Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'GENERAL AV Discussions' started by Johnzy, Feb 21, 2013.
Has anyone here got a new Surround Master or reviewed the new technology from Involve Audio?
Looks like a great deal of overpriced hogwash to me.
Why? Have you heard something or read something about it?
Expanding stereo to surround never sounds like a good idea to me, at all. The product page also uses far to many buzzwords and some things that cannot possible be true. How can one claim "Nothing is added or removed, we just do the industry’s most perfect job of reproducing what’s on the track." on a device which is by definition adding channels into the mix? Finally, I just doubt that even if i were interested in such treatment of my music that this box would do a better job than my receivers built in modes for the same purpose. I put a little more trust in yamaha than a company that posts only vaguery and buzz.
Hello to all members of the forum, having just joined this is my first post so if I infringe the rules in anyway please inform me!
I am the CTO of Involve and this post is in response to your comments in this thread.
Involve Audio is a small audio electronic research company based in Melbourne Australia. Our team has contributed to designs such as
2007 CES design honoree:
Nakamichi Dragon Electrostatic loudspeaker (2007 CES design honoree):
Liquid Base 8mm glass panel electrostatic loudspeaker (2012 CES award for Innovation in home theatre)
Whilst electrostatic loudspeakers seem a world away from the subject of home theatre they have definitely been a major inspiration for our work in surround sound.
SURROUND SOUND – OUR VIEW (hope we do not offend!)
Firstly I must confess that I come from a stereo purist background and have been very unimpressed with existing surround sound formats, this became an inspiration for our developments. I would have agreed very much with the view that stereo is the best format today.
I think however we can all agree that the ultimate aim for surround sound is to place the listener (all the listeners) in the original sonic environment that the recording was made or at least intended to be. How we achieve this aim has resulted in great debate and confusion and an end result which most stereophiles today would say is unsatisfactory.
Just a little history - In the mid 1970’s the first mass market attempts were made with a myriad of not very compatible systems such as SQ, QS, RM, CD4 etc. Aside from the poor cross compatibility between the systems that created market confusion all systems only worked for one position within the listening room. For all other positions the center and rear image would wander left or right dependent on where the listener would sit. In addition all systems have sonic problems of either poor separation, surging, pumping of other sounds. Additionally she who must be obeyed often does not appreciate the center channel as it is difficult to blend into the décor.
All of this usually resulted in the end user deciding to go back to stereo that at least provided a good quality sound without the issues of Surround Sound.
Surround made a major come back in the mid 1980’s when Dolby did two great things. They provided a center channel that assisted in maintaining a center image for those in the room that were not in the sweet spot. Most importantly they provided a strong safe and secure market name for all major consumer electronic companies to standardize to.
Unfortunately over the years consumers began to notice many shortcomings that included poor decode of stereo sources, lack of a smooth continuous frontal image, center image would be under the television and not in the centre of the screen, poor or lack of any rear image,. In addition the current push in cinema sound is for true 3D (including height), which these early systems cannot provide.
The main solution the industry has offered recently is to add more and more channels such as 7.1, 9.1, 11.1, 22.2. Apart from not solving the problem of consistent imaging in all seats very few homes would cope with more than 5.1 speakers. The result has not been the great commercial success that was hoped for. More recently we have seen the promotion of wave field synthesis techniques that can solve the consistent imaging problem and produce 3D sound but at the expense of between 60 and 900 individually controlled and driven speakers! Never going to happen in my home – budget and wife will be too big a barrier!
It is my view that the perfect system would produce a full surround sound from any stereo sound source where you can sit anywhere in the room with no sweets spot and with, preferably, only one speaker. Unfortunately no one (including us), has achieved this. Having said that I believe we have made significant advances towards this goal.
In summary our goal is:
1 return to a stereo based system, in spite of all the hype it is still the most dominant and easy to understand system.
2 the encode sound identical to the stereo (i.e. it will play on every piece of stereo equipment existing today exactly the same as stereo)
3 the decode must sound identical (or better than) discrete
4 Must have no pumping, clicking, breathing, whistling or other sonic artifacts.
5 Be able to synthesise with a very high degree of accuracy a surround from non encoded material
6 Preferably get rid of the image skewing center channel (and the wife hates it)
7 Provide a consistent image in all seats of the house with no sweet spot.
8 Be able to be transmitted in low bandwidth media such as AM radio, mp3
9 Be provided free to the market so it could become a UNIVERSAL music/ cinema recording format to eliminate market confusion and customer isolation (I still don’t have a Bluray player!)
10 Be able to produce 2, 4 and even 5.1 (I hate it) surround.
From this we developed:
We believe INVOLVE is the most advanced surround decoder developed to this date.. Like the old QS system Involve is fully symmetrical in all directions and is internally more than 4 times as complex than say the Dolby decoders. We can encode full surround into stereo so that when played back on stereo equipment the difference between Involve and Stereo is inaudible. The system is capable of between 35 and 40 db separation in all directions without any sonic artifacts such as pumping, pop sounds and surges.
The system is free of bias for left, right, front or back.
INVOLVE has taken the original QS equations and has produced
1 The patent pending intelligent INVOLVE encoder produces an encoded “stereo/ INVOLVE” two channel mix that is indistinguishable from the original stereo recording. This was one of the major problems with the old QS recordings – the sound stage width was significantly reduced. Our intelligent encode has solved this problem and is fully mono compatible.
2 The patent pending INVOLVE decoder like the better QS decoders uses a 3 band system complete with a variomatrix style DSP controller. Unlike other matrix decoders we have incorporated a series of psychoacoustic factors into the variomatrix control equations. The result is all the processing is not audible to the human ear/ brain. In addition all the processing is fully digital and as such INVOLVE does not suffer from tolerance issues
Involve is capable of an unprecedented accuracy of stereo decode and in our instant A/B tests against discrete systems the listener cannot tell the difference (actually when pushed most selected INVOLVE – but it is close). It has a net advantage of full stereo compatibility with full surround and minimum bandwidth.
I will be happy to provide full test results on request.
TOTAL PERSPECTIVE is a patent pending system that produces consistent stereo imaging regardless of where the listener sits within a room. This is achieved with the use of 2 speakers without the need of a center channel. A person can walk around the room and the center vocalist will remain in the same position and not wander from left to right. In addition to this the system is ideally suited to automotive surround / stereo as all 4 occupants are sitting away from the central sweet spot.
This system will be released at the end of this year but we are happy to discuss its potential upon request.
OUR OFFER TO “AUDIOHOLICS”
I can assure all “Audioholics” forum members that we have not come up with these systems overnight as it has taken approximately 4.5 years of intense development. We initially announced our INVOLVE technology to the “Quadraphonicquad” forum where we were initially greeted with general skepticism but upon tests by forum members we have been very well received.
If forum members are interested we would be pleased to provide a sample unit for independent testing to a nominated respected member/s of this forum. In addition we are happy to supply other reviews/ tests and any technical advice upon request.
Finally, I would like to make a couple of comments with regard Gradors observations
Firstly let me state we have been greeted with the same skepticism by other learned people in the industry and they have very good reason to be this way. Claims such as we make for Involve and the Surround Master have been made before and have not been born out in reality.
However we should all remember that stereo is not the way human hearing works. Yes we have two ears but we hear in Surround – we are very good at perceiving where sound originates!. Whenever sound is produced it is actually produced in full 3D and thus stereo is not a natural format. I want my music (and everything else) to sound as close to the original sound as I can get. I want my music to sound like I am in the or very close to the band. I want my movies to sound like I’m in the scene and I want my TV to give me surround sound like was in a movie theatre (or in the scene).
Stereo cannot do this as it is artificial. However when the stereo tracks were originally laid down much of the surround information remained contained within them. Stereo does not extract this information and we loose so much because it does. What Involve does is extract this accurately and in 360 degree’s. Once you have heard just how natural, bright and involving (dare I use the term) then just maybe you will want to do what many other are now doing and that is listen to every recording in your collection again to hear what has not been heard before and in a way which is a significant improvement on anything you have heard before.
For more information please check out our web site Involve Audio | Your entire audio experience has just been remastered.
Thanks for your post. As a stereo user for my music for the last 45 years (can't really say I'm an stereophile because I also have a surround sound capable system) and a lover of my music delivered this way - are you truly saying that my listening experience it will be seriously better using your technology. By seriously better I do not mean what I would call a minor improvement such as I might get out of using a better amp ( I already have a very good one- ) but a quantum lift in the actual sound I will hear?
Johnzy, it's really difficult to tell if you're just quite interested in this product or a person involved in it's advertising.
I'm thinking Shakespeare and Denmark.
I nominate Gene
It's always hard to say with new technology or new companies exactly how much impact that the company will have on the experience. Whether it is sound, video, a combinatio of both, or something completely different. Who would have thought the .mp3 would have completely changed the world? Or the iPod/iPhone, especially how we listen to music and watch video.
But, if these guys are serious, then they need to get reviews into the hands of the reviewers, and I'm sure Audioholics would be more than happy to take a serious look at the product.
Certainly A/V receivers may do some of what this product does, but if this one does it better, in some way, then it may be a solid purchase for some people.
Audioholics Home Theater Forums FAQ
As far as I can tell, this thread constitutes advertising.
I need to be careful on how I answer your question as I do not wish to infringe forum rules re advertising. The Surround Master will greatly simplify your surround sound experience as it really is set and forget, just input the stereo and out comes a very convincing surround. I can supply internal test reports that show listener preference to both just stereo or discrete. I really believe we provide surround for stereo hard cases. I can honestly claim you will notice the difference.
Having read your clause 4, I think you are correct and I apologies for this. It was just my wish to inform the forum of several really new technology that we have spent years working on and have the potential of changing HiFi/ surround in general. I am happy to provide the forum with:
1 Samples for evaluation if requested
2 Test/ performance documentation
3 Answers to questions by established forum members
I will not contribute further until this issue is resolved
Having read J_garcia's posting in regard to infringing rule 4 on advertising I believe he is correct. Can we get a ruling from the moderator?
I in no way intended to advertise rather than inform forum members of a new technology and offer upon request technical information and submit a unit or two for review by appointed forum members.
I will not add to this topic until clarification is posted.