The Audyssey Pro Installer Kit Thread (FAQ in post #1) - Page 202 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #6031 of 6046 Old 03-16-2015, 05:42 AM
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I sympathize with your situation. It sounds like you have gone to great lengths to try and achieve the sound you want. Regarding your question, I am not sure I understand what "do nothing" filters means. And I know of no way to have DEQ, but not Audyssey.

Standing back for a moment, what I am hearing is that you just don't like what Audyssey XT is doing. Unfortunately, Audyssey does not lend itself to much tailoring. The Pro kit target curve editor is just not powerful enough to handle much customization.

There are a number of choices. You can try manual PEQ, which you have done. You could upgrade to XT32, which many of us believe provided significant improvements over XT, but still suffers from limited configurability. Or you could consider an entirely different room correction technology. Other solutions, like Trinnov and Dirac Live, offer much more powerful tools to control calibration results. Dirac, for example, allows you to specify a frequency above which no corrextion takes place, and provides a very powerful target curve editor as well as the capability to save up to four different target curves that are available with a click of the remote control.

Unfortunately, choosing a different RC technology can be expensive. A new processor with Audyssey XT32 is not cheap, while Trinnov has an extraordinarily high entry price. MiniDSP offers several reasonably-priced outboard processors with Dirac Live, but requires that you have external amplification.

So, I don't think there is an easy answer to your situation, but am optimistic that there is some solution that will provide the satisfaction you are looking for. And I respect the effort you have made so far trying to find it. I just don't think Audyssey XT holds the answer anymore. Good luck.
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post #6032 of 6046 Old 03-16-2015, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by AustinJerry View Post
I sympathize with your situation. It sounds like you have gone to great lengths to try and achieve the sound you want. Regarding your question, I am not sure I understand what "do nothing" filters means. And I know of no way to have DEQ, but not Audyssey.

Standing back for a moment, what I am hearing is that you just don't like what Audyssey XT is doing. Unfortunately, Audyssey does not lend itself to much tailoring. The Pro kit target curve editor is just not powerful enough to handle much customization.

There are a number of choices. You can try manual PEQ, which you have done. You could upgrade to XT32, which many of us believe provided significant improvements over XT, but still suffers from limited configurability. Or you could consider an entirely different room correction technology. Other solutions, like Trinnov and Dirac Live, offer much more powerful tools to control calibration results. Dirac, for example, allows you to specify a frequency above which no corrextion takes place, and provides a very powerful target curve editor as well as the capability to save up to four different target curves that are available with a click of the remote control.

Unfortunately, choosing a different RC technology can be expensive. A new processor with Audyssey XT32 is not cheap, while Trinnov has an extraordinarily high entry price. MiniDSP offers several reasonably-priced outboard processors with Dirac Live, but requires that you have external amplification.

So, I don't think there is an easy answer to your situation, but am optimistic that there is some solution that will provide the satisfaction you are looking for. And I respect the effort you have made so far trying to find it. I just don't think Audyssey XT holds the answer anymore. Good luck.
I agree with you, Jerry. awediophile has certainly gone the extra mile so far. I also agree that other solutions may be more appropriate for him. One thing I would add is that he could use Dirac Live with the miniDSP nano-AVR which does not need external amplification, as it sits between the source (usually a BD player) and the AVR, connected via HDMI. It requires PCM to be sent from the source, which makes it a no-go for anyone using Atmos, which requires bitstream, but other than that it is an interesting option. The nanoAVR-DL is also very affordable at $549. It is the cheapest way into Dirac Live.
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post #6033 of 6046 Old 03-16-2015, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by awediophile View Post

Anyway, I now have a new problem. I miss Dynamic EQ very much, even despite its own quirks like excessive surround boosting.
TBH this surprises me. As you clearly know what you are doing with manual EQ, why do you miss Dynamic EQ so much? If you create a 'Harman curve' (the one that research shows is most universally preferred, with a gentle downward slope from LF to HF) chances are you won't miss DEQ at all. And if you do, then why not create a few curves with your own inbuilt loudness compensation, to cater for different listening levels you may use from time to time?

When I switched over to Dirac Live, I wondered if I too would miss DEQ. I even had heated debates with friends claiming that it was 'necessary'. However, in reality I have not missed it in the least. Now it is true that I tend to listen at the same SPL almost all the time, but Dirac had no way of knowing that, and yet the response is superb. And I know I can speak for Jerry too, who also uses DL and has not missed DEQ either - and, interestingly, he usually listens at levels quite a bit below my own. And he is using the same target curve as I am too.

Quoting from Sean Olive's article, linked below:

"A flat in-room target response is clearly not the optimal target curve for room equalization. The preferred room corrections have a target response that has a smooth downward slope with increasing frequency. This tells us that listeners prefer a certain amount of natural room gain. Removing the rom (sic) gain, makes the reproduced music sound unnatural, and too thin, according to these listeners. "

So I am wondering if you are not so much missing DEQ as having set up for a curve which doesn't meet your preferences? Have you used a 'Harman' type curve?

For info, this article by Sean Olive gives very useful background info.

This is the general shape of the Harman curve:



And this is the comparison of different curves, from different EQs, showing the Harman Curve as the most preferred.



One of those curves is Audyssey XT - can you guess which?

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post #6034 of 6046 Old 03-16-2015, 10:22 AM
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Hi. Thanks for all your responses. I'm a bit surprised at the advice I'm getting. None of the suggested solutions offer a suitable replacement for Dynamic EQ. The problem is to retain the correct the tonal balance with content that is listened below "reference level" (whatever that is for the particular content). Such a correction necessarily must take into account A) the difference in level between reference and playback, and B) the relative level of the content itself. That way it can properly map frequency response between equal loudness contours (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour, but note that Audyssey relies on proprietary data rather than the ISO standard).

No other vendor to my knowledge (Dirac, Trinnov, etc.) offers a suitable replacement for Dynamic EQ. While It is true that a house curve like the one suggested by Harman can help, it only addresses the problem at one particular playback level and does not adapt to the content itself like Dynamic EQ does. For what it's worth, I used to use a target curve more like the Harman curve, but since I got room treatments, that no longer sounds right. Right now, I'm calibrated flat from roughly 250 Hz and up with a gradual rise below there that reaches 4-5 dB at 20 Hz. This gets the balance about right when I play movies back at a level appropriate for my room size and acoustics (i.e., 3-9 dB below theatrical reference, depending on mixing conditions for the Blu-ray) and turn Dynamic EQ off. Unlike with movies, however, I do a lot more casual music listening including at times when other people are asleep in the house, and Dynamic EQ is essential to get the balance. If you look at those contours, you'll see a dip in the 2-4 kHz range that appears at the lower level contours. My response is so tight now that without Dynamic EQ on, I even notice the excess in this region at especially low playback levels.

By the way, neither the standard "Audyssey" target curve nor the mid-range compensation has ever done me any favors. I agree with others that Audyssey probably should have made something like the Harman curve (or the default that Dirac uses) as the standard curve.
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post #6035 of 6046 Old 03-16-2015, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by awediophile View Post
Hi. Thanks for all your responses. I'm a bit surprised at the advice I'm getting. None of the suggested solutions offer a suitable replacement for Dynamic EQ. The problem is to retain the correct the tonal balance with content that is listened below "reference level" (whatever that is for the particular content). Such a correction necessarily must take into account A) the difference in level between reference and playback, and B) the relative level of the content itself. That way it can properly map frequency response between equal loudness contours (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal-loudness_contour, but note that Audyssey relies on proprietary data rather than the ISO standard).

No other vendor to my knowledge (Dirac, Trinnov, etc.) offers a suitable replacement for Dynamic EQ. While It is true that a house curve like the one suggested by Harman can help, it only addresses the problem at one particular playback level and does not adapt to the content itself like Dynamic EQ does. For what it's worth, I used to use a target curve more like the Harman curve, but since I got room treatments, that no longer sounds right. Right now, I'm calibrated flat from roughly 250 Hz and up with a gradual rise below there that reaches 4-5 dB at 20 Hz. This gets the balance about right when I play movies back at a level appropriate for my room size and acoustics (i.e., 3-9 dB below theatrical reference, depending on mixing conditions for the Blu-ray) and turn Dynamic EQ off. Unlike with movies, however, I do a lot more casual music listening including at times when other people are asleep in the house, and Dynamic EQ is essential to get the balance. If you look at those contours, you'll see a dip in the 2-4 kHz range that appears at the lower level contours. My response is so tight now that without Dynamic EQ on, I even notice the excess in this region at especially low playback levels.

By the way, neither the standard "Audyssey" target curve nor the mid-range compensation has ever done me any favors. I agree with others that Audyssey probably should have made something like the Harman curve (or the default that Dirac uses) as the standard curve.
Well, in that case I think your only option is to consider upgrading to XT32. Consider purchasing a processor from a vendor that has a reasonable return policy and audition the noticeably better RC with DEQ, and if you don't like it, then go back to the drawing board.
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post #6036 of 6046 Old 03-16-2015, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by AustinJerry View Post
Well, in that case I think your only option is to consider upgrading to XT32. Consider purchasing a processor from a vendor that has a reasonable return policy and audition the noticeably better RC with DEQ, and if you don't like it, then go back to the drawing board.
I'm having the same feeling right now that you get when you beat your head against the wall for an extended period then stop. Sweet, sweet relief....

That may not be understood by all, and I apologize for that. But I seriously have a physical reaction thinking about all the time I spent on Audyssey.
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post #6037 of 6046 Old 03-16-2015, 05:02 PM
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I'm having the same feeling right now that you get when you beat your head against the wall for an extended period then stop. Sweet, sweet relief....

That may not be understood by all, and I apologize for that. But I seriously have a physical reaction thinking about all the time I spent on Audyssey.
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post #6038 of 6046 Old 03-17-2015, 12:13 AM
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I have placed my order for a pro kit today.

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post #6039 of 6046 Old 03-17-2015, 01:17 AM
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Well, in that case I think your only option is to consider upgrading to XT32. Consider purchasing a processor from a vendor that has a reasonable return policy and audition the noticeably better RC with DEQ, and if you don't like it, then go back to the drawing board.
I considered that some time ago and opted to buy the OpenDRC units instead. At this point, I'm much happier with the "roll-my-own" approach. In the end, I think Audyssey's biggest flaw is its over-reliance on automation. Yes, automating the whole process does make the technology more accessible to the typical consumer, but as can be seen in these forums, getting good results with Audyssey still requires some sophistication.

I believe Onkyo may have been planning to replace Audyssey on their receivers before Atmos came along because their core users were intimidated by a setup process that requires multiple measurements. That's too bad because measurements at multiple positions really are necessary to get good performance from any decent room correction system.

Perhaps what's really needed is a system that automates everything that can be reliably automated and nothing else. It should also facilitate the process of human review for cases that cannot be reliably automated. In some sense, Room EQ Wizard is already like that in a lot of ways, but its functionality as a room correction tool is primitive compared to what Audyssey, Dirac, and others are capable of. Being that this is the "Audyssey Pro" thread, how much do people here wish for an advanced room correction system that requires more manual intervention to operate but is also more configurable, yields more reliable results, and is at least as powerful (in terms of actual filter performance) than XT32 Pro? How much would such a system be worth paying for, and who would be willing to invest the time and effort to learn how to use it properly?
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post #6040 of 6046 Old 03-17-2015, 02:02 AM
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All I think is Audyssey needs to redesign the pro approach and make it more manual and give users the ability to create curves and also have the auto version in it too.


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post #6041 of 6046 Old 03-17-2015, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by awediophile View Post
I considered that some time ago and opted to buy the OpenDRC units instead. At this point, I'm much happier with the "roll-my-own" approach. In the end, I think Audyssey's biggest flaw is its over-reliance on automation. Yes, automating the whole process does make the technology more accessible to the typical consumer, but as can be seen in these forums, getting good results with Audyssey still requires some sophistication.

I believe Onkyo may have been planning to replace Audyssey on their receivers before Atmos came along because their core users were intimidated by a setup process that requires multiple measurements. That's too bad because measurements at multiple positions really are necessary to get good performance from any decent room correction system.

Perhaps what's really needed is a system that automates everything that can be reliably automated and nothing else. It should also facilitate the process of human review for cases that cannot be reliably automated. In some sense, Room EQ Wizard is already like that in a lot of ways, but its functionality as a room correction tool is primitive compared to what Audyssey, Dirac, and others are capable of. Being that this is the "Audyssey Pro" thread, how much do people here wish for an advanced room correction system that requires more manual intervention to operate but is also more configurable, yields more reliable results, and is at least as powerful (in terms of actual filter performance) than XT32 Pro? How much would such a system be worth paying for, and who would be willing to invest the time and effort to learn how to use it properly?
I keep re-reading your original post, trying to understand what you really want. You commented on Audyssey over boosting the high frequencies, yet you fail to acknowledge that one of the most significant changes from XT to XT32 is the change in emphasis away from correcting the high frequencies and focusing more on the low frequencies. You commented that Audyssey frequently sets the sub distance wrong, which I disagree with. And you lamented the loss of DEQ, a proprietary Audyssey technology which will be difficult to duplicate elsewhere.

Adding up these factors, I still think it points towards an XT32 upgrade, at least an evaluation of the technology. With your Pro kit, you can get the most out of XT32, so I am confused why you don't give it a try. If it doesn't meet you requirements, you can continue your search.
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post #6042 of 6046 Old 03-18-2015, 10:43 AM
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I keep re-reading your original post, trying to understand what you really want. You commented on Audyssey over boosting the high frequencies, yet you fail to acknowledge that one of the most significant changes from XT to XT32 is the change in emphasis away from correcting the high frequencies and focusing more on the low frequencies. You commented that Audyssey frequently sets the sub distance wrong, which I disagree with. And you lamented the loss of DEQ, a proprietary Audyssey technology which will be difficult to duplicate elsewhere.

Adding up these factors, I still think it points towards an XT32 upgrade, at least an evaluation of the technology. With your Pro kit, you can get the most out of XT32, so I am confused why you don't give it a try. If it doesn't meet you requirements, you can continue your search.
My ultimate question was how I could get Dynamic EQ to turn on without other Audyssey corrections. The rest of my post was to outline why I would want to do this and to bring up some issues and limitations with Audyssey and Pro that I would think most here would recognize. Or not.

I was not aware that XT32 puts more emphasis on correcting low frequencies than high. Can you point me to this information? Going by the chart here it looks like the opposite is true, i.e. the mains filters increased in resolution more than the sub filters did. This is more for reasons of curiosity since I am already committed my custom-made corrections for the several reasons I already outlined. While I would expect XT32 to provide some improvement over XT with its higher resolution filters, I see no evidence that it addresses the fundamental issues I'm seeing. The issue with sub distance is very real, although whether it shows up or not may be situation. In a few cases, the distance Audyssey chose for me put a big null right at the crossover frequency for my center channel. I suspect this may be one of the reasons users frequently report loss of bass when running Audyssey.

Why don't I just upgrade to XT32? Easy. The AVRs that feature it are a lot more expensive, and it's another (mostly) black box solution like XT. I've spent many hours fighting with Audyssey, trying to get it to not do the stupid things that I see in my room measurements and hear with listening. Many of these issues appear to have little to do with filter resolution and more to do with the weighting scheme itself and my inability to see what it's doing under the hood. I've solved *that* problem with my own corrections. Now I just want to keep Dynamic EQ because apart from its handling of surrounds, it makes a big improvement to low level listening.

Anyway, I will try the correction with a loopback configuration sometime in the future and report back.
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post #6043 of 6046 Old 03-18-2015, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by awediophile View Post
My ultimate question was how I could get Dynamic EQ to turn on without other Audyssey corrections. The rest of my post was to outline why I would want to do this and to bring up some issues and limitations with Audyssey and Pro that I would think most here would recognize. Or not.

I was not aware that XT32 puts more emphasis on correcting low frequencies than high. Can you point me to this information? Going by the chart here it looks like the opposite is true, i.e. the mains filters increased in resolution more than the sub filters did. This is more for reasons of curiosity since I am already committed my custom-made corrections for the several reasons I already outlined. While I would expect XT32 to provide some improvement over XT with its higher resolution filters, I see no evidence that it addresses the fundamental issues I'm seeing. The issue with sub distance is very real, although whether it shows up or not may be situation. In a few cases, the distance Audyssey chose for me put a big null right at the crossover frequency for my center channel. I suspect this may be one of the reasons users frequently report loss of bass when running Audyssey.

Why don't I just upgrade to XT32? Easy. The AVRs that feature it are a lot more expensive, and it's another (mostly) black box solution like XT. I've spent many hours fighting with Audyssey, trying to get it to not do the stupid things that I see in my room measurements and hear with listening. Many of these issues appear to have little to do with filter resolution and more to do with the weighting scheme itself and my inability to see what it's doing under the hood. I've solved *that* problem with my own corrections. Now I just want to keep Dynamic EQ because apart from its handling of surrounds, it makes a big improvement to low level listening.

Anyway, I will try the correction with a loopback configuration sometime in the future and report back.
There were extensive discussions of XT vs. XT32 in the Audyssey thread. Search is your friend. Here is a measurement of the AVR pre-outs that highlight the difference I mentioned:



I understand that a new AVR is a significant expense, but if it meets your objectives, it may well be worth it. I suggested you audition an AVR with XT32 and return it if you feel it isn't what you are looking for. I think I have exhausted the advice I can offer.
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post #6044 of 6046 Old 03-18-2015, 11:22 AM
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I saw something on here about getting a audyssey pro kit from sonny?

Anyway I'm new here, reading way too much, collecting bookmarks, ordering new gear, replacing old gear. Real quick, please tell me to easy way to get a pro kit given the bs audio shops give me when I ask about buying one? I have denon avr-x4000 and I'm pretty sure it's compatible.

Thanks in advance.
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Originally Posted by donnatronious View Post
I saw something on here about getting a audyssey pro kit from sonny?

Anyway I'm new here, reading way too much, collecting bookmarks, ordering new gear, replacing old gear. Real quick, please tell me to easy way to get a pro kit given the bs audio shops give me when I ask about buying one? I have denon avr-x4000 and I'm pretty sure it's compatible.

Thanks in advance.
See the Audyssey Pro FAQ. It will point you to me. I sell them all the time. Contact me off-avs.

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