Soundbars have come a long way

jayn_j

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The TV supports ARC and TOSLINK for surround sound output. The TCM and movies answer is a bit scary as this could mean legacy media formats. Pretty much all TCM content is monaural. Knowing whether the "movies" in question might involve surround sound would be very useful in making a recommendation.

The extractions (teeth pulling) will have to continue to find out how many of what kind of inputs are desired.
Are you certain of the toslink? I have a panny 50S1 that i use in a bedroom. I originaaly tried to use it with a toslink connection to a denon htib. I discovered that the tv did not pass the surround info over the optical connection.
 

harshness

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Are you certain of the toslink?
Yes and no. It passes up to 5.1 from the TV's built-in tuner but it converts HDMI sources to stereo. Bottom of page 29 of the manual. This configuration is one of the big gotchas of using a TV's TOSLINK connection. Sony has been a little more generous in this respect and they pass 5.1 on many models.

Obviously, if the content viewed is monaural or two-channel, it doesn't matter.
 

lparsons21

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I think virtually every modern TV with an optical out passes 5.1 from both tuner and HDMI inputs. I haven’t run across one that won’t for a very long time.

And doesn’t monaural convert to 2 channel sound? Or is that being done by the channel?
 

Foxbat

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And, this is a 2009/2010 TV, so lots of new Audio formats have come into existence since the firmware for this TV was baked into the set.
 

harshness

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And doesn’t monaural convert to 2 channel sound? Or is that being done by the channel?
I'm guessing they're splitting the sound. It isn't ideal as it will cause phase interference but absent a center channel, that's what you've got. With a multi-channel feed, you can send everything but the LFE to a center channel.
 

harshness

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And, this is a 2009/2010 TV, so lots of new Audio formats have come into existence since the firmware for this TV was baked into the set.
I expect that because HDMI is involved, it is up to the source device to figure out how to meet the needs of the TV and it should logically claim 2.0 capability as part of the HDMI handshake.
 

tigerfan33

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No way for me to do an A-B comparison. But when I bought my new house, I kept the old one.

The old setup was a 7.1 discrete, non-Atmos setup and was excellent. The new house didn’t lend itself to doing that without a fairly major expense, hence the Samsung HW-K950. Since then I have listened to both at different times with the same source material. The setup at the old house sounds a little better and offers more granular control of things than does the Samsung soundbar setup.

To my ears the difference is slight, others with better ears might disagree. And note that the soundbar setups I’m primarily interested in are not just soundbar + subwoofer, but include rear surrounds too. One exception I considered was the Sony HT-G700 for the bedroom since it would be such a simple install with no great needs for true surround/Atmos because of what I would watch there. In the end I just knew that it wouldn’t be good enough as the Samsung has spoiled me.

If I were to go to AVR+discrete speaker setup for Atmos the labor costs would be pretty high and I cannot do that kind of work anymore, age and condition preventing that. I would want all wires fished with wall terminations to almost no wire showing. I even thought about it and got a quote from an installer. Total cost for the work plus the speakers and AVR I would need for a 5.2.4 was around $3500 as I remember.

The Samsung doesn’t play with the audio as much as the Nakamichi as it has true, discrete speakers. At the time I bought it, it would massage stereo to faked DD5.1 and that’s about all, but it does a very good job of it.

I’m looking forward to see how the Nakamichi performs compared to the Samsung and I will be able to do an A-B test of that. Rtings.com did a review of the Nakamichi 9.2.4 that even commented about the differences they noted between that and the Samsung HW-Q90R which is one of the successors to the HW-K950 I have. They tend to prefer the HW-K950, Nakamichi fans don’t agree.

It should be noted that in looking for info and such on the Nakamichi 7.1.4 I just bought that there is lots of old info that is pre-update. You have to look at the date of the info/review that is offered.

EDIT: A question for you. Have you ever listened/tried out any soundbar setup? Especially the higher end ones? Or are you just being a bit contentious?? :)
I look forward to your thoughts on the Nakamichi sound bar. I have the 2018 model and is basically the same as yours after the Atmos software update. I have had mine for almost 2 years and still blown away. Be prepared, your sub will throw you out of your seat!
 

lparsons21

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I look forward to your thoughts on the Nakamichi sound bar. I have the 2018 model and is basically the same as yours after the Atmos software update. I have had mine for almost 2 years and still blown away. Be prepared, your sub will throw you out of your seat!
Supposed to arrive 6/3 according to Amazon. I’m ready!
 

solarvic

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The speakers on my 12 year samsung dlp got so distorted that i couldn,t understand the speech in movies Decided to get a Roku soundbar. I had a roku stick + that worked well and I like the roku platform.. The Roku soundbar has the roku player built in and works well. only using 1 hdmi port. If I would have used another soundbar I think I would have to use 2 hdmi ports, 1 for speakers and 1 for the roku stick. I had to use the toslink cable since the tv doesn,t have the arc hdmi.. Also my tv only has 3 hdmi ports and I didn,t want to use 2 hdmi ports and only have 1 left for other imputs. I liked the roku so well I decided to get the roku bass box that is designed for the roku soundbar Connects thru wifi. Since my old tv still has a good picture I might get a few more years use out of it.
 
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lparsons21

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I look forward to your thoughts on the Nakamichi sound bar. I have the 2018 model and is basically the same as yours after the Atmos software update. I have had mine for almost 2 years and still blown away. Be prepared, your sub will throw you out of your seat!
Shipment was delayed, didn’t get it until yesterday evening. Took very little time to get it connected and setup for an initial test run.

The sound is certainly different from the Samsung HW-K950, mostly because of the much cleaner, crisper bass. No boominess at all where the Samsung could get boomy with some source material or equipment.

First thing I noticed is the remote! The Samsung remote is fairly simplistic and uses toggles instead of push this, get that. That gets very irritating since some of the toggles don’t work smoothly. The Nakamichi remote OTOH, goes the other way. No toggles all discrete switches and a slew of them. A bit overwhelming at first but there are good guidelines at Nakamichi’s website.

Interesting to see how audio comes to the Naka from the various sources. Here’s an example for one app on 3 different boxes.

AppleTV - ATT TV app, stereo channel. Incoming audio from ATV is PCM 5.1.

ATT TV Box - Stereo channel. Incoming audio is DD+

Roku Premier - stereo channel. Incoming audio is DD+

The Naka can overlay any of those to get the full 7.1.4 effect. And I noted that the ATT TV box tends to heavier bass in its output compared to either the Roku or ATV.

Tried a couple of Atmos encoded videos and the results was very good. Naka twiddles the output instead of using upfiring speakers and does a very good job of giving the Atmos effect. Samsung uses discrete upfiring speakers and is a bit better at Atmos because of it. My ceiling design isn’t so good at bouncing those upfired channels but even so, the Samsung is a bit better.

One thing I haven’t quite figured out is how all this is going to work with the Harmony remote doing the control since HDMI-CEC is nearly mandatory in my setup because of number of things to connect. Also noted that after powering down last night, when I came back up this morning, the Naka didn’t hold audio settings. IOW, had to select ‘Direct’ to get the overplayed surround.

I’ll finish setting everything up later today, including bringing the Harmony remote into the mix and figuring exactly how I was the rear speakers and subwoofer placed. Since the rears are wire connected to the subwoofer it presents an issue the wireless rears for the Samsung don’t have.

Overall I like the much cleaner and fuller sound of the Nakamichi to the Samsung. This particular version of the Nakamichi 7.1.4 at its retail of $749 is a bargain for what you get and compares well to soundbar setups costing much more. At the $649 I got it for it is a steal!!
 

Foxbat

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Is this the Nakamichi brand name sold to some other otherwise no-name manufacturer or is this the Nakamichi of cassette tape and high-end audio equipment fame? I ask because I have a bag of "Nakamichi" branded banana plugs that I got from Amazon and it's marked "Made in China" instead of Japan. They even have the reversed double quarter dot logo (stylized “N”).
7C008FB5-6D55-44BA-99AD-E1962D7AD154.jpeg
 

lparsons21

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It is the Nakamichi name of high end cassette machines and audio equipment. I haven’t looked to see if they are mfg in the US yet, but the company is a US company.
 
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jayn_j

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Actually, according to wikipedia, they were acquired by the Chinese corp, Grande Holdings in 1998. However, they have been focusing on world class soundbars recently and have won awards for their designs.

.
 
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tigerfan33

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Shipment was delayed, didn’t get it until yesterday evening. Took very little time to get it connected and setup for an initial test run.

The sound is certainly different from the Samsung HW-K950, mostly because of the much cleaner, crisper bass. No boominess at all where the Samsung could get boomy with some source material or equipment.

First thing I noticed is the remote! The Samsung remote is fairly simplistic and uses toggles instead of push this, get that. That gets very irritating since some of the toggles don’t work smoothly. The Nakamichi remote OTOH, goes the other way. No toggles all discrete switches and a slew of them. A bit overwhelming at first but there are good guidelines at Nakamichi’s website.

Interesting to see how audio comes to the Naka from the various sources. Here’s an example for one app on 3 different boxes.

AppleTV - ATT TV app, stereo channel. Incoming audio from ATV is PCM 5.1.

ATT TV Box - Stereo channel. Incoming audio is DD+

Roku Premier - stereo channel. Incoming audio is DD+

The Naka can overlay any of those to get the full 7.1.4 effect. And I noted that the ATT TV box tends to heavier bass in its output compared to either the Roku or ATV.

Tried a couple of Atmos encoded videos and the results was very good. Naka twiddles the output instead of using upfiring speakers and does a very good job of giving the Atmos effect. Samsung uses discrete upfiring speakers and is a bit better at Atmos because of it. My ceiling design isn’t so good at bouncing those upfired channels but even so, the Samsung is a bit better.

One thing I haven’t quite figured out is how all this is going to work with the Harmony remote doing the control since HDMI-CEC is nearly mandatory in my setup because of number of things to connect. Also noted that after powering down last night, when I came back up this morning, the Naka didn’t hold audio settings. IOW, had to select ‘Direct’ to get the overplayed surround.

I’ll finish setting everything up later today, including bringing the Harmony remote into the mix and figuring exactly how I was the rear speakers and subwoofer placed. Since the rears are wire connected to the subwoofer it presents an issue the wireless rears for the Samsung don’t have.

Overall I like the much cleaner and fuller sound of the Nakamichi to the Samsung. This particular version of the Nakamichi 7.1.4 at its retail of $749 is a bargain for what you get and compares well to soundbar setups costing much more. At the $649 I got it for it is a steal!!
Nice review.
I use the Harmony hub. I use HDMI-CEC and have it turned on my tv but have it off on sound bar settings.
 

lparsons21

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Nice review.
I use the Harmony hub. I use HDMI-CEC and have it turned on my tv but have it off on sound bar settings.
I haven’t incorporated the Harmony hub with it yet as I need to do some shuffling of gear and figure out which gear to connect directly to it and which to hook to the TV and feed back.

The ATT TV Osprey box starts up oddly with it. Switches everything on as it should, but goes through some gyrations of video popping on and off and finally settling down. This is using HDMI-CEC on everything.

The overall sound field of the Nakamichi is fuller and richer than with the Samsung. Between the two the Naka is better for TV/Movies than the Samsung, and the Samsung is better for just music. The differences aren’t huge but are very noticeable.

I haven’t figured out how to get the Naka to hold my “Direct” setting overnight. Either it doesn’t hold it, or the ATT TV box is sending something during power up that kicks it off. I know the ATT Box sends extraneous signals as it would kick other gear a bit too.
 

harshness

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It is the Nakamichi name of high end cassette machines and audio equipment. I haven’t looked to see if they are mfg in the US yet, but the company is a US company.
Nakamichi used to be a boutique brand. Back in the days of C-type cassettes, their logo was put on TDK media. Their logo was also affixed to amps from Threshold.

The company went bankrupt in 2002 and the rest is Chinese history. It is a lot like saying that AT&T DIRECTV is a logical progression from the Hughes Electronics version of DIRECTV.

Nakamichi didn't make amplifiers and they didn't make speakers but here we are.
 
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lparsons21

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Yep, here we are. Regardless of whether or not they are a Chinese company, they are producing a very nice line of upscale soundbars that receive rave reviews, and doing so at a very competitive price.

It does need to be noted that nearly all electronics tech is manufactured in China these days. Are there any in audio/video doing manufacturing in the US these days?
 

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