Tell me about THX Ultra 2

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Aaron E. Smith, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry if this info. is available elsewhere. I've looked a bit at a few sites and it seems that there is something that isn't quite clear: what exactly is THX Ultra 2?

    As a big fan of Lexicon's Logic 7, I really like the idea of 7.1 channel decoding from 5.1 channel sounds (and others). However, the price tag of the new Lex puts it firmly out of my price range. My hopes climbed as I read rumors that THX Ultra 2 had processing that resembled Logic 7. Unfortunately, I can't seem to verify this. Either I am overlooking the material or I am looking in the wrong place. Is THX Ultra 2 simply another quasi-useful THX designation or what!?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Howdy,

    Thanks for the reply and link. I hadn't realized that so few processors currently contain the THX Ultra 2 processing.

    The article was interesting. It basically answers my questions, although I'd really like to get some realworld comparison between this and Logic 7. Anyone?

    Thanks again!
     
  3. Doug X

    Doug X Extra

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    I have a 49tx. I must say I'm very attracted by the idea of being surrounded by sound -- a la 7.1 systems.

    I think the 49tx is outstanding for home theater, but I have not yet formed an opinion regarding music listening.
     
  4. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    Since we have 2 owners here...I have read that the Ultra 2 is a discrete surround sound but someone told me it's a matrixed sound. So which is it? I too am looking into Ultra 2!

    Mike
     
  5. Selden Ball

    Selden Ball Second Unit

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    Mike,

    What do you mean when you use the terms "discrete" and "matrixed"? I think you've left out part of your question, which may be why you've gotten conflicting answers.

    In general, the terms "discrete" and "matrixed" aren't applied to a receiver, per se, but rather to the audio format that it's decoding.

    For example, CD PCM digital audio provides two separate (discrete) channels of audio.

    Surround sound provides an additional center plus a rear channel by matrixing them into the two stereo audio channels using phase encoding.

    Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding provides 6 separate (discrete) channels of audio information.

    Dolby's THX Surround EX (aka DD-EX) format provides the center rear surround channel in matrixed format. The center rear signal is phase encoded into the righ and left surround channels.

    The DTS-ES center rear surround channel is available either in matrixed or discrete formats, depending on the movie. Discrete format includes a separate center rear surround channel in the data stream.

    Both of these newer DD and DTS audio formats only provide a single "monaural" center rear signal: they're only 6.1. Converting this into 7.1 is a feature of the receiver.

    THX Ultra 2 defines various charactistics that have to be provided by a receiver or pre/pro, including being able to drive 7 separate speakers (plus subwoofer). When appropriate decoder features are selected, the Pioneers can derive different signals for the two center rear surround channels. However, these separate signals are not intentionally part of the original recording.

    Does this clarify things at all?
     
  6. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Rajee is "Johnny on the spot" on his comments, and I will add that I agree completely with his assessment of Ultra 2 processsing providing a noticably fuller, more balanced 360 degree soundfield.

    I will also add that most current AV receivers with EX/ES decoding offer a feature that allows one to activate all surround channels on regular 5.1 material, essentially using one side surround channel and one back surround channel for each of the discrete surround channels in the 5.1 format. This does offer a better "fill" in the surrround soundfield in a larger room, but it is not the same as Ultra 2 processing. Ultra 2 is a considerable (IMO) improvement in surround processing over straight 5.1 decoding or using EX processsing on non-EX 5.1 material.

    No opinion of Logic 7 as I haven't heard it. For anyone familiar with this decoding/processing scheme, my understanding is Logic 7 is designed for 2-channel material. Is this correct?
     
  7. itai

    itai Stunt Coordinator

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    rajeek
    im a happy owner of a (7 channels, or is it 9...) capabale 3802, and was wondering, what difference did you find in your new pioneer? can you put it into words?[​IMG]
    ive noticed quite a difference in price (about 4000$ vs 900$) for the two machines.
    thanks
    itai
     
  8. MatthewJ S

    MatthewJ S Supporting Actor

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    But MY dsp is almost a FORMAT 'cause it's kinda differant than those that didn't spend the money for the cool badge that Georgie says means it's cool..... Algorythm/Shmalgotrythm..... Oh no, I must need a new "certified" pre-amp!!!!
    Herbie Hancock says 10.2 is what I need and we don't need to record in 10.2 just play back what we thaought the engineers would have wanted if they could have done 10.2!
    And the hits just keep on comin'!!
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  10. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  11. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  12. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  13. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  14. Aaron E. Smith

    Aaron E. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm glad that this thread has sparked some discussion. I had a gut feeling that Ultra 2 and Logic 7 were somewhat similar (Logic 7 clearly does more, but then again you can get similar breadth of performance fom Pro Logic II and Ultra 2 methinks).

    Anyway, I'd like to try to find out a little more how Logic 7 and Ultra 2 compare to each other? Has anyone really compared the two side by side?

    Also, what future processors have announced the inclusion of Ultra 2 processing? (eg.- Integra, Anthem, etc.).

    In response to some of the debate points: I'm not a fan of THX either, but I do like systems that derive 7.1 channels from 5.1 sources (and other combinations of that concept). I like the spaciousness of a 7.1 setup. If it wasn't for Lexicon's outrageous pricing of their new processor, it would have been tops on my list. As it is, I'm rather ticked off at the people at Lex. Since Meridian is equally insane in their pricing (if not moreso), they're out too. That basically leaves me with only Ultra 2 and I've been unsure just exactly what Ultra 2 does for processing (other than sticking a THX logo on the faceplate and raising the price). However, the additional THX processing could be a really good thing if it is well implemented.

    Anyway, thanks again for any responses!
     
  15. Dalton

    Dalton Screenwriter

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  16. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  17. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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    Wow Lewis, and I thought this thread was long gone. I see you have responded oh so strongly. Anyhow, the reason my post was a bit heated, was I got the impression you were simply bashing Ultra2 without even giving it a chance. If I was wrong, then I apologize. But I think Ultra2 is wonderful and hope you may learn to love it also.[​IMG]
     
  18. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Rajee!
    Let me just say this, your equipment/entertainment rack is far more inventive then anything Lucasfilm has to offer right now.[​IMG] [​IMG]
    Take Care!
     
  19. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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