Originally Posted by riverwolf
I think my 805 has a Jan/2008 build date, but it might be Nov/Dec 2007. Purchase was Feb 2008 and I recall it being pretty fresh off the line. Shipped with FW 1.06. The Onkyo mics were switched to the same shape as those used by Marantz/Denon, maybe others. Could have been simply an economy of scale thing, although I imagine the mini-tower shape has a little less effect on the wavefront than the hockey puck's do. Did anyone actually say the mic capsule itself is different? One of these days, if I ever get through my higher priority projects, I'll run some tests on the 805 and 507 mics I have and see how their raw numbers shake out.
Originally Posted by caesar1
I think the CTO was not saying there was anything wrong with the older Onkyo Mics, just that there was no way to ensure that the speaker levels would all be set after Audyssey so it was 75 dbs at the main position when running the test tones. The only thing that could be ensured was that the levels, whatever it would be, would be even amongst all of the speakers.
Of course, knowing exactly what is reference isn't necessary, but I do like to know that on my system 0 is reference and the fact that Onkyo intends for 0 to be the reference level when adjusting the speakers to 75 dbs with the test tones is set forth in the manual. However, I usually listen to most blu-rays at -12 to - 10 dbs.
Originally Posted by BasicBlak
As has been indicated, forced 7.1 playback of 5.1 material is very much program-dependent. That said, when using dipole speakers in the surround hemisphere (especially the rear surround), you will not realize a properly immersive surround experience unless the dipoles are calibrated not only to be level-matched relative to each other from the primary seating position, but level-matched to the other direct
radiating speakers in the setup (i.e., the front L/C/R). This is due to the out-of-phase characteristics of dipoles in general and the non-localized "fuzziness" they exhibit. What this means is, after calibrating to 75dB/C-weighting all around, you will need to bump up the side and back surrounds so that they have the same perceived "loudness" as the direct radiating front speakers. In other words, whereas the front speakers would be calibrated to 75dB, each of the surround dipoles should be at around 76-77dB, depending upon speaker sensitivity, placement, etc. Once you do that, the entire sound field will be a lot more cohesive.
I just recently upgraded from an all-dipole surround setup (Carver Cinema Series), so I know all too well what you're referring to. Again, programming selection notwithstanding, you should get far more immersive (and realistic) surround playback if you adjust them accordingly. (I now use Polk Audio RTi-series surround speakers--FXi3 for the sides, RTi4 for the rears--and though I now listen to the FXi3's exclusively in bi
polar mode, I also had to similarly adjust them while experimenting in dipolar mode.)
Originally Posted by mcsoul
I'm going to try this, I improved things a lot with settings (see below). I'm going to start small, with a 1db across the board increase to the 4 surrounds over what Audyssey set.
Originally Posted by BasicBlak
Just make sure you use instrumentation (e.g. SPL meter) to measure the increase and not just manually turn the dial up one or more decibels on each of the surround channels. And just to clarify (as there continues to be a misconception about this), Audyssey does not set volume levels or speaker configurations; that is 100% the function of the 805 setup controls. Audyssey only takes measurements via its proprietary EQ and apply them accordingly. Both it and the Onkyo internal setup menu are independent of the other yet work in parallel to achieve the desired end result. This is why it's important to go back and manually calibrate speaker levels with an SPL meter, and change your crossover points and/or speaker distances (if necessary) after the Audyssey measurements are saved and completed.
Originally Posted by sptrout
I may be misunderstanding exactly what you are saying, but although Audyssey does not set speaker/channel volume, it does set the channel trim levels so that all channels are 75dB SPL at the first measuring point. If I remember correctly, Chris (Mr. Audyssey over on the Audyssey thread) said that the rated spec for their level settings is +/-2dB (when using their supplied microphone), which is why he was not a big SPL meter fan. +/-2dB is close enough for most folks and is almost always much more accurate than trying to use a SPL meter for the LFE channel (a person may do a little better on the main channels).
As you mentioned, the big problem (at least with older AVRs; has this problem been corrected yet on new models?) is that most AVRs, including the 805, can incorrectly set the crossover frequencies based on Audyssey's report to the AVR's processor. The 805 will set any speaker to "large" if a channel's -3dB frequency response is 80Hz or lower. This should always be changed to something other than large depending on the actual speaker. Knowing where to set the crossover can be a crapshoot if you go below 80Hz because Audyssey stops its EQ'ing at the -3dB point so you will be risking dropping below the EQ'ed frequencies if you set the crossover to low.
Originally Posted by BasicBlak
You're right, sptrout, I should have clarified that point... Audyssey will indeed set the trim level. However, I have found in my own setup (as well as from reading commentary from several others over the years) that the deficiency is waaaay more than +/-2db in the main channels. I have to adjust the trims as much as 5dB on some channels. The sound field simply is not balanced unless I perform the manual adjustment; playback tends to be quite lackluster--low in overall relative volume and with some channels slightly louder/softer than others . (My sub/LFE, however, does measure within that margin of error...almost spot-on, in fact.) Additionally, Chris does make clear that the trim results have no effect whatsoever on the room correction filters. That's what I was basically trying to convey when stating that the Audyssey EQ is independent of the AVRs setup measurements.
Having said that, I recently recall reading that the mic that came with some of the early 805s (I bought mine a few months after launch) might not be to spec and that the replacement ones currently available at ShopOnkyo are
. So I'm going to order a new one, and perhaps my Audyssey-derived trim level results will improve.
Just wanted to follow-up on the recent mcsoul/sptrout portion of the above-referenced discussion in relation to the Audyssey setup microphone that accompanies the 805.
As I mentioned, never in the time I've owned my 805 (bought brand new from Circuit City, Fall 2007) have I run the Automated Setup without having to use my RatShack SPL meter to calibrate each channel to 75dB at the primary listening spot afterward. Playback levels were otherwise entirely too low and uneven from channel to channel, though the sonic results of Audyssey's correction filters were always readily apparent. Earlier this week I ordered a new mic from Onkyo and received it today. After re-running Automated Setup tonight (this time with the new mic), I have to say the results were pretty astounding.
For starters, I was a bit surprised that it actually took effort on my part to refrain from impulsively reaching for my SPL post-Setup, which had become de rigueur in my viewing room. But after manually adjusting the crossovers to their proper settings, I forged onward and began taking a few well-regarded BD titles with 6-/7.1 discrete audio (Bolt, The Orphanage, 3:10 to Yuma, The Golden Compass, Pinocchio) for a spin. I'll get right to it: I'm not one who gets "wowed" very easily, but the calibration results with the new mic were absolutely jaw-dropping! There was a cohesion and uniformity in my room unlike anything I've heard since my 805 has been in service. Detail and other aural subtleties feel truly
alive now; bass response is palpable while seemingly a touch less localizable. Lastly, there was absolutely no need for me to touch the trim levels at all. In fact, each channel measured roughly 75dB from the sweet spot! (SBL actually measured about 76dB and SBR approx 74dB, yet I felt absolutely no need to manually correct for the variance as it is completely undetectable to my ears when playing either the test tones or actual source material.) As good soncially as I feel my system has been overall, tonight has undoubtedly been a revelation.
So what this tells me is that from the outset there clearly has been a problem of some
sort with my original mic. Exactly what that "problem" per se entails is unknown to me. But what I can
say with certainty is that it has been cared for to the point of pampering, stored away in its original wrap, and has never been abused in any way. That said, the results of this Automated Setup run could very well be due to (a) some sort of improvement in either the mic's internal design/manufacturing (I've uncovered no documented evidence of this whatsoever), (b) wear and tear (unlikely as, again, it has been treated with kid gloves), or
(c) a defective mic from the start (very likely).
In any case, those with early production-run 805s who also find that they absolutely must
manually calibrate one's trim levels post-Automated Setup in order to achieve 75 dB reference at the sweet spot might want to consider purchasing a new mic (they're pretty cheap, all things considered). And although Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey indicates that trim levels can indeed be set manually without affecting the room correction filters, he also mentions that doing so does affect the soundstaging and overall sub/sat blending. (After tonight's results, I can now see exactly what he's talking about.) So it's probably a good idea to make sure one's mic is up to the task. Big thanks to sptrout for his follow-up post which gave me the idea to chance a new mic into the equation.
Amazing that after all this time I can still find pleasant and unexpected surprises from the 805. Early design quirks notwithstanding, I say with great enthusiasm, "What an incredible piece of engineering!" (Especially for the price.)