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Compare HT Receiver EQ functions?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I am ready to replace my workhorse old Yamaha RV-1105 with something that can handle up-to-date formats and HDMI switching.

One of the main things that I am looking forward to is having access to a microphone-based auto-EQ function as I have struggled with my room which is an odd shape and tends to selectively suck bass frequencies.

I see that every name manufacturer no has their own variation on this function (YPAO, Audessy, etc.).

I also see that several of these have dedicated threads, presumably most useful to current owners of one of these systems. But: has there been any good head-to-head comparison (quantitative and/or qualitative) on the current versions of these features.

Pointers/links/opinions solicited.

JGM
Edited by JGM - 3/4/13 at 2:12pm
post #2 of 14
Well, Audyssey is obviously the most popular version, and I've been happy with the results.

You say that your room "sucks bass" - no amount of audio EQ can get rid of bass nulls caused by the room itself. The best way to attempt to cure a null is with very careful sub positioning and/or multiple subs along with the use of some sort of room measuring software (i.e. REW, OmniMic) and, if needed, followed up with acoustic treatments.
post #3 of 14
I had a Marantz SR6003, and that was a huge improvement to my previous Onkyo TX-SR805 which was a better room heater than AV receiver. The SC-1222K brought new life to my speakers 3 months ago. I couldn't believe that a switched amplification stage (AKA Digital amplifier) could make such a difference!

The Pioneer has the Advanced MCACC that calibrates the listening environment in order to make it as close as possible to a THX room, far better than the Audyssey MultEQ XT that I had before. It does a good job and it even allows you to tune up all the parameters to your preference. After discovering the Adv. MCACC I realized that Audyssey was like walking with the shoe laces tied together.

Regards
post #4 of 14
You just had to post that, okibcn!? I just upgraded receivers...now you got me thinking about a Pioneer - is the Advanced MCACC really that much better than Audyssey XT? How about XT32?
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

is the Advanced MCACC really that much better than Audyssey XT? How about XT32?

For me XT32 was a significant improvement over Advanced MCACC.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by holt7153 View Post

For me XT32 was a significant improvement over Advanced MCACC.

I've never tested the XT32. What receiver did you have before? which one do you have now?

What I saw with the Pioneer is that with the first class D3 generation they are in the top of quality. The processing side is like any other, nothing special. Nonetheless Advanced MCACC was an improvement over the initial MCACC. They are in the beginning of a new era in amplification technology so they have room to go with the class D3. Class AB technology is at the very end and it is very difficult to improve. On the other hand room calibration is mature enough and we wont see a quantum leap like the one in the amplification stage. I cant wait to see the future switched amplification stages from Denon/Marantz or Yamaha. So far only Bang & Olufsen (ICEpower technology) and Pioneer (Class D3 technology) have working switched amplifier solutions to consider and Pioneer seems to deliver better numbers than B&O.

Regards
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by okibcn View Post

I've never tested the XT32. What receiver did you have before? which one do you have now?

I had a few Pioneers including the Elite SC-05 (which I still have) and now my main AVR is the Denon 4311. The Pioneers were beautiful receivers with all the features and power I needed, but I upgraded to dual subs and heard how well XT32 handled duals so I decided to give it a shot. For me Audyssey did a much better job than MCACC but YMMV.
post #8 of 14
post #9 of 14
I just paid like nothing for a Pioneer 1022 and I am very impressed with what it did using the auto cal.........

All my audio processors before this had various forms of Audyssey. Not that I had any real issues with the Audyssey, but the Pioneer seemed to do very very well with virtually no work and/or time involved.
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Well, from the responses so far (including the links Kilian kindly provided) as well as some additional searching. I gather that the answer to my original question (has there been any good head-to-head comparison (quantitative and/or qualitative) on the current versions of these features) is a resounding NO.

That is, there is opinion, and some case studies with one or the other of the systems, but nothing that directly compares the effectiveness or usefulness of the different systems.

This is quite surprising to me -- apparently none of the audio or A/V magazines have developed a standard process for evaluating Auto-EQ systems. Seems like it wouldn't take that much -- and would make a great feature article -- to run each system in a particular room against a several different sets of speakers known to have coloration issues and then do some before-and-after spectrograms for comparison. Or to run some "flat"-ish speakers in several problematic rooms to see how well room effects can be mitigated. If they felt a need for qualitative analysis also, sure, tell me which results had more "air" or whatever. But show me the spectrograms.

I'm also interested to know -- and maybe another pointer is in order here -- which systems are most amenable to user tuning after the Auto-EQ is complete.

Thanks to all.

JGM
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post

You say that your room "sucks bass" - no amount of audio EQ can get rid of bass nulls caused by the room itself.

I'm not sure I completely follow - how are room effects functionally different from speaker non-linearities? If the EQ system is analyzing and compensating using a microphone, it would seem that both issues should be helped.

I'm not talking about a standing-wave type "null", I don't think, but an imbalance in mid-bass due to the shape of the room. And I don't expect an EQ system do do the physically impossible, but it would be nice to have some control beyond bass and treble dials.
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGM View Post

Well, from the responses so far (including the links Kilian kindly provided) as well as some additional searching. I gather that the answer to my original question (has there been any good head-to-head comparison (quantitative and/or qualitative) on the current versions of these features) is a resounding NO.
I don't know how current the versions were, but there has been a study that was presumably very carefully done, by Sean Olive of Harmon Int'l, and it's here. Looking at the chart at the beginning of the article, you'll see the bottom line right away, and you'll notice that one of the systems tested much worse than the others. Just try to avoid that one.

By the way, I just used a receiver with Audyssey for two years, after using MCACC with several Pioneer receivers, and my preference is MCACC.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregLee View Post

I don't know how current the versions were, but there has been a study that was presumably very carefully done, by Sean Olive of Harmon Int'l, and it's here. Looking at the chart at the beginning of the article, you'll see the bottom line right away, and you'll notice that one of the systems tested much worse than the others. Just try to avoid that one.

If only it were possible. Note this from the article: The identities of the products associated with the results are not relevant for the purpose of this article. Moreover this was a comparison of multiple 5-figure standalone EQ systems which may or may not have any useful relationship with anything integrated into HT receivers.

This is, however, pretty much exactly the experiment I'd like to see with Audessy vs. YPAO vs. MCACC -enabled receivers.

JGM
post #14 of 14
The issue may be? You would also be testing every other element of the AVR with different models / manufacturers using the variouis EQ systems.....


Be hard just to test the eq system itself.


I am surprised it hasn't been done though.


In the end? I'm not sure the difference should or could really make or break the avr's overall performance in any given room.
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