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THX What Will I Gain?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff Weight, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. Jeff Weight

    Jeff Weight Stunt Coordinator

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    I own an Integra DTR 7.1 receiver with THX processing including EX. Should I use THX together with DD, DPL, & DTS? Will it add or detract from the sound if the original recording isn't THX? I have heard that THX is a post processing process that is done after DD, DPL, & DTS. If that is true what does it add that the original doesn't?

    While I don't have THX certified speakers, I do have them set up in THX configuration.

    Those who have THX, do you use it in addition to DD, DPL, and DTS?

    Thanks
     
  2. Bill Buklis

    Bill Buklis Supporting Actor
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    There is no such thing as a recording that is "in THX". A THX DVD is a DVD that has had it's transfer certified and approved by THX according to its quality standards. Many people here argue for or against the validity of the standards.

    As for THX processing on the receiver, I'd say leave it on for watching all movies. The THX mode supposedly re-equalizes the brightness of the highs for a better sound for the home versus a large theater. But for CD's, DVD Audio, etc., turn off the THX mode.

    THX mode is always in addition to standard decoding (DD, DTS, etc.)
     
  3. John H

    John H Second Unit

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  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    Jeff,

    This is a common question. There is a lot of confusion about various forms of THX. A THX DVD is one thing and has virtually nothing to do with a THX receiver, other than volume level calibration. The THX processing is intended to "correct" the soundtrack, which was mixed for a large theater and make it sound better at home. One of the drawbacks is that the processing rolls off the low end. So, depending on your system, using the THX mode can also create some disadvantages, but is less likely to cause damage to your speakers.

    Theoretically, THX would be best used with DD DVDs and pre-recorded videotapes, but not TV. DTS soundtracks are supposed to be re-mixed and don't need THX processing. In the end, you should just try the system with THX both on and off and see which you like better. Don't switch it back and forth, but watch at least half a movie in each mode.

    I didn't know these things when I got a new receiver about four years ago. It is THX, but now I leave the THX off all the time.

    One recommendation, if your speakers are NOT THX, I wouldn't run them in THX mode. You are able to better adjust channel parameters this way.
     
  5. Daryl Furkalo

    Daryl Furkalo Second Unit

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    Well, I have a THX-Ultra certified receiver, and recently I found I never engage the THX post-processing. I did initially, but found it didn't like it that much. It can tame down some soundtracks, especially the centre channel, since that one is most often mixed higher for a theatre since the speaker is behind the screen. Now it is an EX/ES capable receiver as well, but I can engage those modes without using THX, so I do.
     
  6. Christian Speights

    Christian Speights Stunt Coordinator

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    What will you gain?

    A silk screened logo on your gear.
     
  7. James D S

    James D S Screenwriter

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    True, there's also that cool logo.
     
  8. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    I've come full circle with regard to THX processing in my HT. For years, I used THX processing exclusively (for movie soundtracks). Earlier this year, I upgraded my receiver to the B&K AVR-307. The basic digital decoding and the sonic character of the amps led me to experiment with and without THX procesing. I felt I was getting a bit more resolution and low level detail without THX so I stopped using it on any newer tracks which are usually eq'd for the home environment anyway. Then I replaced my Atlantic Technology speakers with B&W.
    The B&W is a rather bright speaker and is very revealing in the mid and upper ranges. As a result, many, if not most, soundtracks began to sound harsh and overly strident. I went back to using THX and that smoothed out the upper frequencies noticeably. I now keep THX engaged for all movies, switching to EX for EX-encoded tracks.
    I suppose my recommendation would be to experiment and use the mode which sounds best over the course of a two-hour movie, not just for a few minutes comparison of switching back and forth. The effects of increased high frequencies can be cumulative over the course of a movie. It may sound fine for 30 minutes, but will become fatiguing over a longer period. Speakers will also have some bearing on this. Speakers that are more "laid back" without the bright upper ranges will mitigate the effects of an unprocessed soundtrack.
    And that is a cool logo...[​IMG]
     

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