Bass not satisfying - debug-help needed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I have had my system setup for some time now, and I am overall very satisfied.

System consists of
- JBL Pro Cinema speakers (15" + compression driver)
- 2 x 4645c subs (http://www.jblpro.com/pub/cinema/4645c.pdf)
- Crown CTs2000 (1000w/ch for the two subs).
- Onkyo PR-SC5508 (I am not using Audyssey)

I have listened to a couple of demos around the country this month, and every time I think their bass has some LF energy that I miss in my own system. I have auditioned Procella 15" sub, M&K MX350 and JBL Array 1500 and both seemed to have more energy. Its hard to explain exactly what I think is missing in my own.

I use a BSS London Soundweb for EQ and this is the freq. response with subs (The green is the final):


I was using a high pass filter at 20hz at the graph above, but I have currently disabled this.

I dont understand that I miss something, when the graphs are perfect and 2x18" should provide plenty.

Do you have any ideas what could be the problem? People have said that the Onkyo is not very good at LF and I should try Lexicon/ADA/Anthem. I have a feeling that it is my room which is the sinner. THere is an opening in the room where I think the bass is sucked out.

Any ideas are appreciated!

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post #2 of 35 Old 05-14-2012, 01:51 PM
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How big is your room?
How big is the opening, and to what size area does the opening go?
What do you listen to?
How did you decide where to place the subs?
What's the crossover frequency between sub and main speakers?

In general: If you want room pressurization, you're absolutely right
that an opening into another area adds that area to the size of your
listening room.
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post #3 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SelfGovern View Post

How big is your room?
How big is the opening, and to what size area does the opening go?
What do you listen to?
How did you decide where to place the subs?
What's the crossover frequency between sub and main speakers?

In general: If you want room pressurization, you're absolutely right
that an opening into another area adds that area to the size of your
listening room.

I think its easier to show a drawing of the area:

The opening to the left of the sofa is wide open and does not have a door. The door in the 12.5x5.4 feet area is very light and does not "block" any bass.

I use my system mainly for movies.

The placement of the subs are pretty fixed. As you can see, its a small room and I use big speakers behind an AT-screen, so dont have many possibilities. You can see behind the AT screen here:


The crossover between mains and subs is set at 80hz.

I was thinking about adding some 10" Procella subs around to room to account for room nulls, but I am afraid that they cant keep up with the JBLs.

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post #4 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 01:52 AM
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Could you show a graph of the subs and mains running together? One of the most critical aspects of getting satisfying bass is achieving a good blending between the subs and the mains. If the area around 80 hz turns out weak due to phase issues, you can lose the critical mid-bass slam factor. Without that, will be less than satisfying.

The nearly square room is also a problem and this is compounded by the fact that the length ang width dimensions are almost exactly 2x the ceiling height.

How's the bass in other locations besides on the sofa? Being up against the wall is typically not a good spot.
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post #5 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 01:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Everything is optimzed by measuring phase etc:

Everything is very good theoretically, but I am still missing something.

The slam-effect is very good in my system. But its the LF energy I think is missing.

My sofa is moved a little away from the back wall. But the bass is actually weakest in the sofa compared to other locations in the room. I will try to do measurements all areas of the room and compare. But my couch placement is not very flexible.

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post #6 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 05:29 AM
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You have a nice house curve, everything seems to be good. Maybe you just need more spl's in the lower frequencies, meaning when the volume is higher you might be loosing your house curve because the subs aren't keeping up below 40hz.

I'm not familiar with your subs, so I could be wrong. How close to reference do you have your system and how hot (if any) do you run your subs?
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post #7 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
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I have actually planned to measure compression of the subs.. Run measurement at 90db, 95db, 100db etc and see when it starts losing SPL in the lower frequencies...

The subs are not the typical home subs with content in the 15hz region. This is by choice, as I dont think you are able to get 15hz content from a sub, without sacrificing 40-80hz speed. The subs are identical to those used in the JBL Synthesis setups.

But the Procella/M&K subs I listened to, are this design as well. Not much below 20hz.

I usually watch movies at -15 to -10db from reference. When I test the system I crank it up to about -5.

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post #8 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 05:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonasHansen View Post

I have actually planned to measure compression of the subs.. Run measurement at 90db, 95db, 100db etc and see when it starts losing SPL in the lower frequencies...

The subs are not the typical home subs with content in the 15hz region. This is by choice, as I dont think you are able to get 15hz content from a sub, without sacrificing 40-80hz speed. The subs are identical to those used in the JBL Synthesis setups.

But the Procella/M&K subs I listened to, are this design as well. Not much below 20hz.

I usually watch movies at -15 to -10db from reference. When I test the system I crank it up to about -5.

I'll be interested to see what you find when you test them at those higher spl's.

When you say you are missing something in the lower freq., I bet it's more 20-40hz and not down in the teens.

When you say a sub can't do 15hz without sacrificing the higher frequencies I disagree. I think that's what's so great about the Submersive because in my opinion it does just that. It is the most musical sub I've ever heard but it plunges well below 20hz as well.
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post #9 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 05:47 AM
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BTW, full disclosure - I own dual Submersives and am a fanboy.
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post #10 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

I'll be interested to see what you find when you test them at those higher spl's.

When you say you are missing something in the lower freq., I bet it's more 20-40hz and not down in the teens.

When you say a sub can't do 15hz without sacrificing the higher frequencies I disagree. I think that's what's so great about the Submersive because in my opinion it does just that. It is the most musical sub I've ever heard but it plunges well below 20hz as well.

I will post my findings. I dont think it will be this week though. But I'll get the time as soon as possible.

I have never heard the SubMersive, so maybe I'm wrong. But if you are right, then it sounds like just the sub for me.

I'm a JBL/Harman fanboy myself, so its not easy to make me change to another brand.

And I agree with the 20-40 content being the area I feel I am missing. But I still believe that my room is the sinner. I have heard descriptions of others using the same subs, and they have all the things I miss.

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post #11 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 06:05 AM
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Cool, I'm curious how those subs will hold up down low so I'll stay tuned.

I would think that if the room were the culprit then you would see a null in the frequency response and that's not the case.

When you get time you should post pics of your room, I'm curious what your screen looks like. I'm jealous of those with AT screens, I wish I had one.
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post #12 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 06:12 AM
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I do believe your room is a real factor here.

I notice that before eq, the response looks quite boomy with a sharp rolloff from the low 30's on down. It has to take a lot of eq for you to get it flat including what amounts to a good deal of boost below tuning to get a flat response to 20hz. Boosting below tuning is usually not a great idea and excessive eq in general sometimes seems to result in a loss of dynamics. I believe you may have the wrong subs for your particular room. I'm thinking that a couple of good sealed subs with a natural second order anechoic rolloff would work well in there.
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post #13 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mojomike View Post

I do believe your room is a real factor here.

I notice that before eq, the response looks quite boomy with a sharp rolloff from the low 30's on down. It has to take a lot of eq for you to get it flat including what amounts to a good deal of boost below tuning to get a flat response to 20hz. Boosting below tuning is usually not a great idea and excessive eq in general sometimes seems to result in a loss of dynamics. I believe you may have the wrong subs for your particular room. I'm thinking that a couple of good sealed subs with a natural second order anechoic rolloff would work well in there.

The subs are designed to have a filter at 25hz to boost the response and make it flat to 22hz. But I see your point about boosting too much. But the driver takes a LOT of power without any compression.

For a long time, I have actually thought about getting a ULF sub to handle <30hz. I love the 30-100hz reproduction from the JBL's, so this would be a very good solution. Then the ULF content will not affect the 30-100hz content.

What makes me wonder is, that JBL Synthesis use these subs in their top of the line systems, and it sounds weird that they should miss out on the same things I believe I am. I would love to hear my subs in the room I heard the Procella demo. Or I could borrow the Procella sub and compare it to the store.

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post #14 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonasHansen View Post

The subs are not the typical home subs with content in the 15hz region. This is by choice, as I dont think you are able to get 15hz content from a sub, without sacrificing 40-80hz speed. The subs are identical to those used in the JBL Synthesis setups.

From what I have researched here on AVS I think many would disagree with you on this point. Especially when it comes to sealed applications. I don't know of many commercially available subs that come close to 15Hz with any type of authority.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mojomike View Post

I'm thinking that a couple of good sealed subs with a natural second order anechoic rolloff would work well in there.

I agree with Mojo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by carp View Post

BTW, full disclosure - I own dual Submersives and am a fanboy.

I'm not a Submersive fan per se, but I hear nothing but good things about them. I am however, a fan of the LMS 5400 Ultras DIY route. There are many many users on this forum with a few (or more than a few) Ultras that claim it to be the end all be all sub. Some of which have upgraded from some other serious setups (Epik Conquests, etc...).

Full disclosure - I DO NOT own the LMS Ultra (yet) but am a total fanboy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonasHansen View Post

For a long time, I have actually thought about getting a ULF sub to handle <30hz. I love the 30-100hz reproduction from the JBL's, so this would be a very good solution. Then the ULF content will not affect the 30-100hz content.

I personally think having a sub to handle only the <30hz would be a bit on the extreme side. The only thing I can think of that you would be able to fully maximize the potential of your product would be a rotary sub. Something like the TRW-15. On the other hand, if you were to implement a few of the Ultra's they could handle the extreme lows and upper mid bass without trouble (in a sealed application of course).

If you are wanting to throw money at the situation, seriously consider the Ultra. Hell, you've been around here longer than I, so I'm sure you've seen Notnyt's, Edogg's or Lukeamdnam's systems. I believe Notnyt specifically can comment on how the LMS blend with his JBL's.

Check out one of Luke's sick video's of his setup in action... He, along with the others have nothing missing in the LFE department.

 

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post #15 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 08:42 AM
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Sometimes with eq, large degrees of cutting the frequencies in several areas of the response can adversely affect the bass "energy" in the room even if it winds up giving you a smooth frequency response in your listening spot. Perhaps you might benefit from heavy bass traps in the room to help acoustically improve the response prior to eq.
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post #16 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 08:56 AM
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How much boost are you running on your sub EQ? Where are you boosting/cutting? What do your mains look like full range without a sub? -3db?

Your full range graph has too big a scale try a scale with a span of 60db on the y-axis and remove all smoothing...... Its possible something might be easier to see if you do this....

As others have stated no real glaring probs but the room issues.

If you dont use audyssey how to you set phase and/or align delay?

Don't waste time reading signatures.....
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post #17 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicksHitachi View Post

How much boost are you running on your sub EQ? Where are you boosting/cutting? What do your mains look like full range without a sub? -3db?

Your full range graph has too big a scale try a scale with a span of 60db on the y-axis and remove all smoothing...... Its possible something might be easier to see if you do this....

As others have stated no real glaring probs but the room issues.

If you dont use audyssey how to you set phase and/or align delay?

I'll post measurements with no smoothing and zoomed in. (Wow they look bad when the SPL-axis has a smaller scale )

I think the speakers are -3db @ 40hz. Have never measured them fullrange as I apply the 80hz highpass in the beginning. The center zoomed (1/24 smooth) looks like this:


The sub measurement with no smoothing:


As I wrote earlier, this measurement is with 12db/oct high pass at 20hz. It should be flat to 20 without this filter. But I dont think that its the <25hz content I'm missing. I have auditioned an JBL Array 1500 which gave me exactly what I wanted in the LF energy area. And it is spec'ed at 25hz for -3db.

Delay/trim etc, is all handled in the BSS Soundweb unit. The Onkyo is just a decoder where everything is set to fullrange and no trim/delay. The BSS also handles EQ, crossover for my LCR-speakers, and crossover for the LCR/Subs. It can do everything. Its identical to the JBL Synthesis SDEC4500 unit.

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post #18 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonasHansen View Post

The subs are designed to have a filter at 25hz to boost the response and make it flat to 22hz. But I see your point about boosting too much. But the driver takes a LOT of power without any compression.

For a long time, I have actually thought about getting a ULF sub to handle <30hz. I love the 30-100hz reproduction from the JBL's, so this would be a very good solution. Then the ULF content will not affect the 30-100hz content.

What makes me wonder is, that JBL Synthesis use these subs in their top of the line systems, and it sounds weird that they should miss out on the same things I believe I am. I would love to hear my subs in the room I heard the Procella demo. Or I could borrow the Procella sub and compare it to the store.

Looking at the before EQ graph you posted above and the spec sheet of the similar production subwoofer tell much of the tale. The tuning appears to be in the upper 20s or near 30Hz. You can push below this with EQ, but output will compress quickly as port airflow and driver excursion go non-linear. As you describe, I would expect these to be quite capable of giving a very full kick in your room, but the expectations were just never set to plumb the depths.

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post #19 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 09:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post

Looking at the before EQ graph you posted above and the spec sheet of the similar production subwoofer tell much of the tale. The tuning appears to be in the upper 20s or near 30Hz. You can push below this with EQ, but output will compress quickly as port airflow and driver excursion go non-linear. As you describe, I would expect these to be quite capable of giving a very full kick in your room, but the expectations were just never set to plumb the depths.

Tuning is 25hz. I think I'll have to bring home some subs, which I know can give that depth I am seeking. Then I can instantly verify if it is my subs or my room. I would just have a hard time giving up their performance above 30hz. I have not heard subs as good as them elsewhere.

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post #20 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 09:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I actually think the link you provided, is the old version which used a 2245H and tuning at 30hz instead of 25hz. 2245H has a sensitivity og 95 as stated in the link and the 2242H (used in my subs and the "real" S1S-EX has 97db sensitivity)

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post #21 of 35 Old 05-15-2012, 10:01 AM
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Youve got some serious suckouts at 39 and 50 which I would think are room/placement related. Room treatments might help.

For a serious system like yours i would think if going ported, no higher than 20hz tuning..... Your leaving a lot on the bass table with 25-30hz tuning for HT IMO. Most commercial sub's -3db
points are at least an octave lower in room......

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post #22 of 35 Old 05-16-2012, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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If I'm done with my work tonight, I'll try to measure around the room to see if there is a spot where there are no dips.

Btw. just looked at the specs of the Procella subwoofer I auditioned last week:
http://procella.citymax.com/f/P15_Tech_Sheet_v2.11.pdf

It has -3db@22hz which is exactly the same as my 4645c subs. I know I am missing out on some ULF material, but I dont think that is what I am missing.

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post #23 of 35 Old 05-16-2012, 03:17 PM
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You should demo some subs that can get 16hz at high levels. It's an experience you don't want to miss before any purchase that are over a grand. Your sub are very capable for music but for movies, the f3 are too high.
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post #24 of 35 Old 05-18-2012, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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A little update. I did a new complete calibration of my system yesterday (I use 8 mics in the listening area with spatial averaging) and use REW to calculate the filters to match my targets. I always re-measure to verify target and to adjust if needed (Which it always is!)

I have read Floyd Tooles book and read much about the SFM algorithm, and tried varying the delay, level and EQ parameters on the individual subs. I can actually improve the seat to seat and get rid of room nulls by doing this!

Take a look at the graph below. They gray is the raw response of the two subs, and the purple/blue is by reducing one sub by 6db and delay it 5ms...


This was just the initial test. I actually made a really good result by looking at the individual sub responses and apply EQ strategically at certain areas.

I was finished so late yesterday, that I didnt test it with movies. But the music I tested, was definately an improvement. The bass is more articulate and I dont have to turn up the subs as much as I had before. This is the initial impression, and I am looking forward to see if it has given me any improvement for movies.

About the compression graphs: I tried doing sweeps and the subs are solid down to 25hz... When I reached 107db I stopped. But I think it can do louder at 25hz. They have usable output down to 22hz (-3db) but below 22hz it drops like a rock. No usable output.

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post #25 of 35 Old 05-18-2012, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datranz View Post

You should demo some subs that can get 16hz at high levels. It's an experience you don't want to miss before any purchase that are over a grand. Your sub are very capable for music but for movies, the f3 are too high.

I agree. My plan is still to some day have subs only for the <30hz content. If I find a sub which can do 30-100hz as well as my JBL's and still do the ULF, I will pick that one. I just haven't found it yet

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post #26 of 35 Old 05-18-2012, 06:30 AM
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If the BSS London Soundweb is a manual PEQ, it will not provide anything close to the correction granularity that your Onkyo PR-SC5508's Audyssey MultEQ XT32 can give you. I would disable the Soundweb EQ and run through your receiver's Audyssey setup routine. Once that finishes, go into the receiver's audio setup menu and ensure that the speaker sizes are set to "small", crossovers are at 80 Hz, Audyssey Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume are "Off", and bump up the gain on the sub channel several dB.

Listen & take some new measurements after you're done with the Audyssey setup. The frequency response should be much improved. If there are any remaining issues you could then do a little fine-tuning with the Soundweb.
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post #27 of 35 Old 05-18-2012, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henrich3 View Post

If the BSS London Soundweb is a manual PEQ, it will not provide anything close to the correction granularity that your Onkyo PR-SC5508's Audyssey MultEQ XT32 can give you. I would disable the Soundweb EQ and run through your receiver's Audyssey setup routine. Once that finishes, go into the receiver's audio setup menu and ensure that the speaker sizes are set to "small", crossovers are at 80 Hz, Audyssey Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume are "Off", and bump up the gain on the sub channel several dB.

Listen & take some new measurements after you're done the Audyssey setup. I suspect that the frequency response will be much improved. If there are any remaining issues you could then do a little fine-tuning with the Soundweb.

Not to start a war against the Audyssey fans, but I have used Audyssey XT32 (bought the pro-kit too), and it is nowhere near the results I can get with REW+PEQ's. In some areas, Audyssey actually made it sound worse than no EQ at all.

Yes the Soundweb is manual, but I am making a spatial average by using 8 fixed positioned microphones, calculating filters automatically in REW and I am able to actually verify the results (which Audyssey cannot).

I'm curious to where you think my freq. responses need improvement? This is the one I did yesterday. Same smoothing as Audyssey uses on their calculated responses:

(Above 3khz is not exact, as this is done with an Earthworks M30 mic which is accurate to 20khz).

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post #28 of 35 Old 05-18-2012, 07:14 AM
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Running the Audyssey setup does make some "uninspired" changes to the audio configuration settings. I suspect that folks who run Audyssey and don't like the results are unhappy because they don't go back and make the post-Audyssey changes that I suggested. If you don't like the post-Audyssey results, it's easy enough to turn Audyssey off. The smoothed measurements you posted look great. Smoothed measurements don't give you an accurate picture of the benefits Audyssey is providing however, especially in the higher frequencies.

One other note about Audyssey. The standard Audyssey setting rolls off the high frequencies which is something that doesn't appeal to me. My Denon 5308 has an "Audyssey Flat" mode that eliminates that rolloff. I assume that your Onkyo has a similar Audyssey mode, although it may have a different name.

You complained about your system's sound quality with Audyssey off. Why not try my suggestions, including the post-Audyssey setup changes, before writing them off?
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post #29 of 35 Old 05-18-2012, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henrich3 View Post

Running the Audyssey setup does make some "uninspired" changes to the audio configuration settings. I suspect that folks who run Audyssey and don't like the results are unhappy because they don't go back and make the post-Audyssey changes that I suggested. If you don't like the post-Audyssey results, it's easy enough to turn Audyssey off. The smoothed measurements you posted look great. Smoothed measurements don't give you an accurate picture of the benefits Audyssey is providing however, especially in the higher frequencies.

One other note about Audyssey. The standard Audyssey setting rolls off the high frequencies which is something that doesn't appeal to me. My Denon 5308 has an "Audyssey Flat" mode that eliminates that rolloff. I assume that your Onkyo has a similar Audyssey mode, although it may have a different name.

You complained about your system's sound quality with Audyssey off. Why not try my suggestions, including the post-Audyssey setup changes, before writing them off?

I already have. The first months I was about to go crazy, because it sounded bad. I thought it was because of my unusual choice in speakers and really regret buying them at a certain point. They didnt have the attach/speed I wanted. All these tests were by using Audyssey XT32 with the pro-kit. I did exactly what you are saying about x-over etc.

When I finally tried turning off Audyssey and setting the filters generated by measurements from REW, I found the sound I was looking for: Punch, attack and speed.

I have tried measuring my system with Audyssey and with manual filters and they have the exact same frequency response... But Audyssey just does something more to the sound, which on my system, was negative. At first you are impressed and it sounds like there are more details - but it sounds so fake and I lose precision. Hard to explain.

But thanks for the advice! I am sure that Audyssey does improve many setups - just not in my case.

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post #30 of 35 Old 05-18-2012, 09:33 AM
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I went from Audyssey Pro back to Pioneer & MCACC due to flat and sterile SQ.
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