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McIntosh MX-121 - any thoughts? - Page 9

post #241 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by baziado View Post

well i just got home and it is set up.......

maybe my rotel was set up wrong but this blows me away. I keep jumping thinking someone dropped something or something fell while walking around putting stuff away. the sounds is amazing (at least while playing Deathly Hallows off the cable box). crystal clear and clean. I am hearing things in the movie i never heard before using my old setup. wow is all I can say

This was my exact experience when i upgraded from Rotel as well!

As the MC205 breaks in it will open up nicely. That amp is a brute that outputs close to 300w per channel.
post #242 of 614
I am actually thinking of taking my 805 bookshelf and putting them in back and buying the 803 diamonds....... Think that would be the perfect but not sure I want to spend the money. think it is worth it?
post #243 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

That's the $20,000 question, and you have to be well aware of who's answering.


7 channel vs 12 channel

A MEN220 2-channel room correction processor retails for $4500. Apply this 1/12 octave EQ to 12-channels.

Most purchase the MX-150 for the Lindorff room correction which is far better than Audyssey.

Those who are in the market must weigh features vs benefits. Both units are great, but the room correction of the MX-150 is what sets it apart...and people do find value in it.
post #244 of 614
Thread Starter 
That's an alarming number of eqs (every boost or attenuation is damaging) to apply to an audio signal.

I think the question, "150 or 121," is brand new and very few have had to ask it. The 150 was purchased by many because it was the only game in the town of McIntosh High End, not because it was a preference to the 121, which is weeks old. I suspect that we could count on two hands the number of people who've auditioned both side-by-side and made a decision.
post #245 of 614
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mookie b View Post

That's funny. Kind of true.

I've come to learn that it's entirely true. That forum (audioaficionado) is a mess, and I now understand why it's a virtual ghost town filled with ultra-cautious threads. Others have warned me about it. To call it a modern version of 1984 would be an understatement. There's an unnerving amount of fear within those walls and nothing of substance is allowed. This is why Admins need to allow a certain level of distance between themselves, their personal feelings, and the range of content provided by the diverse members of the forum if they wish to be successful. If the proprietor weren't independently wealthy, and addicted to the ego trips the site facilitates, I don't believe it would have lasted this long. I'm thankful for AVS, etc.
post #246 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

That's an alarming number of eqs (every boost or attenuation is damaging) to apply to an audio signal.

Not if done digitally where it is really one DSP filter per channel, each with multiple taps.
post #247 of 614
Thread Starter 
Even digitally. Phase shifts are present with each subtractive dip, and especially with an additive boost. I know of no eq (even those which claim phase accuracy) which doesn't render artifacts beyond the pure intent of the eq (more or less of a particular frequency and its surrounding neighbors).

I'd agree that minor digital equalization can be quite unnoticeable, but some of the rooms these processors are being installed in will need correction of up to 20 or 30 db. That's wickedly destructive. I don't know how aggressive these correction algorithms will get, but if they're not fully "correcting" the problem then what's the point?

In some cases where a room is too problematic, only a combination of software and acoustic treatments will provide good results. As always, the less you need to do in software, and the more you can do with treatments, the better.

I still haven't touched Audessey on this 121, and I'm trying not to. I'm not against correction (in fact I just gave an interview to a manufacturer whose DSP products I'm using in a studio installation), but I think of it as last resort. Speaker placement first, then treatment, then software if necessary.
post #248 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post


I've come to learn that it's entirely true. That forum (audioaficionado) is a mess, and I now understand why it's a virtual ghost town filled with ultra-cautious threads. Others have warned me about it. To call it a modern version of 1984 would be an understatement. There's an unnerving amount of fear within those walls and nothing of substance is allowed. This is why Admins need to allow a certain level of distance between themselves, their personal feelings, and the range of content provided by the diverse members of the forum if they wish to be successful. If the proprietor weren't independently wealthy, and addicted to the ego trips the site facilitates, I don't believe it would have lasted this long. I'm thankful for AVS, etc.

Funny. And true. Again.
post #249 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

Even digitally. Phase shifts are present with each subtractive dip, and especially with an additive boost. I know of no eq (even those which claim phase accuracy) which doesn't render artifacts beyond the pure intent of the eq (more or less of a particular frequency and its surrounding neighbors).

A phase shift is inherent in any filter but with IIR or FIR filters these can be definable and controllable. Why do you think that there is a difference between cut and boost filters?

Quote:
I'd agree that minor digital equalization can be quite unnoticeable, but some of the rooms these processors are being installed in will need correction of up to 20 or 30 db. That's wickedly destructive. I don't know how aggressive these correction algorithms will get, but if they're not fully "correcting" the problem then what's the point?

The answer lies in intelligent implementation including the realization that different implementations are needed for different parts of the spectrum and that partial corrections are better than none. No need to throw the baby out with the bath.

Quote:
In some cases where a room is too problematic, only a combination of software and acoustic treatments will provide good results. As always, the less you need to do in software, and the more you can do with treatments, the better.

Of course. That is a given.

Quote:
I still haven't touched Audessey on this 121, and I'm trying not to. I'm not against correction (in fact I just gave an interview to a manufacturer whose DSP products I'm using in a studio installation), but I think of it as last resort. Speaker placement first, then treatment, then software if necessary.

Of course.
post #250 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

I've come to learn that it's entirely true. That forum (audioaficionado) is a mess, and I now understand why it's a virtual ghost town filled with ultra-cautious threads. Others have warned me about it. To call it a modern version of 1984 would be an understatement. There's an unnerving amount of fear within those walls and nothing of substance is allowed. This is why Admins need to allow a certain level of distance between themselves, their personal feelings, and the range of content provided by the diverse members of the forum if they wish to be successful. If the proprietor weren't independently wealthy, and addicted to the ego trips the site facilitates, I don't believe it would have lasted this long. I'm thankful for AVS, etc.

Banned so quick!! You were stirring up unneeded waters, making suggestions that it is ok to buy from one that swindles others.
post #251 of 614
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Why do you think that there is a difference between cut and boost filters?

Because cutting distortion is better than boosting it. The result would be less of the problem instead of more of it.

I do realize that we're dealing with the minutia (though I've truly seen room correction cuts of nearly 30db, which is enormous), but at this level of quality the minutia is where we often spend our time.
post #252 of 614
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scanido View Post

Banned so quick!! You were stirring up unneeded waters, making suggestions that it is ok to buy from one that swindles others.

I actually told the forum that I was permanently checking out after that post, though I was in no way surprised by the fact that he deleted that explanation, banned me, then took a cheap shot. It's his forum - he can create any atmosphere he chooses.

If you feel that I was supporting a swindler then you, like a few folks there, completely misunderstood my point, and entirely ignored the later ones. No matter. I'm happy to put the Orwellian drama village behind me.
post #253 of 614
[quote=elambo;21859787]Because cutting distortion is better than boosting it.[quote]Sure but we are not talking about changing distortion levels but magnitude. Why would the issue of boosting distortion be relevant to this discussion?

On second thought, this discussion is getting us no where.
post #254 of 614
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Why would the issue of boosting distortion be relevant to this discussion?

I was only responding to your questions, Kal. I initially mentioned boosts vs cuts parenthetically -- I don't actually have much passion for the subject. I've been expanding upon it when prompted.

The shortcomings of room correction are, in my opinion, relevant. Audyssey, etc., have been a dominant part of this discussion of the 121. Some have suggested: the more points of correction the better. I happen to disagree. It's quality vs. quantity. The fewer the better.

But I agree, it's not a very interesting side trip from the main road.
post #255 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

I was only responding to your questions, Kal.

I was going to say the same thing.

Quote:


The shortcomings of room correction are, in my opinion, relevant. Audyssey, etc., have been a dominant part of this discussion of the 121. Some have suggested: the more points of correction the better.

My position is that the availability of more points/parameters of correction, the better. How one uses them is the real magic.

Quote:


It's quality vs. quantity. The fewer the better.

I think that is not wrong but simplistic. The ground rules have changed with DSP.

Quote:


But I agree, it's not a very interesting side trip from the main road.

Amen.
post #256 of 614
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

My position is that the availability of more points/parameters of correction, the better. How one uses them is the real magic.

I agree 100%.
post #257 of 614
So than is Audyssey the phase shifting monster ???
post #258 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by joehonest View Post

So than is Audyssey the phase shifting monster ???

What are you asking such a simplistic and flagrant question? Do you appreciate that, while any reactive element or filtering will be accompanied a phase shift, the shift should be either out of the pass-band or targeted to compensate for an existing and unwanted phase problem?
post #259 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

What are you asking such a simplistic and flagrant question? Do you appreciate that, while any reactive element or filtering will be accompanied a phase shift, the shift should be either out of the pass-band or targeted to compensate for an existing and unwanted phase problem?

So replacing one problem with a bigger problem is better ? Phase shift is a big problem, I found that all my audio problems are due to phase shifts. With stereo music its not a big deal. With todays HT with 5.1 or more speakers dealing with movie / tv dialogue plus sound effects. Wow phasing is one hard problem to deal with in the range of 50hz to 150hz is phasing hell.
post #260 of 614
Phase shifting is a subtle method used for time alignment.
Without it Audyssey couldn't do its magic.
post #261 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by joehonest View Post

So replacing one problem with a bigger problem is better ? Phase shift is a big problem, I found that all my audio problems are due to phase shifts. With stereo music its not a big deal. With todays HT with 5.1 or more speakers dealing with movie / tv dialogue plus sound effects. Wow phasing is one hard problem to deal with in the range of 50hz to 150hz is phasing hell.

I think you are misunderstanding what we are talking about.
post #262 of 614
post #263 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by giedrys View Post

More to choose from
http://www.mcintoshlabs.com/us/Produ...roductId=MX151

Looks nice. I wonder if MSRP is the same as the 150.
post #264 of 614
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkey View Post

Phase shifting is a subtle method used for time alignment.
Without it Audyssey couldn't do its magic.

We're in no way referring to time alignment. Phase shifting is an unwanted side effect of the process of equalization which creates harmful distortion. This isn't debatable and it exists in both the analog and digital domains without exception, even with our best modern digital eqs.

I'm not sure why this subject is being shellacked with an ethereal layer of mysticism -- it's not at all complicated. Equalization causes artifacts. Period. We can mask the problem with vague terminology but we can't hide the effects. Companies have spent millions and millions trying.
post #265 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

Equalization causes artifacts.

Equalization corrects artifacts.

FWIW.
post #266 of 614
Thread Starter 
And just to reiterate what I'd mentioned last week but is recently lost: in most cases, the benefits of Audyssey (or similar DSP) far outweigh any problems inherent to equalization. The option to correct a +15db mode at 70Hz is a wonderful thing. The bit of added distortion you'll gain in the process is negligible by comparison. In a perfect world, acoustic treatment would alleviate the problem, and the need for any DSP band-aids.
post #267 of 614
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Equalization corrects artifacts.

FWIW.

I understand what you're suggesting, but I was referring to a signal path free from equalization, or any type of processing. There would be no "additional" artifacts beyond what the signal path is injecting. Add an eq... you have additional artifacts.
post #268 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

I understand what you're suggesting, but I was referring to a signal path free from equalization, or any type of processing. There would be no "additional" artifacts beyond what the signal path is injecting. Add an eq... you have additional artifacts.

Right but artifacts are like weeds: a matter of definitions. If the original signal is perfect and nothing prevents it from being perceived as such, it cannot be "equalized" (as all is equal to begin with) and any additional manipulation would introduce artifacts or distortion. OTOH, if the signal and/or signal path is imperfect, the additional manipulation of equalization would (or, at least, should) be corrective and, rather than introducing artifacts, would reduce or eliminate them.
post #269 of 614
Thread Starter 
That's a more complicated way of saying that equalization corrects for the ill effects of an unclean signal path. Certainly that's the primary purpose of eq in a playback system, and I think we all understand its potential chore as a counterbalance for impure - we could say problematic - electronics, or even personal preferences (in the form of adding treble or bass to one's taste), but here we're talking about compensation for the ill effects introduced by the acoustic properties of the listening environment. It's a bit like having a broken leg, installing a cast, and suggesting that the cast allows the patient to run a marathon as efficiently as a person without a cast. The sum of +1 and -1 is NOT zero because we don't have a way of subtracting a perfectly inverted value for +1. So our total is 0.0234, so to speak.

Anyway, room correction schemes, such as Audyssey, emit test sweeps through much of the same paths followed by our input sources (within the unit, but also cables, amps, speakers, etc.), so many of the issues inherent within the signal path will be present within the sweeps themselves, and thus attempts will be made to compensate for them by Audyssey's corrective filtering, introducing, once again, unwanted artifacts in the form of additional distortion. It's trying to fix acoustic AND electric deviations from a flat line.

This is another way of saying that the more a signal path is faulted, the more heavy lifting Audyssey will have to do. The trouble with that equation is that the less expensive units have the "dirtier" paths, accompanied by the less effective versions of room correction algorithms, and therefor a higher level of distortion.

Once again, this is swimming in a great pool of minutia, and it's hardly worth making these types of waves, especially in an MX-121 opinion thread. It feels like we're halving an onion into infinitesimally thin pieces and there's no taste left. We've lost sight of the recipe.
post #270 of 614
Quote:
Originally Posted by elambo View Post

Anyway, room correction schemes, such as Audyssey, emit test sweeps through much of the same paths followed by our input sources (within the unit, but also cables, amps, speakers, etc.), so many of the issues inherent within the signal path will be present within the sweeps themselves, and thus attempts will be made to compensate for them by Audyssey's corrective filtering, introducing, once again, unwanted artifacts in the form of additional distortion. It's trying to fix acoustic AND electric deviations from a flat line.


+1
Audyssey only tests one speaker at a time, to test phase, speaker to speaker tests are needed to have any real meaning, thus Audyssey is deaf to phasing issues it may or may not cause. Phasing can be a big problem due to poor 3way speaker Xovers too, so Audyssey is not much help if your HT has these issues to deal with..


.
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