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Old 01-14-2008, 06:09 PM   #1
iceman iceman is offline
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Default Ask questions to Audio insider Sir Terrence

This thread is dedicated to asking questions of industry insider "Sir Terrence" (Audio insider) who has graciously taken the time to participate here. Sir Terrence and all our insiders do this out of their free time and to try to keep us informed to their best abilities, and therefore are to be treated with respect and courtesy.

Before asking a question, please skim at least the last weeks worth of posts in order to make sure that the question hasn't already been asked or answered. Using the search function is also always a good idea. Please conduct your inquiries in a professional manner and avoid asking "chicken little" questions or asking when unannounced titles will come out.

Sir Terrence - Sound/Audio - Track posts
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:06 AM   #2
malwa malwa is offline
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Hello welcome to our board.

I have recently got the pioneer blu-ray plus the onkyo 805 receiver and have been in heaven with the lossless audio options on blu-ray.

my question is this, do you have any insight on dts-ma tracks and how they seem to blow away any true-hd and pcm tracks. The one I have really enjoyed was the Live Free or Die hard mix blew me away.

Was it just a better original mix at the studio or did it take advantage of the the dts-ma codec.

Also I can't wait for the avpr disc comes out. The movie was okay but the sound really blew me away!
 
Old 01-16-2008, 02:17 AM   #3
richard lichtenfelt richard lichtenfelt is offline
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Sir Terrence thanks for your time here.

Which line of speakers would you recommend the most out of Axiom, Paradigm, Definitive Technology, and Orbs? Looking to purchase entry level or just above.
If you don't mind list them in order of preference.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 01:35 AM   #4
Sir Terrence Sir Terrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malwa View Post
Hello welcome to our board.

I have recently got the pioneer blu-ray plus the onkyo 805 receiver and have been in heaven with the lossless audio options on blu-ray.

my question is this, do you have any insight on dts-ma tracks and how they seem to blow away any true-hd and pcm tracks. The one I have really enjoyed was the Live Free or Die hard mix blew me away.

Was it just a better original mix at the studio or did it take advantage of the the dts-ma codec.

Also I can't wait for the avpr disc comes out. The movie was okay but the sound really blew me away!
Thanks for the welcome malwa. Everything that makes up a good mix starts at the mixing level in the studio. Choosing the right codec only ensures that a good mix remains that way from the studio to your receiver or pre-pro with very little loss in between. Though I have yet to see Live Free or Die hard on my system(I have it, but I am too busy reviewing for Bluray.com to watch it), I know that a audio codec cannot make a garbage mix sound like heavenly angels singing. Codecs are carriers only. Their job is to faithfully and efficiently transport the mix through a pipeline to the receiver. So Dts MA does not make a mix sound good, the mix has to be good in the first place.

I hope this answers your question.

Last edited by Sir Terrence; 01-17-2008 at 02:12 AM.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 01:54 AM   #5
Sir Terrence Sir Terrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard lichtenfelt View Post
Sir Terrence thanks for your time here.

Which line of speakers would you recommend the most out of Axiom, Paradigm, Definitive Technology, and Orbs? Looking to purchase entry level or just above.
If you don't mind list them in order of preference.
Years ago THX did a listening test using M&K speakers that had either a controlled dispersion pattern, or a wide dispersion pattern(like most audiophile speakers). This test outlined image clarity, dialog clarity, and panning clarity test for each kind of speaker. To make the test fair, one design used a woofer/tweeter-midrange/woofer setup that had a controlled directivity, and the other speaker was the same woofer, but placed under the same tweeter-midrange as the other. In other words, it did not have the extra woofer over the tweeter/mid. In every test, the controlled speaker faired better than the wide dispersion speaker.

Movie theater speakers untilize a controlled dispersion pattern designed to avoid the floor and ceiling, but provide a wide horizontal converage pattern. The theaters are usually treated to deal with early reflections that kill clarity and precise imaging. That is what I would be aiming for. In saying that, I would eleminate any bipolar speakers, or speakers that use reflections as a major part of their performance within a room. The more a speaker interacts with the room, the more clarity and imaging issues you will have. Bipolar speaker will make everything sound big and oversized, even if it is the intent of the mixer to create a small, tight environment.

Axiom and Paradigm have a known reputation for producing speakers that are good with music and movies, and represent a good value/performance ratio. I would go for them before any bipolar speaker, or highly reflective speaker. As a music lover, I would not choose any speaker that could not do both well, and almost every Paradigm speaker I have ever heard over the years could do both very well.

My best advice is to go out and listen to as many of Paradigm and Axiom speakers as you can. I would also listen to any floor standing def tech tower speakers from the Mythos line as well since they are not a bipolar speaker.

Listen, audition and decide. My order would be a tie between Paradigm and Axiom as both of these have benefited from the research of Dr Floyd Toole. Then the Mythos line of floor standing towers next.

Hope that helps, and happy searching.

Last edited by Sir Terrence; 01-23-2008 at 09:31 PM.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 02:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Terrence View Post
Years ago THX did a listening test using M&K speakers that had either a controlled dispersion pattern, or a wide dispersion pattern(like most audiophile speakers). This test outlined image clarity, dialog clarity, and panning clarity test for each kind of speaker. To make the test fair, one design used a woofer/tweeter-midrange/woofer setup that had a controlled directivity, and the other speaker was the same woofer, but placed under the same tweeter-midrange as the other. In other words, it did not have the extra woofer over the tweeter/mid. In every test, the controlled speaker faired better than the wide dispersion speaker.

Movie theater speakers untilize a controlled dispersion pattern designed to avoid the floor and ceiling, but provide a wide horizontal converage pattern. The theaters are usually treated to deal with early reflections that kill clarity and precise imaging. That is what I would be aiming for. In saying that, I would eleminate any bipolar speakers, or speakers that use reflections as a major part of their performance within a room. The more a speaker interacts with the room, the more clarity and imaging issues you will have. Bipolar speaker will make everything sound big and oversized, even if it is the intent of the mixer to create a small, tight environment.

Axiom and Paradigm have a known reputation for producing speakers that are good with music and movies, and represent a good value/performance ratio. I would go for them before any bipolar speaker, or highly reflective speaker. As a music lover, I would not choose any speaker that could not do both well, and almost every Paradigm speaker I have ever heard over the years could do both very well.

My best advice is to go out and listen to as many of Paradigm and Axiom speakers as you can. I would also listen to any floor standing def tech tower speakers from the Mythos line as well since they are not a bipolar speaker.

Listen, audition and decide. My order would be a tie between Paradigm and Axiom as both of these have benefited from the research of Dr Floyd Toole. Then the Mythos line of floor standing towers next.

Hope that helps, and happy searching.

Wow, what an excellent post.

I would have also gone Para first Axiom second out of those choices.

Music is much harder to make sound "good" than movies.

If it does music well (imaging, soundstage, bass response, dynamic range) 99% of the time it will do movies well.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 02:24 AM   #7
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hi terrence,

in your personal opinion, if you were forced to chose between Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio to be used as the only codec to be used on future BD releases(hypothetical) which would you pick? and why?
 
Old 01-17-2008, 02:53 AM   #8
Sir Terrence Sir Terrence is offline
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Originally Posted by turboLAZER View Post
hi terrence,

in your personal opinion, if you were forced to chose between Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio to be used as the only codec to be used on future BD releases(hypothetical) which would you pick? and why?
Definately Dts HD MA lossless. This is not based on any side by side DBT of each codec, but my previous experience with Dts on projects I have mixed. Their goal is good sound first, efficiency next. Dolby's is the reverse. However the most telling thing for me is that on the releases I have with both, Dts only required a single Dts MA lossless track, and if my player could not decode it, it would playback the core at 1.5mbps(which by the way sounds hella good in its own right). It does not require another Dts track. With Dolby TrueHD, you will always see a plain dolby digital 5.1 track, or a DD+ track with it if your player could not decode it(not many of those anymore). While Dts MA requires more computational power, its scaling ability amoung its many versions(Dts core, Dts HD, and Dts MA) is very powerful and superior in some ways to DTHD. I would imagine both, if strictly judged on sound quality, it would be hard pressed to tell the difference between the two. They are both lossless, and are bit for bit to the master.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 03:01 AM   #9
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Sir Terrence:

You are asked to design a home theater solution for one of your friends. You have unlimited amount of funds, but have to complete everything within a week for the Superbowl. What speakers do you buy?

(In other words, no custom solutions and no special order speakers. Just speakers that one could easily get their hands on. What do you buy?)
 
Old 01-17-2008, 03:05 AM   #10
shamus shamus is offline
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interesting thread! Sir terrance, ive never seen u before here. Whats your qualifications if u dont mind me asking?
 
Old 01-17-2008, 03:25 AM   #11
richard lichtenfelt richard lichtenfelt is offline
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Thanks so much Sir Terrence. Your answer helped me on more than one level, as I was considering spending extra for the 4 way Axiom speakers.
I will now confine my decision to the bookshelf, or small tower Paradigm's or Axiom's.

Very much appreciated.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 03:38 AM   #12
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Hi Sir Terrence,

Glad to see this thread. What is your opinion about decoding on the player vs the processor (receiver)? I've seen many state that it sounds better when done by the receiver, usually due to it being a devise that is dedicated as a processor and can do a better job. I don't really buy that argument but maybe something else is going on (jitter in the PCM over HDMI possibly?)

Do you believe it is better to decode on the player or receiver or do you think it doesn't make a difference? If you think one is better then the other, what is the reason?

Thanks
 
Old 01-17-2008, 06:15 AM   #13
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By the way, for those of you who are just now discovering the awesome dude that is Sir Terrence, be prepared to be amazed. Sir T is a class act all the way, and is also one hell of a great guy!

Cheers, Sir T!
 
Old 01-17-2008, 11:21 AM   #14
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I am planning to upgrade my receiver as soon as I get my tax return. My current receiver is a Denon AVR 4802. It has been a great sounding receiver, but lacks the HDMI switching, HD codecs, and some other features that would be nice to have.I have been kicking around a couple of ideas. The first is to purchase the Yamaha RX-V3800. My other thought is to buy an Integra DTC-9.8 pre/pro, which costs about the same as the Yammy, and use my Denon 4802 as the amp. Any advice on which would be the best way to go? Or is there something else near this price range that I have missed? I would even be willing to go to a slightly higher price range for a corresponding increase in quality.

Thank you for your assistance. By the way, me speakers are M & K s150 series, 7.2.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 04:28 PM   #15
Sir Terrence Sir Terrence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh View Post
Sir Terrence:

You are asked to design a home theater solution for one of your friends. You have unlimited amount of funds, but have to complete everything within a week for the Superbowl. What speakers do you buy?

(In other words, no custom solutions and no special order speakers. Just speakers that one could easily get their hands on. What do you buy?)
Josh, you really hate my guts dude. I can give you several options.

A system consisting of four dunlavy SCV and a single HRCC center channel with the two TSW-5 sub towers. I have many years of experience with this system, and nothing on this planet beats it IMO

Another built around Thiel new CS3.7, his smart subs, and the MCS1 center. This is a good system for movies and music. It is very accurate system so warts are very audible.

Lastly, but certainly not the least, the JBL synthesis systems depending on the size of the room

For very large room the Everest system
For medium size to sorta large rooms, the K2 system
And for rooms from medium size to smaller rooms the Atlas system.

These systems and all of the Synthesis systems are ultimate hometheater systems IMO. They are good to pretty good on music.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 05:05 PM   #16
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I'm having trouble with the term "lossless compression." My understanding of compression is that it decreases dynamic range by lowering the bit depth representing the audio. If more bits = more DR(and also larger file sizes), how can a reduction of file size(represented by bits) not affect the dynamic range? Is there some process I'm missing or is the term simply a bit of a misnomer?

And also, how can I explain this to others in terms most lay people should understand?

Thank you in advance.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 05:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Terrence View Post
Josh, you really hate my guts dude.
LOL, no I don't hate you

I just have very little patience to research and correctly construct my own speakers. I know a lot of audiophile guys do that since they can pick all the parts and the material to maximize ever little detail, but I'd rather spend the money and have someone do it for me.

Thanks for the tips, looks like I'll have some reading for this weekend
 
Old 01-17-2008, 05:32 PM   #18
Sir Terrence Sir Terrence is offline
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Originally Posted by jdc115 View Post
Hi Sir Terrence,

Glad to see this thread. What is your opinion about decoding on the player vs the processor (receiver)? I've seen many state that it sounds better when done by the receiver, usually due to it being a devise that is dedicated as a processor and can do a better job. I don't really buy that argument but maybe something else is going on (jitter in the PCM over HDMI possibly?)

Do you believe it is better to decode on the player or receiver or do you think it doesn't make a difference? If you think one is better then the other, what is the reason?

Thanks
I am just beginning to get my system together so that I can make the comparison, so my answer may not be based on sonics as much as getting everything off the disc that is there.

If extra value features are what you like, then the only way to go is to have the player do the decoding. If decoding Dts or DTHD in its native form, and avoiding transcoding to PCM is your goal, then bitstreaming to the receiver is the way to go. Extra's aside, their have to be some benefit both ways. To the player, they can be firmware upgraded so updates to encoding can be done at any time. Receivers are not easily updated, and I am not sure that any out there except the highest ends ones are updateable. Going to the receiver, it cannot be bad to skip extra transcoding and mixing stages of the decoding processes. I always believe that less is more when it comes to digital audio.

I cannot speak to any sonic benefits of either just yet, perhaps when I finish my research on receivers I want to get that do internal decoding and actually buy it(I just bought one 6 months ago), I can speak to sonic benefits with a little more information.
 
Old 01-17-2008, 05:48 PM   #19
Sir Terrence Sir Terrence is offline
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Originally Posted by IamNhobdy View Post
I'm having trouble with the term "lossless compression." My understanding of compression is that it decreases dynamic range by lowering the bit depth representing the audio. If more bits = more DR(and also larger file sizes), how can a reduction of file size(represented by bits) not affect the dynamic range? Is there some process I'm missing or is the term simply a bit of a misnomer?

And also, how can I explain this to others in terms most lay people should understand?

Thank you in advance.
You are mixing two types of compression together. Lossless compression does not decrease dynamic range. I will try and make this as easy as I can.

For lossless compression just imagine the words 001100. When a compression routine sees this, the first thing it does is get rid of silence, and lower signals masked by louder signals. So you dump the zeros so the file travels like this 11 as opposed to 001100. You have just saved some space as it travels through the pipeline. When it gets to the decoding stage, all of the zero's are added back in creating your 001100 word. Here is a better example

Original words
00111000
11000111
10101010

Encoded it looks like this

111
11111
1111

Decoded it goes back to this

00111000
11000111
10101010

No loss compression.

Dynamic compression is much different than this. Dynamic compression is designed to increase overall loudness by softening loud parts in a signal, and increasing lower level parts louder. Much like the night mode found in receivers. I hope this helps
 
Old 01-17-2008, 06:04 PM   #20
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Thank you for clarifying that for me. I was wondering just how that worked.

So in lay terms what you're saying is, this compression simply removes the silence and the computer redraws that silence when decoded? And this is what saves room in the pipeline, no "air", like an inflatable mattress which you take out of the box and re-inflate, correct?

I just want to make sure I use simple enough(yet accurate) terms for my pals who can't follow binary.
 
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