A brief comparison between two Audyssey Multi EQ XT32 mics - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 39 Old 11-16-2014, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Exclamation A brief comparison between two Audyssey Multi EQ XT32 mics

I have a Denon 4520CI and a Onkyo PR-SC5508.


Both have Audyssey multiEQ XT32.


In this post I'm going to compare two identically setup Audyssey XT32 calibration runs on the Onkyo PR-SC5508 using two different Audyssey XT32 microphones. My Denon 4520CI is ready to go info repair (it's locking up), so all I can check is the two mics currently to compare the configs.


I ran two identical setups with just three simple placements on my main chair in the main listening position. The 1st mic position in the main seating position, middle of head placement, at ear height, the second placement on the right most seam of the same chair's back, the third placement on the left most seam of the same chair's back. I used a camera tripod to take the measurements points, and a mic stand to take the omnimic measurements in a pretty equivalent place to where the 1st position Audyssey capture point was.


Purpose: to compare two different Audyssey XT32 microphones and see if they are different on the same processor, and to try to determine why I generally seem to like my Denon 4520CI's Audyssey calibrations better than the Onkyo PR-SC5508 time after time in my subjective evaluations.




Observations:


1) The Denon microphone (black in color but identical in shape and looks other than color to the Onkyo mic) - read both subwoofers about 2dB lower than the Onkyo mic (gray in color). 80dB on Onkyo, 78dB on Denon. No change in gain structure on the subs between runs.


2) The Onkyo mic set the crossover to 120hz on my back surrounds, while the Denon mic set the crossover to 150hz on my back surrounds. The rest of the speakers were set to the same crossover points.


3) Somehow - there is a half foot of measurement difference on most of the measurements - despite the mic being placed in the same spots for both calibrations. The Onkyo mic set my mains to 12.5' (L & R) the Denon Mic set my mains to 13' (L&R). I suspect this has less to do with the mics, and more to do with the general inaccuracy of Audyssey on repeated runs -- but none the less I'll record it here because it's unexpected - unless the distance is right on the middle of 12.5 and 13'. (since the Onkyo only sets to 1/2 foot increments in the auto calibration stage, but can be set to 1/5 foot increments post calibration manually.)


All measurements were taken with Dynamic EQ off.




FREQUENCY RESPONSE CAPTURES WITH OMNIMIC POST AUDYSSEY RUN:

I think it's pretty obvious why I like the Denon's setup better after capturing these measurements. I've always found the Onkyo's Audyssey calibration to be too bright --- too much treble. Well looking at the graphs here - that mic loads about 5dB more treble than the Denon. That alone explains my subjective evaluations of the two systems Audyssey calibrations. (since I've always used the 'correct' mic with each system.)

For these frequency response captures I was using Track 2 which is both left and right channel (and subwoofer) playing the sweep at the same time. The Omnimic was in the center position, very close to the intial position 1 of the Audyssey calibrations.




As a secondary note: I've always found that for whatever reason - Onkyo and now Denon's implementation of Audyssey always sets my crossover points too low too. I previously had JTR 228HT speakers ported to 70hz as the -3dB point and it would set the crossover to 50hz. I now have speakers ported to 90hz -3dB point, though they are loaded in a baffle wall, still the Denon and Onkyo both try to set the front speakers to 50hz. Look at the positive difference I get simply by setting the crossover to 90hz on my current speakers.

With the 90Hz crossover I can just turn up the subwoofer trim levels on the inuke amps about 6-10 dB using the input attenuator knobs and get the sound I like with a fairly smooth bass frequency response.






Yet another piece of evidence to conclude that there is a lot of variance, not only in auto EQ systems, but also in the mics that are responsible for capturing the readings, as well as each run potentially having variances that are somewhat unexplainable. (like the distance settings in my quick experiment).


Anyone else care to perform a similar test and compare data?
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post #2 of 39 Old 11-16-2014, 11:56 PM
 
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Interesting. Are they supposed to be the same mic? (I think I read they're supposed to be the same but not sure). How many times did you run Audyssey, just once each for this experiment? I've had differing results before on my Onkyo with same gear/placement, but can't say I was exact with mic positions.
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post #3 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 03:47 AM
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The standard Audyssey mics used with Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, Integra and NAD AVRs have a +/-2db error rate.
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post #4 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 03:59 AM
 
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@jdsmoothie do they all use the same mic? Or is there some variance with type of Audyssey and brand of avr?
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post #5 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 04:04 AM
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All use same mic regardless of brand or version of Audyssey, although there have been 3 different but interchangeable mic models used over the past 7 years.

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post #6 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 04:11 AM
 
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Thanks, that must be what kept me thinking there was a difference....and before that 5 years some differences as well I assume?
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post #7 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 04:14 AM
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Edited to say last 7 years and yes, different in 2007, and again in 2005/2006 as these were the initial years after first being introduced.
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post #8 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 05:31 AM
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I have no evidence (graphs, data ,etc..) to support this so start laughing at me now, but I have run many Audyssey sessions in the last few years on various equipment I have owned and the results don't all sound the same. There are results I like and there are results that sound flat. I usually just run it until I get a "good" result. I wonder if some of it is mic placement (for example if it is tilted off axis). I also suggest turning off anything that creates noise in the house (AC, heat, fans from projector, water running, etc...) and could be picked up by the mic.

Like most folks, I still go in on the back end of an Audyssey session and tweak things like crossover points and especially my sub level. The sub levels are always set too low for my tastes.
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post #9 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 06:06 AM
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Not surprising. My guess is the mics cost maybe $20 and the total audyssey budget is under $100 per unit. You're not going to get an extremely well calibrated system for that cost. Room correction will generally give you better results than nothing, but to get optimum room correction you'll need to get your hands dirty.
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post #10 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 06:07 AM
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I have to agree on the variability on the Audyssey sound. I just purchased a Marantz AV 7702 and the one calibration totally messed up the sound on only my center channel. Once I reran it , it sounded better and what I have come to expect. I have had similar experiences with my Onkyo's over the years as well with regard to distances, with minor variations of a few inches per consecutive measurement. My Onkyo's never needed the volume trim or cross over setting done, they were always spot on in terms of symmetry and measured levels. The new Marantz on the other hand needs to be adjusted especially in terms of speaker size and cross over setting. This is confirmed with REW measurements.
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post #11 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Interesting. Are they supposed to be the same mic? (I think I read they're supposed to be the same but not sure). How many times did you run Audyssey, just once each for this experiment? I've had differing results before on my Onkyo with same gear/placement, but can't say I was exact with mic positions.
I only performed the experiment one time to compare the two mics. You are correct that it should probably be repeated multiple times for verification purposes to make sure the Onkyo Mic consistently has higher treble gain. But I used Mic stands and the same positions within a couple centimeters, if not identical. The results match what I've always heard as well. I've run audyssey dozens of times on the Onkyo and a half dozen times on the Denon. I've always disliked audyssey on the Onkyo, or at best been indifferent to its calibration. I always turn it off because it is too bright. With the Denon, every time I run it I like audyssey better on. A 5dB treble variation explains that pretty easily. So the outcome lines up with my subjective listening impressions. It's there a way to test the Mics outside of spending another hour running audyssey twice? I suppose I could run REW with both mics and capture the difference. I'll give that a shot sometime soon.

By the way the furnace was intentionally turned off and I waited till late night to run the tests, there were no sounds that would throw off the results and with Mic positions matched so closely using tripods, I feel this single run is pretty revealing and explains my subjective observation.

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post #12 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 07:34 AM
 
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I don't have a Denon to compare it to but I like the way I can get it on my Onkyo, but sometimes I rerun it when it seems off. Right now I've got a pretty mellow sounding calibration and am happy altho I did tweak xover and level in surrounds (raised xover to 80 and turned down surrounds, which I'm fairly certain is due this particular room and placement, didn't do the level change in my old place that you didn't quite make it to ). I always do my Audyssey setup late night to ensure quiet and also turn everything else off and have a nice quiet seat out of the way in between mic position changes....

Still relatively happy with Audyssey as a relatively quick and easy setup. Would love to try a Dirac or Trinnov, tho....
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post #13 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post
It's there a way to test the Mics outside of spending another hour running audyssey twice?
Ouch. The nice thing about the new Denon Atmos models with 4 processors is I can run a 9CH XT32 calibration in about 12 minutes.
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post #14 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie View Post
Ouch. The nice thing about the new Denon Atmos models with 4 processors is I can run a 9CH XT32 calibration in about 12 minutes.
I was going to say, on the AV8801 I am pretty sure it is 10 minutes or less. Never timed it but it can't be much more than that.
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post #15 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
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The Onkyo 5508 takes a long time to calcualte. The Denon 4520 is much faster to calculate once the measurements are taken.

Might be a difference in the model years and the computational prowness of the processors inside.

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post #16 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 09:05 AM
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If you want to compare just the microphones, you probably should do just a single point measurement from a fixed tripod across both runs. Otherwise, minor differences in placement among the multiple measurements and runs could tend to average out any mic induced differences in the final Audyssey curves.

AJ
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post #17 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 09:12 AM
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Quite interesting Jon and something I have seen beforehand as well. I have two different mics from two different D&M Models so perhaps I will attempt to compare each of those two together just for fun sometime

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post #18 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 09:27 AM
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Great stuff Archaea, this is very interesting. Do you happen to know the aud. mic. model number on the denon 4520CI? I might try ordering a different mic off ebay or something.
I may want to borrow your Denon mic to give it a try myself.
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post #19 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 09:35 AM
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Why didn't I ever do this when I had the onkyo? I have both a Denon and Onkyo mic if you want to test even more of them. <rolleyes> But this is good news really. If I can make an Onkyo sound as good as my Denon than that opens up my upgrade options quite a bit.

Thanks for testing this. I really want to know how the Onkyo mic sounds on your Denon once you get it back. Because if it adds the harshness that I don't like about Onkyos than that means it is the mic and not the unit.
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post #20 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke Kamp View Post
Great stuff Archaea, this is very interesting. Do you happen to know the aud. mic. model number on the denon 4520CI? I might try ordering a different mic off ebay or something.
I may want to borrow your Denon mic to give it a try myself.
All D&M models past few years (to include 4520CI) use the ACM1HB mic.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUDYSSEY-ACM...-/331198537113
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post #21 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 10:12 AM
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Couldn't we just use each mic in a single location run through some rta software on a pc and compare the mics without waiting on calibration software to calculate.
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post #22 of 39 Old 11-17-2014, 11:54 AM
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OK..
Lets kleer the air about the Audyssey EQ microphones..
1. The brand needs to procure this through Audyssey
2. Its factory FOB cost is <$5, but Audyssey puts a markup on it when selling to the brand
3. The condenser microphone capsule's frequency response is quite good but not totally flat
4. Its frequency response has a bump around 60Hz, a peak @9kHz and significant roll-off above 14.2kHz
5. The target response is programmed into the DSP, depending upon brand preference/specs
6. The limit spec of its frequency response is +/- 3dB, but the nominal spec is +/- 1.5 dB
Note that limit spec 100% of the product meets, and nominal spec is 70% of the product meets

Just my $0.02...
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post #23 of 39 Old 12-10-2014, 06:42 PM
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So are you using Audyssey on your Onkyo now that the highs are tamed down a little with the Denon mic? If so, how do you think it sounds? And how does it sound in comparison to your 4520ci now?
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post #24 of 39 Old 12-10-2014, 08:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes....the Onkyo sounds like the Denon now. I like Audyssey on the Onkyo. I've been using my Onkyo's Audyssey since I wrote up this test --- with great satisfaction.


Simple as that. All this time I thought I didn't like Audyssey. I apparently didn't like the particular mics I had that came with my four Onkyos. 805, 1007, 818, and 5508.


Luck of the draw -- ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE THAT SUPOSED TO BE CALIBRATING TO A REFERENCE IN THE CONSUMER SPACE --- as we learned at the recent Kanas City auto room EQ comparison G2G.




In case you didn't see that thread - check out this post info.


https://www.avsforum.com/forum/90-rec...l#post28900602


Quote:
The Madness
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, YPAO, ARC, Audyssey, MCACC, AccuEQ) 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 reference'esque frequency plot - RIGHT?? I mean that's the point of these auto room EQ 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 regardless of different speaker setups --- we will each have a similar audio experience, and a standard to understand what we are listening too?!?!?!

Well, with eight different systems here is what was captured by omnimic for each as post calibration results. We followed the AVRs 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 with omnimic shown here I simply turned each AVR to -12dB on the main volume knob and played track 2, a sine sweep, of the omnimic disk from the HTPC to each processor. The results are ridiculous. But that is the tested state of variance in these processors. 20dB + variance between these different EQ processors on a supposed "Reference".



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post #25 of 39 Old 12-10-2014, 08:48 PM
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Aha. So if I use my Denon (1909) mic on the Onkyo (809), there is a chance of some warmth..
Can't wait to try it out this weekend. Was tired of Audyssey not sounding better than no-Audyssey..
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post #26 of 39 Old 12-10-2014, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Or it could be worse. But rest assured it won't likely be the same.

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post #27 of 39 Old 12-10-2014, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post
Or it could be worse.
Yeah. May be who knows.
I will take the REW measurements and see what I discover..

Edit : There could be one issue though. Denon 1909 is MultEQ where as Onkyo 809 is MultEQ XT. Not sure if there is large difference in those two mics.

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post #28 of 39 Old 12-11-2014, 09:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Code View Post
OK..
Lets kleer the air about the Audyssey EQ microphones..
1. The brand needs to procure this through Audyssey
2. Its factory FOB cost is <$5, but Audyssey puts a markup on it when selling to the brand
3. The condenser microphone capsule's frequency response is quite good but not totally flat
4. Its frequency response has a bump around 60Hz, a peak @9kHz and significant roll-off above 14.2kHz
5. The target response is programmed into the DSP, depending upon brand preference/specs
6. The limit spec of its frequency response is +/- 3dB, but the nominal spec is +/- 1.5 dB
Note that limit spec 100% of the product meets, and nominal spec is 70% of the product meets

Just my $0.02...
That sounds pretty "warm". ...Safe. ...And un-restrictively deviating.
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post #29 of 39 Old 12-11-2014, 09:58 PM
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I would like to confirm that OPs findings are correct.
I just tested with the two mics and Denon mic reports about 2dB lower than the one with Onkyo.
I did not do the REW yet (I will do it at some point).
I just tested the initial sub measurement that Audyssey does using both mics. When you set the sub to 75dB using Onkyo mic, Denon shows 73dB instead.
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post #30 of 39 Old 12-12-2014, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaranddeeman View Post
Yeah. May be who knows.
I will take the REW measurements and see what I discover..

Edit : There could be one issue though. Denon 1909 is MultEQ where as Onkyo 809 is MultEQ XT. Not sure if there is large difference in those two mics.
Same mic is used for all Audyssey versions. The Audyssey Pro kit mic has a +/- 0.5db error rate.
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