Datasat RS20i BETA test and comparison with ADA Rhapsody/Trinnov TEQ-12!!!! - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 1419 Old 12-02-2011, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Mark your calendars


Saturday, January 21, 2012...funny, that's 1/21/2012..1212012 'hope it's not the end of the world.

'CAUSE IT'S 'GONNA BE THE BIG DAY!!!!!

Plane, Train, or Automobile to get here to what will probably be a frozen wasteland with one hot comparison test!

Like I've said before, I'll try to have multiple systems up so that people can mingle and check out some other cool stuff while NOT in the theater. I'm sure we'll have to run multiple shifts like at one of Art's get togethers.

There, I've posted it on the interweb.. it must be true.

After CES, before ISE (in case there are any of you going to that as well).

Dan

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post #152 of 1419 Old 12-02-2011, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the comments, Dave. I'm really making an effort to remain neutral in this.

and guilty as charged....

Dan

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post #153 of 1419 Old 12-03-2011, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post

I'm sorry, but there IS no such thing as a COMPLETELY AUTOMATED RC system- there's more automated for the professional, but from what I'm seeing here, you absolutely HAVE to have a professional involved to interpret what's going on. Even the studios have to employ professionals to optimize their rooms.

Yes, I can see that now.

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... and of course knowledge of how adjusting things like phase rotation are going to affect the sound of a loudspeaker.

How comprehensive is the capability for phase adjustment with the TEQ and Dirac?

Can the speakers' phase be adjusted to mimic what a single ideal transducer's would be?

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I would like this bit of feedback from those following: should I show traces for every single speaker (remember, that's 12 traces on top of each other), or should I just average the channels? Also, should I show response from each seat individually, averaged by row, or just "sweetspot".

I'd think you're more qualified to tell us what's relevant than we are, but here goes:

I believe a single-location response for a speaker is misleading, so if feasible I'd like to see each speaker's response average of all of the mike positions used to take the measurements, or whatever representative set of locations you think makes sense.

This isn't because I'm particularly interested in the surrounds' responses, but I'm curious as to how similar their responses are to the fronts'.

More importantly, when fed pink noise, how similar in timbre do they sound to the fronts?

Audyssey makes mine closer to the fronts, but all of the speakers sound noticeably different.

Noah
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post #154 of 1419 Old 12-03-2011, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post

I would like this bit of feedback from those following: should I show traces for every single speaker (remember, that's 12 traces on top of each other), or should I just average the channels? Also, should I show response from each seat individually, averaged by row, or just "sweetspot".

This gets back to the problem I raised earlier. Dirac wants x number of mic positions (9 min IIRC) and Trinnov uses the 4-element mic, apparently no longer confined to a single location. If you use SMAART as the arbiter of the end result, it is unlikely to match either of the EQ system's opinions, since SMAART's processing/weighting, and probably the mic positions, will be different. One EQ may look better than the other, but it is really a comparison of three different philosophies or methodologies as opposed to an objective determination of which EQ is more effective. I think that has to be left to the listening in the end.

One thing I would like to see for one channel (say, left) is a comparison of the electrical response of the Dirac and Trinnov equalizers on the same plot, with no smoothing. I realize it does not tell the whole story, but it tells part of it. I compared Dirac with MultEQ XT and was surprised how well they matched in the general trends, yet differed in narrow-band details.

Thanks for your considerable efforts!

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post #155 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Noah,
I can't really quantify the comprehensiveness of the phase adjustment for the Dirac- I don't "see" that parameter except by measuring with SMAART. Trinnov has a target curve for phase response that is adjustable (remember it finds the phase response of the system and adjusts to as close to flat as possible, but there's still phase rotation that takes place especially in the subwoofer region). I don't do that manually with the TEQ.

Thanks for the feedback on the speakers.

Roger,
Dirac wants 9 measurements- not necessarily 9 positions, and I choose the locations, so they WILL be the same for both systems. The tetrahedral mic is something that is out of my control, it's what Trinnov uses to get their 3D mapping of the room. SMAART is a measurement program- that is all, what you see is what you get- it does no processing, other than FFT and even that is a comparison of input (microphone) to input (input signal).Because SMAART is considered an acceptable measurement tool by the recording, sound reinforcement, etc. industries- that's WHY I'm using it. I'm not going to measure electrical response, the same hardware and software remains in the loop. You showed a trace earlier from REW that you took from one of your processors...how neutral is REW?
It is not an accepted measurement tool in any professional industry (although it's probably as valid as any other RTA software)- but the fact is, SMAART is used to measure rooms and loudspeaker systems industry-wide so it is the tool for me. It can show us the DIFFERENCES and SIMILARITIES of the results of the 2 EQ systems, and that's what we're interested in....that and listening to them.

It turns out that the Earthworks M23 that was provided to me from Datasat is more sensitive than my standard Audix TM-1, so that is the mic I'll use for my SMAART measurements- for both systems. Both get measured the same ways with the same tool, I don't see how there can be any problem with that.

I"m giving Trinnov and Dirac the best efforts I can to provide the best results I can get from both- then once I've tuned the room using them as well as I can, they will get measured using the same mic, same positions, and same software at exactly the same SPL...really, I can't get more scientific than that.

And now for a status update: Trinnov and Datasat will no longer be available via VNC to anyone but myself, I have to put the two of them on an independent network. We have lost IP addresses to our NAS drives and automation system, printers, etc every time there's heavy VNC use- so offline they go. Curt and Richard are now unfortunately blind to my adjustments. For those of you that are IT professionals, I'd be happy to converse offline about what could be the cause of the problem, because I'm honestly stumped- I have opened the IP address of the TEQ with a hardware DMZ, and yet we still blew out the DHCP addresses when I started with heavy VNC use last night (trying to optimize a different preset for my own contrast).

Cisco small business router to a 24 port unmanaged switch, to a couple smaller, D-link 8-port switches.

The result of this rather major catastrophe is that I will now have to spend my Monday working to get Savant back to fully operational (these devices do not like having their IP addresses changed on the fly...at all), since I have a demo to do on Tuesday morning- this is now my highest priority. If I can get Savant back to where it was prior to our network problems, then I will continue TEQ tweaking (Curt tells me that there are a couple more things I can try to get it even better)- but that will be strictly my computer to the TEQ.

One step forward, two steps back....

I appreciate the feedback, guys, all of it.

Dan

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post #156 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post

Roger,
Dirac wants 9 measurements- not necessarily 9 positions, and I choose the locations, so they WILL be the same for both systems. The tetrahedral mic is something that is out of my control, it's what Trinnov uses to get their 3D mapping of the room.

Yes.

Quote:
SMAART is a measurement program- that is all, what you see is what you get- it does no processing, other than FFT and even that is a comparison of input (microphone) to input (input signal).Because SMAART is considered an acceptable measurement tool by the recording, sound reinforcement, etc. industries- that's WHY I'm using it.

Understood, but if you make multiple measurements, it is a processor. It uses an algorithm to combine those readings into a composite. It might be a different algorithm than either Dirac or Trinnov use. It is certainly a different algorithm than Audyssey uses.

Quote:
I'm not going to measure electrical response, the same hardware and software remains in the loop.

I'm just requesting that after all the EQ adjustments are finalized, you unplug one channel, feed the I/O into the measurement tool (REW or whatever you like) and make a plot. Takes a few minutes. It is very instructive to see what they do electrically just to the frequency response. For example, the huge differences between MultEQ XT and XT32, and Dirac, and even my own PEQ as has been documented.

Quote:
You showed a trace earlier from REW that you took from one of your processors...how neutral is REW?

Perfectly. Just run the sound card output back into itself to confirm.

Quote:
It is not an accepted measurement tool in any professional industry (although it's probably as valid as any other RTA software)

I'm not using REW as an RTA. It is a simple sine sweep measurement, and the only "accuracy" it requires for this purpose is a proper AC to DC converter for the level meter, which is all done in the computer software. It was designed by an audio expert, John Mulchahy, who knows his beans. Don't let the free price taint your opinion.

Quote:
- but the fact is, SMAART is used to measure rooms and loudspeaker systems industry-wide so it is the tool for me. It can show us the DIFFERENCES and SIMILARITIES of the results of the 2 EQ systems, and that's what we're interested in....that and listening to them.

Understood. All I am saying is that SMAART's methodology for averaging multiple curves may be different than the EQ systems use, so some of the differences you find may be attributable to that philosophical difference, as opposed to "error" in correction.

Quote:
It turns out that the Earthworks M23 that was provided to me from Datasat is more sensitive than my standard Audix TM-1, so that is the mic I'll use for my SMAART measurements- for both systems. Both get measured the same ways with the same tool, I don't see how there can be any problem with that.

None whatsoever.

Quote:
I"m giving Trinnov and Dirac the best efforts I can to provide the best results I can get from both- then once I've tuned the room using them as well as I can, they will get measured using the same mic, same positions, and same software at exactly the same SPL...really, I can't get more scientific than that.

Understood. Yes, you will identically evaluate the results of Trinnov and Dirac with a 3d party measurement tool. It is all that can be done.

Please do not take my comments as any criticism. I am just trying to establish that even with a purely objective tool like SMAART there will need to be a degree of interpretation and "benefit of the doubt" applied if the resulting response curves depart from each other and from one's opinion of the ideal. To the extent that any such differences result, they have to be evaluated in the light of how they affect the sound, not solely on how they look on paper.

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post #157 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post

I can't really quantify the comprehensiveness of the phase adjustment for the Dirac- I don't "see" that parameter except by measuring with SMAART. Trinnov has a target curve for phase response that is adjustable (remember it finds the phase response of the system and adjusts to as close to flat as possible, but there's still phase rotation that takes place especially in the subwoofer region).

Fair enough, the result is important than what the user needs to do to achieve it.

Interesting that there adjustable target curves for phase response.

Is that for seasoning to taste like freq resp target curves, or more for things like correcting sub integration with mains?

So sorry to hear about your IT issues, what a PITA.

Noah
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post #158 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 03:10 PM
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I'm not if this can be done. But there are a couple seats where bass response at 25 Hz dips quite a bit. Other seats in the room do not have this issue. Can Trinniv make a preset to play with phase, etc to alter things ang get this seat right at 25 Hz??

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post #159 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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yes, Jeff it can.

elaborate later

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post #160 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post

yes, Jeff it can.

elaborate later

Dan

Great.. One of the seats where I get a dip in bass response is my ideal 'captain's' chair! I'd like to have it fe full on bass in that chair.
Thanks!

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post #161 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Great.. One of the seats where I get a dip in bass response is my ideal 'captain's' chair! I'd like to have it fe full on bass in that chair.
Thanks!

I will be curious what Dan will say but EQ is not a solution to that. The right solution is more subs and in optimal location. You can see dramatic effect of this in the CFD simulation of our reference theater:



On the left with a single sub, you see the effect you are talking about with massive variation in low frequency level as depicted by the color. The simulation on the right shows what happens when you go with three subs, optimally placed (two in the back and one in the ceiling). The variations are dramatically reduced, without one bit of EQ. Those settings came from 40,000 simulations by the way. Imagine moving around your sub that many times manually .

EQ needs to be third in the list of your tools, not first. It is great for fine tuning things but if you have big issues, it cannot work.

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post #162 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 05:06 PM
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I will be curious what Dan will say but EQ is not a solution to that. The right solution is more subs and in optimal location. You can see dramatic effect of this in the CFD simulation of our reference theater:



On the left with a single sub, you see the effect you are talking about with massive variation in low frequency level as depicted by the color. The simulation on the right shows what happens when you go with three subs, optimally placed (two in the back and one in the ceiling). The variations are dramatically reduced, without one bit of EQ. Those settings came from 40,000 simulations by the way. Imagine moving around your sub that many times manually .

EQ needs to be third in the list of your tools, not first. It is great for fine tuning things but if you have big issues, it cannot work.


Thanks. That is exactly my issue. Good renderings.

The issue I have is limited real-estate behind my screen wall and few places around the room I can put a sub(s). We tested and the front of the room is best place, giving the best response. With the baffle wall, I cannot get into a big mega sub as there is no room. However, in working with Mark Seaton, he came up with a solution of 8 smaller, passive subs all daisy chained together that would be able to go behind my screen (I'll still use my BDEAPs for 25 Hz to 80 hZ as this their sweet spot) and get me the desired ultra low frequencies.

The rear corner of the room is the only place I can install a new sub without spoiling the room's esthetics. In my room, you can't see a wire or a speaker anywhere. So I can't just put one down in an aisle way. I can't put a large sub in the front of the room as the screen is but 24" from the floor and 12" from each side wall, so a large sub would block a portion of the picture. My screen wall is literally a screen WALL!

A potential solution as I asked for above, would be ideal.

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post #163 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 07:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Roger, thanks for the clarification- my apologies for getting a little defensive; I sometimes can't see past the amount of effort I'm putting into this- and can certainly be myopic. Since I already do something similar for the FFT measurement in SMAART, it shouldn't be a big deal to trace the electrical output. I guess the Center channel is as good as any to test.

Jeff, if what you have literally follows Amir's drawings, then the issue is modal- and Trinnov can't fix physics. Amir's rendering shows a classical Axial mode build-up; looks like the fist axial mode for length coupled with the first axial mode for width. The placement of the 2 subs on the back wall could have just as easily been on the front wall- and the sub in the ceiling is a great idea for when you can't build into walls! That 3rd woofer is where the magic is happening: it's located in the first axial mode for width, so it negates the null- then by being what looks to be roughly 25% off the front wall, it fills in the null of the second axial mode for length- and so you see the depression placed evenly from side-wall to side-wall (I'm sure those aren't the only modes present, just the most egregious). Realize that before EQ, that's still a 20 db depression.

Trinnov will do what it can to optimize for seating location, we can certainly create a preset for that particular seat, and that can be recalled by the Rhapsody when the 2 are connected. BUT....If that depression is caused by a null, the only way to fix it is to fill it.
If I remember pictures of the addition correctly, you have attic above the theater, right? Like Art's theater? If so, you can probably locate at least one woofer up there (several) and shoot them through grilles (HVAC). Otherwise, JL makes a very thin driver 13" woof, that might fit the bill for under your chairs (placed throughout as well). There are lots of things that can be done. I would start with the TEQ, only because you've expressed the desire for the other channels to be optimized that way anyway. If you can't get the results you're after with just the TEQ, then add subs- you have 4 extra channels that you can play with, I can do quite a bit with 4 channels and some woofers
It seems that you're fully aware that you need more woofers anyway.

As a side note: this exact issue is why there are 8 subs in my room: the 2 18"s in the front do the heavy lifting, the front-most pair of 12"s help reinforce the main LR speakers, and the second and third pairs of 12"s are strictly filling nulls. Is the bass in my room perfect- no, but variations from seat to seat are extremely slight, and row to row are slightly noticeable (in the end, I have to tune the room for the money seats). The benefits I glean from so many woofers: headroom, it's much easier to achieve high SPL with so many woofers- and the amps hardly work for it, same with the drivers- you barely have to move them to get the desired effect. Tautness: because the room is essentially "actively" treated for bass, there is little to now overhang on bass notes- regardless of the seating position: this is especially important in a scene like the sniper fight in Hurt Locker; the concussion from a Barret does not linger, the projectile leaves the barrel and the concussion is gone.

Noah, I'm not sure if I would call it "salt and pepper" on the phase target curve, probably more likely that you could adjust the phase response through the crossover regions, to correct for the rotations of various filters. I noticed that last night after optimizing my second preset; the bass from a bass guitar and drums, etc. sounded like it came from the mains (crossed over by bass management at 92...to the 18"s) that was nice, I like that it makes them sound like full range mains.

Amir, those renderings are super-cool! Does Keith use CATT? I tried that software years ago, but never had the processor horsepower to do it right.

A note should also be made that the before condition is a sub located in a tri-corner- the absolute worst place for a single sub, because it excites all modes to their worst levels.

Dan

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post #164 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 08:16 PM
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I had considered getting the Datasat since I joined this great site around the start of the year. But after seeing the Datasat logo at the end of the Transformers 3 movie I might have to consider alternatives :P I cant wait to read about your review of these two great units.
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post #165 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
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Roger, thanks for the clarification- my apologies for getting a little defensive; I sometimes can't see past the amount of effort I'm putting into this- and can certainly be myopic. Since I already do something similar for the FFT measurement in SMAART, it shouldn't be a big deal to trace the electrical output. I guess the Center channel is as good as any to test.

Thanks. Yes, the center channel is good.

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Jeff, if what you have literally follows Amir's drawings, then the issue is modal- and Trinnov can't fix physics.

I guess he was wondering if it could do something like Harman's SFM to tune multiple subs to cancel the nulls like SDEC and the new Lexicon processor can do.

Quote:


Amir's rendering shows a classical Axial mode build-up; looks like the fist axial mode for length coupled with the first axial mode for width. The placement of the 2 subs on the back wall could have just as easily been on the front wall- and the sub in the ceiling is a great idea for when you can't build into walls! That 3rd woofer is where the magic is happening:

It is indeed. The ceiling location was chosen using Yate's fluid dynamics room analysis of multiple (like hundreds) of possible sub locations and combinations of 1,2,3,4 or more subs. This maximizes the desired uniformity in the designated listening area and makes the EQ's job that much more successful.

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post #166 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 08:44 PM
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Hi Dan - I would also like to express my gratitude for all the work you are putting into this. I also commend you for the objective and open manner in which you provide information and respond to queries. HT is a passion for most posters on this forum and at times this passion can get the better of us. Your own passion is evident and throughout many threads you continue to be professional and respectful - it is much appreciated.
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post #167 of 1419 Old 12-04-2011, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post

The simulation on the right shows what happens when you go with three subs, optimally placed (two in the back and one in the ceiling). The variations are dramatically reduced, without one bit of EQ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

We tested and the front of the room is best place, giving the best response.

Amir seems to be talking more about placing subs for least variation from seat to seat, not best frequency response. Once you have the former, you can EQ for the latter (without worrying that improving the response in one seat will make things worse in other seats).

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post #168 of 1419 Old 12-05-2011, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Automation back up and running, we're adding another zone but the theater works just as it did before. My demo for tomorrow had to be rescheduled until Fri. so I'll continue testing until later in the week (Thurs probably).

I have both the TEQ and the Datasat connected to my travel router now- they are now their own network. No more VNC issues.

Onward and upward, gentlemen!

Dan

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post #169 of 1419 Old 12-05-2011, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you, Stephen for the kind words. Did you ever get squared-away with your ADA?

Dan

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post #170 of 1419 Old 12-05-2011, 12:23 PM
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Its a long story but I now have an order in for an RS20i that will hopefully be part of the first lot to ship.
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post #171 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Well today was the start of the measurements of the TEQ using SMAART.

Some interesting things happened today;

1.) FFT measurements were not very effective, for some reason, phase response and magnitude response were not successful measurements: I'd get phase above 8k and below 100hz, with a giant abyss in the middle?????
Magnitude was in the same areas, but coherence was measurable throughout the audible range??? some puzzling results to say the least.

2.) I WAS able to take FFT using Roger's electrical signal method- but that wasn't quite complete either, since the impulse response was a flat line.

3.) some characteristics to the sound were illustrated to me: the top end has a nice flat response, but the bass doesn't mate how I want it to. So I now have to figure out how to make that happen. My current thought is to lower the levels of the top end to bring the bottom-up, then use my headroom to raise the overall level (there's an extra 9db of gain that I'm currently NOT using in the TEQ). A couple more hours tomorrow, and I'll be closer to happy.

So I'll now post a ton of RTA traces to give you guys an idea of what's going on with the TEQ optimized in the room.

So we're all on the same page:
Position1 = Front Row, left seat.
Sweetspot = Front row between seats
Position2 = Front Row, right seat

Position3 = Back Row, left seat
Postion4 = Back Row, center seat
Position5 = Back Row, right seat

As you look at the traces from positions 3 and 5 you'll notice the level offsets from the proximity to right or left surround channels.

Traces are one again 1/48th octave, no smoothing just a slow response for me to capture the trace.




Dan

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post #172 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Center acoustical output vs electrical signal from TEQ12 (offset for visibility).

Dan

 

Center acoustical vs electrical offset.pdf 185.7373046875k . file

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post #173 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Front row traces (include averages)

Dan

 

Position 1 Highpass.pdf 215.80078125k . file

 

Position2 Highpass.pdf 212.984375k . file

 

Sweetspot Highpass.pdf 217.33984375k . file

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post #174 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 09:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Second Row traces (averages also included)

Dan

 

Position3 Highpass.pdf 219.8759765625k . file

 

Position4 Highpass.pdf 219.904296875k . file

 

Position5 Highpass.pdf 223.4365234375k . file

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post #175 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Subs from all positions

 

AllPositions Lowpass.pdf 200.1162109375k . file

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post #176 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the average of all the averages (positions 1-5 + sweetspot)+ average lowpass=

Baby blue trace. Now THIS is smoothed just by all the averaging, but I figure it's a decent representation of how the system sounds from top-to-bottom

Dan

 

High+Low= Blue trace.pdf 189.0009765625k . file

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post #177 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's one that shows the weird FFT results I got from the sweetspot.

Dan

 

Funky FFT from sweet.pdf 189.412109375k . file

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post #178 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 10:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Center channel TEQ output signal vs reference signal (pink noise from SMAART) FFT.

Dan

 

Center Signal FFT.pdf 198.9296875k . file

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post #179 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 10:17 PM
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Thanx Dan. The results are looking nice.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanFrancis View Post

Center acoustical output vs electrical signal from TEQ12 (offset for visibility).

Is the blue trace the electrical output? If so, is TEQ doing more filtering in the higher frequencies than the lower frequencies?

Sanjay
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post #180 of 1419 Old 12-07-2011, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, blue is acoustic signal from loudspeaker (behind screen) Green is signal going to speaker.

Dan

The TEQ does a tremendous amount of filtering in both the highpass and lowpass regions, the difference is in the types of filters applied to the respective areas. Lowpass is primarily IIR filters, highpass gets more FIR filters.

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