I'm getting a new receiver and it will be mainly used for movies. Is a THX certified receiver worth it? Does it do anything spectacular. I already have a DVD player, but it isnt a THX type, if they even make them.
I will not spend time on THX certification, as this is not a micro processor that change the sound. This is just another way to make money, the same as ISO made for long time on micro electronic companies. Make sure that you have the basic: Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital EX, ProLogic II, DTS, DTS ES, DTS. This should be more then enough for your HT.
when Lucas started his company, what he wanted was, that the film he made would be seen and heard in the way he intended no matter what movie theater you were in. So his team set out to establish a set of parameters for theaters as far as sound systems, acoustics, etc. to make sure that everything would be uniform. A THX certified receiver is just that, it has been certified to meet certain parameters and it is built/programmed into the unit. Most decent receivers can meet this requirements, but you have to do the adjustments yourself, if you know what the settings are...and of course, that is a trade secret. Another way to compete with all the other established sound labs such as Dolby Digital Laboratories and DTS(both of which have their own settings and trade secrets), and much like these other sound labs, the settings are automatically calibrated for you with the touch of a button. And of course, all these companies are there to make money. So it is left to the consumer to make the choice on what is important to them in a receiver. Choice is a grand thing, isn't it? cheers
Bernie: the problem is choice. So, I choose not to have a THX certified anything. My brother has some Crown amplifiers which are THX certified... he does concerts (indoor and outdoor). I wonder what the THX certification does for his concerts?
THX, as Berny writes, was designed for the theaters to be on level playing ground. Lucas, my man, is a fanatic. He's worse than Michael Jackson when it comes to reproducing "sound" correctly... he goes further to the visual as well.
Personally, I won't spend extra money on it. But, if a receiver I like has the feature, then sobeit. I will not, however, shell out $300 more for the THX logo on the front. Unfortunately, the processor which I like, the Parasound Halo C1, has THX already... shucks.
THX is merely marketing hype. It is not a format such as Dolby Digital or DTS. Instead it is just a certification by George Lucas's labs that a receiver is designed to meet the needs of the HT user. However, it guarantees nothing. Last summer, Sound & Vision magazine tested an Onkyo TX-SR900 receiver that is THX certified. Rated at 125 wpc x 7, the Onkyo clipped at 54 wpc! Now I used the believe that the certification at least guaranteed a minimal quality standard--I was told that by more than one equipment review. When I learned of the bench test of the Onkyo, I researched it further and learned that they don't even test the products for certification--they merely review the design. So, no matter what the intent, THX certification has evolved into a marketing dodge in my view. So much so that many receiver makers are no longer willing to pay to have their products THX certified because it really means nothing. In fact, if you look closely you will see that very few receivers are touting THX certification anymore. I will not buy a THX certified product because it means that the receiver maker has chosen to buy a certification rather than invest in quality parts for their receiver. Thus, it is all an illusion . . .
Hawk, First of all it's nice to see you back on this site. I haven't seen much of you lately and hope you are doing well. I would basically agree with what you said about THX except for one point. As I understand it one area that a receiver must include to receive THX certification is cinema eq and timbre matching. I have found these to be very valuable on several non THX units and on my current THX Elite45. I would not want to be without some sort of cinema eq which does help tame some of the sibilance on movie soundtracks. Obviously the purported power requirements are a joke as we see by the new Yamaha's and the Onkyo you mentioned. The Onkyo 900 does produce over 100 watts in 5 channel mode but for only 2 seconds or so before it's protection circuit kicks in. This of course should not be necessary on a well designed receiver IMO. I do think you went a bit to far by saying a THX product doesn't use quality parts as a blanket statement and I would point to the Elite 55 and 59 as an example of THX units with extremely good power supplies and dsps. Look forward to talking to you again.
is NAD going to start carrying the THX certification? I'm wondering how much bump in price that would be? or are they starting to move away from that? IIRC, they used to have a few 2 channel power amps carrying the THX logo. And now I think only the S250 carries that logo?!? cheers
I guess I agree with Hawk. Elitefan, your point kind of backs what Hawk said (except for the last sentence he wrote; which again varys by manufacturer). If some THX receivers are weak and not truly up to THX spec and others are fantastic, that says to me that it's the individual build of the reciever and has little to do with whether it's THX certified or not. If Lucasfilm actually did some testing instead of grabbing money from whomever trys to hand it to them, as was the case when THX was first spec'ed them I would think differently again.
Correct me if I am wrong but wasn't Pioneer Elite one of the first companies to start THX certifying their receivers? I think they have been doing that for a long time haven't they? Doing it back before THX certification was on every receiver out there. This would lead me to believe that their reason for certification was honest and truly done to have a great quality receiver rather than for more money. However, I could be wrong about this.
Your probably right Brent. Sounds logical anyway. However, that doesn't mean that once everyone else jumped on the THX wagon that Pioneer didn't lower their standards as well to compete. I do think that the model year that introduced the 49tx was a revival of sorts for Pioneer Elite though as the 49tx marked the first receiver with THX Ultra2 and hence was probably quality through and through again as is usually the case with industry firsts. (As in any other industry the original is usually best (eg. Yamaha DSP soundfields).
I'm inclined 2 agree with Hawk and Don about thx. I know that alot of recievers even those from companinies that license from thx had recievers that met or exceeded their requirements that werent thx certified that had stronger amplifiers than some that were thx certified. I can't lie and say that that has not always puzzled me, but elite fan u have a point about the timbre matching, cinema eq . It's kinda like the thx certified movies some transfers are outstanding some are not so great.
Thanks Bernie. The guy writing this article mentions a midrange in his center. Are center channel speakers supposed to have a mid range? I have a Klipsch KV-4 and it only has two woofers and a tweeter. I thought this was the norm for center channel speakers.