Audyssey xt32, standalone external EQ, or go with what I have? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-27-2014, 08:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Howdy folks......been lurking here for quite some time.....sorry about that. Wasn't sure where the best place for this post was.......thought about the Audyssey thread……but then changed my mind, as I didn’t want to skew the results :)

 

I happened upon rickardl's 2012 posts showing the difference between Audyssey multeq XT and XT32. The pre-out plots rickardl shows suggest (to me, anyway) that a) serous low frequency room modes will not be sufficiently addressed by XT and b) the activity in the high frequencies may be less than beneficial.

 

For the record, I have a 7.1 system with a Denon 4308CI (multEQ xt), JBL Studio 590's (fronts), 530's (surrounds), 520 (center), and a relatively capable (-3dB at 22 Hz) homebrew 12 inch sub, in a 22 X 18 X 8.5 ft room (the 18ft dimension is the only front to back option, and it is really 16-20 ft, depending upon where you are in the room:  20 ft on the centerline, 16 on the sides). I am 90% music/10% movies....of the music (the thrust here, obviously), I quite often (80% of the time) use Denon's 7 channel stereo processing on the stereo material.....it sounds pretty sweet. Mostly.

 

I say "mostly" because I have lovely 90.2, 109.8 and 125.1 Hz room modes .......I have measured these with REW and find them to exhibit +4 to +12dB peaks (depending upon which one we are talking about) with 1/6 octave smoothing. Know that I spent a short while in the music biz as a mix engineer........when there is a lot going on in this part of the spectrum, I hear them......when there isn't, I can mostly ignore them. I have optimized speaker/sub locations and listening positions with REW - I think I have the best LP I can get, given my equipment and the room orientation I have chosen (currently symmetrical L to R, and about 80% back towards the rear wall, F to R).

 

What to do? The idea of being able to tailor my own PEQs totally enthralls me.......but I am at a loss to see how any of the available options will easily work for me. As inputs to the 4308CI, I have a turntable via standalone preamp, OPPO BDP105 stereo outs (spotify streaming PC via USB DAC or stereo discs) and OPPO HDMI (movies, stereo and surround SACD and DVDA), and a LittleDot MK3 tube preamp via another CD player through a Musical Fidelity VDAC. I could use the MiniDSP nanoavr or 10 x 10 hd between the Oppo and the Denon.....but that misses the LittleDot and turntable paths, and the stereo OPPO path (basically all the stereo paths). I do not use the multichannel analog outs of the OPPO at this time.


The simplicity of Audyssey, were it truly effective, appeals to me. It covers all sources I have.....and when I look at rickardl's plots (referenced above), I see why XT isn't cutting it for me. If you have some significant room modes in the 20-200Hz range, XT is not going to bring happiness.


Further disclosure.......I use XT on the 4308CI, and I appreciate what it does. I have an 80Hz crossover between mains/sats and the sub. I also employ a Behringer Ultra q pro PEQ that I had laying around for the sub channel out of the 4308CI (this unit gives me 2 bands in the 20-80Hz range).....this works fab for < 80Hz.  My problem modes are now all above the 80Hz cutoff and below the apparent Schroeder frequency.


For the record # 2, I am not concerned with correcting anything above 200Hz or so. When I look at rickardl's documentation regarding what XT is doing in the high frequencies, I cringe, just a little bit. I like what I see XT32 is (and isn’t) doing in the high frequencies. And I very much like what I see XT32 is doing in the low frequencies, compared to XT.

 

Which makes me now state my hypothesis……..I need Audyssey multeq XT32.


Please talk me out of it. Or into it. And I’d like to keep it under a grand, if at all possible…..


Thanks much – hopefully I am not being too demanding for the first post…..

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post #2 of 10 Old 02-27-2014, 11:44 PM
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Well the X4000 has xt32 and should be $1000 now or soon. You have to ask a live sales person here to get the good price. I have rew and a new mic, but haven't used it yet. Xt32 is pay and pray so you might not like it. It does normally work good, especially below 80hz, but you can't custom tweak it unless you are using external amps downstream. For movies it is a done deal, but for music most professional reviewers prefer to turn it off quite a bit. The thing is, the X4000 is a nice unit even without xt32. The X3000 is quite a step down in several ways. Call for the best deal, run the room eq wizard and if you don't like the plots return it I guess. The next step up is the 4520 for way more money.

There is a Marantz model (same company, similar builds) in between those denon's. I suspect with your pro ear and filtering experience you are going to want to keep doing it. I bought xt32 once and I can live without it, but my ears are not as sensitive/trained as yours (until I see the graphs, waterfalls).
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post #3 of 10 Old 02-28-2014, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks kikkenit2....I was actually looking at the X4000......and I was considering using the pre-outs of the X4000 to the external inputs on the 4308, as I suspect the 4308 amp section might be a little beefier. The 4250 just seems like way more than I want to spend right now....although I am tempted by the Accesories4Less price......

 

The XT32 solution, while not offering me any post-correction optimization (obviously a minus), does make implementation easy......and it covers all sources I am going to use. It also makes the setup simpler (than external EQ boxes), as I occasionally have to let the others in the house use the system.

 

It is amazing what REW shows you...it's a very powerful tool and from a price perspective, it's available to anyone, really. I cannot tell you how much time I have spent in the past optimizing speak/sub/LP positions by ear or just with my crappy radio shack SPL meter.....way easier with REW.

 

Regarding buying and returning if I don't like it......I am usually not a returner of items, unless the item is actually broken or not as advertised.........is it really an option to return an AVR just because the room optimization algorithm doesn't meet your expectations? I guess I never thought about that before....I would be interested to know if anyone out there has done this. Obviously, it will depend upon who you buy it from......

 

thanks for the input!!!!

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post #4 of 10 Old 02-28-2014, 03:24 PM
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I have audyssey xt32 in the denon 4311. The 4520 replaced it for $1000 more. I also have a cheap pioneer and a few yamaha's. You may be interested in the Yamaha 2030 receiver. It is more expensive than the X4000, but has a nice manual peq. The 1030 doesn't have a subwoofer eq at all, but the 2030 and above do. Here are some pics of the setup screens in the dedicated thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1474980/the-official-yamaha-aventage-rx-a1030-rx-a2030-rx-a3030-and-cx-a5000-mx-a5000-thread/180#post_23544117

It doesn't have the strongest internal amps, but this brand has very clean sound (new ess sabre dacs), good reliability and less hdmi handshake issues than denon/Marantz. It will eq duals subs separately also. Website.
http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/aventage/rx-a2030_black_u/?mode=model

Call the sales people at this website (avs) for the best price. They are an authorized dealer.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-28-2014, 04:50 PM
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The Denon X4000 with Audyssey MultEQ XT32 would be a nice improvement over your 4308CI.

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post #6 of 10 Old 02-28-2014, 05:46 PM
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Agree with jdsmoothie, well worth the upgrade
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-01-2014, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kikkenit2 View Post

I have audyssey xt32 in the denon 4311. The 4520 replaced it for $1000 more. I also have a cheap pioneer and a few yamaha's. You may be interested in the Yamaha 2030 receiver. It is more expensive than the X4000, but has a nice manual peq. The 1030 doesn't have a subwoofer eq at all, but the 2030 and above do. Here are some pics of the setup screens in the dedicated thread.
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1474980/the-official-yamaha-aventage-rx-a1030-rx-a2030-rx-a3030-and-cx-a5000-mx-a5000-thread/180#post_23544117

It doesn't have the strongest internal amps, but this brand has very clean sound (new ess sabre dacs), good reliability and less hdmi handshake issues than denon/Marantz. It will eq duals subs separately also. Website.
http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/aventage/rx-a2030_black_u/?mode=model

Call the sales people at this website (avs) for the best price. They are an authorized dealer.

 

The Yamaha looks interesting......I guess I may have discounted it as it did not have Audyssey. Apparently the manual PEQ functionality must have escaped me.....and it appears that it could actually be useful (better than 1/6th octave capability). Might have to look at that one a little closer. Less hdmi handshake shenanigans also a plus:D

 

I suspect whatever I end up getting in the $1.5k or less price range may not have an amp section as good as my current 4308CI - but I can always use pre-outs of the new AVR into the 4308 (up to 7.1 channels, of course)

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post #8 of 10 Old 03-01-2014, 09:55 AM
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Call JD. His phone # is in post #5. He pushes denon/audyssey hard, but sells yamaha now too. Can't go wrong with either brand.
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-01-2014, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks JD and Primetime.....I have been checking out X4000 posts on AVS and reviews from everywhere......I lean towards the X4000, as I am familiar with Denon, as I currently have the 4308. My concerns/questions are:

 

1) Firmware - as probably any serious 4308 owner can attest, there is a huge learning curve if you really want to know how this receiver works. I would have given up a long time ago if it weren't for Batpig and other posters on this site.......the 4308 is quirky, with a capital Q. Is this still an issue with Denon and specifically the X4000?

 

2) I love the 4308......I have hated it....but I am over that now......is implementing the X4000 going to be as traumatic as the 4308 was? The 4308 was my first Denon experience.......

 

3) While the X4000 is newer and has features the 4308 lacks (especially XT32), it could be perceived step down in class.....will I suffer from this psychologically? I realize this is a totally subjective question and no one has the answer...just looking for insight.....I ask this because I bought my 4308 for $1200 in 2012 I think........it was made in Japan and it's a solid beast. I still remember unpacking it from the box - amazing experience and totally different from lower end stuff I have bought. I can't really quantify what I am really asking here.......I just don't want to be disappointed.....will I be disappointed?  Would I be better off waiting for the 4520 price to drop and going that route? For the record, I am still leaning towards using the amp section of the 4308, as 7.1 is really all I need.

 

4) When is the 4520 going to be $1200? Hahahaha......sorry - couldn't resist....feel free to ignore this question.......unless you know ;)  

 

Thanks again for the help - I suspect I will ultimately call JD and see what the bottom line is......just trying to narrow down the search first...

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post #10 of 10 Old 03-02-2014, 03:36 AM
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^^
1. Nope.
2. Nope.
3. Nope.
4. 4520CI due to be replaced in Oct/Nov so likely no price change until that time.

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