Stuff that sounds amazing with the Surround Master

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JohnA

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Better than commercial 'upmixes' for sure..
 
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”Eleonor Rigby” from Revolver, by the Beatles. Remastered 2009, heard through Spotify.

“Aaaah - Look at all the lonely people”! The beginning of Eleanor Rigby could be used as a demonstration of the Surround Master and the enormous difference it creates for songs previously only heard in stereo. The song now begins in full surround! Then, after just a second or two (although rear speakers actually don’t turn completely silent) it shifts to stereo, with only strings playing from the front. Then voices comes back going surround, then stereo again. It is like a switch to a surround universe.

What makes this start even more massive is the fact that it’s just voices and strings. No bass to soften it, no ringing guitars to even it out. No accompanying drums. Not even reverb. As the voices are all individual, it never becomes a mass or soft and choirlike, and the sound from the rear speakers are as loud and dry as from the front. You couldn’t be more surrounded and attacked from all sides unless you were one of the Germans left in Stalingrad.

After this pretty hysteric start, things calm down and McCartney returns as a solo voice (typically from the right, not center) while the octet of brisk and wintery strings accompany his storytelling about father McKinsey and Eleanor Rigby. This is a story as raw as the instrumentation. The two people portrayed are not only old, lonely and live economically poor lives. Paul McCartney also robs them of their philosophical advantage, framing church life as the most poor and meaningless existence ever (“a sermon no one will hear”, “no one was saved”, “buried along with her name”, “nobody came”). Let’s hope the people torching vinyl over John Lennon’s Jesus remark never got to hear these lyrics.

People may remember Eleanor Rigby as some cute McCartney ballad. It is not. Rather, it may have been the most radical instrument arrangement within popular music so far in history while pissing a good part of Christianity off. In only 2 minutes and 6 seconds, that’s quite an achievement.
 
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chucky3042

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”Eleonor Rigby” from Revolver, by the Beatles. Remastered 2009, heard through Spotify.

“Aaaah - Look at all the lonely people”! The beginning of Eleanor Rigby could be used as a demonstration of the Surround Master and the enormous difference it creates for songs previously only heard I stereo. The song now begins in full surround! Then, after just a second or two (although rear speakers actually don’t turn completely silent) it shifts to stereo, with only strings playing from the front. Then voices comes back going surround, then stereo again. It is like a switch to a surround universe.

What makes this start even more massive is the fact that it’s just voices and strings. No bass to soften it, no ringing guitars to even it out. No accompanying drums. Not even reverb. As the voices are all individual, it never becomes a mass or soft and choirlike, and the sound from the rear speakers are as loud and dry as from the front. You couldn’t be more surrounded and attacked from all sides unless you were one of the Germans left in Stalingrad.

After this pretty hysteric start, things calm down and McCartney returns as a solo voice (typically from the right, not center) while the octet of brisk and wintery strings accompany his storytelling about father McKinsey and Eleanor Rigby. This is a story is as raw as the instrumentation. The two people portrayed are not only old, lonely and live economically poor lives. Paul McCartney also robs them of their philosophical advantage, framing church life as the most poor and meaningless existence ever (“a sermon no one will hear”, “no one was saved”, “buried along with her name”, “nobody came”). Let’s hope the people torching vinyl over John Lennon’s Jesus remark never got to hear these lyrics.

People may remember Eleanor Rigby as some cute McCartney ballad. It is not. Rather, it may have been the most radical instrument arrangement within popular music so far in history while pissing a good part of Christianity off. In only 2 minutes and 6 seconds, that’s quite an achievement.
Wonderful observations!
 

jaybird100

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This is one of those Nimbus UHJ Ambisonic encoded CDs. Chucky said the SM would eat it for Breakfast, and it does sound like I'm in the middle of the orchestra. Waiting on a few others to try; once they come in to my Quad Den of Pleasures - ha ha ha!!!

View attachment 75311
I have several Nimbus UHJ discs, and the SM does an excellent job with them. I doubt an actual Ambisonic decoder would make them sound any better.
 

chucky3042

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As you may have detected I watch movies on my Y4 system and when I finally rebuild the system I use my monster electrostatics on music.

I listened/ watched Oh Brother Where Art Thou direct of Fetch TV last night decoded via the Involve Y4. Wow, just so atmospheric. The guy that did the Dolby encode did a great job and the decode was stunning. Just a must watch with great roots music!

IMG_20220128_214214.jpg

For scale thats a 70 inch Sony TV and that's my foot bottom center. HEY LOOK NO CENTER CHANNEL.

Oh secretly I am working on a monster full range electrostatic a few inches taller than me at around 6 feet 8 - so I can stand up and still be in the line source!!
 

ar surround

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I listened/ watched Oh Brother Where Art Thou direct of Fetch TV last night decoded via the Involve Y4. Wow, just so atmospheric. The guy that did the Dolby encode did a great job and the decode was stunning. Just a must watch with great roots music!

I don't understand how Involve treats various encoded movies. I have movies encoded in DD, DTS, TrueHD and HD Master. Can the SMv2 decode these streams correctly?
 

J. PUPSTER

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As you may have detected I watch movies on my Y4 system and when I finally rebuild the system I use my monster electrostatics on music.

I listened/ watched Oh Brother Where Art Thou direct of Fetch TV last night decoded via the Involve Y4. Wow, just so atmospheric. The guy that did the Dolby encode did a great job and the decode was stunning. Just a must watch with great roots music!

View attachment 75560
For scale thats a 70 inch Sony TV and that's my foot bottom center. HEY LOOK NO CENTER CHANNEL.

Oh secretly I am working on a monster full range electrostatic a few inches taller than me at around 6 feet 8 - so I can stand up and still be in the line source!!
One of my all time favorite movies! Nearly died laughing when Clooney went out the rail car.

I’ve got the SACD for that, need to try the SMv2 with it. A lot of Alison Krauss and her band mates/associates on this sound track.

 

Sonik Wiz

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I don't understand how Involve treats various encoded movies. I have movies encoded in DD, DTS, TrueHD and HD Master. Can the SMv2 decode these streams correctly?

It might not decode the same as the original discrete soundtrack in specific, but it might decode better overall thru the Surround Master. By that I mean a movie might have a car door open & close in left back & the SM may/ may not put it there. But it's the overall effect that needs to be judged. I've mentioned before that many movies have a pretty tepid surround sound track. Barely 5.1, ya know? And I've enjoyed many Netflix offerings sounding more enveloping & active surround than in the format Netflix has. Just last week I listened to Streets of Fire through the SMv2 for the first time. This was on VUDU & I've enjoyed it many times but in the streaming 5.1 soundtrack. But Wow! I was not prepared for the way the SM brought the sound to life and did just as much magic for the music. I was enthralled all the way through.

And FWIW, I just take the down mixed 2 ch output from my Oppo & plug it into the SM and there ya go. And any old DVD's or material with original Dolby matrix surround should be it's best through the Surround Master as well.
 

par4ken

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It might not decode the same as the original discrete soundtrack in specific, but it might decode better overall thru the Surround Master. By that I mean a movie might have a car door open & close in left back & the SM may/ may not put it there. But it's the overall effect that needs to be judged. I've mentioned before that many movies have a pretty tepid surround sound track. Barely 5.1, ya know? And I've enjoyed many Netflix offerings sounding more enveloping & active surround than in the format Netflix has. Just last week I listened to Streets of Fire through the SMv2 for the first time. This was on VUDU & I've enjoyed it many times but in the streaming 5.1 soundtrack. But Wow! I was not prepared for the way the SM brought the sound to life and did just as much magic for the music. I was enthralled all the way through.

And FWIW, I just take the down mixed 2 ch output from my Oppo & plug it into the SM and there ya go. And any old DVD's or material with original Dolby matrix surround should be it's best through the Surround Master as well.
"Streets of Fire" sounds amazing via both the S&IC and the QSD-1. The music being spread around the room with the sound effects from behind. I watched it once via the 5.1 soundtrack and was totally unimpressed. The music was all upfront with a bit of surround effects from the rear (typical Dolby style). Most movies containing music sound much much better decoded!
 

LB-V

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I will have to give the SMv3 another whirl with movies...when I first received it in December, I tried it out with a couple of Marvel movies for fun and to see how it decoded vs. the native format, and I preferred the native 5.1. I also tried it with the Eagles Farewell Tour DVD, and ended up staying with the native. But, I want to give it another round now that I read this, and have had some time to get to know the SM better. Safe to assume @Sonik Wiz that you use the center channel with movies?
 

chucky3042

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I will have to give the SMv3 another whirl with movies...when I first received it in December, I tried it out with a couple of Marvel movies for fun and to see how it decoded vs. the native format, and I preferred the native 5.1. I also tried it with the Eagles Farewell Tour DVD, and ended up staying with the native. But, I want to give it another round now that I read this, and have had some time to get to know the SM better. Safe to assume @Sonik Wiz that you use the center channel with movies?
It all depends on what style of down mix was selected in the DVD. We would greatly prefer that Involve Encode become the standard but no one knows us!
Check the settings in your player as some have an option for a "straight" stereo downmix or say a Dolby downmix- chose the Dolby/ DTS or whatever . At least you will then get some surround content.
 

chucky3042

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Tonight, I had my daughter around for a visit and we played "My Fair Lady" again off Fetch TV, into the Y4 system.

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Made in 1964 and it still sounded great, I don't know how it was recorded but everything sounded very appropriate- not spectacular but heaps better than stereo and consistant with the screen image.

Truth is I am a total sucker for Audrey Hepburn, a complete goddess, unmatched by any of the cheap scrubbers on screen today. I will watch anything with her in it.
 
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