Why Does My Receiver Default to DTS Neural:X Mode?

Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

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

A Let’s first review what DTS Neural:X is and what it does. DTS Neural:X is similar to the Dolby Surround feature in Dolby Atmos processors in that it upmixes regular 2-channel, 5.1-channel, or 7.1-channel soundtracks to add overhead sound information when overhead speakers are detected in your system. So if your Marantz processor is defaulting to DTS Neural:X when fed a DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack, that indicates to me that the speaker setup and processing modes haven’t been configured properly.

What I’d suggest you do is first check that the “2 Speakers” Surround Back option is selected in the Speaker Configuration menu. Next, check that the Height and Top speaker options are all set to “None.” You’ll also want to visit the Amp Assign menu at this point and confirm that the amplifier channel outputs are set to match your speaker configuration.

The last step should be to visit the Surround Parameter menu and check that the DTS Neural:X option is set to Off. (The AV7703’s manual states that DTS Neural:X is switched on by default.) According to Marantz, if all the assignments listed above are set, then “a Neural:X upmixing simulation should no longer be an option unless the primary input signal is PCM-based.”

pw's picture

I think I will just buy a Krell or Mcintosh..

thisismyname123's picture

I have the Marantz 6011 and I constantly get the Neural X output. I have a 7.2 setup, LCR, 2 rear sides and 2 rear back. I shouldn't have the option for Neural X as far as I know with no height or atmos channels set up

Joey Digital's picture

I have an Onkyo TX-NR585. My setup only consist of a 3.1.2 speaker array with front upward firing height speaker. I also default to DTS Neural:X output when the input is DTS-HD Master. Is this because I only have a 3.1.2 speaker array, or some other issue?

frednine's picture

I have a 7.2.2 setup. Seven floor speakers, 2 subs and 2 height speakers (front height connected to height 1 channel). Marantz 7011, amp assign is set to 9.1 (default). When playing a DTS MA 7.1 soundtrack with bluray player set to auto audio, the receiver displays DTS HD Neural X. With the receiver upmixing to include the height speakers, I cannot hear any loss in fidelity, surround processing or volume. Bottom line, I don't think DTS HD Neural X is a bad thing, I think it is an upgrade from dts ma.