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  #741  
Old 09-13-2019, 08:35 AM
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i totally get it, you said it well. i'm not as invested or as knowledgeable as most of you ITT, but i'm still surprised at the sound quality i get from my system, a def upgrade to what i had previously
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  #742  
Old 09-13-2019, 11:02 AM
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It's funny how I'm appreciating different music than I used to, partly because of the quality of my stereo.

For instance, I've had generally positive thoughts about a fair number of John Cougar Mellencamp's songs, but I wouldn't have called myself a huge fan. But with my current system, I'm finding that I love the way his music was recorded. Easily some of the best quality among rock music, IMO. I particularly appreciate his "Lonesome Jubilee" album. "Paper In Fire" from that album is now perhaps my favorite of his.

I'm afraid when I write stuff like the above, it sounds like I'm just being an audio snob. But I'm serious when I say that a quality stereo brings out stuff that is just missing when listening through cheaper equipment. I think I'm now better able to hear (and thus appreciate) what the artists intended their music to sound like. The end result is that I probably like a lot more music than I used to. So, if anything, it's almost like the fancy stereo has made me LESS of a snob in terms of what music I enjoy.

Not sure if I'm saying any of that well...
You DO sound like an audio snob, lol. But Iím the same way, I do find myself listening to stuff I might not normally listen to because of how it sounds on my system. Iím the last person to listen to something like deep house music, but sometimes I do it to exercise my subs.

I was a big Wilco fan in college and for several years after. When I got my first pair of Maggies I listened to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot on repeat until my wife couldnít take it. And, while I did enjoy the album, it was due in large part to how it sounded. Iíd listen over and over and try to pick apart all the layers in that album.
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  #743  
Old 09-19-2019, 11:09 PM
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I am playing with the idea of buying some Atmos speakers. I have those JBL bookshelf speakers that play nicely with my JBL towers, so I stuck them up on top of some tall bookshelves and recalibrated my receiver to recognize them as overhead speakers. (Not exactly right, but gives me a chance to see what I think of adding a height element.)

Some Atmos movies make decent use of those speakers, but a lot don't. More and more movies come out all the time that get a proper treatment of Atmos, so like many new technologies, it's likely to get better the longer I wait.

I then decided to try the same setup in Multi Channel Stereo mode (for "upmixing" standard 2 channel stereo music.) I was afraid it would be really artificial, but my Denon receiver does a surprisingly nice job with it! It does raise the perceived elevation of the musicians, but it's certainly not weird or unpleasant. Just sounds like my chair moved down relative to the performers.
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  #744  
Old 09-23-2019, 12:59 PM
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I figured out over the weekend that I didn't have the right cable between my Apple TV and receiver to get proper Atmos signal. I upgraded the cable and changed some settings in the Apple TV, and now I have legit Atmos. It's pretty cool! I suspect it would sound even better with true overhead speakers rather than my raised bookshelf speakers. For Christmas, I think I'll ask for a pair of SVS Prime Elevation speakers, which are designed to place where the ceiling and the wall meet.

Some movies definitely make better use of Atmos than others. "Spider-Man Far From Home" is my favorite so far, doing a good job in the fight scenes.
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  #745  
Old 09-29-2019, 07:58 PM
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So Iíve never heard Atmos. But! At RMAF, the University of CO had a setup with a big circle of speakers, maybe 10 channels, plus another 10 or so overhead. And they had a track where the music circled around them all. And I have to say, there really was a sense of height. It was very cool!
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  #746  
Old 10-11-2019, 12:43 AM
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So I've been reading more and more that you really want your speakers to match as much as possible, even for the overhead. I definitely found this to be the case for the speakers at ear level, which led to me buying towers for surrounds. So I just bought a pair of mounting brackets for my JBL bookshelf speakers (same line as my towers). The brackets tilt down somewhat, though there's a trick online to make them tilt down even more. Anyway, I installed them tonight with just the standard tilt, in the location of front heights. It's definitely giving a better effect than how I had them placed before. Classical music, in particular, has an even more convincing 3D quality as a result.

So now I'm going to hope that these bookshelf speakers go on a crazy sale again at Christmas. If they do, I'm going to buy two more pair, so I can go from my current 5.2.2 setup, to 7.2.4. Unfortunately, I'll have to upgrade my receiver to handle the extra channels. But from what I'm reading online, it's worth it.

I currently have my eye on the Denon X4500H, which offers Auro-Matic upmixing of 2-channel (and higher) to Auro-3D's immersive format. Dolby and DTS offer something similar, but quite a number of folks in audiophile forums agree that Auro does it better.

Speaking of, I think I've "found my people" within a certain subset of audiophiles. I knew that audiophiles can argue about all kinds of things, like whether expensive cables are worth it. But what I didn't realize is that there would be a fairly recognizable cohort within the community with whom I share similar views about what makes good sound. Namely:

* Several speakers, including a center and surround speakers, are better than two, not only for movies, but also for music (this is heresy among the 2.0 crowd)
* Side surround speakers sound better when placed somewhat forward of the main listening position (which flies in the face of the standard recommendation of Dolby, Auro and DTS, who all say side surrounds should be even with the main listening position, or somewhat behind)

That second bullet often goes hand in hand with the notion that the soundstage should be distinctly forward of the main listening position, rather than making one feel like they are sitting among the performers. I mean, it can be kind of cool to feel like you're right up on stage, but then I am left with a feeling that I need to hop down and go find my seat.

The same folks who agree with these main listening preferences seem to be among the biggest fans of Auro-3D for upmixing 2-channel stereo. And among them is Dr. Floyd Toole, author of that long book on sound reproduction that I liked so much.

All this to say, I think the upgrade will be worth it. But since I'll need 2 more pairs of speakers, and a new receiver, it's going to be several months before I get it all.

Last edited by Egghead; 10-12-2019 at 06:40 PM..
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  #747  
Old 10-11-2019, 03:19 PM
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I canít say I prefer upmixing from stereo, but I appreciate that thereís options available for everybodyís tastes. I donít get why people try to tell others whatís best. If it sounds best to you, thatís what matters.

Iíve never tried Auro/3D, with the main reason being the cost to try it out. Maybe sometime Iíll take the plunge.
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  #748  
Old 10-12-2019, 06:39 PM
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I donít get why people try to tell others whatís best. If it sounds best to you, thatís what matters.
Agreed. And hopefully I didn't come off as saying otherwise. (I don't think you're accusing me of doing so.) Like I said, "I've found my people" in the audiophile world. Which is handy, because I can give more weight to their posts in audiophile forums to get an idea of those things that are most likely to generate an improvement in my listening experience.

There are many people who genuinely prefer 2.0 sound. But I've figured out that I'm clearly not one of them. From what I'm reading, 7.2.4 is pretty much the holy grail for those with similar tastes. So I think I'm now 4 bookshelf speakers and a new receiver away from having something crazy good. After that, hopefully I'll chill out.
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  #749  
Old 10-15-2019, 06:05 PM
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  #750  
Old 10-16-2019, 11:12 AM
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After that, hopefully I'll chill out.
Bahahahahahaha. Good luck with that!

I go through phases where I don't change anything, with intermittent periods where I change things up quite a bit. I never went nuts with surround sound, but my tastes generally lean such that I'm happier with a stereo rig. I think because, for a given budget, I can buy two really nice speakers, but buying 5+ means I'm buying lower quality.
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