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About to install inwall side and rear surrounds and two height channels to go from 5.2 to 7.2.2 Atmos setup (Paradigm Studio 60; cc690 centre; E80 surrounds/rears/heights; Two SVS PB12-Plus subs)

I use a Marantz SR7010 (9-channel) AVR.

Would paying for a pro to come and calibrate the best audio for HT in my room be worth it over just running the Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 setup the SR7010 has?
 

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Probably not but opinions vary. Try it as-is and see if you like it. If you get a pro to do it the biggest benefit will likely be getting the Audyssey Pro upgrade that allows you to adjust the target curve as desired. I suspect the vast majority do not get a pro calibration and are happy. Be sure you get recommendations on the pro; a coworker had the dealers "pro" come out for $150 but essentially all the guy did was run the cal program a few times and tweak a couple of speaker placements. The difference was pretty minor and he could have easily done that himself so was a bit disappointed. OTOH someone with zero experience and no desire to deal with the built-in calibration procedure might find that very worthwhile. sort of depends upon your experience and knowledge.

Having a consultant help with determining in-wall speaker placement and room treatments could be pretty worthwhile if you are not an acoustics expert, however. Only so much a room correction program can do.

IMO - Don
 
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I agree: probably not. Also keep in mind that even if there is a small, just barely audible difference it is not necessarily an improvement, it could just be a difference. As Don says selecting a slightly different target curve, as Audyssey Pro allows, can alter things which you may or may not like, necessarily, but can hear either way as a difference.
 

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IMO auto eq schemes cannot produce results that are equal to truly professional, experienced, human adjustments. At least not yet.

The key phrase being "truly professional, experienced"... Amateurs need not make the attempt with the expectation of producing superior outcomes to auto eq schemes.
 

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To the best of my knowledge resorting to manual EQ [not an Audyssey Pro installer] on this receiver, either by a hired pro or the consumer, means instead of having an advanced, computer controlled EQ with over ten thousand control points and an almost limitless combination of frequencies, slopes (Q), inflection points, boosts/cuts, etc. working from an advanced algorithm that doesn't just use multi-position mic averaging, it uses a better, proprietary method called "clustering", you will instead get a grand total of 9 fixed frequencies to select from with boost and cut capability only, acting as the most basic/rudimentary form of EQ, a graphic equalizer:

"2. Select the adjustment frequency band.
63 Hz / 125 Hz / 250 Hz / 500 Hz / 1 kHz / 2 kHz / 4 kHz / 8 kHz /16 kHz
3. Adjust the level.
–20.0 dB – +6.0 dB (Default : 0.0 dB)"

From the manual.
 

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Would paying for a pro to come and calibrate the best audio for HT in my room be worth it over just running the Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 setup the SR7010 has?
At what price? I doubt it's less than it would cost you to get a USB mic and load your computer with REW. Then you'll be able to see for yourself if you're better off with using the XT32 result or a manual adjustment. Beside that, when your pro is done, he's done. Your mic and REW will be useful for many years, systems and rooms.
 

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At what price? I doubt it's less than it would cost you to get a USB mic and load your computer with REW. Then you'll be able to see for yourself if you're better off with using the XT32 result or a manual adjustment. Beside that, when your pro is done, he's done. Your mic and REW will be useful for many years, systems and rooms.
I've messed with REW and actually own a UMIK-1 mic, but I'm not sure I'm doing it right and think I may be messing it up even more than if I just left it on the Audyssey calibration.
 

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I have seen (heard) PA systems screwed up by guys using SMAART but not their ears. I was hired to fix those problems. System sounded better with no EQ than the EQ they had come up with.

First issue in your room is the location of the 2 subs and getting smooth bass to all seats in your room. Current research suggests you need 4.

If you can use an SPL meter and get levels balanced so everything is correct using no EQ (especially the balance of the subs with the main speakers = L/C/R), you are in the ball park.

After that, EQ'ing things to get flat or target response is time consuming at best. If you do a lot of EQ on speakers, you have to do level again and then EQ again until you get an EQ'ed balance.

If you have access to a real pro who has been trained and has lots of experience, it may be worth the price, especially if you get to watch, ask questions and learn.

Use your ears if you trust them. If it doesn't sound good (or at least better than it did prior to calibration), don't hesitate to question the tech and keep working on it. Get documentation of before and after.
 

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I have seen (heard) PA systems screwed up by guys using SMAART but not their ears.
I've seen that too. It does no good to use SMAART if you're STUUPID. :)
The point of any measurement tool is to give you a visual reference so that you can more easily obtain a desired result than by listening alone. It's not to remove your ears from the decision making process.

I don't have Audyssey, so I'm not speaking from experience, but if I did have it I wouldn't trust it without seeing on my TV screen the results of using it, before and after. Does it do that? If not it wouldn't seem all that difficult for it to be an included feature.
 
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I don't have Audyssey, so I'm not speaking from experience, but if I did have it I wouldn't trust it without seeing on my TV screen the results of using it, before and after. Does it do that?
On some units, not all, it [or rather I should more precisely say the manufacturer using it]* shows a very low resolution, rudimentary pictograph of the EQ applied to each individual channel as if it were a graphic EQ. [On at least my unit it oddly omits info for the .1 (sub) channel] Scanning an owner's manual for the term "Audyssey EQ Check" may yield results indicating which units have this or not, but I'm not sure this is always the case. You can see some examples of image styles used over the years/brands/incarnations in this post.

*Audyssey likes to point out they are a sophisticated measurement system only. How your individual brand/model decides to use this data, such as applying EQ, delay, and level changes, is out of their control.

edit to add: To the best of my knowledge no brand allows a secondary test after Audyssey determined EQ has been applied to see the results post processing.
 

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To the best of my knowledge no brand allows a secondary test after Audyssey determined EQ has been applied to see the results post processing.
Seeing what correction it applied wouldn't matter to me, I'd want to see the results of that correction in an REW style plot.
 

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Consider acoustic treatments for your room. GIK does free consultations. I think you'd get more bang for your buck with the room treatments.
 

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I think a pro calibration is worth the cost not because of the service provided, but there is a lot of value in having an experienced pro in your space. You'll get dividend pay outs with advice on room treatments, small set up changes, and the calibration includes a full test of all your stuff and validation nothing is broken. Your settings get fixed, your speakers and subs get measured, and you'll learn a lot in the process which also have a value.
 

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Auto EQ via Audyssey XT32 isn't a "guess"; it is a calibration applied based on a sophisticated multi-position mic placement measurement system using clustering. This was not just some concoction from a marketing department of a receiver maker like Denon or Marantz, both of which license the technology, but rather a joint venture from a bunch of award winning audio scientists including Tomlinson Holman [Among other things he's the letters T and H as in "THX" for those who might not know] and Chris Kyriakakis, both of whom have numerous published papers in scholarly scientific journals such as the Journal of Audio Engineering Society, many of which are on this very topic of room EQ and subwoofer optimization:
http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=17298
 

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I think a pro calibration is worth the cost not because of the service provided, but there is a lot of value in having an experienced pro in your space.
That depends on the 'pro'. The only prerequisite for claiming to be a 'pro' is knowing just enough more than your customers do to appear knowledgeable to them. IME for every real qualified pro there are a hundred hacks.
 

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This was...a joint venture from a bunch of award winning audio scientists including Tomlinson Holman [Among other things he's the letters T and H as in "THX" for those who might not know] and Chris Kyriakakis, both of whom have numerous published papers in scholarly scientific journals...
Though common in marketeering, IMO it can be misleading to imply that a particular commercial product/algorithm/implementation somehow transports some known personalities, via said product, into your living space to align, define and lock your system on track.

IME for every real qualified pro there are a hundred hacks.
A little harsh, maybe?
 

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Though common in marketeering, IMO it can be misleading to imply that a particular commercial product/algorithm/implementation somehow transports some known personalities, via said product, into your living space to align, define and lock your system on track.
I never said any personalities were transported.
 

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...IME for every real qualified pro there are a hundred hacks.

Unfortunately this is very true. I travel around the country working with audio systems in the home and performance venues. Few are operating near their peak performance. I could relate to you many horror stories I have encountered.

I think a pro calibration is worth the cost not because of the service provided, but there is a lot of value in having an experienced pro in your space. You'll get dividend pay outs with advice on room treatments, small set up changes, and the calibration includes a full test of all your stuff and validation nothing is broken. Your settings get fixed, your speakers and subs get measured, and you'll learn a lot in the process which also have a value.

This is what I hear from a large number of my clients.


One simple way to see if your system is balanced is to play a quality test disc. The September 2015 Dolby Atmos Demo disc contains test tones that are useful in seeing if your system is close to balanced. You may not know what the pink noise should sound like, but you can tell if things are similar speaker to speaker. They rarely are.


It is also useful to toggle between the auto compensation being on and then off. This should be done with the test tones above and test material on that disc. That will show you if the more complex parts of the auto calibration have done harm or not. The Audiosphere demo is a good one to show speaker distortion and channel balance. The Amaze demo is a good one to show channel balance and LFE activity. However, the Amaze demo has some near DC content which can cause problems in some rigs.


I have found some of the auto calibration methods themselves are interfering with Atmos processing causing a whooshing sound from the speakers when the auto compensation is on with the Dolby Atmos test tones. This is likely an interaction with the phase compensation being used and the phase detection of Atmos.


Numerous other problems can be found when using the proper test material along with good measurement equipment.
 

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... Would paying for a pro to come and calibrate the best audio for HT in my room be worth it over just running the Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 setup the SR7010 has?
If they come out to adjust existing equipment, no.

If they come out to characterize your room and suggest a comprehensive treatment plan (zorax2, post 12), then yes, but it will be expensive for that much time.

Best of all, take Bill's advice and learn to do it yourself. Get some good room acoustic decay data and you'll be able to get guidance from acoustic treatment provider interested in your business (unless you're a hopeless DIY).

HAve fun,
Frank
 
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