Involve Surround Master - original & V2 - "Pumping" issue

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Lance7489

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I'll try it when I get a chance.
OK, I did play around with the cables a bit. Yes, the pumping did switch sides when I reversed the inputs, although I did notice some pumping in both the front right & left BUT more so the left. When I reversed the inputs, it was more on the front right. When I reversed the inputs & outputs, it stayed mostly in the front left. As I said before, this is in 5.1 involve mode. When I go to 4.1, the pumping is greatly deminished.
 

chucky3042

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OK, I did play around with the cables a bit. Yes, the pumping did switch sides when I reversed the inputs, although I did notice some pumping in both the front right & left BUT more so the left. When I reversed the inputs, it was more on the front right. When I reversed the inputs & outputs, it stayed mostly in the front left. As I said before, this is in 5.1 involve mode. When I go to 4.1, the pumping is greatly deminished.
Sorry for the delayed reply.

Really dunno, even stranger that you say it reduces in 4.1 mode.............................................Will get back soon, play some thinking music


I know does it happen on all music or some special tracks?
 

Lance7489

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Sorry for the delayed reply.

Really dunno, even stranger that you say it reduces in 4.1 mode.............................................Will get back soon, play some thinking music


I know does it happen on all music or some special tracks?
Many tracks, it sounds fine but there are some that it really stands out. The one that comes to mind is Elton John's "Someone saved my life tonight", but there are several others. I've noticed that when you're in the center of the listening area (the "sweet spot"), It sounds good. You don't notice it much, BUT when you go near an individual speaker, you hear it. This is much more noticeable in my outdoor system with the original SM than it is in my living room system using the V2. While you can faintly hear pumping on the same stereo songs in my living room system, the speakers are much closer together & are of better quality. Again, just to set the record straight, this only happens in the involve mode, listening to non encoded, straight stereo music. When processing RM, or QS through the involve mode, it sounds GREAT !! Excellent separation !! Same thing with decoding SQ music, GREAT SOUND & no pumping at all. I originally purchased the surround master just to play SQ, QS & RM encoded recordings & it's awesome for those purposes ! I then later heard from many that you can play stereo recordings using the "involve mode" & it does some really interesting things with them. It certainly does that but with the residual pumping issue on some recordings, at least on my equipment.

One other thing I noticed in involve mode: The center channel is much louder than the others, while the 2 rears are somewhat quiet. With the V2, you have individual volume controls to take care of this in-balance, but with the original Surround Master, I have to adjust the controls on my power amps to compensate.
 

Lance7489

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I was just curious as to why you are putting your ear up against just one speaker or turning the other speakers off and Listen to Only One? if it sounds great in the middle why is there an issue?
No, I'm not putting my ear up to 1 speaker. I just walk to 1 corner of the yard where I hear mostly the speaker in that corner & the pumping is pretty clear. It sounds "OK" in the middle of the yard, not nesessarily great. Besides, why can't I just listen to 1 speaker. Us old quad guys always did that in the 70's to hear what individual instruments were coming out of each speaker. That was always part of the quad experience back in the day. With discreet quad recordings you could isolate just the drums, maybe just the bass, maybe just the rhythm guitar etc. For example, I never knew there was a banjo in the Doobie Brothers song "Listen to the Music" until I heard the quad mix & isolated the rear right speaker. As a musician, myself & my friends loved to "disect" quad mixes.

As I mentioned, for decoding SQ, RM, QS etc, the surround master is excellent !! I bought 2 of them just for that purpose. Old SQ & RM recordings from the 70's almost sound like discreet, CD-4 recordings when played through it. On the other hand, playing stereo recordings through the "involve" mode ................. ??????????? ..............You should be able to walk to a corner of your yard (or living room) & hear crisp, clear, clean sound coming out of each individual speaker. I've had friends over & had them ask me : "Why does this speaker sound strange ?" when they went close to one speaker.
 
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jaybird100

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No, I'm not putting my ear up to 1 speaker. I just walk to 1 corner of the yard where I hear mostly the speaker in that corner & the pumping is pretty clear. It sounds "OK" in the middle of the yard, not nesessarily great. Besides, why can't I just listen to 1 speaker. Us old quad guys always did that in the 70's to hear what individual instruments were coming out of each speaker. That was always part of the quad experience back in the day. With discreet quad recordings you could isolate just the drums, maybe just the bass, maybe just the rhythm guitar etc. For example, I never knew there was a banjo in the Doobie Brothers song "Listen to the Music" until I heard the quad mix & isolated the rear right speaker. As a musician, myself & my friends loved to "disect" quad mixes.

As I mentioned, for decoding SQ, RM, QS etc, the surround master is excellent !! I bought 2 of them just for that purpose. Old SQ & RM recordings from the 70's almost sound like discreet, CD-4 recordings when played through it. On the other hand, playing stereo recordings through the "involve" mode ................. ??????????? ..............You should be able to walk to a corner of your yard (or living room) & hear crisp, clear, clean sound coming out of each individual speaker. I've had friends over & had them ask me : "Why does this speaker sound strange ?" when they went close to one speaker.
Playing a CD-4 record through a Surround Master is no different from playing a stereo record, in that the effect is synthesized, with no resemblance to the actual quad mix.
 

Lance7489

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Playing a CD-4 record through a Surround Master is no different from playing a stereo record, in that the effect is synthesized, with no resemblance to the actual quad mix.
I'm not playing CD-4 records through the surround master. I meant that when playing SQ or RM encoded recordings through the surround master, the separation is as good as cd-4 or discreet recordings.
 

Lance7489

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Was going to suggest the same!
I've mentioned 1 song about 3 times throughout this thread. Elton John's "Someone saved my life tonight" is pretty bad pumping & distortion wise in the front & center channels. I'll make note of some more but I'm going on vacation, so that may be delayed a couple of weeks.
 

kfbkfb

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(official audio from UMG)

Listening w/DPL - noticed some background (tape?) hiss - no pumping though (I don't know how the logic action of DPL compares with an SM decoder).


Kirk Bayne
 

ar surround

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I've mentioned 1 song about 3 times throughout this thread. Elton John's "Someone saved my life tonight" is pretty bad pumping & distortion wise in the front & center channels. I'll make note of some more but I'm going on vacation, so that may be delayed a couple of weeks.
Can all you guys try Eltons song and listen for pumping?
I’d give it a go, but my system is down due to a component failure. Hopefully I will be up again middle of next week and will try this.
 

Sonik Wiz

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Can all you guys try Eltons song and listen for pumping?
Although I have a couple of Elton John's SACD's, I didn't have Captain Fantastic. I couldn't find a high res on line to download. So a friend ripped his CD & a quick download later I had it.

I listned to it all the way through firstly in the sweet spot in Involve 4.1. Wow. Not only did this refesh my memory what great music this is it played back magnificently through the SM v2. Usually I never pass up up the chance to mention the need for a stereo synth mode on the SM, or mention the value of doing pre-synth on a PC before playing, but this album just doesn't need it. The soundfield was full & nicely balanced with many nice discrete touches. Fantastic SM demo music if you want to show someone stereo to surround with out a lot of ping-pongy swirly effects.

Then I went back & listened to Someone Saved my Life & walked up to the corner speakers individually. I actually expected to hear some pumping cuz as I said before it takes properly balanced set up to mask the workings of separation enhancement. But it all sounded smooth no complaints. Maybe part of that quality is due to tri-band processing.

So I did not duplicate Lance's set up with wide apart speakers outdoors. But in my 13' x 25' room it sounded great. Looking forward to other's feedback on this.

P.S.
I would definitely like to legit buy Captain Fantastic in a quality high res format. If anyone has a lead please let me know.
 

J. PUPSTER

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Although I have a couple of Elton John's SACD's, I didn't have Captain Fantastic. I couldn't find a high res on line to download. So a friend ripped his CD & a quick download later I had it.

I listned to it all the way through firstly in the sweet spot in Involve 4.1. Wow. Not only did this refesh my memory what great music this is it played back magnificently through the SM v2. Usually I never pass up up the chance to mention the need for a stereo synth mode on the SM, or mention the value of doing pre-synth on a PC before playing, but this album just doesn't need it. The soundfield was full & nicely balanced with many nice discrete touches. Fantastic SM demo music if you want to show someone stereo to surround with out a lot of ping-pongy swirly effects.

Then I went back & listened to Someone Saved my Life & walked up to the corner speakers individually. I actually expected to hear some pumping cuz as I said before it takes properly balanced set up to mask the workings of separation enhancement. But it all sounded smooth no complaints. Maybe part of that quality is due to tri-band processing.

So I did not duplicate Lance's set up with wide apart speakers outdoors. But in my 13' x 25' room it sounded great. Looking forward to other's feedback on this.

P.S.
I would definitely like to legit buy Captain Fantastic in a quality high res format. If anyone has a lead please let me know.
as I suspected SW, wondering if a long distance outdoor speaker setup is creating some sort of echo effect that may be interpreted as pumping.

What were your SM settings?

I'd put a watch on discogs for this one-
 

Sonik Wiz

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as I suspected SW, wondering if a long distance outdoor speaker setup is creating some sort of echo effect that may be interpreted as pumping.

What were your SM settings?

I'd put a watch on discogs for this one-
It certainly may change being outdoors with no reflections. And the options for outdoor set up may not be optimum as one would strive for in an indoor setting. Which brings me to a point I like to make for surround sound set ups: always start with optimizing the front chs with stereo. If you get stereo imaging right, the rest will follow.

As for my SM settings, well, I don't change them. From my in depth testing elsewhere on the SM I have the outputs carefully set at matching each other using test signal input and checking with a DMM. I should mention that the 5 output levels on the SM match very closely simply at straight up. I fudged mine just a bit off of dead center to match within .1dB. Any balance adjustments is easy to do on my Anthem, which also is critically set up for level matching. Nothing fancy just using the Anthem's internal noise generator & a good 'ol Radio Shack SPL meter.

Thanks for the SACD tip!! I found one new on Ebay for $50 plus $10 shipping so I've already snagged it. Now I'll get to see if the discrete version is as good as what I heard through the Surround Master!
 

J. PUPSTER

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It certainly may change being outdoors with no reflections. And the options for outdoor set up may not be optimum as one would strive for in an indoor setting. Which brings me to a point I like to make for surround sound set ups: always start with optimizing the front chs with stereo. If you get stereo imaging right, the rest will follow.

As for my SM settings, well, I don't change them. From my in depth testing elsewhere on the SM I have the outputs carefully set at matching each other using test signal input and checking with a DMM. I should mention that the 5 output levels on the SM match very closely simply at straight up. I fudged mine just a bit off of dead center to match within .1dB. Any balance adjustments is easy to do on my Anthem, which also is critically set up for level matching. Nothing fancy just using the Anthem's internal noise generator & a good 'ol Radio Shack SPL meter.

Thanks for the SACD tip!! I found one new on Ebay for $50 plus $10 shipping so I've already snagged it. Now I'll get to see if the discrete version is as good as what I heard through the Surround Master!
We also don't know his specific outdoor acoustic situation; maybe he's got a high concrete back wall or- or- or- or something?

Also, what is your Main Volume SM knob set at before clipping? I usually start at about 3 o'clock and back it off until I don't see red lighting, and adjust the outputs from there. Lately I've been trying some recording from QS CDs from my new oppo 103D to the SMv2 -4.0; and notice that it's pretty hot, something like Outputs at 11 o'clock and Main down to 11 o'clock to keep from clipping. I was going to try next to change the oppo output vol.; as believe it's set at 100 (don't know if that would effect the analog outputs or is that just for speaker vol. control.) Otherwise I'll try sending the oppo signal through my Rolls selector switch with vol. control, so I can boost the SMv2 Main input vol.
 

Sonik Wiz

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We also don't know his specific outdoor acoustic situation; maybe he's got a high concrete back wall or- or- or- or something?

Also, what is your Main Volume SM knob set at before clipping? I usually start at about 3 o'clock and back it off until I don't see red lighting, and adjust the outputs from there. Lately I've been trying some recording from QS CDs from my new oppo 103D to the SMv2 -4.0; and notice that it's pretty hot, something like Outputs at 11 o'clock and Main down to 11 o'clock to keep from clipping. I was going to try next to change the oppo output vol.; as believe it's set at 100 (don't know if that would effect the analog outputs or is that just for speaker vol. control.) Otherwise I'll try sending the oppo signal through my Rolls selector switch with vol. control, so I can boost the SMv2 Main input vol.
Quoting myself from testing the SM v2 :

My test signals were at 1V input to the SM. It makes it easier to figure voltage change to dB ratios. The input level clip light comes on about .548 V with the level set to max. Setting the input level to 12:00 with 1 V input put it just a bit below the max LED clip level. With the output level controls set straight up, it is unity gain. It is very close probably with in the tolerance of the individual pots. Now my Oppo has a max analog output level in the unbalanced mode of 2V. So if you plug a disc player like this into the SM you will definetly need to back off on the input level.
So then, with the input level at max the clip light comes on at just over 1/2 volt. It's the one setting on the SM v2 I freely adjust as needed. Anyone who has ripped a few CD's & looked at the levels in a audio editor knows how much they can vary disc to disc, or song to song if it's a David Bowie compilation...

Chucky suggests keeping the input level at max but that means adjusting volume somewhere else & really I think it matters much more just to keep it as high as you can without clipping. I don't hear any distortion when it clips a bit, but testing shows the separation symmetry gets a bit dodgy.
 

kfbkfb

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The next step:
Record the audio problem with a smartphone (from one speaker, in mono) and make the audio available to QQ.

Possibly listening to one (troublesome?) channel will help solve the audio problem.


Kirk Bayne
 
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