Originally Posted by Hugo S
Personally between an Onkyo 5508 sold for a Denon 4311, sold for a 4520 - which I kept less than 3 months - before switching for a Marantz 8801, all Pro calibrated... yes I confess, I found that paying 1.7$/day for Pro use on the 4520 was really too much... maybe as this equals to the cost of 2 Lagavulin 16yo...
Now even though I do agree that XT32 by itself is a good tool, the end result one can get with Pro is nothing less than exceptional, but that's just in my little 11.2 context.
Originally Posted by sdrucker
Originally Posted by kbarnes701
And possibly of less importance to us too - see my comments to SoM above.
Time to call the Heresy squad.....the peasants are revolting
More seriously, I disagree with you as of where things stand today. With the Pro kit, you get a better, individually calibrated mic than with consumer Audyssey, which may be more sensitive in the corrections Audyssey applies.
You also get the ability to take more than 8 measurements (IMO more useful if you have multiple LP than a single one, or a complicated room), suggestions of multiple crossover points, and being able to save/load different calibration files -- useful if you don't have a Denon system.
Then there's the three mid-range compensation levels and the Pro Curve Editor to perform limited target curve tweaks. Yes, you can address that with REW and a form of post-cal PEQ, but keep in mind that 'user-friendly' REW with HDMI output to the AVR and USB mics are new developments. And while I think PEQ is a promising add-on to perfect Audyssey, there's still only a handful of us that are going (or thinking of going) there. Plus for more than sub PEQ, e.g. to produce corrections to speakers, you're looking at $500 minimum (miniDSP 10x10, which is not as user friendly as Pro to set up for non-DIYers) and possibly an add'l amp to use the line-level output from that device).
Finally....is the algorithm in Pro identical to the ones in consumer Audyssey otherwise? If it's not, that may be a selling point in the RC game.
So as of today....I'm not sold that acquiring a Pro kit is redundant.
Could Audyssey Pro be better? Obviously...as the multiple sub distance/trim bug and the loss of being able to add measurements to a previously saved cal file reflect. And I think that the algorithm could better harness modern CPU capabilities and actually optimize filters at the mains/sub crossover, at better than a predicted 1/6 smoothing. It's a 2007 solution compared to what you, Keith, can do manually and with 'more time than money', at least wrt subs.
I will say this, too: consider that Pro wasn't designed for home audio enthusiasts: it was designed for customer installers as (IMO) a convenience tool to conduct more efficient measuring and more timely calibration that a trained acoustician would do with multiple tools, iterative room treatments, room traps, etc. On those terms, it's an imperfect tool, maybe an incomplete one, but for folks like us, we're better for having bought and used it.
I am not saying that XT32 is the equal of or the same as Pro. Audyssey, in general, is a terrific tool. It was originally designed to enable the guy in the street, with an untreated room and no interest at all in acoustics, to get a pretty good sound from his new AVR, automatically. No real knowledge or skill needed - follow a few basic instructions and everyone can get a decent setup, especially with XT32.
But people have been getting very good sounds for many years, without XT32 or Pro. Pro studios are obviously one example. They show that with some effort, dedication, knowledge and room treatments, plus some PEQ, it is possible to get a very, very good sound. These people are not, of course, run of the mill users. But then, neither are quite a lot of the readers of this thread. We have studied the issues, adopted multiple subs to smooth out our bass, room treatments to help us with modes and reflections, REW to measure and enable us to know what is happening in the room and what needs attention, and PEQ to deal with the pesky problems that all of the former cannot.
Indeed, when one has invested the time to learn how to use REW, one can see many of the inadequacies of the automated system. We can see that Pro's 'predicted' graphs are far, far from an accurate representation of the end result in our rooms. We can also see there is much room for improvement and we use REW and the other tools in our toolbox to that end.
To some of your detailed points Stuart: yes Pro allows for up to 32 measurements. But who needs that many? Maybe the professional installer who is setting up a multi-tier seating arrangement in a big room. They can continue to use Pro - many of them of course don't and rely on other methods. But for hobbyists, how many use use 32 positions? Or 20? Or even 15? In my room I usually use 9. One more than XT32 allows. Yes, it is very useful to be able to save and reload measurements - a definite plus. If you have a Denon, you don't need it though and you can do the same with XT32. The suggestions for multiple crossovers is interesting but I am not sure how useful it is. I always have to do a lot of additional work to optimise my crossovers after Pro has finished, so Pro isn’t exactly fantastic in that area. It can’t be can it - it doesn’t measure the subs and speakers together, which is the only way to see what is really happening at the XO.
The Curve Editor is Audyssey telling us that Pro does not do a perfect job and may need after-calibration tweaking. But as a tool for the latter it is severely limited with its ,ax 3dB boost or cut and its complete lack of bandwidth adjustment. I am not really sure how much real-world use it is. But I know it is a fraction of the use of a cheap PEQ like the Behringer 1124P. When you say there is "only a handful" of people using PEQ that isn't actually the case. If you search the net you will find whole forums full to bursting of people who have eschewed the automated Audyssey route in favour of PEQ and total control over their systems. PEQ should not really be needed for any speakers other than subs as their issues can usually be corrected by room treatments, speaker placement and good choice of speakers in the first place. To EQ subs all you need is a $100 Behringer and a REW setup, which latter many Pro users already have it seems. I agree that independent PEQ is not as user-friendly as Audyssey - but nothing can be as user-friendly as an automated system!
Does Pro use the same algorithms as XT32? No idea. But XT32 does a terrific job, I do know that. Sure, the mic is less accurate, but it is accurate enough it seems. Expensive, calibrated mics only really come into their own for the higher frequencies - for bass, which is where EQ is really needed, a decent mic is apparently good enough.
Now having said all that, I am not trying to make out that Pro is useless. Far from it. But it is not cheap - you mention $500 for a sophisticated DSP, but Pro costs far more than that. And an additional $150 if you want to buy a new AVR or AVP. All I am saying is that once one gets to a certain level of understanding, Pro becomes less useful because there are other tools that can do what it does for less money and possibly also give a superior result. Personally, I love what XT32 does and cannot imagine buying a unit that didn’t have it, unless something demonstrably better comes along. As for Pro, I am less convinced. The fact that I know it requires considerable after-calibration tweaking, according to every measurement graph I have ever seen, seems to demonstrate that it can go so far but no further.
So to summarise: my personal take is: XT32, brilliant, essential even. Pro, useful but what it does can be done with other tools, possibly better. The downside to the latter is a steep learning curve which requires some time and effort to master.
And I still think it's unnecessary for Audyssey to charge an additional licence fee for the hobbyist user who wants to EQ one unit only :)
PS. Bonjour à toi aussi, Hugo. C'est bon de t'entendre, comme toujours!