Originally Posted by Phil Carter
First off, thanks a million for maintaining this thread. It's been very helpful indeed. My last Audyssey calibration was years ago when I bought my previous receiver and the technology has definitely advanced.
So I've bought a new Denon AVR-X1400H to go along with our new 4K TV and 4K Blu-ray player. I ran a standard initial Audyssey calibration using the rocketship stand, ear height for each measurement, but I think I should probably rerun it with better mic positioning. The X1400H has Audyssey MultEQ XT with 8 listening positions, but positions 7 and 8 are intended to be *behind* the main listening position, and because our couch sits against the back wall, that's not possible. I measured 7 and 8 by placing the mic on top of the headrests of the couch, but realized after I'd finished that I shouldn't have done that, either, because you're not supposed to use any positions closer than 12-15 inches to the back wall, or closer than 12-15 to the headrest.
From what I understand in the FAQ, as long as the first listening position is correct, and seven additional measurements all within 2-3 feet of the original position are taken, it doesn't matter where exactly the seven additional ones are taken. Is that correct? What would you folks recommend?
I'm attaching two photos of our living room layout, seen from approximately where the center speaker sits at the front of the room. The rear wall is formed by the fireplace (we never use it, so we placed the couch against that), with two small alcoves on either side that are filled by bookcases. The rear surrounds sit directly to the side of the couch, against each side wall.
Thanks in advance for any replies!
I agree with you that, over the years, this thread has been one of the most helpful on the forum. And the "help" torch just keeps being passed on. The first suggestion I would make is to pull your couch forward about 3" and put a 1" or 2" deep acoustic panel over the stone fireplace above the couch. The rough texture of the stone will have a diffusing element to it, but you are still likely to get a lot of mid and high frequency reflections that will present as distortion. Just a small acoustic panel or two, designed to resemble art work, might make a lot of difference in your sound. Having acoustic panels behind the couch would also enable you to get your measurement mic closer to the couch (within about 6") and closer to where your ears will actually be.
You are correct not to put the mic on top of the sofa, and you are also correct that the specific location of your other 7 mic positions doesn't really matter. I would probably try to keep all of my mic positions within a total enclosure pattern of about 24" by 24" if I were you. I would also consider using a boom mic stand, rather than the paper one that came with your AVR. Something like this would work well:
One final thought concerns your coffee table. Since it is directly in line with your center channel and with the sound coming from your front speakers, I might consider a soft tablecloth or throw placed over it. That would also reduce the mid and high frequency reflections that can cause audible distortion. Audyssey can be a very effective means of improving sound quality, but particularly for mid and high frequencies, the more help we can give it with our initial set-ups, the more effective it can be.
I hope this helps!