The official Theta Owners Thread - Page 295 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #8821 of 8846 Old 06-29-2015, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by thezaks View Post
Right off the bat, I would say that the XMC-1 is a very good processor. Without DL, it gives a very transparent sound with tight bass and the HDMI worked very well for me (switching inputs, etc). Add that the XMC-1 has Dirac Live, and it's absolutely a nice processor for the money.

It's because of the sum of everything that I rate it better than the Krell S-1200U 3D that I owned for a period of time. The Krell S-1200 had nearly the best sounding uneq'd sound in my system. But the Krell had hdmi issues and the XMC-1 sounds better with DL.

The McIntosh MX-151 sounded better than both the Krell S-1200 and the XMC-1, with Room Perfect engaged. There's a silky smoothness/refinement that is really nice (and addicting) with the MX-151, and the bass is very well done too. However, without RP, the Krell was better sounding.

My TUC upgraded Onkyo PR-SC5508 (uneq'd) was very close to the Krell S-1200, but Audyssey added some pros/cons (for me Audyssey has some cons) that lifted it above the Krell. This TUC Onkyo was very close to the MX-151 in two channel, but I would give the MX-151 a slight edge with movies - mostly because I like Room Perfect better than Audyssey. The TUC Onkyo provided a nice fullness to the sound, larger soundstage, liquid sounding, better dynamics, etc.

Coming into this, the TUC Onkyo and the MX-151 were my favorites, and I was just starting to imagine what the XMC-1 would sound like, when upgraded by TUC. For a non-Atmos processor, I bet a TUC upgraded XMC-1 would be superb. For Atmos, an upgraded Marantz AV8802 might be the ticket. Low overall investment, compared to a CBIV.

The CBIV, however, seems to be another level. The soundstage seems very large, and the upgrades that TUC does on the lower end processors gives you many of the traits that the CBIV provides. The CBIV takes those traits and brings them up a notch.

Once I get the CBIV broken in and get the amp testing done, I'll be able to provide more info.

Dave
Thanks Dave.
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post #8822 of 8846 Old 06-29-2015, 05:13 PM
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The same 3D miking scheme works well for me with Trinnov. I got the best results when I removed the chair (and the two adjacent chairs) during measurement. Doing that allows you to get more "room/speaker" correction and less "chair reflections" correction. I got almost as good a result when I forced those three chairs into "full recline" mode.
It is too much hassle to disconnect my three front row recliners, and my two rear row recliners, as not only are they in a set together, but they also have power hookup for the power recliner. But I put all recliners in "full recline" mode today, and now I read your post suggesting the same. HA! Great minds think alike.

Anyway, I retook the Dirac chair measurements today, both for front row center, and also rear row center! And this time I did a good jobvtaking the correct "3D" measurements. I do feel that Dirac, which wrote the instructions for measurement, did as clear a job as they could havev in their manual or software. The picture below, that I obtained courtesy of a thread at What's Best Forum, clearly shows that the nine chair measurement points are the ends of a CUBE – the four bottom ends at each corner, the four top ends at each corner, and right in the center of the square the first measurement point.” That makes it so much easier to comprehend, doesn't it?

Haven't had time to watch or listen today, other than playing a few minutes of music. I noted my HDMI multi-channel audio seemed even better than yesterday with my prior more "2D" Dirac measurements/optimization. Playing some Chicago I heard instruments in there I had never heard before!
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post #8823 of 8846 Old 06-29-2015, 05:25 PM
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Steve, I posted a link to an excellent tutorial for using Dirac at some point when it first came to the CB IV. It's worth digging it out again although perhaps that's where you got your image from. The as-you-go instructions in the software are very clear, however. You just need to flick through the views so as to see the "3D" nature of the mic placement points. Once you've got the hang of the basics, the fun starts in thinking about the curves and crossover points to use.

BTW, why Dirac reduces volume should be very obvious.

PS: when will we have the ability to use the second filter for Dirac Live? It would be good to set up one for stereo and the other for multichannel.
Steve, thanks. I tried searching back in the Theta thread for the stuff you posted on Dirac but couldn't fine it - I know it was maybe 10 months ago or so!

The instructions from Dirac are good except that I personally think their picture/diagram, which I used to do the chair measurements, could have been better. Obviously as you are familiar with the Dirac picture/diagram that I attached to my above post you didn't rely solely on what Dirac provided and obtained better pictorial info on the chair "CUBE" 3D measurements as I call them.

Yea, I think all of understand why using Dirac will reduce the volume. As the frequencies are so much more properly balanced, as they were "mixed" in the first place, you don't have to turn it up as loud to hear stuff.

John Baloff, Theta Tech, told me yesterday, and said this has been discussed with a number of Theta customers, that Theta understood Dirac would be providing four filters for Dirac Live for the CBIV, but do date, only one filter has been provided, and there is no firm date when Dirac has promised to provide any more filters. This is a sore spot. John also said its fine to simply use the 5.1 or 7.1 measurements and in the CBIV simply turn to "off" the speakers you are not using. Now if you can explain if there is a sonic benefit for 2 channel only (using subwoofer) to do measurements strictly of stereo front speakers and subwoofer, then of course I will do that, too! Bottom line for now is that if I am moving from front to back row, I will use my trusty laptop to load the correct filter into the CB4. Its a bit of a pain in the butt, but only takes a few minutes so what the heck!

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post #8824 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
OMG!!!
OMG!!!!

You know the feeling that astronaut in "2001: A Space Odyssey" had watching the history of the Universe unfold! That's how I am feeling after doing the Dirac target curve to smooth out the low end as described in the CBIV Manual. I used the chair measurements but we stretched it out a bit knowing Dirac works better when you have 1 meter diameter spread of measurements (discussed in the Dirac manual for the 192-24 Dirac version for PCs).

I have done two filters, one for front center (directv, movies sometimes, HDMI multi-channel music sometimes) and one for rear center (2 channel including DTS Neo 6 to multi-channel, HDMI multi-channel music sometimes). Unfortunately, Dirac has yet to come through and given Theta's Dirac software 4 Dirac filter settings, there still is only one. So when I want to change from front to rear, I load the right filter into the CB4.

In particular music both 2 channel via USB and also HDMI multi-channel sound like veils have been lifted. And folks demoing my room have thought it couldn't sound better, which I have been guilty of as well.

I can tell that Dirac is even sensational for me, after doing this "work" today, it is easily obvious that Dirac is the real thing.

Now I'm gonna relax and listen a few hours.
Finally catching up!!

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post #8825 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Steve, thanks. I tried searching back in the Theta thread for the stuff you posted on Dirac but couldn't fine it - I know it was maybe 10 months ago or so!

The instructions from Dirac are good except that I personally think their picture/diagram, which I used to do the chair measurements, could have been better. Obviously as you are familiar with the Dirac picture/diagram that I attached to my above post you didn't rely solely on what Dirac provided and obtained better pictorial info on the chair "square" 3D measurements as I call them.

Yea, I think all of understand why using Dirac will reduce the volume. As the frequencies are so much more properly balanced, as they were "mixed" in the first place, you don't have to turn it up as loud to hear stuff.

John Baloff, Theta Tech, told me yesterday, and said this has been discussed with a number of Theta customers, that Theta understood Dirac would be providing four filters for Dirac Live for the CBIV, but do date, only one filter has been provided, and there is no firm date when Dirac has promised to provide any more filters. This is a sore spot. John also said its fine to simply use the 5.1 or 7.1 measurements and in the CBIV simply turn to "off" the speakers you are not using. Now if you can explain if there is a sonic benefit for 2 channel only (using subwoofer) to do measurements strictly of stereo front speakers and subwoofer, then of course I will do that, too! Bottom line for now is that if I am moving from front to back row, I will use my trusty laptop to load the correct filter into the CB4. Its a bit of a pain in the butt, but only takes a few minutes so what the heck!

I relied on what Dirac provide in the software. I'm sure you have already done so, but note there are three views for each position - front on, top, and oblique. The three views make mic positioning (up/down, fwd/back or in 3D if you like) very clear.

It is hard to boost a null. It is much easier to pull everything else down, within reason, towards the bottom of nulls.

Note Dirac cannot fix everything. It cannot fix combing issues or ITD ("initial time delay") issues (not to be confused with time delay settings for speakers). But it does help a lot. I highly recommend that people read the Master Handbook of Acoustics (available on your iPad via the Amazon Kindle version).

It is the CB software which is restricting implementation of multiple filters, not the Dirac software. At the moment the CB can only store one filter.

As I have said before, I think there's a lot that Dirac could do better in a context such as the Theta CB where there are crossover settings. The guide from ATI/Theta you refer to helps a lot but it is cumbersome and 'inefficient' for reasons I have mentioned before. I look forward to Theta's continuing implementation... For best results, learn to use REW and Dirac together.

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post #8826 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 04:01 AM
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This was probably it:

https://www.minidsp.com/images/docum...r%20Manual.pdf

Of course there are some things that are different but the tutorial provides a good overview of the workflow etc. including the mic placement (it includes snapshots from the Dirac software).

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post #8827 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 04:06 AM
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Originally Posted by stevekale View Post
Finally catching up!!
Now use REW to see just how well, or poorly, Dirac Live was able to hit the target curve you gave it.

EDIT: the Gen VIII in the UK which is advertised on Audiogon is only a Series 1

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post #8828 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 04:12 AM
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I highly recommend that people read the Master Handbook of Acoustics (available on your iPad via the Amazon Kindle version).
Another good read on acoustics http://www.acousticfrontiers.com/wp-..._standards.pdf. Intended for 2 channel but a lot applies also to multichannel. You will need a tool like REW to examine your room in this way. Luckily it is free.

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post #8829 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 08:45 AM
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Steve, thanks for all the good info!

You mean you don't remember me? Back 1999 - 2003, I started and moderated the AVS Tweaks forum and also the AVS Special Guests forum.

My home theater at:
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post #8830 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 03:30 PM
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Everest's books are quite good, if not exactly a light read. They used to be available in formats besides Kindle if that matters. I like my kindle but sometimes paper is handier.

Really do have to spend some time with REW. I don't know any reason that the Theta mic wouldn't work. Anyone know for sure?


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post #8831 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 04:45 PM
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Everest's books are quite good, if not exactly a light read. They used to be available in formats besides Kindle if that matters. I like my kindle but sometimes paper is handier.

Really do have to spend some time with REW. I don't know any reason that the Theta mic wouldn't work. Anyone know for sure?


Les
If it's the USB mic, it's been confirmed previously here the Theta mic is the exact same product many calibration systems use. It will work with REW provided you have the calibration file to load. It's a simple text docement that Theta should be able to provide if you don't already have it.

The calibration file is critical if you are to make meaningful measurements on REW so don't bypass it.

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post #8832 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 07:34 PM
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If it's the USB mic, it's been confirmed previously here the Theta mic is the exact same product many calibration systems use. It will work with REW provided you have the calibration file to load. It's a simple text docement that Theta should be able to provide if you don't already have it.

The calibration file is critical if you are to make meaningful measurements on REW so don't bypass it.
Theta provides software with Dirac and the microphone which includes a number of text files and you simply load the one with your microphone's serial #.

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post #8833 of 8846 Old Yesterday, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
OMG!!!
OMG!!!!

You know the feeling that astronaut in "2001: A Space Odyssey" had watching the history of the Universe unfold! That's how I am feeling after doing the Dirac target curve to smooth out the low end as described in the CBIV Manual. I used the chair measurements but we stretched it out a bit knowing Dirac works better when you have 1 meter diameter spread of measurements (discussed in the Dirac manual for the 192-24 Dirac version for PCs).

I have done two filters, one for front center (directv, movies sometimes, HDMI multi-channel music sometimes) and one for rear center (2 channel including DTS Neo 6 to multi-channel, HDMI multi-channel music sometimes). Unfortunately, Dirac has yet to come through and given Theta's Dirac software 4 Dirac filter settings, there still is only one. So when I want to change from front to rear, I load the right filter into the CB4.

In particular music both 2 channel via USB and also HDMI multi-channel sound like veils have been lifted. And folks demoing my room have thought it couldn't sound better, which I have been guilty of as well.

I can tell that Dirac is even sensational for me, after doing this "work" today, it is easily obvious that Dirac is the real thing.

Now I'm gonna relax and listen a few hours.
Congrats on reaching the "next level". Your previous post about how good your audio room was without correction reminded me of my own experience. There is a certain "arrogance", for lack of a better word, where one thinks that "this is as good as it gets", but until you've heard better you won't know what better is. It was a lesson I learned after I built a dedicated room - eq/room correction has come a long way in the last 5-6 years and it can definitely improve even a dedicated room. I've heard a LOT of rooms over the years and I can't think of one that wouldn't benefit from at least a little correction. Thank you Dirac and Trinnov for upping the ante.

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Congrats on reaching the "next level". Your previous post about how good your audio room was without correction reminded me of my own experience. There is a certain "arrogance", for lack of a better word, where one thinks that "this is as good as it gets", but until you've heard better you won't know what better is. It was a lesson I learned after I built a dedicated room - eq/room correction has come a long way in the last 5-6 years and it can definitely improve even a dedicated room. I've heard a LOT of rooms over the years and I can't think of one that wouldn't benefit from at least a little correction. Thank you Dirac and Trinnov for upping the ante.
I never thought that room correction wouldn't be of benefit. The question was cost, difficulty in setup, are there extra DA conversions, etc.
Theta's internal implementation of Dirac Live is great and obviates all of my prior concerns. One can't be too arrogant that there's never room for sonic improvement because as an audio addict I am too frequently making at least some change to my system and experiencing some sonic improvement. Not a year goes by that I don't do something!

But Dirac Live far exceeded any expectations I could have had. It is as good or even better, quantitatively, than putting in new amplifiers and speakers! Its AMAZING! I can now "see"/hear why one of our members has stated that a less than $2500 SSP with Dirac or other as good room correction can sound better than a much more expensive SSP without room correction - now I understand. On the other hand, a top dog expensive SSP like the Casablanca IV sounds f-----ing unbelievable with Dirac room correction.

And now I understand why Theta simplified its Casablanca software re crossovers, etc - so that their software would work with or without
using the Dirac Live feature. My advise to anyone who will listen now is do not even bother listening to your new CBIV using its traditional bass management feature. Don't waste your time. Simply set up Dirac room correction right away as its so much better than manually setting and playing with traditional bass crossovers.

Talk about traditional bass crossovers: For many many years, with Aerial full range speakers, I was doing the traditional thing and by trial and error sonically confirming that a low 40 Hz to 50 Hz crossover with 6 dB or 12 dB slope sounded the best. Then with the CBIIIHD and CBIV
but not using Dirac I found that I really liked 80 Hz 24 dB! However, Dirac provides measurements and sets the crossover frequency, in the "target" curve supplied, as well as the slope. Following the CBIV manual instructions, I revised the "target" crossover point based on the
measurement, and found that 60 Hz was the best crossover for all of my five Aerial 7ts!

Also a reminder to Theta CBIV owners in setting up and playing with Dirac: If I recall correctly in past CB versions, the CB's "delay" setting was to enter the delay to each speaker, which you calculate from the speaker's distance from the "sweet spot". But the CBIV manual doesn't give any complex instruction anymore on "delay", just states measure the above distance and insert that distance for each speaker, there is now no need for one to calculate delays. Note that the CBIV manual instructs that after you have made the filter on the computer, to use the AIX test disc and level match each speaker to match 70 dB with a sound meter - except that for the subwoofer/LFE channel to match that channel at 76 dB. (My assumption is that Theta assumes you will use a sound meter inaccurate at very low bass levels, e.g., the Radio Shack meter, and that Theta measured and found that 76 dB on an inexpensive sound meter is really after adjustment 70 dB for the low bass?)

Theta states in the manual that the crossovers and bass management are now simplified because
with Dirac Live we do not need to do all of the trial and area listening test to determine what sounds the best. Now I must fully agree on this!

Also, not in the manual: Subwoofers all have some group delay. Unlike some, I am not an engineer and/or I do not want to spend hours reading technical articles and trying to understand exactly what group delay is. All I know from a quick Google is that group delay applies to subwoofers with low frequency output. Barry at JL Audio told me that my f212 subwoofers have a 12 millisecond (ms) group delay. In audio terms, one foot = 1 ms delay. So I added 12 feet to my subwoofer distance in the CBIV menu. Barry explained that this really dials in the subwoofer. Now the group delay for other makes and models of subwoofer may vary some.

I have now completely eliminated manual crossovers and bass management in my CBIV setup. I have setup six sources. The first six sources on the CBIV first front panel are all Dirac calibrated for front row center, and are satellite, Amazon Fire, blu ray, 2 channel (with subwoofer) (over USB, using CAPSv4 Pipeline media server), 2 channel plus (using DTS Neo6 to expand 2 to 5.1 channels), and multi-channel (over HDMI, using CAPSv3 modded Zuma media server). The second six sources on the CBIV second front panel are all Dirac calibrated for rear row center and are the same sources noted above for the front panel!

Dirac Live for the CBIV is a mind blowing, body numbing experience! It is that good! Folks pay tens of thousands of dollars in new gear and are lucky to get this sort of sonic improvement! Yea, I really didn't realize there could be THIS much improvement over what my "arrogant"
self though was already awful darn phenomenal sound! In that sense I have been "arrogant" and any CBIV owners who have yet to use Dirac, like I had been, are similarly arrogant! Run, don't walk, use Dirac ASAP and do not even bother with traditional bass management with the CBIV!

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post #8835 of 8846 Old Today, 10:13 AM
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Steve, the sub group delay. Is that something intrinsic to a large speaker or due to the equalization and active feedback control of the cone displacement?


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post #8836 of 8846 Old Today, 10:19 AM
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In my experience, "sub group delay" is a function of the filters and/or processing already built into the sub.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
I have now completely eliminated manual crossovers and bass management in my CBIV setup. I have setup six sources. The first six sources on the CBIV first front panel are all Dirac calibrated for front row center, and are satellite, Amazon Fire, blu ray, 2 channel (with subwoofer) (over USB, using CAPSv4 Pipeline media server), 2 channel plus (using DTS Neo6 to expand 2 to 5.1 channels), and multi-channel (over HDMI, using CAPSv3 modded Zuma media server). The second six sources on the CBIV second front panel are all Dirac calibrated for rear row center and are the same sources noted above for the front panel!


Steve, sure sounds like you are having fun. I could hardly wait for my turn . Questions please:

1. You are doing 2 rows because you don't always sit on same row? Makes a big difference, ie the 2 filters are very different?

2. As set up in your system, when Dirac does measurement to create filter, it measures main speaker above 60 hz, then subwoofer below 60 hz?

Regards, Can
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post #8838 of 8846 Old Today, 12:25 PM
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Welcome to the dark side Steve -- dsp based room correction. (When I used to have an analog rig I ran it through my crossover and correction routine setup, and even so still considered it my "analog rig.")

The dark hole of the dark side is when you begin to do post-Dirac measurement on each speaker, and groups of speakers, to fine tune the automated routines. (In my case I ended up changing the distance settings on some of my subs, added modest PEQ to a few of the surrounds, and changed the levels of a few of the surrounds by a few db here and there.)
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2. As set up in your system, when Dirac does measurement to create filter, it measures main speaker above 60 hz, then subwoofer below 60 hz?
Dirac, and similar software routines, measures the mains full range and the subs up to a pretty high level. Then it recommends crossover points based upon the uncorrected low end response of the mains (so that the recommended crossover point is above the natural roll off point of the mains), and, the predicted post-filter responses of the mains and subs around the crossover point.
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Steve, sure sounds like you are having fun. I could hardly wait for my turn . Questions please:

1. You are doing 2 rows because you don't always sit on same row? Makes a big difference, ie the 2 filters are very different?

2. As set up in your system, when Dirac does measurement to create filter, it measures main speaker above 60 hz, then subwoofer below 60 hz?

Actually the 2 filters probably aren't all that different except for low bass level - as I find myself thanks to the front AND rear DIRAC measurements using 60 Hz crossovers on the target curves for all five of my Aerial 7ts. But you know this audio addiction - "tweaked to perfection"! My rear row is on a wood platform with carpet, whereas front row is on carpet, all over cement foundation. The rear low bass as
measured with a sound level meter at least before Dirac was 8 dB higher rear than front row. Post-Dirac, using Dirac filter for front for the front row, and using Dirac filter for rear for rear row, when I set speaker/channel levels the rear is still 4 dB higher.

When you run/set up Dirac, in the CBIV you simply set each speaker to crossover including that you have one or more subwoofers,
the "manual" slope setting in the CBIV is irrelevant at this time, and during the measurement & filter creation process, Dirac will control the CBIV's setting of crossover and slope for the filter that you are creating - once all done, you load the filter into the CBIV. Read the CBIV manual on Dirac starting at page 94 for more info and pictures of the target curves to create the Dirac filter. Just as Bruce says:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post
Dirac, and similar software routines, measures the mains full range and the subs up to a pretty high level. Then it recommends crossover points based upon the uncorrected low end response of the mains (so that the recommended crossover point is above the natural roll off point of the mains), and, the predicted post-filter responses of the mains and subs crossover point.

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Originally Posted by Brucemck2 View Post
Welcome to the dark side Steve -- dsp based room correction. (When I used to have an analog rig I ran it through my crossover and correction routine setup, and even so still considered it my "analog rig.")

The dark hole of the dark side is when you begin to do post-Dirac measurement on each speaker, and groups of speakers, to fine tune the automated routines. (In my case I ended up changing the distance settings on some of my subs, added modest PEQ to a few of the surrounds, and changed the levels of a few of the surrounds by a few db here and there.)
Thanks.

The "dark hole" is scary - but a way to continue "tweaking to perfection" without spending more money. HA!!!! Mebbe it gives us more $$ to buy high rez music that you (BruceMC) have transferred for HDTracks, etc!!!@@@

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Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post
Thanks.

The "dark hole" is scary - but a way to continue "tweaking to perfection" without spending more money. HA!!!! Mebbe it gives us more $$ to buy high rez music that you (BruceMC) have transferred for HDTracks, etc!!!@@@
What gear do you use for musical source Steve?
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What gear do you use for musical source Steve?
I have a modded CAPSv3 Zuma with a Sapphire (AMD) video card
Which I use for multichannel music via HDMI

recently got a CAPS4 Pipeline w HDPlex linear power supply for two channel music via USB (and Berkeley Audio USB digital converter

3 Theta Gen VIII DACs

theta CBIV SSP

5 Theta Prometheus mono blocks

5 Aerial 7ts

2 JL Audio F212 subwoofers

theta Compli blu Ray

Directv Genie HR44

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Originally Posted by Stereojeff View Post
In my experience, "sub group delay" is a function of the filters and/or processing already built into the sub.


Jeff
Many of the subs available these days use amps that have a bit of dsp processing in them. This introduces some latency which needs to be compensated for in order to blend best at crossover frequency. I think the version of Dirac in the Theta lets you tweak the speaker distances so that the blend can be manually optimized. Dirac for Emotiva lacks this feature - the measured response is still good but it would be nice to be able to manually tweak for those so inclined.

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In my experience, "sub group delay" is a function of the filters and/or processing already built into the sub.


Jeff

Thanks Jeff. I should be good then.


Les

Les
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Many of the sub

Qs available these days use amps that have a bit of dsp processing in them. This introduces some latency which needs to be compensated for in order to blend best at crossover frequency. I think the version of Dirac in the Theta lets you tweak the speaker distances so that the blend can be manually optimized. Dirac for Emotiva lacks this feature - the measured response is still good but it would be nice to be able to manually tweak for those so inclined.


The Theta CBIV DIRAC instructions in the CBIV manual direct you to measure the distance ofall speakers and subwoofers from the sweet spot and to enter those distances to the closest foot in the CBIV menu, and then proceed to use Dirac. I have played with this and the distances you enter do affect the Dirac calibration.

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