Subwoofer audyssey calibration... weaksauce "reference level" - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I just bought a SVS PB12 Plus.I have an Onkyo TX-NR818, with audyssey multEQ XT32. I have "dynamic volume" which compresses the dynamic range OFF. When I calibrate with Audyssey, I put my mic at the listening area and it has me adjust my subwoofer volume down to 75db. On my SVS PB12 plus that is -22.

After that is done the subwoofer volume in the receiver is set to 0DB. I also set the volume to 82db (THX reference level). When I play blu ray movies like this the subwoofer output is total weaksauce. For example, the brief club scene in Borne 2, there is chest thumping music in the club and I would expect to get chest thumping subwoofer output. Instead, at the "reference" levels audyssey has selected there is nothing even close to that.

To really get it up there I redid the audyssey calibration with my subwoofer output measuring at 87db. Audyssey sets the subwoofer output at -13db. I rewatched the scene and decided +2db (15db over "reference") seemed a lot more appropriate. The reason I did it this way is because the subwoofer volume will only go up 12db above 0.

So, what is going on? I know if I watched this movie in a movie theater I would get way more bass output in that scene than what audyssey thinks is "reference". Ideally I'd like to just see an increased dynamic range. I'd rather have that scene be chest thumping without having every other scene also have its bass +15db. Although, I much prefer this to an overall weaksauce subwoofer output.
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post #2 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S1ingB1ade View Post

I just bought a SVS PB12 Plus.I have an Onkyo TX-NR818, with audyssey multEQ XT32. I have "dynamic volume" which compresses the dynamic range OFF. When I calibrate with Audyssey, I put my mic at the listening area and it has me adjust my subwoofer volume down to 75db. On my SVS PB12 plus that is -22.

After that is done the subwoofer volume in the receiver is set to 0DB. I also set the volume to 82db (THX reference level). When I play blu ray movies like this the subwoofer output is total weaksauce. For example, the brief club scene in Borne 2, there is chest thumping music in the club and I would expect to get chest thumping subwoofer output. Instead, at the "reference" levels audyssey has selected there is nothing even close to that.

To really get it up there I redid the audyssey calibration with my subwoofer output measuring at 87db. Audyssey sets the subwoofer output at -13db. I rewatched the scene and decided +2db (15db over "reference") seemed a lot more appropriate. The reason I did it this way is because the subwoofer volume will only go up 12db above 0.

So, what is going on? I know if I watched this movie in a movie theater I would get way more bass output in that scene than what audyssey thinks is "reference". Ideally I'd like to just see an increased dynamic range. I'd rather have that scene be chest thumping without having every other scene also have its bass +15db. Although, I much prefer this to an overall weaksauce subwoofer output.

I just ran Audyssey and it had all my speakers, sub included in the minus numbers. I pulled out my Radio Shack analog sound meter and went into the receivers (Integra 40.2) sound settings and calibrated it set at 80db. It bumped up my sub from -12 to +6. Not sure why Audyssey did this. Maybe someone more in the know can help.

Jeff
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post #3 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 11:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by S1ingB1ade View Post

So, what is going on?

I've come to the conclusion that Murphy of "Murphy's Law" fame states unequivocally that the main listening position will always be in the deepest null in the room.

A suggestion, check you subwoofer distances as sometime Audyessy will get carried away and place your subwoofers next door. My understanding, this will reduce the mid-bass slam you post is lacking. If your subwoofers are equidistant, measure you subwoofers and then check the distance on the AVR setting and try adjusting accordingly.

Do you have room measuring capability for without this tool, even with sub crawls and sound meter in hand, one can never rationally be expected to get the best out of their subwoofer system.

Hope the above helps to get you going in the correct direction.
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post #4 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

I've come to the conclusion that Murphy of "Murphy's Law" fame states unequivocally that the main listening position will always be in the deepest null in the room.

A suggestion, check you subwoofer distances as sometime Audyessy will get carried away and place your subwoofers next door. My understanding, this will reduce the mid-bass slam you post is lacking. If your subwoofers are equidistant, measure you subwoofers and then check the distance on the AVR setting and try adjusting accordingly.

Do you have room measuring capability for without this tool, even with sub crawls and sound meter in hand, one can never rationally be expected to get the best out of their subwoofer system.

Hope the above helps to get you going in the correct direction.

Funny the 1st couple of times Audyssey had my sub, like you said, next door...the past several times it's been pretty close to the 12ish foot mark which is the distance from the sub to my chair.

Jeff
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post #5 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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It thinks it is 8.5ft away... that's pretty much right.

I tried walking around the room and didn't notice much difference. It's not just the "chest thump"... that's just a good example. The overall volume from the sub that audyssey thinks is right seems really weak to me.

I tried watching "How to Train your dragon", which was recommended in the " Master List of BASS in Movies" thread as a 5 star movie. In the opening scene that has a few thumps with some of the explosions with the audyssey settings... but nothing approaching "intense" which is what I would expect it to be. When I turn it up... ya... intense... With the audyssey setting I see some explosions happen and feel nothing, it's like they're shooting blanks. When I turn it up every explosion has an effect.
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post #6 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 01:02 PM
 
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Based on you saying Audyssey has the distances correct, I'm going to back to your original statement of settings. At the main listening position, I set our subs gain setting so the sound meter shows 73dB. I calibrate each sub, each sub turned on separately for measuring purposes, at a measured 1m (39"), to 67dB (some recommend this measurement be taken at one foot or ~300mm and the combined measurement at the main listening position, both subs powered up, is 73dB. Then I run the EQ programs.

Before running Audyssey, based on your subwoofer's gain setting, what is your pink noise reading at the main listening position?
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post #7 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 02:11 PM
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Audyssey's goal of a flat frequency response sounds a bit lame in the LFE department to me as well. I always do the following post-Audyssey tweaks:

- Set all speakers to "Small" and crossovers to 80 Hz.
- Disable Audyssey's bells & whistles (Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume).
- Switch the Audyssey mode to Audyssey Flat. (That's Denon's nomenclature for the mode that eliminates the high-end roll off. Onkyo may have a different name for it.)
- Raise the subwoofer gain in the receiver 6 dB.
- Raise the center channel gain 3 dB to improve dialog intelligibility.

Once the tweaks are done I play a variety of music selections to hear if the low end sounds balanced. If it's over-bearing or weak I adjust the sub gain as desired.

Happy tweaking!
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post #8 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

both subs powered up, is 73dB.

Why 73?

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Then I run the EQ programs.

Before running Audyssey, based on your subwoofer's gain setting, what is your pink noise reading at the main listening position?

What would be the point of setting subwoofer gains prior to running Audyssey? Audyssey will just change them back. You need to run Audyssey first, and then compare to your SPL meter afterwards. Aud has always Fubard up sub settings, and usually needs to be changed after running it. You can also bump up the sub level based on how far below reference you listen to, if this applies to you.

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post #9 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 03:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

Why 73?

Simple. There are two schools of thought that I've read on the matter, one being 70dB and the other 75dB so I'm splitting the difference and going with the averages.

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What would be the point of setting subwoofer gains prior to running Audyssey? Audyssey will just change them back.

One is calibrating the sub output using pink noise and the subwoofer's gain potentiometer. The AVR's subwoofer gain setting is set to +/- 0. Audyssey or the AVR doesn't have the ability to change the subwoofer's gain setting. Since Audyssey is going be run, I set Audyssey to factory settings and then start the calibration efforts so this way, all of Audyssey's old settings are no longer a part of the calibration effort.

Quote:
You need to run Audyssey first, and then compare to your SPL meter afterwards. Aud has always Fubard up sub settings, and usually needs to be changed after running it. You can also bump up the sub level based on how far below reference you listen to, if this applies to you.

Agreed on the need to adjust the speaker settings after Audyssey is done and agree that Audyssey is a flawed product but, in my opinion, after it's all said and done, one doesn't want to change the subwoofer's gain until the next calibration effort. In my opinion, if one want to run it hot, my recommendation, do so at the AVR's, main menu level, which is the level that Audyssey's recommendations are effected.
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post #10 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 03:08 PM
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post #11 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Simple. There are two schools of thought that I've read on the matter, one being 70dB and the other 75dB so I'm splitting the difference and going with the averages.

Do you average your mains too?
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Audyssey or the AVR doesn't have the ability to change the subwoofer's gain setting.

But it does change the AVR sub gain which is effectively the same thing.

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post #12 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 03:56 PM
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post #13 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 04:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

Do you average your mains too?

I know you're funnin me cause we both know mains are passive.

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But it does change the AVR sub gain which is effectively the same thing.

No, it changes the AVR's gain, not the sub's gain. The sub's gain is that little potentiometer dial thingy on the sub you use to calibrate your subs output, before running Audyssey and also, we both know that.

Reads more like you're just wanting to be a polemic as opposed to asking me a sincere question. If all you want to do is argue, I'll bow out of your line of questioning as I thought you were being sincere in your question.
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post #14 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

I know you're funnin me cause we both know mains are passive.
No, it changes the AVR's gain, not the sub's gain. The sub's gain is that little potentiometer dial thingy on the sub you use to calibrate your subs output, before running Audyssey and also, we both know that.

Reads more like you're just wanting to be a polemic as opposed to asking me a sincere question. If all you want to do is argue, I'll bow out of your line of questioning as I thought you were being sincere in your question.

I think the point is that Audyssey setup will put the sub so that a -30 dBFS bandwidth limited pink noise signal would be 70 dB in room (reference). If you turn down the gain on the sub, Audyssey will turn up the gain on the receiver, and vice versa. 70 dB is 70 dB regardless of how the intervening gain stages are set.

A touch confused, but you know AU]udyssey ignores all the settings in the receiver when it rune, right

OP, 2 things. I'm not sure how you are setting volume to what you think is THX reference. After Audyssey runs, your master volume on the receiver should put you at reference (leaving dialnorm out of the picture) when it as at zero. At that level the bass should sound and feel very loud. Because of how we hear (equal loudness curves can be googled) if the levels are significantly lower, the bass sounds "more quieter" than the midrange. To the extent that people increase their sub levels to account for this, I would argue that Audyssey's Dynamic EQ is a superior fix. The equal loudness curves are curves, not a plateau, and Audyssey can correct according to the curve in a way that simply raising the sub never can.

Of course lots and lots of people like the bass "more hotter" than DEQ would provide and raise their sub levels in the receiver to get the desired effect. All to the good if that's what you're after.
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post #15 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 05:37 PM
 
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A touch confused, but you know AU]udyssey ignores all the settings in the receiver when it rune, right

Yes. What point are you confused on?

I'm aware of what Audyssey is doing with the AVR gain settings.

-
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post #16 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 06:00 PM
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OP,

I recommend reading and posting in the Audyssey thread.
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post #17 of 128 Old 02-16-2013, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. My receiver doesn't show 0 when at reference... 0 would be no sound whatsoever. At 82 volume it says "THX Ref", so I assume that is reference. I'll check out the audyssey thread. I think I may just be a creatin and enjoy a really hot sub for movies. For music I admit the same levels I had for movies was overkill.
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post #18 of 128 Old 02-17-2013, 12:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S1ingB1ade View Post

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. My receiver doesn't show 0 when at reference... 0 would be no sound whatsoever. At 82 volume it says "THX Ref", so I assume that is reference. I'll check out the audyssey thread. I think I may just be a creatin and enjoy a really hot sub for movies. For music I admit the same levels I had for movies was overkill.

Your AVR has two ways of displaying the volume. You'll probably need to go into the menu and set the volume display to "relative" (or something like that). Then it will show in terms of dB, whereby 0dB is reference. Below reference will be shown, for example, as -5.0dB.
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post #19 of 128 Old 02-17-2013, 07:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S1ingB1ade View Post

I just bought a SVS PB12 Plus.I have an Onkyo TX-NR818, with audyssey multEQ XT32. I have "dynamic volume" which compresses the dynamic range OFF. When I calibrate with Audyssey, I put my mic at the listening area and it has me adjust my subwoofer volume down to 75db. On my SVS PB12 plus that is -22.

After that is done the subwoofer volume in the receiver is set to 0DB. I also set the volume to 82db (THX reference level). When I play blu ray movies like this the subwoofer output is total weaksauce. For example, the brief club scene in Borne 2, there is chest thumping music in the club and I would expect to get chest thumping subwoofer output. Instead, at the "reference" levels audyssey has selected there is nothing even close to that.

To really get it up there I redid the audyssey calibration with my subwoofer output measuring at 87db. Audyssey sets the subwoofer output at -13db. I rewatched the scene and decided +2db (15db over "reference") seemed a lot more appropriate. The reason I did it this way is because the subwoofer volume will only go up 12db above 0.

So, what is going on? I know if I watched this movie in a movie theater I would get way more bass output in that scene than what audyssey thinks is "reference". Ideally I'd like to just see an increased dynamic range. I'd rather have that scene be chest thumping without having every other scene also have its bass +15db. Although, I much prefer this to an overall weaksauce subwoofer output.

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post #20 of 128 Old 02-17-2013, 02:27 PM
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I agree Craig, it just amazes me the subject proper calibration just eludes some years after years.

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post #21 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Yes. What point are you confused on?

I'm aware of what Audyssey is doing with the AVR gain settings.

-

I was actually referring back to this statement of yours

"One is calibrating the sub output using pink noise and the subwoofer's gain potentiometer. The AVR's subwoofer gain setting is set to +/- 0. Audyssey or the AVR doesn't have the ability to change the subwoofer's gain setting. Since Audyssey is going be run, I set Audyssey to factory settings and then start the calibration efforts so this way, all of Audyssey's old settings are no longer a part of the calibration effort."

Since Audyssey ignores all the settings, there's no reason to "set Audyssey to factory settings" assuming that means changing some setting in the receiver. all of Audyssey's "old settings" are not a part of the calibration effort regardless of what we do before starting calibration. Because Audyssey ignores those settings, making them irrelevant to the new calibration.
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post #22 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

Yes. What point are you confused on?

I'm aware of what Audyssey is doing with the AVR gain settings.

-

I was actually referring back to this statement of yours

"One is calibrating the sub output using pink noise and the subwoofer's gain potentiometer. The AVR's subwoofer gain setting is set to +/- 0. Audyssey or the AVR doesn't have the ability to change the subwoofer's gain setting. Since Audyssey is going be run, I set Audyssey to factory settings and then start the calibration efforts so this way, all of Audyssey's old settings are no longer a part of the calibration effort."

Since Audyssey ignores all the settings, there's no reason to "set Audyssey to factory settings" assuming that means changing some setting in the receiver. all of Audyssey's "old settings" are not a part of the calibration effort regardless of what we do before starting calibration. Because Audyssey ignores those settings, making them irrelevant to the new calibration.
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post #23 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 10:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

I was actually referring back to this statement of yours

"One is calibrating the sub output using pink noise and the subwoofer's gain potentiometer. The AVR's subwoofer gain setting is set to +/- 0. Audyssey or the AVR doesn't have the ability to change the subwoofer's gain setting. Since Audyssey is going be run, I set Audyssey to factory settings and then start the calibration efforts so this way, all of Audyssey's old settings are no longer a part of the calibration effort."

Since Audyssey ignores all the settings, there's no reason to "set Audyssey to factory settings" assuming that means changing some setting in the receiver. all of Audyssey's "old settings" are not a part of the calibration effort regardless of what we do before starting calibration. Because Audyssey ignores those settings, making them irrelevant to the new calibration.

Agreed. One is calibrating their subwoofer, using their subwoofer's gain setting and they're doing this while all information lacks Audyssey, influence. I'm trying to make my comment clear that at no time in the calibration process am I referring to the AVR's gain setting and I am saying what you're suggesting in your above, the need to get Audyssey's influence out of the way while calibrating the sub and using a program like REW to verify the results.

I'm not sure where you're trying to go with what I posted as it seems we're both in agreement; calibrate and verify the subwoofer system's output, outside the influence of Audyssey and then run Audyssey to put polish on the manual calibration/integration effort.

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post #24 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 10:23 AM
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I'm not sure where you're trying to go with what I posted as it seems we're both in agreement; calibrate and verify the subwoofer system's output, outside the influence of Audyssey and then run Audyssey to put polish on the manual calibration/integration effort.
In your earlier statement, you said:
Quote:
Since Audyssey is going be run, I set Audyssey to factory settings and then start the calibration efforts so this way, all of Audyssey's old settings are no longer a part of the calibration effort.
What you appear to be saying is that you re-set your AVR to factory settings (I don't imagine Audyssey would have "factory settings") in order to completely wipe out all Audyssey calibration settings - including distance and phase - prior to doing a manual calibration of the sub only, prior to re-running Audyssey.

Is this correct? If so, and if you're not moving the sub, why would you want to re-set distance and phase? Why would you not just switch Audyssey to "off"?

Just curious...
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post #25 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 10:43 AM
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I have the same receiver, and have a Rythmik LV12R sub, and I am confronted with a similar issue that I am trying to sort out.

Prior to the Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 calibration kicks off, the receiver instructs you to adjust the gain on the sub manually while pink noise is playing - such that the Audyssey mic senses 75dB volume level in the room. I had a Denon 3313 and a Marantz SR5007 before (BeeMan458 has the SR5007, if I remember it right) - both of which have Audyssey MultiEQ XT, but I did not have a sub at that point. The setup sequence might be different between XT and XT32, or maybe it's the same with both flavors of Audyssey, but having a sub in the mix changes the setup procedure.

Once, I manually adjust the gain on the sub to get as close to 75dB as possible ( I get 76dB at the closest value I can set the gain knob to), the rest of the Audyssey calibration sequence kicks off, with the trademark chirps. Once the calibration is complete, I find that Audyssey has set my front speakers to 40Hz and the sub gain to around +0.5 to +1.5 dB on various calibration runs. I change the crossover to 80Hz after the calibration, and I perceive that I am losing chunk of midbass frequencies at this setting. If I revert back to 40Hz, there is too little output from the sub. I try to raise the sub gain to +3 dB, and I get a decent amount of sub action.

Something is frankly messed up in my setting, and I need to investigate further, but the point of my post is that the Onkyo TX-NR818 receiver's implementation of the Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 calibration makes you manually adjust the sub gain so that the measured SPL for the pink noise is 75dB, prior to calibrating the speakers. Hope that clarifies the OP's question.
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post #26 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 10:45 AM
 
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Originally Posted by eljaycanuck View Post

In your earlier statement, you said:

I've done my level headed best to clarify what it is I want to convey.

Get Audyssey out of the way of the calibration/integration process and using a room analyzing program, (with Audyssey set to factory specs/turn it off; jump up-n-down on it, stab it with a pitchfork, do what every makes you all warm and fuzzy inside), verify one has done their level headed best to obtain the best graph representation to their ability and then run Audyssey.

It does no good for me to try to communicate if one is not reading/comprehending what I post. I'm trying to communicate and if my efforts to communicate fail you abysmally, forgive me as I've given it my best.

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Once the calibration is complete, I find that Audyssey has set my front speakers to 40Hz and the sub gain to around +0.5 to +1.5 dB on various calibration runs. I change the crossover to 80Hz after the calibration, and I perceive that I am losing chunk of midbass frequencies at this setting. If I revert back to 40Hz, there is too little output from the sub. I try to raise the sub gain to +3 dB, and I get a decent amount of sub action.

Something is frankly messed up in my setting, and I need to investigate further, but the point of my post is that the Onkyo TX-NR818 receiver's implementation of the Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 calibration makes you manually adjust the sub gain so that the measured SPL for the pink noise is 75dB, prior to calibrating the speakers. Hope that clarifies the OP's question.

If I might, two suggestions, set all speakers to small, despite what Audyssey says and second, make sure you're AVR speaker setting is LFE+Main so all information is bass managed over to the subwoofer/LFE channel, pre-out, what ever someone demands it be called.

-
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post #27 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

I've done my level headed best to clarify what it is I want to convey.

Get Audyssey out of the way of the calibration/integration process (set to factory specs/turn it off; do what every makes you all warm and fuzzy inside), with a room analyzing program, with Audyssey out of the way, verify one has done their level headed best to obtain the best graph to their ability and then run Audyssey.

It does no good to try to communicate if you're not reading what I post. I'm trying to communicate and if my efforts to communicate fail you abysmally, forgive me as I've given it my best.

-

What settings you've made using REW or a plain old sound meter prior to running Audyssey get overwritten after the calibration, so what's the point of analyzing the room prior to running Audyssey? The notable exception is adjusting the sub volume as I mentioned in my previous post.
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post #28 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 10:53 AM
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I've done my level headed best to clarify what it is I want to convey.

Get Audyssey out of the way of the calibration/integration process (set to factory specs/turn it off; do what every makes you all warm and fuzzy inside), with a room analyzing program, verify one has done their level headed best to obtain the best graph to their ability and then run Audyssey.

It does no good to try to communicate if you're not reading what I post. I'm trying to communicate and if my efforts to communicate fail you abysmally, forgive me as I've given it my best.
Ummm...okay.

But if you feel up to it at some point, my fairly straightforward questions remain: If you're not moving the sub, why would you want to undo the distance and phase settings that were calculated by Audyssey? Rather than re-set the AVR to factory settings, why would you not just switch Audyssey to "off" (which would retain distance and phase, but disable all other settings)?

Thanks.
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post #29 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BeeMan458 View Post

I've done my level headed best to clarify what it is I want to convey.

Get Audyssey out of the way of the calibration/integration process and using a room analyzing program, (with Audyssey set to factory specs/turn it off; jump up-n-down on it, stab it with a pitchfork, do what every makes you all warm and fuzzy inside), verify one has done their level headed best to obtain the best graph representation to their ability and then run Audyssey.

It does no good for me to try to communicate if one is not reading/comprehending what I post. I'm trying to communicate and if my efforts to communicate fail you abysmally, forgive me as I've given it my best.
If I might, two suggestions, set all speakers to small, despite what Audyssey says and second, make sure you're AVR speaker setting is LFE+Main so all information is bass managed over to the subwoofer/LFE channel, pre-out, what ever someone demands it be called.

-

I believe its the LFE setting, LFE+Main would double up on the bass as the speakers would play the low freqs and also send them over to the subwoofer.

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
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post #30 of 128 Old 02-18-2013, 11:10 AM
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I believe its the LFE setting, LFE+Main would double up on the bass as the speakers would play the low freqs and also send them over to the subwoofer.
Doesn't LFE+main only send bass to speakers that are set to "large"? If so, it doesn't seem to make sense to use that setting if all speakers are set to "small".
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