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Thread: Vintage Audio Hi-Fi Equipment/Setup Thread

  1. #31
    Master of Shinobi Segadream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    Anyone have any recommendations for games and movies that sound better in Dolby Pro Logic?
    King Aurthurs World SNES...

  2. #32
    The Gentleman Thief Baloo's Avatar
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    So I finally got true 5.1-channel surround sound while still using my current vintage stereo speakers! Here is my current setup:

    • Luxman R-115 Stereo with Klipsch KG4 speakers. ($50, given to me effectively by a good friend.
    • Luxman F-114 Surround Sound amp with Klipsch KV-1 and KG .5 speakers for center and rear
    • Technics SA-500D surround sound digital processor decoder to decode Dolby Digital and DTS streams from optical output. - This was the most important piece.
    • An iArkPower 3-in-1 HDMI audio extractor to extract the 5.1 surround sound DTS and Dolby Digital signals from streaming boxes that I have.
    • An Apple TV 2013 (older one that we still use) that outputs Dolby Digital/AC3.
    • My computer custom built running Kodi that passes through DTS and AC3 (DD) signals to the HDMI extractor and the Technics decoder.

    Now I basically just need to get rid of my older Roku and buy an NVidia Shield 2019, which seems to be one of the few streaming boxes with the Dolby license to downmix Dolby Digital and DTS-HD to plain old AC3 and DTS from streaming services that only output higher formats these days. I also need to get a subwoofer to add to my setup. This entire process has just cemented my belief that HDMI is the complete and total devil, used to make old hardware that is perfectly usable obsolete for no good reason, and to simultaneously prevent piracy of people ripping the audio from DVDs, Blu-Rays, and SACDs in a reasonable manner for playback on older hardware. It took me so long to figure out, I was reading all kinds of hardware manuals for devices I didn't even own prior to buying them so I could figure it out. It's a mess of RCA cables, but I now have a setup that can play 5.1 channel surround sound and simultaneously play audio from old VHS players, video game systems with composite audio output (like my Model 1 Sega Genesis) and new streaming boxes that only do HDMI output through the HDMI Audio extractor.

    Quote Originally Posted by cleeg View Post
    So this where I get a bit confused... Eventually I want to get an AV HDMI receiver with surround sound. I don't want anything too fancy, and might not even go for 7.1, staying with 5.1 if the price is better, but if I watch say, a Blu Ray with a 7.1 or Atmos soundtrack, will I miss anything? Or would the receiver / Blu Ray player do some magic to ensure the sound is distributed throughout the setup accordingly?

    Any recommendations / tips? I also have a vintage B&O quodrophonic hifi, which I think I'll just use for music, though I'm still thinking of integrating it somehow into the gaming setup...
    I just went through this adding surround sound to my vintage stereo equipment. It is so dependent on so many factors and overly difficult to add surround sound to an existing stereo speaker. I have a Luxman R-115 and a Luxman F-114, two separate amps that also serve as receivers. I lucked out that the company that made my stereo also made a separate high end surround sound amp with main ins and pre-outs so I could add a digital sound decoder for dolby digital and dts feeds and simply use my existing stereo and surround sound as pure amps for surround sound, while still being able to use my stereo to play back music.

    Cleeg, first what is the brand and model of your Quadrophonic stereo? Take a picture of the back of it and see if it has "Pre-outs" and "Main in" ports. If it has both (arguably RCA) then you can add a surround sound processor to it to send a direct surround sound signal to your powered speakers.

    The first problem is that even with a quadrophonic speaker you will need an amp something to power the center speaker in any surround sound setup.

    The second problem is most streaming boxes do not support plain old AC3, they only output dolby digital+ and DTS-HD, or some even newer funky format. These cannot be translated over optical cables or extracted by audio cables. Dont use TV Digital Audio outputs as they only outpur HDMI sound in stereo generally, and almost never DTS.

    Cleeg: Do you mainly use your stereo for music or games? What kind of games? Do you mainly watch Blu-Rays or DVDs? Do you own them or rent them, what do you play them on? Does the device have RCA outputs for video and audio or does it output HDMI? Do you care about 4K or are you fine with 1080p? What about Streaming Boxes? Be prepared to potentially upgrade all or some of your hardware in order to properly play surround sound. In order to get surround sound with my existing stereo speakers, I needed to get a surround sound amp with pre-outs and main ins, a digital sound decoder that decoded optical cable to RCA output, an HDMI extractor to extract the 5.1 signal, and have a streaming box that output dolby digital (NOT +) in order to get a decodable signal to the processor. I am currently using an older Apple TV from 2013 and Kodi on my Linux PC to play Dolby Digital and DTS streams. I use my computer and Kodi to play back Blu Rays and DVDs.

    What is frustrating is that new receivers that are able to decode Atmos, Dolby Digital+, DTS-HD and the like are expensive, and not all have HDCP 2.2 or 2.3 to passthrough 4K video if that is your thing. And to top it off, most all in one stereo and AVR receivers sound like crap for music. Theyre mainly used for games and surround sound. The receivers that are older dont have the right HDMI decoding for video signals and may leave you with no video.

    In sum, it is extremely difficult to get a right setup with existing hardware. I managed to get the best of both worlds with my setup that supports old video game systems and newer streaming hardware. But read up on everything you can find before you buy anything to see if it is compatible with your equipment. There are a lot of cheap decoders out there and hardware that won't properly passthrough video or audio signals. If your quadrophonic stereo that powers your speakers does not have pre-out and main-in inputs, then you're best off just buying a new cheap AVR with support for 4k and all of the proper formats with HDMI inputs.
    Last edited by Baloo; 01-13-2021 at 06:54 PM.
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  3. #33
    End of line.. Hero of Algol gamevet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloo View Post
    Nice, thanks Barone and gamevet! This is super helpful. I saw in other places Sonic CD was mentioned, and I noticed that Mario Kart Double Dash and Star Wars Rogue Squadron supported Dolby Pro Logic II, so I am definitely looking forward to seeing how both of those sound on the receiver I am getting, even if it is a little older. I don't mind that since I mainly play retro games anyway, I am not too worried about the latest and greatest technology in the first place.
    Here’s a list of SNES games that support surround. Super Castlevania IV sounds awesome in surround.

    A Black Falcon: no, computer games and video games are NOT the same thing. Video games are on consoles, computer games are on PC. The two kinds of games are different, and have significantly different design styles, distribution methods, and game genre selections. Computer gaming and console (video) gaming are NOT the same thing."

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