We used to but not any more AFAIK. If we did, I listen with Dolby PLIIz for my height channels :)
LOL! 'Not enamoured' is probably more accurate. But remember I don't have wides or even rear surrounds unfortunately, so my remarks are always only concerned with DSX as it relates to Height channels. (I think I always make that clear - hope so anyway).
No, the FAQ is correct. The bit I have bolded above has been edited so it now reflects what the FAQ says, and that info is correct. Prior to your edit you had it the other way around, which may explain why it isn't doing what you hoped it would do. DV does not attempt to match SPLs from one soundtrack to another - it isn't trying to do that. ~All that DV does is compress the dynamic range in the content - ie it makes the loud sounds less loud and the soft sounds less soft, centred around a level you choose with the MV. Usually people want to always hear dialogue, hence that tip. People are less concerned, late at night, with if an explosion sounds 'realistic' and more concerned with whether they can hear what the characters are saying.
:) Yes. Also DSX reduces the levels of the front left and right channels too, as well as that of the surrounds. This makes for a tremendously front-centric presentation, which is the precise opposite of what I have worked so hard for in my room - which is a surround 'bubble' that immerses me in the soundtrack of the movie (I only ever refer to movies - I ought to add that to my sig - I have no idea what happens when you use DSX for music).
It seems odd to me that Audyssey refer to the way our hearing works and how sounds from behind are less readily perceived by us as SPLs drop, and they invent Dynamic EQ to help with that - then they go and develop a tech that actually sticks everything up front and they even jimmy the surround channels to help achieve it!
That will be my 101st repetition I guess - LOL :)
"Passive" biamping is a waste of an amp and some wire. Unless you physically disconnect the (passive) crossovers in your speakers and use "active" (powered) electronic crossovers such that the two amps truly drive each speaker separately, it's a total waste of time.
Here's a useful article on it:
Now that is a sensible use of the amps and wire!
Great points there. I am leaning towards active loudspeakers these days. All the problems you mention melt away when the speaker designer knows the intimate performance details of the amps used, and when the amps are purpose-matched to the drivers they are working with. If I was starting from scratch today, but with what I know now, that is the route I would go. Forget AVRs, forget external amps - hook my prepro to the speakers and be done with it.
It's OK to remove the back of the seat for measuring if it is also removed for listening. As that is unlikely the answer is 'no'. If the back of the seat is getting between the mic and the surround or rear surround speakers, raise the mic a little until it clears the seat back and has line of sight to the speakers. There will never be a problem with Audyssey measuring the distance to any speaker - even speakers the mic can't 'see' - because Audyssey doesn't measure the distance. It measures the delay between the time of the input signal and the time the output is received by the mic, and then converts this into distance using the speed of sound in air for the conversion. Personally I have never understood why they don't just leave it in msecs instead of converting it to feet and inches, as this seems to cause a lot of confusion. What is important is that the sound arrives from each speaker at the MLP at the appropriate time - and that is what Audyssey sets out to do when you calibrate. The result is a cohesive soundstage with better imaging.
No - an external amp won't 'mess Audyssey up' but it would be prudent to run the calibration level again as the external amp's gain may be different from the AVR amps' gain and this could throw the relative levels of the speakers off.
What are you using as a centre channel speaker? It may be worth considering the XPA-3 to power the R, L & C. The centre channel is the most important in a 5.1 system. Just a thought.
Yup. I would definitely eye Mark's powered speakers. And the powered versions of my MK S150s. I doubt if I will upgrade in this direction (I am happy with the current system) but if I was starting again, or ever moved house and started a new HT from scratch, this is the way I would definitely go.