Originally Posted by audioguy
That was a fast install. So you set the miniDSP PEQ's for the two sets of subs based upon the settings you had in the SSP-800 (which has dual sub outs?), then ran ARC.
Yes. ARC only affects the AVM 60, and that is only used for Atmos/DTS:X content. Everything else runs through the SSP-800.
And now you plan to experiment to see how differently you can drive the subs with some additional tuning of the miniDSP?
That would be useful only to optimize the subs for the AVM movies. The SSP is quite good as is.
I'm not sure the combination of ARC after PEQ is dong anything important, but certainly the added delays would only help as it improves the response for the rear seats that EQ alone could not fix. Since I cannot turn off the ARC EQ in only the Sub channel (which would give me identical Sub performance for both processors), I could set up the Mini to flat response + delay just for the AVM, and run ARC again. Then the subs would represent "pure ARC" FWIW. That's what I was hearing before the Mini install (in the MLP anyway) and the bass performance does not strike me as being much changed for AVM mode. In other words, it was fine before, and it's fine now with PEQ in the AVM chain. ARC may have somewhat neutralized the PEQ as it shoots for the same target either way.
If I were using the AVM for music listening, I would start with just the Mini doing just the rear subs delay, run ARC, then create a PEQ to aim for the same Sub response I'm getting from the SSP. But a) I do not plan to use the AVM for music, and b) it already sounds great on Atmos movies.
So, how does it sound?
Just for sake of comparison, I ran a bunch of stereo music thru the AVM. The best upmixer it offers IMHO is AnthemLogic Music. Tried it with and without ceiling speaker outputs, and went without, even though it is happily quite subtle. As before, setting the Bass control -3 helps with midbass plumpness, but there's not enough control to get exactly the curve I prefer. And comparing AnthemLogic to PLIIx throws a rather big variable into the equation, even if I set PLIIx Center Width to Max so it too, does not use the Center speaker.
Pulled out the DVD-A of Linda Ronstadt's What's New and played the 5.1 96 kHz tracks. Massenburg did a wonderful job taking his stereo mix to surround. It really created an emotion response for me, partly in the knowledge that her beautiful voice is never to sing again. That was with the SSP. Played thru the AVM, it really paled in comparison -- I was rather surprised to discover. While there were no obvious faults, it just sounded rather pedestrian by comparison. I cannot put my finger on it. It involves the sense of space, the spectral balance, the detail/texture. I wish some of you could hear this comparison and help me identify what it is. I'd like to put it in a bottle!
If the AVM were my only surround processor, I might be persuaded to add a Q-Sys to give me full EQ control of every channel. Not sure how that would sound in the end. I know it could be good. But great? Maybe I am asking too much from a product of this calibre -- an unfair comparison to hold it up against a $10k benchmark.
Originally Posted by Scott Simonian
I'd bet you'd like having the MiniDSP within reach so you can have a couple of movie bass settings and a couple of music bass settings.
I already have my usual 6 dB sub gain offsets programmed into the SSP and the AVM for Music mode, so that seems adequate. If I do go ahead with a tailored EQ for the AVM, the IR would be able to reach it. Coordinating them would be the main challenge. Might have to dig out the Harmony!
I do have to say the MiniDSP is a slick piece of gear, and I'm sure it has more to offer my system than is currently implemented.
I'd also say the AVM 60 is a great unit -- nevermind my overly critical comments above. It does sound good, and ARC earns its keep. The menu structure is much more to my liking than the AV 7702. The AVM has total flexibility in defining virtual inputs and marrying them with different speaker configurations, different gain calibrations, and default processing modes. And it's easy to navigate, which is half the battle. Highly recommended.