Not impressed with Pro Logic II

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vlad D, Mar 8, 2002.

  1. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Vladimir Derenoncourt
    I've been listening to music on my Denon 2802 using Pro Logic II and I'm not impressed. I find that music is much more enjoyable in Direct mode. When using PLII, everything seems to come from the center channel. I can barely hear the sound coming from the fronts. Has anyone else experienced this?
     
  2. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    I've found that Pro-Logic II is very sensitive to phase and level problems. If your speaker delays are off, certain speakers are out of phase, or you haven't calibrated all channels with an SPL meter, Pro-Logic II just sounds really bad. Once you get it dialed in, music should sound very cohesive across the front soundstage. Before you give up on it, tweak your gear a bit. If your levels are matched but music still sounds center-heavy, try adding 1ms of delay to the center channel and see if that makes the front soundstage mesh a little better.

    When in doubt, use Guy Kuo's detailed instructions on properly time aligning your speakers with Avia and an SPL meter. Do a search for "time alignment" with my name as the user name, and you should find detailed instructions on this (and they DO help!).
     
  3. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Jeremy - I measured and entered the distance from each speaker to the main listening position, and the receiver supposedly calculates the delay from that. I also used an SPL meter and the receiver's test tones to set the levels. My levels are matched. I'll do a search for "time alignment" and your name as you mentioned to see if I'm missing something.

    I also noticed another thread with some members making similar comments about PLII being "center oriented", so I'm not too convinced that my set-up is the problem. But I'll check it out.

    Thanks,

    Vlad
     
  4. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

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    You aren't by any chance a descendant of Vlad D Impaler are you?
     
  5. Richard Harvey

    Richard Harvey Stunt Coordinator

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    I tend to agree. On my 2802 I simply use 5-channel stereo for music.

    Rich
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I prefer listening to two-channel music in direct mode on my Pioneer VSX-47TX. I never have cared for using DSP's on stereo music.

    OTOH, I do think that DPLII is a big improvement over original DPL for Dolby Surround encoded material, such as some films and TV programs.
     
  7. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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    Vlad, "D impaler" [​IMG]
    sorry, had to. Anyway there are settings in PLII music mode like panorama, dimension, center width. You can tinker with those.
    But I tend to agree - though shalt not use DSP for music. It is fun to play with buy I always revert to direct.
     
  8. joe logston

    joe logston Stunt Coordinator

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    i thank that its a set up problem if you just keep tweeking till its right its going to sound better than 2 channel some people just give up to soon. on my system i dont go back to two channel becaues i got it set real close to ultimate. and two channel seems to be missing something, may be the rest of the channels.
     
  9. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    Also, though you might have measured the speaker distances, room acoustics can cause the delays to be incorrect. In my case, I noticed that adding 1ft/1ms more delay made the front soundstage blend together better, whereas before everything seemed to come from the center channel. Try changing it both + and - 1ms or ft with music playing and see if you notice a difference. Or, use the aforementioned time alignment procedures to bring everything into line.

    If your center delay is incorrect with DPL-II music mode, vocals will sound like they have a slight reverb to them, since Music mode spreads the vocals out between the three front speakers (although anchored in the center).

    But if all else fails, use Direct or Stereo mode! Personally, I love DPL-II Music mode.
     
  10. Mark Gurney

    Mark Gurney Stunt Coordinator

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    Vlad,

    In my opinion DPLII is for movies only. It works very well with these Dolby Surround/Pro Logic sources. When listening to music through my Denon in DPLII, I also feel that it is too center focused.

    I would recommend listening to music in Stereo or 5 Channel modes.

    Mark
     
  11. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I agree that DPL2 is more for movies. I have tried listening to discs on 2 different set ups and find myself going to 5 channel stereo. Granted these are not calibrated properly but I can't see it making a night and day difference.
     
  12. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I was not impressed with DPL 2 on music either. It is OK on movies, but still I am not a big fan of using excessive DSP modes.

    If someone does not enjoy DPL 2 that much why must there be something wrong with his setup?

    J
     
  13. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    Justin, I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with his setup just because he doesn't like DPL-II for music... I'm saying if it sounds center-heavy with music, it MIGHT be because something is incorrectly adjusted in his setup. If he doesn't like DPL-II for music, then that's fine -- he doesn't have to use it. But, if he can make a few adjustments to his setup that might make it sound the way it should, I'm going to make any suggestions I can to help. A properly set DPL-II rig sounds absolutely amazing with music, and is not center-oriented in the least. In mine, I hear instruments that are panned to the left or right channels eminate from somewhere beyond the speakers... and it sounds great! The imaging of my front soundstage is better in DPL-II than in Direct mode, especially after getting all 5 speakers in phase. But to get to that point, I had to toe in my mains, reposition my speakers properly, dampen first order reflections, readjust speaker delays, etc. I understand that not everyone is as anal about their system as I am.

    I use the Onkyo 595, which has no DPL-II adjustments for music mode and uses the Dolby defaults for panorama, width, etc... and it sounds outstanding. I will say this -- it also depends on what type of music you're listening to. For me, I can't listen to Radiohead any other way than DPL-II music mode... and I listen to a lot of folk and bluegrass that sounds excellent in DPL-II. However, I also listen to a lot of punk rock and ska that is on smaller labels that perhaps don't have the quality of recording gear that big labels do... and that doesn't sound "right" in DPL-II.

    Regardless, there are people who will dismiss DPL-II for music, and that's fine. So long as they enjoy their system, that's all that matters. Hell, I used to be an anti-DSP purist myself, but DPL-II (when properly set up) lends detail and presence to music without sounding artificial like a lot of additive reverb-based DSP's. DPL-II adds nothing to the music that isn't already there -- it simply positions the sounds to their proper channels and sends the existing reverb and ambience in the track to the surrounds. However, since it is using 5 speakers instead of 2 to convey the soundstage, it inherently makes system inadequacies or calibration problems more obvious.

    In short: Tweak it, try it, and if you don't like it, don't use it.
     
  14. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    I agree with those that said "thou shalt not use DSPs for music", I always feel like you want to most "pure" signal for music and throw away all the stupid effects and multichannel (unless it is recorded in multi-channel), otherwise-LEAVE IT ALONE!!!!
     
  15. felix_suwarno

    felix_suwarno Screenwriter

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    i am waiting for somebody to jump in, saying that 5 channel stereo is not that good for "critical listening" or whatever that really means.

    i have denon avr2802 ( my avr1802 is still under repair ), and i hate dpl2 for music. too heavy on the front, but i have to admit that i am too broke to purchase an avia disc.

    i always use 5 channel for music. my ht is 60 : 40 -> music : movies
     
  16. ozric_smith

    ozric_smith Agent

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    I happen to like DPLII with mp3 disks on my Onkyo 595. What is the problem? Use some DSP mode or go 2.1 for music. Some people dont like red cars...... Saying DPLII is bad for music is like saying Highend cables make no improvement in sound. If the shoe fits ware it.

    Don't walk in my shoes, you might get blisters. It's not easy being me....

    Out
     
  17. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    and some people hate mp3 all together b/c of the sound quality (ironically, some formats are getting higher rez, like dts 20 bit, sacd, dvd-a, etc...and some much less, like mp3-I guess I was on the wrong site, I thought we were on an audio site, sorry for the misunderstanding.
     
  18. Chris Zell

    Chris Zell Stunt Coordinator

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    I may have missed this reading this thread, because I am surprised someone has not old you to adjust the DLPII parameters to fit your taste. That is why they have the panorama, dimension etc., or whatever they call them (don't have DPLII yet, so I don't know). One of them adjusts the center, and I thought you could adjust it all the way down to no center at all. So turn it down!

    Maybe your unit has a non-adjustable DPLII. If so, this is a lesson for me to make sure I get a fully adjustable one. I am pretty sure the Outlaw 950 does have it all, and that's what I am demoing/buying. Even if you don't have the adjustments, why not just turn down the center level manually? that's what I do now, and it works fine. I think most people have their centers way too loud anyway.

    Cheers,

    Chris
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I've got the Onkyo 696, no real speaker calibrations done, and I use DPLII (music) for most music. In some cases it is center-heavy, but generally it provides a nice enveloping sound. Likewise, I use DPLII (movie) for all TV watching.

    It's all just a matter of taste.
     
  20. Myles

    Myles Agent

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    I have an Integra 5.2 and I find PLII quite good for music. I find it widens the soundstage more so than in Movie mode. Is this a Denon thing?
     

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