Originally Posted by keeper
So what if you run the auto program and then make changes to accurately present the actual distance in manual? Will changing the auto screw up anything? Or should you just use an old radio shack sound meter and check all levels? I have bipolar everywhere except center.
Honestly, it's really up to you, making a manual change to one of the auto-setup's individual settings won't mess up the other settings (Just simply make a note of what the were, you can always manually put them back)
Honestly, of the settings the auto-setup makes for you, the distance settings are often the least noticeable when they are just slightly off.
Remember what auto-setups do, they adjust distance, match levels and EQ.
Manually calculating the distance and level matching with an SPL meter is simply the old school way of doing things, and is still my preferred method. But that's my personal taste, reason being, every time I've used one, I've always found myself tweaking it so much that it just ended up being a waste of time. But that's me, I prefer my my surrounds a little "hot", plus I simply like the sound of my speakers in general and have been fortunate to not have very reflective rooms, so I normally don't have to EQ much, if at all, to get the sound I like. I simply prefer the sound that is appealing to me, over the "perfectly measured" response, and in a nutshell that's one of the main differences between using the auto-setup or not.
Remember, auto-setup is not magic, and is actually only supposed to be the icing on the cake, if your're an enthusiast and really care about your sound, you should always treat it as such. First do your best to position your speakers correctly, then "if possible" treat your room if you think you need to, then run the auto-setup if you still don't like what you hear or think it may be able get you something better. Just don't forget, it's "your" room, if you don't like what it did or you want to adjust things to your taste, feel free to do so, you're not setting up a public listening room that has to appeal to many people, and even if you have friends over often, you're still the one doing most of the listening, don't be afraid to make it sound the way "you" want it to.
Honestly the only real problem with not using the auto-setup is time, doing things manually and adjusting to taste can be a long drawn out process over many days of small changes, I've found myself hearing something that "Just didn't sound right" weeks or months after I though I "had it", but to me that's half the fun of doing it myself.
Like I always say, the sound police won't come knocking if you don't do things the way everyone else does....
As long as you like it... It's right.