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post #1 of 19 Old 09-01-2012, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm hoping to get some comments....

I just replaced my McIntosh MX135 AV Pre-pro and installed a Integra 80.3 AV Processors into my HY system which has Audyssey XT32. I'm running McIntosh amps, Klipsch Ref 7 towers, center and 4 rears and 2- Klipsch Ref 7 15" subs in a dedicated HT room with 2- tiers(levels) of 8 seats. see pics attached.

I come from a pro audio background mainly live sound and am a drummer and work in the music industry. i understand a flat sound and what this usually sounds like. I've set up many PA systems tuned them with crossovers and RTA's for flat sound and then adjust to taste.

I am trying to adjust my new Integra processor with Audyssey to taste after doing 2 different calibrations. 1st calibration I did was to put the mic (on a tripod) at each seating position using the front seat center as my 1st position then the other front 3 seats for position 2-3-4 and then the rear seats working from center outward. Then I read on this Audyssey forum that the mic should not be near a wall and my rear seats are against the back wall. So I re-calibrated again using only the front 2 seats and working close mic positions around those seats.



Again coming from the Pro Audio realm we always run our amp full volume and adjust level via crossover gain and eq each speaker via a RTA and parametric eq and crossover adjustments...basically a manual version of Audyssey. So when Audyssey asks me to turn down my sub volume to 75db and this turns out to be about at the bottom 1/4 of the volume knob I find this VERY ODD. So I go with it anyway to see and like so many others I find total lack of low end and punch. This is sort of typical of a flat sound anyway but Audyssey seems to turn the bass down even more.

Next I try to adjust the Audyssey sound to taste. Audyssey set my front mains crossover to 40hz and center to 45hz and the rears to 40 hz. Again sort of odd to me knowing the frequency performance of these speakers. I leave the crossovers there and try to turn up the LFE via the Integra and run almost out of room.

The Integra also has 15 band eq for each speaker and a sub eq as well and works even with Audyssey running....nice feature with the Integra. After listening to the system as is for a while I adjust the fronts a little to my taste and hearing by just a slight bost of 3db at the 12k freg band and I had to give the center channel 2 db more boost according to my ears and my sound level meter I use. Still the low end a wacked out and I can't understand why Audyssey wants my subs volume knob about all the way down and there is absolutly zero low end.

So what I've done is to raise the crossover on all the speakers to 80hz and raise the volume knob on the subs to middle point. This almost gave the sound the punch I'm looking for, especially with concert dvd/blu rays but the overall subs sounded sort of muddy.

1-Since my 4 rear seats on the 2nd tier/level are against the wall and also closer to the rear speakers I'm not sure how Audyssey works and if I should not place the mic at this position.

2-I'm also no sure what will work best as far as setting the sub level to 75db and the volume knob on the subs just about off or ignoring this setting and adjusting the subs myself.

3-I'm played with the crossover and feel that 60hz is less muddy but bass drum punch is in the 80-100hz range and the subs would do a better job of moving air than the front speakers and center channel...so I need to figure that out.

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IMG_0055.jpg 44k .jpg file
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-01-2012, 09:22 AM
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In every multi-sub system I've setup using Audyssey, the subwoofer distances have been off, (not the physical distances necessarily, the "acoustic" distances that determine the splice of the speakers and subs.) Here is my own system with the Audyssey Distance settings in cyan, and the response I attained by adjusting the subwoofer Distances in green:



The subs with the Audyssey settings sounded just as you described, lacking punch. In fact, the system sounded anemic and thin with that massive dip from 63 to 130 Hz. Raising the levels doesn't help, because it just results in more cancellation. The only thing that will fix it is to measure the FR and adjust the Distances. I suggest you re-run Audyssey with the mic positions surrounding the main listening position and away from the back wall. Then reset the crossovers to the settings you feel work best with your speakers. Then measure the FR. If there is a big hole around the crossover, adjust the Distances of the subs until the hole is filled in.

If you need more info on Audyssey setup, check out the setup guide linked in the first post of the Audyssey thread: http://www.avsforum.com/t/795421/official-audyssey-thread-faq-in-post-1/5700#post_14456895

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post #3 of 19 Old 09-01-2012, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Craig....so the sub distances are the work around. The sub distance and my old fashioned tape measure don't compute!

I've been thinking of spending the $550 to the Audyssey Pro Calibration kit...think this would help? I don't have a RTA right now to to check FR (Freq Resp). Also I've thought about heading over to my local music stores t see if they have any computer software for a RTA and calibrated mic.

Chris K from Audyssey says. Audyssey doesn't measure distance. It measures delay. For speakers that's basically the same thing. But for subwoofers that have filters in them it is not. Filters add delay to the signal and so MultEQ is seeing that and compensating for it. It's important to leave the settings as found by the measurement.

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post #4 of 19 Old 09-01-2012, 12:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrums View Post

Thanks Craig....so the sub distances are the work around. The sub distance and my old fashioned tape measure don't compute!
They don't compute for exactly the reason Chris K states below.. it's a delay measurement, not a physical distance measurement.
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I've been thinking of spending the $550 to the Audyssey Pro Calibration kit...think this would help? I don't have a RTA right now to to check FR (Freq Resp). Also I've thought about heading over to my local music stores t see if they have any computer software for a RTA and calibrated mic.
Pro does do a better job of getting levels and distances correct, but it's not perfect either. Verification with measurements is the only way to be sure.
Quote:
Chris K from Audyssey says. Audyssey doesn't measure distance. It measures delay. For speakers that's basically the same thing. But for subwoofers that have filters in them it is not. Filters add delay to the signal and so MultEQ is seeing that and compensating for it. It's important to leave the settings as found by the measurement.
If Audyssey went back, after it set everything, and actually did a verification sweep to ensure that the settings are optimized, I would agree with Chris. Audyssey doesn't do that. It *assumes* that the delays it measures will be optimal for the speaker/subwoofer splice. IME, it seldom is.

If you just want to try this, you can try it without measurements. Just write down the subwoofer Distances Audyssey finds. Then add 3 or 4 feet to those Distances. If it sounds better, you know this is the problem. If it does sound better, but still not as good as you think it should, then just do some trial and error until you find the setting that sounds best to you. If it doesn't sound any better, then this is not the problem, and you can always go back to the original settings, (assuming you wrote them down.

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post #5 of 19 Old 09-01-2012, 09:52 PM
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As usual, always solid advice Craig. smile.gif

The time domain, experimenting somewhat with both Xover freq mains-subs, and time alignment of the output of the two systems (mains/subs) you'll likely get rid of whatever destructive interference is occurring if this is the issue.

In my opinion, (and I've no experience w/Aud Pro) I'd purchase something like OmniMic, from Parts Express, instead of,... or prior to buying Audyssey Pro. I've been using OmniMic for a couple years now, and it's served me well. It's ideally suited to aid in fleshing out any potential issues around the transition of mains-to-subs. Also, it's well suited for many other measurement aspects as well.

REW and some simple ancillary gear purchases is even more popular and widely adopted for calibration/tuning. It's more popular because OmniMic is a relatively new product. That said, OmniMic is pretty much turn-key operation. Can't miss either approach. I'm familiar with both, however there are those such as Craig, ...that have had great results with other measurement rigs.

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post #6 of 19 Old 09-02-2012, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrums View Post

3-I'm played with the crossover and feel that 60hz is less muddy but bass drum punch is in the 80-100hz range and the subs would do a better job of moving air than the front speakers and center channel...so I need to figure that out.

I have always preferred a 60hz crossover for this reason. Any higher and I feel the bass becomes too mono... bass seems like it just comes from dead centre of stage. With a lower crossover of 60hz, the speakers have more weight and things like drum riffs have more width across the soundstage.

I think one of the flaws of automatic room correction systems is that they look for the first -3dB point on the speaker's frequency response and make that the crossover point. But what if that is just a room induced null it sees at 120hz and makes that the crossover when the speaker itself is capable of playing much lower? And with the likes of Audyssey it structures all of its EQ and other adjustments around that crossover point and they make a point to advise you to never lower a crossover lower than what Audyssey set.
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-02-2012, 07:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

I have always preferred a 60hz crossover for this reason. Any higher and I feel the bass becomes too mono... bass seems like it just comes from dead centre of stage. With a lower crossover of 60hz, the speakers have more weight and things like drum riffs have more width across the soundstage.
How wide is a drum kit? The bass drum is always in the middle, right?
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

I think one of the flaws of automatic room correction systems is that they look for the first -3dB point on the speaker's frequency response and make that the crossover point. But what if that is just a room induced null it sees at 120hz and makes that the crossover when the speaker itself is capable of playing much lower?
Audyssey uses multiple measurement points. If there is a room induced null, it will measure as a null at some points and a peak at other measurement points and Audyssey will recognize it as such. It looks for the -3 dB point at *all* the measurement points and then assigns that point as the -3 dB point..
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And with the likes of Audyssey it structures all of its EQ and other adjustments around that crossover point and they make a point to advise you to never lower a crossover lower than what Audyssey set.
They tell you not to lower the crossover for a reason... Audyssey doesn't provide any correction below the -3 dB point. Correction below the -3 dB could only require boost, and Audyssey won't boost below the -3 dB point. It would be useless to do so, and potentially dangerous to the speakers. If there is no correction below the -3 dB point, and the speakers are not capable of reproduction below the -3 dB point, there is no benefit to lowering the crossover below the -3 dB point. Hence, Audyssey's recommendation to not lower the crossover.

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post #8 of 19 Old 09-02-2012, 08:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

How wide is a drum kit? The bass drum is always in the middle, right?

Audyssey uses multiple measurement points. If there is a room induced null, it will measure as a null at some points and a peak at other measurement points and Audyssey will recognize it as such. It looks for the -3 dB point at *all* the measurement points and then assigns that point as the -3 dB point..
They tell you not to lower the crossover for a reason... Audyssey doesn't provide any correction below the -3 dB point. Correction below the -3 dB could only require boost, and Audyssey won't boost below the -3 dB point. It would be useless to do so, and potentially dangerous to the speakers. If there is no correction below the -3 dB point, and the speakers are not capable of reproduction below the -3 dB point, there is no benefit to lowering the crossover below the -3 dB point. Hence, Audyssey's recommendation to not lower the crossover.
Craig

Exactly...a drum kit normally is not that wide...I'm a drummer, working in the music industry my whole life. Correct the bass drum is centered but this all depends on how the recording was mixed. Some producers will pan drums differently from either the audience perspective or players perspective.

Also I haven't lowered the crossover that Audyssey set, I raised it. Audyssey set my mains at 40hz and my center at 45hz and my surrounds also at 45hz. I raised all the speakers to 60hz. I'm also still trying to figure out what the LPF for LFE on my Integra is actually for and how it interacts with Audyssey and the crossover for the subs. I read to just leave it at 120hz, correct?


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post #9 of 19 Old 09-02-2012, 09:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrums View Post

Exactly...a drum kit normally is not that wide...I'm a drummer, working in the music industry my whole life. Correct the bass drum is centered but this all depends on how the recording was mixed. Some producers will pan drums differently from either the audience perspective or players perspective.
Also I haven't lowered the crossover that Audyssey set, I raised it. Audyssey set my mains at 40hz and my center at 45hz and my surrounds also at 45hz. I raised all the speakers to 60hz. I'm also still trying to figure out what the LPF for LFE on my Integra is actually for and how it interacts with Audyssey and the crossover for the subs. I read to just leave it at 120hz, correct?
That's TWO drum kits, right?

The LPF of LFE is a setting that is applied just to the LFE channel. It is not applied to the re-directed bass from the mains and surrounds. Prior to the introduction of Dolby TrueHD and DTS MA, the LFE channel was hard-filtered at 120 Hz during the recording process. In the newer codecs, the LFE channel is specified as a full-range channel with filtration on playback. Most advise to leave it at 120 Hz. However, if you find the sub localizable with that setting, feel free to turn it down. There isn't much content in the LFE channel above 80 Hz anyway, so you wouldn't be losing much.

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post #10 of 19 Old 09-02-2012, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

How wide is a drum kit? The bass drum is always in the middle, right?

Not in the universe I live in! eek.gif

I own plenty of music that puts bass heavy instruments to the sides of the soundstage or has a drum rift that races across from left to right. Or just look at your typical orchestra layout as another example.

I have always felt a 80hz and higher crossover collapses that dynamic staging towards the centre of stage and the musical experience becomes less involving. An interesting experiment to try for yourself, is have everything set up for a certain crossover, but kill the power to the subs and continue playing. You get to hear the speakers by themselves with whatever crossover you are using. To me 80hz and up makes them sound like small tinny satellite speakers. At least 60hz gives them back some weight. I can't see how you would get a dynamic soundstage if too much of the lower frequencies are going through a mono sub channel only.

Sure, the frequency response may measure well, but does that automatically mean that musical experience will be as satisfying as it could be?
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post #11 of 19 Old 09-02-2012, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig john View Post

How wide is a drum kit? The bass drum is always in the middle, right?

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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Not in the universe I live in! eek.gif

You live in a universe where a drum kit drummed by a single drummer is wider than a couple of feet? What is the arm span of that drummer? confused.gif

Quote:
I own plenty of music that puts bass heavy instruments to the sides of the soundstage or has a drum rift that races across from left to right. Or just look at your typical orchestra layout as another example.

I have always felt a 80hz and higher crossover collapses that dynamic staging towards the centre of stage and the musical experience becomes less involving. An interesting experiment to try for yourself, is have everything set up for a certain crossover, but kill the power to the subs and continue playing. You get to hear the speakers by themselves with whatever crossover you are using. To me 80hz and up makes them sound like small tinny satellite speakers. At least 60hz gives them back some weight. I can't see how you would get a dynamic soundstage if too much of the lower frequencies are going through a mono sub channel only.
Sure, the frequency response may measure well, but does that automatically mean that musical experience will be as satisfying as it could be?

Well, of course, an orchestral percussion section is much wider than a single drum kit. In addition, other bass heavy instruments, (bassoon/contabassoon, viola/standup bass, tuba, etc.), are separated in space from the other bass heavy instruments. However, I don't find that I loose localization of the bass instruments with an 80 Hz crossover. Localization of instruments comes from upper frequencies, AKA harmonics.

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post #12 of 19 Old 09-03-2012, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
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I don't find that I loose localization of the bass instruments with an 80 Hz crossover.

Well, I do.

Or how about at 90hz, or 100 or 120?
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post #13 of 19 Old 09-08-2012, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I do.
Or how about at 90hz, or 100 or 120?

Agree. I can start to pick out locale at around 80hz.

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I really miss my McIntosh AV Processor because it was so simple to use the trim feature to quickly turn the sub up or down with out having to go into the menu. The Integra AV Processor is not easy like this and there is no sub level adjustment easy to get to.

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post #15 of 19 Old 09-08-2012, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrums View Post

I really miss my McIntosh AV Processor because it was so simple to use the trim feature to quickly turn the sub up or down with out having to go into the menu. The Integra AV Processor is not easy like this and there is no sub level adjustment easy to get to.

Didn't you say that there is a level control on the Ref 7 (SW 115) active subs?

What keeps you from cranking it up?
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post #16 of 19 Old 09-09-2012, 06:57 AM
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I played the drums as a teenager (a Sonor, too) and still enjoy a good drummer today. Yet when I incorporated my first subwoofer in 2005, the advice found on the internet back then was to use the human voice and cello or guitar as a music source, rather than double basses or the bass drum.
I don't use Audyssey, as it didn't result in a flatter frequency curve in my room nor could I hear any improvement.
Assuming you have dealt with the reflections from the walls and you have the loudness matched (I have my sub about 3 db louder than the rest as we hear the lower frequencies less), I suggest you get yourself Anna Bolena: http://www.amazon.com/Donizetti-Anna-Bolena-Blu-ray-Netrebko/dp/B005OSUL9I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347183891&sr=8-1&keywords=Anna+Bolena+blu+ray
This is a 5.0 recording and is perfect for matching the sub with the mains for bass management. At a 40 hz setting for the crossover (Audyssey recommendation for my speakers) with the loudest passages at about 85 db, the bass voice was too soft and the tenor was too bright, i.e. my fronts did not produce enough low frequencies. To make the long story short, at 65 hz the bass voice was loud and deep, the tenor had lost it's brightness, the soprano was not chesty, the placement of the voices in the soundstage had improved and I was very happy.
Now you play Jeff Beck at Ronny Scott, Chris Botti Life, Diana Krall in Paris or Legends of Jazz and you should be enjoying the drum players as well as the bass guitar/double bass. At least I do. And all that for only $20 and an hour or so of listening.
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-10-2012, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdrums View Post

Agree. I can start to pick out locale at around 80hz.

Remember, AVS is more home theatre orientated rather than music orientated. When it comes to setting up an audio system for watching a Batman and Robin movie... you do see more people recommending crossovers of 80hz or higher. Go to a forum like Audiogon that is more about music systems... and you will see more people talking about crossovers around 40hz.

An 80hz crossover for listening to music... no way!
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-11-2012, 06:26 AM
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^^^

really? your room somehow morphs because you are playing music vs. a movie? gee, i want one of those rooms where the modal region simply disappears, it would make setup a LOT easier...

no, avs is more "technically oriented", with rationale based upon measurements and science (not audiophile reasoning) behind the advice given...

show us some graphs that show flat response with your xover set to 40 for music... the we can talk... otherwise, what you are attempting to state flies directly in the face of room acoustics...

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post #19 of 19 Old 09-11-2012, 03:13 PM
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really? your room somehow morphs because you are playing music vs. a movie? gee, i want one of those rooms where the modal region simply disappears, it would make setup a LOT easier...

No the room does not change but the media does. Watching a movie - loud room shaking explosions and other tactile effects are important. Listening to music - good soundstaging and localisation is important.

Quote:
avs is more "technically oriented", with rationale based upon measurements and science (not audiophile reasoning) behind the advice given...

Reading these AVS forums quite often has me picturing a lot of Professor Frinks running around with their slide rules. rolleyes.gif

But anyways, with your scientist hat on, please explain that if "bass drum punch is in the 80-100hz range" as noted by someone that actually plays drums in the real world, is rolled off from the speakers to a sub - then how is that energy going to be relayed to either the left or right of the soundstage? Perhaps people are so focused on a flat frequency response, that they lose sight of other aspects of musical playback..? One aspect of audio is usually a compromise to another aspect, yes?

Jim Smith in his 'Get Better Sound' DVDs talks about this as well. He suggest trying leaving speakers full range and supplement them with a stereo sub arrangement from where the speakers leave off. Yes, he has had "experts" tell him that stereo soundstaging shouldn't be affected from crossing off the lower frequencies to subs. He once set up a demonstration and invited the experts over for a listen. They did end up agreeing that his stereo sub setup had a more dynamic soundstage that the straight crossover arrangement.


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show us some graphs that show flat response with your xover set to 40 for music... the we can talk... otherwise, what you are attempting to state flies directly in the face of room acoustics...

You actually mean by this that my opinion goes against the common consensus in these AVS forums? Oh my, how dreadful. But hey, go to the Audiogon or computeraudiophile forums and you won't see hardly anybody talking about an 80hz crossover. Those guys are using more full range speakers that typically play down to 35hz and the people that do use subs more commonly bring them in to play at 40hz

I myself don't use 40hz xover because I am using 5.5" 2-way monitors that play down to 50 - 55hz. I crossover at 60hz. Nevertheless this is my room's frequency response from 20 to 500hz with a 60hz crossover.

If I used small 4" mini monitors, then yes I would be using an 80hz crossover.
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