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Denon's Audyssey vs. Pioneer's MCACC - Page 3

post #61 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy91 View Post

Hey,

I know this is an old thread but I have something to add. I have two brothers who's systems have had Denon's Audessy, Harman's auto-tune, and Pioneer's MCACC. I got to watch multiple movies with all three technologies' auto-tunings.

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I don't have any scientifically fancy schmanchy test gear but I'm pretty confident what I heard was spot on and confirmed by at least one other person who I know are technically inclined.

My opinion, (for what it's worth) I only seem to find acceptable quality in 1 out of 3. And the 1 which I like actually DOES make the sound 'better' and more realistic for both music and movies. I haven't been able to get a full and practical session with Yamaha's auto-tune, so I can't comment or give an opinion on that one.

You compared three different room EQ tools run by two different users in two different rooms with two different sets of loudspeakers, and three different sets of program material. And all done sighted, and with no objective measurements.

Sorry, there's no way to draw a reliable conclusion about MCACC vs Audyssey vs Harman from this.
post #62 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by hd_newbie View Post

I believe Kal compared ARC to Audyssey though.

ARC is not implemented in any AVRs, is it?

I am talking about room EQ tools that would be available to the typical AVR purchaser. There is a stunning lack of good comparisons available for these.
post #63 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

And when those other RoomEQs are available in a pre/pro, they may get compared as well.

Why do they have to be in pre/pros, Kal? Why not just compare what comes with a Denon /Harman/Yamaha/Pioneer AVR? CHoose the top of the line of each if it otherwise seems to 'low fi' for Stereophile.

Most consumers will buy room EQ tools as part of AVRs, not pre/pros or standalone DSP units.
post #64 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

Why do they have to be in pre/pros, Kal? Why not just compare what comes with a Denon /Harman/Yamaha/Pioneer AVR? CHoose the top of the line of each if it otherwise seems to 'low fi' for Stereophile.

As I have said, it is editorial policy not to review receivers but I have made exceptions if there are features I want to review. I reviewed a Denon receiver because I wanted to get a jump on Audyssey. I am now reviewing a Sherwood to get a jump on Trinnov. MCACC will never appear in anything but a Pioneer AVR. YPAO will never appear in anything but a Yamaha AVR. Hence, I have little interest in them.

Quote:
Most consumers will buy room EQ tools as part of AVRs, not pre/pros or standalone DSP units.

Sure but they are not my readership (according to my editor).
post #65 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

You compared three different room EQ tools run by two different users in two different rooms with two different sets of loudspeakers, and three different sets of program material. And all done sighted, and with no objective measurements.

Sorry, there's no way to draw a reliable conclusion about MCACC vs Audyssey vs Harman from this.

Well, these technologies are supposed to correct room problems and improve sound quality. Either people are going to like the results or they won't. I expect that when a process is run that is supposed to improve sound in a room over the original sound that it do just that and not 'fail'. IMO, two sets of people call Audyssey and Harman's auto-tuners stinky poop and thought MCACC actually sounded better than the original/untreated sound. And that is the verdict.
post #66 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy91 View Post

Well, these technologies are supposed to correct room problems and improve sound quality. Either people are going to like the results or they won't.


...and basic findings of perceptual psychology tell us that sound quality won't be the only important determinant of that, if the comparison is done without controls in place.


Quote:
I expect that when a process is run that is supposed to improve sound in a room over the original sound that it do just that and not 'fail'. IMO, two sets of people call Audyssey and Harman's auto-tuners stinky poop and thought MCACC actually sounded better than the original/untreated sound. And that is the verdict.

It's a deeply tainted verdict.
post #67 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

...and basic findings of perceptual psychology tell us that sound quality won't be the only important determinant of that, if the comparison is done without controls in place.




It's a deeply tainted verdict.

If the room correction fits, you must acquit.
post #68 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post

...and basic findings of perceptual psychology tell us that sound quality won't be the only important determinant of that, if the comparison is done without controls in place.




It's a deeply tainted verdict.

I am not sure we can draw this conclusion from his experiences.

Look at it this way:

He used GI Joe as a demo movie to determine MCACC quality. Even though that movie is a horrific mashup of poorly executed worn out action flick cliches, bad blocking, a bland score and phoned-in acting performances; he still managed to enjoy it.

From this we can see that the MCACC calibration actually took one of the worst films ever made - a film that nearly half the audience I began viewing it with left mid-showing - and caused this person to actually appreciate it.

It's not just the best auto-EQ system, it is flippin' magic.
post #69 of 78
Maybe he like it anyways
post #70 of 78
I have not tried Audyssey on a Denon; however, I am familiar with Audyssey on an Onkyo. The final sound and comparison to MCACC should be very comparable.

To give MCACC an edge in the comparison, I actually compared Audyssey 2EQ (with less filters than MultEQ, only calibrates for 3 positions, and has NO sub calibration) to the newest Advance MCACC. I have been happily using my Onkyo 605 with Audyssey 2EQ for 4 years. For sub correction I have used a Behringer Feedback Destroyer (1124p).


I have had the chance to audition a Pioneer VSX-33 for a few weeks, with the latest offering from MCACC. I ran MCACC a few times with the mic positioned properly on a tri-pod. I only calibrated for one position, to give MCACC the best chance to compete with Audyssey 2EQ. Of course I did all my demos in that 1 ideal sweet spot. Just like with Audyssey, I used an SPL meter to gauge the variance in SPL for all the speakers. It also allowed me to keep the sub at the same +4 dbs. I did a few custom runs with the varying parameters that are recommended on the MCACC thread. I saved the ideal advanced mcacc on 1 preset, and assigned the others to the multiple calibration preset options.

INITIAL Conclusions:
When I first calibrated and listened to MCACC (after hearing and using Audyssey 2eq for many years), I did not notice a huge difference. I initially concluded that MCACC and Audyssey 2eq are comparable (especially since 2eq doesn't have sub calibration). I must say I noticed that by default, MCACC sets the center channel with a higher spl and the surrounds seem subdued. Audyssey is conservative and even with the center channel SPLs; however, it also sets the surrounds at a conservative SPL. I am a tweaker in that I enjoy adjusting and fine balance (I took weeks to learn and understand REW, and applied a custom sub tune to my BFD). I thought MCACC gave the user TOO many options. I felt that the chances to arrive at a less optimal tune was greater than making an improvement (when making adjustments with MCACC). I like that Audyssey gives you the ideal tune, and than lets the user adjust the SPLs for the individual channel. I was satisfied with how I was able to simply adjust "Treble" and "Bass" to arrive to the final sound I was looking for with Audyssey. The other weird thing is that my subs sounded worse with MCACC, which I found odd. The Audyssey 2eq did not apply any calibration to the subs, and I had the same BFD and tune for both Audyssey and MCACC. Go figure.

With MCACC I did love how there were options to assign specific tunes/adjustments to different presets. I think that is a great tool especially with the variances with all the newer HD codecs.

FINAL CONCLUSION:
My LIGHT BULB moment happened after I returned the Pioneer and re-connected the Onkyo 605 (Audyssey 2eq). I was AMAZED at how much happier I was with Audyssey. The surrounds were much more believable and things sounded much more balanced. I recognized that with MCACC things did not sound as full, the experience was not as enveloping, and the surrounds (and perhaps mains) did not sound as in sync (like timing may have been slightly off). Keep in mind that all I demoed was HT material, and that my inherent base line was derived from my experience with Audyssey. Still, I have been a movie fan for many years and detailed enough to notice timing and realism of the surrounds and mains. I now know that I can not go the Pioneer route as MCACC does not get the job done to my liking in comparison to Audyssey.

MCACC pros (vs Audyssey):
- Has 6 presets where custom calibrations can be saved (Audyssey has one)
- Allows user input to customize almost every parameter of the final tune
- Great GUI (graphic user interface)

MCACC cons (vs Audyssey):
- User input and adjustments can be overkill and took away from the "automatic" room correction appeal.
- More complicated and troublesome to arrive at the ideal tune for room (it seems that user input and analysis are necessary for ideal tune).
- NO (or VERY poor) subwoofer calibration
- Not sure of this, but I know Audyssey uses IR filters where MCACC may still used PEQ style filters. (I recognize that MCACC claims to correct in the time domain with this "Advanced" version.)
- Can not properly calibrate for an "area" (larger than 1 postion). I know the Advance MCACC actually has an option, but most seem to feel that it does a poor job with greater than 1 postion and that is better to just keep 1 position.

I know that Audyssey is what I prefer, but I think this is a very personal thing as everyone has different preferences.
post #71 of 78
I have calibrated my home theater with both Audyssey and now currently MCACC. I prefer MCACC although both did a good job.

MCACC allows me to tweak more, and had different curves to chose from front align, all chan adj, and symmetry. I prefer symmetry. I like how I can set the X-curve to different settings depending on brightness of the movies.

I like how MCACC does not provide eq correction to my subs.

Over both MCACC and Audyssey I would prefer to have a perfectly designed room with proper acoustics for a flat response, but I have not won the lottery yet. So until then I will stick with MCACC.
post #72 of 78
MCaCC does make adjustments to your sub, I cannot remember what the section is called but it actually has 3 frequencies that it will cut for room correction. The end user can go in and Adjust the 3 frequencies, the amplitude and the Q. I just unhooked my Pioneer ad installed a Denon so i cannot even look up what it is called.

In my initial post I said I liked the sound of my denon with Audyssey better then my pioneer with MCCAC but this could just be because the Denon 3312 is a vastly superior amp to my pioneer vsx919ah-k. What I liked about MCACC is that I would run it from 3 different positions with 2 different curves each and save them all to thier own memory. Once I had run it and saved all of the presets I could go in and manually adjust every single setting that it made, including removing the EQ it applied to the subwoofer (not really an EQ as all it does is cut frequencies). Adjusting the EQ on the speakers with the rediculous test tone that MCACC supplied sucked. Adjusting the fine speaker distance with MCACC was amazing, when done properly you could actually hear the little click moving between the 2 speakers. If you closed your eyes you could actually swear that someone was walking the speaker around as you were adjusting the distance. I did not like that you had to set the same crossover for every speaker. All in all I really liked the fact that you could adjust the settings for MCACC, but I did not like the fact that you HAD to adjust all of the settings for MCACC otherwise I did not like the sound at all.

I have only been running my new Denon for about 2 weeks now, when I initially set it up I did not run Audyssey. I manually changed all of the settings by ear and I was pretty happy with the sound. After a week I reset the Unit and ran Audyssey, even though I cannot change the settings for the most part I am very happy with the sound. Audyssey was able to basically do everything I would have done on its own, the only thing that I had to change was the speaker size, cross over for each speaker(individually[yay]), and the level of the center channel. For the average home user I think Audyssey is actually a lot better because you don't ahve to mess with a lot of complicated settings. I do not like that I cannot even look at the settings(as far as I can tell yet) let alone adjust them.

I think I would have to say that I like both equally, both have benefits and both have drawbacks. For you average home user I would have to say that Audyssey wins hands down, much better sound without tweeking.


Anyway I know this is an old thread and I probably should not bump it but I read the whole thing and I had to add my own 2 cents... Especially about MCACC making adjustments to the subwoofer!biggrin.gif
post #73 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by krabapple View Post



...and basic findings of perceptual psychology tell us that sound quality won't be the only important determinant of that, if the comparison is done without controls in place.

It's a deeply tainted verdict.

That fact doesn't seem to keep people from piling the tainted evidence on.

There is a right way to do an reliable relatively unbiased evaluation of room correction techniques but so far nobody seems to have figured it out. Hint: it would be a lot more work than we've seen anybody in this thread do so far.

Opinions are like stomachs, most people seem to have at least one. ;-)
post #74 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by smithers138 View Post

MCaCC does make adjustments to your sub, I cannot remember what the section is called but it actually has 3 frequencies that it will cut for room correction. The end user can go in and Adjust the 3 frequencies, the amplitude and the Q. I just unhooked my Pioneer ad installed a Denon so i cannot even look up what it is called.

Phase Control. And I think it was determined long ago that it was not really subwoofer EQ. But confirming that would require trawling through old posts.
post #75 of 78
Would like to know if the most recent technology XT32 of Audyssey allows one to play with settings as MCCAC
post #76 of 78
^^^

only if you buy the audyssey pro kit...

ime, the crude graphic eq provided with mcacc isn't of much use...

the phase control, in the proper hands with proper measuring equipment, can be of use... however, as krab notes, it's not subwoofer eq...
post #77 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post

^^^
only if you buy the audyssey pro kit...
ime, the crude graphic eq provided with mcacc isn't of much use...
the phase control, in the proper hands with proper measuring equipment, can be of use... however, as krab notes, it's not subwoofer eq...

The Pioneer iControl app has more adjustments on the fly. You can tweak the subwoofer, center audio, as well as a finger EQ for bass. This is much better then Audyssey XT32 and I do have both recievers. Denon 4311 and Pioneer SC-67 & Pioneer SC-57.
post #78 of 78
Audyssey does so much more than mcacc. You can maybe compare 2eq one of audyssey's entry level products to mcacc....
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