Ed's AV Handbook.com
Home Theater & High Fidelity Stereo Audio

Chapter Eight
Home Theater Sound by Design

Page 3

Batting practice for the audio/video pro and a primer for the novice 

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High Fidelity Design

          If you do not concede to THX assumptions/solutions, and if you absolutely will not acquiesce to the priorities of an interior design that sacrifices sonic performance, then a
High Fidelity design is your choice.

          Although High Fidelity standards may agree with many THX assumptions, HiFi categorically does not agree with THX solutions.  For instance:

  • HiFi maintains that it is the responsibility of the DVD/Blu-ray producer or TV broadcaster to deliver an appropriate sound mix for home theater playback. They generally do.  In contrast THX assumes that movie soundtracks are mixed too bright and employs “ReEq” and “Timbre Match.”  Though many HiFi processors include “ReEq” type adjustment, they also include an off switch.
  • HiFi applies acoustical absorption at the floor, walls, and ceiling to manage acoustical reflections. Conversely, THX alters (distorts) the vertical dispersion of the front speaker system in an attempt to minimize the acoustical reflections.  Custom designs distort both vertical and horizontal dispersion.
  • HiFi dictates speaker and listener placement at points well away from room boundaries that evade acoustical room mode peaks and nulls.   This curbs room mode distortion.  If distorting room modes persist, HiFi prescribes the use of bass traps at the room boundary behind each speaker.   Therefore, HiFi has no need to impose THX room boundary compensation or limit a speaker’s low frequency response.
  • HiFi employs large full range speakers that can reproduce the wide dynamics of movie soundtracks and music in all but the sub woofer channel; THX & Custom designs do not.
  • HiFi defines the placement of large in-phase rear speakers that provide superior dynamics and better imaging than a THX or Custom design.
          High Fidelity standards are challenging.  HiFi is at odds with THX speaker and processing specifications.   All of the above is at odds with a Custom design.  But if an undistorted recreation of the artist’s intent is your goal, then High Fidelity is the choice.

          There are many proponents of home theater designs.  These are three fundamental sound options.   Choose the design that copes with your acoustical and aesthetic priorities.

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Ed's AV Handbook.com
Batting Practice for the AV Pro and a Primer for the Novice.
Copyright 2007 Txu1-598-288   Revised 2018