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"OFFICIAL" Pioneer MCACC thread - Page 128

post #3811 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post


Now we're on to brass tacks. The reason Pioneer and all those other manufacturers you listed decided to use a (cheap) omni mic with a static measuring position is three fold. Cost, user friendliness, and enviornmental unpredictability. You see, the engineers over at Pioneer WANT to measure reflections coming off of the ceiling so they can offset those reflections by dipping frequencies. However, as my link just demonstrated, a high frequency beamed directly at the SIDE of an omni mic will be much attenuated VS one beamed right at the front of the diaphragm...which will coincidentally be more accurate.

.

Accuracy is not important in a calibration mic. It simply needs to have response characteristics that are (a) known and (b) repeatable within the margin of error. That's why the positioning and orientation of the mic are specified. All that matters here is amplitude, and any irregularities in the mic's response, as long as they are known, can easily be compensated for.

I'm sure these mics would sound awful if you tried to record actual audio with one.
post #3812 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

Accuracy is not important in a calibration mic. It simply needs to have response characteristics that are (a) known and (b) repeatable within the margin of error. That's why the positioning and orientation of the mic are specified. All that matters here is amplitude, and any irregularities in the mic's response, as long as they are known, can easily be compensated for.

I'm sure these mics would sound awful if you tried to record actual audio with one.

I agree with you completely, but was speaking pecifically to high frequency directionality when addressing the side of an omni mic, measurement or otherwise.

Even though I know the frequency response of my speakers, it (the mic) never will since it, using the recommended positioning, will never hear much above XXkhz. Therefore, it thinks my speakers, as it measures the initial wave before the first reflections, lack high frequency detail and therefore boosts high frequencies. Not the best way to address tuning a system.

Regarding the known irregularity of its response, there would only be validity to that approach if it also had a crystal ball. If it cant hear it, it cant hear it. Dont get me started on requantization into a 32 bit format....pioneer's working some magic these days.
post #3813 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

Ok, I dont have a whole lot of time, but enough to give you a quick and dirty about high frequency directionality with regard to omni microphones...

thanks for the information & I mean that smile.gif

I'm here to learn, too. as long as people back up what they say with some sort of info, that's good. when we make claims or generalizations & have nothing to back them up, that's what bothers me.

I'll read more of what you say in depth and the link you provided. it looks to be interesting. and yes, I realize the mic all receiver companies include are cheap & probably vary more than we think in their response. I do have a decent mic with my Velodyne sub, looks like it came from Behringer and I would trust it more than the Pioneer & Audyseey mics. but I based my advice on what seems to me on a logical use of the included mic. it may not be precision but the orientation does make differences. so in the context of "accuracy", I agree that none of these mics will be truly "accurate".

thanks for posting back.
post #3814 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by ss9001 View Post

thanks for the information & I mean that smile.gif

I'm here to learn, too. as long as people back up what they say with some sort of info, that's good. when we make claims or generalizations & have nothing to back them up, that's what bothers me.

I'll read more of what you say in depth and the link you provided. it looks to be interesting. and yes, I realize the mic all receiver companies include are cheap & probably vary more than we think in their response. I do have a decent mic with my Velodyne sub, looks like it came from Behringer and I would trust it more than the Pioneer & Audyseey mics. but I based my advice on what seems to me on a logical use of the included mic. it may not be precision but the orientation does make differences. so in the context of "accuracy", I agree that none of these mics will be truly "accurate".

thanks for posting back.

You're very welcome.

To be clear, I'm not saying that the included process to calibrate a full range, surround sound system isn't effective. What I'm saying is that it is built to a price point and user freindliness measure, so it will lack in some areas. By knowing which ares those are, you are better equipped to fine tune yourself.
post #3815 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

Accuracy is not important in a calibration mic. It simply needs to have response characteristics that are (a) known and (b) repeatable within the margin of error. That's why the positioning and orientation of the mic are specified. All that matters here is amplitude, and any irregularities in the mic's response, as long as they are known, can easily be compensated for.

I'm sure these mics would sound awful if you tried to record actual audio with one.

I agree with those statements. to my thinking it's not that important how accurate the mic is, but the position would be important for getting somewhere close to repeatable results and having the front half & back half of the soundfield be somewhere close to the same level.

getting close to the ballpark with close to repeatable results in the same setup I think is the main goal. if someone really wants accuracy they should get real mics, measurement tools & software or get a professional audio calibrator in wink.gif
Edited by ss9001 - 4/4/13 at 3:50pm
post #3816 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

You're very welcome.

To be clear, I'm not saying that the included process to calibrate a full range, surround sound system isn't effective. What I'm saying is that it is built to a price point and user freindliness measure, so it will lack in some areas. By knowing which ares those are, you are better equipped to fine tune yourself.

agreed

and
Quote:
they have staked their bets that the lay public can grasp easier the concept of pointing a VERY cheaply made test mic up and hitting the go button.

LOL - agreed! and even that is a stretch for some.

I know you are pretty new to this forum...wait until you're here for 5+ yrs and see hundreds of posts from folks who don't even read the manuals, get stuck & cry for help or complain that it's junk.

last yr, I replied to one guys' string of complaints cursing Pioneer because he pre-wired his house for HDMI multizones before reading any manuals, bought a model that doesn't have the HDMI multizone feature, couldn't get it to work and was pissed at Pioneer. many think receivers cross-convert analog & digital audio to HDMI when none of them do. they'll also say "it's not in the manual" and then disappear when I give them the pg number or paste a snapshot of the pg in the post. I read that it's not in the manual a lot wink.gif makes you wonder...

another guy seriously threatened to sue Pioneer because the latest i-app only works with the latest models. he & several others think they are entitled to free app upgrades for as long as they own it rolleyes.gif

stay here awhile & reading these kinds of posts can make you cynical.

companies are forced to cater to the (ahem) LCD's (and I don't mean TVs wink.gif)
Edited by ss9001 - 4/4/13 at 3:54pm
post #3817 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

I agree with you completely, but was speaking pecifically to high frequency directionality when addressing the side of an omni mic, measurement or otherwise.

Even though I know the frequency response of my speakers, it (the mic) never will since it, using the recommended positioning, will never hear much above XXkhz. Therefore, it thinks my speakers, as it measures the initial wave before the first reflections, lack high frequency detail and therefore boosts high frequencies. Not the best way to address tuning a system.

Regarding the known irregularity of its response, there would only be validity to that approach if it also had a crystal ball. If it cant hear it, it cant hear it. Dont get me started on requantization into a 32 bit format....pioneer's working some magic these days.

What's the evidence for "it can't hear it?" Personally, using both Onkyo and Pioneer calibration systems, I've not had a calibration routine "not hear" frequencies out to the highest audible octave. I'm sure these mics can't hear them very well, but all that matters if that the calibration software knows exactly how insensitive the mic is at what frequencies.
post #3818 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

Even though I know the frequency response of my speakers, it (the mic) never will since it, using the recommended positioning, will never hear much above XXkhz. Therefore, it thinks my speakers, as it measures the initial wave before the first reflections, lack high frequency detail and therefore boosts high frequencies. Not the best way to address tuning a system.
Why, exactly, would it boost high frequencies? Even supposing the mic is completely insensitive to certain frequencies, we'd have to assume that the engineers who designed the calibration algorithm know much less than you do about the deficiencies of their consumer calibration mics.
post #3819 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

What's the evidence for "it can't hear it?" Personally, using both Onkyo and Pioneer calibration systems, I've not had a calibration routine "not hear" frequencies out to the highest audible octave. I'm sure these mics can't hear them very well, but all that matters if that the calibration software knows exactly how insensitive the mic is at what frequencies.
It is known characteristic of omni mics as a class (see my Neumann link for one example) and is therefore usually considered in their design. There's only so much that can be done when a directional frequency doesn't hit a diaphragm squarely.

As far as evidence that the pioneer mic cant hear it, I have none. What I do have though is experience with my own system behaving in a consistent manner of what one would expect from any other omni mic (with published properties) rolling off highs outside of a cardioid pattern. The fact that this can be counter acted by pointing the mic at the tweeter, and has also been observed to behave the same way with other users' gear and rooms is pretty compelling though.

I would love for pioneer to publish some real polar pattern/frequency specs on that mic, but I don't think it'll happen. Does it "correct" what it can't hear based on known properties of what it can hear?...probably, but not very successfully in my experience with it thus far.
post #3820 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

Why, exactly, would it boost high frequencies? Even supposing the mic is completely insensitive to certain frequencies, we'd have to assume that the engineers who designed the calibration algorithm know much less than you do about the deficiencies of their consumer calibration mics.

I agree. I can only report on my own experience using the gear, which happens to be in lock step with exactly that as a theory. I draw no conclusions outside of that.
post #3821 of 5324
Hmmm... All the cals I have done actually drop the HF response a bit, appear to shelve around 12 - 15 kHz then drop off slightly over 16 - 18 kHz. May be a difference between older and newer units.
post #3822 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

I agree. I can only report on my own experience using the gear, which happens to be in lock step with exactly that as a theory. I draw no conclusions outside of that.

adrummingdude as stated some nice points to consider. The HF response of my system is the one thing that I feel MCACC could do a better job on. The thing about experienced Pioneer avr's users, most of them know MCACC well and exactly what they are getting compared to other autocalibration programs. MCACC does a better job with whole system integration and needs less tweaking post calibration IMHO.
Edited by derrickdj1 - 4/4/13 at 9:37pm
post #3823 of 5324
Fascinating and very informative information. Perhaps this confirms the observation about pointing the mic slightly forward which results in less adjustments to the higher frequencies. Although positioning the mic in this manner gave my front three speakers the most reasonable calibration, the disadvantage is that because the mic is facing slightly away from my rear speakers, they did not calibrate well and had to be manually tweaked. However, I accept this as a trade off for having a good front soundstage.


My real beef with MCACC is how unpredictable it is. For example, I ran Full Auto MCACC into Memory 1. I then ran it again into Memory 2 without moving the mic or changing anything, just to see what would happen. Logic would suggest that the two calibrations should be exactly identical. However, they weren't. There were slight variations in channel level and EQ.

This begs the question, how do I know that any calibration is the correct one?
post #3824 of 5324
Wow, there is a lot of complaining for MCACC calibration. I bought a SC-1222-K receiver, which was replace by a SC-1522-K due to the CostCo $599.99 deal. I ran MCACC, and I followe this PDF file created by javygonx, and my surround sound sounds excellent to MY LIKING!!!

Once again, here is the link to the PDF file. You can try it and see how you like it. This is mainly for increasing the bass.

https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/MCACC_SUB_EQ_1_3.pdf?w=AAB0FiOPS8lzyTHQG7scw2oWKG6Do0qwn5iis3yeBWvfqg
post #3825 of 5324
I calibrated my setup. Copied the data from MCACC memory 1 to memories 2-6. Then increased the subwoofer level a little in each successive preset. The bass is the only thing I needed to tweak a little. For old concert videos I use Finger EQ in the iOS app when it's needed. Sounds great.
post #3826 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurolicious View Post

disadvantage is that because the mic is facing slightly away from my rear speakers, they did not calibrate well and had to be manually tweaked.....However, I accept this as a trade off for having a good front soundstage.

yes
and as long as you know what you're doing & it's doing, that's good smile.gif

the problem is - how many typical owners really understand how it works? wink.gif IME, the number of new owners who lack basic AVR understanding is increasing, when they don't even look at the manual.

another anecdotal but true story...friend at work recently got a new Yammie AVR and was talking to me. I asked if he ran YPAO room EQ and he had no idea what I was talking about. I explained what it was, what it was supposed to do and he was amazed that calibrating speaker distances, etc was part of setting up a surround system. all he did was hook it up, connected his player, speakers & TV & thought he was done. and he admitted he didn't bother to really look at the manual. and this guy has an engineering degree, knows how to write programs in VB and we're in a specialty technical business.

there are a whole lot of J6P's buying receivers who are basically clueless and good advice from places like BB or internet sellers is an oxymoron.

that's why I was emphatic as much as I was. if you have the knowledge or understand the results that adrum & you do, going off the script is A-OK. adrum obviously knows a whole lot more about mics than I do smile.gif

but to blanket tell everybody that they can point the mic anywhere then that's a recipe for the masses not to get good sound and then are unhappy with the product & bad mouth the company. I still believe this just based on reading & answering questions in this forum...there are a lot of owners who really don't know how to use them.

if even a company like Anthem, selling $8-10K prepros, are also emphasizing where to point the mic, that should tell you something. and there should be more knowledgeable people at that end than the $500 AVR end wink.gif
Edited by ss9001 - 4/5/13 at 8:32am
post #3827 of 5324
can someone explain what exactly TRIM does. i was playing around with the manual standing wave menu, was comparing between two calibration done on different days, i realized i liked the calibration done on one day, but liked the bass management done on the previous day, so i was comparing the standing wave values, everything looked the same except the Q value, which is bandwidth. but some suggested in the past that by raising the TRIM value by 3db you're basically adding a 2nd sub. i am just baffled as to what exactly TRIM mean and what it does. i mean i know what it means in the manual, but it makes no sense. so can someone explain.

for those of you who just got the receiver, yes MCACC is awesome, and once you run the auto calibration, everything should sound awesome. but for those of use who are always trying to squeeze every last bit of performance out of our system, you'll start to notice subtle differences everytime you calibrate it. different in 0.5~2db in eq, and 0.1~1 in standing wave Q value (which btw IS noticeable).
post #3828 of 5324
I think TRIM is a way of setting the channel to be equal to others - AFTER EQ

well thats what I thought it did anyway

ie when you set levels - thats without EQ. TRIM allows you to post EQ account for any level changes between speakers due to the EQ process
post #3829 of 5324
The trim controls essentially provide individual volume (level) control for each channel.
post #3830 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

The trim controls essentially provide individual volume (level) control for each channel.

so how does it work. say in my MCACC level adjust i have my L: +1.5db C: -3.5db R: 0db Sub: 0db. so by changing the trim value in the SW standing wave menu, what does it change.
post #3831 of 5324
That is the problem. WSX-822-k does not allow to increase the frecuencies. It
just increase the volume (decibles) of the entire channel. No way to increase
low, medium or high frecuencies. I wonder if I tilt the microphone to the front
speakers, it will reduce the high and increase the low frecuencies, as it was
discussed before in this thread. I will try it.
post #3832 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzz1854 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

The trim controls essentially provide individual volume (level) control for each channel.

so how does it work. say in my MCACC level adjust i have my L: +1.5db C: -3.5db R: 0db Sub: 0db. so by changing the trim value in the SW standing wave menu, what does it change.

According to the manual for my SC-27:

TRIM (only available when the filter channel above is SW) – Adjust the subwoofer channel level (to compensate for the difference in output post-filter).

That is from the standing waves section. There are other trims for the EQ and each individual channel in different sections. Information should be in the manual for your AVR.
post #3833 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

According to the manual for my SC-27:

TRIM (only available when the filter channel above is SW) – Adjust the subwoofer channel level (to compensate for the difference in output post-filter).

looks like your manual makes more sense than my VSX-1120K, because THAT does make sense to me.
post #3834 of 5324
on the same topic, i was playing around with the Q value in standing wave menu. i noticed that a wider Q bandwidth, in another word, lower Q value gives a better more pronounced bass. i found this out when comparing two calibration results, one had a Q value of 4.4 at 58hz, while a later calibration had Q value of 5.8 at 58hz. both had the same ATT (attenuation) value of -3.5db. as it turned out, 5.8 sounded less pronounce and faster bass, while the 4.4 sounded more pronounced with fuller body. this baffles me, consider i would think a wider bandwidth coverage of attenuation SHOULD create less pronounced bass, but it turned out to be the opposite.

can anyone verify this?
post #3835 of 5324
The Q affects the bandwidth of the filter. More or less bass depends upon the width of the peak or null you are trying to compensate, which is generally a function of your room and listening position. There is no "one size fits all" solution. The answer will be different for all.
post #3836 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

The Q affects the bandwidth of the filter. More or less bass depends upon the width of the peak or null you are trying to compensate, which is generally a function of your room and listening position. There is no "one size fits all" solution. The answer will be different for all.

so what's your take, larger the width more bass or narrower, because in my example it's larger the width produces a fuller bass, while narrower width makes quicker thinner bass.
post #3837 of 5324
^^^ never mind, did some testing when i came home. too large of a bandwidth produces this muddy dull sound.
post #3838 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by howzz1854 View Post

so what's your take, larger the width more bass or narrower, because in my example it's larger the width produces a fuller bass, while narrower width makes quicker thinner bass.

no one can tell you what is best for your room

it is entirely room dimension, listening position, sub location dependent. nulls & peaks for every single bass freq are directly dependent on room dimensions. whether your ears are in a peak or a null depends on where you sit in the room.

so there is NO one correct Q value for any kind of parametric equalizer or any kind of filter. plus the "best" Q value for adjusting one freq would be different than that for another and how close or far apart the controlled freq's are from each other.

you adjust each one to get the overall smoothest response. you can do that with built-in equalizer displays, measurement software or by ear.

DonH50's answer is correct.

so you found out which worked better for you by ear. your settings will be different than what is ideal for my room/setup. no one right answer.
post #3839 of 5324
Interesting mic discussions going on.

To just quicky revisit all the x-over / big / small talk I spawned earlier...
And to wrap up my own legacy... for my own sanity. I'm now altering my original stance. Which I knew full well that over time, was highly likely to occur. Whereas prior, the large/plus was the best arrangement I had come upon, I also knew it wasn't ideal but I didn't have a final solution. I think I do now however, and I am now running my setup with all smalls and x-over at 80Hz. How boring and predictable.

What has changed is that I used another manuf's manual to give firmer direction and explanation. Obviously you can't use another manual and expect it to properly and accurately account for another manuf's product operation across all aspects, but I wanted to get 2nd opinion insight on some of the high level info from another SSP manual, and I chose Anthem as that manual as it is a Canadian (English 1st language) company. The key takeaway from that manual was that their firm reco was to disable the sub x-over and use only the SSP built-in x-over.

So before I re-ran MCACC I disabled. This time around I was able to get all of the fullness of the large speaker setting prior, and then also managed to remove the bit of boom and bloat that was there as well. So basically I'm finally in a comfortable place now. I can rest easy knowing that my little demanding 4ohm bookshelves are only being driven by the amp without the former waste of current under the large setup, that the bass overlap has been taken care of under this arrangement, and the fullness that I couldn't get before with a speaker set to small setup is now present. So I seem to have solved for all the little nagging items that haunted me. I'm not going to pontificate on what factor or factors contributed to such a different outcome with smalls and the only change being the sub x-over disabled because MCACC is way too mysterious to be able to try and put any labels on that, but I A-B'd it with the two MCACC setups and it's not placebo that's for sure. I used Dire Straits Brothers In Arms SACD 5.1 mix for the reference to do all my system setup listening with (with the PCM decode being done on the source side, as for why player decode... it's simply that I find at least in my setup it sounds better than DSD out of the source and my VSX-31 doing the decoding).

So for all those still not fully satisfied with their setup, if you haven't tried, maybe give the sub x-over disable a try and re-run the MCACC. I had to take a bit of extra time after by manually jimmying around with the EQ on the centre channel (others of course may or may not find the need, as was mentioned in a previous post, every situation is unique) but the extra time in my case was worth it. As great a job as the MCACC does with the EQ'ing it just seemed a little nasal and boxy still. But once I EQ'd that out to my liking the final piece of the puzzle seemed to snap into place. My wife will be happy, she was getting steamed about all the time I was spending between reading and calibration.

Now that all the tinkering is done with... what the heck am I going to do with my time!?
Edited by Jim Rockford - 4/6/13 at 8:39pm
post #3840 of 5324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rockford View Post

Now that all the tinkering is done with... what the heck am I going to do with my time!?
Soon you will become restless, then dissatisfied, and then you will have another wonderful adventure.
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