Kenwood VR7080: EQ on DD but not on DTS?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Johnny_M, May 3, 2004.

  1. Johnny_M

    Johnny_M Second Unit

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    When i worked in the movie theater business DTS always sounded better to me over Dolby, but on my receiver dolby digital sounds MUCH better than dts. Is this normal? I have a kenwood vr7080 and it has a built in EQ system that I can adjust when listening to dolby digital, but with dts tracks it disables the eq. Is this normal? and if so is there a reason for it? Without the eq turned on everything sounds too high pitched, not enough base in the voices, but when i eq it to "cinema" with dolby digital it sounds amazing.

    is this just a limitation on my receiver?


    Johnny
     
  2. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Differences between DD and DTS is a longstanding controversy I won't touch.

    As for the EQ settings, my receivers presets are not available as soon as a recognized DTS or D.D. signal comes in. I can only mess with them in DolbyPL/II, stereo etc.

    Lacking in bass using the "as is" or flat soundtracks could be your speakers or how well the speakers match your receiver. You're fortunate you're able to compensate for any deficiencies nicely with eq settings. You might find that another set of speakers behave differently.

    Wayde
     
  3. Johnny_M

    Johnny_M Second Unit

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    well i checked my manual and it says the only time the eq is not available is with dts matrix is on. otherwise dts should be able to use tne eq also. i noticed last night when watching pirates of the carribean the display said dts matrix. the manual doesnt say it wont work for dts or dts descrete. whats the difference between matrix and descrete? kenwood manuals are so vague.


    Johnny
     
  4. Jonty Rees

    Jonty Rees Stunt Coordinator

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    Kenwood used to have a really nice tech support forum service on their website. You have to search around for it, but if it's still there, someone will help you.
     
  5. JamesGL

    JamesGL Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't tell the difference.
     
  6. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    This doesn't sound like a DTS vs Dolby issue, it's more like thanks to the EQ you've customised Dolby to your personal tastes. If you were comparing picture quality on two television sets one of which was left on factory settings while the other you got to alter the picture you'd probably prefer the altered set.
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    Agreed, and I've edited the thread title accordingly.

    M.
     
  8. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    I've skimmed over your manual, and Kenwood has certainly done a great job of including just about every surround mode you'd need (and many you don't), along with two kinds of EQ and THX thrown in also. Unfortunately, this makes it, in my opinion, extremely confusing for the user new to home theater and none too clear for myself, in the hobby for over a decade. Here's what I can gather:

    If you are using Active EQ or Speaker EQ (whose effects are not described in any detail that I can see), first off, THX is automatically unavailable. It is as you say, that Active EQ is not available when using DTS-ES Matrix. However, why you would actually use DTS-ES Matrix is a bit of a mystery to me, when you have THX-EX available.

    From the manual, I cannot discern why you are getting a difference between DD and DTS, as both Active EQ and Speaker EQ are available with either DD or DTS. That is, unless THX is on, then neither DD nor DTS can use the EQ and both will receive the usual THX processing. My Kenwood VR-5090 doesn't have any EQ whatsoever, and only has one peculiarity in application of THX - cannot be done to DTS-ES Discrete soundtracks. However, I prefer the sound with THX on in any case, and can't tell any improvement at all going from DTS-ES Matrix to DTS-ES 6.1 discrete. In my system, THX is a great help in taming soundtracks that had previously come off as 'bright' or 'harsh' sounding, or just plain too loud in the upper frequencies. You should experiment and see which you like best. If you choose to go with THX activated, you won't have to worry about EQ settings, because they are disabled.

    Good luck!

    Oh, and as to your question:


    Here's what I understand. DTS Matrix is a recorded as a 5.1 soundtrack on the DVD, but with the rear center channel added equally into the left and right surround channels. A DTS-ES Matrix capable decoder will extract the mono portions present in the surround L/R and feed them to the rear center channel, in the same way as the center channel is extracted from the front L/R using Dolby Pro Logic. DTS Discrete (technical name is actually DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete) is actually recorded as seven (6.1) discrete channels on the DVD. Note that in such cases, it's my understanding that the rear center, though in a discrete channel, is ALSO encoded eqally into the surround L/R, just as in DTS-ES Matrix, to ensure backward compatibility. Upon receiving a DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete soundtrack, a compatible decoder will extract the rear center channel from the surround L/R and discard it, then feed the discrete rear center channel to that speaker. A decoder not compatible with DTS-ES 6.1 discrete will simply ignore the discrete rear center, and can either extract the rear center using matrix, or not, leaving it to the soundstaging of the surround L/R to create the rear center 'image'.

    Confused yet? [​IMG]

    Note that your receiver can do any of the above, it's your choice. I find I prefer to leave THX EX on at all times, which means that even on soundtracks not encoded with 6.1 channels, the receiver is still steering all the mono information from the surrounds, into the rear center channel(s).


    Aaron Gilbert
     
  9. Johnny_M

    Johnny_M Second Unit

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    thanks for your reply aaron! very in depth and helpful. i think i will have to just play around with it and see what sounds best. so the manual actually says if you use the active eq then thx gets disabled? i didnt see that part. ill have to try it both ways, but atleast i am starting to understand what all this means and that gives me more to work with then i had before.

    Thanks again,

    Johnny
     
  10. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    Johnny,

    I'm glad I was able to help. It's not clear what gets disabled first, only that you can't use the EQ with THX. In other words, I don't know what happens if you try to engage THX while the EQ is on, or if you try to engage the EQ while THX is on. [​IMG] Does whichever was engaged first stay on, or does it go off in favor of the new selection? Who knows! It's best to just experiment in such cases. I believe your receiver has lights on the front panel to indicate the status of each mode under question, so it should be easy to see what happens. Have fun!


    Aaron Gilbert
     
  11. Johnny_M

    Johnny_M Second Unit

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    In my experiments heres what I've found.

    I have 3 lights on the receiver, THX, speaker eq, and active eq. if i turn on speaker eq and/or active eq first, then thx, after turning on thx the other 2 lights go off.

    but...

    if i turn on thx first, then speaker eq and active eq, the thx light will stay on with the others! bizarre?

    the other thing i found is the only time i lose the ability to select active eq and speaker eq is with DTS matrixed. But yet, when i have DTS descrete, i have those options and the sound is REALLY good.

    so for some reason my receiver doesnt seem to support eq funcion with dts matrix, not really sure why that would make a difference. also with dts matrix it forces thx on and wont shut off, so maybe thats just something built into the receiver? maybe ill try to write kenwood and see what they say.

    the speaker eq sounds better to me than the thx anyway, maybe with thx on it sounds more like the original, but it loses to much bass for my own tastes.

    thanks again for all the advice, now i finally got that figured out its time to learn how to calibrate my tv properly [​IMG]


    Johnny
     
  12. Aaron Gilbert

    Aaron Gilbert Second Unit

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    It sounds to me like the DTS Matrix mode is just a version of THX surround EX (which is itself almost identical to Dolby Digital EX).

    You can't conclusively say that DTS-ES Discrete mode is significantly better (or even different) than DTS or DTS Matrix, if you are using active EQ and speaker EQ on one but not that others. As I may have mentioned before, in my system, which has no EQ available at any time, I am hard pressed to even tell any difference between DTS matrix and discrete. And do keep in mind that there are only a handful of DTS-ES 6.1 discrete DVD's out there.

    However, what is important is how it sounds to you, so by all means use whichver mode(s) you like best. That's a luxury we are not afforded in the commercial theater, just another great reason to watch movies at home!

    Aaron Gilbert
     

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