New Surround Master v2 - Pre-Order Roster Discussion Thread

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kfbkfb

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How about an all software [Microsoft and Apple OSs] pre-processor (maybe developed by Involve Audio) to implement the CBS Labs Stereo-to-Quad Enhancer Encoder, that way the enhancement could be used with any SQ decoder.


Kirk Bayne
 

Sonik Wiz

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There is no need for special software pre-processor if you want to use the Sansui method as just about any already existing digital audio editor can do this:


The down side to this is you must start with a digital source or rip from a disc to get it on to a PC. Then you play back only from the PC or maybe NAS or burn a disc which is a lot more complicated than just flipping a switch on the SM. Myself I have made a hardware front end for the SM that does make it as simple as flipping a switch.

No benefit in using the SQ approach for wrap around stereo synthesis. Much easier to implement in QS, which is the core of the SM anyway.
 
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par4ken

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How about an all software [Microsoft and Apple OSs] pre-processor (maybe developed by Involve Audio) to implement the CBS Labs Stereo-to-Quad Enhancer Encoder, that way the enhancement could be used with any SQ decoder.


Kirk Bayne
Pre processing for SQ is much more complicated than simply blending the left and right channels. Hall and surround as well as QS (Involve) can be done via a very simple circuit, using a single potentiometer control, allowing the effect to be fully adjustable! As Sonik has suggested many times over! An active circuit would be a great add-on to the SM!

Even if done in software, I think the QS approach would make the most sense.
 

kfbkfb

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I was thinking of digitally implementing this, it would preprocess stereo (stereo in, stereo out). Of course, it wouldn't have to be real time, all that's needed is 2 DACs to playback the output file for any SQ decoder (Surround Master et al.)


Kirk Bayne
 

par4ken

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I was thinking of digitally implementing this, it would preprocess stereo (stereo in, stereo out). Of course, it wouldn't have to be real time, all that's needed is 2 DACs to playback the output file for any SQ decoder (Surround Master et al.)


Kirk Bayne
I think that there would be little interest in such a product. The best SQ decoders Audionics S&IC and the Fosgate Tate units all have a stereo enhance mode already. Most other decoders don't, but just aren't as good. If you were to use it with the Surround Master which also has the Involve mode it is much easier to use that.

SQ enhancement does have one advantage over the QS form though in that the pre-mixing used in QS tends to cancel out a bit of the signal. Vocals will be slightly lower in surround mode and ambience slightly reduced in hall mode. SQ is free of that constraint but QS is better at plugging images to all corner speaker positions.
 

Sonik Wiz

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I think that there would be little interest in such a product. The best SQ decoders Audionics S&IC and the Fosgate Tate units all have a stereo enhance mode already. Most other decoders don't, but just aren't as good. If you were to use it with the Surround Master which also has the Involve mode it is much easier to use that.

SQ enhancement does have one advantage over the QS form though in that the pre-mixing used in QS tends to cancel out a bit of the signal. Vocals will be slightly lower in surround mode and ambience slightly reduced in hall mode. SQ is free of that constraint but QS is better at plugging images to all corner speaker positions.
I think one of the angles Kirk might be considering is the rather large proliferation of SQ decoders over the years compared to QS. Many companies cranked out SQ decoders & receivers but only Sansui had QS. Does that mean there are more vintage SQ decoders in current circulation than QS? Let's include the SM also. Well, I dunno. There were awful SQ decoders & receivers aplenty through quads peak. Most of those no/half/full logic units and 15 watt receivers have met their fate. Sansui units are certainly still prized & the SM has only increased the value of that system.

Someone else on the forum has mentioned that they prefer regular SQ decoding to play stereo. Well it would at least get the front chs right but nothing in the way of recording/editing or audio FX really corresponds to SQ rear chs. I know that when I played stereo through my Kenwood 9940 Full Logic with vari-blend I had to crank the balance very heavily to the rear for any effect & then boost the main volume up to compensate. Same thing on my Fosgate 101A. So I am convinced that QS is the best starting point for stereo into surround.

Now it just occurred to me... on so many SQ units there was a value added RM mode that really was so bland & really didn't help create convincing surround even more than SQ did. But putting variable pre-synthesis in the tape loop of a unit with RM decoding could really do a lot of good. You could cancel out the encoding blend in the front chs for nice width & it would also create a more substantial depth.

FWIW, all this verbiage of stereo synthesis or pre-synthesis isn't quite what I've come to think of it. We have left/right amplitude balance adjustment and a variable pre-synthesis I really have come to think of as a phase balance. Balance the 2 for best results. It's nice to have it continually variable but adding a switchable effect for this on the SM would be another step forward.
 
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par4ken

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I think one of the angles Kirk might be considering is the rather large proliferation of SQ decoders over the years compared to QS. Many companies cranked out SQ decoders & receivers but only Sansui had QS. Does that mean there are more vintage SQ decoders in current circulation than QS? Let's include the SM also. Well, I dunno. There were awful SQ decoders & receivers aplenty through quads peak. Most of those no/half/full logic units and 15 watt receivers have met their fate. Sansui units are certainly still prized & the SM has only increased the value of that system.

Someone else on the forum has mentioned that they prefer regular SQ decoding to play stereo. Well it would at least get the front chs right but nothing in the way of recording/editing or audio FX really corresponds to SQ rear chs. I know that when I played stereo through my Kenwood 9940 Full Logic with vari-blend I had to crank the balance very heavily to the rear for any effect & then boost the main volume up to compensate. Same thing on my Fosgate 101A. So I am convinced that QS is the best starting point for stereo into surround.

Now it just occurred to me... on so many SQ units there was a value added RM mode that really was so bland & really didn't help create convincing surround even more than SQ did. But putting variable pre-synthesis in the tape loop of a unit with RM decoding could really do a lot of good. You could cancel out the encoding blend in the front chs for nice width & it would also create a more substantial depth.

FWIW, all this verbiage of stereo synthesis or pre-synthesis isn't quite what I've come to think of it. We have left/right amplitude balance adjustment and a variable pre-synthesis I really have come to think of as a phase balance. Balance the 2 for best results. It's nice to have it continually variable but adding a switchable effect for this on the SM would be another step forward.
Stereo through SQ is much like Hall mode in QS and also much like Dolby, ambience from the rear, not much rear side imaging though. SQ synthesis however causes the left and right sides to decode from the rear, while center stays up front.

Before I got my first S&IC I SQ'd everything (straight SQ mode) I usually cranked up the rears quite a bit, to balance the surround effect. That wasn't a problem with the original Audionics decoder as all channels were always equal in level.

There may be a lot of SQ decoders out there still but as you say many aren't all that good. If you were to bother with an Involve type pre-synthesizer, you might as well just get a complete decoder. Yes the SM could use a phase balance pot or selector switch!
 

Toothfangclaw

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Let us know your impressions, once you come up for air.
Wow!!! So far I haven’t had the time to “immerse “ myself yet, but I did hook it up and spot checked some SQ and QS LPs. Remember so far I’m only setup for stereo so evaluating TSS only (I have a full CD-4 setup in another room with 4 speakers so i may borrow from that to try the 4.0 modes).

So far listened to all of DP Machine Head (nothing astounding but I am hearing greater detail...I’ll have to compare to my original UK press...the US sounds muddy so this is big improvement), side 1 of Aerosmith Rocks (Back in the Saddle’s horses and whips really jump out...as with all 3 SQ LPs these have different mixes and are a lot of fun finding the differences), Bridge Over Troubled Waters (just the song...sounds like it was recorded in a cathedral...really nice). A couple songs from Sly’s Greatest Hits (I’ll really have to crank this and listen to rest).
More to come. Wife going out tomorrow night so will really give it a workout then with some others. Wish You Were Here or ELO LPs perhaps?
 

J. PUPSTER

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Wow!!! So far I haven’t had the time to “immerse “ myself yet, but I did hook it up and spot checked some SQ and QS LPs. Remember so far I’m only setup for stereo so evaluating TSS only (I have a full CD-4 setup in another room with 4 speakers so i may borrow from that to try the 4.0 modes).

So far listened to all of DP Machine Head (nothing astounding but I am hearing greater detail...I’ll have to compare to my original UK press...the US sounds muddy so this is big improvement), side 1 of Aerosmith Rocks (Back in the Saddle’s horses and whips really jump out...as with all 3 SQ LPs these have different mixes and are a lot of fun finding the differences), Bridge Over Troubled Waters (just the song...sounds like it was recorded in a cathedral...really nice). A couple songs from Sly’s Greatest Hits (I’ll really have to crank this and listen to rest).
More to come. Wife going out tomorrow night so will really give it a workout then with some others. Wish You Were Here or ELO LPs perhaps?
🤯 Having a Surround Master and using TSS on 2 speakers is like a randy 18 year old dude telling his hot girl friend, "sweetie I only want a quick smooch!" 😇
 

jaybird100

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Wow!!! So far I haven’t had the time to “immerse “ myself yet, but I did hook it up and spot checked some SQ and QS LPs. Remember so far I’m only setup for stereo so evaluating TSS only (I have a full CD-4 setup in another room with 4 speakers so i may borrow from that to try the 4.0 modes).

So far listened to all of DP Machine Head (nothing astounding but I am hearing greater detail...I’ll have to compare to my original UK press...the US sounds muddy so this is big improvement), side 1 of Aerosmith Rocks (Back in the Saddle’s horses and whips really jump out...as with all 3 SQ LPs these have different mixes and are a lot of fun finding the differences), Bridge Over Troubled Waters (just the song...sounds like it was recorded in a cathedral...really nice). A couple songs from Sly’s Greatest Hits (I’ll really have to crank this and listen to rest).
More to come. Wife going out tomorrow night so will really give it a workout then with some others. Wish You Were Here or ELO LPs perhaps?
Just wait until you can finally hear it in surround! Your mind will definitely be blown!
 

sjcorne

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So far listened to all of DP Machine Head (nothing astounding but I am hearing greater detail...I’ll have to compare to my original UK press...the US sounds muddy so this is big improvement)
The U.S. CD-4 LP and U.K. SQ LP of Machine Head are actually completely different quad mixes. You should get fairly impressive quad effect from the SQ LP, like the guitar intro to "Smoke On The Water" appearing only in the rear right speaker.
 

kfbkfb

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I think one of the angles Kirk might be considering is the rather large proliferation of SQ decoders over the years compared to QS.
Yes, pre-processing for the CBS Labs Stereo-to-Quad Enhancer Encoder for SQ decoding would, if implemented digitally (and stored as a separate lossless stereo audio data file on a music server/CD/DVD/Blu-ray), make any SQ decoder usable (I don't know what sort of decoder logic would be best though, since there was never a surround sound mix) for synthesizing surround sound from stereo (this is drifting OT for this thread, I think).


Kirk Bayne
 
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par4ken

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Yes, pre-processing for the CBS Labs Stereo-to-Quad Enhancer Encoder for SQ decoding would, if implemented digitally (and stored as a separate lossless stereo audio data file on a music server/CD/DVD/Blu-ray), make any SQ decoder usable (I don't know what sort of decoder logic would be best though, since there was never a surround sound mix) for synthesizing surround sound from stereo (this is drifting OT for this thread, I think).


Kirk Bayne
You could use an audio editing program like Adobe Audition to do that but again the QS method is much easier.
 

tcassette

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I'm in the USA and considering purchase of a Surround Master V2. The US web site says "available on backorder." Does anyone know what this means in terms of delivery time?
 
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