Well thru my D-1 and my QRX-777 both QB worked units, I think you are mostly right, it was alot of double stereo with moments of cool discreteness. The mix on Modern Music (a later recording) decoded much better though. I know Dave digs the SRS but I cant see how it could do anything but muddy the variomatrix waters but I haven't tried it so.....
I have to revisit this post after having just done 3 hours of critical listening to Sunburst Finish (BE-BOP DELUXE) due to the arrival of aquadad's NuReality processor.
in my last post ( see quote) there is a bunch "cool discreteness" in this recording! As an example on track 11, Shine, the guitar, rythum and lead, just using the onboard variomatrix decoder on my QRX-777, moves in a swirling clockwise motion during just about the entire track. Very cool! There is endless amounts of movement in all directions in the sound field thoughout this recording. Bill Nelson is a wizard!
What's changed since my prior post? Well I don't Know, I have re-tuned the speakers to the room a couple of weeks ago, angling the fronts out quite a bit more. This happened while listening to The Flaming Lips. I tuned till it just locked in to the point that the chills effect was at max. I have kept the speaker location since. That and I did what seemed like a couple of hundred a, b's of the critical discrete passages reviewing the NuReality that really brought out the differences between the two processes (the QRX-777 variomatrix with and without the NuReality). So maybe I just skimmed the surface last listen?
Here is my review of the NuReality VHT-200.
First I must thank Dave (aquadad) for the chance to test it! This is a nice man!
Well this is tuff, I am divided just about down the middle here as I will explain. Out of the box and up in system, the unit is nice looking and the display while running is cool if you like dancing lights and I do. Now for the decoding or should I say possible enhancing of the variomatrix decoding.
Following the directions I set the center and space levels to the 2 o'clock positions and punched the unit out on the DBX 400, started Sunburst Finish and listened to the first minute. Already lots of movement in the soundfield and the vocals heavely out of phase at 2 o'clock high, very cool, hit pause jump up punch in the NuReality, sit back down, hit skip back to the start and hit play, over and over and over well you get what I'm saying. Heres the first thing that struck me was that the already heavely out of phase (o.o.p.) vocals moved back behind me and became less pronounced, all most ghoustly. This happened with the lead guitar that is very oop also. They almost went away so ok there is an adustment for that, the center knob, turned it to the 5 o"clock position and started again. This helped but not enough to sound completely right to what I was used to, still just a bit to transparent but much better. This was constant thoughout the recording as the vocals and guitar are oop 95% of the time so on the next session I will try some software that is a bit less oop on the vocals and see then how I feel about that. Also subtle things in the recording seemed to be less defined due to the extra processing. The straight variomatrix was much more defined but I would think this would be expected.
I spoke above about track 11, Shine and the swirling guitars using just the variomatrix, with the NuReality the swirling was less pronounced. This no doubt due to the extra OOP-ing from the SRS processing, now more just of a side to side movement. This kind of decoding difference was noticable to me thoughout.
OK those seem to be the cons nows the pro's. The NuReality acts some thing like my DBX 3BX expander in that it ads a fullness making things a bit more dynamic, alway a plus on cd's and lp's to me but with a psychoacoaustic twist. In fact this thing increases the chills factor at points that are almost scarry!
The very reason I am into surround! I crave that fight or flight feeling that music sneaking up on you from behind, above and to the sides gives me, it's just cool. The NuReality goes a step furthur and places more of that inside your head, just down right spooky at times. Reminds me of the first time I heard DSOTM SQ though a Tate. What everyone is enjoying to an even greater extent now with the DVD-A. This thing with the variomatix is just off the ooohhhh scale at times on this recording!
So for me it is 5 1/2 of one and 6 1/2 of the other at different times. I didn't like what it did with the vocals but the increase in the psychoacoustic effects were pronounced at times. It did take away some definition from the music but added dynamics. It seemed that contray to the multichannel speaker placement in the instructions with the surround speakers behind you this would work better with them to the sides. When I got up and moved to the rear of my normal sweet spot, rear speakers to the side, it helped the vocal problem, putting them more to the front and increased the psychoacoustic effect.
The jury is still out as to whether I could run the NuReality on all stereo to quad synthing without being bugged by the vocals. I need to feed the beast more food but I liked it enuff to say that I will get one of my own to keep playing with. Thanks again Dave, this thing IS cool! You don't want it back too soon I hope?