Originally Posted by RMK!
This is an interesting discussion that I get maybe 10% of the time (Squirrel !!!).
The more I read about EQ, the less I want to get any deeper than I currently am. If a Dirac AV unit come along with savable pre-sets and can do min 11 Atmos (et al) channels then I would be inclined to try it out. In the meantime, Audyssey Pro seems more my speed. I have owned 2 of those units and found them mildly interesting. If anyone wants to part with theirs let me know ... third time's the charm.
I had Audyssey Pro (XT32) before Dirac. I thought it was an improvement over stock Audyssey, but the biggest problem I had with it was the slower iteration time. At least on my Onkyo processor, there was a bug that prevented you from getting predictable results unless you remeasure every time. It would scramble the crossovers and delay and generate filters with the wrong crossovers and delays. The work around was to remeasure every time.
I could get decent results, but it would take about 20 minutes every time I tried a different target curve, and there was no method to A/B compare. The best I could get from it in practice was to disable the notch filter and pick my favorite built-in curve. Dirac, on the other hand had about a 1 minute iteration time, with instant A/B/C/D comparisons.
It's hard to say how much of the Dirac improvements I found was due to the underlying technology and how much was due to the ability to dial in the target curve. I'd guess 75% target curve and 25% better tech.
That said, for 11 channels, you'd need 2x DDRC-88As or a complex setup that routes 16 channels into a PC along with a 16 channel Dirac license (if that's available - not sure.) Of course there's the Datasat route for crazy money. The 2xDDRC-88A still seems like the only somewhat practical option, which is nuts.
I still think most enthusiasts need more control over the response curve than you get from crossover + sub level with Audyssey. Some Audyssey processors may provide for that - just none I've owned. I'm not sure of a good, practical way to add that for 11 channels.