Originally Posted by audioguy
I agree with the post that suggested comparing Direct and corrected two channel sound. Once you have had room correction applied to your audio signal it is hard to go back.
I have a 'separate' two channel system for only one reason: the 80.2 does not allow the storage and recall of multiple target curves. I want to listen to music with the most neutral frequency response possible. I am trying to reproduce real instruments (and I know what they sound like in the real world) in my listening room and I do not want to add or subtract anything from that. That dictates a specific kind of target curve.
For movies, however, I want to be as immersed as possible in the story so my target curve (my preference, not reference, before anyone jumps on me) is not one that I want to use for music. Since I have never heard a bomb go off, or the sound of a 50mm gun, or dynamite or a car crashing into a building or a building fall down or a plane crash, there is no real standard to which I can realistically compare what I get from my HT system --- so I get to make up my own and as a result have chosen to create a target curve that increases the "fun factor" for me. This primarily includes a much different shape of the target curve (read: elevated bass response below about 80hz). It is totally wrong for music but very exciting for movies, particularly action movies.
So for my two channel listening, I use a TacT Audio 2.2XP which provides room correction and bass/mains integration. I use a target curve that does what it needs to do for 2 channel. It isn't ideal but I have solved the cable switching dilemma through the use of a DAC (connected to both the TacT and the 80.2) that also has analog inputs form the 80.2 so "cable switching" is done by selecting a different input on the DAC. Unfortunately, I have about 3.5 times the cost of my 80.2 in my 2 channel rig. Really dumb.
Also, I have experimented listening to 2 channel with some of the surround modes on the 80.2 and it provides (in most cases) a much more realistic presentation of what I envision the music should sound like. I give that up with the TacT.
I am waiting for someone (Lexicon or the AP20 maybe) to release a product that has what I am looking for AND a great room correction product.
My advice: Forget the separate 2 channel rig, pick a target curve on the 80.2 that works for both and save yourself some time and aggravation (and money). I am actually very close to dumping the separate 2 channel rig and taking my own advice.
To each his or her own, of course. But, I am 100% satisfied with one target curve for both music and movies, though I could store and recall an almost infinite number of them via Pro. Part of this is my own bias toward music. I believe I have a real-life reference for the sound of live classical music by virtue of all the live concerts I attend, including some Philadelphia Orchestra live recordings which I was there for. It's all subject to the vagaries of acoustic memory, of course. But, I have been in enough halls to have a fair idea implated in my feeble brain of what live music sounds like.
My 80.2 provides a very satisfying replica of that to my ears with only one simple modification to Audyssey's stock target curve - removal of the 2K Hz "midrange compensation" dip. I believe the high end rolloff to be entirely correct both theoretically and audibly. My target curve is therefore flat, except for the HF rolloff, and to me it sounds phenomenal - virtually as good as the best Mch systems I have heard and, via discretely-recorded Mch classical recordings, superior to any stereo I have ever heard at any price.
To me if it's right for music, it's right for movies. The nature of movie sound is such that I do not generally have a live reference upon which I can base a judgement about how it actually did sound when it was recorded. I just don't know. Dialog predominates movies, and I have never heard Meryl Streep's or Al Pacino's voice in real life. Music in movies is almost always recorded highly multi-miked in studios, so I do not know exactly what that is supposed to sound like. I was not there, and it is highly re-engineered studio sound anyway. Other effects are not useful in determining realism. A movie car crash, explosion, cannon shot , helicopter or whatever all sound exactly like I think they ought to from Blu-rays. But, again, I was not there to hear the nuances of the specific event. So, I am highly satisfied with the realism of movie soundtracks, given that my system sounds as real as it does on music. There, at least, I know what "real" is supposed to sound like.