Originally Posted by Stoked21
I'm wrong? Why? I'd love an alternative point. I'd challenge it. I'd enjoy the class if anyone can tell me why it's beneficial to a hobbyist that's spent nearly six digits on his theater room.
What's my value? What do I gain?
Why is everyone do defensive and non informative?
Ironic? Irony is you disputed and didn't say crap as to why?
I'm honestly trying to understand? What's the agenda what's the gain? I'll obviously spend $2k to make my room better. How will this class improve my sound?
I edited my post to clarify more for you:
Originally Posted by Stoked21
Yeah. You lost me. I don't work for best buy. Quite frankly I wouldn't let anyone from best buy into my house.....And I know beyond 100% certainty that no one could ever walk into my room and make it sound better without 1) moving walls, 2) moving speakers or subs from behind front wall or placing them in the middle of the room, etc. 3) it could never improve my atmos. 4) whatever they were doing could never interface with Dirac on my 16 channels going to 24. Which is superior to any other REQ available at a nominal cost ( I've used Audy, and YPAO and Dirac) 5) my REW measurements show me exactly where my problems are....And the ones that exist cannot be fixed without total redesign of room.
Oh well, it sounds great. (FYI a major high-end speaker designer agreed).
Now...They could walk in, recommend additional acoustic treatment. Or redesign my entire theater and move screen walls, change processors/amps, and change REQ at the cost of thousands or tens of thousands of $$$.....
I'm pretty lost on the validity of the class. I'm a hobbyist. Make my system sound better. For the cost, I can change speakers or EQ and gain far more. My room is FAR from perfect and no room is. What does this class gain me? I've really tried to justify it.
As Lewis Black said about his 6AM Economics class "What, are you trying to keep this S**T a secret? Why else would you teach it this early in the morning???" Or be vague about the hobbyist value?
I was hesitant to comment and initially resisted but I think that extra cup of coffee has finally made me. Please understand the following is just my opinion and it's ok to disagree but I feel like it's valuable to others possibly to hear some counter balance to your quote above from a more educated perspective.
I do not mean to argue at all but I do feel you are wrong, and the class teaches you all the ways and why, and the internet doesn't. I find this ironic so I wanted to point it out first. You are free to your opinion, but it would be a shame for others to think the same simply because an alternative point of view was not voiced as well.
Couple other points to consider:
I'm pretty certain any of the HAA level III guys could walk into your room and make it sound better without moving any walls or doing expensive construction costs. Shawn mentioned that there is an "art" to it, and it's true. You can't be a great artist by reading about it online, you learn through experience and and real world applied learning by doing it. Dirac is good, but a pro calibrator likely would choose something like a QSC core250i and manual/custom set up which is significantly more reliable and better sounding than a auto EQ algorithm or a basic dirac curve. Not to bash on Dirac, it's a good tool, but it's only a tool and not a solution. Good tools help you do the job well, but good tools to not make for a job well done. It doesn't matter which tool you use, there is still an element to doing the job well that is not about the tool you use, but how you use it. There is a difference, and you can in this case hear it. These classes existed before the current crop of auto EQ systems, and the things they teach will still be used and apply after all these auto EQ programs have gone obsolete. There is just too much "art" in the process to think a machine can do it as well. Your two ears and brain hear much differently than a mic does too, so much of the art is knowing what to fix and what not to fix. Your brain does some unique things by choosing to ignore or suppress some things, or failing to suppress and ignore other things. The mic and charts don't show you that kind of stuff.
Yes they probably could come into your room and recommend additional treatment to make improvements. What exactly is wrong with that ? That is actually one of the points of the class, teach you that so you don't have to pay anyone else to do it. Actually class is designed to teach you so that you can get other people to pay you to do it. Adding or improving acoustical treatments is a legit path to better sound quality- and it's probably one of the greatest bang for the bucks in all of the audio kingdom. You said:
"I can For the cost, I can change speakers or EQ and gain far more. "
I disagree as much as I possibly can with the above statement and believe it to be absolutely incorrect. I believe the exact opposite is true. In terms of bang for the buck, it's wildly in favor of the class and application of the taught philosophies. It wouldn't matter if you paid a top pro, or took class and did yourself- assuming either of those was done properly the improvement relative to the cost would be exponentially more. I'm talking night and day, flip a switch on and off kind of difference compared to typical general high end enthusiast self done system. It's not the products or the components that make it good- it's the balance and set up of the system. It is a system and you hear it as a system, the system includes your AV components, your room, your treatments, your source... everything ties together. One of the most important things the class teaches you is this philosophy of a system- how you experience as a system, and how to put it all together as a system to make it the best it can be. You can't swap out speaker or change EQ and make the kind of noticeable difference I am talking about. You simply can not.
I would use the example of the 50+ GTG events where people compared some heavy hitting speakers or products and even across multiple speakers the differences were not that clear, obvious, or strong. In some cases people didn't even know which product was what, or identify them easily. In other blind cases results were 50/50 between speakers that were 10x different in price between each other. If you think you can change EQ, or swap your speaker with an "upgrade" and get the kind of improvement we are talking about with a full blown HAA professional audio calibration you are mistaken. It's impossible, even given an amount of any budget, to achieve that level of improvement just swapping speakers unless that swap somehow achieves the things the class teaches you about. (which is things like appropriateness of speaker to application, location, acoustical treatment, setup and calibration, avoidance of problems and so forth.)
Assuming you had the wrong speaker, and swapped it for the right speaker you could possibly get that kind of improvement, but assuming you have an appropriate speaker that didn't suck it would be small gains (but real and often worthwhile anyways) to upgrade the speaker. There is a million examples of speaker upgrades gone bad on these forums that show what I am talking about.
You can DIY acoustical treatments for a couple hundred bucks with basic power tools, and you can buy some pretty affordable acoustical treatments too. In fact the class supplies you with all kinds of acoustical treatments and lets you play with them, change them, compare them, and decide what you like. That's something that the internet can't teach you the same way. It doesn't have to cost tens of thousands (but it can) to do acoustical treatment well and the class can often show you ways to save cost by teaching you what you like, what you do not, and letting you put your money in the areas you feel would be best spent. Typically I see people on the forums just making or buying random acoustical treatments and putting them up where they think they should go, and of coarse the effect is similar to the speaker upgrades- which range from "enjoying the improvement" to "OMG the best ever". The problem is the opinion is formed against nothing else, it's somewhat an calibrated opinion. Rarely would someone spend the cash and buy a few different kinds of treatments, either brands, or types, and compare them against each other and pick a winner. I've never seen someone do what the class does- which is swap treatments and compare bare wall vs absorb vs combo vs diffusion, and even compare different kinds of each of those types against each other too. So I don't see how that can be learned online, or that practical experience can happen in your own room without you spending (as you suggest you are against doing) many thousands to buy it all. Someone already has bought them all, and is willing to let you use them all, and even teach you how to use them best. It's shortsighted to think that's not valuable if you were serious about learning, or finding what works best. I don't know of any other place you can achieve that.
With all this said, I can agree with your general philosophy that the class might not be worth it for an enthusiast, and certainly that determination is going to be dependent on personal value and disposable income of each individual. Some guys that have high paying jobs and are serious about learning might not find it to be a lot of money- other people might be looking at it as a big chunk of personal yearly earnings, or they don't care enough to learn. There really isn't anything wrong or debatable about any scenario with regards to personal perceived value- it's an individual choice. There is no wrong or right, or one size fits all answer. I don't think many enthusiasts are serious enough to spend the cash on the class, or perhaps the cost is too high to warrant it for them. I agree and nothing wrong with that. If that is true, then don't go. There's close to 320 million people in the USA and only 5-6 of them are probably going to go to this class so certainly nothing wrong with not going. I'm not going either. But I thought it was important to explain what I just did so that people can identify the difference between not seeing value, and thinking that value is missing.