I finally got the X1100 and I have to say it sounds incredible! I've tested the X3000 and an Onkyo and a Marantz NR1504 in the past, and the Onkyo and Marantz just had MultEQ, while the X3000 has MultEQ XT like the X1100. Still, the X1100 sounds the best of all receivers I've tested. I'm sure it's related to the way you I did the measurements since I'm not aware of any changes in how Audyssey processes the sound in the X1100 vs the X3000. This time I made sure to follow the instructions strictly, which was to do all measurements within a 60 cm radius of the main listening position. With the X3000, I was trying to stay within a 30 cm radius, and maybe that contributed to over-compensating for the specific acoustics/resonance of that particular spot in the room.
Anyway, the X1100 with Audyssey turned on sounds balanced and fills the (known) lower midrange gap of my Elac Starlet 5.1 satellite speakers. The X3000, in comparison, filled that lower midrange gap too, but it also added some really harsh EQ on the upper treble range, making the sound feel pressured/pushed in an uncomfortable way compared to playing in Direct mode. Overall, I'm really pleased with the way Audyssey processes the sound and I don't see a reason to play in Direct mode anymore, whereas with X3000 I was switching back and forth and secretly preferring Direct mode despite all claims that Audyssey was compensating for the flaws of the speakers.
However, I have three questions:
- I know the recommendations are to never lower the crossover frequency that Audyssey recommends. However, in my case the sub is rated up to 180 Hz, and Audyssey recommended a 200 Hz crossover for the surround speakers. Am I crazy to choose to lower the crossover to 150 Hz at that point? The satellites are rated down to 95 Hz (IEC 268-5) and per Elac's instruction manual, their recommended crossover setting is 120 Hz, but that's of course in ideal room/distance conditions. Still, 150 Hz ought to be fine and surely that must be better than deliberately leaving a gap between the subwoofer's cutoff limit of 180 Hz and the receiver's crossover setting at 200 Hz? And also, it's just the two surround speakers so I'm also tempted to say "who cares, they're not *that* important".
- Audyssey then set a 150 Hz crossover for the left and right front speakers, and a 120 Hz crossover for the center speaker. I decided to raise the left and right speakers to 150 Hz since I'm guessing that the sub will have far better ability to play in that 120-150 Hz range anyway and I can't locate those frequencies physically in the room so localization not an issue for me at 150 Hz. In other words, Audyssey recommended 120 Hz for the fronts, 150 Hz for the center, and 200 Hz for the surround speakers and I'm setting all speakers to 150 Hz. Is that fine or should I rethink this? Honestly, I can't hear a difference no matter what I choose here so it's mostly an academic conversation.
- I'm getting confused by the settings in X1100 because although Audyssey correctly measured the distance and levels of the speakers, there is a settings menu under Speakers > Levels that allows me to change these settings and they're all set to 0 dB when I enter it. However, if I go into Audyssey and review the settings it measured, the levels are set to completely different values like -6.5 dB for the center, -3.0 dB for the left front, etc. This makes me wonder, did it correctly *set* those levels on the speakers or did it merely *measure* them and I've somehow managed to override those recommended levels since the Speakers > Levels menu show all speakers at 0 dB? (As a possibly relevant side-note, it's the same when adjusting Dialog and Subwoofer level, they're set to 0 dB by default, but I would assume that's in order because that's meant to be an offset to the normal settings -- which btw seems to be a change from last year's generation where Dialog level was actually set to the Audyssey level, e.g. it could start off at -6.5 dB or something like that and you had to remember which setting Audyssey recommended).
Thanks in advance for your help!
Update on question nr 2
: it appears I was wrong about the Elac sub's limit to 180 dB, though I'm a little confused. The specs say:
upper cutoff frequency40 ... 180 Hz, selectable
frequency range (IEC 268-5)35 ... 240 Hz
This is confusing, because there's no way to bypass the crossover filter, it's just a knob that you can turn all the way up to 180 Hz. So it's unclear to me how steep the crossover curve is and whether it will still output sounds around 200 Hz or not. Still, am I not better off just lowering the X1100's crossover from 200 Hz to 150 Hz for those two satellites anyway to avoid starting to localize the sound of the surround speakers? And if there's a slight gap around 150-180 Hz in the satellites, so be it, it's just the surround speakers and not the front and center speakers?