Surround Master V3 has landed (news, discounts etc)

QuadraphonicQuad

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gene_stl

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Here in St. Louis in the wilds of the MidWestern USA I only ever heard "Hit me with your Rhythm Stick" one time on the radio. Never even knew who it was till I saw it on YouWhoTooob.
 

chucky3042

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Here in St. Louis in the wilds of the MidWestern USA I only ever heard "Hit me with your Rhythm Stick" one time on the radio. Never even knew who it was till I saw it on YouWhoTooob.

Always liked that one. Pity Ian was such a prick RIP
 

rlanda

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Sep 17, 2008
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Hello! I still use my SM v.1. For those who have upgraded to v.2 or v.3, is it worth the upgrade? The shipping rate (plus taxes) to my country may or may not justify a replacement.
Thanks!
 

Sonik Wiz

๐Ÿ‘‚ 500 MPH EARS ๐Ÿ‘‚
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Hello! I still use my SM v.1. For those who have upgraded to v.2 or v.3, is it worth the upgrade? The shipping rate (plus taxes) to my country may or may not justify a replacement.
Thanks!

Chucky has assured us that the core decoding functions in all the versions have the same performance. And it's hard to find members that have more than one version of the Surround Master to compare audio quality. I have the v2. With the original SM I saw great potential to revive & improve matrix decoding. However I passed on it... I just didn't think it was a product ready for prime time.
The cheesy plastic box, the very odd way of shifting decoding modes using the power switch, complete lack of input/output level controls all contributed to me waiting for a more refined product.

The newer SM's all have a simple knob to choose decoding modes. On a device like this it's very important to keep input level as high as possible without overloading & there's an input level control with LED max level indicator for that. There are individual output level controls which makes it very easy to precisely balance & match to subsequent equipment. Also the analog IC's have been upgraded from 5532's to the far superior LM4562. Whether it makes an audible improvement I can't say because I can't compare. But if improved circuit design & better components can be used still at a reasonable price point, why not?

The v3 has an optical SPDIF that means nothing for me but might be value added for someone else. And Chucky has mentioned eliminating some capacitors from the signal path & a couple of other improvements in the latest version. So Involve continues to evolve.

If you buy a new SM don't worry you can still use the old one elsewhere, or even hook it up to the new unit for 7.1 .
 
Last edited:

Soundfield

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Essex, UK
Hello! I still use my SM v.1. For those who have upgraded to v.2 or v.3, is it worth the upgrade? The shipping rate (plus taxes) to my country may or may not justify a replacement.
Thanks!
I have both v1 and v2. I can't detect any difference in decoding performance between them. However, as Sonik has elaborated above, the benefits of the v2 (and hence the v3) are significant in build quality, ergonomics and ease of use.
 

chucky3042

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Chucky has assured us that the core decoding functions in all the versions have the same performance. And it's hard to find members that have more than one version of the Surround Master to compare audio quality. I have the v2. With the original SM I saw great potential to revive & improve matrix decoding. However I passed on it... I just didn't think it was a product ready for prime time.
The cheesy plastic box, the very odd way of shifting decoding modes using the power switch, complete lack of input/output level controls all contributed to me waiting for a more refined product.

The newer SM's all have a simple knob to choose decoding modes. On a device like this it's very important to keep input level as high as possible without overloading & there's an input level control with LED max level indicator for that. There are individual output level controls which makes it very easy to precisely balance & match to subsequent equipment. Also the analog IC's have been upgraded from 5532's to the far superior LM4562. Whether it makes an audible improvement I can't say because I can't compare. But if improved circuit design & better components can be used still at a reasonable price point, why not?

The v3 has an optical SPDIF that means nothing for me but might be value added for someone else. And Chucky has mentioned eliminating some capacitors from the signal path & a couple of other improvements in the latest version. So Involve continues to evolve.

If you buy a new SM don't worry you can still use the old one elsewhere, or even hook it up to the new unit for 7.1 .
Spot on Sonic, and i really always hated that $60,000 cheezy plastic box!
 

MidiMagic

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Chucky has assured us that the core decoding functions in all the versions have the same performance. And it's hard to find members that have more than one version of the Surround Master to compare audio quality. I have the v2. With the original SM I saw great potential to revive & improve matrix decoding. However I passed on it... I just didn't think it was a product ready for prime time.
The cheesy plastic box, the very odd way of shifting decoding modes using the power switch, complete lack of input/output level controls all contributed to me waiting for a more refined product.

The newer SM's all have a simple knob to choose decoding modes. On a device like this it's very important to keep input level as high as possible without overloading & there's an input level control with LED max level indicator for that. There are individual output level controls which makes it very easy to precisely balance & match to subsequent equipment. Also the analog IC's have been upgraded from 5532's to the far superior LM4562. Whether it makes an audible improvement I can't say because I can't compare. But if improved circuit design & better components can be used still at a reasonable price point, why not?

The v3 has an optical SPDIF that means nothing for me but might be value added for someone else. And Chucky has mentioned eliminating some capacitors from the signal path & a couple of other improvements in the latest version. So Involve continues to evolve.

If you buy a new SM don't worry you can still use the old one elsewhere, or even hook it up to the new unit for 7.1 .
How does the second one do that?
 

Sonik Wiz

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How does the second one do that?
Easy peasy.

Say use the new v3 as the primary decoder. Run source audio to the input as usual. Run the decoded front outputs to the front power amps as usual. Route the v3 decoded rear ch outputs to the input on the SM v1. The front decoded outputs from the v1 now become the center side outputs. The rear ch outputs now become the rear surround.

Sounds wonky but that's essentially the way Dolby Pro Logic II X & it's DTS alternative does it: re-decoding the rear chs. As Jim Fosgate described it: "slicing the pie into more pieces."

An alternative is to have the all the outputs from the v3 routed as normal to the cardinal 4 (or 5) speakers. With a Y connector tap off the rear chs & route to the older v1. Then just utilize the decoded rear output for more of a center back derived signal.

In my room my main speakers including center front, are all equidistant from the main listening sweet spot. Now the more casual listening or movie watching position is on a couch exactly between the rear speakers. This gives a very wide presentation with no sense of depth. There is about 7' behind the couch where my records are stored, PC work station, etc. Against the wall on either side of my monitor are a pair of 6.5" 2 way speakers. With a flick of a switch they connect to my main rear speakers in a L-R/R-L differenceing mode. When on the couch & using those you have a very wide soundfield with a decent front stage & a good subjective & pleasing depth behind you. Sorta like using those two Surround Masters but on the cheap.
 
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Easy peasy.

Say use the new v3 as the primary decoder. Run source audio to the input as usual. Run the decoded front outputs to the front power amps as usual. Route the v3 decoded rear ch outputs to the input on the SM v1. The front decoded outputs from the v1 now become the center side outputs. The rear ch outputs now become the rear surround.

Sounds wonky but that's essentially the way Dolby Pro Logic II X & it's DTS alternative does it: re-decoding the rear chs. As Jim Fosgate described it: "slicing the pie into more pieces."

An alternative is to have the all the outputs from the v3 routed as normal to the cardinal 4 (or 5) speakers. With a Y connector tap off the rear chs & route to the older v1. Then just utilize the decoded rear output for more of a center back derived signal.

In my room my main speakers including center front, are all equidistant from the main listening sweet spot. Now the more casual listening or movie watching position is on a couch exactly between the rear speakers. This gives a very wide presentation with no sense of depth. There is about 7' behind the couch where my records are stored, PC work station, etc. Against the wall on either side of my monitor are a pair of 6.5" 2 way speakers. With a flick of a switch they connect to my main rear speakers in a L-R/R-L differenceing mode. When on the couch & using those you have a very wide soundfield with a decent front stage & a good subjective & pleasing depth behind you. Sorta like using those two Surround Masters but on the cheap.
I do wonder how the noise floor would be after double dipping on decoders. The Y cable sounds like the quieter alternative but may have poorer separation and maybe phase cancellation?
 

ar surround

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Easy peasy.

Say use the new v3 as the primary decoder. Run source audio to the input as usual. Run the decoded front outputs to the front power amps as usual. Route the v3 decoded rear ch outputs to the input on the SM v1. The front decoded outputs from the v1 now become the center side outputs. The rear ch outputs now become the rear surround.

Sounds wonky but that's essentially the way Dolby Pro Logic II X & it's DTS alternative does it: re-decoding the rear chs. As Jim Fosgate described it: "slicing the pie into more pieces."

An alternative is to have the all the outputs from the v3 routed as normal to the cardinal 4 (or 5) speakers. With a Y connector tap off the rear chs & route to the older v1. Then just utilize the decoded rear output for more of a center back derived signal.

In my room my main speakers including center front, are all equidistant from the main listening sweet spot. Now the more casual listening or movie watching position is on a couch exactly between the rear speakers. This gives a very wide presentation with no sense of depth. There is about 7' behind the couch where my records are stored, PC work station, etc. Against the wall on either side of my monitor are a pair of 6.5" 2 way speakers. With a flick of a switch they connect to my main rear speakers in a L-R/R-L differenceing mode. When on the couch & using those you have a very wide soundfield with a decent front stage & a good subjective & pleasing depth behind you. Sorta like using those two Surround Masters but on the cheap.
So Wiz, you're gonna talk me into buying a second SM to get 7.1, aren't you?
 

Sonik Wiz

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Check out page 12 of the QS-1 manual. Sansui suggests creating six or eight channel audio from quad!
That was very interesting, thanks! My first real quad decoder was the QS-1, but that & the manual was traded away about a hundred years ago. Amazing to think that at the very launch of quadraphonic sound they were already thinking about much more than four. And indeed, even ceiling speakers are mentioned!!

This reminds me of a quad friend I was in touch with back in the days of MCS Review. His main goal was to recreate as close to possible a live rock concert performance in his home. He used a pair of Sansui QSD-2's to do this. He used the 1st decoder to drive 4 speakers in the front listening area. The rear speakers sat wide and to the outside of the front ch speakers. The QSD-2 was operated in the Synthesizer mode. So a sound panned left to right moved left to right across the front soundstage starting at the nominal left back signal. For the rear signals he used another QSD-2 in the Hall mode with speakers behind him to derive performance venue acoustics. This gave him what he was looking for: a wide front simulating the width on a live performance stage. And the rears gave him the depth of "being there." He said by varying the rear ch level he could go from standing in front of the stage to middle of the audience. Pretty cool.
 

LB-V

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Check out page 12 of the QS-1 manual. Sansui suggests creating six or eight channel audio from quad!
Sonik already said it, but that is amazingly cool....between that and the idea of splitting quad into more pieces with two SM's has me excited with new ideas to fool with....or not...lol! Maybe just stay excited while I contemplate all these new ideas sitting in my 4.1 chair.

With all this, it's hard to imagine why the entire world isn't all quaddies.
 
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