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Audyssey's Next Generation of Room Correction (MultEQ-X)

Are you a current Denon/Marantz AVR Owner and if so what do you think of Audyssey's MultEQ-X?

  • I'm a current AVR owner. $200 price is acceptable. I've already purchased it.

  • I'm a current AVR owner. $200 price is acceptable. I’m willing to spend the money once I learn more.

  • I'm a current AVR owner. $200 price is too high. Anything lower is better.

  • I'm not a current Denon/Marantz AVR owner. $200 price is acceptable.

  • I'm not a current Denon/Marantz AVR owner. $200 price is too high. Anything lower lower is better.

  • I'm a current AVR owner. $200 price is acceptable, but I don't like the restrictive terms. Wont buy.

  • I'm not an owner. $200 price is acceptable, but I don't like the restrictive terms. Wont buy.

  • Other (please explain).


Results are only viewable after voting.

Dj7675

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To my limited knowlege there are 3 systems that account for multiseat variation: Dirac DLBC, MSO (thank you Andy for creating it), and Harman SFM. It would be very interesting to compare results of all 3 for both single and multiple row theaters.
 

Chromatischism

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What is not clear to me is whether the surround boost is supposed to be good or bad in the scenario where a 4.1/5.1 system's surround speakers are placed more towards the back of the room due to placement restrictions, or rear surrounds in a 7.1 setup. Seems like boosting side surrounds is supposedly a false concept as we don't have any biological reasons to justify it, but what about sounds from behind? Is the Audyssey assumption wrong there, too?
Maybe I also don't notice the excessive surround boost because the sound is coming more from behind for me so it deserves a bit of a boost anyway (not necessarily related to loudness compensation?
All that matters is whether they are level-matched, which is one thing Audyssey does. The boost ruins the level-matching because the surrounds get louder than the fronts. I'm talking SPL at your seat.
 

Chromatischism

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I find it rather surprising that outside Audyssey, very few loudness compensation features exist, and those that do often can't work at the same time as the room correction. It seems like such a basic feature for the home user. But maybe there's a reason... There are many don't seem to like DEQ but it's difficult to gather the real reasons that cause it. Just like many don't like Audyssey, but so far my conclusion has been that all/most of them weren't using it optimally and/or weren't making fair comparisons.
I have a list of the reasons where things go wrong for DEQ. Some of it has to do with equipment and some of it is the setup. I'll type it up later as "Top Reasons You May Not Like Dynamic EQ (and what you're doing wrong)".
 

Chromatischism

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The top reasons why you got a bad result with Dynamic EQ:​


  • Your speakers aren't able to handle the bass boost without significant audible distortion​

    • Some smaller speakers may not have a lot more to give and may not take well to being bass boosted. The sound will get too thick or distorted.
  • Your subwoofer(s) aren't able to handle the bass boost without significant audible distortion​

    • Similarly, some subwoofers have limited capability of extending low. When DEQ progressively increases bass levels at lower and lower frequencies, it may push your sub(s) too hard and cause sound quality problems.
  • You have very V-shaped speakers already​

    • If you have speakers that naturally feature a V or U-shaped response in that the bass and treble are already boosted, they are already optimized for low-volume listening. The problem is this curve is baked in and can not be defeated, causing them to be all bass and treble at higher volume levels. While Audyssey can flatten them to some degree, you may find that the bass gets too strong or that the treble gets too bright with DEQ.
  • Your crossover is set too high​

    • This will ask more of your subwoofer and it may not lead to the best sound quality. Your sub will start to sound boomy and thick. DEQ will exaggerate the problems and make it sound worse.
  • Your crossover is set too low​

    • This will ask more of your speakers and it may not lead to the best sound quality. Your speakers may sound too thick and congested, lacking clarity.
  • Your in-room bass response could use some work​

    • If you have large variations in your bass response that aren't curable by room EQ, increasing bass levels will only make them more audible. While Audyssey is great at flattening large peaks, it has its limits. And, no system can boost standing waves, so you'll only strain your equipment the harder you try. You'll need to move subs and seats around to get your phase relationships into a more optimal place and run Audyssey again. Our hearing is very sensitive to missing or exaggerated bass frequencies. Once you get a flatter bass response, your system should take well to Dynamic EQ.
  • You went through the trouble of setting up your system with DEQ turned off, dialed in the perfect bass levels, then turned DEQ on to see what it does. You were overwhelmed with bass and turned it off.​

    • This is an incorrect use of Dynamic EQ. DEQ adds predetermined amounts to specific parts of the frequency response curve based on the master volume level. When you are setting up your system and tuning subwoofer levels, you need to do so at your typical listening volume and with DEQ On. It will then correctly track with your volume changes and get you the right amount of bass and treble at low, medium, and high levels.
  • You didn't compensate for the surround speaker boost​

    • This is nothing that you did wrong, but Audyssey's DEQ increases surround channel levels relative to the other speakers and causes them to track slightly differently with volume level changes. This will often cause them to become too loud, harming immersion. The best solution to this is to use test tones external to the AVR and a calibrated microphone to level-match the surround speakers to your front speakers at your typical master volume level. You can obtain the Dolby Atmos test videos here to use with an HDMI device such as a Windows PC.

The takeaway from all of this is that Dynamic EQ works best with speakers that measure smooth, flat, and extended, with good power handling to take EQ without complaints. You also need to do the work to find the best in-room locations for subs and speakers, and find the best crossover point. I'll update this in the future if I learn more.
 
Last edited:

abdo123

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The top reasons why you got a bad result with Dynamic EQ:​


  • Your speakers aren't able to handle the bass boost without significant audible distortion​

    • Some smaller speakers may not have a lot more to give and may not take well to being bass boosted. The sound will get too thick or distorted.
  • Your subwoofer(s) aren't able to handle the bass boost without significant audible distortion​

    • Similarly, some subwoofers have limited capability of extending low. When DEQ progressively increases bass levels at lower and lower frequencies, it may push your sub(s) too hard and cause sound quality problems.
  • You have very V-shaped speakers already​

    • If you have speakers that naturally feature a V or U-shaped response in that the bass and treble are already boosted, they are already optimized for low-volume listening. The problem is this curve is baked in and can not be defeated, causing them to be all bass and treble at higher volume levels. While Audyssey can flatten them to some degree, you may find that the bass gets too strong or that the treble gets too bright with DEQ.
  • Your crossover is set too high​

    • This will ask more of your subwoofer and it may not lead to the best sound quality. Your sub will start to sound boomy and thick. DEQ will exaggerate the problems and make it sound worse.
  • Your crossover is set too low​

    • This will ask more of your speakers and it may not lead to the best sound quality. Your speakers may sound too thick and congested, lacking clarity.
  • Your in-room bass response could use some work​

    • If you have large variations in your bass response that aren't curable by room EQ, increasing bass levels will only make them more audible. While Audyssey is great at flattening large peaks, it has its limits. And, no system can boost standing waves, so you'll only strain your equipment the harder you try. You'll need to move subs and seats around to get your phase relationships into a more optimal place and run Audyssey again. Our hearing is very sensitive to missing or exaggerated bass frequencies. Once you get a flatter bass response, your system should take well to Dynamic EQ.
  • You went through the trouble of setting up your system with DEQ turned off, dialed in the perfect bass levels, then turned DEQ on to see what it does. You were overwhelmed with bass and turned it off.​

    • This is an incorrect use of Dynamic EQ. DEQ adds predetermined amounts to specific parts of the frequency response curve based on the master volume level. When you are setting up your system and tuning subwoofer levels, you need to do so at your typical listening volume and with DEQ On. It will then correctly track with your volume changes and get you the right amount of bass and treble at low, medium, and high levels.
  • You didn't compensate for the surround speaker boost​

    • This is nothing that you did wrong, but Audyssey's DEQ increases surround channel levels relative to the other speakers and causes them to track slightly differently with volume level changes. This will often cause them to become too loud, harming immersion. The best solution to this is to use test tones external to the AVR and a calibrated microphone to level-match the surround speakers to your front speakers at your typical master volume level. You can obtain the Dolby Atmos test videos here to use with an HDMI device such as a Windows PC.

The takeaway from all of this is that Dynamic EQ works best with speakers that measure smooth, flat, and extended, with good power handling to take EQ without complaints. You also need to do the work to find the best in-room locations for subs and speakers, and find the best crossover point. I'll update this in the future if I learn more.
I like how most of these points are basically ‘you shouldn’t have bought the no name brand 5.1 set from best buy and expect it to literally rock your world’.
 

Fwiler

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With a Yamaha RX-A3050 (My old receiver), a Denon X3700H, and an Integra DRX 3.4 here are my thoughts.
Comparing only 2.1 as it's easier for me to tell a difference with music I'm familiar with than movies. I have 2 rooms. Media room upstairs and living room downstairs. Both about 15 x 26. Lots of furniture, rugs, curtains, etc. But no room treatments. 3 separate chairs in each location.
I have Klipsch RP600F upstairs and Triangle 40th Anv. edition speakers downstairs. Listening position a little over half way into room. I moved the receivers to both locations.
Both sets play to 50hz very well, also verified by REW sweeps, and my personal preference.
Both rooms measure "ok" without correction, but there were definitely issues on top end and around 500hz.

YPAO- Before and after measurements with REW show what an atrocity it is. It sucked the life out by creating a several dips around the lower mid bass region and upping the high frequencies. It's saving grace is being able to copy the results to another slot and manually adjusting the band, freq, q, and gain. Manually adjusting locations that REW showed issues with turned out fantastic.

XT32- Did an excellent job. I was a little surprised after reading about 1000 pages on different forums. Leaving Audyssey defaults is a bad idea as has been mentioned so many times. Mid bass still was lacking from no correction at all. Verified with REW. No matter what I did, it seemed a little thin. Hard to describe. Not necessarily bad though.

Dirac- This was the most interesting. Tightly focused was not for me. It sounded like the description and soundstage collapsed to nothing. I flipped between focused and wide as best. Default target curve is not for me either. It attenuates the bass too much. Harman +10db sounded good too me, but manual adjustment better. To my ears, the soundstage opened up a lot compared to the other receivers. No REW sweeps explaining this, it's just an observation, and my perception of what I call soundstage (It sounded bigger)


Notes.
So many settings. Turning off things from default within the receivers can be important. (Like anything that says dynamic or auto)
Manually tweak phase on subs to improve response if you don't use other methods to correct a subwoofer.
Don't rely on specific mic locations- experiment. I found placing mic right at ear level for MLP was not always to my preference. Same when taking multiple measurements.
Listen to what you like and don't rely completely on measurements. I took REW sweeps only to see what was happening so I could relate to sound differences and find out what I like and how it would look.
Similar to calibrating my TV. I do not like a perfectly calibrated monitor, I find it very dull. I like more contrast and a rise in color.
The "I want to hear it how the artist intended" is bullshit. 98% listen to how it sounded in a specific recording booth that probably wasn't optimal in the first place, let alone how the instruments would actually sound in room. Some artists are picky, but a majority or recordings are bad because of equipment, or sound engineer. Same with recording booths at a live concert. The recorded sound is completely different than sitting even a few rows back and further where everyone else is listening.

The number one take away- They all needed adjustments and experimentation to get what "I" enjoyed, with "my" speakers, in "my" room.
Did they all sound better with correction? Absolutely. I was a proponent for pure stereo for a long time. My room disagreed :)
It's so unfortunate that a lot of settings and adjustments are ignored by people because they are so focused on graphs instead of listening for what they like.
It's also unfortunate that all of these systems don't have the best explanation for setup and the normal end user will think their product is junk.
There was no standout winner. All could be adjusted to my preference. Different combos of speakers and receivers and rooms makes it very hard for any conclusion.
 

chych7

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XT32- Did an excellent job. I was a little surprised after reading about 1000 pages on different forums. Leaving Audyssey defaults is a bad idea as has been mentioned so many times. Mid bass still was lacking from no correction at all. Verified with REW. No matter what I did, it seemed a little thin. Hard to describe. Not necessarily bad though.

Dirac- This was the most interesting. Tightly focused was not for me. It sounded like the description and soundstage collapsed to nothing. I flipped between focused and wide as best. Default target curve is not for me either. It attenuates the bass too much. Harman +10db sounded good too me, but manual adjustment better. To my ears, the soundstage opened up a lot compared to the other receivers. No REW sweeps explaining this, it's just an observation, and my perception of what I call soundstage (It sounded bigger)

Interesting, I found the same soundstage collapse issue with Dirac. I had only tested tight focus (on PC trial license) when I was trying to compare against Audyssey with the same mic setup pattern; Audyssey seems to benefit from a tighter pattern. From your REW measurements, do you see any significant differences in Clarity C50/D50 or RT60 Topt? These could be indirect measures of soundstage. I'll have to get another Dirac trial and try the focuse/wide configurations.

With Audyssey, did you use the MultEQ-X software? If not, did you correct the distances/time alignment (per avsforum thread)? That can have a direct impact on imaging.
 

Fidji

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Regular Dirac corrects phase only for the main listening position, so if you calculate phase error across several seats it will be higher with correction than something that just uses delays to make sure the incidence of sound occurs at the same time.

Unless you speak from a position of really knowing what MSO is doing, it still might be interesting for you to have a look and buy MiniDsp 2x4 and use MSO to configure your subs and then compare results with Dirac. Results are surprisingly good for multiple seating locations. Really shows it strength once you get to subwoofer count of 4 and more. And the other way round - no DRC will make 2 SW sound good in multiple positions.

MSO is really not about incidence of sound. [Trinnov owner and still have deepest respect for what MSO is able to achieve with MiniDsp] For everybody with multiple subs and probably anything else than DLBC or Optimizer it is a no brainer.
 

tjcinnamon

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With a Yamaha RX-A3050 (My old receiver), a Denon X3700H, and an Integra DRX 3.4 here are my thoughts.
Comparing only 2.1 as it's easier for me to tell a difference with music I'm familiar with than movies. I have 2 rooms. Media room upstairs and living room downstairs. Both about 15 x 26. Lots of furniture, rugs, curtains, etc. But no room treatments. 3 separate chairs in each location.
I have Klipsch RP600F upstairs and Triangle 40th Anv. edition speakers downstairs. Listening position a little over half way into room. I moved the receivers to both locations.
Both sets play to 50hz very well, also verified by REW sweeps, and my personal preference.
Both rooms measure "ok" without correction, but there were definitely issues on top end and around 500hz.

YPAO- Before and after measurements with REW show what an atrocity it is. It sucked the life out by creating a several dips around the lower mid bass region and upping the high frequencies. It's saving grace is being able to copy the results to another slot and manually adjusting the band, freq, q, and gain. Manually adjusting locations that REW showed issues with turned out fantastic.

XT32- Did an excellent job. I was a little surprised after reading about 1000 pages on different forums. Leaving Audyssey defaults is a bad idea as has been mentioned so many times. Mid bass still was lacking from no correction at all. Verified with REW. No matter what I did, it seemed a little thin. Hard to describe. Not necessarily bad though.

Dirac- This was the most interesting. Tightly focused was not for me. It sounded like the description and soundstage collapsed to nothing. I flipped between focused and wide as best. Default target curve is not for me either. It attenuates the bass too much. Harman +10db sounded good too me, but manual adjustment better. To my ears, the soundstage opened up a lot compared to the other receivers. No REW sweeps explaining this, it's just an observation, and my perception of what I call soundstage (It sounded bigger)


Notes.
So many settings. Turning off things from default within the receivers can be important. (Like anything that says dynamic or auto)
Manually tweak phase on subs to improve response if you don't use other methods to correct a subwoofer.
Don't rely on specific mic locations- experiment. I found placing mic right at ear level for MLP was not always to my preference. Same when taking multiple measurements.
Listen to what you like and don't rely completely on measurements. I took REW sweeps only to see what was happening so I could relate to sound differences and find out what I like and how it would look.
Similar to calibrating my TV. I do not like a perfectly calibrated monitor, I find it very dull. I like more contrast and a rise in color.
The "I want to hear it how the artist intended" is bullshit. 98% listen to how it sounded in a specific recording booth that probably wasn't optimal in the first place, let alone how the instruments would actually sound in room. Some artists are picky, but a majority or recordings are bad because of equipment, or sound engineer. Same with recording booths at a live concert. The recorded sound is completely different than sitting even a few rows back and further where everyone else is listening.

The number one take away- They all needed adjustments and experimentation to get what "I" enjoyed, with "my" speakers, in "my" room.
Did they all sound better with correction? Absolutely. I was a proponent for pure stereo for a long time. My room disagreed :)
It's so unfortunate that a lot of settings and adjustments are ignored by people because they are so focused on graphs instead of listening for what they like.
It's also unfortunate that all of these systems don't have the best explanation for setup and the normal end user will think their product is junk.
There was no standout winner. All could be adjusted to my preference. Different combos of speakers and receivers and rooms makes it very hard for any conclusion.
For the XT32 did you compensate for the delay issue that's related to the AVR and not Audyssey?

 

Ruspamen

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Good evening, how do you add a house curve for the subwoofer? do you just apply a tilt, or a parametric filter? must then raise the level of the subwoofer by the same amount of boost applied? thank you
 

HarmonicTHD

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Good evening, how do you add a house curve for the subwoofer? do you just apply a tilt, or a parametric filter? must then raise the level of the subwoofer by the same amount of boost applied? thank you
Yes. Both works.
 

Ruspamen

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Yes. Both works.
If i create a house curve with PEQ, for example of + 6db, should i also increase the trim of the subwoofer by the same amount as ratbudyssey?
Do I have to create the same boost for the front and center speakers to avoid holes in the crossover area?
 

FrantzM

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The top reasons why you got a bad result with Dynamic EQ:​


  • Your speakers aren't able to handle the bass boost without significant audible distortion​

    • Some smaller speakers may not have a lot more to give and may not take well to being bass boosted. The sound will get too thick or distorted.
  • Your subwoofer(s) aren't able to handle the bass boost without significant audible distortion​

    • Similarly, some subwoofers have limited capability of extending low. When DEQ progressively increases bass levels at lower and lower frequencies, it may push your sub(s) too hard and cause sound quality problems.
  • You have very V-shaped speakers already​

    • If you have speakers that naturally feature a V or U-shaped response in that the bass and treble are already boosted, they are already optimized for low-volume listening. The problem is this curve is baked in and can not be defeated, causing them to be all bass and treble at higher volume levels. While Audyssey can flatten them to some degree, you may find that the bass gets too strong or that the treble gets too bright with DEQ.
  • Your crossover is set too high​

    • This will ask more of your subwoofer and it may not lead to the best sound quality. Your sub will start to sound boomy and thick. DEQ will exaggerate the problems and make it sound worse.
  • Your crossover is set too low​

    • This will ask more of your speakers and it may not lead to the best sound quality. Your speakers may sound too thick and congested, lacking clarity.
  • Your in-room bass response could use some work​

    • If you have large variations in your bass response that aren't curable by room EQ, increasing bass levels will only make them more audible. While Audyssey is great at flattening large peaks, it has its limits. And, no system can boost standing waves, so you'll only strain your equipment the harder you try. You'll need to move subs and seats around to get your phase relationships into a more optimal place and run Audyssey again. Our hearing is very sensitive to missing or exaggerated bass frequencies. Once you get a flatter bass response, your system should take well to Dynamic EQ.
  • You went through the trouble of setting up your system with DEQ turned off, dialed in the perfect bass levels, then turned DEQ on to see what it does. You were overwhelmed with bass and turned it off.​

    • This is an incorrect use of Dynamic EQ. DEQ adds predetermined amounts to specific parts of the frequency response curve based on the master volume level. When you are setting up your system and tuning subwoofer levels, you need to do so at your typical listening volume and with DEQ On. It will then correctly track with your volume changes and get you the right amount of bass and treble at low, medium, and high levels.
  • You didn't compensate for the surround speaker boost​

    • This is nothing that you did wrong, but Audyssey's DEQ increases surround channel levels relative to the other speakers and causes them to track slightly differently with volume level changes. This will often cause them to become too loud, harming immersion. The best solution to this is to use test tones external to the AVR and a calibrated microphone to level-match the surround speakers to your front speakers at your typical master volume level. You can obtain the Dolby Atmos test videos here to use with an HDMI device such as a Windows PC.

The takeaway from all of this is that Dynamic EQ works best with speakers that measure smooth, flat, and extended, with good power handling to take EQ without complaints. You also need to do the work to find the best in-room locations for subs and speakers, and find the best crossover point. I'll update this in the future if I learn more.
Thanks for this excellent summary.

I consider DEQ to be essential to the enjoyment of my system. I was reminded this morning at 4:00 AM.. Really low volume, I would say about 50 dB average SPL... Low background noise around 25~30 dB ... I was enjoying music and wasn't missing anything. I don't see any other head-end than Denon in my future.. Hope they don't commit the sin, often discussed in fora, to move to Dirac...

Peace
 

HarmonicTHD

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If i create a house curve with PEQ, for example of + 6db, should i also increase the trim of the subwoofer by the same amount as ratbudyssey?
Do I have to create the same boost for the front and center speakers to avoid holes in the crossover area?
Audyssey takes whatever house or preference curve you define and calculates the settings for all speakers. So no need to adjust center, mains etc. separately. Also, no don’t adjust any dial on the sub, once your system is measured in. Again Audyssey does the adjustment for your house curve.

The only thing you need to look out for during your initial/very first automatic measurement that the sub volume is according to what Audyssey tells you and the result from the sub setting should be below plus 6dB (which it normally is). This way, once you add your additional 6dB house curve you don’t run out of headroom (afik Denon allows max plus 12dB).
 

tjcinnamon

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Thanks for this excellent summary.

I consider DEQ to be essential to the enjoyment of my system. I was reminded this morning at 4:00 AM.. Really low volume, I would say about 50 dB average SPL... Low background noise around 25~30 dB ... I was enjoying music and wasn't missing anything. I don't see any other head-end than Denon in my future.. Hope they don't commit the sin, often discussed in fora, to move to Dirac...

Peace
Yeah, that would be a damn shame. Competition is always a good thing. They are 2 very different products.
 

BigVU's

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Searching the inter-webs for a definitive on something related to the Marantz AV8801. May be a silly question but hoping someone has an answer.

I have the 8801 - it has 4 Ethernet ports - fantastic but I do not have an ethernet cable near and don't really want to run one. Is there any solutions for this? I have wireless in the house. I am hoping its a simple as connecting an access point or something to the 8801 and having it grab the wireless?

Thanks

By the way still looking for those Big VU's!
 

FrantzM

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Searching the inter-webs for a definitive on something related to the Marantz AV8801. May be a silly question but hoping someone has an answer.

I have the 8801 - it has 4 Ethernet ports - fantastic but I do not have an ethernet cable near and don't really want to run one. Is there any solutions for this? I have wireless in the house. I am hoping its a simple as connecting an access point or something to the 8801 and having it grab the wireless?

Thanks

By the way still looking for those Big VU's!
It can be a simple as connecting it to an access point that is capable of Wireless to wired bridging.. Not all are capable.

Many old Linksys are so capable.e.g the very popular WAP54G can do it; other more modern AP are able to play the role of wireless to wired bridge. Involves a bit of configuration but nothing very arcane..
Here's an example

Peace
 

DuncanTodd

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If you used Audyssey MultEQ-X to get the distances, then the smaller numbers it put into the AVR are already correctly modified to account for the AVR's wonky distance->delay conversion.

You do not want to enter the real distances MultEQ-X shows you on the PC into the AVR.

All this talk of manual adjustment is for people who are not using MultEQ-X.
Sorry to bring this up again. I only recently notice the talks about these discoveries.
I'm no power user and don't have MultEQ-X or Umik/REW, I just use the measly Denon mic with the built in Audyssey and the mobile app and I don't do any manual measurement.
Should I be changing anything in the automatic distances results (showing on the AVR OSD menu) I get on the basic 8 point RC process or just leave it as is?
 
Last edited:

Chromatischism

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Sorry to bring this up again. I only recently notice the talks about these discoveries.
I'm no power user and don't have MultEQ-X or Umik/REW, I just use the measly Denon mic with the built in Audyssey and the mobile app and I don't do any manual measurement.
Should I be changing anything in the automatic distances results (showing on the AVR OSD menu) I get on the basic 8 point RC process or just leave it as is?
MultEQ-X is the only thing that has attempted a fix or workaround for this to date. Without it, set your speaker distances to metric and multiply the values by 0.875 to get a more accurate impulse timing.
 
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