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Does Auto Room Correction Do More Good or Harm? - Page 2

Poll Results: Does Auto Room Correction Do More Good or Harm?

 
  • 46% (281)
    In general, it does more good than harm
  • 8% (48)
    In general, it does more harm than good
  • 4% (29)
    In general, it does more good only in the bass frequencies
  • 18% (111)
    It depends on the room-correction system; some work better than others
  • 5% (31)
    It depends on the room
  • 2% (15)
    It depends on the speakers and their placement
  • 14% (84)
    I don't have enough experience to say
599 Total Votes  
post #31 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kascnef82 View Post

It helps the avr improve audio acoustics

For music, once I popped in some Enya I was reminded why I reject EQ above the Schroeder frequency for my front stage. It ruins the crystalline perfection of great recordings.

It's interesting, when room correction is applied, the benefits are immediately noticeable. The minuses take a little while to decipher. I've been through this whole mental process before. EQ stays off, everything else stays one—namely standing wave correction and group delay adjustment. I also don't object to EQing the rears to match the fronts, since there is some real benefit to that for movies in terms of achieving a cohesive sound field.
Edited by imagic - 7/28/13 at 8:26am
post #32 of 368
I used Audyssey for the initial setup and then manually tweaked the things that sounded "off" to me and all was well.

smile.gif
post #33 of 368
Yeah i really do want to turn it off i have to read the manual it's cool and great, i do agree with you it really makes the highs really loud and piercing, really messes with the EQ too, and with smaller speakers it really ruins them with a surround effect that gets old really fast.
post #34 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

What is "same as what's on the recording" defined as? If it's live, the venue exerts undue influence. If it's a studio recording, it's a concoction to begin with and there is no such thing as "neutral," per se. There are plenty of other influences at the recording level, like choice of mics and compressors. It's hard to pin down how one could even make such a thing as a "neutral" recording. Many audio enthusiasts bemoan the state of modern production. Well, "back in the day" there was no room correction, and music managed to "kick ass."

If "neutral response" really was the ultimate goal, a pair of near-field studio monitors and some foam would do the trick. Enjoying Hi-Fi is enjoyable exactly because you can go beyond the rather dry and unexciting speakers and headphones that are often used for mastering.

It's probably no accident that a quasi near-field setup, in a deadened room, is exactly what I prefer, even for HT. I want to hear what the people who made the recording heard.

To me, that's the only way to stay sane while spending my time and energy enjoying the movie or the music, rather than trying to understand how my system is affecting it. Sure, a classical concert recording is full of room ambience, but that's how it was made. That's what I want to hear. And if a Steely Dan record was recorded in ten different studios over a year's time, and never actually "existed" until Fagen and Becker mixed it, that's OK. I want to hear what they heard in the studio monitors when they decided "that's it, that's what we want."

Maybe I can take over and give that Dan record more punch or presence or sizzle or smoke or sweetness or crunch or some damn thing, but then what will my Philadelphia Orchestra recordings sound like?

This is why "neutral" is good, IMO. I want my system to pass the creative vision of the makers of the art through to me uncolored, unmodified. Room correction is an excellent tool for setting up a system to do that.
post #35 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

It's probably no accident that a quasi near-field setup, in a deadened room, is exactly what I prefer, even for HT. I want to hear what the people who made the recording heard.

To me, that's the only way to stay sane while spending my time and energy enjoying the movie or the music, rather than trying to understand how my system is affecting it. Sure, a classical concert recording is full of room ambience, but that's how it was made. That's what I want to hear. And if a Steely Dan record was recorded in ten different studios over a year's time, and never actually "existed" until Fagen and Becker mixed it, that's OK. I want to hear what they heard in the studio monitors when they decided "that's it, that's what we want."

Maybe I can take over and give that Dan record more punch or presence or sizzle or smoke or sweetness or crunch or some damn thing, but then what will my Philadelphia Orchestra recordings sound like?

This is why "neutral" is good, IMO. I want my system to pass the creative vision of the makers of the art through to me uncolored, unmodified. Room correction is an excellent tool for setting up a system to do that.

I think that's impossible, creative vision is not held back by room reflections. Defining "neutral" as the end result of room correction doesn't make sense to me, either. Everyone's taste in music, and how to listen to that music, differs. It's rare to find a system that is equally adept at classical and studio rock.

I produce music and I appreciate the studio monitor experience, but I guarantee you that the best producers know that there is some target market that needs at least a bit of accommodation, within the auspices of "creative vision."

For classical, that's the existence of dedicated $100,000+ systems. For rock, it's going to be something else—Steely Dan pioneered mixing-down with a subwoofer, which is a no-no for classical.
post #36 of 368
I have limited experience with room correction. My new pre/pro came with the latest version of Audyssey but I did not run it for about one month, I tried manually adjusting it first. After I ran Audyssey it transformed the sound in my HT setup. I'm very happy with it and haven't looked back.
post #37 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I think that's impossible, creative vision is not held back by room reflections. Defining "neutral" as the end result of room correction doesn't make sense to me, either. Everyone's taste in music, and how to listen to that music, differs. It's rare to find a system that is equally adept at classical and studio rock.

I produce music and I appreciate the studio monitor experience, but I guarantee you that the best producers know that there is some target market that needs at least a bit of accommodation, within the auspices of "creative vision."

For classical, that's the existence of dedicated $100,000+ systems. For rock, it's going to be something else—Steely Dan pioneered mixing-down with a subwoofer, which is a no-no for classical.

What you're saying makes no sense to me. Few people have more than one system. Many people have eclectic tastes. Do you suggest that that one system be reconfigured for every different type of program material?

I've never worked on a project, live or studio, where our goal wasn't just to make the master sound as good as possible across the spectrum, without somehow making it unplayable on modest equipment. I don't understand what "there is some target market that needs at least a bit of accommodation, within the auspices of 'creative vision' means, other than maybe "don't make music using only sub-20Hz tones because it will just be silence on most speakers."
post #38 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdclark View Post

What you're saying makes no sense to me. Few people have more than one system. Many people have eclectic tastes. Do you suggest that that one system be reconfigured for every different type of program material?

I've never worked on a project, live or studio, where our goal wasn't just to make the master sound as good as possible across the spectrum, without somehow making it unplayable on modest equipment. I don't understand what "there is some target market that needs at least a bit of accommodation, within the auspices of 'creative vision' means, other than maybe "don't make music using only sub-20Hz tones because it will just be silence on most speakers."

So, "neutral" was not the goal, right? More like "exciting," right? That's what I'm advocating, when it comes to music production. Can room correction somehow make a typical HiFi capable of reproducing what happens in a studio? I think not, most of the time, the home stereo gear simply does not have the dynamic range, or the frequency range—especially in the bass region—to come close.

This might be a slight diversion, but I think the challenges and realities of music reproduction—and the costs involved—are part of the reason headphones enjoy such popularity at this point.

Sadly, if you can't play under 20Hz, you will not be able to appreciate my compositions as I intended them to be experienced. But, because pipe organs play down to 16Hz, I don't think I'm in error, subcontra C is a real note, one could argue that any stereo that can't play flat to 16Hz can never be accurate, neutral, capable of passing the artists creative vision, etc. As a design goal, my stereo can play flat to 16Hz at reference. AVS inspired me to build a system that allowed me to hear my own tracks as I envisioned them. I know full well a "typical" system cannot do those tracks justice. 16Hz at reference comes in handy for movies, too.
Edited by imagic - 7/27/13 at 4:12pm
post #39 of 368
Scott, I believe you were present at the Pioneer open house a few weeks ago when famous speaker designer, Andrew Jones, spoke a bit about room correction. Basically, he couldn't believe that anyone would try to equalize his (TAD) speakers! eek.gif He was very much against room correction. He made some fine points. A frequency can be off in your room for numerous reasons - and a machine can't determine that reason; so it blindly guesses and most often gets it wrong. Although he was putting down room correction, he had to keep it soft as his employer, Pioneer Electronics, was also showing their new receiver with Pioneer's room correction. rolleyes.gif

Let's say you have a very long driveway that is all dirt with tons of potholes. You try to improve your car's suspension to get a smoother ride through your long driveway. The real answer is that you need to pave the driveway, not improve your car's suspension. This is my analogy for room correction. Treat your room, not your music! In my opinion, the industry needs to come up with new gadgets all the time to get people to upgrade and spend money. Room Correction is one of those things.

Although I haven't dealt with it extensively, I have tried a few receivers with room correction and I was never happy with the outcome. That's why I voted "it hurts more than it helps".
post #40 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

Scott, I believe you were present at the Pioneer open house a few weeks ago when famous speaker designer, Andrew Jones, spoke a bit about room correction. Basically, he couldn't believe that anyone would try to equalize his (TAD) speakers! eek.gif He was very much against room correction. He made some fine points. A frequency can be off in your room for numerous reasons - and a machine can't determine that reason; so it blindly guesses and most often gets it wrong. Although he was putting down room correction, he had to keep it soft as his employer, Pioneer Electronics, was also showing their new receiver with Pioneer's room correction. rolleyes.gif

Let's say you have a very long driveway that is all dirt with tons of potholes. You try to improve your car's suspension to get a smoother ride through your long driveway. The real answer is that you need to pave the driveway, not improve your car's suspension. This is my analogy for room correction. Treat your room, not your music! In my opinion, the industry needs to come up with new gadgets all the time to get people to upgrade and spend money. Room Correction is one of those things.

Although I haven't dealt with it extensively, I have tried a few receivers with room correction and I was never happy with the outcome. That's why I voted "it hurts more than it helps".

I'm going to say that Andrew Jones is not alone in his opinion. Bass management=good. Messing with the rest of the spectrum to compensate for room anomalies? Bad!!! Another analogy: Autotune. Who's thrilled about pitch-perfect pop princesses? Anybody?
post #41 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

So, "neutral" was not the goal, right? More like "exciting," right? That's what I'm advocating, when it comes to music production. Can room correction somehow make a typical HiFi capable of reproducing what happens in a studio? I think not, most of the time, the home stereo gear simply does not have the dynamic range, or the frequency range—especially in the bass region—to come close.

Mark, it feels like we may just be talking past each other, but it seems to me you are consistently conflating, if not confusing, the principles of production with those of reproduction.

It's not the job of a home audio system to continue the production process, but to simply reproduce what was recorded. If your home system can reproduce your own recordings so that they sound exactly like they did when you mastered them, that would seem to qualify as a "neutral" system. It may not sound like the live performance did, but neither did the master recording.

Convincing emulation of live performances is a different discussion, one I believe we had a few weeks ago.
post #42 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

Scott, I believe you were present at the Pioneer open house a few weeks ago when famous speaker designer, Andrew Jones, spoke a bit about room correction. Basically, he couldn't believe that anyone would try to equalize his (TAD) speakers! eek.gif He was very much against room correction. He made some fine points. A frequency can be off in your room for numerous reasons - and a machine can't determine that reason; so it blindly guesses and most often gets it wrong. Although he was putting down room correction, he had to keep it soft as his employer, Pioneer Electronics, was also showing their new receiver with Pioneer's room correction. rolleyes.gif

Let's say you have a very long driveway that is all dirt with tons of potholes. You try to improve your car's suspension to get a smoother ride through your long driveway. The real answer is that you need to pave the driveway, not improve your car's suspension. This is my analogy for room correction. Treat your room, not your music! In my opinion, the industry needs to come up with new gadgets all the time to get people to upgrade and spend money. Room Correction is one of those things.

Although I haven't dealt with it extensively, I have tried a few receivers with room correction and I was never happy with the outcome. That's why I voted "it hurts more than it helps".

Using your car analogy, I would say both the road and the suspension affect feel. An M3 and a 750 have very different drives on the same blacktop.

Nonetheless, I agree the road should be paved first, and this is in essence Room Perfect's philosophy...

http://www.lyngdorf.com/downloads/product_descriptions/roomperfect_productdescription_english.pdf
post #43 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

Scott, I believe you were present at the Pioneer open house a few weeks ago when famous speaker designer, Andrew Jones, spoke a bit about room correction. Basically, he couldn't believe that anyone would try to equalize his (TAD) speakers! eek.gif He was very much against room correction. He made some fine points.
I was there too and Jones' comments made it clear that he hadn't kept up with recent improvements to consumer room correction. Like when someone tells you they don't like surround processing because of the band-limited mono surround channel. Makes it clear that they're talking about old Pro Logic from a couple decades ago and haven't kept up with modern surround processing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

Treat your room, not your music!
Misses the point of automatic room correction. It's not intended as a substitute for room treatment but instead for when the room cannot be treated sufficently. It's like saying that real hi-def looks better than upscaled standard def. Misses the point that video scalers aren't a substitute for hi-def but instead for when movies you love watching are not available on Blu-ray.

Besides, even when you do have relative freedom with placement and treatments in a typical living room, do you truly believe that there will be no peaks left to EQ away?
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

In my opinion, the industry needs to come up with new gadgets all the time to get people to upgrade and spend money. Room Correction is one of those things.
More often that not, guessing someone else's motives provides a window into your own thinking. Just because your reason to come up with automated room correction would have been a money grab doesn't mean the industry is limited to that mindset.

You were at the Pioneer meet, you saw how excited Chris was about upcoming improvements to MCACC; even hoping to put out a whitepaper explaining the inner workings of their room correction technology. He could hardly wait for us to hear it as next year's meet.

To you, that may have come across as some industry rep peddling a new gadget just to get people to spend money. To me, that sort of enthusiasm and willingness to be open about their technology came across as a real desire to advance the state of the art of room correction in A/V receivers. But, that's me. YMMV.
post #44 of 368
Room EQ schemes have multiple weaknesses:
These are:
1. Each system has a "different" target frequency response curve.. Which is the right one??
2. Biggest issue is the room and low frequencies. Most systems have major issues here, if the low frequency response is faulty it will never balance properly.
3. Most systems measure only far field without little validation of loudspeaker capabilities. Thats why near field measurements are crucial.
4. Most system attempt to boost the response when it finds a hole. This decreases the headroom available to the DSP. A more effective way is to pull down the peaks on each side of the hole.

To date no one to my knowledge has compared each for its pros & cons. So the consumer runs th software and assumes it is optimized. Big mistake, also little expertise @ the retail level.

Just my $0.02.... wink.gif
post #45 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

I was there too and Jones' comments made it clear that he hadn't kept up with recent improvements to consumer room correction. Like when someone tells you they don't like surround processing because of the band-limited mono surround channel. Makes it clear that they're talking about old Pro Logic from a couple decades ago and haven't kept up with modern surround processing.
Misses the point of automatic room correction. It's not intended as a substitute for room treatment but instead for when the room cannot be treated sufficently. It's like saying that real hi-def looks better than upscaled standard def. Misses the point that video scalers aren't a substitute for hi-def but instead for when movies you love watching are not available on Blu-ray.

Sanjay, I really enjoyed hearing you and Andrew discuss room correction at the Pioneer open house. I wish you guys had more time to discuss as it was a good learning experience. From what I gathered, not all room corrections are created equal. And only some of the latest and greatest devices can make a difference if it's configurable enough AND the user has extensive expertise in setting them up properly. And then it's best applied only to specific frequencies in the spectrum. From this I can only gather most of the room corrections built into receivers aren't capable and in the hands of the majority, they do more harm than good. To me, setting up a few microphones and letting the device do it's thing across the frequency range is just a bad idea. I was never able to obtain good results.
Quote:
Besides, even when you do have relative freedom with placement and treatments in a typical living room, do you truly believe that there will be no peaks left to EQ away?

I completely agree that there are lots of peaks in most rooms which have proper room treatments. My issue is that a machine may not properly EQ it correctly. As was mentioned by Andrew, there could be a number of reasons for the peak. How to the machines know how to correct that peak is what's at issue. Two frequencies can add to make a third frequency. So does the machine just turn down the resulting 3rd frequency or does it have intelligence to adjust the two frequencies creating the 3rd one?
Quote:
More often that not, guessing someone else's motives provides a window into your own thinking. Just because your reason to come up with automated room correction would have been a money grab doesn't mean the industry is limited to that mindset.

There is good reason to be skeptical in the audio industry. There are tons of snake oil's out there. You make it seem like a bad thing to be skeptical! Manufacturers (and the industry in general) needs to bring reasons for people to upgrade. That's how they stay in business. I think it's better to question everything in this hobby!
Quote:
You were at the Pioneer meet, you saw how excited Chris was about upcoming improvements to MCACC; even hoping to put out a whitepaper explaining the inner workings of their room correction technology. He could hardly wait for us to hear it as next year's meet. To you, that may have come across as some industry rep peddling a new gadget just to get people to spend money. To me, that sort of enthusiasm and willingness to be open about their technology came across as a real desire to advance the state of the art of room correction in A/V receivers. But, that's me. YMMV.

I'm very much hoping to be at next year's event and hear the new MCACC. It was my pleasure to meet Chris and Andrew and I did see their enthusiasm towards audio. I actually think Pioneer took the right step in their new Elite line with incorporating Class D amplification. Who knows, maybe this technology will advance enough to make me a believer some day.
post #46 of 368
Pretty clear results.
post #47 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by mo949 View Post

Pretty clear results.
Not really. Hit and run votes.
post #48 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

Last I checked, when it comes to HDTVs almost all get displayed in stores in some sort of "vivid mode" and none come pre-calibrated. Furthermore, HDTVS do not self-calibrate (except for Bang & Olufsen's Beovision) so perhaps the "audiophiliac" world is actually ahead of the curve?

Only in the sense that the Audyssey folks (and others) figured out how to integrate their product into AVRs ... at a reasonable cost to the consumer ... I assume there's at least one Pre/Proc that has it by now.

But in the general sense ... no ... Audiophillia is still pretty much the wild, wild west ... chocked full of inane babble, ridiculous myths, theories and ... ... I'm suddenly at a loss for words ... just spend 10 minutes scrolling through the Audio sub-forums here .... and this is probably one of the least ridiculous "audio" forums on the web. ... And for some reason, most people still don't understand the actual implications of Ohm's Law ... More Watts "output?" Must be better!!!! ... LOL

PS: HDTVs may not self calibrate yet .. but several video processors do ... (albeit at a healthy price, by the time you assemble everything you need. wink.gif )
post #49 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

From what I gathered, not all room corrections are created equal. And only some of the latest and greatest devices can make a difference if it's configurable enough AND the user has extensive expertise in setting them up properly.
Other way 'round. The solution you mentioned earlier (treating the room) is what requires expertise and knowledge in acoustics. Automatic room correction is just that: automatic. Since it is on practically every A/V receiver, it is designed to be set up by non-expert consumers. Sure there are tips and tricks to get above average results (see the Audyssey and MCACC threads) but proper set-up doesn't require "extensive expertise".
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

To me, setting up a few microphones and letting the device do it's thing across the frequency range is just a bad idea. I was never able to obtain good results.
Don't project your experience onto others. Instead, ask folks in the Audyssey or MCACC threads for before/after measurements. Rather than anecdotal stories, you'll have measured proof that "setting up a few microphones and letting the device do its thing" can improve the entire frequency response.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

As was mentioned by Andrew, there could be a number of reasons for the peak. How to the machines know how to correct that peak is what's at issue.
If the peak is rendered inaudible, what difference does it make why the peak was there or how the algorithm corrected it? Are you interested in results or chiding a computer program for using some methodology you don't approve of?
Quote:
Originally Posted by HowardV View Post

There is good reason to be skeptical in the audio industry. There are tons of snake oil's out there. You make it seem like a bad thing to be skeptical! Manufacturers (and the industry in general) needs to bring reasons for people to upgrade. That's how they stay in business. I think it's better to question everything in this hobby!
Not dismissing healthy skepticism, just pointing out that the difference in how you and I view the industry says more about us than the industry.

Over the years, I've seen the tangible improvements to things like connectivity, surround processing and room correction as reasons to upgrade. One HDMI cable does what 11 (3 component video plus 8 audio) cables used to do connected to my first HD DVD player. DTS Neo:X sounds way better than their old Neo:6 processing. And the vast improvement in just one manufacturer's room correction technology is evident by the graph I posted earlier.

By comparison, you see the them pushing "gadgets" and "tons of snake oil" as reasons to upgrade. Apparently we've met different people in the industry and have had very different experiences in this hobby to have formed such opposing views. Since you feel it is good to question everything, I'll continue to question the motives you ascribe to others.
post #50 of 368
"Snake Oil!!!!" biggrin.gif The exact phrase I was searching for in my post (#49) above. wink.gif
post #51 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

Only in the sense that the Audyssey folks (and others) figured out how to integrate their product into AVRs ... at a reasonable cost to the consumer ... I assume there's at least one Pre/Proc that has it by now.

But in the general sense ... no ... Audiophillia is still pretty much the wild, wild west ... chocked full of inane babble, ridiculous myths, theories and ... ... I'm suddenly at a loss for words ... just spend 10 minutes scrolling through the Audio sub-forums here .... and this is probably one of the least ridiculous "audio" forums on the web. ... And for some reason, most people still don't understand the actual implications of Ohm's Law ... More Watts "output?" Must be better!!!! ... LOL

PS: HDTVs may not self calibrate yet .. but several video processors do ... (albeit at a healthy price, by the time you assemble everything you need. wink.gif )

I don't agree with your assessment. The world of HDTV (not to mention UHDTV) is also full of misconceptions, unsubstantiated opinions, and rife with a fair bit of "snake oil" in the form of various video processing algorithms that purport to enhance image quality but only do harm. Not all, mind you—recently there have also been examples of upscaling algorithms that really do work to improve the look of 1080p content, when displayed on a UHD screen.

There are quite a few folks here on AVS who understand audio very well, and really not a lot of "tweakers." Just look at my "best bang for the buck upgrade" poll—almost nobody chose cables.

I've come to realize my position on room correction was a bit too severe. I use it, then I keep the settings that work for me, tweak or disable the rest. I think that's how quite a few enthusiasts approach room correction technology.

For a listener who does not know much and does not want to know much about properly setting up a listening room, I can see the advantages of full-auto room correction. It's like full-auto mode on a camera—it'll probably result in a better photo; unless the photographer happens to be a pro, in which case manual, or semi-manual mode often produces the best result.
Edited by imagic - 7/28/13 at 2:14am
post #52 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD-Master View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mo949 View Post

Pretty clear results.
Not really. Hit and run votes.

You'll have to point me to clearer results of an editor initiated poll on this site then...
post #53 of 368
I have a dedicated room that has been acoustically treated. I needed a new SSP with HDMI inputs so I deliberately changed out my SSP for one with Audyssey because of all the positive reviews. I was somewhat disappointed after running it a few times with mixed results. The dialogue was unintelligible and the bass was just off. I decided to have a pro calibration when I purchased a new projector and we ended up turning off the room correction. The system sounds incredible now.

Room correction will not be on my list when I change out the current SSP for a new one. I will definitely get a pro calibration again and it is the best money that I have spent for the theater thus far.
post #54 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I don't think anybody knows what "neutral" sounds like, least of all musicians and recording engineers. "Neutral" is simply not a goal in on the production side of things. Making the music sound good—to the majority of listeners—is usually the goal. Music doesn't get mixed-down in anechoic chambers.

Funny how folks bemoan the state of modern music and all the processing and artifice that goes into it, yet believe that room correction represents the "neutral" sound while the unprocessed recording is viewed as "colored."
What's funny is that you continue your straw man arguments, since you're handicapped by your bias regarding this subject.
post #55 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by thehun View Post

What's funny is that you continue your straw man arguments, since you're handicapped by your bias regarding this subject.

Skip back four posts, to post #52
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I've come to realize my position on room correction was a bit too severe. I use it, then I keep the settings that work for me, tweak or disable the rest. I think that's how quite a few enthusiasts approach room correction technology.

For a listener who does not know much and does not want to know much about properly setting up a listening room, I can see the advantages of full-auto room correction. It's like full-auto mode on a camera—it'll probably result in a better photo; unless the photographer happens to be a pro, in which case manual, or semi-manual mode often produces the best result
.

That's the full extent of my "bias."
Edited by imagic - 7/28/13 at 6:58am
post #56 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

I have read through the posts and have a question specific to room equalization. I assume that a speaker designed to have flat on-axis output and uniform off-axis response in an anechoic environment will generally not have a flat response in a more typical room, depending on absorptive and reflective surfaces.
Is the general thought that using equalization to "color" the direct output of the speaker (250hz and up) in an attempt to flatten the total in-room response (direct + reflected) beneficial or detrimental? Would be great if someone could link to an actual blind A/B comparison.
Perhaps the variables are so complex that the answer depends solely on the equipment and room in question.

I also suspect those results would be influenced by personal preference as well. Some folks like tube amps, while others argue using one is adding distortion to music, and only solid-state amplification can sound "correct."—I happen to think tube amps sound great but I would not buy one because I like solid-state efficiency and reliability and pricing. Some argue that it's not important to reproduce bass below 20Hz, while I argue that flat to 16Hz (with the ability to run hot) is the minimum for accurate reproduction of music and movies.

The higher-end speakers and amps and source components get, the greater the rewards of proper speaker placement, acoustic room treatment, and choice of listening position. There comes a point where applying an algorithm to flatten the in-room response at the LP is going to be a detriment to achieving the purest signal path, with the least amount of post-processing. To me, this is all a worthy goal, and I rejoice whenever I solve an acoustics-related issue using physical tools, rather than software.

After all, consider the case of an elite-level stereo system that uses vinyl as a source. There is no place for room correction, since the signal is never digitized. Yet these are some of the sweetest-sounding systems in the world—and those who argue otherwise are speaking from inexperience. At some point the claims that mid-fi receivers running this-or-that brand of room correction somehow achieve transparency that beats a well set-up all analog high-end system becomes borderline ridiculous. Were I to ever luck into such a system for my own home, personally I would swap out that turntable for a digital source (laptop) and a good DAC.

But, if the question is whether a mid-fi system with modest speakers placed with a bias towards aesthetics and convenience can benefit from room correction, I'm thinking yes—as long as the system itself is of good quality.
Edited by imagic - 7/28/13 at 10:09am
post #57 of 368
Obviously it's processing the sound, anytime you do that you take something away from the raw audio quality. I've been using my Oppo 105's analogs going into a Bel Canto Pre 6 and it's so clean and dynamic, I'm not looking to use HDMI and then process it. My room and set up is pretty decent however. Speakers are Totem Rainmakers and amp is Proceed Amp 5. BJC Cables and Panamax 5500 AC Regenrator.
post #58 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

Is the general thought that using equalization to "color" the direct output of the speaker (250hz and up) in an attempt to flatten the total in-room response (direct + reflected) beneficial or detrimental?
Can't speak for "general thought", but I definitely consider equalization above Schroder useful IF done effectively. When you say "flatten" the response, I'm not sure whether you mean attempting to remove peaks & dips in the higher frequencies or aiming for a target curve that is a horizontal straight line, but both are bad ideas.

It is pointless to pursue equalizing away individual peaks & dips in the higher frequencies because of how small the wavelengths are. Move your head an inch or two and you're out of the correction zone. Even worse, the corrective filters are no longer lining up with the problems they were intended to correct, so it's actually making the frequency response worse.

Since our human hearing isn't flat across the audible frequency range, a measured flat target curve will sound thin (too little bass, too much treble) to most listeners. It will also remove naturally occuring room gain which our ears have come to expect. When looking to design a default target curve, Lyngdorf did research on what listeners considered "natural" sound and discovered that flattening room gain away wasn't a good idea.

What is useful in the higher frequencies is equalization that behaves like a gentle tone control to bring the overall frequency response in line. Most surround set-ups are comprised of non-identical speakers, and even when identical speakers are use all around, they're in different locations around the room. This means that tonality will be different from speaker to speaker. If you can use equalization to timbre match the speakers (make the response similar, not flat) then sounds won't change character as they move around the room. It's worth colouring the direct sound of speakers to achieve that result, considering we were never going to hear the direct sound by itself anyway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidK442 View Post

Would be great if someone could link to an actual blind A/B comparison.
The only recent one I've seen was Sean Olive's room correction comparison from 2009. Like all tests that Harman does, this one was based on listener preference; i.e., tests subjects were asked which one they liked the most, not which one sounded most "accurate" (whatever that would mean anyway).

At this point, his comparison is no longer useful for guaging actual products since almost all the room correction technologies in that comparison have made significant changes over the intervening years. However, the two main conclusions from that research paper remain valid: a) the smoother the response (fewer/smaller peaks & dips), the more it was preferred; and b) a response that was perceived flat was preferred to a response that measured flat.

So, to your original question: rather than "flatten" the response, better to smoothen it out and tilt it to sound natural.
post #59 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bardia View Post

Obviously it's processing the sound....
What do you think your room is doing?
post #60 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

What do you think your room is doing?

Not processing the sound, just having it bounce of the walls, floor, ceiling and the objects around the room. But it's not being compressed.
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