MY "calibration" experience!
(I used "the_bull's" wonderful write-up as a basis for mine, since it conveyed so much of my own experience)
Jeff Meier, AccuCal, came by a couple days ago to calibrate my HT (including 60XBR2). I converted my small garage into a HT; 17x13. I did everything myself on a very small budget, including room treatments.
Jeff is a really good guy, very professional and with a wealth of knowledge and stories (and tools). I'm not usually much of a talker, but with Jeff it was easy to do (kept him there about 5 hours). On to calibration results...
I've had the set since last December and had basically given up tweaking about 4 months ago. I just couldn't get what I was hoping this set could give. I wasn't unhappy with the picture but there were a few things I was hoping to see that I just couldn't get:
1. A sharp picture without any grain
2. Accurate colors with some pop, but flesh tones that are lifelike
3. Blacker blacks
Jeff (and the XBR2) was able to deliver on all counts and I am very happy with my picture. While analog SD and digital SD look better, they are still analog SD and digital SD. HD via D* (which constitutes the bulk of my viewing) is much better; much sharper, better more accurate colors and depending on the source can definitely have that WOW factor.
Holy crap!!! I can't believe the difference. My receiver is a Yamaha RX-V2700 with LPA-1 and the speakers are Rockets (760's w/ert's; BF w/ert; 300's; CambridgeSoundworks p1000 sub). I am NO audiophile by any means - I used the Yamaha's auto YPAO and my ear to setup.
Jeff came in and wiped everything out (no loss there, trust me) and worked his magic.
The sound is amazing. Dialog is crisp and clear. Front and surround detail is awesome, I'm hearing things in movies I never even knew existed.
Surround is fantastic. I'm hearing everything, but very naturally - where as before I was wanting to turn my head in the direction of the sound.
No more boomy bass, but lively accurate bass and LFE.
I had my doughts that he would be able to do much with my sub, but he used the built-in eq of the Yamaha then used the "r:des" to address problems that the Yamaha could not.
We ended up moving the rs300's to the Yamaha, leaving the front array to be driven by the LPA-1. This really helped, I was now able to reach "reference level" with ease. Before, the LPA-1 was running out gas. This was immediately apparent in the "bean" scene of Crouching Tiger.
For me, the gain in audio outweighs the gain in video. I'm currently looking forward to listening to movies more than watching them.
I am attaching some before and after graphs to give you an idea of what he accomplished, but nothing can convey the improvement it made to my ears. My Rocket HT is great, in fact, Jeff said my HT sounded much better that most he has worked on. Most recently, a Martin Logan HT.
This is pretty cool, Jeff told me my HT is the second best he has seen, only a 500k ht in Hollywood had a better graph.
I know many feel they can tweek their systems to get the best out it, but, unless you have the proper equipment, I have my doughts that you can meet Jeff's results. I cannot reccomend him enough.
HT: RS760's; Bigfoot; RSS300's; ELT's (4); Yamaha RX-V2700/Emo LPA; ps3;D* HDdvr
Bdrm: Mini's; Emo RSP/RPA; cec 3300 cdp; Technics tt