Originally Posted by RMK!
Interesting, that is one of the reasons I returned my Kit.
Honestly, I’m still not sure if Audyssey EQ adds anything to the SQ of my system. I turn it off and there is no loss of dialog clarity and especially with music, Audyssey seems to remove too much of that live sound of concert DVD’s. It’s like draping a blanket over the speakers.
I really wanted to like Audyssey Pro (probably due to the cool factor
) but the extra time the measurements take, weird/inconsistent Xover and level setting results, limited device support plus similar results to MultEq-XT made it an unnecessary purchase. The +/-3db FR tweaking was nice but again, I found this of limited value.
For someone with an untreated room Audyssey may be just the ticket but for me, I’d rather treat the room and forgo the secret sauce.
My results are totally the opposite. I would never be without Audyssey or its equivalent in my system. (At this point, only Anthem's ARC appears to be comparable.)
I think the results you get depend on a lot of factors. First, there are many little secrets to doing the EQ process correctly. They are summarized at the beginning of the Official Audyssey thread here at AVS. Not doing seemingly little things properly can give you a less-than-optimal calibration.
Second, there is the kind of source material you use and whether you have a frame of reference for what it should sound like. I find movies are not good for this. They are heavily into dialogue or studio mixed music without the ambience of a typical live event. And, for car crashes, explosions, etc., we have no live frame of reference for how the specific event in the movie was supposed to sound. So, we have a hard time judging movie sonic accuracy, which is what Audyssey is all about trying to improve in the system.
I personally would not use the low rez content from DVD (except DVD-A) to judge the results. I think that as a sound source is just not high enough in quality. Hi rez music is the best reference, I believe strongly. If it sounds right with music compared to live, it is going to sound at its best for movies, DVD's etc.
I am used to doing Audyssey calibrations, so a stock calibration takes less than 30 minutes. Pro takes longer, particularly if you use more than 8 mike positions, as you should. But, I finished 13 positions in about 45 minutes.
Room treatments are a good idea. But, they need to be done by someone who actually has expertise, calibration equipment, etc. because acoustics is a very tricky business. Rives, one of the best, usually uses EQ as part of their solution along with passive treatments; they make their own analog-domain EQ device for that purpose. I believe that even in an expertly treated room, though, Audyssey will always make it sound better. Passive room treatments and EQ like Audyssey really do 2 different things and I believe that they are complementary and not substitutes for one another.
Audyssey does a lot more than frequency domain EQ for the room. It EQ's for the entire chain from the prepro up to, but not including, your ears, but including the room. Also, importantly, it EQ's for the speakers. (Amps, cables, etc. are likely not going to have as major an impact on sound.) So, it makes all channels sound nearly alike, which is critcal for best imaging. Note that even identical speakers can sound differently at different locations, but Audyssey pretty much does away with that. Subwoofer integration with the other channels is also improved quite noticeably.
I hear a major improvement also from the time-domain EQ that Audyssey does concurrent with the frequency-domain EQ. My Martin-Logan electrostat hybrids tend to have a mismatch between the dynamic woofers and the 'stat panels. Many say the woofers sound sluggish by comparison. But, that's gone after my Audyssey EQ.
So, absolutely everybody who has heard Audyssey on/off in my room (a.) can hear a big difference, and (b.) strongly prefers Audyssey on.