Originally Posted by ccotenj
are you going to expand on that a bit, or just leave us hanging?
hanging...just kidding! I didn't want to bore you w/my usual long posts so I trimmed it down
too much I guess
so here goes...a book!! "How MCACC Changed My Life"
This is just before I got the SC-68 so still applies to SC-09.
1. I have an existing Maggie center that's supposed to go to 80hz but realistically drops off fairly quickly < 100 or so, without measurements this is strictly an estimate on my part using the MCACC graphs, from all MCACC receivers I've owned. So, a small gap between the Xover of 80 & where the center can perform its best.
2. All new Maggie centers are severely bass-limited to 200 hz, so Magnepan makes a multipurpose bass/mid-bass "woofer" panel that goes from 40hz - 5Khz with its own internal Xover at 200. You connect woofer panel to AVR with 80 Xover, and center to woofer panel. 80-200 hz goes to woofer, >200 goes to center. Goal - create more of a full center without using Magnepan's non-standard bass mgmt setup, plus not spending $3000 on their top-of-the-line center with a 200 hz bass limit.
3. the woofer panel's internal Xover must be very gradual slope, to accommodate multiple uses, because it definitely reproduces well into the hi mid-range. I can hear the whistles from the X-Files theme song thru the woofer. The Problem - now I have 2 speakers separated by the height of a plasma panel (~4 ft), one above & one sitting on floor, that reproduce overlapping freq's. Sometimes get an echo effect, chesty dialog, & hollow sound. It sounds worse!!
And I am disappointed I spent $800 on this! I can't tell the dealer to send it back so how can I make it sound half-way decent? The WAF is asking me why I spent the $800
4. I try manual tweaking the problem freq's: 125, 250, 500 & 1K, tried various cuts, something you Audyssey fans can't
Result - improvement but still not quite right but at least I know it's possible to get it sounding decent.
5. I create a new preset in the SC-09 (can std Audyssey do this?
) and re-run full MCACC Symmetry. New group delays in phase control, reverb measurements & standing wave filters. Result - totally different standing wave filters (makes sense) and modified group delays. A different EQ in the 125, 250 & 500 bands than my manually tweaked ones but look more like the previous ones, so if EQ was the issue, it should sound as bad as it did before. It doesn't.
Result - much
improved integration of the woofer speaker with the center. Sounds much more like sound coming from a common center speaker.
What accounts for the difference? Can't be just EQ, because I tried that. IMO, the combination of different standing wave filters & phase control (making group delay between center & center woofer the same) are what caused it to finally blend together & with the fronts.
Before this, I really didn't think phase control did much, to be honest. When I did use it, most of the time I used the Full Band setting for movies but bass only setting for music (to preserve dipolar depth & stage characteristics). In my setup, Full Band brought sounds forward, in line with the speakers, whereas bass only phase setting allowed for increased depth in the soundstage. It was a personal choice thing.
Now, I'm thinking there's more to this feature that may be apparent. I know from my talks with Pioneer, their engineers place huge
importance to maintaining accurate phase for "best" audio quality. To the degree that that is the primary reason behind their NOT putting independent channel Xovers in their AVR's. It's not an omission because they've "fallen behind" which has been our perception (mine, too). It's a deliberate, philosophical choice they make in their design. Even if I'd like to see independent Xovers because it would make my life easier, I can respect their decision because they have reasons to do it the way they do.
to me it sounds like the same kind of issue as video processing on HDMI. In the early SC models, we all were disappointed when we found we couldn't "monkey" with video settings on HDMI sources. Pioneer maintained (correctly) that "do no harm" was the right choice. Don't allow ill-informed owners to mess up what they paid good money to enjoy. But they bowed to customer pressure, because we all wanted it, their competitors had it & ended up putting the video proc in the loop as the default. And the result was predictable, posters asking why they couldn't get a picture to look right or it looked funny, or no picture because they choose a resolution that wasn't being displayed, etc etc. So what did we tell them to try? Turn it off and see what happens!
You & I have debated particular forum posters who've screwed around with the video proc settings, specific to a particular TV, swore how much better it looked, and then had the stupidity to tell other owners to try their
settings, when they changed things in the TV's service menu
Pioneer may have had it right to begin with
We've often admitted this. Because now ill-informed newbies can fubar their calibrated TV picture & wonder why it doesn't look right. But Pioneer bowed to "us" wanting this feature because the "other companies" were doing it.
Maybe the same has been going on with MCACC with Xovers, etc. and we "think" we want something because company X has it.
Sub EQ, no question, Pioneer should look at including that. Maybe they will (or are
we'll have to see...
Do I know which philosophical approach is right? No.
But if the head of marketing for a major CE company asks about multiple XOvers & gets emphatically told by their design engineers how that can degrade audio quality, with papers, graphs & measurements, Pioneer may not be giving us "what we want" for a reason. And not because they're lazy, stubborn or falling behind the times. Maybe they know something we don't and have a dam good reason. Phase can be important to perceptions of depth & sound localization. Phase differences are what matrix surround processing uses, going back to the early quad era, to create surround information. sdurani & Roger Dressler can give the tech details, but IIRC, shifting the phase of hard panned left & right sounds and using out-of-phase sounds was how quad decoders synthesized quad from stereo and encoded the matrixed tracks.
Sorry this turned into a bit of a rant. Maybe I've drunk a whole lot of kool-aid, but I have to believe that if their engineers and Air Studios have stuck with the same approach and value time-aligned phase as much as they seem to, maybe they know something
Does phase control make a night & day difference? No. But it does make a soundfield more seamless and that is the goal we all seem to value a whole lot. Maybe they just take a different approach to get there. Don't know but food for thought.
I came away with a different perspective than I had before on MCACC. I never bothered to use manual MCACC because I didn't think I needed to. But I found an advantage to having it. I also didn't think standing wave filters & phase control did that much either - because it didn't seem to help my bass response with the Velodyne parametric sub EQ. And while Full Band Phase Control made my front stage different, I couldn't say it was "better", just different.
That was before I got this woofer speaker. It's a lot better
than I started with. At least now I'm not regretting spending 8 bills on it
It sounds pretty darn good now. Could Audyssey Pro do this as well? Probably yes. After spending $700, take lots of measurements for a custom curve. Could Audyssey standard 32XT also do it? Since it's also time based measurements, maybe. I won't know
And remember what I said about the SVS AS-EQ1 end of Dec when I posted pics of response I got with the SVS?
It alone did NOT produce the flattened response I got vs the Velo EQ. I tried combinations of SVS audyssey, with Phase Control on & off, Standing Wave on & off, fronts set as Large and set as Small.
The curve still had the 2 nulls with Audyssey Multi32XT and still was pretty choppy. But IMO, what it did do was allow the Standing Wave filters & Phase Control to flatten the curve even more, better than I'd seen before using the Velodyne EQ. It allowed the those Pioneer features to finish the job. In that sense, Multi32XT was important to the final result. But it took the combination to get the best results. Nothing is a panacea...that's our curse being in this &*$# hobby
Both systems have a lot of value. Once Pioneer adds sub EQ, it will have even more. But let's not forget the features it has which do seem to make a difference, at least for me, I found do (in my room, with my speakers...the usual
Just an opinion, having drunk the kool-aid Edited by ss9001 - 8/3/12 at 2:56pm