THX...What for?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JoeyT, Sep 12, 2002.

  1. JoeyT

    JoeyT Stunt Coordinator

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    Having owned many THX ultra, select and NON-THX rated pieces of equipment, I can NOT see what the hype is for. Maybe someone who is more educated on the subject than I am can clue me in, but it seems like a big marketing idea than anything.
    Specifically,
    -dipole surrounds in era where direct rad. is more common
    -RE-EQ (for overly bright soundtracks???)
    -I smell direct reflecting technology type push.
    Also, most of the very highest end equipment (processors) don't bother with this money making scheme for Lucas Arts. Does this mean they are inferior in any way? I would put my money on not.
    It really kills me to see someone to place more emphasis on the THX logo than how the unit sounds. For example, I see tons of posts regarding "which type of THX receiver to select" than most other themes.
    BTW, I DO NOT intend that units with THX are not good, rather I am not convinced the THX cert. made them any better than they already were. In fact, I propose that the logo just made them more expensive.[​IMG]
     
  2. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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  3. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Joey, you should do a search on this topic.... it has been discussed to death in other threads even very recently. There you will either find new answers or validate or current opinion. But I would really like to know how THX certification made a piece of equipment more expensive. COuld you please show me some hard facts and real proof instead of just conjecture?

    J
     
  4. JoeyT

    JoeyT Stunt Coordinator

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    Gordon,

    easy to be reactionary and take apart the context of a question isnt it. Easier I guess than stipulating your own scientific data (and not conjecture like you did)to show how THX has an additive benefit to already fine equipment.

    I will concede to you that some well thought of brands carry the THX logo (not all of it though - and it is not disadvantaged as such), and if you read the entire post before you attempted to discredit the questioner you might have noticed that I said THX equipment is good, but not better as a result of the logo. There is the point of the question. How does THX benefit the process. Explain how Dipolar surrounds make sense with todays technology. We are not talking about Dolby pro logic anymore. Tell me why you think Re-Eq is a good idea. Do you really believe having the THX logo does not affect the pricing structure of the equipment?

    Justin,

    The only conjecture was that THX raises prices. Are you here to tell me I am wrong. Furthermore, absent any concrete data (not marketing) to show benefits of THX on already great equipment is a cost to the consumer. Are you condoning people purchasing recievers/proc. based on a stamp. Would you not purchase a Theta, New Fosgate or EAD because it does not have a THX logo. Would you purchase anything for that matter over these processors simply based on the THX Logo. THX changes the sound but does this always equate to an improvement? As I said earlier, your ears are a better judge of quality than a logo.
     
  5. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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    Gordon,
    I would guess you remember the "comments" we bantered about before on this. [​IMG]
    I understand Joey's take on this so my question is:
    Since you are obviously an admirer of THX and its varied adaptations, why is that exactly? What has the HT market (specifically the average consumer) benefited from jumping on the THX bandwagon? We as a manufacturer are going to implement THX in one of our upcoming pre-pro, only because of the consumer's "fascination" for seeing the logo on a product. But to be quite candid with you, the implementation has been very illuminating. In many ways, the restrictions placed on performance parameters that must be met has restricted our creative use of some of our unique technologies. And from an "audiophile" (i.e. performance) standpoint (even in the HT context), THX brings nothing to the plate. And with certain product/combinations, it actually detracts from the quality of the reproduction. So what is the fascination?
     
  6. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    In regards to THX cert on products I'd buy I don't require THX cert on amps speakers, or DVD players but with processors it's different I really enjoy the THX post processing, and that is important to me. At the level of Parasound ROtel, Bryston, B&K, etc., these levels of amps will most likely pass some sort of THX cert. and don't find that as important but if there were 2amps one certified and one that wasn't and they sounded the same and had similar specs and price I'd probably tend to go with the THX prolly just for a little peace of mind, that prolly why there is THX cert so that if you come down to that decision you'll go with THX instead of non-THX. In regards to re-eq I read a very interesting article last night about it I'll give you the link:
    Learing from History: Cinema Sounds and Eq Curves July, 2002
    The article is kindof long but the THX re-eq stuff is towards the bottom.
    Daniel Smith
     
  7. Geno

    Geno Supporting Actor

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    I guess Ill be that ignint folk,
    How many people show off their HT to friends with the THX intro?

    Everyone, cause we all [us ignint folk] recognize THX to be
    the "best" there is in theater sound. Id even put up a THX plaque even though I dont have THX cert. components. Heck I bought an old radio Tom H designed in the 70's just cause because he designed it. THX sells period. It drives the [ignint folk] market. It doesnt hurt that they set certain parameters that each component must pass.

    THX a marketing scheme? are we comparing THX to bose? please I hope not. THX is just good.

    I AM NOT SAYING THAT PEOPLE WHO BUY THX CERT STUFF ARE IGNORANT AT ALL.
     
  8. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Not all the sources we use are 5.1. Most TV shows, satellite, OTH, and video tapes (gasp) are matrix. Having THX post-processing can be an enhancement with these sources. With THX receivers starting at MSRP $600, THX is within the grasp of many.

    In the Kenwood VR 6070/6060 series, you get THX and 7.1 pre-outs for an additional $100 MSRP.

    Artie
     
  9. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    I just want to give my opinion, I'm not with THX or against it.

    I think THX has it own market, there are people that like it and people that think it isnt necesary.

    THX is just a company that test HT equipment and certifies the units that comply with specifications. This doesnt mean that a THX reciever will sound better or worst than and equipment that isnt. But it does add a cost that doesnt give a consumer an added value to their product, the reciever sounded as good or as bad as it will sound with the THX.

    People shouldnt be looking for THX products, they should be audtioning and testing what they want and what their budget allows them. If it has THX certification and you really like it then go for it.

    Another thing that I want to add, is that for me THX lost a lot of the credibitly, at least for me, when they started certifying small stuff, like computer speakers, etc.
     
  10. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Pablo
    >
    While part of THX is certification, especially of amps, that they meet certain specs, the THX Post Processing will make an audible difference with 2 channel soundtracks.
    Dolby ProLogic II likewise makes a difference with 2 channel matrix soundtracks.
    While I haven't had time to check out the difference between THX Post Processing and ProLogic II, I have heard enough material using THX to say that THX Post Processing can be very worthwhile.
    And again, the cost of THX does not have to be great. As low as perhaps $50.
    One last thing, have you ever experienced soundtracks with THX Post Processing? Try it, you might like it.
    Artie
     
  11. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    For instance?
     
  12. WillieM

    WillieM Stunt Coordinator

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    GordonL

    You are really something! Can't really add any constructive information to the thread at all, huh?

    I've run across many folks like you. Not very good in a debate club because you have no arguments of your own, only questions. Many times questions will get someone to research a subject to find their own answers but not in the way you pose them. Besides, isn't posting questions on these forums a form of research anyway?

    Thanks for all your help, mister itching powder.

    Now, why don't you go find some other thread where you can climb up on your imaginary pedistal and beat your chest.
     
  13. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I think Gordon just seems like he's attacking Joey instead of attacking the statements using the word "YOU" a lot.

    Anyways, I think THX has a goal of creating a standard for commercial and home theaters. They use "measurements" that equiptment must "pass" in order to sound like other THX equiptment. So imagine the highest standard THX will ever create. I think that it should theoretically sound the exact same as all other equiptment that also meet that standard.

    It is that reason alone why I see how these standards might not work with Music. PPl have different tastes for music while for HT, it's more of a directors choice on how music sounds. (also because you see it in theaters)

    THX simply helps bringing the sound people hear in theaters, to HOME. This is why I think THX is targeting HT more than audiophiles/2 channel music. When you mix music lovers with HT lovers you get ppl torn between the THX standards, and the way they love their music.

    It is then time to make their decision or make up a ratio of 50% THX to 50% music.
     
  14. Joe Barefoot

    Joe Barefoot Stunt Coordinator

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    I just changed my Sony DA5ES, which I used as a pre-amp, for a Lexicon MC1. The processing that the Lex offers has made a huge difference in my sound. Logic 7, like THX, offers re-equalization and decorrelation for the surrounds. My system now sounds more "theater-like" as advertised. Granted, the Lex's DAC's are probably better than the Sony's, but I believe the processing is the main reason for the improvement that I hear.
     
  15. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Joey,
    If it seems like I'm attacking you, my humble apologies. Just trying to get you to do the research before jumping to conclusions.
     
  16. Geoff H

    Geoff H Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Joe Barefoot

    Joe Barefoot Stunt Coordinator

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    I can try to answer that. But, the Sony DA5ES and the Lexicon MC1 aren't really in the same price range. This may sound a little like a THX advertisement...it's not meant that way. This is what I perceive as the difference.

    1) The overall sound is more bassy (is that a word?). Not like you turned the bass up, but more balanced. The sound is warmer and not fatiguing. The dialog is more natural sounding and intelligible.

    2) The surround is more enveloping. I had the Sony set up to preform Neo6 6.1 on 2 channel sources, and 6.1 with DD and DTS also. Although the Lex has 7.1 L7, it also sounds more enveloping on the THX processing, which is 6.1 for ES and EX sources. I believe this is secondary to the de-correlation in the THX processing.

    I've heard some say that the DA5ES is a bright receiver. I also have a "live" room and Klipsch speakers. All of these things may have made the big difference that I have heard. Your mileage may vary!

    Ideally, you might borrow a comparable THX receiver and try it in your room with your speakers. I'd be interested to know if you gained the same benefits as I did.
     
  18. Luis C

    Luis C Stunt Coordinator

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  19. Joe Barefoot

    Joe Barefoot Stunt Coordinator

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    Louis,

    I've spent considerable time and effort to get my room as good as I can, given it's limitations. I can appreciate where you're coming from with the one button approach to solving (or pseudo-solving) problems. By attempting to improve my room, I have managed to get my 2 channel music to a state of realism that I have never before had the pleasure of enjoying on my stereo. Now THAT (2 channel) really does take the processing mumbo-jumbo out of the equation. Agreed, there is no substitute for tuning one's room.

    What I mean by "theater-like" sound, is that now when I listen to my set-up, it SOUNDS more LIKE the THEATERS that I have been in, than before my new processor (not shouting). I'm not trying to get philosophical, just making an observation. And I'm sure it has to do with the re-equalization curve.

    Tongue in cheek...so, just because it sounds right to me, it ~really~ isn't, because the sound is processed/equalized. What multi-channel source is not heavily processed to begin with. It sounds as though you are trying to apply an Audiophile, 2 channel aspiration to multi-channel sources.

    Thanks for the opportunity to discuss this stuff. It always helps the learning process to be challenged a little.
     
  20. John Parris

    John Parris Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the heart of this matter, and the debate in general is the THX is simply not forthcoming with information. They slap a label on product. That's one of the only thing we can be SURE of about THX-certification... someone paid THX (now controlled by Creative Labs in a large share if I'm not mistaken) to put this logo on thier poduct... they may or may not have tested it. We can't be sure.

    It's all about what the company has as a reputation, and THX has a good one. Before you jump on the THX bandwagon, remember that Bose technically has one of the best names in home audio with a huge market share, but I think most people who have heard real high-end speakers and equipment will tell you, Bose simply doesnt cut it.

    Before you jump on the opposite train of though, that of bashing THX, realize that the lack of information is a two-way street. They don't specify WHAT they test exactly, for instance, what specific characteristics make a "THX Select" certified product different from a "THX Ultra 2" certified one. With THX branching out into multimedia speakers and mobile audio, it's even harder to pinpoint the differences.

    Personally, I'm of the neutral opinion-- THX logos do not mean anything to me, because they refuse to acknowledge thier testing criteria, and I have heard many peices of NON-certified equipment which I feel outperforms many THX-badged products. This is not to say that I dislike THX-- not at all... I simply disregard it as a factor.

    Look at it this way. If you knew that behind one door was safety and what was behind the other was less safe, how would you treat a door with "this is safe" written on it? Who defines this safety, and can you trust them? How is this measure of safety arrived at?

    The same is true for THX-- since you CAN'T be sure of its importance, I think you should disregard it as a factor one way or the other.
     

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