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Al Griffin  |  Dec 14, 2017  |  1 comments
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Q I was planning to replace my 225Wpc Anthem Statement A2 amplifier with a 300Wpc McIntosh MC302 amp to improve my system. It was suggested that I would get more bang-for-the-buck by instead replacing my Integra DHC 80.3 surround preamp/processor with a new McIntosh MX122 surround preamp/processor. The reason given was that upgrading to a marginally more powerful amp wouldn’t result in a significant difference in my system, but a state-of-the-art processor would. Do you agree with that viewpoint? The speakers I am using are Definitive Technology Mythos STS Super Towers with a Mythos center channel and surrounds. — KJ King

Al Griffin  |  Dec 12, 2017  |  5 comments
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Q I am building a dedicated 15 x 10 x 28-foot (WxHxD) home theater with two rows of seating and a bar for the third row. I plan to buy new speakers and am interested in the advantages, if any, of line-source over regular point-source designs. I’ve heard that line-source speakers create a larger stereo sweet spot. Is that the case? —Lorne Charles / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Dec 07, 2017  |  2 comments
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Q I just bought an Apple TV 4K streaming box and was wondering if I can use it with my surround sound system. If so, how do I connect it? —Mario Caballero

Al Griffin  |  Nov 30, 2017  |  6 comments
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Q Apple regularly gets flack for not offering Hi-res versions of its iTunes music catalog. I also hear that the quality of the DACs in the latest iPhones (Android phones, too) is not the greatest. Is there any device I can add to my iPhone that will coax the last bit of sound quality out of it?—Scott Oakley, Pine, AZ

Al Griffin  |  Nov 27, 2017  |  3 comments
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A I’m interested in buying a new Ultra HD Blu-ray player but don’t yet own a 4K TV due to budget constraints. Can an Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc be played on a regular HDTV? What quality issues would I run into? —Billy Keener / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Nov 16, 2017  |  0 comments
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A Can I link my Sony STR-DN1060 AV receiver with a Sony soundbar using its Zone 2 output? What I want is for the receiver to drive speakers in my main listening room and for the soundbar to play the same audio in a second room. —Lewis Starman / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Nov 13, 2017  |  2 comments
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Q I currently use dipole speakers as the side surrounds in a 7.1-channel configuration. My plan is to upgrade to an Atmos setup and replace the side surround speakers with direct-radiating models. Here’s my question: Could I use my existing dipole surrounds as Atmos height speakers? —Nick Ward / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Nov 09, 2017  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q TV reviews in Sound & Vision routinely discuss support for the HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range formats. I don't always see comments about HDR support in AV receiver reviews, however. Does an AVR need to support a specific HDR format, or does HDMI take care of that? —James Hardaway

Al Griffin  |  Nov 06, 2017  |  4 comments
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Q After a lull of many years, I’m now in the market for a new audio system and plan to buy high-quality tower speakers and a good amplifier. Here’s my question: How do I deliver an audio signal to passive speakers using just an amp and no preamp or receiver? I’ve become accustomed to the convenience of music-streaming apps like Pandora and don’t want my new system to be unnecessarily complicated. —Gary Barnett / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Nov 02, 2017  |  2 comments
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Q I'm a proud new owner of a Marantz AV7703 preamp/processor, which I use with a 7.0 speaker configuration (full-range fronts and no subwoofer).

Here’s my question: When I play a Blu-ray disc with a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, the pre-pro’s auto surround mode outputs it as DTS-HD + Neural:X (see above picture). But why would the processor create an upmixed signal instead of passing on discrete channel information to the back surrounds? I’m using an Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray player with the audio output set to bitstream. —John F. Bartelt

Al Griffin  |  Oct 26, 2017  |  9 comments
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Q I was recently in Best Buy asking about speakers for Dolby Atmos. I was told that to get Atmos I would have to change out my current setup and buy a new set of Atmos Speakers. Is that true? —Wendell Blue

Al Griffin  |  Oct 19, 2017  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q My current setup includes an “older” 7.1-channel receiver that isn’t equipped to decode new sound formats such as Dolby Atmos. I understand that when you play an Atmos disc, older receivers are presented with a standard 5.1- or 7.1-channel version of the soundtrack for decoding. What difference, if any, is there between this default version and something like a Dolby True HD mix? My assumption is that it would be better to select a dedicated lossless mix over a backward-compatible, and presumably compressed, fallback mix. — Jason Acosta

Al Griffin  |  Oct 16, 2017  |  2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

A I own a Panasonic plasma TV and a Denon AV receiver. When I connect my sources directly to the TV, the picture looks great. But when I run my Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player, cable TV box, and Amazon Fire TV media player through the Denon using HDMI cables, the picture quality degrades. Is there a way I can work around the picture quality problems caused by my AVR? I want to continue using the AVR for audio switching and prefer to not have to connect sources directly to the TV. —Henry Yeboah / via e-mail

Al Griffin  |  Oct 12, 2017  |  1 comments
A Are there any home video releases with 7.1.4-channel sound? I find that most movies have 5.1-channel soundtracks? —J. Kevin Sexton / via e-mail
Al Griffin  |  Oct 05, 2017  |  4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I just bought the new Apple TV 4K streaming box and am wondering how to get the best picture and sound from it. My system consists of an LG OLED Ultra HDTV and a Marantz SR7010 receiver. Should I route the signal from the box through my Marantz receiver via HDMI, or connect it directly to the TV? —Mike Franchek

A I would connect the Apple TV 4K directly to your TV — for now. Here’s why.

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