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there units are very very picky with the usb sticks. I went through three until I found one that worked. An old usb2 drive didn’t work, a different usb3 drive didn't work either. The scary part is that when you save the backup from the GUI it doesn’t tell you if it’s successful or not.
here’s the one that I used that I know works. Generally I’m told that PNY works best.

Thanks again the update did work with the new PNY drive.


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Thanks again the update did work with the new PNY drive.


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good. It’s unfortunate it’s so picky though. I initially figured an older usb2 drive would be safest, as it’s obviously only 480Mbs instead of 5Gbs, but I could not get those to work either.

I also tried a pigtail extension cable as reaching around the back of the unit isn’t convenient for me... that didn't work even with the PNY on the audiocontrol but worked fine on my pc. This suggests at least some of the issues are electrical, it may have a weak driver or receiver emphasis setup which makes it hard to work with any additional cabling and only with certain drives.
 

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My X7 just recently will not pass video via eArc. I get no on screen display from my Oppo or Music server and no picture from my cable box input. When I turn on the Sony TV a screen comes on that I need to put on STB on even though it is already on. Any ideas what is going on
 

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I don't get the need for eARC/ARC in a system that includes something like these processors It just never works well in most/many applications and if you're willing to spend that much on a setup in the fist place, why not just spend $40 and get a roku or fire (or upgrade to an atv4k) and be happy. The only exception would be over the air TV, for that you'd need an external tuner box or just use toslink from the TV, which is enough bandwidth for DD.
 

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Hey gang...thanks for having this thread: I enjoyed reading every post. I have an AudioControl Maestro M9 that to my knowledge, there are no dedicated owners' threads, so no active discussions anywhere. I'm jelly of all this X7 and X9 talk, so hope you won't mind jumping on board for a bit...

I recently upgraded to 5.2.4 (I was only running 5.2 till last week) and discovered that M9's Heights 1 board has an issue: it often seems to output much lower volume dBs than all other channels. Both Dirac and my trusty RadioShack SPL confirm that the Heights 1 speakers have about < 6dB delta compared to the rest of speakers (most of the time).

It's hard to gauge if this isn't happening every time during normal movie watching, but since I've first noticed it via the initial Dirac calibration, every now and then I check all dB levels via M9's Speaker Level menu: 90% of the tests I've ran they show that Heights 1 have a lower output; all other channels are consistently set and never varied dB levels. Of course, I talked to the excellent AC support I got an RA same day...so I will send it over for repair after the holidays are over.

My questions to this gang:
1. Is the X9 considered a worthy upgrade over the M9? I'm into HiFi 2ch just as much as HT so, given the top class pedigree of ES9038PRO SABRE DAC, on paper at least, the X9 should shine for both HiFi music and HT duties. FYI, the M9 employs individual Burr Brown PCM1796 DACs, definitely not too shabby on their own. Given this 'interruption' while the M9 is being fixed, should I consider trading the M9 for the X9?

I realize that the X9 is more future proof and has DLBC, but I should mention that I have miniDSP 2x4HD, which in conjunction with REW, allows me to time, phase and gain match my dual SVS subs (located in the front left corner and rear right corner).

2. continuous popping/clicking noise in speaker after running Speaker Level? once in a while, since I'm running the Speaker Level function quite often now given my issue above, is it normal for a continuous clicking sound to linger in the last speaker after I stop the speaker level adjustment? I can get that to stop by power cycling the M9, but this behaviour does not sound kosher to me...

3. Dirac Live (without BM) is not impressive. I've owned the M9 since Jan, and I've ran Dirac multiple times and it never impressed me. Without Dirac, the sound stage is livelier, more dynamic, the centre channel has more depth. I even limited Dirac to no more than 250 Hz, and added a Harman curve (plus 6dB on all channels). Maybe it's a subjective thing, but I seem to prefer no Dirac in my system.

I appreciate any thoughts on the above.

P.S. if anyone can PM any AC dealers that will work with me on an possible M9-X9 trade. My current AudioControl dealer doesn't budge or discount much.
 

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I‘ve never used an m9 or the other processors that were similar, so I can’t answer but I do know that the m9 did really really well in at least one or two bench reviews a long time ago. It has a good reputation for sound quality. I guess everyone would expect the x9 to be better but it may not be a really noticeable difference. The 9038 Is a better dac and the analog front end, I think, is an upgrade but that’s only part of the whole sound. if you’re already setup with Minidsp it’s likely there’s not much overall benefit from DLBC.

I had an rmc1 for a while before ditching it and I can say that the rmc1‘s Dirac did not sound right to me. it was one of the many reasons I got rid of it, but I was disappointed in the rmc1 with Dirac. it sounds a lot better on the x9. However, I think some of the reasons were just due to the foundation, the rmc1 sounded high pitched without any bass, so not sure it was really a Dirac problem. My point is that I do think its possible that changing to a different processor can make a difference with Dirac. Even with a correct Dirac cal the rmc1 lacked bass. I used a umik1 mic with the right cal file so it wasn’t user error with Mic selections and I played a lot with curtain and Harman curves, it still sounded poor to me.

maybe there’s a thread for the other m9 variants that can help with some of the m9 questions/issues, if there‘s no m9 forum? I think the m9 is similar to other offerings (as is the case with the x9) including lexicon, maybe there’s a forum of experienced users who can share experiences.
 

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I‘ve never used an m9 or the other processors that were similar, so I can’t answer but I do know that the m9 did really really well in at least one or two bench reviews a long time ago. It has a good reputation for sound quality. I guess everyone would expect the x9 to be better but it may not be a really noticeable difference. The 9038 Is a better dac and the analog front end, I think, is an upgrade but that’s only part of the whole sound. if you’re already setup with Minidsp it’s likely there’s not much overall benefit from DLBC.

I had an rmc1 for a while before ditching it and I can say that the rmc1‘s Dirac did not sound right to me. it was one of the many reasons I got rid of it, but I was disappointed in the rmc1 with Dirac. it sounds a lot better on the x9. However, I think some of the reasons were just due to the foundation, the rmc1 sounded high pitched without any bass, so not sure it was really a Dirac problem. My point is that I do think its possible that changing to a different processor can make a difference with Dirac. Even with a correct Dirac cal the rmc1 lacked bass. I used a umik1 mic with the right cal file so it wasn’t user error with Mic selections and I played a lot with curtain and Harman curves, it still sounded poor to me.

maybe there’s a thread for the other m9 variants that can help with some of the m9 questions/issues, if there‘s no m9 forum? I think the m9 is similar to other offerings (as is the case with the x9) including lexicon, maybe there’s a forum of experienced users who can share experiences.
Thanks Austin_AVP...I appreciate the input!
 

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Discussion Starter #590 (Edited)
Hey gang...thanks for having this thread: I enjoyed reading every post. I have an AudioControl Maestro M9 that to my knowledge, there are no dedicated owners' threads, so no active discussions anywhere. I'm jelly of all this X7 and X9 talk, so hope you won't mind jumping on board for a bit...

My questions to this gang:
1. Is the X9 considered a worthy upgrade over the M9? I'm into HiFi 2ch just as much as HT so, given the top class pedigree of ES9038PRO SABRE DAC, on paper at least, the X9 should shine for both HiFi music and HT duties. FYI, the M9 employs individual Burr Brown PCM1796 DACs, definitely not too shabby on their own. Given this 'interruption' while the M9 is being fixed, should I consider trading the M9 for the X9?

2. continuous popping/clicking noise in speaker after running Speaker Level? once in a while, since I'm running the Speaker Level function quite often now given my issue above, is it normal for a continuous clicking sound to linger in the last speaker after I stop the speaker level adjustment? I can get that to stop by power cycling the M9, but this behaviour does not sound kosher to me...

3. Dirac Live (without BM) is not impressive. I've owned the M9 since Jan, and I've ran Dirac multiple times and it never impressed me. Without Dirac, the sound stage is livelier, more dynamic, the centre channel has more depth. I even limited Dirac to no more than 250 Hz, and added a Harman curve (plus 6dB on all channels). Maybe it's a subjective thing, but I seem to prefer no Dirac in my system.
The X9 is much improved for the latest 16 channel system. This would be expected with a newer product. If you have two or more subwoofers than DLBC is a great tool for calibration. This alone would be worth the upgrade. DiracLive thread: The official Dirac Live thread The M9 is a very good processor with nice sound quality but the X9 has some really nice newer features over the M9.

I came from a miniDSP to the X7 and I can tell you DLBC is a huge improvement! DLBC can now calibrate the subs individually and mix with the speakers for an amazing experience. Link to DiracLive Bass Control: Features - Dirac I did use a new UMIK-2 mic which is a must for DiracLive. Hope you get a chance to experience one of the new X series processor's.

features M9
  • 7.1.4 Home Theater 4K Ultra HD supporting HDMI 2.0a and HDCP 2.2
  • Supports Dolby VisionTM (firmware version 4.31 and up)
  • Supports High Dynamic Range (HDR) formats, with BT.2020 support
  • Supported Surround modes: Dolby Atmos, Dolby Surround, DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS-ES 6.1
    Discrete, DTS-ES 6.1 Matrix, DTS 5.1, DTS Neural:X, DTS Virtual:X, IMAX Enhanced
  • Individual Burr Brown PCM1796 DACs
  • Dirac Live® Room Correction
  • 7 HDMI; COAX SPDIF x 4; Toslink x 2; RCA Phono x 6
  • Dual HDMI outputs (ARC supported)
  • USB Input for connection to iPad®, iPhone®, iPod® and other portable music players and mass storage devices
  • Supports MP3, WMA (Windows Media Audio), WAV, FLAC (Free Lossless Audio CODEC) and MPEG-4 AAC (i-Tunes) playback
  • HD Surround modes include Dolby Atmos, Dolby True HD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS:X, DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Also supported Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo Downmix, Dolby Digital 5.1 + Dolby Surround, DTS 5.1, DTS 5.1 Stereo Downmix, DTS-ES 6.1 Matrix, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete, DTS96/24
  • Custom Install control ready with IP, RS232, 12 volt trigger and IR control options
  • Internet radio
  • Programmable Remote control provided
features X9
  • 9.1.6 decoding for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
  • IMAX Enhanced, Auro-3D
  • 4K UHD supporting HDMI 2.0b and HDCP 2.2
  • ES9038PRO SABRE audiophile DACs (140 dB of dynamic range)
  • Dirac Live® room correction
  • 16 channel XLR outputs with OPA1612 HiFi Audio op-amps
  • 16 channel unbalanced outputs
  • Pairs perfectly with Savoy G4, Pantages G4, Avalon G4
  • Dolby VisionTM playback support
  • HDR support (HDR10/BT.2020)
  • 4 user-assignable output channels
  • 7 HDMI inputs / 3 HDMI outputs (eARC compatible)
  • IP, IR, RS232, and Wifi control
  • AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast streaming support
 

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I wish I could say the same. Even just using an airport express (old, I know) for AirPlay, I get short dropouts every 30 seconds over Ethernet and I get none over Wi-Fi. The ping times are actually better over Ethernet and traceroute is clean, there’s no QoS setup... just isn’t reliable for me.
I do have an LG tv that has mirroring support and it’s connected via Ethernet and it works fine with the iOS devices...so go figure.
I have found that the only way that works robustly with airplay for me is with an Appletv4k as the client. Using an old airport express over wired or Wi-Fi (toslink connection) or using the x9 as a wired airplay client produces stuttering and dropouts from just about any apple host I throw at it.. ipad3, iPad air2, iPhone X, iPad Pro, iPhone xs. Using the appletv4K with hdmi into the x9 works without stuttering or dropouts, nothing else works reliably for me. I do not have networking issues, all pings are within 5ms, I have a triband 802.11ax router with commercial grade switches, there’s no funky QoS and all wired connections are GbE.

For something that’s supposed to be so easy, it’s by far not robust and never has been for me. Streaming 44.1kz audio via Apple is far more difficult than streaming 4K video.

I guess I should just throw out the old airport express.
 

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Thanks @CptSpig the X9 is sure looking good!

Now, is it just me, or is the market primarily going full HT? It seems it’s harder and harder to find a superlative HT processor that can also outshine as a 2ch pre-amp.

The Audiocontrol X9 is one of the last few to seemingly fit that bill; does anyone know if the X9 offers a truly balanced / symmetrical design, meaning the signal via XLRs is fully identical on the positive and negative cycles?
 

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Thanks @CptSpig the X9 is sure looking good!

Now, is it just me, or is the market primarily going full HT? It seems it’s harder and harder to find a superlative HT processor that can also outshine as a 2ch pre-amp.

The Audiocontrol X9 is one of the last few to seemingly fit that bill; does anyone know if the X9 offers a truly balanced / symmetrical design, meaning the signal via XLRs is fully identical on the positive and negative cycles?
I don't know if we'll ever truly get the 'fully differential?' answered without a schematic. The X9 uses the OPA1612 and like all pretty much all op-amps it has a differential input, but the question is where is the ground reference. In most such designs, I think the inputs are not tied to ground, rather they utilize the differential outputs from the DAC (which is differential), but there are different modes for these chips and it's not clear how exactly they are used (I don't think we know, but maybe someone here does). I never got a chance to hear the X7 or the JBL SDP-55 but I have heard the RMC-1 with the exact same equipment and I can safely say that I don't think anyone would prefer the sound of the RMC1 (Emotiva makes a big deal out of the fully balanced design element), but the question is what is that due to... the DACs, the analog front end, the DSP, some issue in the sound path, crappy Emotiva design...can't say.

I do have to think, as bench tests would show, that if you spent close to this amount on a dedicated 2-channel preamp you'd get better THD and SINAD, but for most people this isn't practical to have 2 different setups. For me it's not practical but having a dedicated headphone setup is feasible, so I get my "2 channel" extreme performance kicks out of the headphone setup. I have a tube amp on that setup, and it's no surprise that tube amps get trounced by good solid states in terms of THD, but the way the harmonics are realized creates a sound that's just so nice and I prefer it over two other solid states amps.. goes to show you that numbers aren't everything, for either a preamp or amp. I often wonder what a high end tube setup would sound like for 2 channel music on my main system, but a tube amp that can drive B&W 802d's .... it's out of my league.
 

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Thanks @CptSpig the X9 is sure looking good!

Now, is it just me, or is the market primarily going full HT? It seems it’s harder and harder to find a superlative HT processor that can also outshine as a 2ch pre-amp.

The Audiocontrol X9 is one of the last few to seemingly fit that bill; does anyone know if the X9 offers a truly balanced / symmetrical design, meaning the signal via XLRs is fully identical on the positive and negative cycles?
Not sure for the X9.

The related AV40/SDP-55 prepros are not end to end balanced and use a TI converter chip to achieve XLR output; I'm fairly certain the X7 is the same (Identical specs suggest that). The X9 however seems to have a quite different DAC section and analogue output stage to these other products though so may well be fully balanced (I dont know).
 

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I came from a miniDSP to the X7 and I can tell you DLBC is a huge improvement! DLBC can now calibrate the subs individually and mix with the speakers for an amazing experience. Link to DiracLive Bass Control: Features - Dirac I did use a new UMIK-2 mic which is a must for DiracLive. Hope you get a chance to experience one of the new X series processor's.
I've used both minidsp and some commercial DSPs that are far more sophisticated. DLBC slaps them silly. It's a superior way to do bass managment in my setup at lease. It's also much faster than manual calibration..and yes I was correcting phase manually as well with allpass filters on top of delay etc... If Dirac releases the enhancement to use your mains as part of the bass management it will be nirvana for those of us with large capable L/C/R speakers...

I'm the happiest I've been with the sound in a long time thanks to the X7... quite the piece of gear... now if they could only get the upgrade process smoothed out a bit....
 

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I don't think I'll ever be able to get around having a mini for beq alone. Thank you studios.
 

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Keep getting this message no matter what I do. Any ideas of what’s going on. Tried the microphone that came with the unit and I also tried my UMlk-1 minidsp mic. The room is dead quiet


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I don't know if we'll ever truly get the 'fully differential?' answered without a schematic. The X9 uses the OPA1612 and like all pretty much all op-amps it has a differential input, but the question is where is the ground reference. In most such designs, I think the inputs are not tied to ground, rather they utilize the differential outputs from the DAC (which is differential), but there are different modes for these chips and it's not clear how exactly they are used (I don't think we know, but maybe someone here does). I never got a chance to hear the X7 or the JBL SDP-55 but I have heard the RMC-1 with the exact same equipment and I can safely say that I don't think anyone would prefer the sound of the RMC1 (Emotiva makes a big deal out of the fully balanced design element), but the question is what is that due to... the DACs, the analog front end, the DSP, some issue in the sound path, crappy Emotiva design...can't say.

I do have to think, as bench tests would show, that if you spent close to this amount on a dedicated 2-channel preamp you'd get better THD and SINAD, but for most people this isn't practical to have 2 different setups. For me it's not practical but having a dedicated headphone setup is feasible, so I get my "2 channel" extreme performance kicks out of the headphone setup. I have a tube amp on that setup, and it's no surprise that tube amps get trounced by good solid states in terms of THD, but the way the harmonics are realized creates a sound that's just so nice and I prefer it over two other solid states amps.. goes to show you that numbers aren't everything, for either a preamp or amp. I often wonder what a high end tube setup would sound like for 2 channel music on my main system, but a tube amp that can drive B&W 802d's .... it's out of my league.
Hi gang...I'm at an impasse and would like to get your seasoned input if I may...unsure if my issue is part of the 'upgraditis bug' or it's real: but I have an opportunity to trade in my M9 for the X9.

By all technical accounts, the X9 has superior design, features and components over the M9. What really intrigues me about the X9 are the following aspects:
  1. Accurate LFE alignment and multiple DL slots: inclusion of Dirac Live Base Control, which quite a few users have already validated that, in a very user friendly fashion, does just as good (if not better) job as the miniDSP 2x4HD to properly phase/gain/time align the subs with each other AND the L/R mains
    1. phase aligning the subs via miniDSP 2x4HD procedure is painstakingly tedious
    2. using DLBC will also minimize the number of A-D-A conversions
    3. I could 'retire or sell' my miniDSP 2x4HD box
    4. my M9 only has one DL slot filter, so I am currently unable to make changes on the fly: it's either DL fully ON or OFF...
    5. how many DL slots does the X9 have?
  2. Better 2-ch stereo experience due to superior specs of ES9038PRO SABRE DACs over the Burr Brown PCM1796. Sure, on paper, the SABRE DACs do measure better, but unfortunately, I have not been able to see any M9 vs. X9 reviews, so I'm really taking a chance here.
  3. Upgradability path...unlike the M9, the X9 would be upgraded later at the factory with HDMI 2.1 PCB boards and/or other upcoming sound formats and firmware.
The fact that the X9 is a 9.1.6 (vs 7.1.4 on the M9) bears no impact to me; my current setup is 5.2.4, and my HT room is on the small end (14.5 x 14 x 12). On the opposite spectrum, it seems that the only negative of the X9 is the process for user to upgrades the firmware hasn't been fully fleshed out...while a little convoluted, I haven't read that anyone bricked their unit, so it's still workable.

I know that I'm projecting my inability to make a clear binary choice here, but unlike other processors and vendors (i.e.. Crutchfield) the return policy is kind of limited: once I order the X9 and receive/install & calibrate it myself, I'm more or less stuck with it.

Any thoughts on the above would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers!
 

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Keep getting this message no matter what I do. Any ideas of what’s going on. Tried the microphone that came with the unit and I also tried my UMlk-1 minidsp mic. The room is dead quiet


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Did you try manipulating (increasing) either or both the microphone's and the master levels? I presume you get this message during the speaker level setup screen correct?
 

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Did you try manipulating (increasing) either or both the microphone's and the master levels? I presume you get this message during the speaker level setup screen correct?
I did try both I get as far as measurements. Then I run the measurement from the main listening position runs all the sweeps and then that message shows up and it won’t let me proceed to the next step


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