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Discussion Starter #1
I have the VSX-49TXi with the Atlantic Technology system 450THXe and ive tried the MCACC a million times and no matter what I do it sounds 1000% worse with it on. The center sounds very very tiny and the volume goes down by about 40%.

Ive read so many great reviews about the benifits and im wondering if im missing something.

In any MCACC mode the system sounds just plain bad. I will say that the diolouge is less chesty and harsh but a a loss of everything else.


What are your thoughts on the MCACC feature and what are your experiences..



thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JESSIE DART
I have the VSX-49TXi with the Atlantic Technology system 450THXe and ive tried the MCACC a million times and no matter what I do it sounds 1000% worse with it on. The center sounds very very tiny and the volume goes down by about 40%.

Ive read so many great reviews about the benifits and im wondering if im missing something.

In any MCACC mode the system sounds just plain bad. I will say that the diolouge is less chesty and harsh but a a loss of everything else.


What are your thoughts on the MCACC feature and what are your experiences..



thanks
Major issue is that MCACC does little for low frequencies, Pioneer says the new version in the 72TX and 74TXi addresses this weakness. Problems below 100Hz will muddy the sound, and impact seriously the higher bass and mid-range. The first brand/model that does address these issues is the HK635...
 

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The MCACC on my 59TXi definitely improves the sound quality for both movies and music. I know the 59 has a more advanced version but I'm not sure of the exact differences.
 

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While I don't have the Elite, I do have the 1014 and was also disappointed in the sound after running MCACC. After saving the settings to Custom 1, I adjusted the 125Hz frequency in the L/R channels by moving it from -6 to +5, and it made a huge difference. For the center channel I moved it to +4. I'm still doing some experimenting, but it sure sounds alot better than it did.
 

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On my 1014, the MCACC destroyed the soundstage, and made things sound much less "alive" (probably toning down the high frequencies... maybe more precise but it sounded worse).


I first hooked up the 1014 and let it do it's whole setup and calibration thing. Everything sounded great. Then, I turned off MCACC after a couple of days for fun, and imagine my surprise when it didn't just sound better, it was almost like listening to a totally different (and much better) system!
 

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I have a 54TX and I think the MCACC is great. I definitely go in and do some tweaking, but that's only with channel levels, and only because I use outbaord amps that I have to dial in to calibrate.
 

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MCACC almost always incorrectly sets your speakers to large when they should be set to small. I assume that's what happening here. Try running it again and then manually change your center (and other speakers as appropriate) to small when it finishes.


Dan
 

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There are detractors in regards to all of these differant software solutions , though the outboard solutions seem to be somewhat better. There hasn''t been enough head to head comparisons both objectively and subjectively (blind) and each product line has it's own related implementation and overall unit quality issues that are tough to seperate out from the pure effects of the software when comparing to other units.

I still, with a few outboard exceptions, tend to dilike any of the correction schemes that do anything above 250 Hz , maybe it's just that it's easier to address the bass without introducing other problems or that my ears are less sensitive to any possible uncorrected anomylies in the lower regions.

I'm sure that people are working to improve the software, etc.....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JESSIE DART
I have the VSX-49TXi with the Atlantic Technology system 450THXe and ive tried the MCACC a million times and no matter what I do it sounds 1000% worse with it on. The center sounds very very tiny and the volume goes down by about 40%.

Ive read so many great reviews about the benifits and im wondering if im missing something.

In any MCACC mode the system sounds just plain bad. I will say that the diolouge is less chesty and harsh but a a loss of everything else.


What are your thoughts on the MCACC feature and what are your experiences..



thanks


Sorry to say, but you probably have a defective unit. If anything my experience has shown with MCAAC the volume may sound louder. A 40% reduction says to me defective.


James Elvick
 

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Good thing about the Pioneer implementation is that the eq can be used as is; modified in any way desired; or turned off completely.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by DKaps
MCACC almost always incorrectly sets your speakers to large when they should be set to small. I assume that's what happening here. Try running it again and then manually change your center (and other speakers as appropriate) to small when it finishes.


Dan
Sorry, but my experience says this is not so. I've owned the 49TXi and currently a 59TXi, and MCACC has correctly set my speakers every time. I have an all-Magnepan speaker setup with full range dipolar planars for fronts, and the center and surrounds are rolled off at 80. The nature of these speakers with reflected and direct sound has not interfered with the use of the auto-calibration at all.


To state that it "almost always" fails to correctly set the speakers, is a gross overstatement. Not that it cannot be tripped up by some speaker types, but I haven't experienced this. IF the OP does find that the speakers are not correctly set, then certainly he can set them manually as you suggest.


I have not experienced a deterioration in sound quality as a result of using MCACC. Maggies are not efficient speakers, so the levels are boosted quite a bit by MCACC. My center is max'd out at 10 dB, while the fronts are boosted about 7 dB. With some movies, I wish I could boost the center more, but with multichannel music, I do not sense the center is weak. A very seamless soundstage.


With my setup, MCACC tends to widen the soundstage and bring vocals more forward. With some music recordings, where I'm listening in pure direct 2 channel mode, I like to turn the EQ off to enhance the illusion of depth. With multi-channel, I like it more turned on. For movies, I leave it on and that provides the most satisfying balance of width and depth. With the Maggie center, there is palpable depth on movies, so I find the MCACC works well.


I agree with James Elvick, that if anything, using MCACC tends to boost, not weaken the sound levels. At least that what it does in my system, with my speakers, and room. If the center is being cut that much and is not significantly different in sensitivity from the fronts, then certainly it's possible your receiver is defective. Also, how do you position the microphone? Are you trying to hold it while MCACC is running? If so, your presence in the room may be effecting the mike's freq response in the mids and highs. I put the mike on a tripod, sit it in my listening position at my ear height, make sure it's level and get out of the room.


Those that blanket condemn the use of any auto-calibration or auto-EQ system are might be making gross generalizations, or least it's a matter of personal taste. If Pioneer's implementation was bad, why would they have "pioneered" it in the 1st place (sorry), and continued to sink money in its development?


I'm hoping at some point, an impartial, "objective" comparison can be made by someone comparing MCACC and Denon's Audissey EQ with the same source, speakers, amps, and room. Someone who has no ego to boost, buying decision to justify, or agenda to unduly influence their comparison on how each effects that person's listening experience. Any applicants? I was hoping someone like Dreamcatcher would at some point.


ss9001
 

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Quote:
Those that blanket condemn the use of any auto-calibration or auto-EQ system are might be making gross generalizations, or least it's a matter of personal taste. If Pioneer's implementation was bad, why would they have "pioneered" it in the 1st place (sorry), and continued to sink money in its development?
I don't know but wasn't Bose quick to market with a AUTO-EQ feature as well? What possible reason?....Marketing a feature that no one else has until everyone else does and you ahve to have....

Quote:
Someone who has no ego to boost, buying decision to justify, or agenda to unduly influence their comparison on how each effects that person's listening experience. Any applicants?
You'll have applicants, but it will be tough to find those that can honestly meet your 3 criteria.
 

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"You'll have applicants, but it will be tough to find those that can honestly meet your 3 criteria."


Jake Sm,


Yeah, you're right, but I am still hopeful. ;)

The problem is getting a review by someone with access to both receivers. If my memory is correct, Dreamcatcher had a 49TXi, and had the Gordon McGregor opamp upgrade done (BTW- what happened to Gordon? I miss some of his posts.)

DC now has the 5805. Maybe he couldn't do a side-by-side comparison. I was intrigued with what everyone was saying about the Denon, but not knowing how it compares with Pioneer's effects, it's hard to jump ship the next upgrade cycle.


But I completely agree, Jake, there's not enough un-biased info on what these systems do and how they compare. It usually comes down to anectodal posts, like mine and everyone else. What works for 1 may not work for another.


ss9001
 

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Discussion Starter #14
A better description....

Ill try to better describe what is happening.

1st off the system 450 THX is a LCR system and all speakers are set to small THX 80 HZ crossed over on all.

I used the mic and put it on a book and put that book on a table 1ft from where i sit and at the same height as my ears.

Whats happening is a obvious cut in the mid to lower bass in the center mostly. When on it makes the center sound extremely thin and tinny, this makes it sound much LOWER in volume even if its not, I know when I turn it off the center sounds more pronounced, full and I have to lower the volume from where it was with the circuit on. I do get a sence that I can here the Mains more with it on but after several set up and redoing it, once I listen for a few days then turn it OFF it sounds like a new system and more ALIVE.

Maybe Im just not "refined" enough to have it sound "right" but with my ears I like the theater like sound with it Off.

Its deffinately more chesty sounding in the center, call it even a little boomy, but it better than having it sound thin and weak. Maybe its because my speakers are THX and they have a very limited dispersion pattern and a flat responce and cut off over 80HZ that makes this combo a bad one..I dont know...


I like the idea of compensating for my room acoustics, but something tells me that electronic EQ's may get in the way of the sound more than they should..


I dont know...?
 

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I have a 1015 receiver. After running the auto calibration, I get a lower volume setting on my center channel than any of the other channels in the system.


Checking these results with an RS sound pressure meter shows the test tones to be pretty equal. I have done some minor tweaking, but both the mic from the receiver and the sound meter are determining basically the same volume setting.
 

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is there any evidence the auto eq does anything specific besides (what can be accomplished manually with) the large/small designation and the speaker distance settings?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjv123
is there any evidence the auto eq does anything specific besides (what can be accomplished manually with) the large/small designation and the speaker distance settings?
Not sure exactly what you're asking, but "basic" MCACC does this:

sets speaker large/small

speaker distance

sets dB levels for each channel, boost/cut

graphic EQ, across 9 bands for the 59TXi and 5 bands for some of the lower cost Elites.

option to have ea speaker set to its own freq response characteristics or to be set aligned to the front L&R. I have tried this but cannot really hear any major difference in my room.


If my memory serves me since I'm not in front of my unit, for speakers set to large the EQ starts at 63 Hz. For "smalls", it starts at 125 Hz. Tonight I'd be glad to check, and if I'm wrong on the freq, I'll post a correction.


The advanced MCACC in the 59 also can compensate for some of the room reverb characteristics. But I've never tried that feature.


ss9001
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JESSIE DART
I used the mic and put it on a book and put that book on a table 1ft from where i sit and at the same height as my ears.
Jessie,


It may just turn out that your preference is to have the EQ turned off. But here's a thought..


With the mic on a book and table, it may not be getting the correct sound from the speakers. It is possible, I would think, that it is receiving greater reflected mid bass to highs off the ceiling, etc. bounced off the flat surfaces and the receiver is trying to compensate by cutting those freq's. I think in all fairness, you should try to place the mic on a tripod or at least place it on a slender pole or something not placed directly on a table. Conventional audio wisdom is having even a coffee table in front of the speakers or racks between speakers can effect the sound coming to your ears, so having the mic placed flat on a table could surely cause an incorrect reading.


If you don't have a small tripod, you could try placing the mic on the back of your couch/chair; got to be better than what you're doing now. It still might not be to you liking, but IMO, your current mic placement is not the optimum way to do the measurement and may be your problem.


Let us know if you make some progress.


ss9001
 

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um. silly question, but how do ya turn OFF the MCACC on the 1015tx? i don't see a way to turn it off completely in the manual, but maybe i missed it. i do that sometimes.
 

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My experience with MCACC has been fair to good. Good microphone placement is very important. Use a small camera tripod and the foam bushing that came with the mic to get a stable placement, decoupled from any vibrations.


I just used the advanced mode auto settings. I also overrode the automatic speaker setup settings which always wanted to set my RB-35 surrounds to large.

(In the end, I have front=large, center and surround=small, no sub)


With MCACC on, I tend to get a boost in output with most program material. Especially with most movie playback. It also helped make a consistent timbre between the fronts and the center and surrounds. One of my fronts is close to a wall an the other isn't. MCACC helped even that out as well.


I'm not convinced the auto setup of eq did an optimal job for music listening though. I spend probably more than 2/3 my music listening in multi-channel input or stereo direct modes with no eq'ing.


A/B'ing between stereo with eq and stereo direct, the eq'd output tends to sound more like a deadened room, which is nice, and what it should do. But I agree with JESSIE that the eq'ing seems to get more in the way than it should. I tend to feel like I lose more in dynamic range and realism than I gain from the eq's room mode and reflection compensations.


Eventually, I'll get around to playing with manual adjustments to see if I can do any better than the automatic.
 
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