Originally Posted by markmon1
It's funny cause this discussion cycles through every year now. The last round was the same. Several of us came and said the same thing that ARC took out all the magic from our systems. Same suggestions, post your file, maybe bad mic etc. I don't believe there was a bad mic. I use the system for music a lot. Granted the way the Anthem works, ARC can be disabled on just a music input anyway so it doesn't matter. But that's how I noticed the problem.
I have made a lot of changes since ARC - I have moved my main listening position up 3 feet, changed all the rear speakers around, gotten different amps. I may rerun ARC again and see what it does this time.
I handled most my room problems with room treatments though.
These days I've spent a lot of time listening to the stereo music (lossless including hi-res) and I must say that ARC really takes some magic away from the sound. There is no doubt. Even when max EQ is limited to lower values - e.g. 300 Hz. The sound with ARC has somewhat lower resolution, lacks ultimate details, it's a little grainy, the soundstage is not rendered as good as without ARC. The difference is not dramatic, of course.
I was (too) impressed with almost perfect bass frequency range that I was willing to "forgive" a slight loss in other fields.
At the beginning, I've listened only full range Dynaudios in mode without ARC, because subwoofer was not properly integrated. And I preferred the sound with subwoofers and ARC.
But, once I've integrated and optimized subwoofers manually, without ARC, using PEQs and brought them to the level I had with ARC - well, that's another story. Just to add that even with ARC I had to manually fine tune FR using PEQs and phase on subwoofers, since I have a pretty "difficult" room.
BTW, since ARC limited to 300Hz still affects higher frequencies I wasn't sure what to expect from bass management (high pass filter), because the signal goes through the same DSP. Fortunately, high pass filter is not so "destructive" as ARC.
At the end, Anthem's sound in stereo mode is really good (I'm using MRX 720 as preamp for front channels) - but as some other members here, I also find it better without ARC.
p.s. FR in bass range with and without ARC - green is with ARC. Of course, both FRs follow house/Harman target curve.