We had rhed and his family over for a visit yesterday afternoon so that he (Rod) could hear my Atmos setup. He is here in CA visiting family and since there are no Atmos Theaters in Hawaii, it was cool that this provided us the opportunity to meet and, allow Rod to hear an Atmos HT setup. First I'd like to say that it was a really fun time for my wife and I and Rod has a great family. It is so cool that this Forum provides an opportunity to meet people you would likely never meet were it not for this hobby of ours. Turns out our wives had a lot in common and they got on great. Rods kids and local based family were also very nice and fun to be around. All in all a very nice experience and we hope to see them all again.
Re my Atmos HT, just yesterday received a pair of new Slanted 8's that I installed as Surround Back speakers. I had bought a little Inuke 1000 to power them and re-ran the Audyssey setup in a Atmos 7.1.4 configuration on my Marantz AV7702 pre/pro. After the 8 position Audyssey setup, I listened to the Atmos demo disk specifically the Amaze Trailer and the Enrique Iglesias Music Video: Bailando. With Audyssey engaged, the powerful bass part of the Amaze trailer was effectively neutered even at ref level. The terrific Bailando music video was also sapped of it's sparkle and liveliness with Auydessy engaged. With Audyssey off, the bass was back and the music had it's vitality restored. I don't know why Audyssey is so inconsistent, but it must be due to variables like mic position and ambient noise. In any case, it is nice for the initial setup but what it does to the sound is far too dramatic and inconsistent for my taste.
The one feature that the Marantz has that my previous Integra or Denon units did not is to allow the copying of the Audyssey "Flat Response Curve" to the Marantz Manual EQ. At that point, you can tweak the individual channels, all of the channels together or just the L&R channels by using the 9 fixed point Manual EQ in the Marantz. Using the Audyssey flat curve as a starting point is a nice feature and allows for a degree of customization. It is what I am currently using to good effect.
Due to all of the treatments in my room and by sheer luck, I seem to have good sound without much if any EQ needed. So in my on again off again relationship with Audyssey it is now off and will probably stay that way for the foreseeable. The room measures well without Audyssey and even something like Dirac seems unnecessary. I like the "sound" of the Marantz and I'm staying the course (for a while
) and really enjoying my little HT version of 3D audio. The Atmos/Auro 3D audio formats are one of the cooler upgrades I have done and for me, there is no going back to one dimensional sound in the HT.