Originally Posted by kbarnes701
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
Keith - I think we agree on Audyssey Pro's (and in general, Audyssey's) deficiencies, the biggest being the lack of optimization of speakers and subs jointly, accessing the results on of actual rather than 1/6 smoothing predicted measurements, and a crude PEQ with no bandwidth or greater octave or adjustable gain/boost on FR resolution. And I agree that an automated solution by itself isn't as sensitive, or as final, as a combination of room treatments, speaker/sub placement, and PEQ applied by an expert acoustician or master user. But as sophisticated as the users on this thread can be, we can have room challenges, a lack of placement options, and WAF issues that prevent us from having a dedicated, treatment HT room which makes a Pro kit useful compared to other tools.
My point is that Pro as a tool takes us more there than not having it in the mix, for the type of users that would gravitate to it. It's clearly not an "end-all" solution for anyone that has access to independent measurement tools! But I should have been clearer about PEQ use with Audyssey, where I tend to be focused on XT32 as the standard (and to be fair, you've been on the Audyssey thread far longer than I've been, which only dates back about two years). From reading AVS Audyssey, MiniDSP, Antimode, and our own REW thread, as well as glancing at HTS, my sense is that PEQ devices are being used more as a supplement to versions less capable than Audyssey XT32, for setups with no room correction, or for multi-sub configurations on systems without Sub EQ than as a mainstream practice with XT32, particularly with Pro. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.
As for measurements, I don't do more than 8-12 myself anymore, so I agree there. But the Pro kit has to appeal to a broader audience than just us...hence having flexibility for multi-seat positioning is desirable. The multiple crossover points are 'food for thought', and not absolutes (especially since the ordering isn't always consistent, and we know that any recommendation of Large is to be taken with several grains of salt).
BTW, if we didn't have Pro, you'd have to experiment with speaker placement, treatments, and/or use PEQ to reproduce the Mid-Range compensation effect to taste, above and beyond what's in consumer Audyssey...and you'd have to do that on speakers given the frequencies.
I hope you realize we're discussing, not arguing: we usually agree far more than not
. And these days you're about the closest thing we have on the REW thread, and on some of these, to a 'leader' LOL.....
I also think it's an overpriced tool with an archaic multi-user license structure, but that's another issue. But until someone writes an R application for room correction that improves on Audyssey and works with a kit like REW, there's worse alternatives.Edited by sdrucker - 3/21/13 at 12:45pm