Involve Audio Surround Master Review

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by admin, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. admin Audioholics Robot Staff Member

    admin
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    This review is going to be polarizing. It just is. This is the Surround Master by Involve Audio. It's a new type of surround decoder that, well, makes a lot of claims. For starters, the most polarizing claim is that it provides "The Most Accurate Sound Reproduction Available. Period." We'd take issue with that statement as our definition of audio perfection is adhering to the original.
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    Discuss "Involve Audio Surround Master Review" here. Read the article.
  2. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    You guys are so fast - your forum announcement often comes out before the article is available. :p
    Adam,
  3. AcuDefTechGuy Seriously, I have no life.

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    I wouldn't even use it if someone gave me this thing for free. :eek:
  4. BoredSysAdmin Audioholic Overlord

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    +1. Nothing polarizing here, we all can pretty agree on that. In rare cases my source is 2.0 only i'd prefer to use my onkyo's build-in thx or dts surround modes for the same purpose - sometimes they help with the dialog
  5. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    Note to the manufacturer - I'll use it if you give it to me for free. :D

    I agree with BSA, though, that I'm quite happy with the modes on my receiver. Some do a really nice job converting stereo sources into surround sound, particularly in directing the dialogue to the center channel. That said, I'd still see if this was better...for free. ;)
    Adam,
  6. krabapple Banned

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    it should be noted that Dolby Pro Logic II in Music mode has user-variable settings for Dimension and Panorama, both of which highly affect the degree of 'surround' -ness. (And another for Center Width, though that would have been set to the extreme width -- 'phantom' or 'ghost' equivalent - for the this review, as his setup, for reasons obscure to me, lacked a center channel loudspeaker)

    The default DPLII Music settings are fairly conservative (though good enough for me). DPLII Movie has fewer user-adjustable settings, and is more aggressive in directing things it believes are vocals, to 'center'.
  7. xijowxw Audiophyte

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    +1 In rare cases my source is 2.0 only i'd prefer to use my onkyo's build-in thx or dts surround modes for the same purpose - sometimes they help with the dialog
  8. w.a.reid Audiophyte

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    im looking for an alternative to sansui qs synth quadraphonic mode - this is it.

    i wish it were sansui....but i will just glue a badge on it somewhere.

    if you dont know old-school quad...i dont suggest you start. it is addictive.

    people like the accudeftechguy type person - those that like black and plastic....id figure this would fall in line with what you have pictured.
    anyone remember koss - thats what that stuff looks like to me....kmart. o wait...is there a kmart anymore?

    i use bozak speakers - goodmans - fraziers - a sansui qsd1 - a sansui qrx7001 - and various low powered tube amps - (remember that stuff) - i appreciate whatever company this is making this thing. for $400 - that is joke money - if you cant drop 4 bills on something like this....than try $1200 to RESTORE a sansui qrx receiver....that you had to buy off of fleabay for $600.

    for those that know....they use sansui. for those that are tired of having to get old gear restored and have loads more money than....well....the other 99% of the population....this is a welcomed find.

    found this article while searching for a tech to restore a sansui qsd1000 for me - its ugly....all black and plastic looking - maybe i can put it in a wooden box!

    w.a.reid
  9. herbu Audioholic Samurai

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    I really hope your comments are ripe with sarcasm. If so, great post! If not... well, I suspect quadraphonic isn't the only thing from the 70s you found addictive. :eek:
  10. Jay Rudko Audiophyte

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    I think the intent of the Surround Master has been seriously misunderstood here. This product was aimed mainly at the quadraphonic enthusiast, who still has, and enjoys, the matrix-encoded LP's of the quad era. The matrix decoders of the 70's differed greatly in their ability to properly decode those records with any great sense of separation, but the Surround Master takes on the best of them at a fraction of what would have to be spent for top-of-the-game separate decoders.

    There are two models, as specified in the review. One, with "Involve" mode only, does a great job of properly decoding the Sansui QS matrix, as well as Dolby Surround. it's also capable of extracting the hidden information in stereo recordings to create a realistic surround field from them. The Surround Master does this as well as Sansui's finest QS decoders. The upgrade model adds the SQ matrix as well, handling that system with separation equal to, or better than, the best (Tate DES) SQ decoders of the late 70's or early 80's. A selector switch on the front of the unit allows selecting the mode as needed for the recording.

    In addition to being able to play the legacy quadraphonic matrix systems of the quad era, the Surround Master also decodes Dolby Surround with excellent separation. The 5.1 output of the Surround Master can be connected to the 5.1 external input of earlier Dolby Pro Logic receivers that predate the updated Pro Logic II capability. So, for the surround enthusiast who has both records from the quad days, and movies that are in Dolby Surround, the Surround Master makes sense. I could even see it being used in car audio systems, too!

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