Sound United Injects IMAX Enhanced Into More AVR Models

Sound United Injects IMAX Enhanced Into More AVR Models

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(February 6, 2019) Today, more Denon and Marantz models are eligible for a potent firmware update that enables IMAX Enhanced functionality. Previously, the companies’ flagship products (Denon’s AVR-X8500H and Marantz’s AV8805) were the only Sound United brands to carry IMAX Enhanced firmware. This new release brings Denon’s X6500H and X4500H and Marantz’s SR8012, SR7013, SR6013, and AV7705 receivers into the fold. As a whole, these eight models collectively represent the only IMAX Enhanced audio products currently available to enthusiasts.

“IMAX Enhanced has been building impressive momentum since its introduction in late 2018,” said Brendon Stead, senior vice president of product development and engineering at Sound United. “Additional A/V partners, content and distribution are all the traditional signs the format is being enthusiastically adopted. The great news for early adopters is Denon and Marantz, the only home theater supplier to do so to-date, already offer fantastic AVRs that deliver the IMAX Enhanced experience. So, if you want the magic of the IMAX experience in your home theater today, you’ll need either Denon or Marantz gear. However, making the technology available on only flagships isn’t what we’re all about. We know enthusiasts want this technology available to them as early as possible, which is why we promised to expand the IMAX Enhanced product lineup.”

The IMAX Enhanced certification the program offers movie fanatics access to films benefiting from the “newest, proprietary post-production process developed by IMAX to digitally re-master content to produce more vibrant colors, greater contrast and sharper clarity,” while paired with a special variant of the DTS:X immersive sound codec.

Owners of the X6500H, X4500H, SR8012, SR7013, SR6013, and AV7705 can download the new firmware beginning today. Simply power on your receiver and connect to the Internet.
 

Jack

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it, I knew I should have waited for the newer models.
 

Todd Anderson

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it, I knew I should have waited for the newer models.
Jury is still out for me on whether or not IMAX Enhanced represents an incredible leap forward that will forever alter your home theater experience. I won't really have an answer (for my own circumstance) until my theater room is back on line. That being said, I've seen several demos at show environments... and they were great. Great sound, stunning picture. BUT... I've had that same experience (and better) on lots of systems that weren't running IMAX Enhanced. The question is: from an A/B perspective, is there a noticeable difference?

I can't say for certain.

All that being said, I still maintain that the most head turning immersive experience I've had was at an Auro 3D grounded demo at CEDIA some 4 years ago. I'm a huge fan of Atmos and DTS:X (don't get me wrong... lots of amazing titles out there), but I didn't have that same "wow... this is hobby altering" feeling after walking away from IMAX Enhanced.

Still very much in its infancy. And the demo material I've seen/heard is definitely excellent (really EXCELLENT). But I'm not sure how many notches above the amazing experience we can all have with 4K Atmos/DTS:X it really is.

Time will tell.

This firmware release still is big in my opinion. Sound United is pushing out killer gear right now. And they should be commended for offering IMAX Enhanced across such a broad range of products. :T The folks working behind the scenes there are solid people that want to create amazing, I can assure you of that!
 

Jack

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Thank You for that great missive.
I zoned in on your thoughts as to is it or isn't it a great leap forward. Therein lies the issues for many of us, so many things are happening now, and your excitement regarding Auro is almost infectious, which again causes me pause that I did not throw a couple hundred more bucks and went for the 7012. Without the thoughts and presentations of fine folks like you, some of the changes and/or additions are not much more than alphabet soup. I see it is time to do some research into these changes and will look to some guidance in way of are the differences real or worthy of dipping ones toes into the new sonic ocean.
 

Todd Anderson

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Well, don't forget Jack... Auro really doesn't have any movie content here in the US. If you stepped into my theater and I played you tracks from he Auro demo disc (specific demo material they've created, such as tractor passing by the room... or a busy city street in Europe), you'd hear the power of Auro's technology and the heavy emphasis on environmental sound reflections playing through the immersive channels. It's truly a unique presentation in the industry.

BUT - right now, there's no movie content to buy. So, sure, you can listen to the demo material, but that only gets you so far! ;-)

Auro-3D music is also fascinating to hear. But, again, it's limited in availability (especially if you have picky music tastes).

Auro-2D is a great stereo upmixer that uses a system's surround channels... and while I really dig it, it's not a necessity for music listening (but, when I upmix stereo music, it's the one I choose).

So, what am I getting at? Yes, it's a bit of bummer not to have Auro. But, right now, it doesn't mean a whole lot because you wouldn't have access to Auro movies anyway. And while that's not the case for European and Asian markets, it's an unfortunate reality here in the US. Kind of like having a Ferarri sitting in mountain home's garage (and the only road leading to the house is only passable in a serious off-road vehicle).

As for IMAX Enhanced... don't take my comments as a final opinion. They're just my initial observation. We are really early in the game. It's going to be exciting to see what kind of content becomes available. And that's key. Will the video presentation really be cleaned up and devoid of digital scrubbing? Will the audio be a radical improvement? Don't know yet.

I do like the fact that IMAX is certifying equipment to proclaim it worthy of participating in the program. It's always nice to have that stamp of approval.
 

Jack

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Understood and thank you. I have tried some of the enhancements on the Marantz for two channel audio. I am not so much in favor of DTS Neural X. A buddy of mine loves it so I gave it a try over direct 2 channel and it kind of muddied up the front end. Not for me for music and maybe even movies. Methinks some of these new audio choices may not, imo, improve on the original signal.
 

Todd Anderson

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dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
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That's the cool thing about Auro-2D. It really keeps the front sound stage much better intact than Dolby and DTS up mixers... while adding a hint of spaciousness and surround. It's a very subtle yet noticeable impact. You'd probably like it!
 

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Sounds like my Jam.
 

jdubs75

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B1290DF8-DBF5-4FE1-B851-2461AD9CBB96.jpeg
I can confirm the IMAX Enhanced update is indeed available. I received the notification when I powered up my AV7705 this evening. I’m running the update now.

Will a case of IMAX Enhanced disks arrive via drone once the update is completed? LOL :praying::praying::praying:
 

Todd Anderson

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My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X8500H
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-5
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Gen3 2.8 multichannel amp
Other Amp
VSX21-THX
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
OPPO UDP-205, UDP-203, Panasonic UB820
Front Speakers
SVS Ultra Towers
Center Channel Speaker
SVS Ultra Center
Surround Speakers
SVS Ultra Surround
Surround Back Speakers
SVS Ultra Bookshelf
Front Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Rear Height Speakers
SVS Prime Elevation
Subwoofers
dual SVS SB16s + dual PSA XS30s
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer 1124p; Aura Bass Shaker Pros; SuperSub X
Video Display Device
JVC RS520
Screen
Carada Cine-White 0 gain
Other Equipment
LG Electronics 65-inch B6 OLED, Sony 65-inch X900F
View attachment 12191 I can confirm the IMAX Enhanced update is indeed available. I received the notification when I powered up my AV7705 this evening. I’m running the update now.

Will a case of IMAX Enhanced disks arrive via drone once the update is completed? LOL :praying::praying::praying:

Here’s your chance to to do an A/B comparison. You need to dig up a standard 4K and IE version of an IMAX flick!
 
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