Originally Posted by bkedelen
Now riddle me this: If I went though the same procedure with a different but comparable brand and model set of mid-range speakers (with somewhat different sizes and combinations of cones, different crossover points, different firing angles, etc.), or a different but comparable powered subwoofer, or a different receiver that also features Audyssey, how much of a difference can there really be in the resulting system?
Audyssey can't fix broken speakers and there is no guarantee that all your driver and crossover tweeking will work equally well.
What Audyssey will do is tend to move whatever you have towards some kind of "good as this mess can get" golden mean.
If it sounds different, is not listener bias the most likely factor?
It has been shown that listener bias is very strong in loudspeaker evaluations. Check the Harman web site and blogs for the details.
Assuming that the system is not physically failing to operate correctly at my listening levels, would not most upgrading after that point be about futureproofing and being a hobbyist more than about gaining access to a superior experience? Would this not be doubly true for an even more granular dynamic equalization system such as Audyssey MultEQ XT32?
All this talk about speakers, listeners and equalization ignores a big part of the sound quality picture which is room acoustics. Is it possible to make a system sound so good that all you want to do is listen to it and enjoy its sound? That depends on your personality which is not really part of this discussion.
Now I understand that certain upgrades will absolutely change the quality of any system. Adding another subwoofer and improving speaker positioning are two good examples of things that no dynamic eq can do for you. Nevertheless I am really starting to wonder if any two mid-range speaker sets are going to turn out much different once they have been homogenized.
Like I said, if you apply Audyssey to two different systems it will try to bring their sound towards the same tone quality.
It seems like there is a lot of mythology surrounding speaker selection, and as someone who is curious, willing to follow directions, and somewhat skeptical, I would love to hear from the experts around here what their experiences have been in this regard, what the math/science is behind dynamic eq's ability to take equipment and room characteristics out of the equation, and exactly how well dynamic eq works compared to classic manual equalization techniques and hardware.
There are two important orthogonal dimensions of speaker performance that dynamic eq really can't touch and that is nonlinear distortion and directiivity. Dynamic eq can help them to not be over represented in the final sound.No amount of eq can fix a bad room, bad placement, bad nonlinear distortion, or inappropriate directiivity.
An interesting challenge would be to see what Aydyssey did to a pair of Bose 901s... ;-)