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Can someone please do me a favor and tell me if there is a big difference in terms of bass extension when watching the Matrix films in Dolby True HD as opposed to their standard definition counterparts with lossy DD soundtracks ?

I can imagine the quality of the sound improves tremendously, but I was wondering if, as some have said, the bass depth improves dramatically
I doubt it.

A lossy codec like legacy DD (AC3) or dts skips the encoding of sounds that it considers masked. Normally these are high frequencies that get obscured by other sounds -- so the lossy encode decides that those masked high frequencies can get skipped.

Low frequencies are much harder to mask and also do not take up very much bits-per-second bandwidth.

Just listen to the lossy legacy dts track of the standard DVD of Master and Commander for huge dynamic range of bass frequencies. :unbelievable:

What I can notice with a lossless encode is less pre-echo and better localization of subtle sounds in the surround channels during low volume portions.
 
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