EAW designed Mackie C200 speakers were used for the 7 speakers at this room auto eq processor comparison.
Nearfield, they are basically +/- 3db from 100hz to 20khz according to my own testing in room. Specs say (-3db) 90hz to 20,000hz
I installed a cheap pair of Sony Sposato in wall speakers as ceiling speakers for the Atmos demo at this meet. My thoughts on installing these was to do so for the demo, then wait until Atmos becomes more mainstream and replace these Sony's with four Mackie C200 on the ceiling in front of the HVAC drop down and behind the HVAC drop down in my room (according to the 4 speaker atmos specs). Then I'd have 7.1.4 with all speakers being Mackie C200, but in reality, the Sony's right above my head in the 2 speaker atmos config seem to work perfectly fine - so maybe that's unnecessary. Most of the stuff going to Atmos speakers is supposed to be above 150hz anyway - and is typically ambient noise - so as my friend at work puts it - how high fidelity do you need a bird flap or a cricket chirp to be? Everything I heard off the Atmos demo disk 7channelfreak provided from CEDIA sounded just fine through the 2 Sonys.
Install thread -
Nothing fancy, but they fit the need fine for what we were doing, and I've found I like them for Pro Logic IIz height as a bonus.
Subs used were four Dayton Audio UM18-22 18" drivers in 21" cubed sealed cabs.
Here is their native FR response with a close mic measurement, literally taken nearly touching the center of the subwoofer cone. IIRC I had a 100hz crossover on the AVR at the time of this measurement. (no EQ in the iNuke DSP)
For the meet I wanted to run all eight of the subs, but try as we might (we spent four hours) we couldn't get 2 banks of four to play nice at nearly equal distances from the main listening position (MLP). It just wasn't working. We were having phase issues, room cancellation issues, and just plan what the heck is happening moments --- so we scuttled the idea of using all eight and just went to four subs in two banks. One bank was 11.5 feet from the MLP, one bank was 12.5 feet from the MLP. Both pairs/banks were stacked fairly close to the front baffle wall. We thought it was important to have the two banks nearly equal distance from the MLP so that the AVRs with only 1 subwoofer out wouldn't be penalized too noticeably, but the AVRs with two subwoofers out could still EQ each bank separately and possibly work their subwoofer processing advantage to small effect.
Each sub run off a single channel of an iNuke DSP 6000 amp. (2 amps, four subs - each channel of the iNuke capable of delivering about 2,000 watts) The ONLY modification to the iNuke 6000 DSP was a PEQ 6dB boost at 20hz with a Q of 2.0 for each sub on each channel.
Our goal in the subwoofer setup was to start with a generically flat starting position on the subs - not tailored perfectly for the room - but basically what a high end retail or internet direct subwoofer might look like in room. With the iNuke's DSP we could have handed off a ruler flat frequency response to the processors at the MLP -- but most all attendees agreed - that was not the goal - we wanted to see what the processors would do with the room, not hand them the keys on a silver platter - so I created the basic single PEQ boost of 6dB and 20hz and then we moved the subs around quite a bit to find the optimal placement and let the chips fall from there. It might be argued that the steps/time we took to optimize isn't even real world use case for most setups - but I had some skin in the game to make my new DIY/AIY subwoofers sound good (especially since we were only going to use four and not all eight.)
Here is Bank 1, and Bank 2, playing individually and then both Banks playing at the same time in the final subwoofer setup captures at the MLP before we started letting the processors have their way in their setup calibrations.
Stitch1 loaned his drum stand setup to be used for mic positions. The main starting position was the same for every setup, the additional settings were typically similar for the setups with the exception of the setups that had unique microphones or specific placement requirements (like Anthem). The following pictures give you an idea of how the room was setup, and how the mic positions were used. The high hat cymbal stands were used as the static mic positions. This setup was inspired by the idea of trying to keep the processor input data the same for each - so as to eliminate as many variables as possible between processor setup strategies.
In case that the previous 7 pictures from photobucket are difficult to make out - here are the mic positions circled. If a unit used more than 5 positions - then we'd recycle the positions in the middle row. Different processors had varied amounts of positions measured. The Yamaha required 11 positions - the Denon eight, etc. The mic positions may not look evenly placed in the picture due to camera angles - but they were evenly spaced and also in symmetry and balance to the front screen. The position 4 on this diagram was actually a camera tripod we stood up in the front middle seat at ear level. We started every measurement in position 1. Middle Seat, Middle Row, Directly in front of the center channel. Some processors only took measurements from one position, in that case 1 was it. (AccuEQ & Trinnov)
For each blind audition (8 total) we watched about 15 minutes of Edge of Tomorrow, and then watched some standalone clips in JRiver. Edge of Tomorrow was the movie chosen to represent real world Movie watching because it is a Groundhog Day type movie, but action oriented, so there is some repetition to suit the comparison nature of this event, yet, each segment also provides great new material. The use of a movie like this allows for less repetitiousness boredom. I also liked that the movie allowed each processor to have new material to demo and so each user can get a bit of historic context through any repeat content, but also get to experience new material with the processor in the course of a new movie. I think it worked because we could all tell differences! Following that 15 minute section of EoT, the auditoners swapped seats and moved to the JRiver media center portion of clip playback. JRiver clips ran about 10 minutes and gave the auditoners a chance to hear what that particular processor sounded like in stereo music, and provided a few identical movie clips to compare directly A to A. I asked that the auditioners pick two seats and swap between the two segments, and then repeat each audition in the same two seats for the same material so they could actually make at least minimally viable comparisons between the auditions. What chairs each auditioner chose, or where they ended up, I left up to them.
So about 15 minutes of this:
then 10 minutes of this:
So what's the deal? Why was it madness?
Well - here are the post calibration frequency responses from each entry. No funny business, just absurdity. The helpers and I set the mic in the same standardized positions for each system (unless specific places were actually required, IE Anthem, DIRAC, Yamaha) and the starting position for the initial calibration was the exact same spot for ever processor. Stitch1 loaned a drum kit with a bunch of high hat stands (used as mic stands) - to ensure our mic capture positions weren't different from processor to processor. In theory, after calibration each processor should be close to the same SPL at least, if not generally reasonably close to a flatter frequency plot - RIGHT?? I mean that's the point of these systems -- RIGHT? To get the AVRs to a reference volume and try to flatten frequency response while doing so - so that each user's system in different rooms and different speaker setups has a similar audio experience?!?!?!
Well, with eight different systems here is what was captured by omnimic for each as post calibration results. We followed instructions to let each auto processor optimize the room. The ONLY change we allowed post calibration was setting speakers to small and crossover to 80hz when the processor/AVR allowed. To capture the post calibration frequency response plots shown here I simply turned each AVR to -12dB on the main volume knob and played track 2 of the omnimic disk from the HTPC to the processor. The results are ridiculous. But that is the tested state of variance in these processors.
MORE TO COME -