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How many here turn off Audyssey


robc1976
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Understand that part of the story here is the "bait-and-switch" of the Audyssey firmware version that is distributed with AVPs/AVRs and the upgraded "Pro" version costing in the neighborhood of a good active digital crossover....for firmware...that has effectively zero distribution costs: the only costs to the company are development/coding, marketing, and a monthly or yearly server fee (which is infinitesimally small).  That's an expensive product for customers.

 

32 minutes ago, robc1976 said:

I don't think REW is made for 11 channel systems as most pre-amps I have found are 7-8 channels.

REW actually doesn't care how many channels you have. It always checks channels one at a time. (Audyssey does the same thing.)  If you find yourself hearing two channels playing while doing REW upsweeps, then you've got a problem.  If you've got 24 channels, REW does them one at a time...no problem.

 

Chris

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8 minutes ago, Chris A said:

Understand that part of the story here is the "bait-and-switch" of the Audyssey firmware version that is distributed with AVPs/AVRs and the upgraded "Pro" version costing in the neighborhood of a good active digital crossover....for firmware...that has effectively zero distribution costs: the only costs to the company are development/coding, marketing, and a monthly or yearly server fee (which is infinitesimally small).  That's an expensive product for customers.

 

REW actually doesn't care how many channels you have. It always checks channels one at a time. (Audyssey does the same thing.)  If you find yourself hearing two channels playing while doing REW upsweeps, then you've got a problem.  If you've got 24 channels, REW does them one at a time...no problem.

 

Chris

Okay I must not be understanding this lol

 

You measure all speakers with rew, but how do you get that curve to the speakers?  Wouldn't I need a Equaliser for each channel to implement it? 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, robc1976 said:

Wouldn't I need a Equalizer for each channel to implement it?

 

That's a preamp/processor issue common to Audyssey and any other room correction and/or loudspeaker correction systems.  If Audyssey has 11 channels correction, then the pre/pro running Audyssey has that many channels of equalization.  You don't have to use Audyssey firmware, unless the pre/pro and AVR manufacturer has made it such that you must use Audyssey.  Mine doesn't. 

 

There are many ways to get 11+ channels of equalization, digital delay adjustment, and individual channel gains, but typically this capability  is found in pre/pros and AVRs.  This isn't really a room correction firmware/software issue. 

 

If it were me, I'd use an AVP having XLR outputs and active crossovers totaling at least the number of channels output, and use good external amplifiers of high fidelity and lower cost with middling levels of power output (assuming high efficiency loudspeakers like many of the Klipsch line such as Heritage, etc.). I'd at least bi-amp the fronts and mono-amp the surround and elevation channels.  Then the system would be capable and flexible to do what is needed to dial everything in for my needs.  YMMV.

 

Chris

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Auddysee is a well liked correction system but, I see so many times that people like it off or it does not get the sub/bass right.  I just don't see these many complaints with some of the other auto EQ programs.  It just strikes me as odd, since people say it is the best.

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I'd need more time with other AVP/AVR built-in room correction firmware applications to form an opinion.  Just FYI: I've found that a high percentage of "audiophile facts" don't coincide with personal experience.  My experience is that none of these automatic room correction packages work as advertised for all rooms and loudspeaker setups...or even a majority of them...without significant "tweaking". 

 

For me, that "tweaking" consisted of turning Audyssey off completely, transcribing only the measured channel time delay settings by hand inside the AVP.  Everything else (including room acoustic treatments) was driven by REW measurements and my ears, hand transcribing the PEQ and level settings into active digital crossovers and manual AVP channel gains.  It's been spectacular listening to the results.

 

Chris

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56 minutes ago, Chris A said:

 

That's a preamp/processor issue common to Audyssey and any other room correction and/or loudspeaker correction systems.  If Audyssey has 11 channels correction, then the pre/pro running Audyssey has that many channels of equalization.  You don't have to use Audyssey firmware, unless the pre/pro and AVR manufacturer has made it such that you must use Audyssey.  Mine doesn't. 

 

There are many ways to get 11+ channels of equalization, digital delay adjustment, and individual channel gains, but typically this capability  is found in pre/pros and AVRs.  This isn't really a room correction firmware/software issue. 

 

If it were me, I'd use an AVP having XLR outputs and active crossovers totaling at least the number of channels output, and use good external amplifiers of high fidelity and lower cost with middling levels of power output (assuming high efficiency loudspeakers like many of the Klipsch line such as Heritage, etc.). I'd at least bi-amp the fronts and mono-amp the surround and elevation channels.  Then the system would be capable and flexible to do what is needed to dial everything in for my needs.  YMMV.

 

Chris

I have a 4311ci and (2) emotiva XPA-5's the EMO gear does have xlr outputs balanced/not balanced ect.

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I have been using MCACC or MCACC Pro and do very little in the way of tweaking.  No channel level or distance adjustment.  I usually leave the sub trim, bass and treble at the calibrated levels.  I do tweak the subs in the I Nukes to a house curve.  I had Auddysee before switching to Pioneer in 2011.  I have no experience with it since then.  I stuck with Pioneer and MCACC basically since I already know their avr's pretty well.

 

I did help someone calibrate a system several months ago with Auddysee and it is faster than MCACC/Pro's.  That feature I liked.

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^ I had one Sony and one Yamaha AVRs and all my latest receivers were Pioneers, so I have no experience with Audyssey, but I know a few Pioneer Elite "tifosi" that had a lot of different receivers and they all swear by MCACC for its accuracy.

I'm boosting level only on surrounds, but keep the distance the same. I've checked the distance a few times and it was off a few ft, but when I set it up according to the measuring tape, it didn't sound as good as per MCACC setting.

 

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I am a big fan of Audyssey.  And I think for a lot of people that don't like it, it's because it is not intended for that particular use!

 

In general, music is EQ'd to one position, or a very small area, and is optimized to sound great there.  There is often minimal treatment in a music listening area...just enough to reduce early reflections that reach the listener.  There is no reference standard, there is no actual "setup" for bass, it is what a specific user likes and sets up for himself.  

 

 In contrast, when you think of most movie theaters, they are very damped, with lost of sound absorption everywhere.  There is a reference standard.  There is a starting point that all systems are supposed to begin from, when building a reference theater.  

 

So if you ponder that, you'll realize that what so many people have been doing is beating their heads against the wall trying to figure out why their music does not sound awesome in their -- home theater calibrated setup!

 

Here's a question posed to Dennis Erskine which I think explains perfectly the dilemma and points the way towards happiness:

 

Q:  The different requirements for 2 channel and multi channel is interesting. So obviously there is no way to make a room work as well for both uses as it would for each task specifically. However what should be the general guidelines for a room that would be used for both 2 and multi channel - so as to do the least damage to either format?

 

A.  Compromise between the two playback scenarios is not a good option. Effectively you're saying you're (a) willing to spend a bunch of money and (b) happy to make the room sound poorly in either case.

If you have a good surround processor and a well set up multi-channel room, play your 2 channel recordings in multi-channel mode...a better result. I can assure you a good surround processor will do a whole bunch better job of creating the spaciousness than your room can accomplish.

 

Now, if you really absorb what he is saying there, it should be a relief to most people -- you CANNOT build a setup that is incredible for both music and home theater at the same time.  Maybe you like yours that much (I may like mine), but in reality what you do to make a "great" theater is different than what is done to make a great music listening area.  And one of the foremost experts in design is saying there, stop trying.  You're killing yourself trying to create the impossible.

 

So when Chris A says what he says, I believe him.  I truly believe he has tried it 100x and knows what it can and cannot do.  And he knows that it just cannot make his room sound great for music and for theater!  And as someone that from what I've seen, absolutely cherishes his music experience, he has smartly gone the route of creating the sound environment that works best for his situation.  I would not expect Chris to like Audyssey in that regard.

 

I have two theaters....one setup for movies, highly damped/treated room, Audyssey used, hundreds of hours spent on placement setup and correction.  And the other theater has no treatment, has no Audyssey, and has a few dozen hours spent on placement and setup.  

 

Both theaters can play music and movies "well".  But there is no doubt in my mind that one theater sounds more alive and exciting for 2-channel music, and the other sounds amazing for home theater.

 

And...I think that is how it was meant to be!  Audyssey is NOT designed for a music environment...it is calibrating a system....well it can't possibly calibrate a system to each individual's music tastes -- it has no idea what they are.  But it can correct a space defined by the border of the measurements taken, and correct as best it can to reference.

 

Once I absorbed what Dennis was saying -- stop trying to make your room perfect for music and movies -- it was a lot more relaxing and clear to me dealing with it all.  Don't try and make your room perfect for both.  Make it great for one or the other, or if you use one room for both, create your own compromise  -- as Chris has done.

 

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, RoboKlipsch said:

I am a big fan of Audyssey.  And I think for a lot of people that don't like it, it's because it is not intended for that particular use!

 

In general, music is EQ'd to one position, or a very small area, and is optimized to sound great there.  There is often minimal treatment in a music listening area...just enough to reduce early reflections that reach the listener.  There is no reference standard, there is no actual "setup" for bass, it is what a specific user likes and sets up for himself.  

 

 In contrast, when you think of most movie theaters, they are very damped, with lost of sound absorption everywhere.  There is a reference standard.  There is a starting point that all systems are supposed to begin from, when building a reference theater.  

 

So if you ponder that, you'll realize that what so many people have been doing is beating their heads against the wall trying to figure out why their music does not sound awesome in their -- home theater calibrated setup!

 

Here's a question posed to Dennis Erskine which I think explains perfectly the dilemma and points the way towards happiness:

 

Q:  The different requirements for 2 channel and multi channel is interesting. So obviously there is no way to make a room work as well for both uses as it would for each task specifically. However what should be the general guidelines for a room that would be used for both 2 and multi channel - so as to do the least damage to either format?

 

A.  Compromise between the two playback scenarios is not a good option. Effectively you're saying you're (a) willing to spend a bunch of money and (b) happy to make the room sound poorly in either case.

If you have a good surround processor and a well set up multi-channel room, play your 2 channel recordings in multi-channel mode...a better result. I can assure you a good surround processor will do a whole bunch better job of creating the spaciousness than your room can accomplish.

 

Now, if you really absorb what he is saying there, it should be a relief to most people -- you CANNOT build a setup that is incredible for both music and home theater at the same time.  Maybe you like yours that much (I may like mine), but in reality what you do to make a "great" theater is different than what is done to make a great music listening area.  And one of the foremost experts in design is saying there, stop trying.  You're killing yourself trying to create the impossible.

 

So when Chris A says what he says, I believe him.  I truly believe he has tried it 100x and knows what it can and cannot do.  And he knows that it just cannot make his room sound great for music and for theater!  And as someone that from what I've seen, absolutely cherishes his music experience, he has smartly gone the route of creating the sound environment that works best for his situation.  I would not expect Chris to like Audyssey in that regard.

 

I have two theaters....one setup for movies, highly damped/treated room, Audyssey used, hundreds of hours spent on placement setup and correction.  And the other theater has no treatment, has no Audyssey, and has a few dozen hours spent on placement and setup.  

 

Both theaters can play music and movies "well".  But there is no doubt in my mind that one theater sounds more alive and exciting for 2-channel music, and the other sounds amazing for home theater.

 

And...I think that is how it was meant to be!  Audyssey is NOT designed for a music environment...it is calibrating a system....well it can't possibly calibrate a system to each individual's music tastes -- it has no idea what they are.  But it can correct a space defined by the border of the measurements taken, and correct as best it can to reference.

 

Once I absorbed what Dennis was saying -- stop trying to make your room perfect for music and movies -- it was a lot more relaxing and clear to me dealing with it all.  Don't try and make your room perfect for both.  Make it great for one or the other, or if you use one room for both, create your own compromise  -- as Chris has done.

 

 

 

 

I agree with most of this, mine is for theater only, rarely any music. Audyssey does sound good...but it can be much better. I am like you, 100's of hours of tweaking

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That was one of the nicest rebuttals that I've ever read, and I have to thank you for the manner in which it was delivered.  it was very well written.

 

I have one question:  If you're listening to multichannel music recordings at home, etc., what do you use to set up your multichannel music system?  Is it the same as your "home theater" system? 

 

I suggest that the standard for home theater performance presented just above (i.e., Audyssey, etc.) is a little too low for my listening tastes.  It also makes a great deal of difference for movies, too. You can't believe the realism in performance that the sound system can bring for movies with extremely good soundtracks.

 

I will say that a 5.1 is much more challenging to set up with the personal standard that I mentioned than a good 2-channel system.  But it has been one of the most rewarding experiences in terms of the breathtaking performances of multichannel music that I've ever heard.  I never believed that home sound reproduction could be that good (ref: Mariss Jansons and the Bavarian Radio Symphony performances of the Beethoven nine symphonies in Japan on Blu-Ray).  They're simply breathtaking.  I've experienced nothing like that in stereo--ever--even switching to stereo on the same multichannel discs.

 

For me, there has never been any difference between 2-channel and multichannel in terms of quality of components, setup and performance.  I would recommend using whatever you'd use for 2-channel to achieve the same (or actually higher) level of performance. 

 

This does, however, explain to me why people are using two rooms of their homes for sound reproduction instead of just one, good room.  However, I mostly stopped going to commercial cinemas locally because the quality of the sound systems are inferior to that which I listen to at home--especially those commercial cinema systems with "JBL" emblems on them of late-for reasons that I don't really understand except maybe the economics of doing it better.  The local Klipsch-powered cinema sounds much better, but the lack of sufficient deep subwoofer capability--well below 40 Hz--is usually very obvious and I assume this was an economic decision by AMC.  The big screens of are nice but are not nearly nice enough to offset the assault on my eardrums by the really rough commercial cinema systems that I mentioned (JBL systems, that is).

 

So, in summary, to have two different standards for music and home theater presented above...but that doesn't really compute for me. 

 

But that's my viewpoint only.  YMMV.

 

Chris

 

 

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most the time i do except ironically audyssey seems to work alright on mid level to better klipsch in larger rooms. 

 

with the majority of speakers audyssey is too midrange forward. drop 1-3khz zone a couple db, pop 16khz whatever is needed to get some twinkle in the highs, adjust down 100hz if i'm near a wall and getting too much room gain. set crossovers to what the speakers can handle. tinker until i'm happy. usually very time consuming but better speakers seem to make do with less. the B&W set in my bedroom comes to mind. 603s3 mains, 600LCR center and 600s3 surrounds and an svs sb12nsd. midrange is down a touch with maybe half a db up at 16khz. these are on a marantz sr5011 and this new audyssey reference is terrible. the early roll off on the highs just destroys the dynamics, tries to make everything sound flat. in my considerably larger living room there are rf82ii and rc62ii with energy in walls for the rear with a peerless xxls12 in 3cuft ported. sub can overwhelm everything if i want it to. oddly enough audyssey on the marantz sr5007 in this room works alright except at high volume where the loudness effect it creates starts to struggle. i also have b&w 602s3's in my office on a marantz sr5006 and it's on the EQ but this is just doing 2.1 stereo.  normally i tinker one speaker at a time until i get the sound i want, then combine and do the final tune from there 

 

i usually aim for a deeper more life like sound and audyssey is not tuned for that. it's all about movie theater smashing effects, a pushed midrange and early roll off. if the system sounds right with music chances are i will love it on HT as well. i'm not a fan of the current movie theater sound. it's too fake for my tastes 

 

you may notice a marantz theme here. i'm not a brand warrior i just have yet to hear a HT receiver worth buying that doesn't say marantz or integra on the front. quality separates get expensive. and my current sr5011 could serve as a pre amp should i choose to upgrade to a parasound 5ch 

 

i'm far more limited by my budget than my desire which is of course why i have the gear that i do

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Rob and Chris are correctly, one system can't do both the best.  I tried for a long time to get 8 subs to do music and movies well and finally gave up.  This is why I have a separate 2 ch. system encompassed into the man cave HT.  You can do both very good with one system but, it won't equal best.  Dimanata mention that the tape measure was different than what MCACC calculated for distance.  This is common because MCACC and all other auto EQ programs are calculation acoustical distance that takes in room factors.  Physical distance is a rough and crude guide at best.

 

Not to side track the discussion but, I like having the X-curve and Standing wave feature in MCACC.  The X-curve let's you easily control brightness with a one touch function.  EQ'ing brightness is not easily and involves a lot of the audio band from 2 kHz to 20 kHz.  The Standing waves function helps with boomy bass, bass decay, and clarity.  These are just as important IMHO as sub EQ.  Also, the multichannel phase control that is active on playback of movies and music, especially multi channel music is a nice benefit.  I admit, I am a fanboy for MCACC and can't see myself buying another brand.  

 

All the auto EQ programs are for the most part good.  A big variable is how well you know it and how to adjust it.  I'm lazy at this point and don't want to spend time learning the in's and out's of other programs.

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1 hour ago, RoboKlipsch said:

you CANNOT build a setup that is incredible for both music and home theater at the same time.  

 

 

if you tune for music HT often sounds just fine unless you like the exaggerated fake movie theater sounds 

 

when i step on my back porch and hear birds sing...that's why i want my stereo to do if birds are on a cd

 

if i go to a live performance where instruments are being played. that's what i want my stereo to do when i play said instruments

 

modern HT systems have no dynamics, almost none. the fine detail is missing. it's a very processed sound.

 

i would gladly take a pair of b&w  803 d3's on a krell class A over any multi channel HT system i could think of. i'm going to get  a more life like sound from quality than i will processed effects chips 

 

my point being...really....you have to ask what the standard is before you decide if your comment is actually true

 

ps...if anyone wants a REAL challenge, try getting car audio right with what's currently on the market today and not going broke buying exotic items 

 

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I have heard the top Marantz prior to buy my last SC 99 and remain Pioneer loyal.  Not to say Marantz is not good, people need to buy what they like and like what they buy, lol.  I just find it odd that Auddysee get so much hype and yet people are turning it off, adjusting distance and trims so much.

 

One thing I did back in 2011 was get a top model from each major brand from BB magnolia and kept it for 3 close to 4 weeks before returning it.  This gave me a short time to see what Auddysee, YAPO, and MCACC where all about.

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21 minutes ago, derrickdj1 said:

Rob and Chris are correctly, one system can't do both the best.

Actually, if you read it again, I believe that you'd see that I agree to disagree on this point: there is no difference between a good multichannel system and a good two-channel system. 

 

If you think about it, PWK was perhaps the first to strongly advocate for multichannel, but in his case three-channel with two Khorns and a La Scala or Belle in the middle.  Since there weren't 3-channel recordings available then, he devised a bridged center box that could be used with his loudspeakers, but actually, he advocated to three channel long before it was a cool thing to do.

 

YMMV.

 

Chris

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Chris I may have miss interpreted some of what you said.  I do agree you need good components for both, good setup and room considerations.  HT can mean so many different setup and in this case be the same for multi-channel music.  The addition of multiple subs, and various surround/ surround format makes it hard to have it optimize for both depending on personal taste.  I mention taste because when I go with MCACC calibration both sound fantastic but, I can't get an aggressive house curve for movies that I like.   I will say that my system has a priority for music over movies since the use it mainly geared to listening to music.  One thing for sure, if you get music right, movies can't be that bad.:)

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I've found the settings to be synonymous.  Bad soundtracks for movies (i.e., too hot on the bottom and top ends of the audible band, and too loud in the "LFE" sound effects) shouldn't be confused with "good multichannel system" for music and soundtrack reproduction. 

 

Just like there are lots of badly done CDs, records, and tapes, there are also bad movie soundtracks--lots of them. I don't believe that's an issue for the sound reproduction system unless you feel the need to re-equalize for each soundtrack (i.e., a house curve for cinema). 

 

I don't buy into any of those arguments, however: a bad soundtrack is a bad soundtrack.

 

Chris

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I was looking at a proposed purchase of a Pioneer Elite SC-LX501 by a poster in another thread.  When reviewing the specs, specifically to calibration, I noticed that this receiver has an EQ built in to where you can customize 9 preset bands for each channel in a multi channel setup.  There were 4 bands for the sub.  Has the EQ feature been available on previous MCACC equipped units, or is this a newer trend?  It seems to me that adding this capability is recognition of deficiencies within the auto calibration software.  I'm behind the curve here, I've no experience with any auto calibration AVR's but consider this useful info for the future.

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