Why does Dolby Digital Music sound so good?


Unregistered guest
Lately I've been noticing that whenever I watch movies that have strong soundtracks, especially jazz and classical but normal rock/pop too, that my speakers really SING! Am I imagining things, or do movie soundtracks sound much richer than Dolby II Music or Neo:6 Music or Stereo or Pure Direct for some reason?

My DVD player is a very basic Panasonic with a digital coax connection, generic (lowest end Recoton) cables; my CD player is a Sony ES carousel on a generic optical cable connection.

So it can't be to any huge difference in connections or components, is it just something about the the Dolby Digital format?

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 428
Registered: Oct-04
I've recently come to the conclusion that any DSP is inferior to running in 2ch. I've always used my HK's Logic 7 for analog connections, but have recently turned over to Surround Off when listening to cable music or mp3s from my computer. Logic 7 is good for watching TV, but it has that DSP effect like the sound is coming out of a can.

Whenever I listen to CDs, DVD-As and SACD I use the 6 channel direct mode on the receiver and the 6 ch analog connection from my Denon 2910. If listening to a CD it will be in 2ch. Doing an A-B from the optical connection to the 6 ch analog reveals a much better sound from the analog, no matter if I use Logic 7 or Surround Off.

Before purchasing the DVD player I noticed exactly what you're talking about, and wished I could get my CDs to play in Dolby Digital or DTS. Now I can get the same quality using the analog connection of the 2910.

BTW I currently use cheapo Wire World interconnects.

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 68
Registered: Dec-04
CDs are essentially a stereo format. None of the CDs I possess has any claim to having anything other than stereo. Dolby Digital was invented long after the CD specification was produced.

However, with a previous set-up, which had only Dolby Pro-Logic, some CDs would work in surround sound mode and some would be pure stereo. With a PLII set-up, it is difficult to tell one from the other, because it makes up the extra channels for itself if they are not there. Surround effects on CDs are usually not 'full on', generally a compromise.

Movie tracks will use a full re-mix into Dolby Digital, adding emphasis wherever the sound editor cares to put it -- thus sounding totally different to the CD - even if the CD is mastered with PLII.

It is remarkable what can be done with soundtracks. In the UK we have a rural police series on TV which is set in the sixties. For background music, they play original 60's recordings which have somehow been mixed into PLII. I doubt if they can get hold of the original multi-track tapes to process from, but they produce a very convincing surround sound which seems better than the original!

Unregistered guest

Well the reason I often listen to CDs using PLII or Neo6 is because I love how natural and clear vocals sound through my Ascend center channel, it really makes me feel that the singer is right there in the room. But somehow the overall music doesn't have quite the same ZING as a DVD soundtrack with DD/DTS and that's what puzzles me.

I will hook up my RCA analog cables between the CD player and receiver though and see if that makes a difference...funny, I thought optical and coaxial connections were supposed to be way superior? Unfortunately my CD player doesn't have 6 channel connections on the back, just the 2 channel RCA and the optical.
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