Let me see if I can explain things a bit better...
1) Audyssey set my levels correctly. I even checked with my decibel meter.
2) I bumped the sub up +3db in the receiver.
This really comes down to personal preference. A lot of guys run their subs a few dbs hot -- I think there's even a thread about it. I did just about all of my tweaking listening to music I knew really well (a big mistake in my setup -- more on that later). Again, it's personal preference, but I was really enjoying listening to music with the +3db boost.
3) I engaged Dynamic EQ (sometimes).
Most of my music listening is at pretty low levels -- somewhere in the range of -40 to -30 (-20 to -10 if I'm home alone... on very rare occasions). In the lower volume range, the +3db boost with Dynamic EQ sounded pretty good to my ears for most songs. Definitely bass heavy, but that's the mix I like. I typically turned it off in the higher volume range -- the bass became too much and the overall sound too muddy. I could be wrong, but I don't think Dynamic EQ is truly dynamic in the sense that it responds and changes the EQ curve as you change the volume up and down. And my receiver does not have the version with Reference Level Offset to make the effects of Dynamic EQ less.
4) My Onkyo 706 suffers from something referred to as the "LFE Bug."
To be honest, I don't fully understand it. There is a lot of information in this thread
. But basically, multichannel movie soundtracks require a +10db boost to the .1 LFE channel. This is the part I don't really understand, but somehow modern receivers know whether or not to apply this +10db boost (I think sometimes the player does it). Most receivers give you an option to change the way the boost is handled (I think some older soundtracks and some music soundtracks require this). I think in almost every case, the default setting (called "0db" in most receivers) works as expected out of the box. Somehow, my receiver -- even at the 0db setting (it's called "low frequency" in my setup) -- was applying the +10db boost twice.
Like I said earlier, I did the bulk of my tweaking using music -- which of course is not a multichannel movie soundtrack -- and did not receive the +10db boost. So when I turned on a movie, I already was boosting my sub +3db, my receiver applied an erroneous +10db boost, and sometimes at lower volumes I engaged Dynamic EQ which boosted another +3db to +10db depending on the frequency (Brian and I measured with Dynamic EQ both on and then off). That’s more than +20db for some frequencies!
Obviously, the +10db bass boost was the cause of any port noise, driver flap, clipping, etc. With my receiver set to -10db for multichannel movie soundtracks, now movies sound just as good as music. And I know it’s been said multiple times in this thread, but I’m still in awe over Brian’s customer service. What a guy and what a company!
EDIT: The +10db boost is applied after Audyssey and is independent if it. In other words, my system was calibrated correctly with Audyssey and then the +10db boost was applied when I popped in a movie.Edited by woody777 - 2/25/13 at 7:39pm