Originally Posted by thrang
How much "better" is the aurual end result with The Sound Equalizer vs the built-in MultiEQ XT (like in the onkyo 905). Is this the point of diminishiing return (at $2500 or so) or, to those that have heard both in otherwise identical systems and environments, is there a worthwhile wow factor? I know, one persons wow is anothers' ho-hum, but curious nonetheless.
OK, I have to first point out a minor little thing: There is no "i" in MultEQ
Although I can't answer your question of how audible the improvements will be in your room, there are some technical differences between the built-in MultEQ XT in receivers and the MultEQ XT that comes with the Sound Equalizer:
1) The filters in the Sound Equalizers provide twice the resolution for the front channels. This will provide a significant improvement in the lower frequency range of each speaker and also the subwoofer. The audibility of that improvement is hard to predict and will depend on the nature of the problems you have there.
2) The MultEQ Pro PC application provides additional optimization for calculating the crossover to the sub. In the built-in version MultEQ finds the -3 dB rolloff point of each speaker and reports it to the receiver's bass management system. In MultEQ Pro, the software searches for the frequency that provides the best blend between satellite and sub. This is often NOT the -3 dB point, but could be at a slightly higher frequency depending on the behavior of the room. Although the Sound Equalizer does not perform the bass management, the reported numbers that are entered manually in the pre-pro by the installer will provide better sub-sat blending.
3) The mic in the installer's kit is individually calibrated by serial number and that improves the high frequency measurement performance
4) There are additional choices available in the selection of the room target curve that cover a wider range of room situations
5) It is possible to take more measurements because there are no memory limits when using the PC app. This can be very useful for larger rooms
I should point out that items 2, 3, 4, and 5 above also apply to any MultEQ Pro calibration performed on receivers that can support it.