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post #121 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

No one says the 2.5K Onkyo is at par with the ADA (we don't know how they compare). I am just saying that your assertion that an ADA level SSP cannot be build and marketed for $2,500 because of the cost of components is incorrect.

Maybe but the Mona Lisa has likely $10 in paint and a canvas but its value is far greater. Doesn't who used those paints and canvas matter??? A piece like the ADA< Classe' or Theta are valued far more than the sum of their parts. It's many times not the parts, but how you use them.

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #122 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Maybe but the Mona Lisa has likely $10 in paint and a canvas but its value is far greater. Doesn't who used those paints and canvas matter??? A piece like the ADA< Classe' or Theta are valued far more than the sum of their parts. It's many times not the parts, but how you use them.

You are exactly right of course. But there is nothing in that argument that would prevent some manufacturer from innovate the industry by investing the same amount in R&D as Theta or ADA, License Dirac or Trinnov, start selling direct, slash prices by 75% and aims for 10 times the volume at far lower overhead and manufacturing cost per unit. In other words - pull an Oppo in the SSP market.

Just 2 days ago, you told us this was impossible because of the high cost of components, but you have now made a 180 degrees U-Turn on that position.
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post #123 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 11:29 AM
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[quote=edorr;21913443]You are exactly right of course. But there is nothing in that argument that would prevent some manufacturer from innovate the industry by investing the same amount in R&D as Theta or ADA, License Dirac or Trinnov, start selling direct, slash prices by 75% and aims for 10 times the volume at far lower overhead and manufacturing cost per unit. In other words - pull an Oppo in the SSP market. [quote]

Then you destroy your brand. How dos it help Theta to offer Dirac for $395?? Or a new SSP for $2500?? It would destroy them as well as their reputation! Racing to the bottom isn't every manufacturer's goal.

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Just 2 days ago, you told us this was impossible because of the high cost of components, but you have now made a 180 degrees U-Turn on that position.

THis is what I said, "...Onkyo is just an amalgam of cheap parts for the mass market that is Best Buy's bread and butta!".

It's still my thoughts.

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #124 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 11:32 AM
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Why not just send a Theta CBIIIHD to China and have them clone it. Evidently they have done it with a ford 150 pickup truck

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post #125 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 11:42 AM
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[quote=thebland;21913565]
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

THis is what I said, "...Onkyo is just an amalgam of cheap parts for the mass market that is Best Buy's bread and butta!".

It's still my thoughts.

You made your thoughs on Onkyo abundanty clear. However, this is not about Onkyo, but about the possibility of building an ADA level SSP for $2000. I'm glad you've come around the view this can be build, but you said earlier:

"1/5th the price, 1/5th the performance"

You opined that the Oppo analogy does not hold water, because:

"A player is a far simpler device"

And finally you said:

"I mean, parts is parts..."
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post #126 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Then you destroy your brand. How dos it help Theta to offer Dirac for $395?? Or a new SSP for $2500?? It would destroy them as well as their reputation! Racing to the bottom isn't every manufacturer's goal.

Of course Theta would not do this. We are talking about a new player entering the market, or Emotiva or Outlaw building an ADA caliber processor for $2000.
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post #127 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

Of course Theta would not do this. We are talking about a new player entering the market, or Emotiva or Outlaw building an ADA caliber processor for $2000.

Unfortunately, branding comes into play. Building a better, cheaper mousetrap never insures success. It's a great theory but until there is an industry breakthrough in technology, nothing ever really changes. SSPs haven't appreciably changed in years - not since HDMI.

Blu Ray is a great example of a wholesale change and improvement in disc players - allowing significantly better picture, sound, networking, streaming, etc. My Denon player was $2000 as things got started and now you can buy a competent player for $200 - $300 (or less) with far more features and good performance... but the market for source players is exponentially larger than SSPs. SSPs are niche products but players are mainstream. That's why they'll remain expensive in the high end. The high end is still doing well - just ask Craig at Theatermax!

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #128 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 12:27 PM
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I just don't see a reason to demo a new Onkyo. Yes yesterday's $25K is today's $10K but the $25K SSP has not been replaced by the $2.5K Onkyo in my estimation. I don't have the inclination to try it out either. Many times with an SSP it ended up being worth the price.this!

Hear! Hear! Pro gear is vastly better than the mass market stuff. Yes I believe the best of the high-end is better but I would never equate pro gear with mass market. Oh, I while 10k is yesterday's 25k, it is not today's 25k. The ultra-high end has not stood still. The gap however is closer than it has ever been.

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post #129 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by thebland View Post

Blu Ray is a great example of a wholesale change and improvement in disc players - allowing significantly better picture, sound, networking, streaming, etc. My Denon player was $2000 as things got started and now you can buy a competent player for $200 - $300 (or less) with far more features and good performance... but the market for source players is exponentially larger than SSPs. SSPs are niche products but players are mainstream. That's why they'll remain expensive in the high end. The high end is still doing well - just ask Craig at Theatermax!

Finally you are making a valid point! When Blu Ray came out a LOT of people were going to need a new player, ensuring a very large market. This created the opportunity for Oppo to innovate the industry.

I agree the market opportunity for a "giant killer" SSP is probably a lot smaller, making it a far higher risk proposition to invest in trying to pull an Oppo in the SSP market.

Obviously the high-end guys are not going to self-destuct and go after a lower pricepoint. It will be interesting to see how good a $2000 "factory direct" Emotiva or Outlaw will be one or two years down the line, especially if the playing field for room correction is completely leveled because of licensing agreements.
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post #130 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tjk3030 View Post

Why not just send a Theta CBIIIHD to China and have them clone it. Evidently they have done it with a ford 150 pickup truck

The problem is that the Chinese copy but they don't lead. If this happened soon you would have little or no new cutting edge designs. The high-end is characterized by perfectionist audiophile designers. Even Oppo did not lead with the BDP-95. That player looks like they basically added the modifications that the after-market high-end modders were doing to the BDP-83.

The Chinese manufacture value products. Parasound designed high-end products and manufactured them in Taiwan. That's the mostly likely path for budget product. Classe is about to do the same. However I would not expect mass market prices. Price is set by many factors like supply and demand for perceived performance. I want you flogged however for even suggesting that the Chinese steal yet another company's intellectual property .

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post #131 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Even Oppo did not lead with the BDP-95. That player looks like they basically added the modifications that the after-market high-end modders were doing to the BDP-83.

Which modders added Netflix streaming? Or changed the video processor chip?

Quote:


The Chinese manufacture value products. Parasound designed high-end products and manufactured them in Taiwan. That's the mostly likely path for budget product. Classe is about to do the same.

Same as what? That is not what Classe is doing.
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post #132 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post

This is incidentally what Kal reported about the new Onkyo compared to his Integra.

I don't think I have ever reported on an Onkyo so I am not sure what comparison you are referring to.

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post #133 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I don't think I have ever reported on an Onkyo so I am not sure what comparison you are referring to.

Onkyo / Integra - same thing. The Onkyo SC5508 or SC5509 is equivalent to the Integra 80.3.
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post #134 of 234 Old 04-16-2012, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edorr View Post

This is incidentally what Kal reported about the new Onkyo compared to his Integra.

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Onkyo / Integra - same thing. The Onkyo SC5508 or SC5509 is equivalent to the Integra 80.3.

I am not disputing that point but it is still unclear what you are referring to? Was it a comparison of the Integra 9.8 with the Integra 80.2?

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post #135 of 234 Old 04-17-2012, 04:57 AM
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Which modders added Netflix streaming? Or changed the video processor chip?

Right? And Netflix streaming improved the audio quality which is why the TS started this thread?

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post #136 of 234 Old 04-17-2012, 04:59 AM
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Same as what? That is not what Classe is doing.

Well what exactly is Classe doing in China?

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post #137 of 234 Old 04-17-2012, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I am not disputing that point but it is still unclear what you are referring to? Was it a comparison of the Integra 9.8 with the Integra 80.2?

Yes, exactly. Unless I misread your article, you concluded the new Integra (80.3) is a lot better than the old Integra (9.9). By implication, the new Onkyo (Onkyo SC5508 or SC5509) is a lot better than the old (885/886), because they are largely the same machines.

I quoted you on this, because Bland was using his experience with the 885/886 as empirical proof that a $2,500 Onkyo SSP is a piece of crap. If if we trust Bland's golden ears and accept this premise, it is still and entirely meaningless observation as the basis for any judgements of the new Onkyo SSPs.
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post #138 of 234 Old 04-17-2012, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Right? And Netflix streaming improved the audio quality which is why the TS started this thread?

I think Roger is making the point that the 93/95 are both jam packed with new features and hence Oppo is in fact a highly innovative company. Whether that innovation is audio / video or function features is besides the point.

However interpreted narrowly, there is some thruth in your original claim ("Even Oppo did not lead with the BDP-95") because it pertains just to the 95, not Oppo as a company. You could say all the innovation went into the 93, and the 95 just took the innovative 93 platform, did to it what modders were doing to the 83, and labelled it the 95.

I would still say if a modded 93 costs 2 grand, and the 95 gives you the same level of performance for half the price, they improved price performence of high-end universal players by 100%, which is in and off itself "innovation", but now we are really into the semantics of the word innovation. May be commoditization would be a better word.
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post #139 of 234 Old 04-17-2012, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by edorr View Post


I think Roger is making the point that the 93/95 are both jam packed with new features and hence Oppo is in fact a highly innovative company. Whether that innovation is audio / video or function features is besides the point.

However interpreted narrowly, there is some thruth in your original claim ("Even Oppo did not lead with the BDP-95") because it pertains just to the 95, not Oppo as a company. You could say all the innovation went into the 93, and the 95 just took the innovative 93 platform, did to it what modders were doing to the 83, and labelled it the 95.

I would still say if a modded 93 costs 2 grand, and the 95 gives you the same level of performance for half the price, they improved price performence of high-end universal players by 100%, which is in and off itself "innovation", but now we are really into the semantics of the word innovation. May be commoditization would be a better word.

Sound quality is the reason the thread was started. It's that simple. There is not "some," truth and no narrow interpretation required. This thread has went off on all kind of wild tangents when the question was simple. Sometimes this seems like déjÃ* vu, like Doug Winsor who also owned an Onkyo.

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post #140 of 234 Old 04-17-2012, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Sound quality is the reason the thread was started. It's that simple.

I agree with that. My original question was whether or not there existed a lower priced alternative that would still give me the sound quality I've been getting from the 10-year-old CBIII Xtreme design. My hope was that this decade-old DAC quality has now made its way to the top lines of the mass-marketed processors, or to some economically-minded hi-fi companies (such as Oppo or Outlaw). It's clear that no one has been able to point me to a mutually-agreed-on example of such new processor. Edorr and I both believe that the time is right (technologically speaking), and the market is ripe, for a company like Oppo to design and market directly the $2000 hi-end processor.

I was not considering video processing, netflix streaming, and room correction as important criteria in my original post. Nevertheless, Audioguy's comments on the vast impact of room correction intrigued me. So I'll be comparing the CBIII to Integra both without and with room correction.
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post #141 of 234 Old 04-17-2012, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bulldogger View Post

Right? And Netflix streaming improved the audio quality which is why the TS started this thread?

You did not specify what modders did, you just said Oppo "added the modifications that the after-market high-end modders were doing to the BDP-83." If you want to talk about sound quality, ok. But modders did not change the DAC chips, either. Oppo did.

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Well what exactly is Classe doing in China?

Final assembly, in their own factory. Unlike Parasound, Classe designs the entire product, and procures all the parts.
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post #142 of 234 Old 04-18-2012, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by moosik View Post


I agree with that. My original question was whether or not there existed a lower priced alternative that would still give me the sound quality I've been getting from the 10-year-old CBIII Xtreme design. My hope was that this decade-old DAC quality has now made its way to the top lines of the mass-marketed processors, or to some economically-minded hi-fi companies (such as Oppo or Outlaw). It's clear that no one has been able to point me to a mutually-agreed-on example of such new processor. Edorr and I both believe that the time is right (technologically speaking), and the market is ripe, for a company like Oppo to design and market directly the $2000 hi-end processor.

I was not considering video processing, netflix streaming, and room correction as important criteria in my original post. Nevertheless, Audioguy's comments on the vast impact of room correction intrigued me. So I'll be comparing the CBIII to Integra both without and with room correction.

Are you currently doing any type of sub EQ? That is the approach many Casablanca owners have taken. I have used parametric EQ as well as a Velodyne SMS-1. Crossover at 80hz and use EQ there.

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post #143 of 234 Old 04-18-2012, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moosik View Post

I agree with that. My original question was whether or not there existed a lower priced alternative that would still give me the sound quality I've been getting from the 10-year-old CBIII Xtreme design. My hope was that this decade-old DAC quality has now made its way to the top lines of the mass-marketed processors, or to some economically-minded hi-fi companies (such as Oppo or Outlaw). It's clear that no one has been able to point me to a mutually-agreed-on example of such new processor. Edorr and I both believe that the time is right (technologically speaking), and the market is ripe, for a company like Oppo to design and market directly the $2000 hi-end processor.

I was not considering video processing, netflix streaming, and room correction as important criteria in my original post. Nevertheless, Audioguy's comments on the vast impact of room correction intrigued me. So I'll be comparing the CBIII to Integra both without and with room correction.

Regarding room correction, I would like to see/hear if a noticeable difference in sq between higher priced standalone room correction devices and the ones that come in a pre/pro or receiver.
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post #144 of 234 Old 04-18-2012, 07:30 AM
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Regarding room correction, I would like to see/hear if a noticeable difference in sq between higher priced standalone room correction devices and the ones that come in a pre/pro or receiver.

From my experience, the SQ differences are initially due to the target curve. Then the question is about altering it, if at all possible. The baseline Audyssey and ARC (Anthem) REQ's do not allow much, if any useful user adjustment. That's a deal killer IMHO. But Dirac and Trinnov allow a lot, as does Audyssey Pro but to a lesser extent.
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Does anyone know if the spectrum for adjustment available in the Trinnov and the anticipated implementation of Dirac in the Theta are comparable in scale to that possible with one of the QSC DSPs often used by Adam Pelz and Dennis Erskine et al?

Sean
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post #146 of 234 Old 04-18-2012, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Roger Dressler View Post

From my experience, the SQ differences are initially due to the target curve. Then the question is about altering it, if at all possible. The baseline Audyssey and ARC (Anthem) REQ's do not allow much, if any useful user adjustment. That's a deal killer IMHO. But Dirac and Trinnov allow a lot, as does Audyssey Pro but to a lesser extent.

Also consider is bass management capabilities in Trinnov are second to none, including ability build active cross-over filters for subs. Not something you will find in a pre/pro.
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post #147 of 234 Old 04-18-2012, 08:21 AM
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Datasat's SSP are extremely flexible from the point of view of building active crossovers (for subs and as digital x-over for speakers). I can't comment on their bass mgmt, but I know Carl speaks highly of it.

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post #148 of 234 Old 04-18-2012, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierraalphahotel View Post

Does anyone know if the spectrum for adjustment available in the Trinnov and the anticipated implementation of Dirac in the Theta are comparable in scale to that possible with one of the QSC DSPs often used by Adam Pelz and Dennis Erskine et al?

Short answer: Yes, they are comparable in range.

Long answer: There are two aspects to adjustment. One is the corrective action applied by the automatic room EQ, and the other is the manual adjustments for target curve preference. In the case of QSC (or any manual PEQ) these are one in the same set of controls, so the scale (or range) is necessarily large enough to accommodate both functions.

The max corrective range of the automatic room EQ filterbank is rarely specified, but it is presumably sufficient to satisfy the algorithm's need for whatever is determined to be a correctable error. After that, the degree of adjustment can be much less than a manual PEQ because it only needs to deal with the human preference issues for alternative target curves. In addition, Trinnov and to a lesser extent Datasat, offer a separate set of manual EQs that can run separate from the room EQ and target curve controls.

There may also be other more subtle aspects to "adjustment" in that automatic EQ purveyors assert that their IIR/FIR filterbanks afford corrective actions more optimally suited to the task than PEQ. I have heard no evidence of that myself, but remain willing to be convinced; and I've seen evidence to the contrary (MultEQ XT). So in my book, if done well, a PEQ such as found in QSC, Synthesis, ADA, or even my humble SSP-800 are equally capable of achieving as much sonic benefit as Dirac or Trinnov, absent pathological flaws.

Ease of setup and fine tuning, now that's a whole different matter.
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post #149 of 234 Old 04-18-2012, 10:30 AM
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Short answer: Yes, they are comparable in range.

Long answer: There are two aspects to adjustment. One is the corrective action applied by the automatic room EQ, and the other is the manual adjustments for target curve preference. In the case of QSC (or any manual PEQ) these are one in the same set of controls, so the scale (or range) is necessarily large enough to accommodate both functions.

The max corrective range of the automatic room EQ filterbank is rarely specified, but it is presumably sufficient to satisfy the algorithm's need for whatever is determined to be a correctable error. After that, the degree of adjustment can be much less than a manual PEQ because it only needs to deal with the human preference issues for alternative target curves. In addition, Trinnov and to a lesser extent Datasat, offer a separate set of manual EQs that can run separate from the room EQ and target curve controls.

There may also be other more subtle aspects to "adjustment" in that automatic EQ purveyors assert that their IIR/FIR filterbanks afford corrective actions more optimally suited to the task than PEQ. I have heard no evidence of that myself, but remain willing to be convinced; and I've seen evidence to the contrary (MultEQ XT). So in my book, if done well, a PEQ such as found in QSC, Synthesis, ADA, or even my humble SSP-800 are equally capable of achieving as much sonic benefit as Dirac or Trinnov, absent pathological flaws.

Ease of setup and fine tuning, now that's a whole different matter.

Thanks for the information, Roger.

It is important to me to have a decent auto EQ from Theta's implementation of Dirac as I do not possess the knowledge or tools to take it much further than that. Of equal importance though is knowing that someone who has the expertise can take it further without significant restriction by the box (in my case by the CBIIIhd).

Sean
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Originally Posted by sierraalphahotel View Post

It is important to me to have a decent auto EQ from Theta's implementation of Dirac as I do not possess the knowledge or tools to take it much further than that. Of equal importance though is knowing that someone who has the expertise can take it further without significant restriction by the box (in my case by the CBIIIhd).

If Theta and Dirac are successful in their revamp of the U/I and that includes the whole process of communicating with the mic and the computer, then I have a high degree of confidence that people will find the resulting EQ easy to perform (move the mic 9 times) and effective (sounds great) with little need for subsequent muss or fuss. Even then, tweaking the target curve should be pretty straightforward thus allowing endless adjustments with no need to run the measurements again. This is what I was alluding to as far as a key difference wrt manual PEQ, where initial setup and tweaking are much more challenging.
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