Originally Posted by fscottwhite1
I read your comment and, given that I'm still fairly new to my MRX, turned ARC off for my Play Fi input. I must agree with you in that music does sound much more lively. I've listened to various genres and it sounds much better to me. I'm leaving it off for 2 channel music. Thanks for the suggestion! Not sure if others have experimented with this.
Like you, madrac and others, I flip flop on whether 2 channel music sounds better with or without ARC. In some ways, the sound seems more "sorted out" with a little less edginess to it. On the other hand, this also tends to make the sound a bit restrained or polite, especially when listening to music with a lot of high hat detail and high frequency ambience like live jazz. I'm not a fan of some of ARC's effects on my main speakers, as I think in some ways, it is taking some of the natural character away and shooting for a generic mathematical best curve.
I've tried some comparisons with ARC on and off for music, and it is not easy to quickly compare due to level differences. I've also tried lowering max correction frequencies (particularly on the mains), and also turning the high frequency roll off to flat. The sound is different, but not necessarily the same as with ARC off.
For multichannel content like movies and TV, I do like to use ARC as it handles the multitude of crossover values well between 9 channels and 3 subs. In this case, I think ARC does a better job than I could do without a serious multichannel DSP device.
As I lower max EQ to around 500 or less for music, I start to question the need to even use room correction. If you have REW and a miniDSP to properly integrate subs/mains for music, I'm not sure everyone needs the assistance of ARC and the possible change in sound it applies, even with max EQ set very low. Much of this may depend on your room dimensions, how it is treated, your speakers and placement, etc. As we all know, if you get the room environment right first, then room correction's value is debatable.
I will continue to tweak ARC, upload and compare as new Genesis releases become available. Right now, I'm still on the ARC on/off fence when it comes to 2ch music.