Ok, so ever since I ran the "auto setup" something has really been bugging me.
Right after I first ran the setup everything sounded REALLY wrong. Harsh, metallic, and very artificial. Setting the RoomEQ to Audyssey flat helped with that. Also it got some of the speaker distances really wrong, like the center channel. (Which sounded way bad.) I fixed those - it'd be great if I could manually set the speaker levels and distances (cuz I know I can get that right) and let Audyssey just worry about the Room EQ.
However, even after fixing the levels, setting the distances, and setting the Room EQ to flat something was still bugging me, especially when playing COD4. Positional audio is key in that game. You need to know where the bullets are coming from so you know where to send yours to. And I was noticing that the sound coming out of my left surround speaker was sounding "odd". Tinny, kinda.
I decided to try turning Room EQ completely off. But went to turn it off and found that I could look at the curves. All 5 speakers are the same - NHT SuperOnes. And all of the curves looked the same, EXCEPT for that left surround. I turned Audssey off so that it wouldn't bug me.
Now clearly I did something wrong when I ran the EQ. I did two spots - where I sit and where my friend sits. Where my friend sits is almost 90 degrees off-axis from the front of that speaker. (My room is kinda lacking for good spots to sit. But mostly I just care about where my throne, I mean recliner, is.)
I don't have a good way to get the mic to the right spots without moving furniture - what do other people do? The Audyssey Pro stuff shows a boom mic stand thingie - but finding something like that for the included mic (i.e. something with a tripod mount on the end) seems to be a challenge.
So how do I do this right? Everyone talks about how great Audyssey is, but my first run didn't go that well. I really want to make sure I'm getting the most out of my Denon 3808.