my DVD playback.
    Two companies that come to mind: HK and Panasonic. Anyone ever try these modes? Do they do anything at all?
    Thanks.
    Rich B.
     
  2. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Alfer
    If you're referring to the "Virtual spatial surround" that comes with the Panasonic DVD players, I'd have to say they are a complete waste of time. I've sat and listened to a DVD with it on and off and it really didn't produce a very good sound at all.
    Even if you want to get a sense of being "surrounded" by sound using 2 channel, you have to sit precisely in the sweet spot of your surround system to even get the effect.
    Good luck
    Alfer
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  3. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Ultimately it's personal preference. I don't like most of them as they tend to sound too pingy and hollow. My Denon 5700 has a couple, but fortunately you can adjust the room size (the smaller the better IMO). The only time I use them is when I'm trying to fill more of the room when guests are over, although I'm more inclined to use straight 5 Channel Stereo in those instances.
    H/K incorporates a more unique solution based on Lexicon's Logic 7 which steers two channel information across seven. It is very much like DPL II and generally regarded as infinitely more effective than the boilerplate Jazz and Church modes included in many receivers.
    Play with the different modes and see what you like. For critical listening I would always stick with the straight goods, even better if you can enable analog bypass.
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  4. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Jay:
    Thanks for the reply, but I am not referring to a multi-channel set up. Just 2 speakers. There are pseudo "surround" modes for 2 channel stereo systems.
    Thanks.
    RIch B.
     
  5. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    Richard,
    I have a couple that are included with my TV (yup, the TV).
    I also have about 3 dozen I can choose on my receiver. While most of these utilize other speakers, the concept is the same.
    Essentially, these modes use the front speakers as replacements for rears, modifying the perceptual depth through, I believe, phase shifts. While at the same time replicating most of the original sound through the same speakers.
    By and large, all of these don't get used. They are a novelty, and funt o play with, but ultimately I find them fatiguing and really a disservice to the 2-channel recording.
    Mike
     
  6. Richard Burzynski

    Richard Burzynski Second Unit

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    Thanks for the replies guys. It looks like my hopes were for naught. I wanted a magical surround experience without the required hardware - I guess it won't happen.
    Rich B.
     

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