Parasound CSE6.1: better than DD-EX and DTS-ES?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ricky T, Jan 5, 2002.

  1. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    For 6.1 and 5.1 sources, would a 5.1 prepro paired with the Parasound CSE6.1 processor (which implements circle surround on the rears and rear center) sound better than standard DD, DD-EX, DTS, and DTS-ES?

    What about adding the parasound rear processing to 5.1 DPL2 processing for 2 channel sources?

    Is the parasound seamless to use? You can just leave it on....and not have to do a thing?
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Ricky - I do not have the Parasound, but I do use an external Dolby Pro Lgic processor to do something similar.
    In my opinion, the Parasound plus your pre/pro will sound worse, but better than genuine (THX) DD EX/DTS-ES decoding.
    Worse: the Parasound uses "Circle Surround" technology which will leave a lot of the signal remaining in the L + R surrounds which is supposed to actually be removed for genuine 6.1 matrix processing. (I.e., the "channel separation" between the original surround channels and the newly created rear channel(s) will be a little worse than it should be.)
    Better: what you *hear* may actually be preferably because it will appear as though there is "more" sound back there. And, "Circle Surround" is definately a better approach for "std" DD/DTS 5.1 discs for enjoyment in a 6.1 system.
    Remember, there are still only 2% of DVDs out there with real (THX) DD EX/DTS-ES soundtracks.
    Circle Surround will also work for DPL and DPLI 2 channel sources.
    Hope that helps a little! [​IMG]
     
  3. Stacy Huff

    Stacy Huff Second Unit

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    I have the Smart Devices CS-3X, Jr., which like the Parasound uses Circle Surround technology but I think costs about $100 less. I've used it for over a year, and I always just leave it on. I read quite a bit about it before I bought it, and what I found in the reviews has proven true -- the CS-3X, Jr. does a nice job with non-EX encoded soundtracks. The tendency is for non-encoded soundtracks to "collapse" into the back channel. Not so with the CS-3X, Jr. Once I heard it in practice, I just kept it on all the time. With two channel or matrix sources it really doesn't come into play. It is really only for discrete 5.1 sources, although sometimes I notice the light flicking on briefly with a two-channel or matrix source, especially if I'm applying another DSP. I have been very pleased with the results I've gotten with the CS-3X, Jr.
     
  4. Ron Boster

    Ron Boster Screenwriter

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    I have owned both the Smart Jr and the Parasound. Both will create a good rear sound stage...though I can't compare them to a true the DD or DTS 6.1 formats.

    Two operational considerations that the Parasound has over the Smart Jr.

    1) The ability to calibrate via a remote vs the Smart Jr's option requires you to go to the rear of the unit to turn the volume up or down to calibrate using the test tone.

    2) The ability to bypass the unit via the remote vs having to get up and push the button in or out on the Smart Jr. When I added the decoders they produced a noisier sound floor (hiss) that was annoying...so unless I was using the decoder, I wanted to bypass the unit in all other cases.

    Hope this info helps

    Ron
     

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