Originally Posted by joerod
On a side note I plan to do a long A/B comparison so I can finally decide which unit to keep. The RS20i or the MX160! It truly is a tough call.
Recognizing that we all have different preferences, I will be curious how your comparison comes out. While I have not heard the MX160 in my home, I have heard it in a store and in someone else's home. I have heard the RS20i in my home and will finally have it permanently next week. (I have also calibrated a few for other owners).
The RS20i can do so many things that the MX160 can't. I have been told by the store where I heard it and by the person who owns one that the MX160's target curve is out of the control of the user. As you know, the RS20i not only provides the ability to modify and test various target curves until the cows come home, you can also have different target curves for different sources. Secondly, and the feature many don't use on the RS20i, is the ability to use PEQ's in the output presets that are in place when you run Dirac.
The RS20i I had and will have has 16 channels of digital input. Actually they all have 16 channels of digital input but I bought the cables from Datasat so I have access to all 16 input channels. Prior to running Dirac, I run a frequency sweep from my music server (digital in) to each of the channels I use. And using OmniMic (or REW), I set PEQ's in place to deal with some of the excess energy spots in the various outputs - and sometimes some non-suckout dips. I can assure you that the resultant measured frequency response of those channels after Dirac, is, in most cases, smoother than with Dirac alone. As a result, when each channel's frequency response is that smooth and that alike, envelopment is far superior to anything I have ever heard. In addition, I use this approach to fine tune channel balance. Using white or pink noise test tones does not provide anywhere near the granularity of comparison as running and comparing each channel's smoothed frequency response. And with channel mapping/assignment, expansion to up to 24 channels, etc, the Datasat, at, I admit, twice the price, is a heck of a processor. With all of these abilities in place, and actually using them (it takes a huge amount of time to do all of this) the end result is well worth it.
All of that said, you still may prefer the MX160, but based upon not a particularly scientific comparison, I much prefer the RS20i. And, as they say, YMMV.
Keep us posted.