Originally Posted by EB1000
Thanks. You are right about the DEQ. When I turned it off both NAD and Denon sound equally anemic to me. This could be the main problem. I am used to DEQ on which is absent in NAD. I am going to try something which will even complicate my setup further. I've placed an order for Minidsp 2x4 HD which I'm going to connect downstream the NAD's subwoofer out to my SB2000s and use it to try and mimic the DEQ effect post Dirac Live calibration.
Are the C658 's subwoofers limited to dual mono by hardware or any chance for them to become stereo in a future firmware update? If the minidsp will work for me, I will consider getting a second one for the Denon LFE downstream.
Since subwoofers cannot produce hiss, there should not be an overprocrssing issue adding another dsp device into the pipiline..
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I don't know what the sub outs do currently. Suspect the Dirac bass mgmt. will provide more control though what is unknown to public (as far as I know).
I think you care about bass given what you said about DEQ. mthomas47 has a detailed guide
about sub calibration and bass preferences. It does a great job covering subwoofer set up and what happens during automatic mulit-ch setup and Audyssey setting filters. There is a section on DEQ you might find informative. Besides DEQ this is a comprehensive collection of information that can convey nuances one might overlook.
For instance when a AVR or AVP does and auto setup, he explains that set up (not necessarily Audyssey) sets the channel levels so all channels will play 75dB at the first mic position. And sets distance (timing) so that all channels will play in sync at the main listening position (the first mic position). Eventually, Audyssey (or whatever EQ) will set filters and so on ... . The nuance is Audyssey is part of the set up that builds on other setup, but from user perspective it looks like you are configuring Audyssey.
Stereo has a channel level adjustment, its the balance control. There is just the L & R channels. Generally, there isn't any timing adjustments. Now that more stereo devices are adding sub or sub channels there is an argument for more controls for levels and timing. We are living at a time where vendors are starting to do this. FWIW, earlier you asked if Dirac set levels and timing. I think the answer is yes as I got a precise stereo imaging when I made the MLP a non traditional sweet spot during Dirac configuration.
I am unaware that the Minidsp 2x4 HD has any dynamic eq capability. It does have ability to independently set distance (timing) of each channels which can be used to improve bass (avoid cancellation dips). This video explains how someone improved multiple sub integration with a MiniDSP and REW - Video
. So, if you improve your bass you should be happier with either Denon or NAD, the NAD at least at some volume level. But only the Denon with DEQ will dynamically increase or decrease bass at different volume levels. There was a suggestion in this forum to make different Dirac target curves for different loudness levels. I.e., for low volumes a signficant bass boost perhaps a little treble boost and for loud or close to ref listening small bass boost (like Dirac target and treble roll off). With the other three slots you'd make variations suitable for different volumes.
I would still recommend trying a simple 2-ch set up to baseline in your mind what the NAD C658 and BluOS or your phono could sound like. If you get to a satisfying experience that way, you can then proceed to integrate everything else. And should expect to get there w/o compromising how the NAD could sound. Obviously if other members of your family want watch movies during this time, that may make the suggestion impossible/impractical.
I was curious what you are looking at when you say the Denon calibration looks goods (freer of peaks ad dips). You compare it I think to the Dirac live display showing combined point measurements and the "corrected". You suggest that when making a bass boost (changing a handle or point on the target curve) that the corrected curve doesn't reflect the change or change is inadequate. Are the Audyssey observations coming from the Denon. If so, I doubt that is showing a measured response. You really need to use a tool like REW to measure the room and audio gear after the calibration. Granted if you are using REW you could still see different frequency charts (NAD and Denon) though dominating room issues should still have similar effects (dips neither EQ could fix for instance).
If you aren't measuring post calibration with a common tool, then the Denon might be less flat than you think, but because you are using DEQ it sounds better to you (at least over a range of volumes).
If DEQ on Denon is working for you, you might try using the bass control on the NAD. I think it boosts at 100 hz which is reasonably low. I'm suggesting this for lower volume levels. Really more of an experiment or exploration into what you like to hear. If you do use it be mindful it is on when listening at louder volumes.
I do think for Dirac, you would be better to separate the subs into their own group separate from speakers (and connected to sub outs). If the combined measure for subs shows a big dip, then Dirac (and presumably any EQ system) will not be able to fix it, but will try to improve it. You would need to try other things like changing listening location, sub locations, speakers, room treatments, ect. .
Sorry for so many words and any mistakes I made.