"Official" Audyssey thread (FAQ in post #51779) - Page 1726 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #51751 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 08:23 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
kbarnes701's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Main Listening Positon
Posts: 16,621
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked: 1276
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetsmart88 View Post

I too heartily nominate Keith to lead this new thread and I'd be happy to give my 2 cents worth of suggestions, once the new thread is up and running. I'm pretty sure that a lot of people will help out.

Will this new thread include Audyssey Pro or should we leave that to the thread of SOM on Pro?

Mark

Thanks for your kind remarks, Mark. And for the offer of suggestions, which will be much appreciated.

I'd suggest leaving the Pro kit to SoM's thread. Most people with a Pro kit will probably be fairly experienced Audyssey users anyway.
kbarnes701 is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #51752 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 08:25 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
kbarnes701's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Main Listening Positon
Posts: 16,621
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked: 1276
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavchameleon View Post

Keith,

Yes, Chris has incredible patience and style - so do you and others on this thread.

Maybe after you put this FAQ thread together you can ping Chris a message on the Ask Audyssey site so that he can use it as a referral. I also am surprised that there is not a comprehensive FAQ portion on their site.

Thanks to you too for the kind remarks. Yes, I will indeed mention it to Chris once it has some decent content.
kbarnes701 is online now  
post #51753 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 08:33 AM
Wireless member
 
pepar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Quintana Roo ... in my mind
Posts: 24,935
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 131
Thoughts on organizing/creating an FAQ...

What are the areas that give users the most difficulty and/or confusion? Once those are identified, the "Q's" can be assembled.

Jeff
pepar is offline  
post #51754 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 08:36 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
kbarnes701's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Main Listening Positon
Posts: 16,621
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked: 1276
Re New Thread for FAQ.

I've had a lengthy and very useful exchange with jdmsoothie via PM on the best way to handle this. Long story short, it's come down to a totally new thread (which I am happy to start) or a new 'FAQ Post' in this thread (which I would then be able to edit and add to at will). The former is kinda neater, the latter avoids the potential problem of having two Audyssey threads because people are bound to start posting to the new thread, and there is no way to lock it and for me to still be able to edit it and add to it.

If we go the latter route, then it would be simple to link to the new FAQ post in Post 1 of this thread, in sig blocks and, of course, in replies to newcomers when their (basic) question or problem is posed here.

The 'FAQ Post' idea is less elegant but has the virtue of not running the risk of a second, sidelining thread so it is the way my mind is going at this moment.

Anyone got any final thoughts? For or against either option? As JD has rightly said, we can talk about it for ever but at some point we have to decide and just get on with it.

Meanwhile, I will start compiling the questions that need answers and would really appreciate it if others would put forward their suggestions. I'd also like to add something that asks users to give a brief rundown of their equipment and room (possibly with photos (Feri!!) before they come to the main body of the thread and ask supplementary questions if the FAQ fails to meet their needs. Anyone got any suggestions as to what we need in that list? Hopefully, as time goes on, the FAQ will be modified to take care of any longstanding issues where people's questions are not fully dealt with. It will certainly help to declutter the main body of the thread when one can simply reply "this is in the FAQ - see it here .

Thanks to everyone for their kind remarks and offers of support. Appreciated!
kbarnes701 is online now  
post #51755 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 08:43 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
kbarnes701's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Main Listening Positon
Posts: 16,621
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked: 1276
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

Thoughts on organizing/creating an FAQ...

What are the areas that give users the most difficulty and/or confusion? Once those are identified, the "Q's" can be assembled.

Jeff

Indeed. I'll try to go back a few hundred pages and see what comes up over and over again. Large or small is an obvious candidate, as are crossovers, sub distance being 'wrong', loss of perceived bass, centre channel problems due to bad mic placement or bad speaker placement etc etc. Dynamic EQ seems to cause people a lot of confusion. So does LPF of LFE. 'Should I change the trims/speaker distances' comes up a lot too. Gee - the list is endless

I'll try to do a new FAQ a day for as long as it takes to get the FAQ decently populated. Or maybe say 5 new FAQs a week so I can have weekends off

Only thing to decide now is new thread or new post in this thread.... your thoughts would be appreciated, Jeff. As would everyone's
kbarnes701 is online now  
post #51756 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 08:44 AM
AVS Special Member
 
nezff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cajun Country
Posts: 4,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

Thoughts on organizing/creating an FAQ...

What are the areas that give users the most difficulty and/or confusion? Once those are identified, the "Q's" can be assembled.

Jeff

I think for alot of "new" users, the Mic placement (too close to walls etc.., holding the mic, putting it on pillows, how far out to measure) I have seen alot of posts asking about if it is ok to place it on a pillow or two stacked. Seen a couple people showing their measurement points which include a chair far out to the left or right, that will most of the time never be used. The calibration "bubble" is not known by some users.

After calibration is something that might need to be in there also. Why is audyssey setting my speakers to this or that? Why is my trim levels so low or so high? Why is my distance not actual?
nezff is offline  
post #51757 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 08:53 AM
Wireless member
 
pepar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Quintana Roo ... in my mind
Posts: 24,935
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 131
I think the challenge will be to keep an FAQ brief. Otherwise, all we are doing is duplicating the Audyssey Setup Guide.

Jeff
pepar is offline  
post #51758 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 08:57 AM
AVS Special Member
 
nezff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cajun Country
Posts: 4,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Liked: 27
Keith and Jeff, you guys might need to think like some of us. Keith, you know the questions I have had via PM, and I think of myself as somewhat knowing how to calibrate and what the numbers mean after calibration is done.
nezff is offline  
post #51759 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 09:00 AM
AVS Special Member
 
cavchameleon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1,520
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Keith,

Giomania's info (that a lot of us link to) is something that should be added also, he put a lot of work into it and it does cover a majority of the questions asked for doing Audyssey measurements. Just a note...

Ray

 

"Listen with an open heart and mind."

 

cavchameleon is online now  
post #51760 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 09:08 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
kbarnes701's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Main Listening Positon
Posts: 16,621
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked: 1276
Quote:
Originally Posted by nezff View Post

Keith and Jeff, you guys might need to think like some of us. Keith, you know the questions I have had via PM, and I think of myself as somewhat knowing how to calibrate and what the numbers mean after calibration is done.

Yes - good point. Now where did I save your PMs before emptying my Inbox...
kbarnes701 is online now  
post #51761 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 09:11 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
kbarnes701's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Main Listening Positon
Posts: 16,621
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked: 1276
Quote:
Originally Posted by cavchameleon View Post

Keith,

Giomania's info (that a lot of us link to) is something that should be added also, he put a lot of work into it and it does cover a majority of the questions asked for doing Audyssey measurements. Just a note...

Absolutely. The first FAQ will probably be something like "Where can I find a really good Setup Guide that takes me through all the major things I need to know to get a great calibration?"

I see the FAQ as a complement to the Guide not a substitute - but the FAQ will make it easier to send people to the specific point they are asking about, rather than simply saying 'read the Setup Guide'.
kbarnes701 is online now  
post #51762 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 09:15 AM
AVS Special Member
 
cavchameleon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Posts: 1,520
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Keith,

looks like you got it covered. Thanks for taking this on.

Ray

 

"Listen with an open heart and mind."

 

cavchameleon is online now  
post #51763 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 10:22 AM
Wireless member
 
pepar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Quintana Roo ... in my mind
Posts: 24,935
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Absolutely. The first FAQ will probably be something like "Where can I find a really good Setup Guide that takes me through all the major things I need to know to get a great calibration?"

I see the FAQ as a complement to the Guide not a substitute - but the FAQ will make it easier to send people to the specific point they are asking about, rather than simply saying 'read the Setup Guide'.

How about after each answer in the FAQ we refer/link to the setup guide and say "for more info on this subject, please refer to (section/chapter/verse) in the Audyssey Setup Guide ..."

Giomania's guide could be the drill down ...
pepar is offline  
post #51764 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 10:37 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mogorf's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 4,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked: 101
Some more thoughts for the FAQ.

Many times I've experienced that the questions coming up by newbies are somewhat late, late in a sense that they have already purchased their gear and whatever advice they can get will not help improve their situation. So, in order to make a really comprehensive and useful FAQ I'd heartfully recommend to start out with suggestions that need to be taken into consideration BEFORE buying/ordering our new and shiny HT systems and before running auto-setup.

In this respect here are some ideas:

1. What speakers to buy? I'm not suggesting a brand war here, but a guide in general to what specs are important (sensitivity, impedance, etc.) and what are not (spec sheet FR, etc.)

2. What AVR to buy? A link may be provided to Audyssey site to search for the proper AVR/AVP for each one's needs. Mentioning here the different flavors of Audyssey would also be helpful, with special emphasis on avoiding anything with 2EQ!!! Or in case unavoidable (due to budget) then call the attention of the handicap of not EQing the sub channel.

3. In-room speaker setup (so-called cold-setup) for possible best results. I think this may be one of the most significant issues prior to running Audyssey that may be most helpful. Front L/R for imaging, Center for dialog intelligibility, surrounds for FX, subwoofer crawl, way up from 5.1 to multiple subs and even to DSX. This may be the point where room setup photos will help once a question is sent to the Board. Keith, agree?

4. Any other suggestion you may think of.

Hope I could help.
mogorf is online now  
post #51765 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 10:41 AM
Advanced Member
 
hidefpaul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 877
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 34
May I ask a silly question..... Why are some people raising their individual speaker levels ie Trim levels after they run Audyssey? If there sound seems too "low" why not just turn up the main Volume knob?

By raising these individual speaker levels, are you not disrupting the parameters set by Audyssey? Audyssey has calibrated your speaker levels to the room "parameters" ( size, acoustical properties, distances to the MLP etc) are you not diminishing some of the properties that Audussey has setup for your sound?

Any insite on this would be appreciated.

Thanks

Paul
hidefpaul is offline  
post #51766 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 10:41 AM
Wireless member
 
pepar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Quintana Roo ... in my mind
Posts: 24,935
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Some more thoughts for the FAQ.

Many times I've experienced that the questions coming up by newbies are somewhat late, late in a sense that they have already purchased their gear and whatever advice they can get will not help improve their situation. So, in order to make a really comprehensive and useful FAQ I'd heartfully recommend to start out with suggestions that need to be taken into consideration BEFORE buying/ordering our new and shiny HT systems and before running auto-setup.

That's a great idea. Consumer education is very important. How do we get them to visit here before they buy to get that recommendation? People generally only look for answers after they have a problem, right?

Jeff
pepar is offline  
post #51767 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 10:45 AM
Wireless member
 
pepar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Quintana Roo ... in my mind
Posts: 24,935
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by hidefpaul View Post

May I ask a silly question..... Why are some people raising their individual speaker levels ie Trim levels after they run Audyssey? If there sound seems too "low" why not just turn up the main Volume knob?

By raising these individual speaker levels, are you not disrupting the parameters set by Audyssey? Audyssey has calibrated your speaker levels to the room "parameters" ( size, acoustical properties, etc) are you not diminishing some of the properties that Audussey has setup for your sound?

Any insite on this would be appreciated.

Thanks

Paul

Tweaking individual channels a dB or so can be done to bring up the dialog (center channel), or raise/lower the surrounds to emphasize/de-emphasize them in relation to LCR. It will not affect the correction, but does have a minor effect on Dynamic EQ.

If someone really gooses the sub channel, then that, IMO, does affect the accuracy in that ... well the content being reproduced by the sub will be way bigger than was intended. And it could mess up the "splice" (between sub and mains). But that's preference and is certainly not forbidden. But everyone should be aware of the downside.
pepar is offline  
post #51768 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 10:57 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mogorf's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 4,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepar View Post

That's a great idea. Consumer education is very important. How do we get them to visit here before they buy to get that recommendation? People generally only look for answers after they have a problem, right?

Jeff

Not definitely. Some will buy and then ask, some will ask and then buy. This is targeting the latter ones. For the earlier ones, this will be a lesson.
mogorf is online now  
post #51769 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 11:03 AM
Senior Member
 
hclarkx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Near Sacramento
Posts: 240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

Added to the 'in progress' file in my Outliner prog. Thanks.

Keith, did you pick up the additions I made to the summary in post 51731 on page 1725?

Harrison
bargervais likes this.
hclarkx is offline  
post #51770 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 11:03 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mogorf's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 4,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by hidefpaul View Post

May I ask a silly question..... Why are some people raising their individual speaker levels ie Trim levels after they run Audyssey? If there sound seems too "low" why not just turn up the main Volume knob?

By raising these individual speaker levels, are you not disrupting the parameters set by Audyssey? Audyssey has calibrated your speaker levels to the room "parameters" ( size, acoustical properties, distances to the MLP etc) are you not diminishing some of the properties that Audussey has setup for your sound?

Any insite on this would be appreciated.

Thanks

Paul

Because some people are not familiar with all the details. If all the trims are rasied equally, all that happens is that film reference level will no longer be at 0 dB Master Volume setting. Say, they raise all trims by +5 dB, then reference level will be at -5 dB on their MV. Yet, Audyssey properties will not diminish, just an unpractical solution.
mogorf is online now  
post #51771 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 11:14 AM
Senior Member
 
hclarkx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Near Sacramento
Posts: 240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kbarnes701 View Post

I see the FAQ as a complement to the Guide not a substitute - but the FAQ will make it easier to send people to the specific point they are asking about, rather than simply saying 'read the Setup Guide'.

I agree. And I would think that the FAQ should include a modicum of technical background to help newcomers understand the recommendations.

The pro install thread seems to be languishing a bit, maybe because less help is needed for people at that level. However, the pro install opportunity should be treated briefly in this FAQ to give direction to those wanting more control or considering an upgrade.

Harrison
hclarkx is offline  
post #51772 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 11:20 AM
Senior Member
 
hclarkx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Near Sacramento
Posts: 240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Not definitely. Some will buy and then ask, some will ask and then buy. This is targeting the latter ones. For the earlier ones, this will be a lesson.

And those planning an upgrade.

Harrison
hclarkx is offline  
post #51773 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 11:26 AM
AVS Special Member
 
mogorf's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 4,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Liked: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by hclarkx View Post

And those planning an upgrade.

Harrison

Yeah.
mogorf is online now  
post #51774 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 12:17 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Gooddoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 3,379
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 145
I haven't seen any votes for separate thread vs. incorporation into this thread. My vote goes for using this thread for all the reasons you're thinking Keith(whatever they might be, but I suspect they're the same as mine )

As to the FAQ content, there are just so many potential candidate issues. My only comment at this point is that I have found that FAQs that become too large can sometimes be so onerous to navigate that it borders on defeating its own purpose - to make it easy to find information. So I would suggest the KISS approach and limit the FAQ to ONLY the highly repeated questions.

JTR Noesis 212HT x 3 (LCR) powered by Lab Gruppen 10000Q amp
CHT SHO-10 x 4 (sides and rear) powered by Denon 4311
JTR S2 x 2
CHT 18.1 x2
Oppo BDP103D bluray player/Sonos/PS3
Gooddoc is offline  
post #51775 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 12:34 PM
Wireless member
 
pepar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Quintana Roo ... in my mind
Posts: 24,935
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 131
Well, it looks like this latest excursion into trying to tame this beast of a thread on the subject of setting up and using Audyssey might have come full circle. As much as I have long thought that this thread had become daunting and that there surely must be a simpler way, I have always thought that *this* thread was beyond help and that a separate thread would be both confusing and the only solution. Depending on my mood, the balance between the two moves back and forth.

My vote for the best solution is for a new FAQ thread that is simple and STICKIED. I just don't see any way to "fix" this thread.
pepar is offline  
post #51776 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 12:36 PM
Senior Member
 
hclarkx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Near Sacramento
Posts: 240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooddoc View Post

As to the FAQ content, there are just so many potential candidate issues. My only comment at this point is that I have found that FAQs that become too large can sometimes be so onerous to navigate that it borders on defeating its own purpose - to make it easy to find information. So I would suggest the KISS approach and limit the FAQ to ONLY the highly repeated questions.

Some FAQs have a fairly detailed table of contents with hyperlinks to each heading or subheading. That should help the problem of information overload.

Another possibility would be a "basic" section and an "advanced" section kind of like Denon's recent manuals. I don't feel strongly about this idea, just tossing it out there.

Harrison
hclarkx is offline  
post #51777 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 12:38 PM
Wireless member
 
pepar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Quintana Roo ... in my mind
Posts: 24,935
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked: 131
Quote:
Originally Posted by hclarkx View Post

Some FAQs have a fairly detailed table of contents with hyperlinks to each heading or subheading. That should help the problem of information overload.

Another possibility would be a "basic" section and an "advanced" section kind of like Denon's recent manuals. I don't feel strongly about this idea, just tossing it out there.

Harrison

I agree. This is the 21st century and hyperlinks that allow drilling down would be ideal. But this forum doesn't support anything even remotely close to that. A separate website would but now we are talking about a lot of work not to mention it would take members off-site.

Just my $.02.

Jeff
pepar is offline  
post #51778 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 12:59 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
kbarnes701's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Main Listening Positon
Posts: 16,621
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked: 1276
WELCOME TO THE AUDYSSEY FAQ AND 'AUDYSSEY 101'!

To get started, please choose from one of the following 4 options :

1. Click Here To Follow Our 'Audyssey 101' For First Time Audyssey Users.

Clicking the header above will take you directly to the Audyssey Newcomers 101. Follow each step for a great first-time Audyssey calibration. If you have any questions as you read through the 101, refer to the general FAQ for answers. To help, I have included in the 101 links to relevant sections of the FAQ.

2. Click Here To Go Directly To The FAQ Questions And Answers.

  • Links are highlighted in a different colour to the rest of the text.
  • Clicking on any Question takes you straight to the answer.
  • Clicking on a Section Header takes you straight to that section.
  • To return here, click on 'Go back to top'.
  • To return to a Section Header, click on Go back to Section Header'.
  • Clicking on any 'See Also' link takes you to other answers that may be relevant to the one you are reading.
  • Clicking on a 'Further Reading' link takes you to more in-depth articles on other sites.

3. Click Here For The Audyssey Pro Installer Kit FAQ

There is a dedicated 'counterpart' FAQ to this one, specially designed for users of the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit. This 'Pro FAQ' is hosted in the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit thread here at AVS. To go directly to the Pro FAQ, click the link above.

4.Click Here For The In-Depth Technical Addendum.

There is an Addendum to the Audyssey FAQ for the discussion of advanced Audyssey issues which arise from time to time and which are not relevant to the Audyssey newcomer seeking simple resolutions to setup problems and so on. The Addendum is hyperlinked, where necessary to the main FAQ, and vice-versa.

Introduction to the Audyssey FAQ and 101


Welcome to the Audyssey FAQ! This FAQ is added to and edited on a regular basis. When AVS members read the FAQ and then post supplementary questions in the Official Audyssey Thread, those additional questions form the basis for additions, corrections and amendments to the FAQ. In this way, the FAQ should become more and more useful over time. If you have any comments or suggestions relating to this FAQ, please leave a message in the thread if you feel it will be of general interest, or send me a Private Message by clicking here. Thank you.

The FAQ (and its included 'Audyssey 101') is designed for the newcomer to Audyssey and attempts to answer some of the questions that are repeatedly asked in this thread. The FAQ is useful for quick and simple answers to those 'frequently asked questions'. The answers are not designed to be 100% comprehensive or to deal with 'advanced' or 'controversial' uses of Audyssey. If you are still having problems, or still confused after reading the relevant FAQ for your problem, then by all means post a question in the thread. There are highly experienced Audyssey users in this thread who are more than willing to help where they can.

The legal bit: Please note that you use any of the information contained in this FAQ at your own risk. Any suggested procedures have been verified by several AVS members prior to publishing, but if you end up 'bricking' your unit, or experiencing any unintended and unwanted consequences by following the advice contained in the FAQ, it is your responsibility and no liability is accepted by the FAQ compiler, AVS Forums or anyone else.

A. General Audyssey Issues

a)0. What is Audyssey?
a)1. What happens when I run Audyssey?
a)2. Why is dialogue from the centre channel difficult to hear or understand?
a)3. I keep reading about Reference Level'. What is it?
a)4. Reference or Preference - which is best?
a)5. How does Audyssey handle dipole and bipole surround speakers?
a)6. Is it possible to save and recall an Audyssey MultEQ calibration?
a)7. What are the Audyssey 'Movie' ('Reference') and 'Music' ('Flat') curves?
a)8. What is THX Re-EQ? Should it be on or off when using MultEQ?
a)9. Why are my high frequencies 'bright' or 'harsh' since running Audyssey?
a)10. How can Audyssey measure anything with those silly blips?
a)11. Where can I find help with the Audyssey Pro Kit?
a)12. What is the relationship between the Equaliser setting in my Onkyo/Integra AVR and Audyssey?
a)13. Will Audyssey work if I am using external amplification?
a)14. Which current AVRs have which version of Audyssey room correction?
a)15. Does Audyssey care what input signal type, processing or decoding method I use?
a)16. What does the term 'F3' mean?
a)17. I made some changes to my room - do I need to re-run Audyssey?

B. Issues That May Arise During Calibration

b)1. Why is Audyssey reporting that my speakers are out of phase?
b)2. Why is Audyssey reporting 'Ambient Noise Too High'?
b)3. Should I move anything out of the room before running Audyssey?
b)4. Should I leave the room when the measurements are running?
b)5. I am getting a speaker detect error - what's wrong?
b)6. Does it matter how I set the controls on my AVR when running Audyssey?
b)7. Audyssey ran OK but is stuck on the 'Calculating' phase. Any suggestions?
b)8. Why doesn't Audyssey work properly with my AVR's 'biamping mode'?
b)9. Why is Audyssey 're-chirping' and raising the test tone level, even when my ambient noise is low?
b)10. Why can I barely hear the test tones when Audyssey is calibrating my subwoofer?

C. Crossover Settings

c)1. Why are my Crossovers set differently to my speaker manufacturer's specification?
c)2. Why do I often see advice to raise the Crossovers to 80Hz?
c)3. I have big tower speakers at the front. Shouldn't I set these to Large'?
c)4. Is it OK to change the Crossovers from Audyssey's recommendation?
c)5. What is the LPF of LFE and what should it be set to?
c)6. Why is Audyssey setting different crossovers for my identical speakers?
c)7. Audyssey is setting my crossovers way differently to what I expected. Why?

D. Mic & Mic Placement Issues

d)1. Do I really need to put the Audyssey mic on a tripod or stand?
d)2. Do I really need to use all the available Audyssey mic positions?
d)3. Where should I position the mic for best results?
d)4. Do I have to use the mic that came with my AVR or PrePro?
d)5. Why do I need to measure where nobody sits?
d)6. I have two rows of seats at different heights. What's the best mic placement?
d)7. Can I extend the Audyssey mic cable?
d)8. Where do I put the mic for the 1st measurement if my listening position is not centred?
d)9. Mic cable integrity issue.

E. Levels, Distance & Trim Settings

e)1. Is it OK to change the trim levels Audyssey sets?
e)2. Is it OK to change the distance settings Audyssey sets?
e)3. Why is it a bad idea to use your AVR test tones and a SPL meter to check trim levels?
e)4. Why has Audyssey set my sub distance much greater than it actually measures?
e)5. Audyssey has set my satellite speaker distances incorrectly - should I just change them?
e)6. What do I do if my trim levels are at the limits of their adjustment ('maxed out')?

F. Subwoofers & Bass

f)1. Why has Audyssey set my sub distance much greater than it actually measures?
f)2. How do I connect and set up two subwoofers?
f)3. How do I set the controls on my subwoofer before running MultEQ?
f)4. If I want to run my subs a little 'hot' where should I make the changes?
f)5. Since I ran Audyssey everything sounds great - but where has my bass gone?
f)6. My sub speaker distance setting is closer than the actual physical distance.
f)7. What is ‘LFE + Main’ or ‘Double Bass’ and should I use it?
f)8. How does Audyssey handle complex multiple subwoofer setups?
f)9. What's the best way to set up Audyssey when also using Velodyne's SMS-1 room EQ system?
f)10. Why can I barely hear the test tones when Audyssey is calibrating my subwoofer? (Links to b)10)

G. Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume

g)1. What is Dynamic Volume?
g)2. What is Dynamic EQ?
g)3. What is Reference Level Offset in Dynamic EQ?
g)4. What's the difference between Dynamic Volume, Dynamic EQ & Reference Level Offset?

H. MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?

h)1. Why do I need MultEQ?
h)2. What is the difference between the various versions of MultEQ?
h)3. How does MultEQ differ from my old graphic equaliser'?
h)4. How does MultEQ differ from other room equalisation methods?
h)5. What does correcting in the 'time and frequency' domains mean?
h)6. Does MultEQ measure anything else?
h)7. If I have MultEQ in my AVR, can I forget about room treatments?

J. Audyssey DSX Questions

j)1. What is Audyssey DSX and how does it work?
j)2. How many channels of amplification do I need to run DSX?
j)3. Is there any specific content designed for DSX?
j)4. If I can choose only one – Wides or Heights – which should it be?
j)5. Isn't Audyssey all about reducing the impact of unwanted reflections, not creating more?
j)6. Where should I place my speakers for Wides and Heights to get the best effect?
j)7. What kind of speakers should I use with DSX?
j)8. Are there any negatives to using DSX?
j)9. Are there any other technologies that do a similar job?
j)10. What are the differences between DSX and these other technologies?

K. Audyssey and Dolby Atmos

k)1. How do I place the mic for Dolby Atmos ceiling speakers?
k)2. Will Audyssey work properly with Atmos-enabled speaker designs?
k)3. Will a calibration include the added speakers in the Atmos configuration?

A. General Audyssey Issues

a)0. What is Audyssey?

The word 'Audyssey' is often used as though Audyssey was just one thing. In fact, Audyssey have a collection of different technologies which aim to solve different audio or acoustic problems. These are described very briefly in this Answer and links are given to more comprehensive descriptions which you can find elsewhere in this FAQ.

Audyssey MultEQ.

The technology most discussed in the Official Audyssey Thread is Audyssey MultEQ. This is the Audyssey technology embedded in your AVR and which can be described as a 'Room Equalisation System'. Even here, the term 'MultEQ' cannot be used as a generic because there are different 'flavours' of MultEQ, which are discussed in detail elsewhere.

There is a complete FAQ section which explains the differences between the different flavours of Audyssey' room correction software. You will find it by clicking the relevant link at the bottom of this Answer.

Audyssey Dynamic EQ.

The way that human hearing works means that as the frequency of sounds changes, the loudness of those sounds gets greater or lesser. As the volume level is reduced, our hearing means that the high and low frequencies diminish more rapidly than the middle frequencies. You may have noticed how the bass, especially, 'disappears' as you reduce the volume level. Dynamic EQ was designed specifically to solve that problem. When Dynamic EQ is engaged, as you lower the volume away from 'reference' (ie master Volume of 0dB), Dynamic EQ continually adjusts the frequencies and surround levels to maintain the balance that the mixing engineer wanted you to hear.

Again, there is detailed information to be found by clicking the relevant link below.

Audyssey Dynamic Volume.

Dynamic Volume is an Audyssey technology which 'smooths out' the fluctuations between softer and louder sounds in your home theatre. If you are listening late at night and your movie contains a very wide dynamic range' (the ratio between the softest and loudest sounds in the content you are playing) you may have turned down the volume on the explosions in your movie, only then to find you have to turn it up again to hear the quieter dialogue. Dynamic Volume does it for you! See the link below for details.

Audyssey DSX.

Dynamic Surround Expansion (DSX) is a proprietary Audyssey technology which lets you augment a standard 7.1 channel surround setup with two ‘Wide’ channels and/or two ‘Height’ channels. Two extra speakers expand the width of the soundstage (Wides) and/or two extra speakers expand the height of the soundstage (Heights), all of which is designed to help produce a more realistic and immersive listening experience. There is a complete FAQ section on DSX and you can find it by clicking the link below.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)1. What happens when I run Audyssey?

This is the process that takes place when you run Audyssey:

You place the mic at the Main Listening Position (MLP) and Audyssey will send a series of 'chirps' to each of your speakers and subwoofers in turn. On this first pass, Audyssey will detect how many speakers you have in your system, so it will attempt to ping non-existent speakers on this first pass only. For example, if you do not have rear surround speakers, Audyssey will attempt to ping them, will not find them and thus will ignore them on subsequent runs at the other mic locations.

You then move the mic to the next position from which you wish to measure. Audyssey now knows how many speakers you have and it will only chirp speakers/subs in your actual system on this, and subsequent measurements. Thus, Audyssey will now ping every speaker (including sub) in your system for each of the subsequent measurements.

There are a few small complications:

  • First, different versions of Audyssey use different maximum numbers of mic positions. 2EQ, for example, uses only 3 mic positions, MultEQ uses 6 and XT and XT32 use 8. But the principles outlined above still apply regardless of the number of available mic positions. Audyssey will still use the first mic position (only) to measure the speaker levels and distances and to 'discover' the number of speakers in your system. For all of the subsequent measurements after the first one, Audyssey will ping each speaker in the system, including the sub.
  • There is an additional issue with regard to XT32 systems which incorporate SubEQ HT (most of them). XT32 SubEQ HT-equipped systems have the ability to set levels and distances for two subwoofers independently, and then go on to EQ both subs as one, taking account of their interaction with the room and with each other. For these systems, on the first measurement at the MLP, Audyssey will ping one sub, then ping the other sub, then ping both subs together. In other words, for the first measurement in a dual sub system with XT32+Sub EQ HT, you will hear three separate lots of sub chirps. But for every subsequent measurement you make, you will only hear one sub chirp, which is both subs being pinged at the same time.

New users may wish to start with the 'Audyssey 101' to become familiar with the procedures and methods of Audyssey calibration. Always follow the advice in the Guides to the letter, even if you are not sure why. Both the 'Audyssey 101' and the FAQ have evolved over a considerable period of time with input from very experienced AVS members and most Audyssey setup problems stem from incorrect measurement procedures.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)2. Why is dialogue from the centre channel difficult to hear or understand?

This may be caused by Audyssey Dynamic EQ (See Reference Level Offset), centre speaker placement or room dynamics. First check that the centre speaker is working correctly and that the tweeter is connected and working. Pink noise test tones will be good for this. Put your ear close to the drivers and tweeter in your centre speaker (not too loud!) and check that they sound like they are working properly. If they are, then try the following before running Audyssey again:

  • Poor dialogue intelligibility is often the result of reflections in your room. Does your room look like it may fall into the 'reflective' category? If so consider adding room treatments, drapes, bookshelves etc to try to damp down the reflections. When you clap your hands in the room, does the noise continue to 'ring' for a brief moment? If so then your room is definitely too lively and this may affect dialogue intelligibility. Pay especial attention to the 'first reflections' from your speakers - side walls, floor, ceiling.
  • A simple way to locate the 'first reflection' points in your room is to have a friend hold a small mirror against the wall while you are seated in your Main Listening Position. Have the friend move the mirror around the wall until you can see the speaker in the mirror. The location of the mirror is a reflection point. Remember you also get first reflections from the floor and the ceiling!
  • Is your centre speaker in a cabinet or on a shelf? If it is, then pull it forward so the front edge of the speaker clears the front edge of the cabinet or shelf by an inch or so. This can make a huge difference.
  • Is your centre speaker angled so that it points towards your ears at the Main Listening Position? If not then angle it up (or down, depending on whether it is below or above the screen).
  • If your centre speaker is on the floor, then raise it up on some sort of stand. Again, angle it towards the Main Listening Position.
  • If you have a reflective coffee table between your centre channel and the Main Listening Position, consider permanently* removing it. These are often the cause of dialogue problems. Glass is especially bad. If you can't remove it, cover it with something to damp down the reflections - eg books or magazines. *Do not remove it for the calibration and then replace it afterwards!
  • If you have a hard wooden floor, consider a nice thick area rug to help damp down reflections from the floor.
  • It may be the source material which isn't mastered very well, so try a different source with known good dialogue reproduction (check some DVD or Bluray reviews).

If you have relocated the centre speaker at all, or made any other room adjustments, run Audyssey again and see if dialogue is now better. Remember you can raise the trim level for the centre channel by a few dB if you wish and it won't spoil your calibration at all.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)3. I keep reading about Reference Level'. What is it?

Reference Level is a standard defined for movie studio mixing rooms and commercial cinemas. Every studio mixing room and every movie theatre is calibrated to this same standard level - hence the term 'Reference Level'.
The standard calls for an average of 85dB when using band-limited (500 Hz to 2,000 Hz) pink noise at the Main Listening Position. The peak level is set at 20dB higher for a maximum per channel of 105dB in the satellites, and an additional +10dB for a maximum of 115dB in the Low Frequency Effects channel (the '.1' in DD/DTS 5.1, 6.1 and 7.1).
This means that when your AVR Master Volume control is set at 0dB, your satellite speakers are expected to play at a peak level of 105dB and your subwoofer is expected to deliver a peak output level of 115dB. This in turn means that your system at 0dB 'Reference Level' will, in theory, sound exactly as loud as every other calibrated system playing at 0dB, and also the same loudness as heard by the film mixing engineer in his studio.

I say 'expected to' above because in reality only the very best home theatre systems will be able to reach these levels without running into clipping or other forms of distortion. Fortunately, these levels are louder than most people can tolerate in a normal domestic environment and people usually set the Master Volume to something like -10dB to -20dB when listening to movies/music and to -35dB to -20dB for TV.
So how does this translate to your Audyssey calibration? Basically, when in calibration mode, your AVR sends a series of 75dB 'chirps' to each speaker and subwoofer in your system. (Audyssey tests for how many speakers you have in your system during the first measurement (only), although you may have to tell it how many subwoofers you are using - all of this is displayed on screen during the measuring phase.) Audyssey measures the actual Sound Pressure Level received by the calibration mic at the Main Listening Position (that is, the No 1 mic position). If the result at the Main Listening Position is, for example, 71dB for a particular speaker, then the AVR's trim for that speaker will be set at +4dB (ie increased by 4dB to achieve the same 75dB as the original 'chirps'). If the mic reads a Sound Pressure Level of, say, 77dB for another speaker, the trim value is set to -2dB (reduced by 2dB) and so on.

If the average band-limited pink noise level is meant to be 85dB at the Main Listening Position, then why are the Audyssey 'chirps' only 75dB?

Audyssey originally used an 85db test tone for the calibration, but received numerous complaints about how loud the calibration tones were (especially since many users performed the calibrations at night when their room was quietest), so Audyssey switched to using a 75db test tone for the calibration (perceptually half as loud and much more tolerable). Because your AVR knows that the Audyssey 'chirp' is -30dB from Full Scale' (-30dBFS), it makes no difference to the final result - 0dB on the Master Volume control will give a Sound Pressure Level average of the required 85dB, as mentioned above - in other words, Reference Level.

Finally, a word about internal test tones on your AVR and those you will find on external test discs. As I say above, on all Audyssey-equipped AVRs the test tones are band-limited pink noise recorded at 75dB (-30DBFS). The signals recorded on most external calibration discs are usually recorded at 85dB (-20dBFS). Both methods can be used successfully to calibrate a system. However, please note that when you play the internal test tones in your AVR, they bypass all Audyssey processing, including equalization.

To get some idea of whether your system is capable of playing at Reference Levels, you may want to play around with these Sound Pressure Level calculators - just feed in the data and they will tell you the Sound Pressure Level you can achieve in your room! If they all give different results, well, that's because there are a lot of relevant parameters and not all of them are necessarily included in every calculator. Just treat them as a guide.

  1. Calculator No.1
  2. Calculator No.2
  3. Calculator No.3

Clearing up some common misunderstandings about Reference Level

AVS member JHAz has kindly provided the following additional commentary:

"Reference level is a calibration not an SPL for any particular content. To repeat, reference level is a calibration. It is used for mixing movies so that every sound in the final sound track is at a specific SPL level when played back at Reference.

"Here's how it works. In the digital age, the maximum encodable level is called 0dBFS (full scale). Everything that is not at full scale can be described as some number of dB from full scale. Movie mixing rooms (and movie theaters, at least theoretically), are calibrated so that pink noise encoded at -20dBFS plays back at 85 dB in each speaker (surrounds are actually 82 but there are always multiples on a movie mixing stage and home calibration equal to the mains is appropriate).

"It was discovered by AVR manufacturers that their customers found 85 dB too loud to listen to a test noise, so they started using a different way to achieve the same thing. Using a pink noise signal encoded at -30 dBFS, home speakers are calibrated at 75 dB. It should be apparent upon reflection that these result in exactly the same calibration. A sound encoded at -40 dBFS will sound at 65 dB at reference level under either calibration approach. A sound encoded at 0dBFS would be 105 dB in the room. It's a bit confusing but you can't confuse sound pressure in a room - - dB SPL - - with the encoding levels of movies or other media.

"I tend to listen to movies well below reference. If I set my master volume at -20 dB, that means that a sound encoded at -20 dBFS on disk will sound 65 dB loud in my room, versus the 85 it would be if I were at reference.

"Now the last twist important for consideration of sub specs is that the LFE channel (the .1 in 7.1) actually can play louder than all the others. What happens is that after reading the digital data off the disk, the system turns it up 10 dB (so the whole LFE channel is encoded differently from the rest of the channels). Thus the LFE channel max, at reference, is 115 dB, and at my -20 dBFS master volume level, the LFE channel will max out at 95 dB.

"There are "rules" for movies as to calibration so that playback can be consistent with the artistic intent of the film's makers, in the calibration described above. There are no rules whatsoever that say how loud anything must be in a movie. Silent passages will be encoded as all zeroes digitally, and will be silent whether you play at Reference or far below. I've seen it said that dialog runs typically somewhere around the 85 dB SPL range, but that's far far from a hard and fast rule and some movies have it significantly lower. V for Vendetta is an example of a movie with much lower than normal dialog levels."

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)4. Reference or Preference - which is best?

This is a topic which is always fiercely debated in the Official Audyssey Thread. The first thing to understand is that - at least with regard to Reference vs Preference - there are really no 'rights' or 'wrongs' as far as your home cinema goes. It is your equipment, paid for with your money and listened to with your ears. So if you prefer a little more bass after your Audyssey calibration, then turn up the bass trim in your AVR. And if you prefer a little less, then turn it down.

But before you do that, it is really important to understand the basic goal of the Audyssey technology:

Audyssey has been developed to solve room acoustics problems and the sound degradations they cause. The goal of Audyssey is not to shape the sound to your preference, but rather to shape the sound to Reference.

Reference' is described more fully elsewhere in this FAQ - see the link at the bottom of this answer.

Audyssey does this by measuring your room and your speakers together, as a system, and then creates correction filters based on those measurements. The reference point for this acoustical correction is based on the only known standard: the mixing room calibration curve used in all film production sound mixing studios.

Assuming there are no problems during the calibration process, what you end up with is a Reference calibration. If you have some personal sound preferences, these are outside of what Audyssey is responsible for. Some people want more bass, while others complain there is too much bass. Some people want flat high frequencies, while others do not. These variances represent the difference between Reference and preference. To be fair though, you should listen to the original Audyssey settings for at least 2-3 weeks to better appreciate what the mixer intended you to hear. After that period, if you still wish to make adjustments (many choose not to after this period of adjustment), do so to suit your preference.

It is important to note that there are some Audyssey settings which are OK to change and which will not affect your calibration - eg the speaker trim levels. But equally, there are some settings that are best left alone - eg the distance settings which result from your Audyssey calibration. Please read the relevant sections of this FAQ to learn more about which settings are OK to change and which really should be left as they are.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)5. How does Audyssey handle dipole and bipole surround speakers?

Although Audyssey officially recommends that you use Dipole speakers for your surround channels if you mainly listen to movies, it actually makes no difference to MultEQ what kind of surround speakers you use. The calibration mic 'hears' the in-room response of the speakers and makes the appropriate corrections and adjustments. The mic has no way of 'knowing' what kind of speakers you are using.

Chris Kyriakakis, Audyssey's CTO, says this on their company website:

"We recommend using dipoles for the surrounds. The purpose of dipoles is to reproduce the diffuse ambient sound that one gets in a movie theater with multiple speakers playing the same content (and thus sounding diffuse)."

Whether you use Dipoles or direct radiators (monopoles) is entirely up to you, depending on your own preferences. Some people who listen to music a lot prefer to use monopoles for their surround speakers, but whatever you use, your Audyssey calibration will not be adversely affected.

If you want an in-depth look at the differences between these types of speaker, the article below is an excellent place to start.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)6. Is it possible to save and recall an Audyssey MultEQ calibration?

This is possible depending on the brand and model of AVR used.

For Onkyo units, follow this procedure:

You can save all of your Onkyo configuration settings, including MultEQ, by using the 'Store' and 'Recall' feature found in most (all?) Onkyo AVRs and Prepros. Use this technique if you have a known good MultEQ calibration you are happy with but you wish to experiment with, for example, different mic positions. First, Store your current settings. Then run MultEQ again and if you don't like the new calibration as much as the old one, simply Recall the old one. Note that you can only store and recall ONE calibration this way - the last one you saved.

To STORE:

  1. Push and hold Setup on the AVR (not the remote)
  2. While still holding Setup, push Enter
  3. Unit displays 'Setup store?'
  4. Still holding Setup, push Enter again
  5. Unit displays 'Setup storing'
  6. Unit then displays 'Complete'
  7. All your settings are now stored.

To RECALL:

  1. Push and hold Setup on the AVR
  2. While still holding Setup, push Return
  3. Unit displays 'Setup recall?'
  4. Still holding Setup, push Return again
  5. Unit displays 'Setup recalling'
  6. Unit then displays 'Complete'
  7. Unit then powers off into standby mode. Switch unit back on, your settings have been restored.

For Denon CI networking models only, follow this procedure:


15 seconds after clicking “Save” the 4520 (or other CI model) will power down and display “Saving” on the front panel. The save takes approximately 10 minutes, after which a message is returned to the browser window prompting you to save the configuration file to your local disk. Save the file, giving it a descriptive name, e.g. Config_mm-dd-yy.dat. Once the configuration file has been saved, the 4520 will power back on. One last step before you are finished: check to see if the saved configuration file is a “good one”. To do this, download a Hex editor program from the web (HxD is a good one, free at http://hxd.en.softonic.com/). Using the hex editor, open the configuration file. If it is a good save, you will see hex code in the file. If it is a bad save, the file will be nothing but zeros. Another alternative is to use Windows NotePad to open the file. In NotePad, a file with all zeros will appear as a blank file, while a good saved configuration will appear in NotePad to be filled with random characters. Note: leaving the network setting as “Always On” seems to increase the likelihood of a bad save. However, once you have verified that the network save has been successful, you should return the network setting to "Always On", because unless you do so, any other devices connected to the 4520's network hub will lose their network connection when you power off.

Network Load

After clicking “Load”, browse your local hard drive to the saved configuration file, and then click “Load”. The unit will power down with “Loading” displayed on the front panel. A typical network load takes approximately 6-7 minutes. After the load completed, the unit will power back on, and “Load Completed” will be displayed on the web screen. Note: if you get the web message “Load unsuccessful”, it’s probably because the network setting is “Always On”.

Edit May 2013: After installing a new Antivirus program (Norton AV 2013), I was never prompted to save the configuration file, perhaps because of the browser protection features of the new AV. After temporarily disabling the AV protection and re-running the network save, I was prompted to save the file as expected. If you experience a similar issue, try disabling the AV.

(Heartfelt thanks to AVS Member AustinJerry for the above Denon procedure notes)

Note for Audyssey Pro Installer-ready processors of any make: with the use of the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit you can (and should) save your mic measurement raw data file (as many files as you like, actually) on your PC. Rather than redoing an entire Pro calibration, you can call up that mic data file and use it to generate a new Audyseey Pro calibration at any time. For example, to change the satellite crossovers, or to create a custom curve, you simply call up a saved mic data file, calculate the filters in Pro and load them into the processor. See the Pro Installer Kit FAQ for more info.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)7. What are the Audyssey 'Movie' ('Reference') and 'Music' ('Flat') curves?

Contrary to popular belief, a target curve that is flat from 20 Hz to 20 kHz is not always the one that will produce the correct sound. There are several reasons for this. One has to do with the translation required from a large movie theater to a smaller home listening room. The other reason has to do with the fact that loudspeakers are much more directional at high frequencies than they are at low frequencies. This means that the balance of direct and room sound is very different at the high and low ends of the frequency spectrum.

In a typical living room, the acoustical conditions require a flat curve up to a certain frequency, and then a roll-off. This roll-off allows the proper balancing of the direct and reverberant sound at high frequencies.

MultEQ creates filters that correct the frequency response of your speakers to a specific target curve. These target curves are called: Audyssey Reference and Audyssey Flat, or alternatively Audyssey Movie and Audyssey Music.

The Audyssey Reference/Movie target curve is designed to translate film mixing room conditions to the home listening room. This curve is flat to 4 kHz, has a slight roll-off from 4kHz - 10 kHz (-2dB @ 10 kHz), and another additional roll-off from 10 kHz - 20 kHz (-6dB @ 20 kHz). This curve should be used for listening to movies in most cases.

The Audyssey Flat/Music target curve has no roll-off. This curve should be used for movies if you are seated in the near field, if your room has a lot of high frequency absorption due to acoustic treatments, if your room is very small or highly treated or if you are using THX Re-EQ (which introduces its own roll-off).


Audyssey research has found that listeners in most home environments are seated in the reverberant field. The mixing of most films (in post-production studios) is completed with the recording engineer seated in the near field. As a result, it is usually beneficial to use a high frequency roll-off (Audyssey Reference/Movie curve) to tame brightness. However, if you have an acoustically treated room and/or are seated relatively close to the front speakers, you may be located in the near field. Therefore, it may prove beneficial to try listening without a roll-off (Audyssey Flat/Music curve) to see if there is an improvement in sound quality.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)8. What is THX Re-EQ? Should it be on or off when using MultEQ?

MultEQ works by creating filters that correct the in-room frequency response of your speakers to a specific target curve. These target curves are called: Audyssey Reference and Audyssey Flat, or alternatively Audyssey Movie and Audyssey Music.

Re-Equalization technologies affect the target curve selection.

In THX specification units you may find a control in the menus called Re-Eq. This applies a high frequency shelf cut filter. Because the Audyssey Reference/Movie curve also applies a high frequency cut (see link below for more details), when listening in THX mode with Re-EQ on, it is recommended to use the Audyssey Flat/Music target curve. This avoids applying a 'double cut'.

Some manufacturers have developed proprietary high frequency roll-off filters with various trade names; Denon Cinema EQ, for example. It is recommended to disable (turn off) such roll-off features so the Audyssey Reference/Movie target curve can operate properly.

The selection of Audyssey target curves is performed manually in some products (eg Denon, NAD, Marantz and some Onkyos) and automatically in others (eg some Onkyos). Consult your user manual for details of the method used in your unit.

To summarise: if you own a THX unit and are using MultEQ's Reference/Movie curve in a non-THX mode, Re-Eq should be OFF. If you are using a THX mode, Re-Eq should be ON and the Audyssey Flat/Music curve selected.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)9. Why are my high frequencies 'bright' or 'harsh' since running Audyssey?

This can happen if the main speakers are not ‘toed-in’ properly, or angled towards the MLP. In these circumstances, if the Audyssey mic is off-axis from the tweeters, Audyssey can boost the high frequencies in order to achieve the desired response. There have been anecdotal reports/speculation that XT32 is especially ‘sensitive’ in this regard due to its super fine resolution for correction. So, if your HF is too bright or even harsh after running Audyssey, and your speakers are not angled towards the MLP, try repositioning them and running Audyssey again.

It is also important to make sure that the mic is pointing directly up towards the ceiling and not at an angle as the latter can also induce bright HF as Audyssey tries to overcompensate for the incorrect 'grazing angle' of the mic. Please check the 'See Also' links below for more information on the all-important Audyssey mic technique.

Please note that some speakers are specifically designed to not be toed-in. Check your speaker manual to see if this applies to your speakers. It is advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions in these cases.

The following 'case history' from AVS Member D Bone is an interesting example of how experimentation and persistence can reduce harshness:

"I have a friend that owns an auto custom install shop, and although he doesn't specialize in home theater, he has forgotten more than I know. I was at his shop on other business and mentioned the issues I was having with Audyssey and he volunteered to come over and help.

He thought my L/R were toed in a little too much and moved them out to point to about 2 feet from my head, rather then right at me head. He liked everything else though, so that's all we changed. He brought some heavy moving type blankets for a better description, and we placed them over the leather couches and chairs. Then he asked me to place the mic where I normally do based on my detailed notes of my last calibration procedure, and he made a few adjustments, mainly in the height of the mic. We repeated that process for all eight locations, and he made small adjustments in either the height or the location, or both.

After we were done I showed him the results and I pointed out that the trims were low at 72.5 db when compared to my SPL meters. They were all balanced close enough, but all 5 were low and that was consistent to every other procedure that I have ran, in which case I raised the speaker trims by 2-3db so they were all 75db on my SPL. He said that he did not want to raise the trims since DEQ works off the MV setting for both surround envelopment and bass/treble enhancement and thought it could be a reason for the harshness and I would get a better result by leaving the trims where Audyssey set them

Those were the changes we made, and he thought the sound absorbing blankets were the biggest factor, followed by the mic adjustments and then the speaker trim settings & toe in adjustment..............Heck, I don't know, but I documented each mic placement so I can reproduce the result if needed."


You can find the original post and comments from other Members here.

It is also possible that your Audyssey mic might be damaged or faulty. This is harder to diagnose. If you have access to a different mic then you could use the other mic to run Audyssey again and see if the problem goes away - but be sure to use the correct mic for your AVR: see the link Do I have to use the mic that came with my AVR or PrePro? for more details. Alternatively, you could follow the suggestion below of AVS Member OldMovieNut and use REW with your Audyssey mic:

"If anyone is experiencing overly bright sound then they need to download REW, turn off Audyssey and run a response curve with their Audyssey mic. I think you'll see a huge HF rolloff. This is what I encountered with my Onkyo 3009. I compared the response with that of my mic from my 5007 and the difference was quite large. I re-ran Audyssey with the old mic and the brightness went away. The mic might have been defective from the start but I think the more likely reason is heat exposure. I believe the Audyssey mic is an electrect and when they are exposed to heat some of the permanent charge bleeds off and the first thing to be impacted is the HF response. Heat of 100 deg F can do this. My 3009 was shipped in the middle of July, right in the middle of this summer's heat wave. I know that the mic had to be exposed to temps in excess of 100 deg during shipping." (Thanks to OldMovieNut for this suggestion.)

There are other possible causes of overly bright HF, including particular amp/speaker combinations, and a room that is overly-reflective, but in those cases, the HF will sound bright regardless of whether Audyssey is used or not. Before repositioning speakers and running Audyssey again, try turning Audyssey on and off in your AVR or PrePro menus. If the brightness is still there even with Audyssey off, then it is not an Audyssey issue.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)10. How can Audyssey measure anything with those silly blips?

The Audyssey 'chirps' are sometimes the subject of misunderstanding as to their true nature and how they work. This is what Chris Kyriakakis, CTO of Audyssey Labs had to say in reply to this question:

"The 'silly blip' you hear is actually a fast sweep. It starts at 10 Hz and runs out to 24 kHz, but it weighs the frequency sweep logarithmically. In other words, the lower octaves get more energy than the upper ones. Sound familiar? In fact, if you take the time domain test signal (it's called a log chirp) and transform it to the frequency domain you will get the exact same spectrum as full range pink noise. During measurement, the initial chirp is approx. 75 dB SPL for a nominal listening distance and speaker sensitivity. The chirp repeats several times per speaker and this has the benefit of increasing the signal to noise ratio in the measurement. Also, Audyssey listens to the background noise in between chirps. If it's above the required minimum then it repeats the sequence of chirps at a higher level to make sure it gets meaningful measurements.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)11 Where can I find help with the Audyssey Pro kit?

MultEQ Pro Calibration is the next, and ultimate, step in Audyssey calibration. Using the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit, you can sample more points in your room (up to 32 as opposed to XT32's 8 for example), customise the sound more precisely to the specific problems in your room, and tailor the sound to your personal preferences. The kit comes with a professional-grade microphone and preamp that are calibrated to the highest industry standards for the most accurate measurements. Detailed help with Audyssey Pro is available in the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit Thread here on AVS which is dedicated to helping users who have progressed onto the Audyssey Pro kit. Just click the link for 'Further Reading' below.

There is also a dedicated, 'counterpart' FAQ to this one, designed specifically for users of Audyssey Pro. This Pro FAQ is hosted on the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit Thread and clicking here or on the link below will take you directly to it.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)12. What is the relationship between the Equaliser setting in my Onkyo/Integra AVR and Audyssey?

For Onkyo/Integra owners:

There are essentially two different EQ systems in your Onkyo/Integra AVR or AVP: Audyssey and the simple Graphic Equaliser found under the 'Equaliser' menu setting (Speaker Setup section). The latter, GEQ, is a simple 7 band equaliser (for each speaker in the system) - a very crude and primitive form of frequency adjustment. Your unit also has the far more sophisticated Audyssey MultEQ system which measures the speaker response and the room's influence on it and then creates thousands of 'filters' to adjust the response of the combined room + speakers so that it matches the 'Audyssey Target Curve'.

In all forms of 'consumer' Audyssey MultEQ, note that there is no way to view a 'graph' or any form of result of the Audyssey calibration. So when you go into the Equaliser menu, whatever may be shown there is nothing at all to do with Audyssey. If you have Audyssey enabled, it takes priority over the Equaliser settings. So you can set the 7 bands in the Equaliser any way you like and you can switch between the Equaliser and Audyssey. However, the two cannot exist simultaneously, so when one is enabled the other is disabled. If you have set up the Equaliser and have it set to On, then disabling Audyssey will automatically engage the GEQ settings. Similarly, if you switch Audyssey on, any settings in the GEQ will be automatically disengaged.

Update for Denon owners:

Things seem to work differently in Denon units and it is indeed possible to use Audyssey at the same time as the Denon 'Tone' controls providing Dynamic EQ is first turned OFF.

With Audyssey On, but DEQ off, an option appears in the 'Audio Adjustment' menu called 'Tone', that has three sub-options. The first option turns Tone Control on or off. If Tone Control is set to on, then bass and treble options are configurable. They are crude sliders allowing for an adjustment between -6 and +6.

If Audyssey is turned off, the Tone option disappears. Likewise, if Audyssey is on and DEQ is also on, the Tone option is no longer displayed.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)13. Will Audyssey work if I am using external amplification?

Yes, Audyssey works fine with external amps. Many Audyssey users run a prepro plus external amps or use the pre-outs on an AVR to run external amps. Audyssey doesn't care about the amps or where they 'live' and your calibration will be exactly the same as if you had a typical AVR with internal amplification.

Note that if you have an AVR that has been successfully calibrated by Audyssey and then later on an external amp is hooked up via pre-outs (if available), I would definitely suggest re-running Audyssey. The internal power stage of the AVR compared to the external amp may have a different gain structure which means even though the correction filters will not be affected, the reference level of 0 dB Master Volume setting will produce a different sound pressure level, thus throwing off Dynamic EQ.

Also note that should the external power amp have a user adjustable volume control or gain control (many have) it should be adjusted once prior to running Audyssey and never ever touched again. If the amp's own gain control is moved then the same issue described in the paragraph above will also occur. If, for some reason, you do need to change the gain control on the external amp, then run Audyssey again.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)14. Which current AVRs have which version of Audyssey room correction?

Here is a current list of AVRs and prepros with their associated version of Audyssey Room Correction. While I have endeavoured to ensure that the data is correct, prospective buyers are advised to check with the manufacturers' websites prior to purchase. This list is believed to be correct as at 10 October 2013. (Thanks to AVS Member GIEGAR for additional input)

AudysseyAVRVersions9.pdf 54k .pdf file

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)15. Does Audyssey care what input signal type, processing or decoding method I use?

No. The input signal type and processing/decoding is totally independent of the room correction. It doens't matter if the sound came from a straight decoding of a Dolby Digital container, or was an analog 2ch signal converted to digital through a DAC and then matrixed to 5.1ch by Dolby Pro Logic with sprinkles and icing on top. All that matters is how the sound that comes out of your speakers interacts with the room.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)16. What does the term 'F3' mean?

This is a term you will come across several times in various answers in this FAQ.

A useful definition of F3 is: The roll-off frequency at which a driver's response is down -3dB from the level of its midband response. Mid-band response is basically an average level of the speaker's or cabinet’s overall output within the usable frequency range - which is almost certainly what Audyssey are referring to when they say that MultEQ ceases to create correction filters once it detects the -3dB response of the speaker.

Chris Kyriakakis, the CTO of Audyssey, described it like this:

"F3 is not an Audyssey term. It's a standard term in loudspeaker design. Every speaker starts to roll off (decrease) its output at a certain frequency depending on the size of the speaker driver and the enclosure. The F3 point is the frequency (in Hz) where the speaker response has dropped by 3 dB. It is a convenient way to compare the low frequency performance of speakers by having a point to look at. The AVR typically uses this frequency as the crossover point to the subwoofer. It assumes that the subwoofer response is rising at a similar rate and will take over below that frequency. Output is the level you hear at every frequency. So, yes, related to volume. Frequency is related to tone. Low frequencies are deep tones (bass)."

In a nutshell, Audyssey measures the frequency response which is picked up by its mic and once it detects the F3 of the speaker/room combination, it ceases to create filters below that point. The reasons Audyssey works this way are explained in other FAQ answers, which are linked below.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

a)17. I made some changes in my room - do I need to re-run Audyssey?

Any significant change to the room or the system will usually mean that you need to run Audyssey again. For example, if you do any of the following, then it is recommended that you do a new calibration:

  • Install new speakers or subwoofer
  • Move the position of the speakers or subwoofer
  • Move the furniture around
  • Add or remove items of furniture or drapes
  • Change the Main Listening Position
  • Add or remove area rugs
  • Add or remove any reflective surface, such as mirrors, paintings etc.
  • Add additional, external amplification

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'General Audyssey Issues' Section Header.

B. Issues That May Arise During Calibration

b)1. Why is Audyssey reporting that my speakers are out of phase?

MultEQ detects absolute phase for each speaker during the measurements. Occasionally it may report an 'out of phase' error. If this happens to you, the first thing to do is to check that the physical wiring of all your speakers is correct, both at the speaker and at the AVR. They should all be connected positive to positive and negative to negative. If they are, and Audyssey still reports an out of phase condition, then it is probably because some speakers are deliberately designed with intentional phase reversals internally (usually to address Crossover problems). MultEQ detects that and reports an error. If this happens to you, and you are sure all your wiring is correct, just press 'skip' and carry on with your calibration. Doing this does not affect anything - MultEQ only reports the possible reversal of wiring - it does not automatically switch the phase.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

b)2. Why is Audyssey reporting 'Ambient Noise Too High'?

This error message usually occurs if Audyssey detects a level of background noise in your room which would preclude a correct calibration. When running the measurements, be sure to turn off anything which can contribute to the background noise. Prime suspects are:

  • HVAC units
  • Room or ceiling fans
  • Noisy refrigerators
  • Children
  • Buzz from cable or sat TV box
  • Buzz from light dimmers
  • Aircraft overhead
  • Road noise from outside

If Audyssey detects on any of these it will try to create correction filters for them and this will clearly adversely affect your results. Remember, just because you can't hear the noise doesn't mean that Audyssey can't. If Audyssey detects the noise level is too high, it will raise the level of the chirps and try again. It will do this three times before giving up and displaying the error message. So long as the error message is not displayed, Audyssey will cope with the ambient noise level and deliver a good calibration.

If you get the error message and you have ensured that everything is turned off, you might want to try the calibration later at night when external noise is usually much lower. If you still get the error message despite that, then there is a chance that you have a fault. Often the mic may be faulty or have become damaged. Mics can be damaged by static electricity for example. If this is the case, you will need to obtain the correct replacement for your mic and then try again. If your unit has a factory reset procedure, it may be worth trying that before you blame the mic.

It is worth noting that you do not need to be paranoid about background noise levels. Chris Kyriakakis has stated (Ask Audyssey 14 July 2012) "If you are not getting a noise error then the data collected is perfectly fine." In other words, the calibration is not somehow 'improved' by having a very quiet background noise level. Just keep the noise levels as low as you can when calibrating.

Similarly, some people have worried about a sudden, loud transient noise affecting the quality of their calibration - such as a clap of thunder or their dog barking. This is what Chris Kyriakakis has to say on that subject (Ask Audyssey 14 July 2012): "The reason we take 10 chirps per speaker is to overcome the effects of transient noise. They will be averaged out if they only happened during one of the chirps."

Elsewhere, Chris has elaborated further: "Each chirp sweeps from the lowest to the highest octave. Then the chirp repeats several times for each speaker. That helps make the measurements immune to background noise. If there is more noise than the acceptable level the process repeats with the chirps playing louder."

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

b)3. Should I move anything out of the room before running Audyssey?

No. If you have, for example, a coffee table between the Main Listening Position and the mic, and you suspect that it is causing reflections which might damage your calibration, there is a temptation to remove it and then put it back once the calibration is finished. However, this is not good practice. Generally, anything that is in the room when listening should also be in the room when calibrating. Similarly, do not introduce extra damping materials into the room for the calibration unless they will be used when listening.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

b)4. Should I leave the room when the measurements are running?

You can (quietly) if you wish but it isn't necessary. Just keep quiet and do not position yourself between the mic and the speakers. There is no need to sit in the Main Listening Position chair, and indeed this is not recommended. Please note that if you do decide to leave the room, do so between measurements, after moving the mic to the next position, and before starting the next measurement round. Once the chirps are playing, it is not recommended to move at all in case your movements cause spurious issues that may affect the calibration's accuracy.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

b)5. I am getting a speaker detect error - what's wrong?

Sometimes during the measurement phase of the calibration, Audyssey fails to detect one of your speakers. While this problem can have a variety of potential causes, it can often be resolved by following the troubleshooting procedure below.

  1. Try a different speaker cable - you may have a connection problem.
  2. Check the speaker connectors on the back of the speaker. Do you have separate connectors for tweeter and woofer? If so, these can sometimes come loose, or the metal strip connecting the terminals together can become loose. If so, this will result in loss of sound from the tweeter or woofer and this will cause the speaker detect error.
  3. Make sure the speaker is working correctly. Sometimes a driver in your speaker may be damaged - play content with high frequencies and put your ear close to the tweeter. Can you hear it working properly? Do the same for the other drivers. If you cannot hear one of the drivers, or it sounds strange in some way (rough, intermittent etc) then one of the drivers is not working and may need to be repaired or replaced.
  4. Swap the speakers temporarily. For example, if the centre speaker is the problem, swap it with the left speaker. Does the problem now move to the left speaker? If so, then the centre speaker has a fault of some kind.

If after checking all of the above, Audyssey is still failing to detect a speaker, post a question in the Official Audyssey Thread mentioning that you have followed the troubleshooting steps in the FAQ.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

b)6. Does it matter how I set the controls on my AVR when running Audyssey?

No - it doesn't matter. Audyssey ignores them during the calibration. It doesn't matter if you left Dynamic EQ on or off, nor if Dynamic Volume was switched in; it makes no difference where the Master Volume control is set, nor if you have any tone controls operating. The trim levels don't matter, nor does it make one jot of difference if the AVR is in Dolby PLIIx mode, or Pure Audio or any other mode. Audyssey ignores the lot when it does the calibration. So just plug in the mic, follow the on-screen instructions and you are good to go.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

b)7. Audyssey ran OK but is stuck on the 'Calculating' phase. Any suggestions?

This has come up occasionally and seems to be resolved by following the procedure below.

For Onkyo units:

Try unplugging the unit from the mains power, leaving it for 5 minutes and then plugging it back in and try to run Audyssey again. This 'reboots' the unit and has been known to solve various problems, including this one. This procedure does not cause any user settings to be lost.

If that does not fix the problem, then try resetting the Onkyo unit to 'factory defaults' and then running Audyssey again. You do this by following one of the procedures below - note that the factory reset does cause all your user settings to be erased, so make sure you have made a note of them before trying this.

RESET Onkyo to Factory

To reset the AV receiver to its factory defaults, turn it on and, while holding down the [VCR/DVR] button on the unit, press the [ON/STANDBY] button on the unit. "Clear" will appear on the display and the AV receiver will enter Standby mode.

On some Onkyo units you may need to use the procedure below instead:

Completely clearing an Integra/Onkyo 2010 model:

This has been confirmed to work on: DTR-70.2/DTR-80.2/DHC-80.2/PR-SC5508 units.

1) Set the Volume to Default Level: 30 (absolute) -52dB (relative).

2) Push and hold 'Memory' on the unit - then push 'Standby/On' on the unit. There will be some weird text on front panel display at this point. Press 'Return' on the unit.

3) It will show "All Clear??", then press 'Return' on the unit again.

For Denon Units:

Try unplugging the unit from the mains power, leaving it for 5 minutes and then plugging it back in and try to run Audyssey again. This 'reboots' the unit and has been known to solve various problems.

If that does not fix the problem, then try resetting the Denon unit to 'factory defaults'. The reset procedure varies from model/year to model/year so please check your Owner Manual for the correct procedure for your unit.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

b)8. Why doesn't Audyssey work properly with my AVR's 'biamping mode'?

Some enthusiasts have spotted a setting in their AVR that is called 'biamping mode' or something similar. When using this setting, typically the rear surround channels are called into play and connected to the tweeter terminals of the front right and left speakers while the regular front right and left channels are connected to the woofer terminals of the speaker, after having removed the 'jumper' that was previously connecting them. At first glance this seems to be a good way to use those two 'wasted' channels if there are no rear surround speakers in the system.

The problem that arises with Audyssey is due to a bug in the Audyssey software (or the AVR's implementation of it) and when running the calibration, only the first set of sweeps uses both channels for the front speakers - that is, both the tweeter and woofer drivers are swept on the first sweep but on subsequent sweeps only the woofers are swept. This is an acknowledged bug which, so far, has not been fixed. Effectively it means that you cannot use the 'biamp mode' with Audyssey in affected AVRs (see Note below). UPDATE: Onkyo have corrected this bug with a Firmware update. If you are still experiencing the problem, download and install the latest Firmware for your Onkyo unit.

Audyssey are probably in no hurry to see this bug fixed for the reason that this so-called form of 'biamping' is actually nothing of the sort. True biamping requires an external, active crossover between the preamp and the power amp. If you do not have such an arrangement then you are simply wasting good wire and not actually biamping at all.

The form of 'biamping' in your AVR is often called 'audiophile biamping' or, less politely but possibly more accurately, 'fools' biamping'. With this method, all that happens is that full range signals are sent to the high and low legs of the speakers' own passive crossovers. In other words, the tweeter receives a full range signal from the preamp/power amp and the woofer also receives a full range signal. Which is exactly what happens if you use your AVR in its normal mode - the passive crossover inside the speaker in both cases splits the power to the appropriate driver. In other words, there is no scientifically sound reason at all why 'fools' biamping will make the slightest difference to your sound quality.

Note: While passive biamping serves no worthwhile purpose in any make or model of AVR, the bug may only exist in some (and maybe all) Onkyo units. It has not been confirmed in Denon units.

For a more scientific, but easily followed, explanation of passive biamping (and biwiring and true biamping) please click the links below under 'Further Reading'.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

b)9. Why is Audyssey 're-chirping' and raising the test tone level, even when my ambient noise is low?

Audyssey says: "A 're-chirp' occurs when the data collected for a particular speaker did not have sufficient signal to noise ratio (SNR). The SNR could be low either because the ambient noise in the room is too high, or the signal level is too low."

So Audyssey will raise the levels of the test tones and try again in two different circumstances: when the ambient noise is too high (see this answer for more detail) or when the signal level as detected by the mic is too low. The latter can occur when, for example, one or more speakers is significantly further away from the mic than the others - eg for Height speakers.

Either way, it doesn't matter. The 're-chirp' increases the SNR and the data collected is fine for the purposes of the calibration. There is no 'problem' to fix, which is why Audyssey designed the chirping process this way.

(Thanks to AVS Member AustinJerry for posting this question originally on the 'Ask Audyssey' website.)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

b)10. Why can I barely hear the test tones when Audyssey is calibrating my subwoofer?

Don't worry - this is normal. The test tones played through the other speakers sound fairly loud, even at 75dB, but the the sub is barely audible. This is because human hearing is very deficient when it comes to very low frequencies. So the reality is that the sub is playing the test tone at 75dB, but the way your hearing works is preventing you from properly hearing it. Just let the calibration run its course and when you come to play normal content later your sub will sound just fine.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Issues That May Arise During Calibration' Section Header.

C. Crossover Settings

c)1. Why are my Crossovers set differently to my speaker manufacturer's specification?

Audyssey measures the in-room frequency response of the speakers and reports its findings to the AVR/AVP which then sets a Crossover based upon the manufacturer's design decisions.

The Crossover thus reported will be what Audyssey 'hears' in the actual room at the time of measurement and may differ greatly from the speaker manufacturer's specification, which are usually quoted from testing in an anechoic chamber (ie with the room effect removed) or are just wildly optimistic for marketing purposes.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Crossover Settings' Section Header.

c)2. Why do I often see advice to raise the Crossovers to 80Hz?

Audyssey has simply 'listened' during the measuring phase and reported the -3dB point of the frequency response to your AVR. What this means is this: when Audyssey sends the test chirps it will measure the frequency response of your speaker and find where it starts to roll off (i.e. become 'less loud'). When Audyssey detects the point at which the frequency response is down by 3dB ('the -3dB point' or 'F3') it stops trying to correct for the in-room response. So if, for example, your speaker is -3dB down at 50Hz, Audyssey will detect that and will only apply the EQ down to 50Hz. Audyssey will not correct below 50Hz for fear of boosting the lower frequencies beyond the capabilities of your speaker and damaging it. (Advanced users may wish to read the Technical Note below).

It is then the responsibility of the AVR manufacturer to decide what to do with that information. In some cases, if the -3dB point is, say, 40Hz, the AVR will set the speakers to Large. In other cases, the same situation will result in the speakers being set to Small with a 40Hz Crossover set in the AVR menus. In addition, Audyssey takes into account the placement of the speakers in the room and the room characteristics itself when evaluating the -3dB point. So if your speakers are in a corner, for example, they will deliver more perceived bass than if they are out in the open because the room reinforces' the bass. All of this will influence the Crossover that is actually set. You can leave the Crossover to where it was set if you wish. However

There are various good reasons to use a Crossover of 80Hz or thereabouts:

  1. By doing so, you will relieve the strain on the main speakers from trying to reproduce very low frequencies. This can help the speakers perform better in the mid and higher frequencies.
  2. By doing so you also relieve the considerable strain on the amplifier that it experiences when trying to produce very high Sound Pressure Levels at very low frequencies, such as often found in movie content. It takes simply huge amounts of amplifier power to generate 115 dB at 20Hz or even lower - the amp in the subwoofer has been designed in conjunction with the subwoofer itself to drive the speaker to those levels at those frequencies. By handing off these frequencies to the sub, it greatly eases the strain on your AVR or external amplifier and this will have a beneficial effect on the way it drives the other speakers in the system.
  3. By using a dedicated sub (or subs) to produce the low bass, you are also able to place the sub/s in the optimum room position with regard to room modes. Front speakers have to be positioned for imaging and the best place for a bass speaker is not usually the best place for imaging. By crossing over to a sub at 80Hz, you can place the main speakers in the best place and also the sub in the best place too.
  4. If you have Audyssey XT or MultEQ, the filter resolution for the sub channel is much higher than it is for the satellites, so handing more of the frequencies off to the sub lets you benefit from that greater filter resolution over a wider range of frequencies. With XT32, the filter resolution for the sub channel is the same as for the satellites, so that consideration doesn't apply to anyone fortunate enough to have XT32.

Technical Note: A very small number of advanced users have reported that they believe they have evidence that Audyssey MultEQ XT32 can boost below F3 - sometimes by as much as +10dB. Not every speaker is capable of handling this amount of boost, especially at low frequencies. If correct, this could create problems by limiting the headroom of the system. Currently, this issue has been confirmed only by user measurements of the Onkyo TX-NR818 and there is no evidence to suggest that other models are, or are not, affected. The 'boost' is happening with the satellite channels, not the subwoofer channel, so it is not related to the old 'normalisation bug' which we understand has now been fixed. I should add that neither Onkyo nor Audyssey are able to reproduce this issue, and so far, the problem has only been reported by a very small number of users, so the problem may be specific to certain setups and certain speakers. The simple 'solution' to the problem, if you are experiencing it, is to select a higher crossover point. (Thanks to AVS Member IgorZep for bringing this to our attention)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Crossover Settings' Section Header.

c)3. I have big tower speakers at the front. Shouldn't I set these to 'Large'?

(This answer assumes that you have a subwoofer in your system.)

Small and Large in this context are really misnomers. Rather than describing the physical size of the speakers, what it really means is that some speakers can reproduce lower frequencies more efficiently than others. So-called 'full range' speakers might go down as low as 30Hz - but the problem is, if they do, they won't usually go down very low AND very loud at the same time. Movies call for very deep bass - often 20Hz or even lower - at very high Sound Pressure Levels - 115dB at 'Reference Level'.

Also, remember that if you set your main speakers to Large, you are bypassing the bass Management in your AVR and sending no sound at all (apart from the .1 Low Frequency Effects channel) to your sub. Your sub has been specifically designed to handle bass frequencies and will almost certainly do so better than your main speakers. Manufacturers' specs for bass performance are wildly exaggerated and often made for purely marketing reasons. You bought your sub for a reason - so make the most of it!

You may want to have a look at what Audyssey say about setting speaker Crossovers in the article linked here by Chris Kyriakakis, Audyssey's CTO, where he discusses whether to set speakers to 'small or large'.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Crossover Settings' Section Header.

c)4. Is it OK to change the Crossovers from Audyssey's recommendation?

Raising (never lowering) the Crossovers is fine and will not affect the calibration that Audyssey has made. Indeed, there are good reasons to raise the Crossover settings as mentioned elsewhere in this FAQ.

If you decide to change any of the Crossovers determined by Audyssey, note that it is always OK to RAISE the Crossovers from those suggested but never to LOWER them. This is because Audyssey corrects down to the -3dB point of the speaker's frequencies response, so if you lower the Crossover from Audyssey's suggested setting you will create an uncorrected 'hole' in the frequency response. It's fine to raise them and doing so does not harm the Audyssey calibration in any way at all.

Finally, it may be worthwhile to compare by listening to any Crossovers allowed under the above rules to see which might be preferred, particularly in the case of XT32. Just remember not to lower them from Audyssey's setting!

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Crossover Settings' Section Header.

c)5. What is the LPF of LFE and what should it be set to?

First of all, Audyssey doesn't touch this setting. Neither is it a Crossover, although you will often see it described as such. It stands for Low Pass Filter of the Low Frequency Effects Channel. The Low Frequency Effects (LFE) channel is the .1 in a 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 audio track and it carries special content put there by the content mixer. The Low Pass Filter is the filter that is applied to that content. The content is authored up to 120Hz so the only setting that is correct for this is 120Hz. If you set it to anything below 120Hz then any content between 120Hz and whatever you set it to is lost. It is not redirected anywhere - it is simply discarded. This filter has nothing to do with any speaker Crossovers etc and it is not set by Audyssey. The only reason it is in the FAQ is that people often think that Audyssey has set it and they confuse it with their speaker Crossovers. Just set it at 120Hz and leave it there.

UPDATED VIEWPOINT: The paragraph above represents the conventional Audyssey thinking on this issue. However, Roger Dressler (formerly of Dolby Labs and the guy who helped them develop many of their technologies, including bass management) and Mark Seaton (founder and owner of Seaton Sound, makers of the legendary Submersive subwoofers) have both recently put forward an alternative view. Mark explains it like this in this post:

"I personally tend to set the low pass on the LFE channel at 80Hz in most systems by preference. I think many forget that the difference between a 120Hz low pass and an 80Hz low pass is nothing more than a shelving filter. If the low pass is 4th order, the 80Hz filter is about 7dB lower at 100Hz and about 4dB at 80Hz. A 100Hz low pass setting would have about 1/2 that difference. The adjustment has more effect on shaping the LFE track's response than it does on cutting off content. If you're running the subs with a rising response on the low end which blends with the main speakers, experimenting with 80, 100 vs. 120Hz is basically a means to taper the top end of the LFE channel. Setting this lower than 120Hz is not hacking off content any more than setting your sub a few dB hot would destroy a soundtrack."

What this means in effect is that you do NOT lose the content between 80Hz and 120Hz if you set the LPF of LFE to 80Hz - you simply alter the way it is presented, because the filter is not a brickwall but a shelving filter. Setting it to 80Hz simply allows you to 'shape' the LFE track's response.

Roger goes on to elaborate more in a separate post (my bolding below):

"Back when DTS was making their name with Jurassic Park and Apollo 13 on 35mm film, the LFE bandwidth was 80 Hz. The Dolby Digital codec has a bandlimited LFE channel, and it has a brickwall filter at 120 Hz as a means to protect the LFE channel from higher frequencies (which can still be present even with a 4th-order LPF at 80 Hz). It seems that when films moved from optical to digital delivery, the LFE bandwidth crept up to 120 Hz or maybe even higher (the PCM LFE channel has no inherent response limitation). I suppose it helps less than magnificent subwoofers in "regular" cinemas provide more whomp. But I find that LFE in the 100-120 Hz region is just a lot of boominess that unfortunately too often clouds the deeper bass in the bottom 2 octaves. Setting the LFE filter to 80 Hz does a dandy job of dealing with that boominess IMHO.

In addition, I have found that 5.1 music recordings are not well disciplined in their use of LFE, leading to muddiness that is even more annoying. Again, the 80 Hz LFE filter setting really helps the bass knit together more cohesively." Background information also in this post of Roger's.

I should emphasise that the generally accepted setting for the LPF of LFE is 120Hz. However, this is one of those 'preference' issues which members may want to experiment with and come to their own conclusions. I have tried it myself and found that I can definitely hear (or feel) a difference between 80Hz and 120Hz for the LPF. 120Hz gives more slam and I feel the gunshots etc more in my chest. But Roger is right - it also adds a touch of boom too. 80Hz gives a little less slam but overall it's tighter. We're talking small, but noticeable differences. It also seems to be movie-dependent - I guess some mixers add more to the LFE channel than others, or more above 80Hz anyway.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Crossover Settings' Section Header.

c)6. Why is Audyssey setting different crossovers for my identical speakers?

This can happen and it is not a fault. Where you place the speakers in your room can greatly influence their low frequency response. For example, if your surround speakers are wall-mounted, they will probably show a lower roll-off (more bass) than identical speakers mounted on stands and placed away from the wall. Speakers close to a corner will exhibit a lower roll-off than identical speakers placed well out into the room, and so on. Because Audyssey measures the actual in-room frequency response of your speakers, it will take account of how the frequency response is influenced by speaker placement. The entire point of measuring and not relying on published specs is to find out what each speaker is doing in your room and then applying corrective filters!

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Crossover Settings' Section Header.

c)7. Audyssey is setting my crossovers way differently to what I expected. Why?

First off, let's get this out of the way: Audyssey doesn’t set the crossovers. Audyssey measures the F3 of the speaker it is testing (the point where the frequency response is 3dB down) and passes this information to the AVR. The AVR then decides where to set the crossover based on this information. Ultimately the crossover that is set will depend on how the AVR manufacturer decided to take notice of the information being passed to it: some may decide that a particular F3 requires the speakers to be set to 'Large' (no crossover at all) while others may take that same information, for the same speaker, and set the crossover at 50Hz, for example.

But for the purposes of this answer, let's assume that Audyssey does set the crossover as it makes it much simpler for me to write the answer without constantly having to refer to the above.

OK. This is the sort of question that was asked by AVS Member carminepesce:

"I just took another Audyssey calibration run on my X1000 (Audyssey XT) and I'm little concerned as to the crossover settings that have come up at the end. I'm running DefTech ProMonitor 1000s in the front and a ProCenter.... The crossover settings after this most recent Audyssey run were 150Hz for the fronts (which seem way too high) & 60Hz for center (which is what Def Tech suggests anyway). My room is quite small (11'W x 15'D)... Any suggestions or should I run Audyssey again?"

First, you can safely ignore what the manufacturer recommends. The way they test speakers doesn't bear much resemblance to the way we actually use them in our homes. Our rooms will have a considerable influence on the frequency response capabilities of the speaker and so it can be very different from what the manufacturer measured in his anechoic chamber and so on.

Nonetheless, if someone has a capable speaker that has a FR that extends down to, say, 50 Hz or even below, it is surprising to see Audyssey set a crossover to the subwoofer of 150Hz. It is also probably not the best XO setting.

This has been discussed many times in the Official Audyssey Thread but there has been no definitive answer as to why this happens.

One theory is that for some reason the Audyssey mic is hearing the F3 of your front speakers as being higher than would be expected. Try running the calibration again using slightly different mic positions. Stay within the general mic position guidelines but move the positions a few inches from where they were for the previous run. Sometimes, small room anomalies seem to have the potential to confuse Audyssey and moving the mic resolves it. Worth a try.

Also, there is the possibility that the position of the LR speakers places them in a room "null". So another thing to try is to move the LR speakers into different positions in the room, or conversely, move the seating positions forward or back a foot or so and then to run Audyssey again. A combination of these two suggestions gives a third option to try.

Please report back to the Thread if you have tried either of these potential remedies with success.

(Thanks to AVS member Gooddoc for assistance with this response)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Crossover Settings' Section Header.

D. Mic & Mic Placement Issues

d)1. Do I really need to put the Audyssey mic on a tripod or stand?

Absolutely yes. This is one of the most common reasons for a poor calibration. You will not get a good result if you hold the mic in your hand, or if you place it on the back of your couch or on some other makeshift support. The mic should be mounted at ear height (when sitting in your usual position), pointed vertically up to the ceiling, clear by at least 2 feet from any walls and placed within the boundary of your left and right speakers. A tripod is OK and many people have these in their possession, but it can be difficult to use as one leg often has to be rested on the floor and the other two legs rested on the chair or couch.

Much better is a mic stand - these are fairly inexpensive and they make running the measurements much, much easier. Something like this is fine:


You will also need this gadget to allow you to attach the Audyssey mic to the stand:


For anyone who doubts that a few dollars spent on a proper mic stand is not money well spent, read this real-life quote from AVS member pbarach:

"I just redid my Audyssey calibration (Denon 4310 + AS-EQ1), this time using the boom mic stand recommended in this thread, instead of a camera tripod. This dramatically improved the clarity of center channel dialogue and the impact of bass. I would not have believed this would have made that much of a difference! The boom mic stand was probably the smallest audio purchase I've ever made that resulted in such a noticeable difference in sound (and convenience)."

If your floors are the wooden suspended sort, you may want to place the legs of the mic stand on some sort of absorber to minimise the chance of spurious bass signals entering the mic via the floor and the stand itself. These are ideal for most people:


If your floor is solid or carpeted then you probably don't need the absorbers.

When measuring with a mic stand, try to avoid positioning the boom arm between the mic and the speakers.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Mic & Mic Placement Issues' Section Header.

d)2. Do I really need to use all the available Audyssey mic positions?

Yes. The best results will be obtained by using as many mic positions as your version of MultEQ allows. The more data provided to the Audyssey filters, the better end result of your final calibration.

This is what Chris Kyriakakis, Audyssey CTO, has to say on subject:

"Taking measurements in one spot guarantees bad sound. The algorithm needs to collect data from around the listening area in order to work correctly. One should not think of mic locations as being the same as seating locations. The recommended pattern for measurements is shown here. Whether you have one listener or many, all available measurements should be taken to provide the algorithm with the needed data."

The number of mic positions allowed depends on your 'flavour' of MultEQ. The basic 2EQ allows for only 3 mic positions; MultEQ allows for 6 positions and both MultEQ XT and MultEQ XT 32 allow for 8 positions. However, please note that AVR manufacturers have some flexibilty in this regard. Denon, for example, has reduced the maximum number of mic positions on their XX13 XT models from 8 to 6 positions when using the Setup Wizard, but all 8 (recommended) can be done outside of the Setup Wizard. Marantz has also taken the same route with their 2012 models featuring XT.

(Thanks to AVS Member jdsmoothie for Denon mic information)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Mic & Mic Placement Issues' Section Header.

d)3. Where should I position the mic for best results?

The first mic position should always be at the Main Listening Position (because it is used to determine the distances and levels of each speaker). The other positions should be either side at roughly 2 feet intervals and then in front and behind if possible. The order of the positions after the first position does not matter. It is very important to avoid extreme positions - so never put the mic up against the back wall or outside the angle spanned by the front Left and Right speakers. Taking measurements in these positions will cause MultEQ to make unnecessary adjustments. The mic should be at the same height as your main L&R speakers' tweeters, which in turn should ideally be at ear height. It is not generally advised to place the mic higher or lower than the physical location of the tweeters (but see the exception noted below). However, there are many setups where it is not possible for the tweeters to be at ear height; in these cases, place the mic at the spot where the speakers are aimed (it is usually advisable to aim the speakers towards the MLP by 'toeing-in the L&R speakers and angling the centre speak up or down - but do take the advice of your speaker manufacturer on toe-in as some designs perform best when not toed-in).

Exception: if your chair backs are quite high, you will need to raise the mic so that it can 'see' the rear surrounds or surrounds. Also, do not put the mic closer than about 12 to 15 inches to the backrest of the chair, even if this means it is not exactly where your head is when listening.

The graphic below shows Audyssey's recommended mic placements for a typical room and seating arrangement. Always start with mic position 1 at the Main Listening Position and then use the 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc positions (in any order) as shown, up to the maximum your version of Audyssey allows.



  • Use only the microphone included with your AVR. If you cannot find it, contact the manufacturer for a replacement.
  • Attach your microphone to a mic stand (preferably) or tripod.
  • Take the measurements at ear height and with the mic facing the ceiling.
  • Start the measurements from the primary listening location and spread out from there.
  • Approximate distance from the first measurement position is 2 feet in any direction.
  • Focus on the central listening area and avoid extreme positions such as the back wall or too far beyond the left and right speakers.

For more information about the graphic and mic placement in general, visit Audyssey's own guide to mic placement - linked below.
One more point about the Main Listening Position. If you are primarily interesting in getting the best result for just one seat (either because you are the only listener or you are the only listener who really cares about audio fidelity), then place the mic for position 1 at the centre of that seat. If, however, you wish to consider other seats, then place the mic in the centre of the listening area for position 1.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Mic & Mic Placement Issues' Section Header.

d)4. Do I have to use the mic that came with my AVR or PrePro?

The easy answer to that is yes. Your Audyssey mic has a calibration file which is stored inside your AVR or prepro. If you use a mic from another unit, then there is a chance that the calibration file will be inappropriate for that mic and the whole calibration will be off as a result. So to be absolutely sure, then always use the mic that was bundled with your unit.

However, it is also possible to use the mic from another unit of the same brand as your unit - eg, a Denon mic with a Denon unit, an Onkyo mic with an Onkyo unit and so on. The caveat to this is that the mic must be of the same type and model. Early Onkyo units, for example, were supplied with a black, round, flat mic (often called a 'puck' mic for its vague resemblance to an ice hockey puck). Later Onkyos were supplied with a silver mic shaped like a long pyramid or the Eiffel Tower. These 'puck mics' and 'Eiffel Tower' mics are notinterchangeable. The current mic used by Onkyo is designated ACM1H and this is printed on the box the mic comes in.

Note for Denon units:

The ACM1H mic is interchangeable with the DM-A409 mic used with Denon AVR-XX09/X89 through AVR-XX12 models. Older Denon models use the following mic types, neither of which is compatible with each other or the newer DM-A409/ACM1H mics:

  • XX06: DM-S205 (hockey puck style)
  • XX08/X88: DM-A405 (tower style)
  • 4308/5308/AVP: DM-A505Z
  • 5308/AVP (w/3D upgrade): DM-A409

With the introduction of the new Denon AVR-XX13 models, Denon is now including the new "ACM1HB" black mic which Audyssey has confirmed is interchangeable with the DM-A409 (Denon) and ACM1H (Onkyo, Marantz) mics.

(Thanks to AVS Member jdsmoothie for Denon mic information)

UPDATE June 2012: Onkyo, Marantz and Denon units now all use the same ACM1HB mic.

If you damage or lose your mic, they are available from your unit manufacturer for around $US25. Be very careful about buying from other sources such as auction sites as there have been counterfeit mics (especially from non-USA eBay resellers) seen there (as verified by Audyssey) and these will quite probably not be properly calibrated by your unit's calibration file.

Long story short - take care of your mic and preferably use the one that came with your unit.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Mic & Mic Placement Issues' Section Header.

d)5. Why do I need to measure where nobody sits?

The quick answer to this is that Audyssey does not measure seating locations - it measures the room.

If you follow the mic placement rules described elsewhere, you will see that Audyssey insists that, for best results, you use as many mic positions as your particular unit allows (maximum of 8). This is true even if you have only two seats, or even one seat. The reason is that during measurement Audyssey needs to sample a broad area of the room in order to gather sufficient data for its correction algorithms to work. Because Audyssey is EQing your room and speakers as a 'system', the more information it can gather about your room, the better designed its correction filters will be. Audyssey uses highly sophisticated 'averaging' techniques in order to deliver an excellent EQ for the entire room. So even if you have only one seat in your home cinema, you are still advised to use all the mic positions your Audyssey version allows.

Some advanced users have reported that for cinemas with only one or two seats they have achieved better results by tightly clustering the mic positions around the actual seating areas, using spacing as close as 6 inches to 1 foot apart (rather than the recommended 2 to 3 feet). This is not recommended by Audyssey but, if you have the time and patience, it is easy to experiment and to see if you prefer one methodology's results over another.

As always, however you choose to place the mic, be sure to follow the general mic placement rules and keep away from walls, chair backs and keep within the left and right boundaries of your main speakers.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Mic & Mic Placement Issues' Section Header.

d)6. I have two rows of seats at different heights. What's the best mic placement?

Audyssey normally recommends placing the mic at ear height. If you have two or more rows of seats, the rearmost rows are often elevated and it is obviously not then possible to use the same mic height for all rows. In these circumstances, Audyssey recommends having the mic at ear level in each row.

Although this goes against the usual advice for rooms without rows of seats, it is specifically suggested by Chris Kyriakakis, Audyssey's CTO, on their website here.

It is possible that people with two rows of seats may be mainly concerned with getting a good result for the front row, as the rear row may only be used occasionally, or for listeners who care less about overall sound quality. In that case, I would put your No 1 mic position at ear level where you usually sit, and cluster the remaining mic positions around the MLP. If you care about the seats either side of you, then spread the mic positions out a little to encompass them too. If you don't care at all about the rear row, ignore it totally. If you care a little bit about it, maybe put two mic positions there. Just experiment. and see which sounds best to you.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Mic & Mic Placement Issues' Section Header.

d)7. Can I extend the Audyssey mic cable?

Those with large rooms, or with their AVRs in a separate closet outside the main listening room may find the supplied mic cable is too short. You can extend the cable without any problems, up to a maximum additional length of 25 feet (7.5 metres). However, be sure to use the correct type of cable.

This extension cable was specifically recommended by Audyssey, but any similar cable will be OK:


It is important that you do not use an extension cable longer than 25 feet (7.5 metres). Because the mic signal is lower level than line-level audio signals, there will be significant high frequency loss in the cable if you exceed 25 feet/7.5m. That loss will make the mic "think" that your speakers have decreased high frequency response and the result will be to incorrectly boost the high frequencies.

For more information, a group of custom installers tested the concept of using cable extensions with Audyssey and their findings are linked in the 'Further Reading' link below.

One other possibility for those requiring even longer cable runs (albeit an expensive solution) is to use the Audyssey Pro Kit (assuming your AVR is Pro-ready of course). Audyssey Pro comes with cables sufficient for 75 feet (23m) runs to the mic and this can be extended to 100 feet (30m) with a suitable extension cable. See the link below to the Audyssey Pro Installer Kit FAQ for more information.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Mic & Mic Placement Issues' Section Header.

d)8. Where do I put the mic for the 1st measurement if my listening position is not centred?

Some room layouts mean that it is not possible to have any seat centrally located between the left and right front speakers. The question then arises as to where to place the mic for the first measurement (the one which sets the level and distances). The answer depends on what you wish to achieve.

  • If you often have two or more listeners in your cinema room, then follow the usual Audyssey advice and place the mic in the middle of the seating area, even if nobody sits there. This will result in the mic being centred between the left and right speakers. This will give a good result for all the seats in the room.
  • However, if you are more concerned about getting the best result you can for one seat, then place the mic for the first measurement in the centre of that seat.

As always, be sure to follow the FAQ advice on placing the mic at ear height, pointing up to the ceiling, two feet away from walls and so on and so on. I strongly recommend that you 'See Also' all of the relevant sections of the FAQ, linked below.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Mic & Mic Placement Issues' Section Header.

d)9. Mic cable integrity issue.

This is an usual case, but worth reporting. If you have a similar 'unusual' issue, it may be worth checking the cable carefully, as AVS Member jdsmoothie discovered:

"I was doing an Audyssey EQ and during the sub calibration, the volume was only measuring 14db. Not sure what the issue might be, I noticed the cable was still all coiled up as I had just taken it out of the box and only needed to extend it 9' so didn't bother with unraveling the rest of the coiled cable. I uncoiled it completely and voila!, the display read 72db which I thought was strange so I checked the cable more closely and sure enough there was a cut in the cable where it had been partially severed. I taped it back together and the calibration completed without further issue, however I still plan on replacing the mic."

(Thanks to AVS Member jdsmoothie for this info.)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Mic & Mic Placement Issues' Section Header.

E. Levels, Distance & Trim Settings

e)1. Is it OK to change the trim levels Audyssey sets?

Yes, if you wish. The trim settings set the individual loudness of each speaker in your system. The idea is that from your Main Listening Position you will hear the sounds from each speaker at the same level. Audyssey uses a sophisticated method of determining these levels and usually they require no adjustment. However, some people, with less than ideal speakers, placement or rooms, sometimes feel the need to raise the centre channel trim a little in order to improve dialogue intelligibility. There are probably better ways to tackle dialogue intelligibility problems though - click the link below for more information. Changing the trims does not adversely affect your calibration (but it does affect the way Dynamic EQ works - see the Section on Dynamic EQ for more details - link below). One thing to note: there is no point whatsoever in changing all the trims by the same amount - this is exactly the same as changing the Master Volume by that amount.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Levels, Distance & Trim Settings' Section Header.

e)2. Is it OK to change the distance settings Audyssey sets?

What Audyssey describes as 'distance' is really 'delay'. The idea is that the sound from each speaker arrives at the Main Listening Position at exactly the same time. This helps your system produce a 'precise' sound with excellent imaging and clarity. If the sounds all arrive at different times, the result is a 'smeared' sound, lacking clarity and giving poor imaging across your soundstage. Audyssey sets these different delays by calculating the time it takes the sound to travel from the speaker to the Main Listening Position (at the speed of sound of course) and setting an appropriate distance. For this reason, it is not advisable to change the distance settings unless you really know what you are doing.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Levels, Distance & Trim Settings' Section Header.]

e)3. Why is it a bad idea to use your AVR test tones and a SPL meter to check trim levels?

Many newcomers to Audyssey seem to like to 'double check' their final channel trims by using a SPL meter and the AVR's internal test tones to see if each channel measures the same, or measures the expected 75dB. If the channel trims do not measure the same or differ from 75dB, these users will often change the AVR trims to match the readings given by their SPL meter. This is not a good idea and the following answer explains why.

Since the AVR's internal test tones are not (and cannot be) processed by Audyssey, when you measure the AVR's test tone levels, you're measuring what your room is doing to unprocessed audio. Audyssey is designed to correct those inequalities for you. It is therefore possible that if Audyssey has had to perform a lot of correction on one or more speakers, relative to the others, then the SPL readings of unprocessed tones will be different to the reading that Audyssey has made, post-correction. It is also possible therefore that the SPL readings will vary from speaker to speaker for the same reason.

Use an external test signal instead.

If you use audio level test tracks from a good, properly recorded audio calibration disc (or other reliable external audio signal source), they can be processed by Audyssey. If Audyssey's calibration has done its job correctly, when Audyssey is enabled (and Dynamic Vol and Dynamic EQ are disabled) those externally-supplied calibration sounds should all produce the same sound level from each speaker, at the Main Listening Position.

Why this is important.

When Audyssey applies a set of filter taps to a channel, it implements a group of boosts and cuts at various frequencies. If, for example, the cuts are greater over a larger number of frequencies than the boosts, the "average" level of the whole signal will be reduced. Audyssey will then raise the average level of the whole signal to compensate. Audyssey does this by looking at the entire bandwidth of the signal or "chirp.".

When you measure the SPL of a bandwidth-limited "noise" signal, (the receiver's internal test tones), if Audyssey has made changes to the frequency response within that bandwidth, but you're not measuring those changes because Audyssey is not engaged in the signal path, you end up with a measurement that is different from what Audyssey measured. Therefore, if you re-set the levels based on these measurements, and then re-engage Audyssey, you now have a different calibration than Audyssey's, but one that doesn't take Audyssey's filters into account.

Why would anyone feel the need to do this? Audyssey measures the levels for all channels using the same mic, in the same spot with the same test signal. It then calculates the filters for all the channels. Finally it compensates for the average level changes the filters induce, and sets the level trims to ensure that all the channels are outputting equal average signal levels. It calculates them all the same way, using the same algorithm. Why would anyone think they're wrong... and then re-set them without taking the filters into consideration?

If you make changes to the trim levels after running Audyssey, using the receiver's internal test tones, it means you are uncorrecting the corrections Audyssey has made to compensate for its filters. If you change a channel level by 1.5 dB using the internal test tones, when you turn the test tones off and the Audyssey filters are re-engaged, that channel's calibration is off by 1.5 dB from the rest of the channels.

The way to confirm this is to use external test tones that run through the Audyssey filters. I have 2 such test tone discs, Avia and The 5.1 Audio Toolkit. I have checked the calibration with the internal test tones and both test discs.

Here are the results:

Channel Test Tones (dB) AVIA Disc (dB) 5.1 Audio Toolkit (dB) Left 76.0 76.0 76.0 Centre 76.0 76.0 76.0 Right 77.5 76.0 76.0 R Surround 76.0 76.0 75.5 L Surround 76.0 76.5 76.5 Subwoofer 73.0 75.5 75.0



Using the internal test tones results in a 4.5 dB difference in calibrated levels between channels. Using 2 different test discs, with Audyssey engaged for both, results in 1 or 1.5 dB of difference. If we could measure and average the exact same way Audyssey does, (sweeps + averaging), I'm sure we would see that Audyssey correctly compensated for the EQ filters it applied, and set the levels correctly, and that using the test tones afterwards results in un-correcting the corrected levels. I know it seems intuitive to want to change the levels when your SPL shows that they don't appear to be correct. Nonetheless, they ARE in fact correct and it's the reading you get from the SPL meter that are not. There's nothing wrong with your SPL meter; you're just not using the proper test signals.

Audyssey doesn't get everything right. However, one thing it does *very* well is to get the level calibration correct. To override that, based on measurements taken with a different mic, different test signals and without the Audyssey filters engaged is... well, let's just say it's not recommended!

(Thanks to AVS Member Craig John or the bulk of this answer and the measurement results)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Levels, Distance & Trim Settings' Section Header.

e)4. Why has Audyssey set my sub distance much greater than it actually measures?

Subwoofers usually have internal processing in their amplifier circuits and this can cause a delay in the sound reaching the listener. Audyssey 'hears' when the actual sound arrives at the mic during testing and sets the distance accordingly. Because 'distance' really means 'delay' the setting Audyssey chooses for the sub distance is almost always greater than the physical distance of the sub. (In other words, if the sound is delayed, Audyssey sets the distance to be greater than reality so that the sound 'starts' earlier than it otherwise would). The aim is for the sound of the sub to arrive at the Main Listening Position at the same time as the corresponding sounds from the other speakers and Audyssey does this very well.

You may read that some advanced Audyssey users change the sub distance from Audyssey's recommendation to improve the 'splice' at the region of the Crossover between the sub and the main speakers, but this is beyond the scope of this FAQ. Bottom line: unless you know what you are doing, and have independent measuring equipment to verify it, leave the sub distance where Audyssey has set it.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Levels, Distance & Trim Settings' Section Header.

e)5. Audyssey has set my satellite speaker distances incorrectly - should I just change them?

Incorrect distance settings for the satellite speakers usually indicates a procedural error when measuring, and the subsequent EQ is likely to be poor. Be sure to read the relevant section of the FAQ or '101' and then run Audyssey again. If the problem persists even when you are sure you are using the correct procedure, post your problem in the Official Audyssey Thread for expert help. Remember, it is only the subwoofer distance that should deviate from the actual measured difference, not the satellites.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Levels, Distance & Trim Settings' Section Header.

e)6. What do I do if my trim levels are at the limits of their adjustment ('maxed out')?

During the calibration, Audyssey sets each speaker's volume level so that all your speakers are playing at the same level, relative to each other, after the calibration is complete. These settings are called the 'trim levels' and you can see how Audyssey has set them by going into your AVR or Prepro's menus.

The range that Audyssey works within depends on the make of your unit: for Onkyo it is -12dB to +12dB for the satellites and -15dB to +12dB for the subwoofer; for Denon and Marantz the range is -12dB to +12dB for the satellites and the subwoofer. For other brands, check with your user manual. After calibration, all your speakers should show a trim setting within these ranges.

It is important that no trim level is 'hitting the stops' or maxed out. The reason for this is that if you do hit the stops, you have no way of knowing if Audyssey would have gone even further if it had been able to. So if, for example, your sub is set to -15dB, then there is the possibility that it could have been set to -17dB if Audyssey had allowed it.

If subwoofer trim is maxed out:

Ideally, your sub should be in the trim range of approximately -3.5dB to +3.5dB. If your sub is not in this range then you can adjust it by using the sub volume control knob and running Audyssey again until you get the trim where you want it.

Also, one of the reasons for having Audyssey's subwoofer trim level in the +/- 3.5dB range is that values closer to -12 dB might prevent a subwoofer's Auto-On feature from working because the output of the receiver would be too low. (We recommend that if your sub has an 'Auto-on' setting on its power control, to turn this OFF before running MultEQ. This will ensure the sub always 'wakes up' when it is first pinged.) There is another reason why it is important to aim for a sub trim in the approximate range of +/- 3.5dB and this concerns the safety of your sub and avoiding damage to it. Please read this FAQ Technical Note for more information.

If satellite speaker trims are maxed out (external amplification):

However, what do you do if your satellite speaker trims are maxed out? They do not (usually) have volume controls. The trim levels are determined by a combination of several factors - for example, the efficiency* of your speakers, your amplifier gain, room size, speaker location etc. It is unusual for one or more satellite speakers to be maxed out but it can happen. If you are using external (separate) power amplification with very efficient speakers, then a good solution is to use line level attenuators or 'pads' (see link below for examples). These devices fit between the prepro and the power amp and reduce (attenuate) the input signal to the power amp. They are passive devices so they have no negative impact on your sound quality at all but, as always, the advice is to choose good quality components.

If satellite speaker trims are maxed out (internal AVR amplification):

If you are using an AVR's internal amplification, follow this procedure: you can use an SPL meter to make sure that the levels of the speakers are the same. If they are not, then make adjustments to make them the same. Example: assume your centre channel reads 78.5dB, your surround left channel reads 77.5dB and your right channel reads 76.5dB, all with trims of -12dB. Adjust the trims so that all of your channels read 78.5dB (the loudest level of the set of measurements you just made). This will ensure that all of your channels are now set to the same level - in this example 78.5dB.

After that, turn down the master volume (not the trims) until the measured noise is 75 dB on the SPL meter (C-weighted, Slow). 75dB is the target calibration level in a system adjusted to play correctly at Reference level. Write down that master volume setting because it is now your new reference listening setting (instead of the 0 dB setting normally used). You will need an external test disc if you wish to complete this step because the master volume control is inoperative when using the internal AVR test tones (although users report that on some Denon units the MV is operational when using the internal test tones). Alternatively, it is probably reasonable to assume that your new Reference level setting (in this example) is -3.5dB and not 0dB - in other words, the same amount by which you raised all the trims above the level of 75dB. Be aware that since you have changed the Reference Level setting on the master volume, Dynamic EQ will not function exactly as intended as it assumes that Reference level is 0dB. You can compensate to some extent for this by using Reference Level Offset.

*By speaker efficiency I mean how loud the speakers play for a given input, usually stated as something like 89dB/1w/1m, which means they play at 89dB for a 1 watt input when measured at 1 metre distance.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Levels, Distance & Trim Settings' Section Header.

F. Subwoofers & Bass

f)1. Why has Audyssey set my sub distance much greater than it actually measures?

Subwoofers usually have internal processing in their amplifier circuits and this can cause a delay in the sound reaching the listener. Audyssey 'hears' when the actual sound arrives at the mic during testing and sets the distance accordingly. Because 'distance' really means 'delay' the setting Audyssey chooses for the sub distance is almost always greater than the physical distance of the sub. (In other words, if the sound is delayed, Audyssey sets the distance to be greater than reality so that the sound 'starts' earlier than it otherwise would). The aim is for the sound of the sub to arrive at the Main Listening Position at the same time as the corresponding sounds from the other speakers and Audyssey does this very well.

You may read that some advanced Audyssey users change the sub distance from Audyssey's recommendation to improve the splice' at the region of the Crossover between the sub and the main speakers, but this is beyond the scope of this FAQ. Bottom line: unless you know what you are doing, and have independent measuring equipment to verify it, leave the sub distance where Audyssey has set it.

If this answer helped you. please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Subwoofers & Bass' Section Header.

f)2. How do I connect and set up two subwoofers?

This depends on which version of MultEQ you use. If you are fortunate enough to use XT32, then (with the exception of Onkyo's 818 unit) you have an AVR or prepro designed specifically to be able to EQ two subs thanks to the inclusion of an Audyssey feature called Sub EQ HT. XT32+Sub EQ HT measures the delays and levels of each sub independently and then EQs them together in the room as a pair. In this case, connect one sub to each sub outlet on your unit, tell your unit you have two subs connected (in the menus not by whispering into its grilles) and then run XT32, following the onscreen instructions. It is recommended to run identical subs or subs with very similar critical performance specifications because if one sub has significantly different (i.e. inferior) performance, the combined performance of the two subs could be degraded.

NOTE: if you have the Onkyo 818, this has a slightly different Audyssey implementation to other XT32-equipped units. It has a full implementation of XT32 but it does not have the SubEQ HT feature which every other (at the date of this FAQ edit) XT32-equipped unit has. SubEQ HT sets levels and distances individually and as this is not the case for the Onkyo 818, the setup procedure described in b) below should be used.

If you have the MultEQ or MultEQ XT version of Audyssey, things are more complicated - see below.

If you have an AVR with two sub outputs, the way these sub outputs is wired internally may fall into one of two categories: the two subs may be:

a) two genuinely independent sub outputs or they may simply be

b) connected internally as if by an 'internal Y-cord' (see below).

Consult your AVR user manual to determine which method your AVR uses.

If your AVR uses method a) above, then follow the procedure below. An example of AVRs using this method of connection is the Onkyo x007 range.

Setup for 'method a)' AVRs:

For AVRs wired by method a) you will get best results by connecting both subs to ONE outlet on your AVR with a Y-cord. This applies even if your unit has two sub outlets - simply use Sub Outlet A or 1. This is because these AVRs allow Audyssey to set the levels and distances separately for each sub, but also then go on to create individual correction filters for each sub separately. This is not ideal because we want the subs to be EQd as a pair, working together in the room, not as two distinct subs each "doing their own thing".

Using a Y-Cord adapter:

When you run MultEQ or MultEQ XT in this type of AVR, you will find that by using a Y-cord connector Audyssey now pings both your subs as if they are one and sets the level and distance as if they are one and then goes on to EQ them as if they are one. This also means that it is highly recommended to use identical subs, if possible, and place them equidistant from the Main Listening Position or very close together (collocated). Because Audyssey MultEQ XT cannot set the levels and the delays individually, you can see why it is a good idea for the subs to be equidistant from the Main Listening Position and identical to each other, or have very similar critical performance specifications. It is also important to set the levels on both subs so that they are the same, before you do the Audyssey calibration. One way to do this is to run a test tone from your AVR or a calibration disc with one sub switched off. Set the active sub so that it reads about 72dB using a Sound Pressure Level meter located at the Main Listening Position. Then switch that sub off and repeat the procedure for the second sub. It is vital that you do this step or your subs will be unbalanced'. If you aim for 72dB on each sub then you will allow for the greater output from the pair. MultEQ and MultEQ XT will adjust the sub trim to the appropriate level when doing the calibration.

Setup for 'method b)' AVRs:

For AVRs wired using method b), you may connect each sub to its own output on the back of the AVR. This is identical to using a Y-cord as described above. AVRs which use this method of wiring are all Denon units with Audyssey MultEQ or MultEQ XT and dual sub capability. Please follow the instructions under the heading 'Using a Y-cord adapter' above (but with each sub connected to its own AVR sub output of course).

As a general rule of thumb, if you have MultEQ or MultEQ XT in your AVR and are unsure of how it is wired, use a Y-cord for best results.

Some versions of MultEQ XT (eg Onkyo) allow for setting up dual subs with an on-screen configuration before the full set of measurements are taken. If so, then this is the best way to get the levels of the subs right before starting the calibration.

You will get better results if you are able to position the subs in the room in the best possible locations prior to running MultEQ or MultEQ XT. Sub positioning is outside the scope of this FAQ but there are many articles available on the net by googling.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Subwoofers & Bass' Section Header.

f)3. How do I set the controls on my subwoofer before running MultEQ?

Many powered subwoofers have controls that are set manually. It's important to follow some simple guidelines to avoid having these controls interfere with proper subwoofer calibration and integration with the satellite speakers.

  1. If your sub has a direct input (often called the LFE input) then always use that. That input bypasses any filters etc in the sub and ensures that the AVR or PrePro bass management works as intended.
  2. If your sub does not have a direct input, then set the lowpass filter control on the sub to its highest position (often something like 150Hz). By doing so you will be sure that the internal filters do not interfere with anything that MultEQ does.
  3. Some subs have a switch which disables any internal filters, often called something like a bypass or defeat control. If your sub has this then use this switch to set the internal filters to OFF. Consult your sub manual for more information.
  4. It is important to set the gain (volume) control on your sub so that it is not too high. If it is set too high, then your AVR may run out of level correction range and hit the stops'. If that happens you have no way of knowing if the trim would have been set even lower if possible. Ideally, you should be looking for a final sub trim somewhere between -3.5dB and +3.5dB.

    Technical Note: There is another important reason why it is advisable to avoid maxing-out your sub trim, especially in the positive (+) range. In pro and consumer equipment, different components and manufacturers have different acceptable ranges for the signal inputs and outputs. Exceed this range and you will produce clipped signals in the chain. As outlined in this article, the ideal way to ensure that all your equipment is set up correctly as far as gain structure goes, is to actually measure the output and input ranges of all the components in your chain, but most folks aren't going to be doing that. In lieu of measuring the limits of the input and output ranges in each piece of equipment (specifically for the subwoofer in this case), the safer route is to adjust the subwoofer's gain so that the AVR's trim settings are centered, and not too close to the extreme ends of the range. This should ensure that you do not clip the input of your sub amp, which has the potential to damage it. (Thanks to AVS Member djbluemax1 for this information).

  5. Set your subwoofer gain control to about 12 o'clock as a starting point. If MultEQ reports high negative trims - eg -12dB, then turn the sub gain control DOWN and run MultEQ again. Repeat until you are happy. Tip: to get the sub trim level adjusted correctly, you don't need to do a full calibration - just set the mic at the Main Listening Position and make the minimum number of measurements all from that one mic position. Once you have the sub set correctly, then run MultEQ using all available mic positions for your version.
  6. If your sub has a phase control set it to 0 degrees prior to running the calibration.
  7. If you use a tactile transducer (eg Crowther or Buttkicker), be sure to turn it off before running Audyssey.
  8. If your sub has an 'Auto-on' setting on its power control, make sure to disable it by setting the sub to be always ON before running MultEQ. In other words, run the sub in its fully powered-on mode. If not, the sub might fail to 'wake up' when it is first pinged and this will throw off the calibration.
  9. If your sub has its own internal EQ, you can either bypass it and rely solely on MultEQ to EQ your sub, or, if you wish, you can use your sub's internal EQ in conjunction with MultEQ. If the latter, then use the sub's internal EQ first and then run MultEQ as usual.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Subwoofers & Bass' Section Header.

f)4. If I want to run my subs a little 'hot' where should I make the changes?

Many people prefer to run their subs a little hotter than Reference. That's fine but remember to make the adjustment in the AVR or Pre-Pro trim settings and not on the sub itself. This makes it easier to return to a known starting point if you decide to go back later. Adjusting the trims does not in any way invalidate the calibration but it may affect the way Dynamic EQ works (see elsewhere in this FAQ for more info - link below).

There is one caveat to the advice above: if adjusting the AVR trims to make the sub hotter takes the final trim setting outside the +/-3.5dB recommended range, please read the information below.

You may want to consider this comment from Ed Mullen, Director of Technology at renowned subwoofer manufacturer SVS:

"A general rule when level matching the subs and the speaker channels is to run the gain hotter at the subs and the AVR sub trim level cooler. That keeps the AVR sub signal clean and allows upward adjustability to run the sub hotter if needed."
In other words, if you prefer to raise the sub level above the 'Reference' level set after running Audyssey (i.e., run the subs 'hotter'), you should raise the sub gain control so that after running Audyssey, the sub level is set to a bigger minus value (eg. -9db). This will ensure that, after raising the sub volume using the AVR trim control to suit your 'Preference', the final sub trim level is still set to between +/-3.5db.

This advice is only for those who wish to run their subs hotter. The point of Ed's comment is that there are effectively two ways to achieve the objective of running the sub hotter:

  1. One is to simply turn up the level on the sub trim in the AVR. But this could mean that you end up with a sub trim of something like +8dB, which is not a good idea for various reasons.
  2. The other is to turn up the gain on the sub itself, but this is not recommended because it makes it more difficult to return the sub to its original Audyssey calibration level if required. Adjusting the sub trim in the AVR is functionally equivalent to adjusting the sub's gain, but also easily allows restoring the original setting.

So the best advice is to do what Ed suggests - turn up the gain on the subs and then re-run Audyssey. Because you have turned up the gain on the sub, Audyssey will set the trim on your AVR lower. This means you can then go into the AVR menu and turn up the sub trim level without exceeding the recommended -3.5dB-+3.5dB range.

It is OK to ignore the initial level setting of 75dB for the subs. Repeat: It is OK to ignore the initial level setting of 75dB for the subs.

When Audyssey runs, the first step is to set the subs to 75 dB. It is perfectly OK to ignore that suggestion, and in fact it is recommended that you do so, if you wish to run your subs 'hot' for preference. Instead, set them at around 83 to 85 dB. This will yield a -10dB or so subwoofer trim setting after Audyssey. This provides 10 db of headroom before you even get to 0dB on the trim scale, and completely eliminates the possibility of overdriving the sub amp inputs. This method is recommended by Mark Seaton, founder of Seaton Sound, the makers of the legendary Seaton Submersive subwoofers.

The reason for doing it this way is that the higher the sub volume is set, the lower will be the output level of the AVR line driver. That gives more headroom in the AVR line driver and more headroom in the input stage of the sub amp. The downside is that this also lowers the signal to noise ratio, but there tends to be very little noise with a sub anyway. By and large you're best off to have the sub amp volume relatively high and the AVR sub out volume relatively low.

(Thanks to AVS Members Craig John and Bill Fitzmaurice for their contributions to this answer)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Subwoofers & Bass' Section Header.

f)5. Since I ran Audyssey everything sounds great - but where has my bass gone?

The most likely cause of weak bass is playing the system well below reference level. If your AVR includes Dynamic EQ, then turn it on and see if the bass comes in where expected. If there is no DEQ, then you must raise the subwoofer level yourself to get closer to correct spectral balance at moderate/low listening levels. (Thanks to AVS member Roger Dressler for this observation).

If you are listening at reference levels or have Dynamic EQ engaged and are still unhappy with your bass, chances are, if your calibration followed the FAQ recommendations, it hasn't gone anywhere. What you are now hearing is flat, 'reference' bass and this can take some time to get used to. Before you did your Audyssey calibration, chances are that room modes were causing large peaks and nulls in you bass response. If one or more of those peaks happened to coincide with a particular frequency that you experienced often - eg an explosion in an action movie - then that bass frequency would be exaggerated and you may have simply become used to it. When the peak is removed you can think something is 'missing'. The best advice is to listen for a week or two with the system exactly the way Audyssey calibrated it. Over this period you will become familiar with what flat bass sounds like - it will be 'tighter', 'leaner', more 'tuneful' and less 'flabby', 'boomy' or 'bloated'. If after listening for a couple of weeks you still feel that you would prefer a little more bass, then it is perfectly acceptable to turn up the trim in your AVR menu (see the specific question about that in the FAQ - linked below).

Most people find that Audyssey does a good job of correcting the bass in their room but do be aware that bass EQ gets better, the better version of MultEQ that you use. 2EQ, the entry level version, does not actually EQ the bass at all. MultEQ and MultEQ XT does a pretty good job and MultEQ XT32 does a superb job.

I recommend using music rather than a movie to evaluate your bass, as the bass in movies can 'come and go' quite quickly - also, you probably have a far better idea of what a bass guitar sounds like than what an explosion in the Nakatomi Plaza Building sounds like. A good instrumental track with a well played bass guitar or double bass will let you hear the difference Audyssey really makes. I usually use any track featuring Stanley Clarke on bass. You will hear every note, played at the loudness the musician intended, with no 'missing' or exaggerated notes. It should sound rhythmic and tuneful. Try turning Audyssey off and comparing the before and after!

Finally, remember that there is no substitute for getting your sub or subs placed properly in your room before running Audyssey. Audyssey cannot work miracles. Sub placement is outside the scope if this FAQ but if you google it there are numerous excellent guides out there. To start you off I've included a link below to a very good Audioholics article.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Subwoofers & Bass' Section Header.

f)6. My sub speaker distance setting is closer than the actual physical distance.

It is perfectly normal for Audyssey to set the sub distance to greater than the actual distance (see e)1), but what if the sub distance is set closer than reality? This can indicate a problem with the way the mic was used during calibration. If the mic was not used with a boom stand or tripod, for example, and was placed on a chair or hand held, then it is possible for spurious signals to adversely influence the calibration. For example, if your chair is placed on a wooden floor and the mic placed on the chair, then it is possible that bass signals travelling through the floor get into the chair and then into the mic. Because sound travels faster through wood than it does through air, this can cause a reported distance that is shorter than the physical distance between the mic and the speaker. If the sub distance is set short, Audyssey's advice is to measure the actual distance and to set the sub to that - but it is important that before doing so you have eliminated all possibilities of spurious signals mentioned above. I cannot over-emphasise the importance of using a boom mic stand or tripod to hold the mic during the measuring phase.

Some designs of subwoofer do not introduce any delays of their own, and in those cases one would expect the reported sub distance to be the same as reality. If that is the case, and you know for sure that your sub is of such a design, then leave the distance setting as it is reported by Audyssey.

The following are all possible causes:

  • a. Holding the microphone in your hand.
  • b. Use of a subwoofer with a two-driver push-pull configuration. This is an unexplained phenomenon which has been noted by Audyssey.
  • c. Tactile transducers (e.g. Crowson, Buttkicker, etc.) left on when measuring.
  • d. Acoustical low-frequency noise in the room (e.g. projector fan, cable hum).
  • e. Electrical noise coming from another system component. The most common offender is the cable or other set-top box (STB). In several cases, disconnecting the STB from the system solved the problem.
  • f. The power supply of a computer connected to the same electrical circuit.
  • g. If you are certain the above scenarios (a. - f.) do not apply to your situation, then you can manually set the distance of the subwoofer in the AVR to the actual physical distance. Ensure you measure from the center of the subwoofer driver to the height of the microphone tip.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Subwoofers & Bass' Section Header.

f)7. What is ‘LFE + Main’ or ‘Double Bass’ and should I use it?

The short answer is ‘No’ – you should not use these settings and, if you have a subwoofer, you should never set your speakers to ‘Large’. For the more detailed reasoning behind this, read on…

Denon units have a setting called ‘LFE + Main’ and Onkyo units call this ‘Double Bass’. They both set out to achieve the same thing. Before we look at the issues surrounding these settings, we need to clarify what your AVR manufacturer means when they say speakers are ‘Large’ or ‘Small’.

For starters, these designations have nothing whatsoever to do with the physical size of your speakers. In AVR-speak, ‘Large’ means “no bass management” and ‘Small’ means “bass management is used”. For our present purposes, ‘bass management’ means that you have a subwoofer and you want to send bass frequencies to it – usually all the frequencies below a certain crossover level that you have chosen (or which your AVR has chosen when you ran your Audyssey setup routine). Often this crossover will be 80Hz.

If you set your speakers to ‘Large’ then ordinarily no bass management at all is used. This means that your expensive subwoofer is doing nothing other than handling the relatively small amount of content in the LFE channel (the .1 in 5.1).

If , however, you decide to use a crossover to send the low frequencies to your subwoofer, then you will need to set the speakers to ‘Small’. In some AVRs, you don’t specify ‘Small’ – the very act of setting a crossover means that the speakers have been designated as small.

However… what happens if you set your AVR to use the ‘LFE + Main’ or the ‘Double Bass’ setting?

With Denon units, if you set the mains to "Large" and ‘LFE+MAIN’, the mains will receive the full frequency spectrum, and bass from the main channels will also be sent to the sub (LFE) simultaneously. The same thing happens with Onkyo units if you set ‘Double Bass’. In both cases you are now sending low frequencies to both the main speakers AND the subwoofer. The problem is, this is a really bad idea for the following reasons:

  • First, there is the possibility of phase cancellation when the main speakers and the subwoofer play the same bass frequencies.

  • Second, in the region where the frequencies overlap between the subwoofer and the main speakers, the bass frequencies are doubled and tend to become bloated, boomy, and exaggerated.

  • Also, the XT and MultEQ versions of Audyssey apply more correction filters to the subwoofer frequencies. If the same frequencies are sent to the main speakers and the subwoofer at the same time, you will apply higher resolution filters to the same frequencies in the subwoofer and lower resolution filters to the same frequencies going to the front speakers. When the two low frequency sources are combined, we will have unpredictable results to say the least.

Finally, read what Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey has to say on the subject:

"LFE + Main should not even be an option because it just causes duplication of bass content by sending it to both the sub and any speakers set to Large (Full Range).

A "high ranking" official in a "well-known" AVR company told me that LFE + Main was invented to appease customers that were upset when their speakers were being set to Small. These customers had a complete lack of understanding of what Small means (i.e. turn on bass management and redirect the bass to the subwoofer) and felt... inadequate. LFE + Main allows them to set their speakers to a more manly Large and still have bass management. But it's a compromise that can cause boomy bass if the speaker and subwoofer overlap in the lower frequencies."


If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Subwoofers & Bass' Section Header.

f)8. How does Audyssey handle complex multiple subwoofer setups?

Serious AV enthusiasts are increasingly turning to multiple sub setups to obtain the ultimate in bass in their home theatres. Many of the latest AVRs and AVPs have dual sub outlets and, as explained elsewhere in the FAQ (see link below), Audyssey MultEQ XT32 usually comes with a feature called Sub EQ HT which handles dual sub setups very well.

But what if you have three or even four subs? While this is a subject for advanced users rather than newcomers, below you will find an 'executive summary' which gives a brief overview of what is involved in setting up an XT32/Sub EQ HT-equipped AVR with three or four subs.

Since Audyssey MultEQ XT32+Sub EQ HT allows for independent level-matching on the two sub channels* found in the higher end AVRs and AVPs, it is important to gain-match the multiple subs on each channel prior to running the Audyssey calibration. Instructions for gain matching are given below. When gain-matching, try to establish a level such that no adjustment is needed when the Audyssey calibration presents its level-matching screen (i.e. within 2-3 dB of the 75dB Audyssey recommendation is in the ball park). Then proceed with the calibration, allowing Audyssey to set the levels and distances for each group of subs on the two sub channels. If the gain-matching was done properly, the resulting Audyssey levels should be somewhere in the trim range of -3dB to +3dB.

* Onkyo's 818 unit is slightly different to most XT32-equipped units in that it features XT32 but does not include Sub EQ HT - see here for details.

Why gain match?

The goal of gain-matching is to ensure that all the subs are working equally. This ensures that they all have the same headroom and no sub will compress or distort before any other sub in the system. If one sub compresses/distorts before the other sub(s), it will be the "limiting factor" for the entire sub system. If you want to be able to use the full capabilities of all the subs in the system, and of the entire sub system, gain-matching is the only way to get there. If one sub is working harder than the other sub(s), either because its gain is set higher, or because it is receiving a stronger input signal, it will be the limiting factor for the entire system.

Audyssey doesn't use gain-matching. It uses level-matching. With level-matching, the input signals to the subs can be different, so even if you gain-match before running Audyssey, you won't be gain-matched after running Audyssey. For example, where Audyssey sets one sub 10 dB higher than the other, the higher set sub is using 10 times the amplifier power of the other subs... all the time. In addition, driver excursion will be tripled or quadrupled depending on driver size and frequency. Here is a calculator that shows the effect on driver displacement based on SPL and frequency. Check out what a 10 dB increase does to driver excursion.

After completing the Audyssey calibration, there are several tweaks you can make, depending on your preference:

  • Some users who gain-match recommend adjusting the Audyssey trim levels so that each sub channel has the same trim, which "preserves" the gain-matching. The technique used is to halve the difference between the two sets of trims, and add that distance to the lower trim and subtract that distance from the higher trim. For example, if your trims are -1 and -3, then add 1 to the -3 trim, and subtract 1 from the -1 trim, resulting in -2 on both channels.

  • Some users have found that adjusting the sub distance settings improves the flatness of the bass response around the crossover value. You need a measurement system like REW or OmniMic to conduct this tweak. A comprehensive explanation and documentation of this technique can be found in the "Subwoofer Distance Tweak Procedure Guide" document linked to in 'Further Reading' below.

Here is an outline of the gain-matching procedure:

  1. Pick a spot in the center of your room away from the walls.
  2. Move the first sub to that spot, and connect the audio and power cables.
  3. Place the SPL meter immediately in front of the sub's cone, at a distance of 1-2 inches, centered on the cone.
  4. Mark the position of the sub (using masking tape is a good way).
  5. Run the sub channel level-setting tone from the AVR and adjust the sub's gain to the desired level (I use 90 dB).
  6. Being very careful not to disturb the SPL meter's position, remove the first sub and replace it with the second sub. Make sure it is lined up exactly as the first sub with respect to the SPL meter.
  7. Running the AVR test tone, adjust the second sub's gain to match the first sub's (90 dB).
  8. Place the two subs back in the position you want them to be.
  9. Run Audyssey room correction in the normal way.
  10. Observe what trim level Audyssey sets in the AVR. Ideally, it should be in the -3 to +3 dB range. If it is too far towards either limit, go back to step 5 and use either a lower or higher target gain level, depending on your final results.
  11. If the trim levels set by Audyssey are different for the two subs, then they are no longer gain-matched. To re-establish the gain-matched status, take 1/2 of the difference in trim levels, add it to the sub with lowest trim, and subtract it from the highest sub trim. Now the subs are gain-matched once again.

By using this procedure, you will ensure that both subs are outputting at the same level. Note that this procedure works best for identical subs.

I am indebted to AVS Members Craig John and AustinJerry for the above information.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Subwoofers & Bass' Section Header.

f)9. What's the best way to set up Audyssey when also using Velodyne's SMS-1 room EQ system?

(The following text is provided with permission of Craig John, based on information originally supplied by Mark Seaton. Please note that Craig no longer has the SMS-1, nor the Onkyo Pro PRSC-885, so can no longer verify that the sequence works, or is, in fact, the optimal method. However, Craig does confirm that it worked at the time, and that the following is a good description of the method he was using.)

When you add an SMS-1 to the system, you add another 'volume' control, as well as an EQ. You end up with 4 'volume' controls: the Master Volume Control on the AVR/AVP, the subwoofer trim control in the AVR/AVP, the SMS-1 Volume Control and the Volume Control on the sub itself. You need to set each one for the proper level. The procedure for setting the levels sequentially is given below.

This setup is based on the following equipment lineup, but is adaptable to other systems: Dual Seaton Submersives, an SMS-1 and an Onkyo Pro 885 with Audyssey MultEQ XT. Here's how Craig set things up:

  1. First, I set the SMS-1 to Preset 6, which bypasses the EQ. I set the Volume at 15. Then I set any other setting on Page 2 the way I want them. (I generally shut off the crossover, set the LPF to 5 Hz and 6 dB, Phase to "0", etc.)
  2. Next, I set the subwoofer trim to "0" in the Onkyo Pre/Pro. Then, I turn on the Subwoofer Level Calibration tone, and, using an SPL meter at the primary LP, I set the subwoofers' volume control(s) so the SPL meter reads 75dB.
  3. Next, I run Audyssey 8-position Room Correction. This sets the levels, distances, speaker types and crossovers. I try to adhere closely to the Forum Setup Guide when doing this.
  4. When I'm finished, I check the subwoofer trim levels Audyssey set. It's always "0" +/- 3. I also check the crossovers, and I usually need to reset them. I usually raise them, (never lower), where needed.
  5. Then I check the distance Audyssey sets for the subwoofer. It *should* be about 4 ft. longer than the actual measured distance. (This accounts for the "latency" in the SMS-1. It takes a few milliseconds for the SMS-1 to process the signal. Setting the 'distance' by ~ 4 ft. longer, delays the *speakers* by that same amount of time, getting them back into time alignment with the subs.
  6. Next, I go to the SMS-1 and change from Preset 6 to Setup. I then use the manual EQ to smooth out any final FR abnormalities at the primary LP. I also check the EQ curve at the other listening positions to ensure I haven't made anything worse.
  7. Last, I use the SMS-1 volume control to ensure the device has 'unity gain'. (The cuts and gains invoked by the EQ bands can change the overall volume level. Using the SMS-1's volume control gets the overall gain back to its original level, or 'unity gain'). To do this, I put the SPL meter back at the primary listening position and play the subwoofer calibration tone from the Onkyo. I reset the level of the sub(s) to 75 dB. At the same time, I re-check the levels of all the speakers to ensure they are all at 75 dB.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Subwoofers & Bass' Section Header.

G. Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume

g)1. What is Dynamic Volume?/

Dynamic Volume is an Audyssey technology which 'smooths out' the fluctuations between softer and louder sounds in your home theatre. If you are listening late at night and your movie contains a very wide dynamic range' (the ratio between the softest and loudest sounds in the content you are playing) you may have turned down the volume on the explosions in your movie, only then to find you have to turn it up again to hear the quieter dialogue. Dynamic Volume does it for you! Best of all, unlike older technologies that tried to do the same thing, Audyssey does it in 'real time' (hence the name 'Dynamic' Volume). It listens ahead to the content that is about to be played and adjusts for the peaks and troughs in real time. And it does it without changing the tonal balance of the original content too. It's like an automated volume control and is great for late night listening. You can set three levels of Dynamic Volume according to how much of the effect you want. Just experiment with it - there are no right and wrong settings.

A useful tip is to just set the master volume control so that you can comfortably hear the dialogue in your movie - then turn on Dynamic Volume and you are good to go. If it's very late at night, select one of the more aggressive settings for Dynamic Volume such as 'midnight'. If it's early evening, set a less aggressive setting and so on.

This is how Chris Kyriakakis, Audyssey's CTO, describes the different settings for Dynamic Volume:

  • Heavy (Midnight): This is the narrowest range. If you want to watch an action movie late at night
    and not wake anyone, use this setting. Use it, too, for Super Bowl Sunday.
  • Medium (Evening): This is the most common setting and is the default we recommend. This is perfect
    for daily television use, especially in a living room setting.
  • Light (Day): This setting offers the widest dynamic range. Use this when you pop in your latest movie
    from Netflix after dinner. You won't miss a thing.

On Denon AVRs (XX11/X91 and newer), after running AUTO SETUP, Dynamic Volume is set to Evening by default. Most find this setting works well for normal TV viewing (to tame obnoxiously loud commercials) and for late night movie viewing, setting it to OFF for normal movie viewing.

For a lot more information on how Dynamic Volume works, see the Audyssey website linked below.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume' Section Header.

g)2. What is Dynamic EQ?

Dynamic EQ is a totally different technology to Dynamic Volume and is designed to solve a different problem. The way that human hearing works means that the frequency of sounds changes as the loudness of those sounds gets higher or lower. As the volume level is reduced, our hearing means that the high and low frequencies diminish more rapidly than the middle frequencies. Also, sounds coming from behind diminish more rapidly too as you lower the volume level. You may have noticed how the bass, especially, 'disappears' as you reduce the volume level.

Movies are mastered at very high sound pressure levels with peaks reaching 105dB for the main content and 115dB for the bass! This is called 'reference' level. But we rarely listen at these levels in our own homes. This means that if we listen at, say, 20dB below 'reference' level this will affect the perceived balance of the frequencies that the sound mixer heard when he made the content. It will also affect the way we hear the surround sounds from the side and/or rear surround speakers.

Dynamic EQ was designed specifically to solve that problem. When Dynamic EQ is engaged, as you lower the volume away from 'reference' (ie master Volume of 0dB), Dynamic EQ continually adjusts the frequencies and surround levels to maintain the balance that the mixing engineer wanted you to hear.

Most people simply set Dynamic EQ to ON and leave it ON for all sources. It is automatically set to ON after an Audyssey calibration. But you can disable it in your AVR menus if you wish and hear the difference it makes when you are listening at normal home Sound Pressure Levels.

For a lot more information on how Dynamic EQ works, see the Audyssey website linked below.

Special note with regard to certain Onkyo AVRs:

It has come to my attention that some Onkyo AVRs (eg the 818 and 809 and maybe others) have implemented Dynamic EQ in a non-standard way, which is not recommended by Audyssey. This means that Dynamic EQ can be operated even if Audyssey MultEQ is switched OFF.

As Audyssey say on their website, "Audyssey Dynamic EQ is uniquely designed to work in conjunction with our award-winning room correction technology, Audyssey MultEQ. Before loudness correction can be implemented, the room must be corrected for both time and frequency domain problems." This means that if you wish to use Dynamic EQ in the way Audyssey designed it and intended it to be used, you must also enable Audyssey MultEQ. In properly designed AVRs you can only engage Dynamic EQ if Audyssey is also running: switching off Audyssey will also switch off Dynamic EQ and switching Dynamic EQ on if Audyssey is off will automatically switch Audyssey on.

So the simple rule is: Audyssey MultEQ and Dynamic EQ need to be enabled together - do not run Dynamic EQ without Audyssey MultEQ even if your unit allows it.

The last word goes to Chris Kyriakakis, CTO of Audyssey, who says: "It's a decision made by Onkyo. We don't recommend doing that (running Dynamic EQ with Audyssey MultEQ off) because the system will not be properly calibrated if you just turn on Dynamic EQ."

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume' Section Header.

g)3. What is Reference Level Offset in Dynamic EQ?

While Dynamic EQ works very well for movies, which are mixed at a known level ('reference level'), music has no such standards and is mixed at the whim of the recording engineer. This can cause a potential problem for Dynamic EQ because Audyssey has no idea how loud the original content was meant to be heard at, or how loud it was mixed at. For this reason, with music, you may want to choose a Reference Level Offset.

There are three offsets from reference level that you can select when the content has not been mixed to known standards:

  • 0dB - Choose this setting for movies.
  • 15dB - Choose this setting for rock music, pop music and other music with very highly compressed dynamic range (that is, there is little difference between the softest and loudest parts of the content. Think Metallica!).
  • 10dB - Select this setting for Jazz etc where the dynamic range is wider and also for TV content as that is usually mixed at 10 dB below film reference.
  • 5dB - Choose this setting for Classical music and any content that has a wide dynamic range.

What Reference Level Offset does is 'tricks' Audyssey into thinking you are using a higher Master Volume setting than you really are. At 0dB on your Master Volume scale, Dynamic EQ does nothing at all. If you select a Reference Level Offset of 10dB, then this becomes the new 'reference' level: Dynamic EQ will now have no effect at a Master Volume setting of -10dB rather than at 0dB. If you advance the Master Volume to above Reference Level, Dynamic EQ will actually reduce the level of bass to maintain 'perceptually flat' bass.

There are graphs in the FAQ Technical Addendum which show the effect of RLO at various settings of Master Volume and RLO. These graphs can be viewed by clicking here.

It's also worth mentioning that if you have raised the trim levels for your surround speakers or subwoofer for any reason after running Audyssey, you may want to consider trying a Reference Level Offset to tame the increased bass/surround boost because Dynamic EQ does not track those speaker/sub trim changes. In my own system, for example, I have raised my sub trim by +3dB and am also using a Reference Level Offset of 5dB. In my room, at my listening levels, this gives me the most satisfactory result.

Again, feel free to experiment with the different settings and choose the one that sounds the best to you. There are no right and wrong settings for Reference Level Offset.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume' Section Header.]

g)4. What's the difference between Dynamic Volume, Dynamic EQ & Reference Level Offset?

Still confused? This helpful and illuminating reply provided by AVS Member djbluemax1 may help:

The basic underlying denominator for all Audyssey features is a flat frequency response at THX Reference standards, thus allowing your system (if it's up to the task) to reproduce the audio as the sound mixer intended.

Dynamic Volume basically limits the dynamic swings of the audio, basically compressing the dynamic range in real time. It is tuned towards vocal reproduction so using Dynamic Volume at a main volume below THX reference results in a boost to the vocals to maintain the clarity of speech, but limits how loud explosions etc. will get.

Reference Level Offset, or RLO, is there solely to account for the fact that only movies are recorded to THX Reference standards.

Reference Level Offset in effect is directly tied to Dynamic EQ.

Dynamic EQ was developed to automatically compensate for the way our hearing differs at different volumes. At lower than THX Reference volumes, human hearing tends to be less sensitive to the lowest and highest octaves. To reproduce a perceptually similar frequency response when the volume is turned down, you need to boost the lows and highs relative to the mids. The further you turn down the main volume, the more you need to boost those octaves.

Dynamic EQ is linked to the THX Reference standard so it does nothing when the main volume is set to THX Reference and has increasingly greater effect as the volume is turned down lower.

The Reference Level Offset adjusts 'how much' DEQ is applied - see g)3 above.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume' Section Header.

H. MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?

h)1. Why do I need MultEQ?

No normal room is acoustically perfect. Hard surfaces (such as furniture, walls, floors and ceilings) cause reflections when sound waves hit these hard surfaces and bounce off them. You hear these reflections a fraction of a second after the direct sound coming from your speakers and this causes a form of distortion - you hear it as 'muddying' or poor imaging, or boomy and flabby bass. At one time, the only way to control these distorting reflections was to 'treat' the room with specialised wall treatments and bass traps. While that might be acceptable in a room that is dedicated to a home theatre, it is rarely acceptable in a normal domestic environment. You may have seen the expression 'low WAF factor' where WAF stands for 'Wife Acceptability Factor' or 'Wife Approval Factor'.

Nowadays, thanks to digital electronics, MultEQ is able to analyse the reflections bouncing around in your room and correct the problems they cause. How MultEQ does this is explained in this section.

Before we move on, it is worth mentioning that MultEQ is not a substitute for room treatments and, where possible, treating the room will always yield substantial benefits and will help MultEQ do an even better job.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?' Section Header.

h)2. What is the difference between the various versions of MultEQ?

There are four versions of MultEQ: in rising order of sophistication, they are 2EQ, MultEQ, MultEQ XT and MultEQ XT32. Each version uses the same core science but each one is found in progressively more costly AVRs. So 2EQ is usually found in entry-level units while XT32 is found in 'flagship' units. Each version has different filter resolutions and the different versions also have different numbers of measuring positions for the Audyssey mic which comes with Audyssey-equipped units.

The various Audyssey versions sound distinctly different, with improved quality each step up from 2EQ-MultEQ-MultEQ XT-MultEQ XT32 (the last being the latest and greatest).

Here is a brief description of the four versions, highlighting their differences:

  • MultEQ XT32. This is Audyssey's flagship consumer room correction solution. It is the most accurate and uses more than 10,000 individual 'control points' which allows finer details of the room and its problems to be captured and corrected. XT32's ultra-high resolution filters are applied to ALL channels including the subwoofers where the most obvious benefits of room EQ can be heard and where correction is needed the most.

    XT32's filter resolution for the satellite channels is 512x. For the subwoofer channels it is also 512x. XT32 uses a maximum of 8 measurement positions.

  • MultEQ XT. Still a very highly sophisticated system, XT is found in AVRs one step down from the very best units. The main differences between it and XT32 are: XT's filter resolution for the satellite channels is 16x compared with 512x for XT32. For the subwoofer channels it is 128x. XT uses a maximum of 8 measurement positions (see Note below). As you can see, the filter resolution is considerably less than XT32 in both the satellite and the subwoofer channels.
    Note: Please note that AVR manufacturers have some flexibilty in this regard. Denon, for example, has reduced the maximum number of mic positions on their XX13 XT models from 8 to 6 positions when using the Setup Wizard, but all 8 (recommended) can be done outside of the Setup Wizard. Marantz has also taken the same route with their 2012 models featuring XT.




  • MultEQ. This solution features2x filter resolution for the satellite channels, and the same 128x resolution for the subwoofer channels as XT. MultEQ allows for 6 mic positions.
  • 2EQ. This is a very basic version of MultEQ found in entry-level AVRs. It uses a very basic filter resolution for the satellite channels and applies no correction at all to the sub channel. 2EQ uses only 3 mic positions for measuring the room and speakers. My recommendation to anyone using a 2EQ-equipped unit would be to upgrade as soon as funds allow.

All versions of MultEQ above feature Adaptive Low Frequency Correction with the exception of 2EQ and all four versions check Crossover, speaker polarity, delays and levels.

There is a Professional version of MultEQ called MultEQ Pro (which is also available to consumers). This version runs on a laptop computer, comes with a higher quality individually calibrated mic and offers up to 32 mic positions. This highly sophisticated version of MultEQ will run only on Pro-ready AVRs and AVPs - using the AVR's or AVP's on board version of Audyssey. For further details see this specialist part of the FAQ, here.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?' Section Header.

h)3. How does MultEQ differ from my old graphic equaliser'?

There's really no comparison. As we will read below, many of the problems which need correcting lie in the 'time domain', but parametric and graphic equalisers can only correct for the frequency response. Even then they are a very coarse solution because they have very limited resolution, or 'bands'. If you have used a graphic equaliser before, you will know they usually have about a dozen 'bands'. Compare that to XT32's more than 10,000 control points and 512x filter resolution!

Their 'bands' also cause phase problems and these are heard as 'ringing' (when the sound carries on after it should have stopped) or 'smearing' (when the uncorrected reflections cause sounds to run into each other). Both ringing and smearing will cause a loss of precision to the sound, with vague imaging and a general lack of clarity.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?' Section Header.

h)4. How does MultEQ differ from other room equalisation methods?

You may have seen some AVRs that feature proprietary room correction methods designed by the different AVR manufacturers themselves.

Audyssey MultEQ differs from many of these in two important ways: in the way it actually measures the room and in the way it corrects in both the time and frequency domains.

Some systems, for example, attempt to correct for only one seat in the room. Usually this makes the other seats in the room sound worse than before the correction was attempted! This is because a single measurement cannot provide an accurate representation of the problems of the entire room.

Other systems do try to correct for the multiple seating positions most of us have in our home theatres. But they usually use a crude form of 'averaging'. This can never work very well for one obvious reason: imagine a room with a typical problem where there is a 5dB peak at 400 Hz in one seat and a 5dB dip at 400 Hz in another seat. On an averaging system these two measurements cancel each other out and so no correction is made despite two very obvious problems.

In both cases above, these systems only attempt to correct frequency response problems and not time domain problems. It's like doing just half of the job and will never yield truly satisfactory results.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?' Section Header.

h)5. What does correcting in the 'time and frequency' domains mean?

This is at the heart of Audyssey MultEQ room correction and the best way to answer this is to quote directly from Audyssey themselves:

MultEQ looks at patterns in the time domain responses and classifies them into clusters based on the similarities in those patterns, typically in 3-5 groups. A representative response is created from each cluster, and a final response is then created from grouping the representatives. That response is then used to create the EQ filter. It is a complicated process based on the complex mathematics of pattern recognition and fuzzy logic.

How does MultEQ address time and frequency problems?

MultEQ filters start in the time domain. They aren't just a few parametric bands. Instead they use several hundred points to represent the room response in both the frequency and time domains.

The trick is to use enough filter points to get the needed resolution but not so many that it overwhelms the processor inside the audio component. So we came up with a way to reduce the number of points without sacrificing accuracy while providing more filter power at lower frequencies where it's needed the most. MultEQ can correct 8 channels by using only a fraction of a single DSP chip. This gives you the best of both worlds: time and frequency correction.


If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?' Section Header.

h)6. Does MultEQ measure anything else?

Yes. While measuring mic position number one (the one at the Main Listening Position), MultEQ checks the absolute polarity of the system and reports if any speakers are wired incorrectly. It also measures the acoustical distance to each speaker and it does this to an amazing accuracy of one quarter of an inch (6.3mm). It then sets the levels (trims) for all channels including the subwoofer. Finally, MultEQ finds the best Crossover frequency between each satellite channel and the subwoofer and passes that information to the bass management system of the AVR.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?' Section Header.

h)7. If I have MultEQ in my AVR, can I forget about room treatments?

The simple answer to this is 'No'. In an ideal world, we would position our speakers - and especially our subwoofers - in the perfect position for optimizing the sound quality in our rooms; we would also apply room treatments and bass traps wherever they were needed to tame unwanted reflections and room modes. However, in reality, we usually have to compromise to satisfy aesthetic demands or those of our patient wives, girlfriends or partners. Many of us have to share our major living space with our home theatres and few are lucky enough to have dedicated cinema rooms. This is why electronic EQ was invented!

But as good as electronic EQ is, it is no substitute for room treatments and optimum speaker and sub placement. If you can get the room right before you run Audyssey, then you will enjoy an even better calibration as a result. Have a look at the 'Further Reading' links at the end of this answer for more information on understanding and improving your room.

What kind of problems can my room cause?

The listening room is arguably the most important component in your system because of the way it affects sound - at least as important as speakers, electronics, sources and cables - yet the listening room is often the most neglected component. All speakers interact with the room and create everything from boomy-sounding bass to shrill sounding highs.

  • Room reflections are caused by sound, mostly high frequencies, reflecting off adjacent walls and combining with the direct sounds you hear from the speakers. In most cases, you hear more reflected than direct sounds. The reflected sounds reach your ears milliseconds later than the direct sounds because they travel a longer distance. In general, sound reflections have the potential to degrade imaging, sound staging and the overall tonal quality, important characteristics of a good sound system. A simple way to locate the reflection points in your room is to have a friend hold a small mirror against the wall while you are seated in your Main Listening Position. Have the friend move the mirror around the wall until you can see the speaker in the mirror. The location of the mirror is a reflection point.
  • Room resonances are sound waves generated by the speakers from 20Hz to about 300Hz. The frequency of the resonances are based on the dimensions (length, width and height) of the listening room. A room resonance either reinforces or attenuates bass frequencies and the most common symptom is heavy or muddy bass, or conversely, thin, weak bass. A typical room will have boomy bass somewhere between 50Hz and 70Hz. There is an easy way to identify the resonances in your room using a room acoustics calculator. Clicking on the link below will download such a calculator as an Excel file. Enter the dimensions of your room (height, width and length) and the calculator will determine the problem frequencies. Correct speaker placement can help prevent or control many of these problems. Room acoustic treatments are another step towards creating a good listening room with great sound.

So what can room treatments do that electronic EQ can't?

There are various ways in which room treatments can help solve problems which electronic EQ systems might struggle with. For example, nulls in a room are at least as damaging as peaks, and there are many deep nulls that EQ cannot improve by much if at all. Applying enough EQ boost in an attempt to counter a typical null that's 20 to 30 dB deep will just overload your power amp and likely blow up your loudspeakers. Fortunately, you will be pleased to learn that Audyssey is aware of this and takes steps to prevent it happening! Audyssey never attempts to make corrections below the -3dB roll off of any speaker it examines during the measuring phase. In other words, if Audyssey detects that your speaker or sub response is 3dB down at, say, 20 Hz (in the case of a sub) then it will apply no further correction below that point. Audyssey also limits the amount of boost it can apply to any null, for similar reasons. So while it is relatively easy to tame peaks by cutting them down, it is much harder to correct for nulls. In these circumstances, optimising speaker placement and using treatments and bass traps are much more likely to smooth out any deep nulls in your room. If you can achieve this prior to running Audyssey you make it much easier for Audyssey to give you a superb calibration - the icing on the cake if you will.

Similarly, bass traps will always improve the sound for all locations in the room, whereas electronic EQ systems invariably have to compromise in order to achieve a reasonable response across multiple seat locations.

In conclusion.

Audyssey will do a superb job of improving the sound degradation which all rooms cause. Audyssey helps us get great sound in normal living rooms where treatments and bass traps are difficult to use for aesthetic reasons. But, if you can, applying room treatments will help Audyssey do an even better job. And placing your speakers and your subwoofer(s) in or close to their ideal locations is something that many of us can do fairly easily - also helping Audyssey work even better for you.

(Thanks to About.com for the information on room reflections and room resonances in this answer)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Further Reading:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?' Section Header.

J. Audyssey DSX Questions

j)1. What is Audyssey DSX and how does it work?

Dynamic Surround Expansion (DSX) is a proprietary Audyssey technology which lets you augment a standard 7.1 channel surround setup with two ‘Wide’ channels and/or two ‘Height’ channels. Two extra speakers expand the width of the soundstage (Wides) and/or two extra speakers expand the height of the soundstage (Heights), all of which is designed to help produce a more realistic and immersive listening experience.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

j)2. How many channels of amplification do I need to run DSX?

Some DSX-equipped AVRs only allow you to choose either Wides or Heights but not both at the same time, some allow you to choose both and some only allow you to choose both if you have some additional external channels of amplification. Check your AVR manual to see which category your equipment comes under. Whatever you have it is clear that if you want to run Wides and Heights each set will require its own amplifiers, so two additional amp channels will be needed for the Wide set of speakers (one for left, one for right) and two for the Height set. This means that to run a conventional 7.1 setup with both Wides and Heights, you will need eleven channels of amplification (11.1). If you wish to run Wides or Heights, you will need nine channels of amplification (9.1). So however your particular AVR is configured, it will always require 9 or 11 channels of amplification if you wish to run the additional DSX channels. If you are prepared to sacrifice the Rear Surround channels, some AVRs allow you to assign them to Wides or Heights in which case a 7.1 system can cater for either Wides or Heights without any additional channels of amplification.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

j)3. Is there any specific content designed for DSX?

No. There are no ‘DSX movies’. DSX ‘creates’ the additional Wide or Height channel content out of the cues which already exist in conventional 5.1 or 7.1 sources – i.e. disc or TV etc. You do not have to look out for any special format or encoding of the disc – DSX will work with any current 5.1 or 7.1 content. Some will give more of the ‘effect’ than others, depending on the original content.

DSX is designed to enhance the reproduction of surround content. It is not designed to expand two channel content. This means that it works best with original, discrete, 5.1 surround content. However, DSX will also work in conjunction with any upmixing method which produces 5.1 from two channel content, such as Dolby PLIIx for example.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

j)4. If I can choose only one – Wides or Heights – which should it be?

If your AVR will only allow you to run Wides or Heights, but not both, Audyssey recommends that you choose Wides, should your room layout permit of course. Many people find it easier to accommodate Heights than Wides, so your own usage will in part at least be determined by your room and the acceptability to your other family members of additional speakers. Height speakers are less obtrusive and easier to accommodate than Wides, so this may influence your decision. Wides and Heights work independently of each other, so you do not need to have one to enjoy the other.

However, if you are able to choose only one, Audyssey is adamant that you should choose ‘Wides before Heights’ as they are wont to say.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

j)5. Isn't Audyssey all about reducing the impact of unwanted reflections, not creating more?

Yes, Audyssey MultEQ room correction has, as a major design goal, the objective of reducing the colorations and distortions caused by unwanted reflections in acoustically untreated rooms. So it may seem odd that DSX is all about creating additional reflections in order to enhance the sense of immersion. The key word is ‘unwanted’. Some reflections, from certain directions, at certain levels, can be seen as desirable in that they enhance listening pleasure, creating a wider apparent source width of the soundstage for example. Other, random reflections, as typically found in most normal domestic living rooms, degrade the listening experience and this is what MultEQ attempts to minimise their impact.

So DSX attempts to create the more desirable reflections ‘synthetically’ and, since those desirable reflections come primarily from the sides, this is why Audyssey recommends Wides before Heights if you can choose only one set. DSX looks at the content in real time and extracts from it the cues that we perceive from optimal side wall reflections. This information combines with the direct sound from the front and gives us an enhanced sense of soundstage width.

The second most important direction for desirable reflections, according to Audyssey, is from above and this is where DSX Height channels come into their own. Oddly perhaps, Audyssey says that their stated intention with the Height channels is not to add impact to sounds coming from overhead (the proverbial helicopter fly-past) but to add to the sense of increased soundstage depth.

Finally, DSX performs additional real-time processing to ensure that sounds coming from these additional channels cannot produce a stereo image which would fight against the original stereo image created by the right and left speakers.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

j)6. Where should I place my speakers for Wides and Heights to get the best effect?

Audyssey recommends that the Wide speakers are placed along the side walls at an angle of 60 degrees out from the centre channel speaker. An easy formula for calculating the optimal position is to measure the distance from the centre speaker to the left speaker and then double it. That is where the Left Wide speaker should be placed. Do the same for the right side. It is important that the Wides are clearly separated from the Left and Right speakers or the effect of greater apparent source width will not work properly. If you cannot get the locations of the two Wide speakers to the correct places, then you may be able to still enjoy a good effect if they are not too far off the ‘ideal’ spots. But if you cannot get them in roughly the right locations it may be better to not bother using Wides at all as the effect will be unpredictable and could even disrupt the main left-right imaging (if the Wides are too close to those speakers for example).

Note that by following the guideline for angular separation of 60 degrees, this may place your Wide speakers on the front wall or the side wall, depending on the size of your room. This is perfectly correct and MultEQ will compensate for the different distances to the MLP when you run Audyssey.

For Heights, Audyssey recommends creating as much vertical separation as possible from the front Left and Right speakers and putting the speakers to the left and right of the main speakers as much as practically possible (avoiding putting them hard in corners). This means that the best place for the Heights is on the front wall, near the ceiling, pointing towards the listener, and outboard of the main Left and Right speakers. Some users have found that Height speakers placed high on the side walls, at an angle of roughly 45 degrees from the MLP, also works well.

When you run MultEQ after installing your Wides or Heights, it will measure the distances from the MLP to all speakers and set them appropriately for both distance and level.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

j7). What kind of speakers should I use with DSX?

Audyssey DSX synthesizes both direct and ambient content for the Wide and Height speakers and so the speakers need to be direct radiators and not dipoles. It is best, where possible, to use speakers from the same manufacturer, or from the same ‘family’ of speakers to ensure the best possible timbre match.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

j)8. Are there any negatives to using DSX?

Some people complain that DSX makes the presentation of their listening experience too front-centric and so spoils to some extent the sense of all-round envelopment that a good 7.1 system gives. Others report the opposite and claim they feel more immersed in the content. Clearly this is a ‘preference’ area so nobody is right or wrong. I suggest you try to hear DSX in action before committing yourself to expensive new speakers and the effort of installing them. If that isn’t possible, at least canvass the opinions of people already using Wides and/or Heights so you can make a more informed decision.

As part of Audyssey’s aim of creating this enlarged front soundstage, it has also been a requirement that DSX reduces the level of the Surround Channels by approximately 3dB, so users should take that into account and they may wish to raise their Surround levels a little when using DSX by way of compensation. Again, YMMV.

Also, because of the way DSX works – by synthesizing reflections from the Front L&R channels – if dialogue pans to those channels it will sound distinctly odd.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

j)9. Are there any other technologies that do a similar job?

Yes. DTS has its own 11.1 version called DTS Neo:X and Dolby has a Heights-only version called Dolby PLIIz. Both of these alternative technologies work in a different way to DSX and listeners may prefer one over the other. I suggest researching these alternatives on the DTS and Dolby websites and on the internet in general. Many AVRs have all three technologies so users can switch between them and form their own conclusions as to which works best for them.

Coming soon may be even more sophisticated audio systems such as Auro 3D and Dolby Atmos and these may render all of the above technologies obsolete. But as you will have to replace your AVR to enjoy these new, as yet unavailable (in the home) technologies, this is, currently at least, moot.

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

j)10. What are the differences between DSX and these other technologies?

The main difference between DSX and other processing technologies that go beyond 7 channels (eg Dolby PLIIz and DTS Neo:X) is the approach. The latter two extract content from the recording itself while Audyssey generates early reflections (based on concert hall acoustics) that weren't in the original recording.

The content that DSX uses to generate early reflections is taken from the Front L&R channels exclusively. Unlike the extraction methods of PLIIz and Neo:X, which look at the phase & intensity relationship between two (or more) channels, DSX processes the Front Left channel and Front Right channel independently, sending the processed signals to each channel's respective Wide and/or Height speakers.

Since DSX expands the Front L&R areas of the soundstage horizontally and vertically, it can sound strange with 2-channel material, where vocals are mixed to both channels (as is common practice). Because of this, Audyssey doesn't allow DSX to be applied directly to 2-channel material. Instead, centre-imaged content has to be extracted out first (using any surround processing, like PLII or Neo), and then DSX can be applied.

This is not a problem with multi-channel movie soundtracks, where dialogue is typically mixed to the centre channel and won't be processed by DSX. However, for soundtracks with steered dialogue (e.g. Pixar movies), vocals moving off centre will appear to stretch out horizontally and vertically with DSX.

Early reflections that arrive shortly after the direct sound are often suppressed by our human hearing mechanism. In fact, early reflections can be up to 10dB louder than the direct sound before they are heard as distinct sounds (separate events). To address this natural suppression, DSX reduces the Front L&R speaker levels by 3dB, making the Wide and Heights more audible by comparison (although they still won't appear louder than the L&R speakers because their signals are delayed compared to the L&R channels).

To further highlight the front soundstage, DSX also reduces the levels of all the Surround speakers by 3dB. On top of that, it also decorrelates surround signals (similar to THX post-processing), to reduce distinct imaging/localization in the surround field and keep attention focused up front. This is consistent with Audyssey's front-centric approach and priorities: for example, if you have 9 speakers, Audyssey recommends using a full 7 of them up front and reserving only 2 for surround duties. Many listeners will have a different set of priorities from Audyssey’s in this regard, so again it is necessary to stress that these technologies are largely about preference and what some will like, others will dislike.

(Thanks to AVS member sdurani for the bulk of this answer)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See Also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey DSX Questions' Section Header.

K. Audyssey and Dolby Atmos

k)1. How do I place the mic for Dolby Atmos ceiling speakers?

If you have read this section, you will have seen the advice to always place the mic pointing directly up to the ceiling. However, if you have an Atmos setup using 'Top' (in-ceiling or on-ceiling) speakers, does this advice still apply.

Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey gave the following information when asked about this:

"The only time this would matter would be when a speaker is directly above the microphone. I suppose this can happen with some of the ceiling speakers, but in reality the difference will be very small and concentrated in the very high frequencies. A slight tilt back of the mic could achieve the same purpose."

So it seems that we need not worry unduly and follow the standard mic placement advice when using Dolby Atmos ceiling speakers.

(Note: This answer is applicable at 30 July 2014 and will be updated as more Dolby Atmos information becomes available.)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

See also:

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey and Dolby Atmos' Section Header.

k)2. Will Audyssey work properly with Atmos-enabled speaker designs?

'Atmos-enabled' speakers or modules work by 'beaming' height content at the ceiling and allowing it to be reflected from it. The issue is whether Audyssey will 'see' this reflected content for what it is - intended content - or whether it will 'see' it as unwanted reflections which should be suppressed if possible.

Atmos-enabled speakers work by using a special, top-mounted speaker driver, designed specifically to have narrow directivity and to suppress forward-firing 'leakage' of the sound intended to hit the ceiling. This is coupled with special DSP inside an Atmos-enabled AVR which further suppresses any unintended leakage of forward content. All who have heard this system say it works remarkably well.

Given that, Audyssey should 'see' only the reflected content as its sound wave hits the Audyssey mic and one would therefore expect Audyssey to be able to handle this as though the sound was originating from a 'real' ceiling speaker. If that is the case, then Audyssey should be able to calibrate the Atmos-enabled speaker just as it does any other speaker in the system. At this time, no further information is available.

(Note: This answer is applicable at 30 July 2014 and will be updated as more Dolby Atmos information becomes available.)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey and Dolby Atmos' Section Header.

k)3. Will a calibration include the added speakers in the Atmos configuration?

Direct from Audyssey:

"MultEQ will support all new channels. Audyssey will support any number of channels the AVR maker sends our way".

(Note: This answer is applicable at 30 July 2014 and will be updated as more Dolby Atmos information becomes available.)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the post where you can leave a 'like'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to top.
Go directly to the FAQ Questions & Answers.
Go back to 'Audyssey and Dolby Atmos' Section Header.

Thank you for visiting the Auydyssey FAQ! If the FAQ has helped you, please click the 'Like' button on the bottom right. Thanks!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AudysseyAVRVersions9.pdf (53.8 KB, 220 views)

Last edited by kbarnes701; Yesterday at 12:48 PM.
kbarnes701 is online now  
post #51779 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 01:04 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
kbarnes701's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Main Listening Positon
Posts: 16,621
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked: 1276
FIRST TIME AUDYSSEY USER? FOLLOW THIS AUDYSSEY 101!

This post is a counterpart post to the Audyssey MultEQ FAQ found immediately above. While the FAQ sets out to provide answers to commonly asked questions about Audyssey, this post is designed to help those new to Audyssey to get a successful calibration first time around. It is divided into three basic parts:

  1. Things to consider before you run the calibration
  2. Issues that may arise during the calibration
  3. Various considerations for after the calibration is complete

The '101' is laid out to provide all of the essential steps in a 'bullet point' format. Simply follow the numbered steps in order. If you want to know more about the reasoning behind the bullet points, or wish to see further, more detailed advice, simply click the spoiler to reveal (or hide) more information.

The legal bit: Please note that you use any of the information contained in this 101 at your own risk. Any suggested procedures have been verified by several AVS members prior to publishing, but if you end up 'bricking' your unit, or experiencing any unintended and unwanted consequences by following the advice contained in the 101, it is your responsibility and no liability is accepted by the 101 compiler, AVS Forums or anyone else.

Before You Run The Audyssey Calibration

1. Please note that it is not necessary to turn off Dynamic EQ, Dynamic Volume or any other options prior to running Audyssey. All internal settings of your AVR are ignored during calibration.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: b)6. Does it matter how I set the controls on my AVR when running Audyssey?

No - it doesn't matter. Audyssey ignores them during the calibration. It doesn't matter if you left Dynamic EQ on or off, nor if Dynamic Volume was switched in; it makes no difference where the Master Volume control is set, nor if you have any tone controls operating. The trim levels don't matter, nor does it make one jot of difference if the AVR is in Dolby PLIIx mode, or Pure Audio or any other mode. Audyssey ignores the lot when it does the calibration. So just plug in the mic, follow the on-screen instructions and you are good to go.

2. After calibration is complete, Audyssey and Dynamic EQ will automatically be turned on. If you have an Onkyo unit, Audyssey will be ON and also set to use the 'Movie' curve. It is a good idea to look through your menu settings and turn off things like Night Mode, Dynamic Range Compression, THX Loudness Plus, Dolby Volume and so on.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: a)7. What are the Audyssey 'Movie' and 'Music' curves?

Contrary to popular belief, a target curve that is flat from 20 Hz to 20 kHz is not always the one that will produce the correct sound. There are several reasons for this. One has to do with the translation required from a large movie theater to a smaller home listening room. The other reason has to do with the fact that loudspeakers are much more directional at high frequencies than they are at low frequencies. This means that the balance of direct and room sound is very different at the high and low ends of the frequency spectrum.

In a typical living room, the acoustical conditions require a flat curve up to a certain frequency, and then a roll-off. This roll-off allows the proper balancing of the direct and reverberant sound at high frequencies.

MultEQ creates filters that correct the frequency response of your speakers to a specific target curve. These target curves are called: Audyssey Reference and Audyssey Flat, or alternatively Audyssey Movie and Audyssey Music.

The Audyssey Reference/Movie target curve is designed to translate film mixing room conditions to the home listening room. This curve is flat to 4 kHz, has a slight roll-off from 4kHz - 10 kHz (-2dB @ 10 kHz), and another additional roll-off from 10 kHz - 20 kHz (-6dB @ 20 kHz). This curve should be used for listening to movies in most cases.

The Audyssey Flat/Music target curve has no roll-off. This curve should be used for movies if you are seated in the near field, if your room has a lot of high frequency absorption due to acoustic treatments, if your room is very small or highly treated or if you are using THX Re-EQ (which introduces its own roll-off).


Audyssey research has found that listeners in most home environments are seated in the reverberant field. The mixing of most films (in post-production studios) is completed with the recording engineer seated in the near field. As a result, it is usually beneficial to use a high frequency roll-off (Audyssey Reference/Movie curve) to tame brightness. However, if you have an acoustically treated room and/or are seated relatively close to the front speakers, you may be located in the near field. Therefore, it may prove beneficial to try listening without a roll-off (Audyssey Flat/Music curve) to see if there is an improvement in sound quality.

3. If you are using any sort of tactile transducer (eg a ButtKicker etc) then turn it off before starting the calibration as may cause vibrations to enter the setup mic which will result in a bad calibration.

4. Make sure that the controls on your subwoofer are set correctly before you begin the calibration!

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: f)3. How do I set the controls on my subwoofer before running MultEQ?

Many powered subwoofers have controls that are set manually. It's important to follow some simple guidelines to avoid having these controls interfere with proper subwoofer calibration and integration with the satellite speakers.

  1. If your sub has a direct input (often called the LFE input) then always use that. That input bypasses any filters etc in the sub and ensures that the AVR or PrePro bass management works as intended.
  2. If your sub does not have a direct input, then set the lowpass filter control on the sub to its highest position (often something like 150Hz). By doing so you will be sure that the internal filters do not interfere with anything that MultEQ does.
  3. Some subs have a switch which disables any internal filters, often called something like a bypass or defeat control. If your sub has this then use this switch to set the internal filters to OFF. Consult your sub manual for more information.
  4. It is important to set the gain (volume) control on your sub so that it is not too high. If it is set too high, then your AVR may run out of level correction range and hit the stops'. If that happens you have no way of knowing if the trim would have been set even lower if possible. Ideally, you should be looking for a final sub trim somewhere between -3.5dB and +3.5dB.
  5. Set your subwoofer gain control to about 12 o'clock as a starting point. If MultEQ reports high negative trims - eg -12dB, then turn the sub gain control DOWN and run MultEQ again. Repeat until you are happy. Tip: to get the sub trim level adjusted correctly, you don't need to do a full calibration - just set the mic at the Main Listening Position and make the minimum number of measurements all from that one mic position. Once you have the sub set correctly, then run MultEQ using all available mic positions for your version.
  6. If your sub has a phase control set it to 0 degrees prior to running the calibration.
  7. If you use a tactile transducer (eg Crowther or Buttkicker), be sure to turn it off before running Audyssey.
  8. If your sub has an 'Auto-on' setting on its power control, remember to turn this OFF before running MultEQ. If not, the sub might fail to 'wake up' when it is first pinged and this will throw off the calibration.
  9. If your sub has its own internal EQ, you can either bypass it and rely solely on MultEQ to EQ your sub, or, if you wish, you can use your sub's internal EQ in conjunction with MultEQ. If the latter, then use the sub's internal EQ first and then run MultEQ as usual.

5. Connect the Audyssey mic which was supplied with your AVR to the mic socket. This will automatically put the AVR into Audyssey calibration mode.

6. Follow any onscreen instructions with regard to how many subwoofers you have, whether your AVR is in a 'biamp mode' or a normal mode and so on.

Issues That May Arise During The Calibration

7. The mic must be placed at ear level, pointing right up to the ceiling and at least two feet from any wall. It must also be kept at all times within the boundary formed by your front left and right speakers.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ:d)3. Where should I position the mic for best results?

The first mic position should always be at the Main Listening Position (because it is used to determine the distances and levels of each speaker). The other positions should be either side at roughly 2 feet intervals and then in front and behind if possible. The order of the positions after the first position does not matter. It is very important to avoid extreme positions - so never put the mic up against the back wall or outside the angle spanned by the front Left and Right speakers. Taking measurements in these positions will cause MultEQ to make unnecessary adjustments. Although the mic should be at ear height, if your chair backs are quite high, you will need to raise the mic so that it can 'see' the rear surrounds or surrounds. Also, do not put the mic closer than about 12 to 15 inches to the backrest of the chair, even if this means it is not exactly where your head is when listening.

The graphic below shows Audyssey's recommended mic placements for a typical room and seating arrangement. Always start with mic position 1 at the Main Listening Position and then use the 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc positions as shown, up to the maximum your version of Audyssey allows.


Graphic courtesy of Audyssey Laboratories, Inc.

For more information about the graphic and mic placement in general, visit Audyssey's own guide to mic placement - linked below.

One more point about the Main Listening Position. If you are primarily interesting in getting the best result for just one seat (either because you are the only listener or you are the only listener who really cares about audio fidelity), then place the mic for position 1 at the centre of that seat. If, however, you wish to consider other seats, then place the mic in the centre of the listening area for position 1.

8. If your seat back is higher than ear level it is OK to raise the mic a few inches so that it clears the back of the seat. This will prevent any unwanted reflections from entering the mic and will also allow the mic to 'see' any rear surround speakers. Alternatively, keep the mic at ear height but move it so that it is at least 12 inches in front of the seat backrest.

9. The mic must never be hand held or placed directly on the seats. It is important to use a tripod, or better still, a boom mic stand to hold the mic during calibration. Try to keep the boom arm of your mic stand out of the way, so that it is not between the mic and the speakers. The easiest way to ensure this, if possible, is to place the mic stand behind the seats with the boom arm over them. If you have to use a tripod, make sure the tripod head under the mic is as small as possible in order to avoid spurious reflections of it.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: d)1. Do I really need to put the Audyssey mic on a tripod or stand?

Absolutely yes. This is one of the most common reasons for a poor calibration. You will not get a good result if you hold the mic in your hand, or if you place it on the back of your couch or on some other makeshift support. The mic should be mounted at ear height (when sitting in your usual position), pointed vertically up to the ceiling, clear by at least 2 feet from any walls and placed within the boundary of your left and right speakers. A tripod is OK and many people have these in their possession, but it can be difficult to use as one leg often has to be rested on the floor and the other two legs rested on the chair or couch. Much better is a mic stand - these are fairly inexpensive and they make running the measurements much, much easier. Something like this is fine:


You will also need this gadget to allow you to attach the Audyssey mic to the stand:


If your floors are the wooden suspended sort, you may want to place the legs of the mic stand on some sort of absorber to minimise the chance of spurious bass signals entering the mic via the floor and the stand itself. These are ideal for most people:


If your floor is solid or carpeted then you probably don't need the absorbers.

When measuring with a mic stand, try to avoid positioning the boom arm between the mic and the speakers.

10. You must place the mic for the first measurement at your usual Main Listening Position. This first measuring position is very important as it is used to set the levels and distances for all your speakers and subwoofer. For the remaining mic positions, the order is not relevant. Space the measurement positions out by about two feet.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: d)3. Where should I position the mic for best results?

The first mic position should always be at the Main Listening Position (because it is used to determine the distances and levels of each speaker). The other positions should be either side at roughly 2 feet intervals and then in front and behind if possible. The order of the positions after the first position does not matter. It is very important to avoid extreme positions - so never put the mic up against the back wall or outside the angle spanned by the front Left and Right speakers. Taking measurements in these positions will cause MultEQ to make unnecessary adjustments. Although the mic should be at ear height, if your chair backs are quite high, you will need to raise the mic so that it can 'see' the rear surrounds or surrounds. Also, do not put the mic closer than about 12 to 15 inches to the backrest of the chair, even if this means it is not exactly where your head is when listening.

The graphic below shows Audyssey's recommended mic placements for a typical room and seating arrangement. Always start with mic position 1 at the Main Listening Position and then use the 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc positions as shown, up to the maximum your version of Audyssey allows.



Graphic courtesy of Audyssey Laboratories, Inc.

For more information about the graphic and mic placement in general, visit Audyssey's own guide to mic placement - linked below.

One more point about the Main Listening Position. If you are primarily interesting in getting the best result for just one seat (either because you are the only listener or you are the only listener who really cares about audio fidelity), then place the mic for position 1 at the centre of that seat. If, however, you wish to consider other seats, then place the mic in the centre of the listening area for position 1.

11. Depending on the version of MutEQ that you have in your AVR, you will have 3, 6 or 8 measurement locations. It is important, for best results, that you use all of the measurement locations available to you.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: d)2. Do I really need to use all the available Audyssey mic positions?

Yes. The best results will be obtained by using as many mic positions as your version of MultEQ allows. The more data provided to the Audyssey filters, the better end result of your final calibration.

The number of mic positions allowed depends on your 'flavour' of MultEQ. The basic 2EQ allows for only 3 mic positions; MultEQ allows for 6 positions and both MultEQ XT and MultEQ XT 32 allow for 8 positions. However, please note that AVR manufacturers have some flexibilty in this regard. Denon, for example, has reduced the maximum number of mic positions on their XX13 XT models from 8 to 6 positions when using the Setup Wizard, but all 8 (recommended) can be done outside of the Setup Wizard. Marantz has also taken the same route with their 2012 models featuring XT.

(Thanks to AVS Member jdsmoothie for Denon mic information)

12. Do not place the mic way over to the left or right, even if there is a chair there. Do not place the mic close (within at least 2 feet) of a wall.

13. Make sure you are using the mic that came with your AVR. If you have lost it, or damaged it, contact the maker of your AVR for a replacement mic. They are not necessarily interchangeable between units.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: d)4. Do I have to use the mic that came with my AVR or PrePro?[/B]

The easy answer to that is yes. Your Audyssey mic has a calibration file which is stored inside your AVR or prepro. If you use a mic from another unit, then there is a chance that the calibration file will be inappropriate for that mic and the whole calibration will be off as a result. So to be absolutely sure, then always use the mic that was bundled with your unit.

However, it is also possible to use the mic from another unit of the same brand as your unit - eg, a Denon mic with a Denon unit, an Onkyo mic with an Onkyo unit and so on. The caveat to this is that the mic must be of the same type and model. Early Onkyo units, for example, were supplied with a black, round, flat mic (often called a 'puck' mic for its vague resemblance to an ice hockey puck). Later Onkyos were supplied with a silver mic shaped like a long pyramid or the Eiffel Tower. These 'puck mics' and 'Eiffel Tower' mics are notinterchangeable. The current mic used by Onkyo is designated ACM1H and this is printed on the box the mic comes in.

Note for Denon units:

The ACM1H mic is interchangeable with the DM-A409 mic used with Denon AVR-XX09/X89 through AVR-XX12 models. Older Denon models use the following mic types, neither of which is compatible with each other or the newer DM-A409/ACM1H mics:

XX06: DM-S205 (hockey puck style)
XX08/X88: DM-A405 (tower style)

With the introduction of the new Denon AVR-XX13 models, Denon is now including the new "ACM1HB" black mic which Audyssey has confirmed is interchangeable with the DM-A409 (Denon) and ACM1H (Onkyo, Marantz) mics.

(Thanks to AVS Member jdsmoothie for Denon mic information)

UPDATE June 2012: Onkyo, Marantz and Denon units now all use the same ACM1HB mic.

If you damage or lose your mic, they are available from your unit manufacturer for around $US20. Be very careful about buying from other sources such as auction sites as there have been counterfeit mics (especially from non-USA eBay resellers) seen there (as verified by Audyssey) and these will quite probably not be properly calibrated by your unit's calibration file.

Long story short - take care of your mic and preferably use the one that came with your unit.

14. Unplug any headphones you may have connected to your AVR.

15. When measuring, do not stand or sit between the mic and any speakers. It is OK to leave the room (quietly) if you wish while the measurements are taking place.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: b)4. Should I leave the room when the measurements are running?

You can (quietly) if you wish but it isn't necessary. Just keep quiet and do not position yourself between the mic and the speakers. There is no need to sit in the Main Listening Position chair, and indeed this is not recommended.

16. Do not move any furniture out of the room during measuring. Everything that is in the room when listening must also be in the room when measuring. If you later move, remove or add any furniture, you will need to run Audyssey again.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ:b)3. Should I move anything out of the room before running Audyssey?

No. If you have, for example, a coffee table between the Main Listening Position and the mic, and you suspect that it is causing reflections which might damage your calibration, there is a temptation to remove it and then put it back once the calibration is finished. However, this is not good practice. Generally, anything that is in the room when listening should also be in the room when calibrating. Similarly, do not introduce extra damping materials into the room for the calibration unless they will be used when listening.

17. It is important that the room is as quiet as possible during the measurement phase. Choose a time of day when the house is quiet and background noise is low. Turn off air conditioners, fridges, satellite or cable TV boxes, cell phones, radios, microwaves, fluorescent lights, dimmer switches, etc.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: b)2. Why is Audyssey reporting ‘'Ambient Noise Too High'?

This error message usually occurs if Audyssey detects a level of background noise in your room which would preclude a correct calibration. When running the measurements, be sure to turn off anything which can contribute to the background noise. Prime suspects are:

  • HVAC units
  • Room or ceiling fans
  • Noisy refrigerators
  • Children
  • Buzz from cable or sat TV box
  • Buzz from light dimmers
  • Aircraft overhead
  • Road noise from outside

If Audyssey detects on any of these it will try to create correction filters for them and this will clearly adversely affect your results. Remember, just because you can't hear the noise doesn't mean that Audyssey can't. If Audyssey detects the noise level is too high, it will raise the level of the chirps and try again. It will do this three times before giving up and displaying the error message. So long as the error message is not displayed, Audyssey will cope with the ambient noise level and deliver a good calibration.

If you get the error message and you have ensured that everything is turned off, you might want to try the calibration later at night when external noise is usually much lower. If you still get the error message despite that, then there is a chance that you have a fault. Often the mic may be faulty or have become damaged. Mics can be damaged by static electricity for example. If this is the case, you will need to obtain the correct replacement for your mic and then try again. If your unit has a factory reset procedure, it may be worth trying that before you blame the mic.

It is worth noting that you do not need to be paranoid about background noise levels. Chris Kyriakakis has stated (Ask Audyssey 14 July 2012) "If you are not getting a noise error then the data collected is perfectly fine." In other words, the calibration is not somehow 'improved' by having a very quiet background noise level. Just keep the noise levels as low as you can when calibrating.

Similarly, some people have worried about a sudden, loud transient noise affecting the quality of their calibration - such as a clap of thunder or their dog barking. This is what Chris Kyriakakis has to say on that subject (Ask Audyssey 14 July 2012): "The reason we take 10 chirps per speaker is to overcome the effects of transient noise. They will be averaged out if they only happened during one of the chirps."

18. Do not disconnect the mic during the calibration and obviously do not disconnect any speakers or switch your AVR off.

19. Follow the onscreen instructions to start the calibration.

20. You will hear Audyssey 'ping' each speaker in turn, using 10 'chirps' for each detected speaker. During the first measurement, Audyssey will look for all connected speakers and may attempt to ping non-existent speakers (such as rear surrounds). This is normal. After the first measurement, Audyssey will only ping speakers that are connected and which have been detected.

21. If after the first measurement, Audyssey reports that some speakers have not been detected, check all your connections and restart the calibration run by unplugging and replugging the mic.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: b)5. I am getting a speaker detect error - what's wrong?

Sometimes during the measurement phase of the calibration, Audyssey fails to detect one of your speakers. While this problem can have a variety of potential causes, it can often be resolved by following the troubleshooting procedure below.

  1. Try a different speaker cable - you may have a connection problem.
  2. Check the speaker connectors on the back of the speaker. Do you have separate connectors for tweeter and woofer? If so, these can sometimes come loose, or the metal strip connecting the terminals together can become loose. If so, this will result in loss of sound from the tweeter or woofer and this will cause the speaker detect error.
  3. Make sure the speaker is working correctly. Sometimes a driver in your speaker may be damaged - play content with high frequencies and put your ear close to the tweeter. Can you hear it working properly? Do the same for the other drivers. If you cannot hear one of the drivers, or it sounds strange in some way (rough, intermittent etc) then one of the drivers is not working and may need to be repaired or replaced.
  4. Swap the speakers temporarily. For example, if the centre speaker is the problem, swap it with the left speaker. Does the problem now move to the left speaker? If so, then the centre speaker has a fault of some kind.

If after checking all of the above, Audyssey is still failing to detect a speaker, post a question in the Official Audyssey Thread mentioning that you have followed the troubleshooting steps in the FAQ.

22. If Audyssey reports than any of your speakers are 'out of phase', check all your speaker connections are OK and that each speaker is connected positive (+) to positive and negative (-) to negative at both the speaker end and the AVR end. If they are all OK then it is safe to ignore the Audyssey phase detect error. Some speakers are deliberately wired internally in a way that can fool Audyssey.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: b)1. Audyssey reports that my speakers are out of phase.

MultEQ detects absolute phase for each speaker during the measurements. Occasionally it may report an 'out of phase' error. If this happens to you, the first thing to do is to check that the physical wiring of all your speakers is correct, both at the speaker and at the AVR. They should all be connected positive to positive and negative to negative. If they are, and Audyssey still reports an out of phase condition, then it is probably because some speakers are deliberately designed with intentional phase reversals internally (usually to address Crossover problems). MultEQ detects that and reports an error. If this happens to you, and you are sure all your wiring is correct, just press 'skip' and carry on with your calibration. Doing this does not affect anything - MultEQ only reports the possible reversal of wiring - it does not automatically switch the phase.


Various Considerations That May Arise After The Calibration Is Complete

23. When Audyssey has finished all the measurements for all mic positions, it will do some calculations and then ask you to double check the settings. Once you have done that, it is OK to then SAVE the settings. Do not forget to do this! Audyssey only transfers the settings to the AVR once you press the SAVE button as instructed onscreen. You will be able to change various settings after saving them by going into the relevant menu on your AVR.

24. You may find that your front speakers have been set to LARGE or Full Range. Audyssey does not make this decision - Audyssey reports to the AVR the -3dB rolloff point for each speaker and the AVR then decides how to set the speakers. AVR manufacturers use arbitrary rules to do this. If you use a subwoofer, it is important to set your speakers manually to SMALL or to a crossover setting - if you leave them at Large then you will bypass your subwoofer and not use the bass management features in your AVR at all. Instant rule: if you use a sub, set your speakers to SMALL (ie use a crossover setting).

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: c)3. I have big tower speakers at the front. Shouldn't I set these to 'Large'?

(This answer assumes you have a subwoofer in your system.)

Small and Large in this context are really misnomers. Rather than describing the physical size of the speakers, what it really means is that some speakers can reproduce lower frequencies more efficiently than others. So-called 'full range' speakers might go down as low as 30Hz - but the problem is, if they do, they won't usually go down very low AND very loud at the same time. Movies call for very deep bass - often 20Hz or even lower - at very high Sound Pressure Levels - 115dB at 'Reference Level'.

Also, remember that if you set your main speakers to Large, you are bypassing the bass Management in your AVR and sending no sound at all (apart from the .1 Low Frequency Effects channel) to your sub. Your sub has been specifically designed to handle bass frequencies and will almost certainly do so better than your main speakers. Manufacturers' specs for bass performance are wildly exaggerated and often made for purely marketing reasons. You bought your sub for a reason - so make the most of it!

You may want to have a look at what Audyssey say about setting speaker Crossovers in the article linked here by Chris Kyriakakis, Audyssey's CTO, where he discusses whether to set speakers to 'small or large'.

25. You may notice that Audyssey has set your crossovers to a figure that seems at odds with the speaker manufacturer's specifications. This is not unusual and is because the speaker manufacturer measured the speakers in an anechoic chamber, whereas Audyssey measures the actual in-room response. This means that it has taken into account any 'boost' provided by the room - eg if the speakers are close to a wall or near a corner.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: c)1. Why are my Crossovers set differently to my speaker manufacturer's specification?

Audyssey measures the in-room frequency response of the speakers and reports its findings to the AVR/AVP which then sets a Crossover based upon the manufacturer's design decisions.

The Crossover thus reported will be what Audyssey 'hears' in the actual room at the time of measurement and may differ greatly from the speaker manufacturer's specification, which are usually quoted from testing in an anechoic chamber (ie with the room effect removed) or are just wildly optimistic for marketing purposes./

26. You may also notice that Audyssey has set your subwoofer distance from the Main Listening Position much greater than it actually is if you measured it with a tape measure. This is perfectly normal. Audyssey does not measure the actual distance, but the delay between the signal leaving the subwoofer and arriving at the mic. Because many subwoofers have internal circuitry and filters inside them, they can add a significant delay to the sound arriving at the mic. Audyssey takes this delay into account and sets the subwoofer distance accordingly. Do NOT change the subwoofer distance manually.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: f)1. Why has Audyssey set my sub distance much greater than it actually measures?

Subwoofers usually have internal processing in their amplifier circuits and this can cause a delay in the sound reaching the listener. Audyssey 'hears' when the actual sound arrives at the mic during testing and sets the distance accordingly. Because 'distance' really means 'delay' the setting Audyssey chooses for the sub distance is almost always greater than the physical distance of the sub. (In other words, if the sound is delayed, Audyssey sets the distance to be greater than reality so that the sound 'starts' earlier than it otherwise would). The aim is for the sound of the sub to arrive at the Main Listening Position at the same time as the corresponding sounds from the other speakers and Audyssey does this very well.

You may read that some advanced Audyssey users change the sub distance from Audyssey's recommendation to improve the splice' at the region of the Crossover between the sub and the main speakers, but this is beyond the scope of this FAQ. Bottom line: unless you know what you are doing, and have independent measuring equipment to verify it, leave the sub distance where Audyssey has set it. For a more detailed explanation of this technique please see the Setup Guide.

27. If your subwoofer distance is reported as shorter than it really is, this can indicate a possible problem. See the section of the FAQ linked below for more information.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: f)6. My sub speaker distance setting is closer than the actual physical distance.

It is perfectly normal for Audyssey to set the sub distance to greater than the actual distance (see e)1), but what if the sub distance is set closer than reality? This can indicate a problem with the way the mic was used during calibration. If the mic was not used with a boom stand or tripod, for example, and was placed on a chair or hand held, then it is possible for spurious signals to adversely influence the calibration. For example, if your chair is placed on a wooden floor and the mic placed on the chair, then it is possible that bass signals travelling through the floor get into the chair and then into the mic. Because sound travels faster through wood than it does through air, this can cause a reported distance that is shorter than the physical distance between the mic and the speaker. If the sub distance is set short, Audyssey's advice is to measure the actual distance and to set the sub to that - but it is important that before doing so you have eliminated all possibilities of spurious signals mentioned above. I cannot over-emphasise the importance of using a boom mic stand or tripod to hold the mic during the measuring phase.

Some designs of subwoofer do not introduce any delays of their own, and in those cases one would expect the reported sub distance to be the same as reality. If that is the case, and you know for sure that your sub is of such a design, then leave the distance setting as it is reported by Audyssey.

The Setup Guide has in-depth information about this issue, including the following possible causes:

  • a. Holding the microphone in your hand.
  • b. Use of a subwoofer with a two-driver push-pull configuration. This is an unexplained phenomenon which has been noted by Audyssey.
  • c. Tactile transducers (e.g. Crowson, Buttkicker, etc.) left on when measuring.
  • d. Acoustical low-frequency noise in the room (e.g. projector fan, cable hum).
  • e. Electrical noise coming from another system component. The most common offender is the cable or other set-top box (STB). In several cases, disconnecting the STB from the system solved the problem.
  • f. The power supply of a computer connected to the same electrical circuit.
  • g. If you are certain the above scenarios (a. - f.) do not apply to your situation, then you can manually set the distance of the subwoofer in the AVR to the actual physical distance. Ensure you measure from the center of the subwoofer driver to the height of the microphone tip.

Please check the Setup Guide for more information. If you still have problems after reading the Guide, please post in the Official Audyssey Thread for expert help and advice.

28. The distances measured for your other speakers is usually very accurate and these distances should not be changed by you.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: e)2. Is it OK to change the distance settings Audyssey sets?

What Audyssey describes as 'distance' is really 'delay'. The idea is that the sound from each speaker arrives at the Main Listening Position at exactly the same time. This helps your system produce a 'precise' sound with excellent imaging and clarity. If the sounds all arrive at different times, the result is a 'smeared' sound, lacking clarity and giving poor imaging across your soundstage. Audyssey sets these different delays by calculating the time it takes the sound to travel from the speaker to the Main Listening Position (at the speed of sound of course) and setting an appropriate distance. For this reason, it is not advisable to change the distance settings unless you really know what you are doing.

29. There are some things you can do after Audyssey has completed the calibration:

It is OK to raise (but never to lower) the crossovers set after calibration. If they have been set quite low, eg 40 or 50 Hz, you may want to consider raising them to 80 Hz or so. There are several good reasons for considering this and you can read about them in the section of the FAQ linked below

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: c)2. Why do I often see advice to raise the Crossovers to 80Hz?

Audyssey has simply 'listened' during the measuring phase and reported the -3dB point of the frequency response to your AVR. What this means is this: when Audyssey sends the test chirps it will measure the frequency response of your speaker and find where it starts to roll off (i.e. become 'less loud'). When Audyssey detects the point at which the frequency response is down by 3dB ('the -3dB point') it stops trying to correct for the in-room response. So if, for example, your speaker is -3dB down at 50Hz, Audyssey will detect that and will only apply the EQ down to 50Hz. Audyssey will not correct below 50Hz for fear of boosting the lower frequencies beyond the capabilities of your speaker and damaging it.

It is then the responsibility of the AVR manufacturer to decide what to do with that information. In some cases, if the -3dB point is, say, 40Hz, the AVR will set the speakers to Large. In other cases, the same situation will result in the speakers being set to Small with a 40Hz Crossover set in the AVR menus. In addition, Audyssey takes into account the placement of the speakers in the room and the room characteristics itself when evaluating the -3dB point. So if your speakers are in a corner, for example, they will deliver more perceived bass than if they are out in the open because the room reinforces' the bass. All of this will influence the Crossover that is actually set. You can leave the Crossover to where it was set if you wish. However

There are various good reasons to use a Crossover of 80Hz or thereabouts:

  1. By doing so, you will relieve the strain on the main speakers from trying to reproduce very low frequencies. This can help the speakers perform better in the mid and higher frequencies.
  2. By doing so you also relieve the considerable strain on the amplifier that it experiences when trying to produce very high Sound Pressure Levels at very low frequencies, such as often found in movie content. It takes simply huge amounts of amplifier power to generate 115 dB at 20Hz or even lower - the amp in the subwoofer has been designed in conjunction with the subwoofer itself to drive the speaker to those levels at those frequencies. By handing off these frequencies to the sub, it greatly eases the strain on your AVR or external amplifier and this will have a beneficial effect on the way it drives the other speakers in the system.
  3. By using a dedicated sub (or subs) to produce the low bass, you are also able to place the sub/s in the optimum room position with regard to room modes. Front speakers have to be positioned for imaging and the best place for a bass speaker is not usually the best place for imaging. By crossing over to a sub at 80Hz, you can place the main speakers in the best place and also the sub in the best place too.
  4. If you have Audyssey XT or MultEQ, the filter resolution for the sub channel is much higher than it is for the satellites, so handing more of the frequencies off to the sub lets you benefit from that greater filter resolution over a wider range of frequencies. With XT32, the filter resolution for the sub channel is the same as for the satellites, so that consideration doesn't apply to anyone fortunate enough to have XT32.
  5. Do not lower the crossovers however. If you do, you will have an uncorrected 'hole' in your frequency response between what Audyssey set and what you have lowered the crossover to.


For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: c)4. Is it OK to change the Crossovers from Audyssey's recommendation?

Raising (never lowering) the Crossovers is fine and will not affect the calibration that Audyssey has made. Indeed, there are good reasons to raise the Crossover settings as mentioned elsewhere in this FAQ.

If you decide to change any of the Crossovers determined by Audyssey, note that it is always OK to RAISE the Crossovers from those suggested but never to LOWER them. This is because Audyssey corrects down to the -3dB point of the speaker's frequencies response, so if you lower the Crossover from Audyssey's suggested setting you will create an uncorrected 'hole' in the frequency response. It's fine to raise them and doing so does not harm the Audyssey calibration in any way at all.

Finally, it may be worthwhile to compare by listening to any Crossovers allowed under the above rules to see which might be preferred, particularly in the case of XT32. Just remember not to lower them from Audyssey's setting!

It is OK (and recommended) to change the speakers from Large to Small or to set a crossover, for the reasons given above. If you use a subwoofer, all your speakers are 'small' regardless of their physical size.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: c)3. I have big tower speakers at the front. Shouldn't I set these to 'Large'?

Small and Large in this context are really misnomers. Rather than describing the physical size of the speakers, what it really means is that some speakers can reproduce lower frequencies more efficiently than others. So-called 'full range' speakers might go down as low as 30Hz - but the problem is, if they do, they won't usually go down very low AND very loud at the same time. Movies call for very deep bass - often 20Hz or even lower - at very high Sound Pressure Levels - 115dB at 'Reference Level'.

Also, remember that if you set your main speakers to Large, you are bypassing the bass Management in your AVR and sending no sound at all (apart from the .1 Low Frequency Effects channel) to your sub. Your sub has been specifically designed to handle bass frequencies and will almost certainly do so better than your main speakers. Manufacturers' specs for bass performance are wildly exaggerated and often made for purely marketing reasons. You bought your sub for a reason - so make the most of it!

You may want to have a look at what Audyssey say about setting speaker Crossovers in the article linked here by Chris Kyriakakis, Audyssey's CTO, where he discusses whether to set speakers to 'small or large'.

Do NOT use 'Double Bass', 'LFE + Main' or 'Both' if your AVR has these options.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...

From the Audyssey FAQ: f)7. What is 'LFE + Main' or 'Double Bass' and should I use it?

The short answer is ‘No’ – you should not use these settings and, if you have a subwoofer, you should never set your speakers to ‘Large’. For the more detailed reasoning behind this, read on…

Denon units have a setting called ‘LFE + Main’ and Onkyo units call this ‘Double Bass’. They both set out to achieve the same thing. Before we look at the issues surrounding these settings, we need to clarify what your AVR manufacturer means when they say speakers are ‘Large’ or ‘Small’.

For starters, these designations have nothing whatsoever to do with the physical size of your speakers. In AVR-speak, ‘Large’ means “no bass management” and ‘Small’ means “bass management is used”. For our present purposes, ‘bass management’ means that you have a subwoofer and you want to send bass frequencies to it – usually all the frequencies below a certain crossover level that you have chosen (or which your AVR has chosen when you ran your Audyssey setup routine). Often this crossover will be 80Hz.

If you set your speakers to ‘Large’ then ordinarily no bass management at all is used. This means that your expensive subwoofer is doing nothing other than handling the relatively small amount of content in the LFE channel (the .1 in 5.1).

If , however, you decide to use a crossover to send the low frequencies to your subwoofer, then you will need to set the speakers to ‘Small’. In some AVRs, you don’t specify ‘Small’ – the very act of setting a crossover means that the speakers have been designated as small.

However… what happens if you set your AVR to use the ‘LFE + Main’ or the ‘Double Bass’ setting?

With Denon units, if you set the mains to "Large" and ‘LFE+MAIN’, the mains will receive the full frequency spectrum, and bass from the main channels will also be sent to the sub (LFE) simultaneously. The same thing happens with Onkyo units if you set ‘Double Bass’. In both cases you are now sending low frequencies to both the main speakers AND the subwoofer. The problem is, this is a really bad idea for the following reasons:

  • First, there is the possibility of phase cancellation when the main speakers and the subwoofer play the same bass frequencies.
  • Second, in the region where the frequencies overlap between the subwoofer and the main speakers, the bass frequencies are doubled and tend to become bloated, boomy, and exaggerated.
  • Also, the XT and MultEQ versions of Audyssey apply more correction filters to the subwoofer frequencies. If the same frequencies are sent to the main speakers and the subwoofer at the same time, you will apply higher resolution filters to the same frequencies in the subwoofer and lower resolution filters to the same frequencies going to the front speakers. When the two low frequency sources are combined, we will have unpredictable results to say the least.

Finally, read what Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey has to say on the subject:

"LFE + Main should not even be an option because it just causes duplication of bass content by sending it to both the sub and any speakers set to Large (Full Range).

A "high ranking" official in a "well-known" AVR company told me that LFE + Main was invented to appease customers that were upset when their speakers were being set to Small. These customers had a complete lack of understanding of what Small means (i.e. turn on bass management and redirect the bass to the subwoofer) and felt... inadequate. LFE + Main allows them to set their speakers to a more manly Large and still have bass management. But it's a compromise that can cause boomy bass if the speaker and subwoofer overlap in the lower frequencies."

Some people wish to raise the level of the centre channel by a few dB in order to help them hear dialogue better and this is OK. It does not negate the correction filters Audyssey has calculated.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...


From the Audyssey FAQ: a)2. Why is dialogue from the centre channel difficult to hear or understand?

This may be caused by Audyssey Dynamic EQ (See Reference Level Offset), centre speaker placement or room dynamics. First check that the centre speaker is working correctly and that the tweeter is connected and working. Pink noise test tones will be good for this. Put your ear close to the drivers and tweeter in your centre speaker (not too loud!) and check that they sound like they are working properly. If they are, then try the following before running Audyssey again:
  • Poor dialogue intelligibility is often the result of reflections in your room. Does your room look like it may fall into the 'reflective' category? If so consider adding room treatments, drapes, bookshelves etc to try to damp down the reflections. When you clap your hands in the room, does the noise continue to 'ring' for a brief moment? If so then your room is definitely too lively and this may affect dialogue intelligibility. Pay especial attention to the 'first reflections' from your speakers - side walls, floor, ceiling.
  • A simple way to locate the 'first reflection' points in your room is to have a friend hold a small mirror against the wall while you are seated in your Main Listening Position. Have the friend move the mirror around the wall until you can see the speaker in the mirror. The location of the mirror is a reflection point. Remember you also get first reflections from the floor and the ceiling!
  • Is your centre speaker in a cabinet or on a shelf? If it is, then pull it forward so the front edge of the speaker clears the front edge of the cabinet or shelf by an inch or so. This can make a huge difference.
  • Is your centre speaker angled so that it points towards your ears at the Main Listening Position? If not then angle it up (or down, depending on whether it is below or above the screen).
  • If your centre speaker is on the floor, then raise it up on some sort of stand. Again, angle it towards the Main Listening Position.
  • If you have a reflective coffee table between your centre channel and the Main Listening Position, consider permanently* removing it. These are often the cause of dialogue problems. Glass is especially bad. If you can't remove it, cover it with something to damp down the reflections - eg books or magazines. *Do not remove it for the calibration and then replace it afterwards!
  • If you have a hard wooden floor, consider a nice thick area rug to help damp down reflections from the floor.
  • It may be the source material which isn't mastered very well, so try a different source with known good dialogue reproduction (check some DVD or Bluray reviews).

If you have relocated the centre speaker at all, or made any other room adjustments, run Audyssey again and see if dialogue is now better. Remember you can raise the trim level for the centre channel by a few dB if you wish and it won't spoil your calibration at all.

If you notice that Audyssey has set any of your trim levels to their maximum range, then please see the section of the FAQ linked below for advice on what to do.

For more detailed information, open the Spoiler...


From the Audyssey FAQ: e)6. What do I do if my trim levels are at the limits of their adjustment ('maxed out')?

During the calibration, Audyssey sets each speaker's volume level so that all your speakers are playing at the same level, relative to each other, after the calibration is complete. These settings are called the 'trim levels' and you can see how Audyssey has set them by going into your AVR or Prepro's menus.

The range that Audyssey works within depends on the make of your unit: for Onkyo it is -12dB to +12dB for the satellites and -15dB to +12dB for the subwoofer; for Denon and Marantz the range is -12dB to +12dB for the satellites and the subwoofer. For other brands, check with your user manual. After calibration, all your speakers should show a trim setting within these ranges.

It is important that no trim level is 'hitting the stops' or maxed out. The reason for this is that if you do hit the stops, you have no way of knowing if Audyssey would have gone even further if it had been able to. So if, for example, your sub is set to -15dB, then there is the possibility that it could have been set to -17dB if Audyssey had allowed it. Ideally, your sub should be in the trim range of approximately -3.5dB to +3.5dB. If your sub is not in this range then you can adjust it by using the sub volume control knob and running Audyssey again until you get the trim where you want it.

However, what do you do if your satellite speakers are maxed out? They do not (usually) have volume controls. The trim levels are determined by a combination of several factors - for example, the efficiency* of your speakers, your amplifier gain, room size, speaker location etc. It is unusual for one or more satellite speakers to be maxed out but it can happen. If you are using external (separate) power amplification with very efficient speakers, then a good solution is to use line level attenuators or 'pads'. If you are using an AVR's internal amplification, the solution is more complicated and is outside the scope of this FAQ. If this has happened in your setup please leave a message in the Official Audyssey Thread for advice and assistance, giving information about your individual circumstances, room, speakers and so on.

*By speaker efficiency I mean how loud the speakers play for a given input, usually stated as something like 89dB/1w/1m, which means they play at 89dB for a 1 watt input when measured at 1 metre (3ft 3 ins) distance.


Go directly to the Audyssey MultEQ FAQ by clicking here!
Go back to the top of the '101' Guide by clicking here!

Alternatively, go directly to any FAQ section header by clicking below:

A. General Audyssey Issues
B. Issues That May Arise During Calibration
C. Crossover Settings
D. Mic & Mic Placement Issues
E. Levels, Distance & Trim Settings
F. Subwoofers & Bass
G. Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume
H. MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?
J. Audyssey DSX Questions

Last edited by kbarnes701; 06-29-2014 at 12:41 PM.
kbarnes701 is online now  
post #51780 of 71889 Old 03-15-2012, 01:06 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
kbarnes701's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Main Listening Positon
Posts: 16,621
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 565 Post(s)
Liked: 1276
FAQ ADDENDUM: IN-DEPTH TECHNICAL ISSUES

This addendum to the Audyssey FAQ is for the discussion of advanced Audyssey issues which arise from time to time and which are not relevant to the Audyssey newcomer seeking simple resolutions to setup problems and so on. The Addendum is hyperlinked, where necessary to the main FAQ, and vice-versa.

a)1. Differences between MultEQ XT32 and MultEQ XT/MultEQ/2EQ with regard to HF correction.
a)2. Using Parametric Equalisation in tandem with Audyssey to improve frequency response.
a)3. Graphs showing the effect of Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset at various settings of Master Volume and RLO.

a)1. Differences between MultEQ XT32 and MultEQ XT/MultEQ/2EQ with regard to HF correction.

It has long been thought that the different flavours of MultEQ are simple evolutions with the sole differences being the filter resolution (and, less significantly, the maximum number of mic positions being allowed for measurement).

This FAQ answer contains Audyssey's own description of the differences.

However, more recently, thanks to the investigative methods of those AVS members credited throughout this answer, additional information has come to light. This information shows that, far from being a simple matter of filter resolution, XT32 works in a significantly different way from the other flavours of MultEQ.

There can be no doubt about the assertion that XT32 works in a fundamentally different way to XT since this has now been confirmed on FaceBook by Chris Kyriakakis, the CTO of Audyssey, in this exchange with AVS member, batpig:

[Batpig]: So Chris would it be fair to say that XT32 isn't just an "evolution" of XT (more resolution) but actually has some fundamental changes in how the processing resources are allocated? Is this why comparing graphs of XT vs XT32 shows such a substantial difference in apparent resource allocation?

[Chris:] Yes that's a fair statement.

(Source: Audyssey Tech Talk page, FaceBook, 16/17 March 2014 (depending on your timezone)

For the purposes of this answer, I am ignoring 2EQ and MultEQ - the two 'entry level' flavours and one can assume that anything said about XT refers to those two flavours as well, unless otherwise stated.

Before proceeding, it is important to understand what electronic room correction should ideally do, and every commentator that I have read is in agreement that the most correction is required for the bass frequencies and the least-intrusive correction required for the upper frequencies. It is well known that below 300-400Hz, the room is by far the biggest influence on the sound we hear, and in many respects, at those frequencies we are basically hearing the room itself. So it is very important to correct in that region as capably as possible. When XT32 was unveiled, it was stated that its biggest step forward lay in the additional filter resolution, with much more emphasis being given to the lower frequencies. Filter resolution of XT32 is 512x for both the satellites and the subwoofer while XT is only 16x for the satellites and 128x for the subwoofer.

Chris Kyriakakis explains it like this: "MultEQ and MultEQ XT do an analysis of the measurements by spacing the frequency bins more closely in the lower frequencies and then progressively farther apart in the higher range. That has the benefit of giving the low frequency problems more "importance" in the filter calculations. MultEQ XT32 also does that, but has an additional improvement. It uses multirate processing to increase the resolution of the lower frequency range. This is a dramatic improvement over traditional FIR filtering methods and is the only way to increase resolution without increasing the needed DSP processing power." (Audyssey Tech Talk page, faceBook 16/17 March 2014 depending on your timezone).

However, there is more to it than simply increasing the resolution of the LF range. It has now been shown that there is another highly significant difference between XT32 and XT and this lies at the very heart of how Audyssey MultEQ works. It is now clear that XT applies significantly fewer resources to EQing the bass (than XT32) but does significantly more (than XT32) in the upper frequency range, where correction is needed least of all and where over-correction - according to informed opinion - can actually do more harm than good. In other words, this is the opposite to what one would expect - and the opposite to how XT32 approaches the task.

The following pre-out graphs, produced by AVS member rickardl, illustrate this quite clearly:

In this graph below, XT32 Flat/Music is RED, XT32 Reference/Movie is GREEN and XT is BLUE. Remember this graph is showing the pre-out measurement not the in-room measurement, so it is showing the amount of correction that will be applied. Observe the almost non-existent low end correction for XT in the graph below! It is interesting to see that the XT32 curve is so much smoother at the higher frequencies vs the very jagged curve of XT. Note the extreme amount of 'hair' at the HF end in the XT graphs.




In this graph below we see XT32 Subwoofer correction vs Center channel correction. Center is RED, Sub is BLUE.

Note these are measured directly from the AVRs pre-out. Similar to the to the "Inverse" curve shown here on the Audyssey site:



Anyone wishing to see Rickardl's original posts containing these graphs can see them here, here and here.


AVS member, djbluemax1, has provided the following explanatory commentary:

"In order to properly grasp the concept, you need to understand what is going on.

  1. An in-room measured response at a particular position will show a lot of 'hair' in the higher frequencies. This is due to constructive and destructive interference from the reflected acoustic waves arriving at the mic at the different frequencies. Some waves will interfere constructively (peak), some destructively (dip).

    At these higher frequencies, wavelengths get very short. For a specific kHz, a peak at one measuring spot may change to a dip 1" away. Therefore, electronically correcting the peak at that one measurement location is pointless, as the results will be off at any other location.
  2. The above is why it's not only pointless to apply such fine corrections in the higher frequencies, it's possible you would produce even worse results by doing so. Every flavor of Audyssey below XT32 does it though.
  3. XT32 OTOH, uses a more practical and elegant approach. Instead of applying corrections to fine details (which as described above is either futile, or potentially detrimental), XT32 DOES still apply corrections above Schroeder, but in broader strokes, i.e. if the speaker's measured response shows a dip of 5db from 2kHz to 5kHz, XT32 will try to boost it to flatten the dip. Likewise, if the measured response shows a 4db rise from 8kHz to 16kHz, XT32 attempts to squash it flat (or to fit the standard Audyssey curve with roll off).

    Unlike the previous iterations, XT32 does NOT attempt to correct the peak at 9,876Hz, the dip at 9,882Hz, the peak at 9,897Hz etc., which is the way it should be.

You'll also note that in the pre-out graphs of XT vs XT32, XT32 shows much finer corrections in the lowest octaves vs the much cruder broader strokes of XT in the lowest octaves (where correction is actually useful). In other words, the allocation of resources for correction in XT is completely backward to what is optimal. Where you SHOULD have the finest granularity for correction in the lowest octaves, then taper the granularity at higher frequencies, applying only general broad strokes to produce a flatter response, XT has the crudest corrections in the lowest octaves, with granularity increasing with frequency which is the opposite of optimal. As Roger's comment points out, it took them till XT32 to get this right." (My italics) (Max's full post can be seen here)

Roger Dressler, formerly of Dolby Labs, is one of AVS's most respected contributors and he has this to say on the posted graphs, in response to to rickardl:



Additional corroboration of the principles involved can also be seen in this paper from Mathias Johansson of Dirac Research, who says:

"Note the amount of ripple, in particular in the high-frequency region. (If we plot this data using fractional octave smoothing, we will not see the ripple, but it is still there and will affect the final filter unless we are careful.) The problem with this ripple is that it is not a property of the frequency response that we perceive, only of the Fourier frequency response which does not take spatial angle nor time into account. The ripple is inaudible, because it is only a property of the late reflections in the room (what can be regarded as late is of course frequency-dependent). However, let us now assume we build an equalizer that inverts this Fourier spectrum. Regardless of whether it is minimum-phase or not, it will still have similar variability in the high-frequency region which manifests itself in the time domain as additional high-frequency garbage in the impulse response (spread out over time). If we now use different equalizers on the left and on the right speaker, we end up with two widely different transfer functions that can have any arbitrary spatial effect, typically in the form of a weak decorrelation. The naïve averaging led us to compensate for issues that are (a) nonexistent in any single listening position and (b) psycho-acoustically irrelevant. It is well worth noting that correcting for something inaudible may lead to something audible."

(Thanks to AVS member IgorZep for this reference)

Here is another insight into the nature of the problem (text courtesy of AVS member sdurani, graphic courtesy of IgorZep):

IF the peak you are trying to correct doesn't line up with the correction (at the listening locations) then the result could be worse than leaving the peak alone because the correction itself will now have added a problem (a dip that wasn't there before).



The chances are much less of this happening in low frequencies, where wavelengths are several feet long, compared to high frequencies, where wavelengths are an inch or two long (which of your two ears will be at the exact location where the correction cancels the peak?). This is why correcting individual peaks & dips in the high frequencies (hair/grass) is not a good idea.

Further illustrative example.

To understand the issue better it is worth looking at the impulse response, the time domain/scale, not (only) the frequency scale. The pre-out graphs below have been produced by AVS member IgorZep.

MultEQ XT:




MultEQ XT32:



The 'hair' is the high frequencies there, and the 'waves' are the low frequencies. XT is 'hairy' here too for quite a sensitive time range (11 ms) when our brain expects to hear a 'direct' sound without reflections. But instead XT adds the distortion as if there were many small reflecting surfaces all around the speaker in between it and listener.

By contrast, XT32 ensures there are no high frequency components in the impulse response after the very first millisecond of impulse response. This is also the cause of the lack of hair in XT32's frequency response. While there could be different opinions about what level of such distortion is undetectable, XT has a lot of measurable high frequency time domain distortion, while XT32 has (almost) none. And this distortion is definitely not supposed to correct something so it will not cancel when summed with the distortion caused by the corresponding room. (Igor's original post can be seen here.)

Conclusions and summaries.

Most of the information above is, of essence, quite technical. The conclusion that many of us have drawn from this evidence is that XT32 should be seen as a replacement product for XT not simply an evolution of it, and indeed this has been confirmed by Audyssey (see above). Members are recommended to review the evidence posted above and to conduct their own measurements and listening tests before they make a decision as to whether to upgrade to XT32 or not.

Depending on speakers, speaker placement, room acoustics, listener experience, listener hearing sensitivity etc, some members may not hear any audible problems caused by the claims made in this post, while others may. However, this does not mean that the reported issues and evidence are not real - just that some members may not hear them, or indeed even care about them.

The following comments summarise the above findings:

  1. AVS member hifisponge sums it up neatly: "Producing an EQ correction curve that is exact inverse of the measured treble FR (like XT does) is at best overkill, and at worst, potentially counterproductive to achieving better sound. Since higher frequency wavelengths are so small, even with averaging, a correction made for a given frequency is likely to be relevant to only a very small listening window. Move your ears an inch or two and all the peaks and valleys in the HF response shift, and an exact inverse correction curve is now potentially reinforcing the problems rather than correcting them. So it makes more sense to just EQ the general HF response trends (as XT32 appears to be doing)."
  2. It is worth repeating Max's comment which summarises it so well: "In other words, the allocation of resources for correction in XT is completely backward to what is optimal. Where you SHOULD have the finest granularity for correction in the lowest octaves, then taper the granularity at higher frequencies, applying only general broad strokes to produce a flatter response, XT has the crudest corrections in the lowest octaves, with granularity increasing with frequency which is the opposite of optimal".
  3. And Roger who summarises it like this: "Bingo! XT32 is much less busy >1 kHz where it is not needed and even potentially harmful, and much busier <1 kHz where it is really needed. Two huge improvements over XT."
  4. Indeed, even the CTO of Audyssey himself, Chris Kyriakakis, has given this same advice on Audyssey's FaceBook page: "I would be hard pressed to recommend going "lower" [than XT32]. Of course, there is a cost issue as well ..." (I don't do FaceBook so the reference for Chris's remark is in this post by AVS member, batpig.)

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the main FAQ post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to the top of the Addendum
Go directly to the Audyssey MultEQ FAQ by clicking here!

See Also:
a)2. Using Parametric Equalisation in tandem with Audyssey to improve frequency response.

This question has come up from time to time as many users also have additional forms of EQ at their disposal. The question often asked is whether PEQ should be used before or after Audyssey. The answer is that it depends on the objective. If the objective is to tame a problem that Audyssey is not able to handle well (eg a huge peak at a given frequency) then the PEQ should be used before Audyssey - the aim is to present Audyssey with an easier task. If, OTOH, the objective is to refine the Audyssey calibration, then the PEQ should be used after Audyssey.

Below is my own experiment with the use of additional PEQ used after the Audyssey calibration with XT32/Pro had been completed. The objective is to further improve the bass response curve. The PEQ used was in the form of a Behringer DSP1124P, commonly known as the Behringer Feedback Destroyer (BFD). Among its other features, the BFD has a 10-preset Parametric Equaliser built in, with 12 filters per preset across two channels. As such it is ideal for my use with dual (Seaton Submersive) subwoofers. This is not the place to delve deeply into the workings of the BFD as there are many other threads where one can learn more. It would also be possible to use a MiniDSP for this purpose but I had already picked up a cheap ($50) secondhand BFD off eBay.

The methodology was to measure the post Audyssey (DEQ off) in-room response for C + Subs. As I only use the HT for movies, the centre channel is the most important for me. With movies, the centre channel anchors the entire sound with the other channels creating the soundscape around the centre, so for this is the most important combination to get right. I have already performed the 'Sub Distance Tweak' (see below for details of this technique) to optimize the response around the XO frequency.

This graph shows the best post-Audyssey response I am able to obtain using XT32/Pro alone. All graphs in this post are unsmoothed. Please accept my apologies for spelling errors in the graph titles.



The Behringer Feedback Destroyer is interposed between the sub 1 and sub 2 outputs from my Prepro and the subs themselves. IOW, sub 1 output on the Prepro goes to Input 1 on the BFD and output 1 on the BFD goes to directly to Sub 1. Repeat for the other sub.

I then went into REW and loaded the curve above into the EQ section of REW. I set parameters that seemed to give me what I wanted in terms of rolloff of the adjustments made, level and maximum permissible boost (which I set at 6dB - the Submersives can easily handle it). This is a bit of trial and error. Then hit calculate and the filters are calculated. The result in shown below:



That seems like a useful improvement. This was obtained with just two filters. One centred on 85Hz with +6dB gain and the other centred on 55.85Hz with -3dB gain. Bandwidth for each was set at 7 for the 85Hz filter and 12 for the 55Hz filter. The filters then have to be loaded into the BFD. This can be done automatically by REW using a MIDI interface. But as there are only two filters it was quicker to enter the parameters manually into the BFD.

Once that has been done, I measured again, this time with the filters in place. The result is remarkably similar to the calculated curve above and is shown below - a testimony to the accuracy of REW's predictions:



And here are the with/without PEQ graphs overlaid for ease of reference:



As can be seen, there is a worthwhile improvement in in-room response over and above what Audyssey alone can attain in my (treated) room. The peak at ~55Hz and the trough at ~86Hz show a plus or minus of 4.5dB in the 'before' graph and this has been reduced to ±2dB in the 'after' graph - a worthwhile improvement and noticeably flatter.

Here are the 'before' and 'after' waterfalls, which also show some modest, but worthwhile, improvements too:






Other than the time taken to physically connect the BFD, which is a nightmare here as access to the rear of the equipment is severely restricted, the entire procedure takes just a few minutes, once REW has been set up.

Best of all, the BFD has 10 presets which I can use (on each input/output) so I can create several curves if I wish, all available at the press of a button and all easily A/B compared simply by switching the IN/OUT button on the BFD. My next task is to create a rising curve from the XO to about 20Hz for use when I desire room-shaking, earth-quaking bass, or simply to compare with the results obtained by using Dynamic EQ.

So, I am happy with the result - especially for an outlay of $50.

Subjective listening tests show an apparent 'cleaner' and slightly 'tighter' bass with a better 'balanced' sound. But there also seems to be an improvement further up the scale than I would have expected. Difficult to put my finger on - but a little 'cleaner'.

Adjusting the Behringer's input gain to avoid clipping.

The BFD needs to be input gain matched with the rest of the system. The BFD has no variable gain controls so in order to set the gain levels for the sub inputs, one has to use the sub trims in the AVR. The procedure for this is as follows.

  1. Push the IN/OUT button on the BFD and hold until it starts flashing.
  2. The BFD is now in Bypass mode.
  3. Play some bass heavy content (eg WOTW alien emergence scene) at the loudest level you are likely to ever listen at.
  4. Observe the two banks of LEDs on the left of the BFD's display.
  5. These LEDs monitor the input level when the BFD is in Bypass mode. At all other times they monitor the output level.
  6. What you are trying to do is to get the green LEDs all illuminated, with the yellow LEDs occasionally illuminated and the red (clipping) LED just flashing now and then.
  7. Adjust the sub trim controls until you achieve this - you may have to raise the trims or lower the trims. I found that I had to lower the trims by about 3dB.
  8. Once you have achieved the above, press the IN/OUT button again to return the unit to normal operating mode.
  9. You have now correctly set the input gain for the BFD and you should not adjust the AVR sub trims again.

Once you have done that, you will need to adjust the sub levels at the sub's own gain controls to bring the sub levels back to those previously used, before you adjusted the trims. In my case, I had lowered the AVR trims by 3dB, so I now needed to raise the sub gain controls to bring the subs up in level by 3dB. To do this, I used REW, but you could use a standard SPL meter.

What I did was run a measurement of the sub levels before doing the above gain matching procedure. I then raised the level of the subs by 3dB and measured again to ensure that the two measurements were identical, with both traces on the graph overlaying each other exactly. This is confirmation that, as far as the system is concerned, nothing has been changed. Adjusting the sub levels at the subs is, of course, identical to adjusting them at the AVR trims. Audyssey calibration is not affected.

If you prefer to run your subs a little hot, ensure that they are as you like them before starting the above procedure as it is more difficult to adjust subs at the subs (unless your subs have a digital level readout).

What I did when gain matching the BFD was to only have the red LEDs light up very occasionally - just the briefest of flashes. This means that I can, if I choose to later, raise the sub levels in the AVR by a couple of dB if I ever feel the need (unlikely).

If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the main FAQ post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to the top of the Addendum
Go directly to the Audyssey MultEQ FAQ by clicking here!

a)3. Graphs showing the effect of Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset at various settings of Master Volume and RLO.

The first graph, A, shows the result when the MV is set to -10dB and Dynamic EQ is switched OFF.



RLO works like this: if Dynamic EQ is ON, there will be a boost, most noticeable at the LF end of the spectrum. This boost can be seen in graph B which was made with the Master Volume set at -10dB from Reference, as above. DEQ is boosting nicely to compensate for the reduced perception of bass when the SPL is lowered. In this graph, RLO is set to 0dB.



Now if we use a RLO of 10dB, it will 'trick' Audyssey into thinking that the Reference Level is no longer 0dB but -10dB. So, in other words, DEQ will cease to boost the LF now when the MV is set to -10dB, as this is now the 'new' Reference level. It will appear that DEQ is switched off when the MV is set to -10dB and a RLO of 10dB is used. If this is the case, the graph showing the effect of DEQ ON, MV at -10dB and RLO at 10dB will be identical to the graph showing DEQ is off. And look what we get - Graph C does indeed look exactly the same as graph A. In fact, when they are overlayed, they are so precisely the same that you can hardly tell there are two traces! You can see that there are by looking carefully at the trace and you can just see very small variations at 2kHz and 7.5Khz. I have separated them by 0.5dB in graph D so that it can be clearly seen that there are two identical traces.





Graphs E and F show the same results as above but instead with a MV of -15dB and a RLO of 15dB.





Graph G is the data shown above in Graph F but without the offset for clarity - the match is perfect. If you look very closely you can tell there are two traces at around 45-50Hz where once can just about make out the two colours.




Additional measurements showing the effect of RLO when the Master Volume is advanced beyond Reference Level.

For additional clarity in these graphs I have shown just the range from 20Hz to 400Hz as it is in the lower frequencies where the effect of DEQ is most easily observed.

Graph H is the 'baseline' trace showing a setting of -15dB on the Master Volume (MV) with Dynamic EQ (DEQ) off.



Graph J shows the MV still at -15dB but this time with DEQ turned on - RLO is set to 0dB for this graph. As expected, we see a nice bass boost as a result of DEQ.



Graph K shows the MV still at -15dB, DEQ on, but this time with a RLO setting of -15dB. As I showed before, this results in a graph which looks exactly like the 'baseline' graph, where DEQ was turned off. This is because we have now 'told Audyssey' that the Reference level is no longer 0dB but is now -15dB, so DEQ ceases to have any effect when Reference is reached.



Because the traces overlap so perfectly it is difficult to see that there are two separate traces there. Those with keen eyes will observe that the traces are very slightly separate at 50Hz (this will just be a measuring anomaly - maybe the barometric pressure dropped very slightly for example between measurement sweeps. The difference is of no significance anyway but it serves to show that there are in fact two traces overlaid in Graph K). To make it perfectly clear lest anyone think I am cheating, Graph L shows the same data as Graph K but I have separated the traces by 0.5dB for the sake of extra clarity.



If our understanding of how RLO works is correct, then DEQ ceases to have any effect at Reference Level (as observed above where we have adjusted Reference Level to an effective -15dB). However, if one advances the MV beyond Reference Level, then DEQ actually works in reverse and attenuates the bass in order to preserve the perceptual effect when taking into account the way human hearing works. If DEQ is working as we have described, then keeping the RLO of 15dB but advancing the MV to -10dB should show the bass being attenuated by DEQ.

Graph M shows a MV setting of -10dB, DEQ on, RLO still at 15dB. As we can see, DEQ is indeed attenuating the bass. Remember the black line is the 'baseline' with DEQ off. The green trace shows that DEQ is now reducing the level of bass by a few dB because by setting a MV of -10dB we have now advanced beyond Reference Level, which has been offset to -15dB with the RLO setting of 15dB.



Graph N shows the impact of further advancing the MV to -5dB (with DEQ on and RLO of 15dB still set, as above). Here we see a greater still reduction in the level of the bass frequencies, as we would expect.



Finally, for the sake of completeness, here is Graph P which shows all of the above traces combined into one graph, so that the relationships between them can be easily seen.



If this answer helped you, please click here to take you to the bottom of the main FAQ post where you can leave a 'thumbs up'. It's the only way we can evaluate how useful the FAQ is, so a few seconds of your time would be greatly appreciated - thanks!

Go back to the top of the Addendum
Go directly to the Audyssey MultEQ FAQ by clicking here!

To go directly to any main FAQ section header, click below:

A. General Audyssey Issues
B. Issues That May Arise During Calibration
C. Crossover Settings
D. Mic & Mic Placement Issues
E. Levels, Distance & Trim Settings
F. Subwoofers & Bass
G. Dynamic EQ & Dynamic Volume[
H. MultEQ: What Is It, How Does It Work?
J. Audyssey DSX Questions

Last edited by kbarnes701; 06-23-2014 at 02:48 PM.
kbarnes701 is online now  
Reply Receivers, Amps, and Processors

Tags
Audyssey , Receivers Amplifiers , Kef Kht1005 2se 5 1 Subwoofer Satellite System With C4 Subwoofer Gloss White , 5 6 7 1 7 2 Or 8 1 8 2 One Or Two Subwoofer Compatible 16 Banana Post 2 Rca Speaker Wall Plate For H
Gear in this thread

    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page


    Forum Jump: 

    Posting Rules  
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off