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  1. Amazon AU is a disappointment. I really hope it lifts its game soon. The last time I saw Blu-ray Pure Audio discs in JB, they were being handled the very same way that may have killed SACD and DVD-A. That is, in their own section with the name "Audiophile" on them, and because most people don't seem to know that is, they give it a miss. Then when it doesn't sell, new stock does not get ordered in and the format dies.
  2. Mixing Speaker Brands

    Speakers like THIS will run horizontally because they have their midrange and tweeter already vertically aligned.
  3. Mixing Speaker Brands

    HERE is my LCRs mounted into the treated baffle wall when the AT screen is removed. Yes, the same means exactly that, the same exact speaker for all three positions. Mixing brands or even models from the same brand will never give you the result I am describing. So if you can't wing $2100 for three LCRs, then go with the best you can afford. I pulled that number out thin air. It was not meant to be taken literally. Please DO calibrate your system. I even re-wrote the basic calibration post because it got lost between here and DTV-Forums. Yes, a horizontal centre may look better, but when you look into the design, you discover why this is not good. Most centre speakers are D'Appolito 3/2 Speaker Geometric Arrays. This means that they are 2 way using 3 drivers in a particular layout. Further research reveals that the spacing between the drivers is not just for looks. If you measure from centre of the tweeter to the centre of one of the woofers, that distance should be one wavelength of the crossover. So when you have two flanking woofers, at this spacing, you get what might be called "destructive interference". The woofers on each side prevents the tweeter readiating in the usual hemispherical shape (ie round from the front) and causes the sound shape to become an ellipse. So orientation pending, this speaker when stood vertically, will radiate wider horizontally than it does vertically. Whys is this a good thing? Well given most rooms are wider than they are tall, this design helps minimise early reflections from the floor and the ceiling. The result is better stereo imaging, even when the speakers are physically close and it makes dialogue (or vocals) more intelligible. Lay it down and you cause a problem - now the widest dispersion is vertical! Yes, this means you just caused reflections off the floor and ceiling. The problem is a vertical centre doesn't have very high WAF and many people lay them down for the better cosmetics without knowing what this does to the sound. It gets worse when your L and R speakers are vertical and the C is horizontal. The Australian film THE NUGGET is a gem from showing why this set up fails as it has dialogue that pans right across the stage as the actors walk. So what you get is bright from say left, then dull in the centre and bright again at the right. If running 3 LCRs like this, and you can't run them all vertical, then you are best running all three horizontal and treating the floor and ceiling.
  4. Mixing Speaker Brands

    Yes I am saying to buy three centres. Really, never heard of that? I have had 3 identical LCRs since 1992! Each system upgrade always gets a better set of three. Since 1991, the Home THX audio system has promoted having 3 identical LCRs and there was so many glossy prints showing these set up. It used to be challenging around CRT TVs, but with flat panels or projection screens, a non issue. The single reason why - sounds won't change as they pan across the stage. There two main reasons why dialogue is hard to hear - 1. Your systems needs calibration. Even if you used the auto cal mic, these can be out as much as 6dB! I always double check my system with a visual reference on a SPL meter or RTA on my PC. You can down load a free app onto android phones that is quite good if you don't want to buy a meter. Then you can confirm that each speaker is indeed playing back at +75dB/C/SLOW, SUB is set to 79dB with this method) the SAME LEVEL! 2. If you are using a horizontal MTM (AKA WTW or D'Appolito 3/2 geometrical array) as centre, then your not hearing the speaker the way it was originally designed (in the 1970s no less) to be used, regardless of the orientation of the speaker brand badge. Simply turning one of these types of speaker on its end will radically change the clarity of the spoken voice. Do you know why we even have horizontal centre speakers? Joe Kane did a laser disc in 1996 called Video Essentials. He was criticized by his peers for having a "vertical growth out the top of the TV" and in his next publication focused on 3 way centre speakers designed to run vertically because they have vertical alignment of the mid-range and tweeter. So the popular misconception is to lay ALL centre speakers down to reduce their height. It is the HT equivalent of smoking - a dirty habit that for some, is really hard to shake.
  5. Mixing Speaker Brands

    This is how I do it. Set yourself a budget that is both realistic and affordable within your budget. For this example, I am breaking the system into parts and where the first part is the front stage ONLY. If you look at "Speaker Packs" you will notice that the main L and R are typically towers that cost 3 to 5 times as much as the centre speaker that they 'claim' matches the L and R. Lets just say the pack works out to be $1800 on L and R and $300 for the centre. OK, so that is $2100 for LCR, so what I would do is look for a higher end centre (say $700) and buy 3. You are still within budget, but you have a front stage that is going to blow the other system out of the water. One of the biggest complaints I have read over and over on this very forum is that when the person switches between 2CH and multi channel, that multichannel lacks. Ask the right questions and you discover that they fell for the marketing of that pack and they discovered that their system has a very "unmatched centre". There is still more things that can affect the outcome such as speaker placement and my favorite, orientation, particularly the centre speaker. Moving onto surrounds and you are correct in saying that you don't need to spend as much on them, but don't discount them as "rears" that only do effects. Motion picture sound will have (from time to time) quite active surrounds and even dialogue mixed into the surrounds. If you chose cheap nasty speakers for surrounds, then you get what you pay for and the performance of the system falls off as soon as sounds are panned. No you don't need 700 each surround, but you should be looking for sometime affordable from the same line if you can. Sub-woofers. There is no point anything without this unit and so you may need to either save up or be prepared to upgrade this later when you can. Whist dialogue is the most important aspect of a film soundtrack, it is the Bass (LFE) that is what makes film sound fun. When buying speakers, do listen to them with familiar program if possible.
  6. Is there even such a thing as "too gutsy"? There is certainly a thing as "not gutsy enough".
  7. Mixing Speaker Brands

    2nd that comment about the same speakers for LCR. The centre MUST match the left and right front speakers. Surrounds can be different simply from the fact that as humans, Head Related Transfer Function causes us to hear sounds differently from the sides that they sound from the front, even when using the same speakers in all locations. Subwoofers can be upgraded as time/money permits.
  8. Some very basic questions.

    Depends on how many channels you are running. A system with 11.1CH ATMOS will have a DAC for each channel.
  9. Some very basic questions.

    Something that seemed to be missed on the first question was power supplies. Without this, we have nothing. In an integrated amplifier, one power supply is used to power both the pre-amp stage and the power amp stage. If it all of this has to fit into one affordable box, then power supplies tends to smallish, and the result can be lacking somewhat. Move to separates and now each component has it's power supply. Yes price goes up, but so does performance. DACs are built into pretty much everything these days. It takes a digital source and like the name suggests, converts it to analogue. Like power supplies, there are better ones out there. For a time, "Bur Brown" were considered the ideal converter. Now it seems the industry has moved to essy-sabre DACs.
  10. You need to take in room measurements before and after you add traps. You may or may not need the full treatments. I have seen cases where too much of a good thing was used and in the end the room had a suck out and even though the sub was SVS, it was quite underwhelming.
  11. I have had my AT screen in place since late 2006. In the past I have been that guy that wants to remove speaker grills (just in case) and so you can imagine the angst I was going through to make the decision to place a massive grill over my LCRs that would not be removable. In the end, I hired a RTA to prove visually that I was indeed hearing everything with next to no audible change. There will always be some sort of loss with an AT screen, but when you consider -0.5~-1.0dB at 20K from Acoustic Vision Vs upto -6dB at 20K from well known and very much up market, screens like Steward's micro-perf, less than 1dB is nothing to worry about. Your curtains might do more harm than this. This is why Steward Screens give you a EQ module for the centre channel. OMO, they really need to either give 3 of these or create a new device that has 3 inputs/outputs for systems when all thee LCR speakers are behind the screen. When talking about CinemaScope AT, you want L and R to be just inside the 16:9 portion of the screen, not at the edges and certainly never outside the screen.
  12. It looks like a gutsy 2CH power amp. If it works, why would you even sell that? I like to pro term of breaking systems chains into two parts - A chain and B chain. A chain is source and processing. If you going to upgrade, this most likely where it happens. B chain is power amps, speakers and even the room itself. Unless upgrading to ATMOS, it is unlikely that you change out this part of the system.
  13. I do. The still have very high standards and you should know that any product with the badge will perform to a certain level, usually being the best in that price point. The original THX processing is sort of redundant now that studios (starting with Disney) created "consumer" mixes from the cinema mix. For years, we got the same mix at home. And this is partly why the Home THX Audio system was created in the first place. Now you will see "enhanced for home theatre" on some titles. These soundtracks sound balanced and are not sibilent like older soundtracks (pre 2000). A quick break down - Re-EQ is no longer needed because film sound is now re-eqed for the home for packaged media. Timbre Match might still be of use, but needs updating for ATMOS (I'm sure Onkyo will do it). Decorrelation was only really needed for the mono surround of Pro-logic. Bass Management is now used by every product because they know the benefits out weight "large" speaker settings on modern AV gear. Control over vertical directivity kind of losts its way once people started to build risers. Dipolar speakers will always give a more diffuse sound field, but people seem to want more directional speakers these days. Maybe they have never heard a full 11CH ATMOS system using 4 pair of diploes. I have and it is amazing. Subwoofers have gotten smaller for tighter bass. Almost gone are the days of needing 2 x 12" cones for bass. Subs like Sunfire can deliver the same SPL from much smaller units.
  14. Blade Runner 2049

    Yeah and I was one of them that hated this film until the BD of the Final Cut came out. Over the years, I had attempted to watch the film on VHS (TE?) and possibly LD and just couldn't get past the interview process. The Director's Cut on DVD was no better for me. The Final Cut came out on BD boasting a 4K scan of the original negative. I watched this and was amazed with the stunning image quality. When the UHD came out, I just bought that and had after seeing 2049 at the cinema, I was waiting the for BD and of course bought the UHD. A bit long, but visually stunning and a great Sci-Fi.
  15. Shame they couldn't just get it right in the first place. Other titles I never bought because they were 1080/50i were PULP FICTION, GLADIATOR and BASIC.