How "easy" and at what cost ($) can Audyssey XT 32 be "beat"... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 11-30-2012, 11:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Pretty straightforward I guess. I realize all rooms and equipment are different, but, speaking to the "average" if we can, I'm interested just why a decent number in these parts forgo sophisticated auto-RC systems like Audyssey (which have yielded positively fantastic ((yes, measured)) results in my rooms) to go about the undoubtedly time-consuming and laborious process of manually EQing multi channel systems.

Is it a preference/diy thing? I realize that since you cannot do much of anything with Audyssey's result, this may very well be the case. But then in a 5, 7, 9, or even 11 channel system like mine, what kind of- and how many, lol- EQ's are getting involved to process all channels. Or do some just run Audyssey and process the center and mains before their amps?

Surely a properly operating system like Audyssey's XT32 gets us pretty darn close (to "reference", "flat" what have you), and the problems that DO remain are largely room related and mostly uncorrectable anyway? Afterall, it's simply measuring just as we would right? But, lol, with a few thousand more "zones" of "correctability"?

I'm not trying to sound "pro" Audyssey at all, btw. Admittedly, I have XT32 and think it's wonderful (and pretty much disdain Dyn EQ and Dyn Vol, by the way), but I'm going to buy an omnimic soon and would be open to going down the manual road, if, for nothing else, out of an interest in the hobby.

My feeling is this is a "control"/preference/this is fun/a hobby deal, right?

Or would most tell me that if I can get within +/- 3-4dbs of "flat" and I- crucially- LIKE "flat" that I won't likely be doing any better, manually?

thanks and have a great weekend, all.

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post #2 of 20 Old 11-30-2012, 11:33 AM
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I was under the impression that most guys here use the room coorection software that's on their AVR's/processors. In addition to that they use something like a miniDSP/DCX/SMS-1 to EQ the low stuff.
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post #3 of 20 Old 11-30-2012, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Good point, perhaps I'm overstating the scenario, and even more so with XT 32's increased subwoofer EQ abilities.


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Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #4 of 20 Old 11-30-2012, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

Good point, perhaps I'm overstating the scenario, and ever more so with XT 32's increased subwoofer EQ abilities.
James
In my case, the SMS improved upon what XT32 did with the subs. That being said i thought that XT32 did a EXCELLENT job with the other channels and how seemless they interact with each other.
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post #5 of 20 Old 11-30-2012, 01:37 PM
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Same here, additional tweaking with my (at the moment) hob-knob sub setup was needed and the DCX was essentially required but that was due to trying to put all random types of subs and designs together. For the other 7 channels of my setup, Audyssey and good room treatment-speaker placement has yielded excellent results, but there is still always more to go. You get +/- 5dB then all the sudden +/- 3 dB's doesnt seem that far away, you get there and then you realize you want to try something else new, then you start all over again, lol.

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post #6 of 20 Old 11-30-2012, 01:40 PM - Thread Starter
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^ Yep, and then you start asking yourself if you can really discern one and two decibel "improvements" over the spectrum anyway. tongue.gifbiggrin.gif

Oh wait, us DIYers NEVER ask that question!

James

Actual phone call (see pic to left):

 

Tech (responding to laughter): "I'm sorry sir, did I miss something?"

Me: "Yeah, a case of Diet Mountain Dew walking across my living room."

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post #7 of 20 Old 11-30-2012, 04:19 PM
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I've never had the opportunity to enjoy room correction. My Onkyo Pro 885 has a version of Audyssey and I didn't care for it. Now I'm going to be using waveguides and contemplating wether to upgrade to a fancy preprocessor with Audyssey or something simple without it. In most cases I hear Audyssey xt32 is excellent, but with waveguides I've heard it may not make such a difference.

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post #8 of 20 Old 11-30-2012, 04:35 PM
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Room correction usually doesn't make much difference in the high frequencies. Or at least it shouldn't have to. It's more below 400hz.
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post #9 of 20 Old 11-30-2012, 10:59 PM
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Room Correction starts with room treatments (sound absorbers and diffusers), because it's really hard to EQ an echo! Once that is nailed down, only a minimal amount of EQ'ing will be required. Pushing a button and having Audessy do it all sounds real nice to me! That said, I just bought a Pioneer with 9 band MCACC instead of the onkyo 818 I was eye-balling with XT32. Then again, I do have a DEQ2496 for the subs once completed, which is where the majority of EQ'ing is needed.

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post #10 of 20 Old 12-01-2012, 02:13 AM
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i had better result from minidsp than from anthem's ARC.
ARC after minidsp improved what i had accomplished using minidsp, but if i were to choose just one EQ to use, i'd choose minidsp.

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post #11 of 20 Old 12-01-2012, 04:23 AM
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Audyssey did a superb job of integrating my center channel into my room. I was happy with the bass before but my center was higher end than my mains and always sounded a little harsh. Once Audyssey worked it's magic my entire front stage is completely transparent. Even the bass sounded better, after I cranked it back up 10db hot that is. wink.gif

My receiver is just MultEQ too.
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-02-2012, 04:54 PM
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This is a great topic.

Similarly, this has been discussed here.

Since that discussion, I've experimented with Audyssey XT32. It can be unpredictable, but it is nice, really nice. However, I prefer having manual control especially in the time domain w/varying sub type/location. My cheapo, $99 MIC2200 bested the XT32 in optimizing and management between my 4x18 IB, and (2)2x15 small sealed. I've since ordered a custom 4x8 dsp piece, for added processing capability.

I don't care for XT32 speculating on above the transition EQ'ing, which is real touchy proposition in the first place. As others have stated, the multi-channel alignment between the surround, LCRs etc, is great. I couldn't get it to properly align and subsequently sum the two sub-systems ideally in the bottom octaves. The post Audyssey FR was respectable, however I was suspect. Upon further examination and experimentation, I discovered turning off my IB actually raised the output eek.gif

I've since discovered regardless how many XT32 passes, this mis-alignment in the time domain occurs. I've got several options for subwoofer EQing (multiple parametrics, Velo SMS-1, some pro EQs and others), but none as powerful as the 4x8 custom piece I've ordered. It'll enable me to manage up to five separate sub outs, with full manipulation in both time and freq domain. My plan is to possibly integrate a tactile system as well, and the processor would certainly help make it more fun.

I plan to use the other 3 input channels for manipulating the LCRs below the transition freq, as long as the transparency isn't affected (I've got no reason to think it'd be an issue). I'm really looking forward to the essentially unlimited flexibility and capability of the system.

Audyssey is amazing and has brought a more enjoyable experience to untold numbers of enthusiasts. Systems of the highest caliber can benefit from the XT32 processing. I'm looking for even more control and flexibility. Room acoustics is where one should really focus one's attention. It is oft stated, and many realize the fact. But it's hard to have too much LF damping/bass trapping in most every HT room. If too much critical MF/HF energy is potentially removed, there's simple steps taken to mitigate that loss yet maintain the damping needed. Yes, XT32 is fantastically helpful, but it's no replacement for well understood, best practice acoustic treatment techniques and approaches that aren't necessarily an expensive proposition.

I recently discussed this very issue with Mark Seaton. Mark suggested that the 4x8 processor was fine, but perhaps the ideal solution was also allowing XT32 to do it's thing, and carefully examining it's influence w/measurments. Perhaps utilizing Audyssey in a single input channel config of the DSP processor, could be helpful as an approach toward my end goal means to an end.


Good question, great topic.

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post #13 of 20 Old 12-02-2012, 05:56 PM
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So what do DIY'ers have available for room correction? MiniDSP? Something that can take a target response would be a good start. Probably targeting what Harman is doing rather than Audessey.
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-03-2012, 08:44 AM
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Ive given something like this a thought for EQing:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=246-145

It would be fun to incorporate if using external power, which many of us are smile.gif and pretty easy to start the tweaking process before you ran audyssey.

Curious though, for those that manually eq/delay speakers, how do you essentially go about starting the distance settings? Do you just measure from the MLP to each speaker and call it a day?

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post #15 of 20 Old 12-03-2012, 08:45 AM
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Can a Minidsp be used to EQ regular full range speakers in a home theater? In particular, the LCR's? I want to try and EQ my entire 5.2 setup, both in the time domain and the frequency domain. Isn't this what Audyssey does? What else does Audyssey do besides EQ'ing the time and frequency domain? I have a Denon AVR-3312, and although I really like the way Audyssey sounds over not using Audyssey, but, I have been kicking around the idea of selling my relitively new Denon and picking up an older pre/pro, such as the Anthem AVM-20, and use my bluray player hooked up via the analog in/outs along with some type of external EQ. The reasoning behind this is because I believe that I can achieve better sound quality going with the Anthem AVM-20 and Behringer amps matted with my bluray player and a good EQ box, as opposed to my current Denon AVR-3312. How do you guys feel about this?
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post #16 of 20 Old 12-03-2012, 09:56 AM
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why would you need to move to the anthem if you are only going to use the denon as a pre in the first place? if all your channels are already powered externally, then all you need to do is figure out what type of eq you want to put in line between the denon and your amps, and start EQing. The Mini if you are planning on doing so will be the best option IMO. The new 10x10 should get you ALL channels in and out, therefore, keeping you down to a single box to do all your EQ work.

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post #17 of 20 Old 12-03-2012, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beastaudio View Post

why would you need to move to the anthem if you are only going to use the denon as a pre in the first place? if all your channels are already powered externally, then all you need to do is figure out what type of eq you want to put in line between the denon and your amps, and start EQing. The Mini if you are planning on doing so will be the best option IMO. The new 10x10 should get you ALL channels in and out, therefore, keeping you down to a single box to do all your EQ work.


Well, I actually have several reasons for wanting to go this way. First priority is getting better sound quality for my home theater. I do not care what anyone says, different receivers and pre/pro's all sound different. They all have sort of a "sonic signature". Prior to having this Denon AVR-3312, I did actually have an Anthem AVM-20 that I used for my home theater. After selling it and setting up the Denon, I quickly realized that i much prefered the sound of the Anthem for watching movies. This goes for both DVD's where the Anthem is doing the D/A conversion, and also Blurays where my former Oppo was doing the D/A conversion. I can't describe the exact difference in audio terms, but to me the Anthem had better bass impact and the highs seemed clearer.

Another big reason that I would like to sell my Denon and get an Anthem is that the Anthem performs much better for 2 channel listening. This would allow me to intergrate both my home theater and 2 channel setups. I am sure that there will be people who come on here and say that under double blind controlled conditions, I could not tell the difference, but I would just have to disagree, to which they would likely respond that the "differences" were due to me being biased.

Perhaps they would be right in that they really can not be distinguished between and my bias is causing me to perceive this difference. To that I say that this audio stuff is a journey, and a full time hobby. I am on these forums because I enjoy tweaking these things, changing things out, and will likely always be this way. I am not a "set it and forget it" type of hobbiest.
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-03-2012, 10:53 AM
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Most of us around here are NOT set it and forget it, me included. If something goes un-tweaked for over a week, then that means I must be sick. I see what you are saying about the anthem now, and was slightly confused that you were going to be using the denon in concert with the anthem. I do have to say that most of what you are trying to achieve could be tackled "outside the box" so to speak. I learned that in some Audyssey sweeps that it really neutered my midbass at times. You may be suffering from the same problems right now. I would suggest possibly defeating Audyssey for while and playing around with some external EQ before you really scrap the Denon. It is a good AVR, and the sonic signature you are hearing might be more a difference in the overall response of an audyssey vs non-audyssey response.

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post #19 of 20 Old 12-04-2012, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

This is a great topic.
Similarly, this has been discussed here.
Room acoustics is where one should really focus one's attention. It is oft stated, and many realize the fact. But it's hard to have too much LF damping/bass trapping in most every HT room. If too much critical MF/HF energy is potentially removed, there's simple steps taken to mitigate that loss yet maintain the damping needed. Yes, XT32 is fantastically helpful, but it's no replacement for well understood, best practice acoustic treatment techniques and approaches that aren't necessarily an expensive proposition.

^^^^^
THIS


Audyssey is a great tool for a typical room installation (read: 'multi-use' room, not a dedicated room) that will not approach reference levels. Due to the fact that Audyssey can (and does) apply as much as a 9dB boost, you can run out of headroom, quickly. For moderate listening volumes it can be very good. For folks without measurement and independent EQ capability, it is a great tool; and for 15 minutes of time, you can get a much improved presentation. Audyssey does try to correct things it cannot fix at times, though, boosting suckouts at times, creating very high distortion playback at certain frequencies.

It's greatest strength is the 'fuzzy logic' it uses to apply correction, which often makes the right choices. If enough measured positions have the same freq response problem, Audyssey will apply a correction. If every seat has a wildly different response at a given freq, it will do nothing. Looking at what audyssey does when on vs off with measurement software out of each individual speaker line out is very educational. It does a great job with my setup in general.

Unfortunately, ad copy for Audyssey makes it sound like it can correct for everything in a very reflective space. You cannot correct for a first reflection or a 1/4-wave suckout. That must be done with room treatment, as FOH stated above. I prefer a very dead room, to hear the recording, and not the room, as reflections that are un-damped/un-diffused change the frequency/time response from a given speaker for EVERY SEAT. Others like varying levels of reverberation or 'liveness'.

JSS
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-06-2012, 10:29 AM
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Good points maxmercy

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