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"OFFICIAL" Pioneer MCACC thread - Page 140

post #4171 of 5340
Hey guys I'm running 3 12in Cerwin-Vega's along the front with my BIC PL-200 sub and I've got all my speakers set to small. Do you guys think it would be best to switch MCACC to large for my CV's and set my sub to plus or keep them set to small?

post #4172 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by simple man View Post

Hey guys I'm running 3 12in Cerwin-Vega's along the front with my BIC PL-200 sub and I've got all my speakers set to small. Do you guys think it would be best to switch MCACC to large for my CV's and set my sub to plus or keep them set to small?


How does the system sound with and without the sub? I prefer all speakers small and a xo of at least 80 Hz. You need to experiment to see what makes you happy. Is the subwoofer bass noticeably stronger than the CV?
post #4173 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Speakers get set to large because they respond to some lower frequencies. But, that doesn't mean they should be left that way. Small is almost always better.

You can change them to small without re-running MCACC. Do not lower the crossover that it set. But, you can raise it if you want.

"Better" is almost always a beauty in the eye of the beholder. While there is solid science behind low frequency directionality, my reference to high frequency directionality with regard to polar patterns of omnidirectional microphones, and it's corresponding MCACC inconsistencies proved nothing except the weighty concept as such the former.

Don't be so quick to assign the "better" tag. For instance, my B&W 683's sound quite lovely crossed over at 50.
post #4174 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Speakers get set to large because they respond to some lower frequencies. But, that doesn't mean they should be left that way. Small is almost always better.

You can change them to small without re-running MCACC. Do not lower the crossover that it set. But, you can raise it if you want.

"Better" is almost always a beauty in the eye of the beholder. While there is solid science behind low frequency directionality, my reference to high frequency directionality with regard to polar patterns of omnidirectional microphones, and it's corresponding MCACC inconsistencies proved nothing except the weighty concept as such the former.

Don't be so quick to assign the "better" tag. For instance, my B&W 683's sound quite lovely crossed over at 50.
post #4175 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickdj1 View Post

How does the system sound with and without the sub? I prefer all speakers small and a xo of at least 80 Hz. You need to experiment to see what makes you happy. Is the subwoofer bass noticeably stronger than the CV?

The system looses a LOT of bass without the sub haha. But the CV have a nice little kick to them smile.gif
post #4176 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

"Better" is almost always a beauty in the eye of the beholder. While there is solid science behind low frequency directionality, my reference to high frequency directionality with regard to polar patterns of omnidirectional microphones, and it's corresponding MCACC inconsistencies proved nothing except the weighty concept as such the former.

Don't be so quick to assign the "better" tag. For instance, my B&W 683's sound quite lovely crossed over at 50.

I guess I just need to find some time to play with both setting and see which I like. I was just curious to what you guys had to say since I'm sure most of you guys have been doing this longer than I smile.gif
post #4177 of 5340
"Small" really means "use bass management". Thus, even big speakers with good LF response are usually set to "small" to engage bass management and utilize the sub properly. Very, very few speakers can produce deep bass at the level and (relatively) low distortion as a subwoofer, and by applying full-range signals to "large" speakers you are giving up dynamic range best used elsewhere.

IMO - Don
post #4178 of 5340
Thanks Don. smile.gif
post #4179 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

"Small" really means "use bass management". Thus, even big speakers with good LF response are usually set to "small" to engage bass management and utilize the sub properly. Very, very few speakers can produce deep bass at the level and (relatively) low distortion as a subwoofer, and by applying full-range signals to "large" speakers you are giving up dynamic range best used elsewhere.

IMO - Don

Don,

Can you go into a little more detail/explain about giving up dynamic range when your speakers are set to "large"?
post #4180 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Exist_To_Resist View Post

Can you go into a little more detail/explain about giving up dynamic range when your speakers are set to "large"?

The lower the frequency, the more power it takes to produce it at a given SPL.

This is why subwoofers have their own power amps, and why more power is always better when it comes to bass. Some subs have as much power as entire AVRs.

If the AVR is relieved of the need to drive a speaker to high levels at low frequencies, its reserves are available for the rest of the frequency spectrum. More headroom=more dynamic range, in theory.

Set the speakers to "large," and the amp tries to drive them with a full-frequency signal, whether the speaker can actually reproduce that low bass or not. Even if it can, it will take prodigious power to do so.

This, to me, is one of the most underappreciated benefits of separate subs. They can turn even modest consumer-grade AVRs into relative powerhouses by taking a big part of the load off them. In a system crossed over at 80Hz, there are few AVRs that can't drive five average speakers to reference level without strain.
post #4181 of 5340
Hmmm... Look up Fletcher-Munson (or Robinson & Dadson) loudness curves. Bass frequencies don't take any more power than any other frequencies at the same SPL, but we are much less sensitive to bass frequencies so for a low note to sound/feel as loud as a midrange or high note (until our hearing drops off) it takes much more power. For example, to sound as loud as a 1 kHz tone at 70 dB SPL, a 40 Hz tone must be at 90 dB. That extra 20 dB is 100 times the power! So if your speakers only need 1 W to produce that 70 dB, 1 kHz tone, then a 40 Hz tone requires 100 W to sound as loud. Wow!

In terms of speakers and amps, it is as rdclark said. Your speaker have only so much displacement and dynamic range, and the same goes for the amplifiers in your AVR (or whatever). If you are sending 100 W out to create that 40 Hz tone, that your speakers might not even reproduce well, then that is essentially wasting headroom (dynamic range) in the amplifier and speakers. Your AVR could be happily putting out a few Watts with the sub handling the low stuff, or the AVR could be stressing out trying to put 100+ W to reproduce the low frequencies plus all the rest. While the crossover in your speakers will limit the power to the HF drivers, the woofer still sees all that low-frequency power whether it can produce it or not. Most "large" speakers have very high distortion when trying to produce loud LF sounds -- like 10% to 50% ! You are using all their excursion and thus getting very nonlinear (distorted). Instead, let a sub handle it, and keep the speakers happier.

It is even worse when the main speakers cannot reproduce the low frequencies; it simply causes large excursions that are not heard, or the power is converted into heat in the voice coil. Neither is a good way to spend your power budget.

Again using 1 W to produce 70 dB at 1 kHz as a reference, 80 Hz requires an extra 10 dB, or ten times the power. So, if you cross at 80 Hz (ideal brick-wall filter just for this simple example), your AVR and main speakers need to deal with about 11 W (it is not linear, but say roughly 10 W for the 80 Hz signal to sound as loud as the 1 W signal at 1 kHz and 10 + 1 = 11). Meanwhile your sub is putting out 100 W to produce a 40 Hz tone at the same loudness, sparing your main speakers and AVR from having to deal with 100+ W. And, the sub is designed for large signals and will generally sound much better way down low.

HTH - Don
Edited by DonH50 - 6/8/13 at 3:57pm
post #4182 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Hmmm... Look up Fletcher-Munson (or Robinson & Dadson) loudness curves. Bass frequencies don't take any more power than any other frequencies at the same SPL

I thought the A-weighting on the SPL meter was assumed in these discussions. As I believe they should be, since we're speaking exclusively of audio and human hearing. With A-weighting -- the default on every SPL meter I've ever used -- it does in fact take considerably more power to produce the same SPL at low frequencies.

But whether you split the hair or I do, we seem to agree that powered subs are a benefit in pretty much any system, and their ability to extend the power capabilities of the main system amplifiers is one reason why.
post #4183 of 5340
Thanks, that cleared it up for me and makes sense.
I love this forum it is so informative. I've learned so much about AVR systems since I started reading.

Well I know what my next upgrade is.

Cheers.
post #4184 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

Hmmm... Look up Fletcher-Munson (or Robinson & Dadson) loudness curves. Bass frequencies don't take any more power than any other frequencies at the same SPL

I thought the A-weighting on the SPL meter was assumed in these discussions. As I believe they should be, since we're speaking exclusively of audio and human hearing. With A-weighting -- the default on every SPL meter I've ever used -- it does in fact take considerably more power to produce the same SPL at low frequencies.

But whether you split the hair or I do, we seem to agree that powered subs are a benefit in pretty much any system, and their ability to extend the power capabilities of the main system amplifiers is one reason why.

I never assume weighting in any discussion of frequency response. Personal preference. I do not use an SPL meter often and when I do I almost always use flat or C weighting (usually C since flat meters are expensive, and I have an expensive Earthworks measurement mic with preamp and SW to do frequency and time domain analysis much faster and more accurately than most consumer SPL meters). Whenever I did a professional installation the reference was established using a flat meter or sometimes C-weighted. A weighting is meant to follow human hearing and so the meter's response rolls off at the high and low ends. I would avoid or compensate weighting when assessing the frequency response of a system. But I see where you are coming from now, more power is needed at LF due to the meter's A weighting, which requires more power at LF to read "0" compared to a flat response. However, that is because the meter's weighting has changed the level the meter reads at those frequencies. The absolute SPL is rising at LF (and HF, but less dramatically, depending upon age) to provide the same perceived loudness, but the meter rolls off the higher SPL. The idea behind A weighting is to provide a meter that reads "0" across frequency when the perceived sound (not actual SPL) is the same to us. I always reference SPL to absolute values, not weighted values. I suppose we could use phons or some other unit instead, but SPL to me is relative to unweighted pressure levels.

The answer is the same, we got there via different paths. I did not understand you were assuming A weighting, I was weaned differently. No worries!

As an aside, one reason I rarely use A weighting is because it is a single curve, whilst in reality our sensitivity to various frequencies also changes with different level (volume, loudness). Manufacturers can also improve their SNR by applying A weighting to the output, bah! A lot of consumer reel-to-reel recorders spec'd A weighting for obvious reasons (better numbers). I've only used weighted readings when required by a customer or per some gov't tests, but again most testing I have performed required flat response that is then compared to an appropriate curve (A, B, C, D, Z, whatever). I think some OSHA tests use A but it's been a while since I did any of this. I always measure and strive for a flat response as measured using a flat meter or mic/measurement system.
post #4185 of 5340
Different contexts, different needs, I guess. My work has always been about measuring room responses using white pink noise, with the goal of achieving, first, flat response and then shaping the response to the needs of the room (usually a mix of live and recorded sources in medium-sized venues).

This is a context where the standard loudness curves apply, and A-weighting fits the assumptions.

Personally, I think the same applies in the HT context, and I have always found the results of using A-weighting on the SPL meter to match my experienced subjective judgements, whether working in my 2-seat HT or my employer's 400-seat auditorium, or in other, odder, venues.
Edited by rdclark - 6/8/13 at 7:36pm
post #4186 of 5340
You use white noise for spectral characterization? I have usually used pink, rarely other colors, mainly to spare the tweeters. smile.gif I am mainly an RF sorta' guy and white noise is often used in that world, but I have used it far less often in the audio realm.

If you use A-weighted meters you have to compensate for the weighting to obtain flat response, yes? Or are you using "flat" to refer to 0 dB across the band on an A-weighted meter? That would provide a system that "sounds flat" but is not flat on a spectrum analyzer. I'm confused, not unusual...
post #4187 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

You use white noise for spectral characterization? I have usually used pink, rarely other colors, mainly to spare the tweeters. smile.gif I am mainly an RF sorta' guy and white noise is often used in that world, but I have used it far less often in the audio realm.

If you use A-weighted meters you have to compensate for the weighting to obtain flat response, yes? Or are you using "flat" to refer to 0 dB across the band on an A-weighted meter? That would provide a system that "sounds flat" but is not flat on a spectrum analyzer. I'm confused, not unusual...

No, of course I mis-typed and meant "pink." (I was actually out at the track watching the ponies when I typed that. Divided attention.)
post #4188 of 5340
I've been trying to output the mcacc data on my usb thumb drive but I'm getting an error, I'm assuming it's a format/brand error. Do you guys know what usb drives will work?
post #4189 of 5340
I believe it has to be FAT instead of FAT32 or NTFS; you may have to reformat your USB. I keep an older one around just for that, but you can reformat any drive to FAT. That is, if it is small enough, or you can create a small FAT partition on it.
post #4190 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

You use white noise for spectral characterization? I have usually used pink, rarely other colors, mainly to spare the tweeters. smile.gif I am mainly an RF sorta' guy and white noise is often used in that world, but I have used it far less often in the audio realm.

If you use A-weighted meters you have to compensate for the weighting to obtain flat response, yes? Or are you using "flat" to refer to 0 dB across the band on an A-weighted meter? That would provide a system that "sounds flat" but is not flat on a spectrum analyzer. I'm confused, not unusual...


No, of course I mis-typed and meant "pink." (I was actually out at the track watching the ponies when I typed that. Divided attention.)


White ponies? biggrin.gif
post #4191 of 5340
Im not sure if this mcacc related or not, just curious though for pioneer owners, i currently have a denon avr, when i listen to a 2 channel track you can automatically set surround processing option specifically for 2channel, i use multichannel stereo for music, and then surround processing you can have a completely different surround processing and i use dolby plxII for my blurays. So when a 5.1 movie is playing it will automatically add plxII, and if im listening to a flac cd in stereo it will automatically switch to multi channel stereo. Can the pioneer do this? Just want to make sure before i jump ship the pio's can do what my denon does.
post #4192 of 5340
My older Pioneer Elite vsx-23 doesn't have surround sound setup options for each input in the setup menu like some other receivers have but it memorizes surround settings and signal selections for each input. In otherwords. when I select the CD input the receiver changes to analog from hdmi and reverts back to the last surround sound option I had selected the last time I used the Cd input. Stereo, Pure Analog, DTS Neo:6 Music, etc. When I change to the TV/SAT input it changes back to hdmi and Digital for a 5.1 source or DTS Neo:6 Cinema for a stereo broadcast. I also have different MCACC presets setup for each of the three inputs I use. MCACC also remembers individual speaker volumes for each MCACC preset. It's like having 6 seperate eq's you can choose from with the push of a button. I hope that all wasn't too confusing.

Best thing to do is to download the Pioneer manual and make sure it can do all of the things you need it to do.
post #4193 of 5340
Very informative post rdclark and Don H. The LF damands on a system can be tremendous. The explanation that you provided give further strength to the argument for using bass management and the role of setting the speakers to small. This also brings into question the use of the PLUS feature for the subwoofer. I also liked the comments concerning speakers set to large.
post #4194 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

I believe it has to be FAT instead of FAT32 or NTFS; you may have to reformat your USB. I keep an older one around just for that, but you can reformat any drive to FAT. That is, if it is small enough, or you can create a small FAT partition on it.

Thanks again don! biggrin.gif
post #4195 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by gene c353 View Post

My older Pioneer Elite vsx-23 doesn't have surround sound setup options for each input in the setup menu like some other receivers have but it memorizes surround settings and signal selections for each input. In otherwords. when I select the CD input the receiver changes to analog from hdmi and reverts back to the last surround sound option I had selected the last time I used the Cd input. Stereo, Pure Analog, DTS Neo:6 Music, etc. When I change to the TV/SAT input it changes back to hdmi and Digital for a 5.1 source or DTS Neo:6 Cinema for a stereo broadcast. I also have different MCACC presets setup for each of the three inputs I use. MCACC also remembers individual speaker volumes for each MCACC preset. It's like having 6 seperate eq's you can choose from with the push of a button. I hope that all wasn't too confusing.

Best thing to do is to download the Pioneer manual and make sure it can do all of the things you need it to do.

Thanks for the info, my issue is kind of that my htpc is set up for bluray and flac, so its nice luxury to have the same input apply different processing to stereo vs a dts master track. So when i play a cd on the htpc input it will apply multichannel stereo which i like, and when i bitstream a bluray file it applies dts master plus prologic IIx if its a 5.1 track. I am not quite sure if that is what your saying your vsx-23 can do as well when using the same input for various tracks.


I will check and see if the avr i am looking at can do the same.

I should mention what my denon does is remember what processing i last used for a particular type of auto stream. So maybe thats what your saying the pio does as well.

For instance my htpc input on the denon displays "auto surround mode" and then shows what i had last selected analog to (plxII), Digital 2ch (Multi channel stereo), digital 5.1 (plxII), and Multi ch (plxII). Although my denon avr 991 often forgets the settings the surround sound processing was last set at, kind of why im looking to get rid of it as well so it would be nice to know if the pioneers dont have this problem of defaulting to something different.
Edited by Murilo - 6/10/13 at 3:21am
post #4196 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murilo View Post

..my denon avr 991 often forgets the settings the surround sound processing was last set at, kind of why im looking to get rid of it...
Odd. I've had a Denon for seven years and I don't know that it has ever "forgotten" the last surround mode used with a particular type of input.
post #4197 of 5340
I spent some time this weekend playing around with MCACC because I wasn't satisfied with the way MCACC calibrated my Def Tech speakers. I've always run Symmetry and All Channel Adjust but for some reason avoided Front Align.

My main fears about MCACC involve the microphone. I'm guessing that the receivers EQ tries to compensate for the microphone limitations. However, EQ like what I'm seeing in Symmetry and All Channel Adjust usually works for frequency extremes, it probably does not compensate for irregularities over the broad midrange area.

I believe there is an easy way to deal with microphone issues IF one has good left and right main speakers to begin with. Front Align uses the left and right channel speakers as "references." No EQ is applied to them and the microphone aligns all the other speakers to them as frequency response references. I ran the program, and, yep, there was zero EQ applied to the left and right mains, with only the other channels getting EQ.

The advantage of this is that even if the microphone were not flat responding due to design limitations, it will at least be consistent. Regardless of its limitations, it will see the main channels as the "norm" and will therefore try to equalize all the other channels to the same response curve "norm" that it gets when evaluating the main channels. The result is that if the main channel speakers are really good ones, MCACC will do its best to have the other speakers have similar response curves.

This may be the best way to set up the MCACC system, because the quality of the microphone is no longer an issue. All the other satellites are simply tuned to equal the measured output of the left and right mains.

After running Front Align, the result was terrific.
Edited by Kurolicious - 6/10/13 at 8:24am
post #4198 of 5340
The little mics are actually fairly consistent and pretty flat through the midrange. A simple circuit can compensate the mic's LF and HF roll-off. I am guessing you simply like the final response you got, which is fine (nothing wring with preference!)
post #4199 of 5340
MCACC is a subjective thing and everyone has their preferences.

I set up my MCACC a few months ago and since I have been playing with my settings and tweaking them. Just when I think I finished playing around with the settings, I start adjusting again.
I guess it has to do with the learning curve I'm going through. I'm sure I will tweak it till the last day that I have the receiver.
post #4200 of 5340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurolicious View Post

I spent some time this weekend playing around with MCACC because I wasn't satisfied with the way MCACC calibrated my Def Tech speakers. I've always run Symmetry and All Channel Adjust but for some reason avoided Front Align.

My main fears about MCACC involve the microphone. I'm guessing that the receivers EQ tries to compensate for the microphone limitations. However, EQ like what I'm seeing in Symmetry and All Channel Adjust usually works for frequency extremes, it probably does not compensate for irregularities over the broad midrange area.

I believe there is an easy way to deal with microphone issues IF one has good left and right main speakers to begin with. Front Align uses the left and right channel speakers as "references." No EQ is applied to them and the microphone aligns all the other speakers to them as frequency response references. I ran the program, and, yep, there was zero EQ applied to the left and right mains, with only the other channels getting EQ.

The advantage of this is that even if the microphone were not flat responding due to design limitations, it will at least be consistent. Regardless of its limitations, it will see the main channels as the "norm" and will therefore try to equalize all the other channels to the same response curve "norm" that it gets when evaluating the main channels. The result is that if the main channel speakers are really good ones, MCACC will do its best to have the other speakers have similar response curves.

This may be the best way to set up the MCACC system, because the quality of the microphone is no longer an issue. All the other satellites are simply tuned to equal the measured output of the left and right mains.

After running Front Align, the result was terrific.

My experience with MCACC and the various EQ, Front align, Symmetry and All ch. adj sound pretty much the same in my room. I have change the orientation in the room by 90 degrees and the results are the same. Since there a 6 preset channels, I always run auto MCACC and then Advanced EQ setup with a time domain of 30-50 ms. This may be something you can try to tweak your system. I copy MCACC memory 2 and 3 to 4 and 5 for the Advance EQ tweaking and manual tweaking.
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