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Is "EX" really necessary?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mark.Louis, Dec 8, 2002.

  1. Mark.Louis

    Mark.Louis Stunt Coordinator

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    As many of you probably know if you have followed my analysis paralysis, I am looking to purchase my first HT. I am interested in both the HK AVR320 and AVR520, since both can be had cheap due to new models, and to the build, sound, and reputation of HK.

    but, both lack EX decoding, which concerns me, I think. This is my first venture into HT, so I probably wouldn't notice a difference unless someone pointed it out. So my questions...will the Logic 7 and Neo6 decoding "make-up" for the lack of EX and produce a 6 or 7 channel sound from EX decoded DVDs? Is there really that much difference between regular dolby and EX, especially for a newbie? Is this a needless worry? Otherwise, lower model units (e.g., D811s) will have to do as I can't afford any Onkyo, HK, Denon, etc, that does the stuff I'd like.

    I imagine this purchase, unless I win the lottery, will have to last a few years as the SAF is pretty restricted...you know the speech - "We need new furniture, clothes, etc., before we need a new stereo!"

    Please, no flames, and thanks for your help.
     
  2. Rick_FL

    Rick_FL Stunt Coordinator

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    It wasnt important enough to me to worry about it. the AVR320 and 520 make up for it by having L7
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Logic 7 on these 2 receivers cannot be used with 5.1 sources, so your question doesn't really make sense. [​IMG]
    I say, that if you can get a "low priced" 520 now, you should still be able to afford a new 325. I say do that, and then get a (multi-channel) power amp later on to help it out.
    H/K makes great receivers, but there are other manufacturers out there too.
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I wouldn't let the lack of DD-EX influence my decision here, at all. H/K makes great receivers, period, and what you'll miss in EX is far outstripped by what you gain in terrific 2-channel music.
     
  5. Nick Cerretti

    Nick Cerretti Stunt Coordinator

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    If you plan on using a 6 or 7.1 set-up, you'll need a receiver that has DD-EX decoding. Which unfortunately the 320 and 520 don't have. Its amazing the amount of the EX DVDs are out now. A year ago it seems you could count all of them on one hand. [​IMG] So I think you would be missing out if you chose not to get
    However, if you're sticking with 5.1, with no real plan to upgrade to 7.1 soon (you stated you aren't going to upgrade after this), the lack of EX is not important.
    Personally, my HT is in a room that wont work for 6.1. And I don't plan on moving it out for quite some time. So the choice for me was easy. The 320!
     
  6. Rick_FL

    Rick_FL Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Mark.Louis

    Mark.Louis Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess that's what my question is about...I admit I don't know much about Logic 7, EX, ES, etc.

    My understanding is that if a DVD I buy or rent is recorded in EX, then of course with a 5.1 setup and the AVR520 I can't listen in this mode, but that the DVD will come witha 5.1 listening option, so it won't be like I can't listen to the DVD.

    But let's say I have the 520 set up in a 7.1 package with an external amp driving the rear means. I know I still can't decode the EX soundtrack, but is there a "substitute" (e.g., Logic 7) that will matrix the soundtrack (even if 5.1) into all seven speakers? If so, this may be enough for me.

    conversely, do all DVDs that have a EX soundtrack also have the ES soundtrack?

    Sorry for the silly questions, but this forum's helpfulness creates a sense of dependency.

    MArk
     
  8. Nick Cerretti

    Nick Cerretti Stunt Coordinator

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    Mark,

    Yes, if you have a DD-EX DVD (such as SW AOTC) with only a 5.1 setup, you'll just get true 5.1 sound (i.e. you're not missing anything, other than the rear channel).

    If a movie has just EX and you have the 320 in a 7.1 setup, as far as I know, it should still just play 5.1. And in all honestly, there's not a lot your missing with only a 5.1 setup for movies with EX. It's debatable whether or not its even better. Still, the 320/520 support DTS-ES (matrix/discrete), so you can still have 6.1 on a decent amount of movies.

    One last thing. The amount of DD-EX DVD should really increase in the next couple of years. I think right now, theres a few dozen, but it should be well into the hundreds in a couple of years (well, at least I would hope studios would use the format). You will miss out of matrixed 6.1 on movies, expecially considering you don't plan on upgrading soon. IMO, its NOT REALLY IMPORTANT. 5.1 is absolutely amazing, and I have no plans to move up. And a 6.1/7.1 setup costs even more (speakers, wire, stand/wallm mount).

    And don't feel ashamed for asking questions. All of us have gone through being "newbies" to this hobby.
     
  9. Martin Rendall

    Martin Rendall Screenwriter

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    I recently added two rear speakers, since my receiver has the EX/ES features, and I had a couple of free amps. The change isn't night and day, but it adds a certain subtlety to the presentation which is very agreeable.

    An interesting effect I did notice. With 5.1, a sound that is meant to come from "behind" will be presented in both surround channels simultaneously. All and good, unless you are sitting off center, and then the rear sounding effect is somewhat diminished. With the rear surrounds, this doesn't happen. I've also used it to matrix 5.1 into 7.1, and that's also been good.

    I've never had the chance to hear the L7 processing.

    Personally, I would not value ES/EX above superior two channel... but that's totally subjective anyway.

    If you want it all, then one thing you can do it get the EX capable receiver now, and in a while, go get a good 2 channel preamp with an HT bypass.

    Luck,
    Martin.
     
  10. Pat Wilshire

    Pat Wilshire Auditioning

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    Your decision might also depend upon the recommended speaker setups . . . . for example, my Lexicon's Logic7 mode dictates 2 rears and 2 sides. However, DD-EX requires two rears and a rear center (if I'm correct). I don't know if HK's L7 mode is the same, but you should definitely check into it, because if it is, you can't set up for L7 AND DD-EX at the same time anyhow, and have to choose one or the other (or schlep speakers around when you switch modes).
     
  11. Nick Cerretti

    Nick Cerretti Stunt Coordinator

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    Unfortunately, L7 can only be processed on 5.1 signals on the H/K 8000 and Lexicon pre/pros, rcvrs, etc, so it can not be a substitute for Dolby EX on the lesser H/Ks. [​IMG] IMO, I'd be sold on H/K if at the very least the 520/525 did it. Still, it didn't keep me from buying the 320 [​IMG].
    L7 is really cool still. As far as I know, its the only format that does stereo rear surrounds from a stereo source (and with the 8000, stereo rear surrounds on DD 5.1)
     

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