Room Correction Bake-Off 2018 (Audyssey XT32, Dirac 2.0, AccuEQ 2018) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Room Correction Bake-Off 2018 (Audyssey XT32, Dirac 2.0, AccuEQ 2018)

First and foremost, this bake-off will be for my purposes and my subjective opinion only. Selfishly this is the case and there will be obvious scientific method faux pas as well as selfish home theater setting choices.

In my quest for home theater nirvana I've come to the conclusion that one of the biggest differentiators in AVR's is the room correction. Especially if you subscribe to the "external amps only provide sonic benefit when an internal clips". I've found that if I try 1 AVR's room correction there were pros and cons and then I switched and found myself missing things from the previous "you don't know what you got 'til it's gone" and/or recentsy effect and/or the grass is always greener and/or AVS will consume you.

In a few weeks (mid January), I'm going to order 2 additional AVR's to "test" against my NAD 758v3 with Full Range Dirac 2.0. The AVR's will be mid-range AVR's in the $1200 to $1500 range (non-refub'd).

History:

I've owned a Marantz SR7010 and have about a solid year of listening to Audessey XT32. I also had maddening intermitant technical issues due to an HDMI board. It completely soured me and I had a terrible time figuring it out. It ruined my enjoyment for quite some time because I was constantly looking for flaws

In comes the NAD 758v3 and I have a solid year of listening to that. Unfortunately that has a flaw in the Atmos expansion card and the pre-outs produce a bit of static and the levels are low. I'm waiting on getting that repaired (when NAD is back for the holidays).

So I'm 0 for 2 on AVR's that just work out of the box

NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints

Last edited by tjcinnamon; 12-25-2018 at 10:48 AM.
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post #2 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Setup

My setup is as follows: 7.4.4

Speakers:
Paradigm 75F
Paradigm 55C
8 Paradigm CI65 Pro in-wall (4 tops, 4 surround)
DIY Magnum 12 Ported Subs tuned to 43-ish Hz next to fronts
Rythmik LXV12's running single port Music mode

Amps:
DIY Magnum 12's each have their own Rotel 980 in bridged mode for approx 350W if needed
Surrounds are on a 6 channel Rotel 976 running at 60W per channel
5 channel is running off the NAD at this point.

Measurement/Other:
UMM-6 (Dayton's answer to the UMIK-1)
MiniDSP 2x4 acting as a splitter. I haven't decided if I'm going to calibrate or time-align...
2 room treatments 1 is at the first order reflection from LCR

I'm going to need test scenes!

NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints

Last edited by tjcinnamon; 12-25-2018 at 09:40 AM.
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post #3 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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"Test" method/criteria

The speakers will all be set to small and the (controversial/selfish) crossover will be:
100Hz for LR my woofers are small on the 75F's
80Hz on the Center to not cannibalize synthetically deep voice because according the audiologists vocal spectrum begins at 125Hz despite what Wikipedia says
60Hz for surrounds because selfishly I think the surrounds which are mostly unused sound better at a more full range.

Selfish: I'm gonna try to figure out how to run the scenes at consistent levels. I can't unanimously select -20dB because some room correction like Dirac runs cut heavy and Audyssey played way louder. Given the subjectivity of my "test" (experience) I'll likely have to run them at different Master Volumes. EVERYTHING WILL BE UPMIXED
I'm going to run everything with a Harman House Curve: selfishly I'll likely boost surrounds +4dB and +4dB bass for the Dirac curves, Audessy will be run with DEQ on, DVol off. Not sure but potentially selfishly... For the Onkyo and Denon because I can re-route the outputs I MAY run the 976 bridged for the LCR and re-route the surrounds all to the AVR.

I'll try to get some measurements for academics sake BUT I'm not looking for a nice graph when I'm watching a movie so I'm not going to put a ton of weight into them.
I haven't decided if I'm going to time-align and pre-flatten via the MiniDSP. I suppose and interesting experiment would be to flatten and get a measurement with everything turned off and see the response/impact for each AVR... I'm going to do that but then will blank the settings out and use the MiniDSP as a splitter.
I'm going to SUBJECTIVELY test the following criteria: sound stage/separation, vocal clarity, immersion, midbass tightness, deep bass impact

I'm going to be using the following scene's for some specifics but try to evaluate all of the criteria (this is where I need your help!) as well as mirror my watching habits such as regular TV and sports at lower volumes; movies and games at higher generally:

Movies:
Eyes Wide Shut XXm:XXs: looking for sound stage and immersion with the reverb
Gravity XXm:XXs looking for Atmos performance and surround balance
Last Train to Busan XXm:XXs: zombie chase scene that I thought was lacking; looking for upmixing and immersion
MORE PLEASE

TV:
House on Haunted Hill S0XE0X XXm:XXs: Deepbass, Atmos and surround balance
Walking Dead S0XE0X XXm:XXs: mundane episode looking for upmixing and vocal clarity
RuPaul's drag race S0XE0X XXm:XXs: vocal clarity, bass balance at lower volume
MORE PLEASE

Sports:
NBC NFL Stream: vocal clarity and crowd noise
UFC FS1 ATV: vocal clarity and crowd noise

Video Games:
Doom (2016): mid-bass for gun shots and upmixing surround with that deep voice guy
The Evil Within: immersion, surround, and bass
Binding of Isaac Anti-Birth: sound-stage, surround

Songs (all upmixed with Dolby Surround):
Knife Party - Centipede: deep bass
Subtle - Swan Meat: mid-bass and upmixing
Mae - Skyline Drive 3.0 and Our Love is a Painted Picture: vocal clarity, sound stage
AC/DC - Thunderstruck and Fire Your Guns: mid-bass

NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints

Last edited by tjcinnamon; 12-25-2018 at 10:13 AM.
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post #4 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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NAD 758v3

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NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints
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post #5 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Denon InCommand X4500H

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NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints
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post #6 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Onkyo RZ920

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NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints
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post #7 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Conclusion

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NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints
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post #8 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 10:30 AM
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Looking forward to your results from the tests. I've been very pleased with my implementation of Audyssey XT32 but I'm becoming more curious about the competitors out there, primarily Dirac.

Grady
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post #9 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plain fan View Post
Looking forward to your results from the tests. I've been very pleased with my implementation of Audyssey XT32 but I'm becoming more curious about the competitors out there, primarily Dirac.
Appreciate it. If there's any scenes you want me to test throw them out here and I'll see if I get around to it. It's not the most scientific results and everything will be super opinionated based off of my listening habits and preferences... So be forewarned on that.
I plan on doing this mid-january in the course of a few days (off work, I have a 1 year old and 3 year old). Time well spent

NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints
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post #10 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 11:06 AM
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Could you please consider adding REW sweeps for Subwoofer and speakers without any room correction? I think it would be important in order to establish the base line of your room response, thus allowing to understand the effectiveness of each room correction system.
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post #11 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 11:09 AM
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If your experience is similar to mine, Onkyo and AccuEq are going to be the ugly ducking at first glance that transforms into a swan. I found Dirac Live better, but AccuEq destroyed Audyssey in my room. Looking forward to your findings.
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post #12 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neo_2009 View Post
Could you please consider adding REW sweeps for Subwoofer and speakers without any room correction? I think it would be important in order to establish the base line of your room response, thus allowing to understand the effectiveness of each room correction system.
Absolutely! I could do that for each AVR in case there is somehow some variability with everything turned off on the AVR with all gain and distance set to 0m as well as MV at -20.
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NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints
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post #13 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Molon_Labe View Post
If your experience is similar to mine, Onkyo and AccuEq are going to be the ugly ducking at first glance that transforms into a swan. I found Dirac Live better, but AccuEq destroyed Audyssey in my room. Looking forward to your findings.
Appreciate it! I am very curious myself. Perhaps there will be no magic bullet. If there are any test scenes or graphs let me know and I'll try to work them in.

NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints
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post #14 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by neo_2009 View Post
Could you please consider adding REW sweeps for Subwoofer and speakers without any room correction? I think it would be important in order to establish the base line of your room response, thus allowing to understand the effectiveness of each room correction system.
When I do my L and R should I keep a crossover on or off?

NAD 758 v3 with Dirac 7.4.4 + Rotel 976 + Panamax M5300-PM
Paradigm Prestige 75F's + 55C; 8x Paradigm CI Pro P65-R's
DIY MBMs: VRK Build thread + 2x Rotel 981 (bridged)
Sub: 2x Rythmik LVX12 + MiniDSP
DIY Room Treatments: Dutch Floral Prints
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post #15 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 12:17 PM
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When I do my L and R should I keep a crossover on or off?
If you want to compare what you hear, then you should leave the speakers set to Small and include the sub(s).
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post #16 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 12:17 PM
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When I do my L and R should I keep a crossover on or off?
Its better to measure full range, with all processing disabled (trims, gains, etc), so you can understand what your speakers are capable in-room, which also may be useful to select the best crossover point.
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post #17 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 12:23 PM
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If you want to compare what you hear, then you should leave the speakers set to Small and include the sub(s).
Don't you think it would be more useful, as a starting point, and as a way to understand the room influence on the final result, as well each speaker response, to measure everything full range and with all processing disable?
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FWIW, I conducted a comparison of ARC, Audyssey XT32 (Pro), and Dirac Live back a year or so ago. Here are some of the measurements:

Center channel frequency response comparison. Dirac and Audyssey results are similar (Dirac has a custom target with bass boost), while ARC doesn't look as good below 100Hz.





Here is the ETC showing room reflections. Dirac is clearly superior. The Audyssey result is not shown, but it was comparable to the Dirac result.



And finally, the impulse responses, showing impulse measurements for all three front speakers. If anything, Dirac excels with its time domain correction algorithms, as the pristine impulse showing precise LCR alignment shows. ARC shows LCR speakers with imprecise alighnment, while Audyssey curiously seems to show the Center channel with polarity reversed (not sure why).








IMO, these simple measurements support what my ears hear, that Dirac Live has a clear edge in room correction technology.
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post #19 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neo_2009 View Post
Don't you think it would be more useful, as a starting point, and as a way to understand the room influence on the final result, as well each speaker response, to measure everything full range and with all processing disable?
Well, of course you want to select the right measurement to support what you are looking for. So measure uncorrected speakers set to large, then corrected speakers set to large, and finally corrected speakers set to small. The final set of measurements reflect what we hear, and how well the bass handled by the sub(s) integrates with the mains. My point is, there are no "right" measurements--it's just how you use the results to support what you are analyzing.
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post #20 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 12:35 PM
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If you are doing REW speeps between the AVR's, can you make sure you have a very accurate way to place the microphone in the same spot each time? Personally I use a hook in the ceiling right over MLP and then I have a weight on a string that I simply hook in to always know where the MLP measuring spot is.

I'm looking forward to see your results. I use XT32 on my base layer speakers but no correction at all on the ceiling ones.

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@AustinJerry , how are you generating the time domain charts? The Dirac results you posted are amazing, i would love to know how to generate those charts to check the Dirac result in my room.
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@AustinJerry , how are you generating the time domain charts? The Dirac results you posted are amazing, i would love to know how to generate those charts to check the Dirac result in my room.
Page 91 of the REW Guide linked in my sig. If you have additional questions, let me know.
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post #23 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 12:52 PM
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If you are doing REW speeps between the AVR's, can you make sure you have a very accurate way to place the microphone in the same spot each time? Personally I use a hook in the ceiling right over MLP and then I have a weight on a string that I simply hook in to always know where the MLP measuring spot is.

I'm looking forward to see your results. I use XT32 on my base layer speakers but no correction at all on the ceiling ones.
Absolutely agree. While our methods may be slightly different, the important thing is to have some way to guarantee a repeatable mic placement, especially for mic position 1.

Have you ever looked into or considered Dirac Live?
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post #24 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 12:56 PM
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Have you ever looked into or considered Dirac Live?
I certainly have but with my current setup it will add a lot of hardware (2x DDRC-88 and external amplification for 15 channels).
So for the time being I'm just holding out for the AVR version of the RMC-1.

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Page 91 of the REW Guide linked in my sig. If you have additional questions, let me know.
Perfect, thank you!
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post #26 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjcinnamon View Post
Appreciate it. If there's any scenes you want me to test throw them out here and I'll see if I get around to it. It's not the most scientific results and everything will be super opinionated based off of my listening habits and preferences... So be forewarned on that.
I plan on doing this mid-january in the course of a few days (off work, I have a 1 year old and 3 year old). Time well spent
Looking forward to this. AustinJerry might remember that at one point in 2013, I had grand plans to do a bakeoff between MCACC (SC-57), Audyssey XT32 Pro (Denon 4311), hands-on PEQ with a MiniDSP HD, and a fixed, but capable version of Trinnov in the old Sherwood R-972. I was working out a methodology, but it seems that you've gone a long way toward thinking the problem through with equivalent target curves, the same db level for each speaker, and the like.

Fortunately or unfortunately, I fell in lust with Trinnov and life was never the same. However, as long as you keep your objectivity and use blind A/B/X testing for critical listening as much as possible, you should be good.

One thing: I like that you're going to use specific content to evaluate your experience as well as REW based charts. REW/HDMI with a UMIK-1 will flexible as you can do a single set of measurement for a given speaker and/or speaker/sub, and evaluate the results in many different ways as per Jerry's REW guide. That depends just how far into the rabbit hole you want to jump...

Also, depending on how rigorous you want to be, here's a more formal list of content that the Home Acoustics Alliance uses for evaluating room results. They're the folks that run a certification program for calibrators, as well as interested A/V enthusiasts. A few of these can be found on YouTube, by the way. See the PDF in this post by Adam Pelz, one of the HAA instructors:
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-au...l#post55458000

Regardless, good luck! Subscribed.
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Audio Gear: Trinnov Altitude 32 (24 channel), NAD M27 amps (3)
Video: JVC RS600, Seymour 100" UF Screen, Lumagen Radiance Pro 4444 (coming soon)
Speakers: PSB Imagine T3 LCR, Imagine T Wides/Side Surround 1, T2 Side Surrounds, Imagine XB rears, Image B6 screens, PSB CS1000 ceilings (6), HSU ULS-15 Mk 2 subs (4) - 13.4.6
HAA HT1 and HT2 Certification

Last edited by sdrucker; 12-25-2018 at 05:36 PM.
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post #27 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 04:42 PM
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In my limited exposure to room correction my take at this time is using REW and doing all the DSP work yourself seems to be a better choice.


However higher end room correction than what I am using might get close enough that all the time spent to do it manually might not be needed ?



I am using the super cheap low end MCACC, so my take is probably heavily skewed by that, having no experience with high end room correction.



This will be a interesting thread I am looking forward to it for sure !
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post #28 of 29 Old 12-25-2018, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molon_Labe View Post
If your experience is similar to mine, Onkyo and AccuEq are going to be the ugly ducking at first glance that transforms into a swan. I found Dirac Live better, but AccuEq destroyed Audyssey in my room. Looking forward to your findings.
same here.
ive had both in the same room, and accu eq works better for sure.
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post #29 of 29 Old 01-02-2019, 03:48 AM
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One test track that you might consider is the opening bombing run from Unbroken. The sound is all over the sound field, and certainly dynamic.

Another would be the plane snatch sequence in The Dark Knight...very directional sound...
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