KC High End Subwoofer Blind Audition Interest Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 386 Old 10-30-2011, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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When: Jan 14 (Confirmed) - start at 9:00AM
Where: Kansas City Missouri - Archaea's house
Why: Blind Audition 4-6 Top Shelf Subwoofers

Purpose:
To determine if a group of enthusiasts can tell the difference between top shelf subwoofers in blind listening (sealed/ported arguments finally decided by a panel of your peers) - oh -- and a chance to hear some of the best subs currently available! Two requirements - Duals (at minimum) across the board, and only high end subs auditioned to keep the test lineup of reasonable length. Listening levels will be close to reference levels (at least for subs - we may dial down the mains and surrounds to help prevent fatigue)

My room will be setup with wood framed sheet covered blinds protecting the identity of the subs pair. The voters will leave the room between sub demos and will be given no indication of which subwoofer is currently being demoed. Sub EQ is still being debated. Most likely option is to use Audyssey MultiEQ and SubEQ built into my Onkyo TX-NR1007 and its ability to seperately EQ settings for both sub1 and sub2 out. The Audyssey will be used on top of whatever onboard sub processing the plate amp affords, or outboard amplifier provides. FR graphs will be taken for post meet review, but not shown to the voters during the voting.

Confirmed Attendees!
carp (JTR Captivator)
desertdome (MFW-Turbos)
energyfun (JL Fathom F112)
HuskerOmaha (pair of F20s)
Jeff Permanian & friend (JTR Cap sealed pair, JTR Orbit Shifters)
Luke Kamp (dual HSU VTF-15H)
stich1 (PB-12NSD)
Kwarny (DIY Rythmik F12)
sweetmeat (SVS PB12+)
TechnoSponge (CHT 18.T)
tesseract67 (pair of CHT 18.1 SS)
thebuckaman & friend (the poor sap is subless ATM)
wlelandj -(Onkyo 12" HTIB)
jedimastergrant - owns Rythmick F12
Mark Seaton - (Seaton Submersive HP)


Is it sad that I could relay most all of these attendees sub setups without looking them up? I hang around here TOOOOO much.

Undecided -
counsil - Dual SVS PB13's, four Epic Empires and five (count em - five) Seaton Submersive HPs
nezff - bring those darn new EDs of yours a7-450s in
alexlindeman - "^" or a7-900s?
mastermaybe - Captivator? (test five caps vs. five submersives? - Insanity -yes I think so)
beastaudio -(flying in from N.C.?)
shift - expressed interest - details unknown


Had planned now can't attend -
Stormwind13


Sub Attendance Commits - (In red is not firm yet)

Mark Seaton
Pair of Seaton Submersive HP subs

Jeff of JTR Speakers
Pair of Orbit Shifters
Pair of Captivator - Sealed

Archaea
Pair of Captivator Pro - Ported
Pair of Klipsch RW-12D - just to open the meet and help everyone get a reference to the room.

HuskerOmaha
no subs - but bringing his clone amps from Sanway

tesseract67 (will be playing together with other CHT product)
CHT 18.1 SS

TechnoSponge
Pair of Chase Home Theater 18.T (will be playing together with other CHT product)

luke kamp
Pair of HSU VTF-15H subs

DesertDome
Pair of MFW-15 Dual Opposed DIY

alexlindeman of Elemental Designs?
Elemental Designs pair of A7-900 subs


substitute as needed to attempt to get 4-6 blind auditions...

Anyone else who'd like to attend could do so as voting listeners. You are welcome to suggest/offer another audition offering if can think of something to line up against these subs. I'd like to recruit some expertise with no dog in the fight to help manage the EQ. Desertdome? Any subs I missed that should surely be included in this lineup? Anyone local with a DD18+ pair?

As for local accomodations for those traveling:
You are welcome to crash at my place both Friday and Saturday night. I have a couple air mattresses, five nice comfy recliners, and a couch. Bring a sleeping bag and pillow and you'll be set. My family is also out of town during the entire meet's timeframe visiting relatives in PA and I have both Friday before and Monday after the meet off work - so you shouldn't feel like you are putting me out. I'd enjoy the like-minded company. I think a couple of the Omaha guys intend to crash at my place and I welcome anyone traveling in to stay at my place who wants to avoid a hotel cost. If you feel like you'd rather spend the night in a hotel, you can PM me for my actual address, or use zip code 64129 in Missouri to locate a nearby hotel. I live right by the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals stadiums, and so you can utilize hotels that are setup for those stadiums quite easily.

Here is a link to find hotels near Arrowhead Stadium, which is close enough to my house (within a mile or two) and immediately off I-70 hwy.
http://www.hotels-rates.com/hotels/l...ty/MO/usa/278/

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
Archaea's Theatre Room
2011 KC Sub Shootout
2012 KC Blind Sub Shootout

My Subwoofer Recommendations by Pricepoint

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post #2 of 386 Old 10-30-2011, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

When: Tentatively Jan 14
Where: KC - Archaea's house
Why: Blind Audition 4-6 Top Shelf Subwoofers - provide blind ratings

Match single or duals across the board. If we only have singles we only test singles. If we can get duals of everything - test duals.

My room affords blind testing fairly well if we just place the subs in the back of the room and hang a sheet behind the seating position. The walk-out basement in the rear makes it very easy to move things in and out.

KC area guys with subs I'd be interested in lining up...

Counsil? - Seaton Submersive HP

Energyfun? - JL F113

tcottonab? - PB13 Ultra Sledge

Archaea? - Captivator Pro

HuskerOmaha? - CHT sub - 18.1 SS or 18.2 SS or 18.1 vs (whatever you end up with)

substitute as needed...

Anyone else who'd like to attend could do so as voting listeners. You are welcome to suggest/offer another audition offering if can think of something to line up against these subs. I'd like to keep the lineup length less than a half dozen entries to make the blind testing manageable. I'd like to recruit some expertise to manage the EQ. Desertdome? LukeKamp? Counsil? Any subs I missed that should surely be included in this lineup? Anyone local own a DD18 or DD18+??

I would like to come-see if it happens. If I go DIY I may be subless. If I go CHT I may have 2-4 18.2s. Should be fun!
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post #3 of 386 Old 10-30-2011, 08:36 AM
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Has a blind GTG/Shootout been done before? I haven't seen one, love the idea. I like your thought of limiting the subs because it seems like people are pretty burned out by the end of the GTG's just when it's time for big boy subs. Also if the scoring showed an obvious preference to a couple of subs then there could be time for more comparisons.

Have you tried using any of your subs in the back of the room? If so, how did they sound?
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post #4 of 386 Old 10-30-2011, 08:53 AM
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That sounds like a great plan and I hope you can pull it off but mid winter in KC . It would be cool to have a powered Captivator or Orbit Shifter. Jeff seems to like road trips and might just be crazy enough to make the drive ...

I'd drop the DD-18 unless you can get the plus model. Great sub, but well reviewed and no match for those you listed.

HToM

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post #5 of 386 Old 10-30-2011, 10:52 AM
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I'd like to attend. I can lend my ears and a pair of 18.Ts if HO cannot bring his.

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post #6 of 386 Old 10-30-2011, 02:52 PM
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I'd like to come. Maybe HuskerOmaha and I can drive down together.
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post #7 of 386 Old 10-30-2011, 08:00 PM
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i'll make the puddle jump to omaha, and maybe we can all ride together.
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post #8 of 386 Old 10-31-2011, 03:47 AM
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If only I wasn't living halfway around the world, I'd liked to have brought a ported eD A7-450... Hopefully someone can volunteer an A7-900.

Velodyne DD-18, dual Elemental Designs A7-450, dual SVS PB13Ultra custom, Axiom EP500v2, dual B&W PCS8 THX, dual Infinity Kappa Perfect 12VQ Avaserfi LowQ, Anthony Gallo TR-3
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post #9 of 386 Old 10-31-2011, 04:53 AM
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Just a suggestiong having done one of these before, stick to no more than 3 subs, 4 subs "max".

Trust me, you'll run out of time really, really quickly as you'll want to listen to several scenes over and over..

 

My DIY Subs ... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1233892

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J Dunlavy:.. if you stop to think about it, no loudspeaker can sound more accurate than it measures.

 

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post #10 of 386 Old 10-31-2011, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbc View Post

Just a suggestiong having done one of these before, stick to no more than 3 subs, 4 subs "max".

Trust me, you'll run out of time really, really quickly as you'll want to listen to several scenes over and over..

PBC - do you have a link for your testing session or was it just done privately?

For those attending please list some clips you'd like to hear.

An A7-900 or a Orbit Shifter would be interesting as well. We will keep the audition list small.

Energyfun pm'ed me and said he could likely come. carp is game. Sounds like many of the Omaha gang are up for it. I'd like to get lots of auditioners for comments and scores, I'll re-arrange my seating to accomodate extra chairs in the sweeter spots -- perhaps just move the recliners out of the room and use kitchen chairs and folding chairs depending on how many attend.

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
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2012 KC Blind Sub Shootout

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post #11 of 386 Old 10-31-2011, 08:47 AM
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It was posted back in late 2007 by jakeman, so prob somewhere in the archives. I wouldn't really use that as a proxy as we were eyeballing the FR using an SMS-1 device (this was well before I learned how to use REW, etc). Will see if I can locate it none the less...

Edit: Here it is... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...light=shootout

Incredible what you can learn in 3 years and after building your own subs.

 

My DIY Subs ... http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1233892

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post #12 of 386 Old 10-31-2011, 01:54 PM
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I would really like to come. I only have a SVS PB-12 NSD. Not as high end as you would probably like but I would could lend my ears.
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post #13 of 386 Old 10-31-2011, 04:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stitch1 View Post

I would really like to come. I only have a SVS PB-12 NSD. Not as high end as you would probably like but I would could lend my ears.

We will likely skip your sub's audition - no disrespect intended! But we would appreciate your attendance to the audition as yet another voting listener.

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
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post #14 of 386 Old 10-31-2011, 04:53 PM
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That weekend of the 14th, I wont have my kids with me... as long as I don't have to travel for work and miss the session like last time. I would be willing to try and haul my Trinity out of the Basement and up the stairs and bring it over.

I may have a hernia before I get there... lol
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post #15 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 07:55 AM
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This sounds like a lot of fun and another great learning experience. Is it crazy that after I saw this posted, I checked flight costs from Baltimore to Kansas City? It is very interesting to me to see how a person's subjective impressions relate to measurements and this is an opportunity to experience it in person.

-Mike
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post #16 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 09:14 AM
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I was hoping someone would bring a trinity to the omaha meet- I'd really like to hear if this one lives up to the hype.
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post #17 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 11:19 AM
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How about just testing single subs (no duals) and 5 or so max? I don't know what AVR or processor you have, but a simple Audyssey EQ (XT32 would be nice) of the subs might make for a more level playing field and typical user result. A 3 position setup doesn't take long. You could measure the raw and Audysey FR to see what Audyssey is doing.

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post #18 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

How about just testing single subs (no duals) and 5 or so max? I don't know what AVR or processor you have, but a simple Audyssey EQ (XT32 would be nice) of the subs might make for a more level playing field and typical user result. A 3 position setup doesn't take long. You could measure the raw and Audysey FR to see what Audyssey is doing.

I agree with single subs.

I think it is funny though-- We go from getting disparaged for our "gross mistakes in methodology" and how we did a poor job of EQ (even though it is the best to date w/GTGs of this size), and now we get the suggestion of using Audyssey which many people use but also a large subset dislike.

Audyssey many times adds a huge bass adjustment which could throw off the EQ terribly, especially the low end. It has been reported in some threads of boosting so much that it has damaged subs. So we would need a protocol of how we handle that, and adjust.

I agree though that many, many more people that see the thread would be able to run Audyssey (or similar EQ with AVR) instead of something like REW with a calibrated mic. So maybe this would be a good idea.

Notnyt showed that the Audyssey mics are not that bad in comparison to the calibrated mics some use in his mic showdown thread. I'm waiting to send mine to Anechoic to get calibrated at CSL when they have more time available to do so.

Or we could do the same as the Omaha GTG, run an un-eq, run REW, apply filters. Check again. I think some people missed that we have 1/48th octave smoothing on the graphs, not 1/3. They are pretty smooth for the most part.

Pick your poison I guess!
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post #19 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Audyssey xt multi eq on an onkyo TX-NR1007. It has two sub outs and can adjust for delays and eq on each sub out but doesn't re eq them together at the end.

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
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post #20 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

PBC - do you have a link for your testing session or was it just done privately?

For those attending please list some clips you'd like to hear.

An A7-900 or a Orbit Shifter would be interesting as well. We will keep the audition list small.

Energyfun pm'ed me and said he could likely come. carp is game. Sounds like many of the Omaha gang are up for it. I'd like to get lots of auditioners for comments and scores, I'll re-arrange my seating to accomodate extra chairs in the sweeter spots -- perhaps just move the recliners out of the room and use kitchen chairs and folding chairs depending on how many attend.

I wonder if there's a way to prep the attendees in advance to refine their listening skills a la Harman's "How to Listen?" Some of Mark Seaton's commentary in the Omaha thread regarding listening experience hit home with me. The ability to differentiate between room interactions and actual distortion/distress of the subs would be one example. This might be impossible without lots of time and a good teacher but maybe ask Jeff or Mark?
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post #21 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 12:10 PM
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Running Audyssey on the subs makes for a huge range of variables and added time, as you have to run the entire sequence each time. There are many variables there and even with similar mic placement you can get different results run to run. Separate from the benefits it can offer, it could hugely overshadow or skew the results.

Below some point of roll off Audyssey won't boost things, and what happens when one sub falls just below that point and another gets forced flat much deeper? That is not a guarantee on if that is beneficial or detrimental, as you may get the extension, but you also might over-drive the sub or amplifier driving it.

My suggestion would be to have no processing in the receiver other than a low pass and distance setting. Set the distance in the receiver at least to the level needed for the longest group delay subwoofer (horn most likely). You can then apply additional delay to each subwoofer in the DCX when they are acoustically closer or have less group delay while not touching the settings in the receiver. I would limit REW to only using maybe 5 PEQ filters and be done, but that again depends on what you really want to compare. Unfortunately there is no easy way to compare all aspects or possibilities in one session, or you will be multiplying the time to test by 4-10x.

You will have to decide what you want to do with listening levels. Do you want enough subwoofer and/or low enough level to insure they aren't strained or do you want to hear the differences as they tickle their limits or are pushed past them?

Mark Seaton
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post #22 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 03:22 PM
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Multiple subs will help to overcome room issues and let listeners focus on the sound of the subs. Multiples will lower distortion by increasing efficiency and should make EQ'ing easier, too.

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post #23 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 03:40 PM
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There is a gentleman in KC that owns an A7-900. I will see if I can track him down via email and at least toss him a link to this thread.

There are also a few guys in Des Moines that I will pass the word off to. But thats a longer haul with a 400+lb subwoofer in the back.
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post #24 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexlindeman View Post

There is a gentleman in KC that owns an A7-900. I will see if I can track him down via email and at least toss him a link to this thread.

There are also a few guys in Des Moines that I will pass the word off to. But thats a longer haul with a 400+lb subwoofer in the back.

Unless the Des Moines guys are physically carrying the sub, it shouldn't matter either way. It has to be loaded and unloaded from the vehicle the same amount of times.

Would be really cool to hear dual A7-900s.

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post #25 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexlindeman View Post

There is a gentleman in KC that owns an A7-900. I will see if I can track him down via email and at least toss him a link to this thread.

There are also a few guys in Des Moines that I will pass the word off to. But thats a longer haul with a 400+lb subwoofer in the back.

That would be great. I call *not it* on trying to carry that thing.

If we have a Submersive, Captivator, Trinity, and A7-900 do we need anything else?

Honestly I don't know much about the Trinity, is it a pretty heavy hitter?
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post #26 of 386 Old 11-01-2011, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

Running Audyssey on the subs makes for a huge range of variables and added time, as you have to run the entire sequence each time. There are many variables there and even with similar mic placement you can get different results run to run. Separate from the benefits it can offer, it could hugely overshadow or skew the results.

Below some point of roll off Audyssey won't boost things, and what happens when one sub falls just below that point and another gets forced flat much deeper? That is not a guarantee on if that is beneficial or detrimental, as you may get the extension, but you also might over-drive the sub or amplifier driving it.

My suggestion would be to have no processing in the receiver other than a low pass and distance setting. Set the distance in the receiver at least to the level needed for the longest group delay subwoofer (horn most likely). You can then apply additional delay to each subwoofer in the DCX when they are acoustically closer or have less group delay while not touching the settings in the receiver. I would limit REW to only using maybe 5 PEQ filters and be done, but that again depends on what you really want to compare. Unfortunately there is no easy way to compare all aspects or possibilities in one session, or you will be multiplying the time to test by 4-10x.

You will have to decide what you want to do with listening levels. Do you want enough subwoofer and/or low enough level to insure they aren't strained or do you want to hear the differences as they tickle their limits or are pushed past them?

The latest Audyssey MultEQ XT32 does much better with the bass frequencies (unfortunately Archaea's Onkyo AVR does not have XT32). It only takes 20 minutes to run a full 8 position Audyssey EQ but then you have xover, distance and levels set for each sub and the speakers. A three position Audyssey would be less than 10 minutes per sub. REW could be used before and after Audyssey to see what Audyssey has done to the native FR.

Seems simple and fair to me but then, I'm a simple guy.

HToM

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post #27 of 386 Old 11-02-2011, 02:44 PM
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I could bring an Orbit Shifter by
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post #28 of 386 Old 11-02-2011, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Permanian View Post

I could bring an Orbit Shifter by

Holy Crap.


If we are going to do big boys, lets do big boys!

Where is that A7900 at!??
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post #29 of 386 Old 11-02-2011, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Jeff,

I have mixed feelings about your attendance.

Right now with my Captivator pair I have the best sub setup I personally have ever heard. If you change my current opinion with the orbit shifter audition...

well...darn.

You just might end up selling a pair...

In reality - if you are up for the trip again, I'd love to hear an orbit shifter -- or two.

It does seem like this interest thread is aligning more to be a big boy lineup!

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
Archaea's Theatre Room
2011 KC Sub Shootout
2012 KC Blind Sub Shootout

My Subwoofer Recommendations by Pricepoint

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post #30 of 386 Old 11-02-2011, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

The latest Audyssey MultEQ XT32 does much better with the bass frequencies (unfortunately Archaea's Onkyo AVR does not have XT32). It only takes 20 minutes to run a full 8 position Audyssey EQ but then you have xover, distance and levels set for each sub and the speakers. A three position Audyssey would be less than 10 minutes per sub. REW could be used before and after Audyssey to see what Audyssey has done to the native FR.

Seems simple and fair to me but then, I'm a simple guy.

My NR1007 does EQ each sub seperately using 8 positions. It does xover, distance and levels for each sub out individually. From the NR1007 thread I think it does everything the XT32 does without then going back and pinging the subs as a pair at the end??

"Without subs it's just background music - with subs it's the main event!"
Archaea's Theatre Room
2011 KC Sub Shootout
2012 KC Blind Sub Shootout

My Subwoofer Recommendations by Pricepoint

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