Do Pioneer receivers work well for gaming? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-20-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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I currently have a Yamaha RX-V371, and although it works well for a variety of uses with usable and easy to navigate surround modes, it lacks the sound quality of the Pioneer receivers in a similar price range.

I've narrowed my choices down to the Elite VSX-60 ($650) and standard VSX-1122 ($600). I'm leaning toward the Elite model for overall reliability, hoping to get a bit better quality parts.

Basically I'm worried that with multi purpose use, there will be times when the auto surround mode needs tweaking, but the alternate surround modes on my friend's VSX-822 all seem useless, with WAY too much echo.

That said, my friend seems thoroughly satisfied with his for movies and music, and as long as auto surround decode works well, I wouldn't need to try and use other modes.
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-22-2012, 05:59 AM
 
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Pioneer receivers do not run Audyssey MultEQ for auto-calibration and room correction. I can not recommend any receiver that does not run Audyssey MultEQ or better. Great room correction like MultEQ is the most important thing to happen to receivers since the advent of Dolby Digital back in the late 90s. Pioneer's MCACC only gets you a quarter the way there.

Disregard all Pioneer and Yamaha. Their room correction is poor enough that it is a perfectly valid choice to dismiss their entire lines outright. Go look at Denon and Onkyo. The Denon AVR-1913 is probably a good place to start.

In regards to your RXV371 not sounding as good as a VSX60? The only difference will be in your brain. Audio quality is a problem that has been solved for quite a while on anything that costs more than $100, and the human audio subsystem is so terrible that we wouldn't know if there was a difference anyway. Feature-set is a far more important deciding factor. How many inputs does it have? Does it have excellent room correction? Does it support as many speakers as I want? These are the important things.
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-22-2012, 05:53 PM
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Listen to the Dark Lord, he speaks the truth. Audissy MultEQ just gives you so much freedom and removes a lot of the guess work. Also, keep in mind that in your price range the receivers are going to have the ability to adjust several settings like volume and room type per input. Onkyo is a good option as I had a similar budget, I went that route with the NR-709.

I have an HTPC for theater, gaming emulator hooked up as well as a PS3, 360, and PS2. No problems.
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-22-2012, 09:33 PM
 
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To elaborate, I ran a Yamaha RXV2500 for 7 years. It's a $1100 box that has Yamaha's YPAO auto-calibration. YPAO was great for 2005, and is very similar to MCACC in implementation. I loved the hell out of that receiver. It isn't 2005 anymore though, and YPAO/MCACC haven't particularly improved in that seven year span. Those auto-calibrations were great for the middle of last decade, but are garbage in comparison to what is available today, not even matching the baseline Audyssey 2EQ that you find in cheap $250 HTIB sets. There is no excuse for those companies to ignore such a vastly impactful feature, therefore there is no reasonable excuse to give them your money.

To put it another way, YPAO/MCACC takes $100/ea speakers and make them sound like $200/ea speakers. MultEQ takes $100/ea speakers and makes it very difficult to justify ever spending money on speakers again as they will just sound the same. When you calibrate the speaker in MCACC, you set the speaker up to sound good. When you calibrate the room with MultEQ, you set the room up to sound correct.

"Correct" is vastly superior to "good".
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-23-2012, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm, not what I was looking for really. It's hard to identify with your analogy james when you on the one hand imply there's no discernible audio difference and only feature differences, yet in doing so at the same time imply that a different brand of calibration alone makes quite a bit of audio difference. It's even harder to relate to that last bit where you say MultEQ makes cheap speakers still sound cheap, while the others make them sound twice as good. If you're trying to advocate using Audyssey, that's not really a good way to do it. Lastly, the bulk of my question was in fact about those "feature" differences you speak of, specifically regarding gaming, yet nothing was responded to there. To put it bluntly, you sound more like an Audyssey rep trying to divert the topic than a fellow gamer answering a question about receivers that work well for gaming. Not saying you are, it just comes off sounding that way if you get my drift.

I already had checked into product containing Audyssey, after seeing that it's the most raved about, but I keep coming back to a few things that make me hesitant:

1. Most that rave about Audyssey like it for it being fine tunable, but isn't that also an indication that it's auto calibration is flawed? Most that use MCACC like the auto calibrating it does, and the models I referred to with Advanced MCACC can in fact be EQ adjusted after calibration and also correct for standing waves, whereas the basic version of MCACC doesn't.

2. You can get Advanced MCACC on receivers in the $600-$650 range. With Onkyo you have to step up to the $850 range to get MultEQ XT, and I don't even see any with MultEQ. Besides that Onkyo hasn't had a very good track record of reliability in recent years. Word is their latest product runs cooler, but their latest product line also lacks features unless you spend big. I had similar problems with Yamaha, but regarding Yam customers saying you have to get one of their $1000 models (RX-A1010 for instance), to really get good sound. That's $600 at the lowest street price, and good luck finding one in stock. Meanwhile Pioneer has a LOT of options starting at $275 street price that blows the competition in that price range away. You want to make this thread about brand comparisons, yet you don't point out how much crappier the competition sounds at the $300-$400 street price range I'm shopping in, which typically means no more than $650 MSRP.

3. Denon lacks the type of sound I prefer to begin with. Granted I could only compare uncalibrated units (AVR-1713 vs VSX-42), but if the midrange on one starts off more open and distinct, chances are MultEQ alone is not going to make up for it. Just like audio enhancers can't add bit rate that is stripped away from compressed music, no calibration software can add clarity and openess that's not there to begin with. The only thing the uncalibrated Denon had over the Elite was tighter bass, but I know for a fact even the Pioneers with basic MCACC play bass plenty tight after calibration, as witnessed after setting up my friend's VSX-822. I've read some of the more tech oriented chat on the MCACC board and many say it does far more than some assume it does, esp concerning bass.

4. Denon is having LOTS of problems with reliability unless you buy their higher end class D units made in Japan. Their customer support is also sliding quite a bit. They tried to cater to volume outlets too much and didn't reign in the close out pricing that caused some of their high end vendors to stop carrying their product. Conversely, Pioneer stopped honoring Amazon as an authorized dealer to avoid such financial problems. Denon seems to be even dragging down the now merged Marantz with them, kinda sad really. I had a Magnolia Hi Fi dealer try to sell me an AVR-1712 with no remote, adding on an extra year warranty claiming it would be covered in house. They only want to push Denon and Marantz there anymore, which just makes it all the more obvious those brands are desperate, along with those committed to carrying them.

So yeah, at first I was skeptical about MCACC and people saying Pioneer sounds the best in the under $650 price range, esp with all the people that rave about Audyssey. I was further skeptical after seeing my friend's VSX-822 manual and rather confusing menu navigation and remote. When we finally got it running and calibrated though, I was amazed at how much better his VSX-822 sounded than my RX-V371. It really is true what some say that certain speakers require a certain brand of receiver to come alive. In this case it was said Pioneer or Denon regarding the speakers my friend and I both have (Jamo S426 HCS3 & Jamo Sub 210), but from what I've heard via in-store demos, the Pioneer is the clear winner in this price range.

Again, I'm not looking for advice or opinions on BRANDS or calibrating software here, if I were, I'd have made that clear. I'm merely looking for input from gamers whom have used Pioneer receivers for gaming, period. This IS after all the General Gaming Help board under the Home Theater GAMING board, not a board on receivers in general or receiver calibration. When you get people randomly jumping into threads like this without directly answering the questions asked and going off on an extremely biased Audyssey seminar, it kinda makes it look like Denon and others are desperately planting forum members in certain threads to sway public opinion.

Bottom line, sorry james, I just don't buy that Audyssey alone makes the receiver, nor does it really have anything to do with the thread topic.
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-24-2012, 04:44 PM
 
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Conspiracy theory much?

Let's try again.

"Denon lacks the type of sound I prefer to begin with"

No receiver or speaker should have a "sound" that you like. When you sit down to watch a movie, you aren't listening to "Denon: The Original Soundtrack". No, you are listening to Black Hawk Down, or Battlefield 3, or Dre's 2001. The point of audio gear is to get out of the way and represent the source audio as accurately as possible. "Accurate" means flat and on time. No matter what frequency being reproduced, it should reach your ears at the same volume and at the correct time. Through the magic of software, we can now ensure that this happens!

You may not believe it, and may want to dearly hold on to your theories that I am some sort of devious super-spy, but really I just want to help you buy good gear. Good gear means good room correction. YPAO and MCACC are no longer good solutions in comparison to the competition, therefore they are no longer good gear. If Pioneer and Yamaha put some serious research in to their correction software, hey maybe they'll be good again in a couple years. As it stands though, Pioneer, Yamaha and Sony all said "good enough" back in 2007, ignoring the next half-decade's worth of advances around them.

To answer your original question? It's a receiver hooked up to a console. It will play games fine. What more do you want? There is nothing special about games that make them defy basic audio theory. "Correct" sounds "correct" regardless of the source. If you are using room effect "surround modes" as you refer to in your original post, then you are doing things wrong from the get-go. Stop using fake room modes that do nothing but mutilate the incoming audio and you will be much better off with any receiver you pick.

"It's even harder to relate to that last bit where you say MultEQ makes cheap speakers still sound cheap, while the others make them sound twice as good."

No, I said Audyssey makes every speaker of reasonable quality sound just about the same. When you software correct a $100 speaker and a $1000 speaker to both be flat in response, they sound pretty damn close to the same. So much so that it really makes it hard to justify ever upgrading speakers again. The point of more expensive speakers has classically been to get flatter response, or to intentionally mangle the audio with some sort of boutique "sound". Software correction of playback fixes that, making the only requirement of a speaker be that it is competently designed and of reasonable build quality.

Seriously though, I can not stress this enough. Make your life better and get something with some flavor of Audyssey MultEQ. I don't care what brand you get it from.
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-25-2012, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Again, I can't get into your endless off topic ramblings james, so save your breath. Yes, at higher price points one can have pristine and accurately represented source audio with no coloring of sound, I think most get that. What you don't get is that at lower price points without a little DSP magic, much of the frequencies, particularly midrange, are somewhat stagnant and almost non present in some respects. At lower price points flat translates to lifeless. Not everyone likes an extremely neutral sound either, which is much of my point. I'm surprised you don't prefer Harmon Kardon, because that is definitely their way of design.

Enter Pioneer, they're pretty damned good at opening up the sound in those frequencies at the lower price range. Most salesmen I talk to that sell those other brands admit that no one beats Pioneer at the lower price points. So staying on that must have true to source representation bandwagon when one can only afford lower end gear is kinda missing the point. True to source is never as cut and dried as you make it sound either. The recording venue alone can make a huge difference in sound. And if you're tying to convince me Onkyo and Denon (or Yamaha for that matter) also make good sounding units at lower price points, I simply can't agree, not from what I've experienced.

Most Yamaha, Denon, and even Onkyo customers here in fact tend to steer people toward $1000 and up units. It's clear to see why Pioneer sells so much product. The under $1000 market like it or not is the mainstream bulk of the buyers in HT gear, not a few brand loyal techno geeks that preach what you must have all day and only buy $1000 and up units. It's all the more true in a global recession. Ironically that brand you preach about most is struggling BECAUSE they have tried and failed to compete at the lower price points, and it's not just due to their high end venues dropping biz with them, it's because their lower end units sound cheap and overly digital, lacking warmth and fullness in the midrange. That's aside from the fact that their financial troubles recently are causing them to offer somewhat less than acceptable customer service after sale.

I get the feeling a lot of those loyal to Denon, Onkyo and Yamaha have been living under a rock regarding these price points, because all they ever talk about is the expensive units. Anyways, I'm going to have to insist you bow out here because you aren't even respecting the thread topic as I asked. You're taking a topic that was merely intended to ask people with experience gaming on Pioneer receivers to share their experiences with them and turning it into a receiver/calibration brand war. Give it a rest already. As mentioned this is the GENERAL GAMING HELP board, not the Which Calibration Software Do You Like Best board, get it? You CAN read can't you?

And please don't give me that self righteous I can post whatever I want to on a public forum attitude that's common on so many forums. Most mods enforce off topic policy, and I will ask they do if you don't comply. You've already made it an uphill battle to get anyone interested in ON topic responses, so don't push your luck.
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-26-2012, 12:44 PM
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Well to answer the OP's original question my Pioneer receivers work just fine for me for gaming. I play , at this time , almost exclusively racing games on the PC but there was a time not to long ago ( a few months ago ) where I was strictly playing xbox and a few PS3 titles. My Pioneers performed admirably for all applications so far.
Don't know if you're looking for more specific information. Windows was able to detect and recognize my receivers if that's any help. I don't have the monster receivers you have though. I have a measly VSX-819H and VSX 1018AH

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post #9 of 21 Old 09-26-2012, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by totalownership View Post

Well to answer the OP's original question my Pioneer receivers work just fine for me for gaming. I play , at this time , almost exclusively racing games on the PC but there was a time not to long ago ( a few months ago ) where I was strictly playing xbox and a few PS3 titles. My Pioneers performed admirably for all applications so far.
Don't know if you're looking for more specific information. Windows was able to detect and recognize my receivers if that's any help. I don't have the monster receivers you have though. I have a measly VSX-819H and VSX 1018AH

Thanks for the reply. Actually I don't currently own a "monster" receiver, just a mere Yamaha RX-V371, which was their last year's bottom of the line. It doesn't even have calibration software. The main one I'm considering is the Pioneer Elite VSX-60.

To be more specific, with my Yamaha I can with games choose Action Game or Role Playing Game in the presets, and they each offer a bit different sound. Action Game is where I leave it for gaming though. It accentuates all the key sounds in an action game, be it weapons, cars you drive, effects, and it also plays dialog plenty distinctly.

I assume with a Pioneer I'll have to leave it in the Auto Surround mode to detect whatever audio format is being decoded. Most games use Dolby Digital as far as I know. When I put my Yamaha in one of the game modes though it switches to Dolby Pro Logic II Game. On my friend's Pioneer VSX-822, none of the alternate preset surround modes are acceptable. They all sound far too echo laden. I was warned of this by a salesman I'd talked to long ago, so I wasn't surprised.

So my other questions would be:

1. Do you typically leave it in Auto Surround mode for games?
2. Do you ever have a problem with dialog playing in the front vs center channel in games?
3. Which audio format do your games usually play in, for instance Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, etc?
4. Do you ever have a problem with too much echo or positional audio not transitioning well from one speaker to another?

Other questions not related to gaming:
1. Have you been able to get the display to always show the decoded audio format in large fonts, and if so, how?
2. If you have a net model or are connected to a PC, can you switch audio modes when playing content off the HDD or the net, for instance 5.1, 2.1 2.0, etc.

All these options I have with my Yamaha, and they are very easy to select and use without confusion.
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-26-2012, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hi Def Fan View Post

1. Do you typically leave it in Auto Surround mode for games?
2. Do you ever have a problem with dialog playing in the front vs center channel in games?
3. Which audio format do your games usually play in, for instance Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, etc?
4. Do you ever have a problem with too much echo or positional audio not transitioning well from one speaker to another?
Other questions not related to gaming:
1. Have you been able to get the display to always show the decoded audio format in large fonts, and if so, how?
2. If you have a net model or are connected to a PC, can you switch audio modes when playing content off the HDD or the net, for instance 5.1, 2.1 2.0, etc.
All these options I have with my Yamaha, and they are very easy to select and use without confusion.
WOW that's a big list of "I don't know"s for me to check out.
Only thing I can tell you for sure is it doesn't go into Pro Logic II when gaming or it would have been on it's way back. Dialogue depends on what's happening. In the COD games if I move my charater around 360 degrees while a character is talking it will pan around the room accordingly. I'm still experimenting with the PC to tweak things as I've just only recently built this rig so my priority at the moment is getting the most visually from the PC and my Pioneer Kuro Elite's. I think once I've nailed down the graphics I can delve more into the audio side. I do have basic Dolby Digital running and the test tones in windows hit every channel accordingly , so it seems.
I'll try out the rest of the things you mentioned to see if they work. As far as positional and echo I get none of that. Everything pans well in audio. I can say when I was playing mostly 360 games everything was spot on. Quite a few times I've heard the proverbial bullet fly by my ear. One time it was so convincing I could swear I felt the wind. lol.

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post #11 of 21 Old 09-26-2012, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, thanks again. Looking forward to further input once you get everything tested.

On the Pro Logic II vs DD, yes, DD is better and true surround having 5.1 discrete channels, but the reason I'm getting only Pro Logic II or PCM 2.1 as options for gaming is not the fault of the receiver. If you Google for it you will find it's common no matter what receiver is used. The reason it happens is games themselves nor Windows encodes a game's DD 5.1 for you. You have to have a MB, sound card or GPU that has a codec which encodes DD 5.1 via DD LIVE.

To make matters worse, I've read some chat indicating ASUS MBs with the Realtek ALC889 codec, which mine has, aren't licensed for full surround decoding. SOme Gigabyte MBs are, and even some ATI GPUs with HDMI are. Even more confusing is the ALC889 codec is sometimes designated with an A at the end. http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/759896.aspx

I just called EVGA btw, because they are exclusive Nvidia partners and I figured they'd know what the capabilities of Nvidia's HD audio codec were. Turns out they do not encode 5.1 audio either. This is really laughable when the almighty PC platform with all it's powerful and endless options of hardware cannot even encode the 5.1 audio games have unless you buy a cheap sound card that has Dolby Digital LIVE and run a pas through via it's optical out, and even then you're getting inferior audio quality to what HDMI offers.
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post #12 of 21 Old 09-28-2012, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
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After checking further on this, it appears the main problem is my having an older video card in my PC. It does have an HDMI output, but no HD audio chip like the newer cards. It came with a tiny S/PDIF cable to pass through audio from the MB to the HDMI port on the video card, but it's not working, which I've found via searching is common with cards that come with them. Thus it carries video, but no audio.

People that have been using the newer video cards with HD Audio built into the HDMI port are saying they are running games in 5.1 PCM audio, which is not only 6 discrete channels, but does not further compress the audio signal like DD and DTS encoding does.

What happens is the games typically have a stereo PCM signal, which Windows converts to 5.1 (or 7.1 even) after you configure the output of the Nvidia HD Audio chip on the video card via the Windows Sound panel. You set it as the default audio playback device, and many also disable onboard audio to avoid conflicts.
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post #13 of 21 Old 02-25-2013, 11:41 AM
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i would appreciate you input. i just got a pioneer 822 receiver. i connected tv, xbox 360, ps3, and pc via hdmi but only the tv works, the xbox has sound but no picture except on the TV. computer and ps3 dont make sound when booting up so not sure but non have pictre. what settings did you use on your friends receiver to get all to work? TV also uses optical as well has hdmi thanks
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-24-2013, 11:25 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that when I went to magnolia to choose between receivers the sales guy kept pushing the marantz and denon but after we chatted a few times and became acquainted he told me that there was a group of people that did a blind ear test and 9 out of,10 chose the pioneer sound over Yamaha, marantz, and denons.

Also, don't forget that pioneer receivers come with great video upscaling, (hence they do make the beat plasma TVs) and I think video is also important to gaming.

I myself own a pioneer 1121K and am satisfied with it.

Although I do notice that there can be a bit more warmth in the mid range, I figure it can just be my speakers (using energy cb-10/cc-10) and they are neutral sounding to begin with.

From what I've noticed, video upscaling on the,1121ki fantastic and as far as bass response goes, it does get a bit out of range at times.

Overall, I paid $280 for it and am quite satisfied with it.
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post #15 of 21 Old 05-25-2013, 12:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklordjames View Post

To elaborate, I ran a Yamaha RXV2500 for 7 years. It's a $1100 box that has Yamaha's YPAO auto-calibration. YPAO was great for 2005, and is very similar to MCACC in implementation. I loved the hell out of that receiver. It isn't 2005 anymore though, and YPAO/MCACC haven't particularly improved in that seven year span. Those auto-calibrations were great for the middle of last decade, but are garbage in comparison to what is available today, not even matching the baseline Audyssey 2EQ that you find in cheap $250 HTIB sets. There is no excuse for those companies to ignore such a vastly impactful feature, therefore there is no reasonable excuse to give them your money.

To put it another way, YPAO/MCACC takes $100/ea speakers and make them sound like $200/ea speakers. MultEQ takes $100/ea speakers and makes it very difficult to justify ever spending money on speakers again as they will just sound the same. When you calibrate the speaker in MCACC, you set the speaker up to sound good. When you calibrate the room with MultEQ, you set the room up to sound correct.

"Correct" is vastly superior to "good".

I have a Yamaha and am not exactly pleased with the auto-calibration tech it offers,I never messed with a receiver that supports Audyssey calibration, would appreciate it if you can answer a few questions:

1- What's the best tech Audyssey has to offer, MultEQ?
2- Is it better than manual calibration via an omni mics e.g Behringer ECM8000 along with PC softwares such as REW?
3- No offense, but you make it sound like it does a job so well that even room treatments aren't necessary lol, so how well does it calibrate speaker and specially the subwoofer frequencies?
4- Aren't the main reason high end speakers are so expensive is because they're actually capable of producing a flat sound when calibrated properly in a treated room? i.e the lower end ones won't be able to achieve such accuracy or flat sound even if you attempted to calibrate them.

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post #16 of 21 Old 06-03-2013, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by metallicaband View Post

I have a Yamaha and am not exactly pleased with the auto-calibration tech it offers,I never messed with a receiver that supports Audyssey calibration, would appreciate it if you can answer a few questions:

1- What's the best tech Audyssey has to offer, MultEQ?

Their top of the line is MultEQ XT32, then MultEQ XT, just MultEQ, then 2EQ.
Quote:
2- Is it better than manual calibration via an omni mics e.g Behringer ECM8000 along with PC softwares such as REW?

Sort of? Audyssey lets you take measurements from multiple positions, which is essential to make sure you can cover a decent range. Even though you have one seat, you've got two ears, and your head isnt locked in place. Its pretty difficult to do that well with REW, and parametric EQs are rather crude compared to the more advanced stuff you'll find with audyssey and most other room correction.

On the other hand, the audyssey mics arent individually calibrated, and you have very little say about what you want your system to sound like. You can basically have flat, or flat with a small high end rolloff. You have no idea what audyssey is actually doing to your signal, you're just supposed to trust that its perfect. I still keep around an old denon with MultEQ, and I used to have a receiver with XT. I've heard it make some situations sound better, and some worse.
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3- No offense, but you make it sound like it does a job so well that even room treatments aren't necessary lol, so how well does it calibrate speaker and specially the subwoofer frequencies?

Its not as magical as their marketing or devotees like to make it sound....I drank the kool-aid for a while, but having had enough experience with it over the past few years, I'm finally ready to admit that what it can do has been completely oversold. Room correction is a misnomer - it would better be called "room compensation." The room is still doing exactly the same thing to your sound that it was before. It'll usually improve your overall sound, I wouldnt buy a receiver without some form of it.....but it wont make cheap speakers sound like high end ones, despite what anybody or any measurement tells you. It is absolutely not a replacement for room treatments if you want to get serious about HT. If you can't treat your room, its better than nothing though. I still use room correction in my treated room though, primarily for the sub - its extremely difficult and costly to control a sub purely with treatments, and its the component that needs it the most - and even audyssey does a decent job of tuning a sub. Overall, I personally prefer Anthem's ARC by a mile, its more geared towards audiophiles. Audyssey is more for the "set it and forget it" crowd that doesnt know what theyre doing, and has too much potential to do more harm than good. Also, their "Dynamic EQ" sound leveler is absolutely atrocious, especially for games....and its turned on by default.
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4- Aren't the main reason high end speakers are so expensive is because they're actually capable of producing a flat sound when calibrated properly in a treated room? i.e the lower end ones won't be able to achieve such accuracy or flat sound even if you attempted to calibrate them.

High end speakers will usually be relatively flat in an anechoic chamber. There's nothing any speaker manufacturer can do to ensure a flat sound in room - every room is unique. Frequency response is only one measurement anyway, there are a host of others that are equally important, and measurements don't tell the whole story. There are some very good inexpensive speakers out there, and some not so great expensive ones....but generally you get what you pay for. I can make some recommendations if you're looking to upgrade. But if you really could reach the pinnacle of sound reproduction with cheap speakers and some room correction, the speaker subforum on AVS would evaporate overnight. :P

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post #17 of 21 Old 06-04-2013, 01:00 AM
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Lots of great info bd2003 as usual, I guess it's not as effective as the guy I quoted made it seem. I'll look more into the Anthems, but they seem rather expensive (not sure if they offer their tech for other brand AVRs) and have to search more about manual calibrations with Omi mics since some folks in the audio setup forum think that's the most accurate way to go.

Since you mentioned that measurements (frequency/SPL) aren't the only factor to know how accurate a speaker sounds, what other stuff should I look out for? The audiophile scene has a lot of myths (people using super expensive power amps, cables..etc) so it's kind of hard to know what I should believe and what I shouldn't!

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post #18 of 21 Old 06-04-2013, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by metallicaband View Post

Lots of great info bd2003 as usual, I guess it's not as effective as the guy I quoted made it seem. I'll look more into the Anthems, but they seem rather expensive (not sure if they offer their tech for other brand AVRs) and have to search more about manual calibrations with Omi mics since some folks in the audio setup forum think that's the most accurate way to go.

Yeah, anthem isn't cheap. I'm not sure I'd recommend it anyway unless you knew what you were doing. Audyssey is probably the best easy to use RC solution, it's really difficult to mess it up. It's definitely not snake oil, but temper your expectations. Just make sure to turn off Dynamic EQ for games.
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Since you mentioned that measurements (frequency/SPL) aren't the only factor to know how accurate a speaker sounds, what other stuff should I look out for? The audiophile scene has a lot of myths (people using super expensive power amps, cables..etc) so it's kind of hard to know what I should believe and what I shouldn't!

Yeah, it's really tough to figure out what's real and what isn't. A perfect example would be soundstage, the apparent width of the area where the sound is coming from. I used to think that was nonsense too, Ive never seen a measurement for it.....and then I actually got a pair of speakers that showed me what it meant and blew me away.

I know it sounds kind of snooty, but almost anything you'd buy off the floor at best buy will be average at best. The best advice I can give you, is go to a local high end A/V dealer. They'll have tons of high quality speakers lined up for you to listen and compare, and answer any questions you might have. Maybe bring a CD of something you're familiar with. You don't have to buy anything on the spot, but it'll probably open your eyes to how excellent well designed speakers can sound.

If you're just looking for recommendations I can recommend a few brands and lines, but if you want to understand the finer aspects of this stuff, just for your own satisfaction.....nothing will beat this book: http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Reproduction-Acoustics-Psychoacoustics-Loudspeakers/dp/0240520092

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post #19 of 21 Old 06-04-2013, 05:19 AM
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Thanks again for the info and specially for the book recommendation, I was looking for something like that.

I have listened to high end speakers before, but problem is I don't have access to high end shops with proper listening rooms, even the best speakers didn't sound too good in a huge showroom with reflections everywhere. I'm actually quite happy with my 683s, moving to a different apartment allowed me to keep them further away from the walls and that made a pretty big difference sound wise, I also put them a bit further away from the TV as well, the slightly wider setup + toe in gave me a nice sound stage, at least it is to my ears lol

I won't upgrade my speakers for a while, because the speakers that I really want (800 Diamond series B&Ws, just too sexy lol) are way too expensive for me at the moment. The next upgrades I'm thinking about is power amp because my Yamaha certainly doesn't offer enough juice to run the 683s properly and possibly changing my AVR, might avoid a separate power amp if the built in amp is powerful enough in the AVR alone. Another thing that I really want to do is proper room acoustic treatment, but I'm hesitant to do it now or wait until I get my own home that hopefully will be in the next few years.

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post #20 of 21 Old 06-04-2013, 06:26 AM
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Nice! I wasn't sure where you were coming from....but b&w 683s are definitely legit. If that's the level you're already swinging at, and that book is something interesting to you rather than frightening....you're ready for something like ARC. I should have had a clue as soon as you mentioned REW. smile.gif

I personally use the mrx-300, mated to paradigm studios all around. I've got panels lining most of the walls, so it's not a very reflective room....ARC doesn't really need to do much above 500hz, but it smooths out everything else perfectly, without adding the distortion and unnecessary changes that audyssey can.

Room treatment doesn't necessarily have to be that expensive or scary, you can get pretty far with furniture, carpets and drapes, etc. Acoustic panels are just more efficient and precise in what they control, and you can get some that wouldn't look out of place in a living room.

I'd def say get the book first, it's pretty dry and science-y, but you'll know more than you've ever wanted to know about speakers and acoustics by the time you're done.

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post #21 of 21 Old 06-04-2013, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bd2003 View Post

Nice! I wasn't sure where you were coming from....but b&w 683s are definitely legit. If that's the level you're already swinging at, and that book is something interesting to you rather than frightening....you're ready for something like ARC. I should have had a clue as soon as you mentioned REW. smile.gif

I personally use the mrx-300, mated to paradigm studios all around. I've got panels lining most of the walls, so it's not a very reflective room....ARC doesn't really need to do much above 500hz, but it smooths out everything else perfectly, without adding the distortion and unnecessary changes that audyssey can.

Room treatment doesn't necessarily have to be that expensive or scary, you can get pretty far with furniture, carpets and drapes, etc. Acoustic panels are just more efficient and precise in what they control, and you can get some that wouldn't look out of place in a living room.

I'd def say get the book first, it's pretty dry and science-y, but you'll know more than you've ever wanted to know about speakers and acoustics by the time you're done.
Yeah I'm pretty passionate about HT stuff as much as I am about gaming lol, but decided it's time to learn how to calibrate properly both for video and audio, basic calibrations just don't cut it anymore :P.

My problem is that I either like to do things all the way or don't do it at all, like with the acoustic treatment stuff, but I guess I should just suck it up and start doing basic treatments with furniture/carpeting and slowly get into acoustic panels and the more serious stuff. I'm sure the book will help me plan my acoustic treatments better, thanks again for the info.

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