Why do I hate Audyssey so much? (AVR-4311, MultEQ XT32) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm told Audyssey is amazing, that I have a great receiver, that running Audyssey with 9.2 (Wide) should sound amazing, but I like pure direct more...why?

Room: 22.5x15 (~2500cu ft), open to hallway/laundry. Not 'dedicated' but its the only function of the room (A living room that serves as a non-sealed dedicated 'Home Theater').

Equipment: || Receiver: Denon 4311CI | Fronts: Boston VR2 | Center: Boston VRC | Wide: Boston CR67 | Surr: Boston CR77 | Rear: Boston CR57 | Subs: Dual Epik Empire | Panasonic PT-AE7000 Projector | 136” Carada 2.35:1 Criterion Screen ||

Please understand, I'm not trying to bash anything, I'm just trying to learn what I'm doing wrong, so I can fix it, and be happy.

The speaker pairs are almost exactly symmetrical to my seating position (I sit slightly to the right). I ran the Audyssey Auto-Calibration in my room and followed the setup, I first calibrated in only one location, then three. I couldn't tell a difference. I felt the need both times to turn the bass way up (it calibrated it to -8db!) I don't need overbearing bass, I just want to know the subs are on!

Speech intelligibility seemed very low with the Dynamic-EQ and Dynamic-Volume enabled so I shut those off and it seemed to help a lot.

The best way I can describe is that Audyssey makes the sound stage feel lower and 'smooshed' like a wheezing asthmatic where Pure Direct sounds much more livelier and punchy like a gladiator. Every review/thread on Audyssey leads me to believe it should be the other way around.

What am I doing wrong and what more info can be provided to help?
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post #2 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 04:24 PM
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Rather than always creating your own threads ... you would be much better served using the ones that currently exist ...

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=795421

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1274153

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post #3 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
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^If I post in one, they will say post in the other, if I post in both I'll get flamed for double posting, if I make a new thread, I'll get scolded.

The Audyssey thread is 50000+ posts long. I think a single thread may be a better choice...could be wrong though...
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post #4 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 05:10 PM
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I would say it is because Audyssey doesn't always work. It doesn't for me (at least for my mains). I use it for the sub but bypass it for L/R
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post #5 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 05:24 PM
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Hello,
I suppose Audyssey does not work out for everyone. I am running XT32/SubEQ HT and could not be happier. I do take out an SPL Meter after running to make sure all speakers measure 75db's. I also set the Subwoofers to 80hz. In addition, while all my speakers can play far lower than 80hz, I cross all speakers to 80hz as my Subwoofers are pretty good. As you well know it can be turned off and you can even use a Graphic Equalizer instead should you want to tweak things.
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post #6 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 05:24 PM
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I've tried dealing with YPAO. Once these calibration programs set my fronts to large and then mute my subs, they lose me. I've tried to force the fronts to stay small and still run the program but it resets them to large. Seems there is no flexability.

Back to the SPL meter and AVIA disk. Works for me.
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post #7 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post

What am I doing wrong and what more info can be provided to help?

More than likely you aren't going anything wrong. Just like some people like their displays in torch mode... everyone has their own preferences.
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post #8 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 05:31 PM
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When I first connected my Onkyo 5008 I felt the same way. I was wondering what the heck is everyone is talking about. I was using an Onkyo 805, and was thinking I wasted money upgrading, because they sounded the same.
Well, I'm not going to bore you with all that I went thru, and now I love it. I will make everything short and sweet, with little things to pay close attention to.

1) Make sure to use a mic stand. I had to raise the mic higher then ear level (one of my problems was having high back seat)

2) Use 8 mic spots to calibration(I changed my last two spots and it made a difference)

3) What is your Denon setting your crossover at? I didn't like mine so I raised those until I liked the audio. Remember you can raise the numbers, it's a bad thing to lower them.

4) I also come to learn, I hate any of the THX soundfields. I was trying to get those to sound good, but wasn't satisfied. Use your 7.1 to see how it sounds then move into the 9 speakers.

5) You mentioned you turned the db's up on your subs, whenever you feel that you will be making these type of adjustments, make sure to raise the db level inside the Denon and not on the subwoofer.

You should use a SPL meter when making those changes.
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post #9 of 76 Old 02-05-2012, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post


The speaker pairs are almost exactly symmetrical to my seating position (I sit slightly to the right). I ran the Audyssey Auto-Calibration in my room and followed the setup, I first calibrated in only one location, then three. I couldn't tell a difference.

Generally, I use a minimum of 8 positions.

Quote:
I felt the need both times to turn the bass way up (it calibrated it to -8db!) I don't need overbearing bass, I just want to know the subs are on!

I don't but the real point is that without an independent measurement, one cannot know if your Audyssey calibration failed or you simply prefer boosted bass.

Quote:
The best way I can describe is that Audyssey makes the sound stage feel lower and 'smooshed' like a wheezing asthmatic where Pure Direct sounds much more livelier and punchy like a gladiator. Every review/thread on Audyssey leads me to believe it should be the other way around.

What am I doing wrong and what more info can be provided to help?

It should be the other way around but you should reconsider how assiduously you did the setup. Have you read the guide in the "official Audyssey" thread? User's manuals imply it is plug-and-play but there are many variables to consider.

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Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile
http://www.stereophile.com/category/music-round

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post #10 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbobuick86 View Post

I've tried dealing with YPAO. Once these calibration programs set my fronts to large and then mute my subs, they lose me. I've tried to force the fronts to stay small and still run the program but it resets them to large. Seems there is no flexability.

Back to the SPL meter and AVIA disk. Works for me.

The AUTO EQ program is going to ignore whatever settings you have set as you learned. You simply change the speaker settings to SMALL w/80hz crossovers after the program is run as doing so won't impact the EQ process.

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post #11 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post

^If I post in one, they will say post in the other, if I post in both I'll get flamed for double posting, if I make a new thread, I'll get scolded.

The Audyssey thread is 50000+ posts long. I think a single thread may be a better choice...could be wrong though...

Posting about an Audyssey issue in the Audyssey thread would likely only get a response to post in the 4311CI thread to either rule out a firmware update possibly causing a problem with Audyssey or perhaps a defective unit. Regardless of the length of a thread ... questions are posted at the "end" of the thread, not the "beginning."

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post #12 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 07:32 AM
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We all buy the speakers for the way they sound, speakers have the most effect on the way most any audio system will sound. Audyssey will filter your speakers to death, till its the way some software writer thinks it should sound.. And then blame it on the room if you don't like it... Lucky there is a on/off button with many other mode choices...
D Bone, vivatech and LDBetaGuy like this.
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post #13 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 07:53 AM
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An automated consumer EQ system can never be an end to all wishes and situations. To cope with the average listening room situation, one has to use a sort of model to follow in its algorithms. The closer your listening room, speaker situation and personal taste gets to the model situation, the better it - usually - works.
The more you deviate from this, the more individual interaction and involvement is needed to get an acceptable compromise. And it must be a compromise somehow, because you try to optimize something, which - normally - can only be handled by room treatment and a special setup (speakers, listening positions, sub(s)). It's really hard to tame room modes, reverbration and standing waves, interference etc. by just "modelling" / manipulating the signal presented to the room and speakers. And it's not the speakers, which have the most impact, as long as you are not buying the cheapest of the cheapest, but the room, which will "color" your liatwning experience, sometimes real bad, no matter how much you spent on the individual components and speakers (unfortunately).

Think about it and it will become quite clear, why it won't / can't work its magic in each and every case without additional help.
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post #14 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post

The AUTO EQ program is going to ignore whatever settings you have set as you learned. You simply change the speaker settings to SMALL w/80hz crossovers after the program is run as doing so won't impact the EQ process.

I would consider EQ'ing the center for a little more clarity in movies. I find I prefer watching regular TV in stereo mode rather than default with dialog thru the center channel.

My dedicated theater room is pretty much neutral to dead with no echo. Not convinced I need a major EQ overhaul. I might manually EQ the center slightly. I don't want to color the other four that I've owned for over a decade. I like the sound I have currently, but there's always the... "can I make it even better?" syndrome.
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post #15 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 09:12 AM
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Audyssey and other EQ systems rarely fail to work properly when properly run - almost every time this discussion comes up, a check with a measuring software shows the channel levels are appropriately set and the FR is improved.

The "issues" almost invariably fall into one of two categories:

1. Audyssey calibration will change the sound you're familiar with and almost anything new/different will be perceived as "worse". The best way to address this is to leave the Aud cal on and listen to your system for a few weeks. Then turn it off and see which you prefer.

2. Preference vs. Reference. This is really the same issue as 1 - Some listeners prefer an FR response without the smoothing that an EQ system provides. If you have a peak in your room and have had it for some time, smoothing it out will sound "restrained" at first. This, almost without exception, is the reason for the "What did Audyssey do with all my bass?" question that comes up frequently.

Post calibration if you don't like the results, confirm with an SPL meter and measurement system that something didn't go off the rails, then give it some time. EQ can always be turned off later if one decides to go another route.
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post #16 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 09:52 AM
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The source material I find has the most to do with the way Audyssey or for that matter any other EQing or DSP sounds to me.. To bad its not one setting is good for all source material, its would make my life easier if it was only that easy... Its really the mood I'm in and that I want out of my time I spend listening. Dialogue can get tricky when you want low volume levels, mostly due to loud effects, the compression modes are not that effective...Turning off the sub is ..
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post #17 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 10:00 AM
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Most of the time people who are experiencing negative results with Audyssey have not performed the calibration properly. Not 100% of the time - but most of the time.

I urge you to follow the advice given to you earlier and thoroughly read and follow the steps outlined in the setup guide found in the beginning of the Audyssey thread.

A few helpful hints that I learned -

Use a mic stand & boom, or a camera tripod at the least.

Use all eight mic positions for calibration. Position in a 'bubble' surrounding your main listening position, no more than a two foot spacing between each mic position keeping the mic at ear level at all times, but not allowing it to be blocked by high seatbacks.

Make absolutely sure that your center channel speaker is not being blocked or stuffed too far into a shelf. Tilt it up (or down) toward your ears at your normal seating position.

Set your speakers to "small", use a 80 Hz crossover (or higher) for XT, 40 Hz for XT32 if your mains can handle it. Set the LPF of the LFE channel to 120 Hz and leave it there.

These are but a few of the things that I learned when dialing-in my Audyssey calibration. Now I wouldn't be without it

Cheers,
SB
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post #18 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbobuick86 View Post

I've tried dealing with YPAO. Once these calibration programs set my fronts to large and then mute my subs, they lose me. I've tried to force the fronts to stay small and still run the program but it resets them to large. Seems there is no flexability.

Back to the SPL meter and AVIA disk. Works for me.

Exactly, I despise ypao's performance. I'm manual myself until I pick up a 4311. I love my 3010, except for its performance in room correction.
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post #19 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by SpotcheckBilly View Post

...Position in a 'bubble' surrounding your main listening position, no more than a two foot spacing between each mic position keeping the mic at ear level at all times, but not allowing it to be blocked by high seatbacks.SB

That's what I was doing wrong until I saw this graph.
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post #20 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joehonest View Post

We all buy the speakers for the way they sound, speakers have the most effect on the way most any audio system will sound. Audyssey will filter your speakers to death, till its the way some software writer thinks it should sound.. And then blame it on the room if you don't like it.....

Not in my experience.

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post #21 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkey View Post

An automated consumer EQ system can never be an end to all wishes and situations.

One that has user adjustable target curves and multiple memories shouldachieve that or get pretty close.

I believe the upcoming KAL DL2 8-ch device using the DiracLive room correction s/w fills the bill.

Noah
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post #22 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

One that has user adjustable target curves and multiple memories shouldachieve that or get pretty close.

I believe the upcoming KAL DL2 8-ch device using the DiracLive room correction s/w fills the bill.

lets hope it is a big hit for Dirac Research which has losses bigger than their revenue...
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post #23 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfreedma View Post

Audyssey and other EQ systems rarely fail to work properly when properly run - almost every time this discussion comes up, a check with a measuring software shows the channel levels are appropriately set and the FR is improved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpotcheckBilly View Post

Most of the time people who are experiencing negative results with Audyssey have not performed the calibration properly. Not 100% of the time - but most of the time.

This is a bit harsh. I've only ever seen one study of the efficacy of Room correction systems and it was a more or less anonymized one by Harman Intl. Out of I think it was 5 competing products tested on listeners, only 1 or 2 room correction systems sounded better than doing nothing at all. And one actually sounded worse. Rumor has the latter was Audessy, but we'll never know.

Whatever the case, a 20-40% hit rate on room corrections systems (which were professionally set up) suggests that user error is NOT the primary cause of someone not liking the outcome after employing them. All I'm saying....
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post #24 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 12:53 PM
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Just because I don't think they've been mentioned: Reportedly, some receivers automatically engage Audyssey Dynamic Volume at the strongest setting when you turn Audyssey on. Unless you are listening very quietly, it does not sound good. Turn it off and you may be amazed. Secondly, for many, especially with music, the Audyssey curve sounds a little closed in or unexciting. On denons you can switch to Audyssey flat which removes the high end roll off. There's a way to do the same thing with Onkyos, but I can't remember it.
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post #25 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osamede View Post

This is a bit harsh. I've only ever seen one study of the efficacy of Room correction systems and it was a more or less anonymized one by Harman Intl. Out of I think it was 5 competing products tested on listeners, only 1 or 2 room correction systems sounded better than doing nothing at all. And one actually sounded worse. Rumor has the latter was Audessy, but we'll never know.

Whatever the case, a 20-40% hit rate on room corrections systems (which were professionally set up) suggests that user error is NOT the primary cause of someone not liking the outcome after employing them. All I'm saying....

I'd like to see that study and make a determination of whether the subjects found one to be "better", or "different".
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post #26 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osamede View Post

This is a bit harsh. I've only ever seen one study of the efficacy of Room correction systems and it was a more or less anonymized one by Harman Intl. Out of I think it was 5 competing products tested on listeners, only 1 or 2 room correction systems sounded better than doing nothing at all. And one actually sounded worse. Rumor has the latter was Audessy, but we'll never know.

Whatever the case, a 20-40% hit rate on room corrections systems (which were professionally set up) suggests that user error is NOT the primary cause of someone not liking the outcome after employing them. All I'm saying....

Ya, the problem I have with that study is the ones that were preferred had a boosted bass response. For the one we think was Audyssey, it was just the reference curve without DynEQ so no bass boost and therefore apples and oranges. But that was the main point of the study, people don't prefer a flat response and they were trying to find what curve people preferred.
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post #27 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

Just because I don't think they've been mentioned: Reportedly, some receivers automatically engage Audyssey Dynamic Volume at the strongest setting when you turn Audyssey on. Unless you are listening very quietly, it does not sound good. Turn it off and you may be amazed. Secondly, for many, especially with music, the Audyssey curve sounds a little closed in or unexciting. On denons you can switch to Audyssey flat which removes the high end roll off. There's a way to do the same thing with Onkyos, but I can't remember it.

Choose "Music" instead of "Movie/TV" on Onkyo/Integra to get Audyssey flat.

Cheers,
SB
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post #28 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osamede View Post

This is a bit harsh. I've only ever seen one study of the efficacy of Room correction systems and it was a more or less anonymized one by Harman Intl. Out of I think it was 5 competing products tested on listeners, only 1 or 2 room correction systems sounded better than doing nothing at all. And one actually sounded worse. Rumor has the latter was Audessy, but we'll never know.

Whatever the case, a 20-40% hit rate on room corrections systems (which were professionally set up) suggests that user error is NOT the primary cause of someone not liking the outcome after employing them. All I'm saying....

I don't think that it's harsh at all.

First, please provide a link or other reference for your "20-40% hit rate" claim.

Secondly, the OP is asking about his Audyssey performance from what appears to be a consumer standpoint. He does not mention anything about his system being professionally set up, so how can you make the claim that his problem is not due to user setup. He already admitted to not following recommended setup proceedure to begin with.

Finally, I suggest that you check out the Audyssey thread to see what a large percentage of Audyssey SQ problems were due to incorrect owner set up and how following proper setup proceedures corrected the vast majority of these problems.

Cheers,
SB
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post #29 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Osamede View Post

This is a bit harsh. ...

...Whatever the case, a 20-40% hit rate on room corrections systems (which were professionally set up) suggests that user error is NOT the primary cause of someone not liking the outcome after employing them. All I'm saying....

In this case it's not harsh at all.

The OP states specifically that he "first calibrated in only one location, then three." Which is not what most would call proper set up.

Then he goes on to post a new thread titled "Why do I hate Audyssey so much?", even though there are appropriate threads for his questions (if you can really call a thread with "hate" in the title a legitimate question).

The bottom line is, if someone really feels this strongly, they should either do some research and expend some effort making sure they are setting things correctly, or just turn the feature off and enjoy their sound without it.

As an aside, why would anyone spend $2k on an AVR to feed $800 a pair main speakers, is beyond me....
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post #30 of 76 Old 02-06-2012, 03:49 PM
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With the room you have, I think you have an excessively complex acoustical mess that Audessy simply cannot solve; nothing can! You have too many speakers trying to do too many things in a room that is not even symmetrical. The whole thing is out of control! Trying to get Audessy to fix it is like trying to lasso a runaway semi from horseback.

You would be far better off going back to 5.1 or 5.2 and work very hard to be certain that you have a satisfactory acoustical resolution of your problems at that level. Speaker positioning can be very critical. Get that fine tuned and working perfectly before you even attempt to increase the complexity of the system to 7.2. If you can't get 7.2 to work right, be satisfied with 5.2 or 5.1.

The comments you made about the bass make me fairly sure that your subwoofers are not working together properly and need a lot of experimentation and fine-tuning of their positions to get that working right.

The complexity of the relationships between speakers with 8 speakers is hard enough to sort out in a perfectly rectangular room with excellent acoustics and very limited hard walls or other hard surfaces.. It is EXTREMELY HARD TO MAKE A 9.1 OR 9.2 SYSTEM WORK WORTH A DAMN, and to get it to happen might require totally rebuilding your room with acoustically absorbent materials.

I have only seen it done properly once or twice and even if you could, it wouldn't sound significantly better than a good 7.1 system anyway. Think about the complexity of all of those speakers operating out of phase with each other and then compound that 10 times over with all of the reflections off of every hard surface in the room. The complexity and difficulties are off the chart.

Sometimes it is hard to get just TWO speakers properly positioned for good performance in a room, and you think you can get EIGHT perfectly positioned to do it. That is absolutely absurd! It is very close to impossible!!

Too much complexity leads to uncontrollable consequences; that is your problem. Your room is probably NEVER going to work right with 9.2, and may never work right with 7.2. Less is sometimes more.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamliner View Post

I'm told Audyssey is amazing, that I have a great receiver, that running Audyssey with 9.2 (Wide) should sound amazing, but I like pure direct more...why?

Room: 22.5x15 (~2500cu ft), open to hallway/laundry. Not 'dedicated' but its the only function of the room (A living room that serves as a non-sealed dedicated 'Home Theater').

Equipment: || Receiver: Denon 4311CI | Fronts: Boston VR2 | Center: Boston VRC | Wide: Boston CR67 | Surr: Boston CR77 | Rear: Boston CR57 | Subs: Dual Epik Empire | Panasonic PT-AE7000 Projector | 136” Carada 2.35:1 Criterion Screen ||

Please understand, I'm not trying to bash anything, I'm just trying to learn what I'm doing wrong, so I can fix it, and be happy.

The speaker pairs are almost exactly symmetrical to my seating position (I sit slightly to the right). I ran the Audyssey Auto-Calibration in my room and followed the setup, I first calibrated in only one location, then three. I couldn't tell a difference. I felt the need both times to turn the bass way up (it calibrated it to -8db!) I don't need overbearing bass, I just want to know the subs are on!

Speech intelligibility seemed very low with the Dynamic-EQ and Dynamic-Volume enabled so I shut those off and it seemed to help a lot.

The best way I can describe is that Audyssey makes the sound stage feel lower and 'smooshed' like a wheezing asthmatic where Pure Direct sounds much more livelier and punchy like a gladiator. Every review/thread on Audyssey leads me to believe it should be the other way around.

What am I doing wrong and what more info can be provided to help?

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