Auro 3D Upmix - Anyone using?

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gene_stl

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So a related question that I don't think , is a thread hijacking, what is it you have to do to get Auro 3D upmixing.

I would presume you need to have a pre pro that can do it along with all the amps and speakers. Presuming you have all the amps and speakers , what pre pro or receivers or other methods of program sourcing can do Auro 3D.

I'll check the google.
 

Perpendicular

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The only AV receivers and pre-pro brands that I know that can do Auro are Denon/Marantz and the brand new Yamaha Aventage AVR’s. There’s probably a very high end pre-pro somewhere too.
 

gene_stl

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My Schmarantz is too old (2010) AV7005. I am not in a hurry. ;)

ted_b is asking a similar question a few threads over.

This is a very complex hobby.
 
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Ephi82

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I love what Auro 3D does to stereo music content. It creates natural sounding space in the mix, without it sounding artificial, as in the Dolby and DTS attempts. I have it on all the time for tv watching too. It really helps this older guy with old ears hear the dialog more cleanly.
 

ar surround

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I've now started using Auro 3D (10 speakers) and Dolby Surround (11 speakers) upmixing. And I still have the Surround Master for comparison at the push of a button. Which do I prefer? Well, like with all upmixers the answer is "it depends."

As with my past experience using upmixers (Logic7, PLIIx and Neo6), the only one that never messes anything up is @chucky3042 's Surround Master. If the bass content isn't too heavy I find that I prefer Auro 3D to Dolby Surround. If the bass content of the source is very heavy, then I prefer Dolby Surround, otherwise I find that Dolby Surround sounds a bit thin. If neither upmixer wets my whistle, I go to the Surround Master and crank up the rears if necessary.

Another thing I've done is use the graphic equalizer on my Marantz AVR to roll off the highs of the height speakers. For whatever reason, I just don't like high frequencies coming from up high. I guess that's why they put these gizmos in these new AVRs...for tuning to taste.
 

furui_suterioo

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I go to the Surround Master and crank up the rears if necessary.
The Involve upmixing can be greatly improved if you have a means of applying phase blending before the decoder as Sonik Wiz has mentioned(Link). It can be precisely fine tuned to direct more signal to the rears similar to a Sansui in synth mode instead of just cranking them up louder. I have found that the "Stereo Expand" adjustment on various media players seem to do this same thing. Most stereo upmixes with the Involve decoder seem to greatly benefit from unique amounts phase blending to my ears, unless the material already contains significant out of phase signals.
 

MagnumX

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As with my past experience using upmixers (Logic7, PLIIx and Neo6), the only one that never messes anything up is @chucky3042 's Surround Master. If the bass content isn't too heavy I find that I prefer Auro 3D to Dolby Surround.
There's normally option settings for Auro (Strength and size or whatever it's called). The strength setting greatly affects Auro's bass output. I really think they missed something in the decoder there as it shouldn't affect bass like that (I've got a REW plot showing the effects on bass as it's turned up. It really gets crazy). But a setting of around 6 for strength is within a dB or so of flat. I just leave it there for that reason. Otherwise, I'm having to fiddle with the sub level, which is annoying.

I would be curious to hear your observations about Logic 7 and how you'd describe what it did different by comparison. I always wanted to try it out, but Lexicon was out of my price range back then and HK lacked adjustability. I'd also be curious to hear how its effect differed from the Surround Master as I've been thinking of getting one when V3 comes out.

I would have liked to see 7.1 RCA out module Logic 7 processor available, but that was never going to happen. The bad thing about 7.1 inputs on most pre-pros is they bypass all room correction and EQ and I think speaker delays as well. It's a shame they never updated Toslink for full 5.1 or 7.1. There's not a single 7.1 to HDMI converter out there, only stereo.
 

ar surround

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There's normally option settings for Auro (Strength and size or whatever it's called). The strength setting greatly affects Auro's bass output. I really think they missed something in the decoder there as it shouldn't affect bass like that (I've got a REW plot showing the effects on bass as it's turned up. It really gets crazy). But a setting of around 6 for strength is within a dB or so of flat. I just leave it there for that reason. Otherwise, I'm having to fiddle with the sub level, which is annoying.
Yes, it is annoying having to mess with the controls all the time. I'm glad you noted the issues with the Auro strength. I do find that the default Auro strength setting of 10 is often too high, but sometimes 6 is too low. Plus the region of mid bass that it mostly affects can make a system sound like a stereo-in-a-box from KMart.

I would be curious to hear your observations about Logic 7 and how you'd describe what it did different by comparison. I always wanted to try it out, but Lexicon was out of my price range back then and HK lacked adjustability. I'd also be curious to hear how its effect differed from the Surround Master as I've been thinking of getting one when V3 comes out.
Lexicon Logic7 (L7) was an interesting beast. In a 7.1 system with rear surround speakers placed towards the ceiling, it had an ability to imply height to a presentation. The adjustable L7 was truly prodigious. Adjustments included: Vocal Enhance; Surround Rolloff (567 Hz to "Off"); Rear Delay (ms); Film, Music or Music Surround modes; Bass Enhance; Sound Stage (front, neutral, rear); Tilt Equalization. It could also upmix from 5.1 to 7.1. The 5.1 to 7.1 upmix algorithms were different than those used in the stereo to 7.1 modes.

What came out of it could be anything from spectacular to horrid. One of the problems with L7 is that it spread bass frequencies to all speakers such that material with strong bass would sound way too strong. The Bass Enhance function mitigated some of the problem, but I found that it introduced phase issues, at least on my setup. The excessive bass still sounded better than that produced by Auro 3D, but there was no way to mitigate it except by switching to another codec such as PLIIx. On the other hand, content with normal to low bass content sounded magnificent.

As with Auro 3D, L7 could take a recording with a lot of embedded ambience and transform it into an ambient mess. PLIIx also did that. Dolby Surround is even worse. For these recordings, I find that the Surround Master works best.

The logic circuits in L7 were "intense" and produced a lot of front to back separation. When upmixing certain stereo material, i.e. 60s pop, it would often produce pumping artifacts. I have not heard these artifacts from PLIIx, Neo 6, Auro 3D or Surround Master.

The things I miss most about L7 are the Surround Rolloff and Tilt Equalization. The Surround Rolloff was exceptional for processing some gnarly recordings...I could keep decreasing the surround rolloff frequency to minimize the crap extracted from these recordings and routed to the surround and rear speakers. The only way to approximate this feature with Auro 3D in my Marantz is to use the graphic equalizer, which I find inconvenient.

Tilt Equalization in the Lexicon processors was the most effective tone control I have ever used.

Whenever the Surround Master sounded anemic, I found that L7 (and now Auro 3D) sounded better...although the workaround with the Surround Master is to crank up the rears substantially.
 
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ar surround

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There's normally option settings for Auro (Strength and size or whatever it's called). The strength setting greatly affects Auro's bass output. I really think they missed something in the decoder there as it shouldn't affect bass like that (I've got a REW plot showing the effects on bass as it's turned up. It really gets crazy). But a setting of around 6 for strength is within a dB or so of flat. I just leave it there for that reason. Otherwise, I'm having to fiddle with the sub level, which is annoying.
Yes, it is annoying having to mess with the controls all the time. I'm glad you noted the issues with the Auro strength. I do find that the default Auro strength setting of 10 is often too high, but sometimes 6 is too low. Plus the region of mid bass that it mostly affects can make a system sound like a stereo-in-a-box from KMart.
As I noted in a post regarding Audyssey, I purchased the $20 Audyssey App and liked the results when limiting room correction to 500 Hz and below. However, the Auro 3D upmixer when applied to 2-channel stereo was still yielding too much mid bass with much material. Turning Audyssey OFF alleviated the matter, but I still tried tweeking the Audyssey parameters. I seem to have achieved a nice overall response without mid-bass bloat by adjusting some crossover points. The initial settings as determined by Audyssey were:

Fronts: Full Range
Center: Full Range
Surrounds: 40 Hz (WTF? My surrounds are 43 inch 4-way floor standers with dual 10 woofers)
Subwoofer: NONE (I don't have one)
Rear Surrounds: 40 Hz (Not used by Auro 3D)
Front Heights: 60 Hz
Rear Heights: 60 Hz
Top (VOG): 80 Hz

After playing around with various crossover points for about a half hour, I settled on:
Fronts: Full Range
Center: Full Range
Surrounds: Full Range
Subwoofer: NONE
Rear Surrounds: 40 Hz
Front Heights: 80 Hz
Rear Heights: 60 Hz
Top (VOG): 80 Hz

Changing the Rear Heights crossover to 80 Hz also yielded good results, but I reverted back to 60 Hz as it gave the bass a little more oomph without that mid-bass bloat.

The new Front Heights crossover points now allows me to go to an Auro 3D strength of 14 without mid-bass bloat. Now, I don't like going that high because the effect is often too much. But it can be applied when listening to certain material that needs a lot of help.

I also like the effect of Auro 3D on mono recordings.
 

ssully

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As with Auro 3D, L7 could take a recording with a lot of embedded ambience and transform it into an ambient mess. PLIIx also did that. Dolby Surround is even worse. For these recordings, I find that the Surround Master works best.
Can you provide an example of such recording?
 

ssully

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As I noted in a post regarding Audyssey, I purchased the $20 Audyssey App and liked the results when limiting room correction to 500 Hz and below. However, the Auro 3D upmixer when applied to 2-channel stereo was still yielding too much mid bass with much material. Turning Audyssey OFF alleviated the matter, but I still tried tweeking the Audyssey parameters. I seem to have achieved a nice overall response without mid-bass bloat by adjusting some crossover points. The initial settings as determined by Audyssey were:

Fronts: Full Range
Center: Full Range
Surrounds: 40 Hz (WTF? My surrounds are 43 inch 4-way floor standers with dual 10 woofers)

The Audyssey mic is simply passing on to the processor what it hears at the mic position(s) when the test tone is sent through those channels. Which in this case indicates a usable lower limit of 40 Hz. Could be a function of where the speakers and mic are located. (Or maybe that is the true range of those floorstanders..manufacturer claims notwithstanding)

Similarly, speaker size can be incorrectly auto-set to 'Large' when small speakers are near a wall, due to SBIR bass enhancement.
 

ar surround

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Can you provide an example of such recording?
Gin Blossoms New Miserable Experience for one. There are others, but with the old Lex gone now for several months, I can’t go back and listen. I covered this effect at length when I reviewed my Surround Master V2.
 

ar surround

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The Audyssey mic is simply passing on to the processor what it hears at the mic position(s) when the test tone is sent through those channels. Which in this case indicates a usable lower limit of 40 Hz. Could be a function of where the speakers and mic are located. (Or maybe that is the true range of those floorstanders..manufacturer claims notwithstanding)

Similarly, speaker size can be incorrectly auto-set to 'Large' when small speakers are near a wall, due to SBIR bass enhancement.
It’s bizarre because when I first ran Audyssey directly from the receiver and not the App, it picked up the surround floor standers as Full Range. Resetting them to full range and leveling the curve below 40Hz did not seem to affect the Auro 3D performance. Only adjusting the crossover points of the ceiling speakers made a difference in Auro 3D with my particular setup.
 
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