I'm was getting ready to pull the trigger on the AX 8801 only, to replace my Parasound C1 Processor which I like the sound of very much. I have had front height speakers ever since Yamaha came out with them in their receivers many years ago. The C1 has 4 additional channels that you config. to play what you desire. I use them for front and rear height speakers.
I down loaded the 8801 manual and have been reading it. I'm very disappointed in the manual speaker crossover settings. The settings are said to be
40Hz / 60Hz / 80Hz / 90Hz / and up. I have 10 of the same large speakers for all the channels in my system. I have spent many hours over the years experimenting with different crossover settings and it boils down to that my system sound best when the fronts, center, rear surrounds, and back speakers are set at a 45Hz crossover point. The front and rear height speakers set to 60Hz. These settings produce more, and cleaner sounding bass in my room. When I go to a 40Hz setting I loose some of the punch that my speakers provide and the sub doesn't. When I go to 50Hz which the 8801 doesn't even offer the sound begins to sound muddy.
I never had Audyssey before. I'm a little afraid to depend on automated set up.
Any thoughts or experience on this would be greatly appreciated. Is it true that the 8801 only offers these limited crossover settings? This could be the deal breaker for me.
Yep its true ! but having come from an Anthem AVM 20 with crossover settings in .5 increments down to 30hz I know what you mean as that extra bit of fine tuning does help. Now to be honest after switching to the 8801 and getting Audyssey dialed in some of my crossover points are much higher on my center and surrounds 80-90hz and I keep my mains at large or full range but when I do cross them over there at 60 or 80hz with a slight preference for 80hz, why because of the great job Audyssey does at bringing it all together in the time domain and the correction it performs in the bass region. Its most likely you enjoyed those settings due to the lack DRC, as it helped with the arrival of the sound at the main listening position by allowing certain speakers to play more content while others were at crossed over at of at different frequencies. this my friend is one reason why Auydyssey exist, as it has elevated my love for multi/ch playback!