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Do Room EQ ruin stereo soundstage and speaker coherency ?

MasterApex

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I played with Audyssey for multichannel HT setup and it sounds different. Measurement showed flatter and the movie surround presentation has slight difference but I can say one is better .. maybe my room does not have major resonance issue (14.5 x 21 x 10).

However, when playing stereo reproduction from good high resolution (sacd, dsf file) songs that are properly mastered by good recording engineers (like Telerac 1812 overture , Diana Krall SACD, etc) , the Audyssey processed sound seems to ruin the steep soundstage .
Does anyone else notice this ?
Does the Audyssey resample the original digital bitstream ? Or affecting the phase coherency of the original sound ?
Thanks
 

rkeman

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Acoustic and electronic room correction is indispensable in most domestic listening rooms. Audyssey XT32 is a reasonably good system and benefits from careful optimization. Try to define an 18” cube surrounding the principle listening position (ear level in the center of the cube). Imaging is nearly always spot on. Dirac Live, Trinnov and Anthem Room Correction can offer various improvements in performance compared to Audyssey in my experience.
 

Weeb Labs

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I played with Audyssey for multichannel HT setup and it sounds different. Measurement showed flatter and the movie surround presentation has slight difference but I can say one is better .. maybe my room does not have major resonance issue (14.5 x 21 x 10).

However, when playing stereo reproduction from good high resolution (sacd, dsf file) songs that are properly mastered by good recording engineers (like Telerac 1812 overture , Diana Krall SACD, etc) , the Audyssey processed sound seems to ruin the steep soundstage .
Does anyone else notice this ?
Does the Audyssey resample the original digital bitstream ? Or affecting the phase coherency of the original sound ?
Thanks
The problem that you are describing is caused by Audyssey's tendency to assign slightly different distances to each of the front channels during calibration. Manually setting the front left and right channels to exactly the same distance value will solve this problem.
 

Ata

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I played with Audyssey for multichannel HT setup and it sounds different. Measurement showed flatter and the movie surround presentation has slight difference but I can say one is better .. maybe my room does not have major resonance issue (14.5 x 21 x 10).

However, when playing stereo reproduction from good high resolution (sacd, dsf file) songs that are properly mastered by good recording engineers (like Telerac 1812 overture , Diana Krall SACD, etc) , the Audyssey processed sound seems to ruin the steep soundstage .
Does anyone else notice this ?
Does the Audyssey resample the original digital bitstream ? Or affecting the phase coherency of the original sound ?
Thanks

What is the AVR and Audyssey level in play? I used to have an old Denon 890 (basically 2310) and Audyssey was not good. I setup a Denon X2500H with Audyssey MultEQ XT this week, to replace my Sony STR-DH1080, and very happy with the results for movies, did not have enough time to audition audio performance but initial impressions are it had done a good job under the room frequency (about 200Hz for my room).

The key is to do a few things right in terms of the actual calibration, I followed the guide from this video:


Next step is to compare the Audyssey vs Pure Direct, and Audyssey vs Dirac Live on my Mac.
 

Thomas_A

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I played with Audyssey for multichannel HT setup and it sounds different. Measurement showed flatter and the movie surround presentation has slight difference but I can say one is better .. maybe my room does not have major resonance issue (14.5 x 21 x 10).

However, when playing stereo reproduction from good high resolution (sacd, dsf file) songs that are properly mastered by good recording engineers (like Telerac 1812 overture , Diana Krall SACD, etc) , the Audyssey processed sound seems to ruin the steep soundstage .
Does anyone else notice this ?
Does the Audyssey resample the original digital bitstream ? Or affecting the phase coherency of the original sound ?
Thanks

There are many settings than could mess up the sound. You need to measure the results before and after. I only use it for equalising below 150 Hz or so.
 

Benedium

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I found that once I have set the right crossover for fronts at 90hz and surrounds at 120hz, spotify stereo music upmixed to dts neural x sounds very similar to stereo sound mode but more immersive especially for bass frequencies. I have Audessy On and Dyn EQ ON. Midrange correction Off for front and center but On for surrounds based on what I see in the Before curve.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I played with Audyssey for multichannel HT setup and it sounds different.
You are really asking about Audyssey, so you need to tell us what hardware it is on and what version of Audyssey you are using. In addition, note that almost all Audyssey implementations will process audio at 24/48 regardless of the source resolution.
As another has indicated, the newest versions of Audyssey XT32 with the external app are a significant advance on all prior versions.

OTOH, your thread asks: "Do Room EQ ruin stereo soundstage and speaker coherency ?" My answer to that more general question is that it should not and it need not.
 
OP
M

MasterApex

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Thanks for the replies and feedback.
My hardware is Marantz AV7706 as pre-pro to both HT and Stereo.
My sources options are: Sony 4k player, Oppo BD105D used for SACD and playback DSF files, Apple TV 4k
Using A pair Levinson for Front Speakers and Monolith 7x for the rest of HT speakers.

Playing Stereo via AV77006, I have options with one button switch to :
1) Direct Mode, no Audyssey
2) Stereo, Audyssey to 'REF' profile (less bright)
3) Stereo, Audyssey to 'Flat' profile (more bright)

Perhaps my AV7706 Audyssey is not a "Class-A ranking" in-room correction tool so it does degrade the Stereo soundstage and coherency?
 

Kal Rubinson

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However, when playing stereo reproduction from good high resolution (sacd, dsf file) songs that are properly mastered by good recording engineers (like Telerac 1812 overture , Diana Krall SACD, etc) , the Audyssey processed sound seems to ruin the steep soundstage .
Does anyone else notice this ?
Since Audyssey cannot work on DSD, your Marantz converts it to PCM 24/48.
 
OP
M

MasterApex

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Is there other room correction EQ tools that can preserve stereo DSD sound quality ?
 

Weeb Labs

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Nothing audible is lost in the conversion between DSD and PCM. I would suggest that you have a look at the channel distance configuration mentioned earlier, before seeking a more exotic explanation.
 
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NTK

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Is there other room correction EQ tools that can preserve stereo DSD sound quality ?
No. You cannot do any meaningful signal processing with DSD.

[Edit] The answer is actually yes. Convert to PCM and then run the signal processing. There is no loss in "sound quality" in the conversion.
 
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OP
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MasterApex

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Nothing audible is lost in the conversion between DSD and PCM. I would suggest that you have a look at the channel distance configuration mentioned earlier, before seeking a more exotic explanation.

I checked the distance settings.
All speakers (except for sub) are good , within 1ft of my manual ruler measurement
The sub (next to the front) is showing 6ft further than actual , not sure why but I am not using sub during stereo dsd playback.
My sub is Velodyne DD18 , is pre-calibrated with its own EQ software , set at 70Hz, 24dB LPF slope.
 

Kal Rubinson

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Thank You
That explains why I hear the loss in sound quality.
Perhaps but I doubt it. You said you "played with Audyssey for multichannel HT setup." How? Did you use the app? Did you look at the measurements and make decisions about how to configure the EQ?
Is there other room correction EQ tools that can preserve stereo DSD sound quality ?
No.
 

Weeb Labs

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I checked the distance settings.
All speakers (except for sub) are good , within 1ft of my manual ruler measurement
The sub (next to the front) is showing 6ft further than actual , not sure why but I am not using sub during stereo dsd playback.
My sub is Velodyne DD18 , is pre-calibrated with its own EQ software , set at 70Hz, 24dB LPF slope.
For music listening, the front left and right channels must both display exactly the same distance value, to the second decimal place. If the left and right channel settings are not exactly the same, it produces a problem very similar to the one which you have described.

Regarding the subwoofer; this is to be expected. The DD18's onboard DSP introduces additional latency to the signal path, which is what the AVR's distance values represent. In the case of your passive speakers, the only source of latency is their physical distance from the microphone.
 
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OP
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MasterApex

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Perhaps but I doubt it. You said you "played with Audyssey for multichannel HT setup." How? Did you use the app? Did you look at the measurements and make decisions about how to configure the EQ?

No.
I use the iPhone muktiEQ app.
Follow its instruction for measurement
I selected the high frequency roll off 1 as target
I did not do any editing for the curve
I exported the result back to AVR

During HT playback , I use yellow button as direct mode and red button as Audyssey .
I would manually go to setting / audio to select the Audyssey as either : Reference, Flat, L/R bypass .

For stereo playback , I use yellow button as direct mode , green button as stereo with Audyssey. I would manually go to setting/ audio to select Audyssey as either : Reference or Flat.
 

Kal Rubinson

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I use the iPhone muktiEQ app.
Follow its instruction for measurement
I selected the high frequency roll off 1 as target
I did not do any editing for the curve
I exported the result back to AVR
That's OK but many have found that one can get much improved results with some hands-on work. For example, they defeat the MRC and/or they limit the upper range correction after inspection the measurements. I set the upper limit at between 300-500Hz with my MA Silver 8s because they are pretty flat above that and do not need corrections there. I pick the precise frequency at a point where the target curve intersects with the FR of the speakers. There are other strategies. Think of Audyssey XT32 + the App as a tool kit, not a tool.
 
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Ata

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I use the iPhone muktiEQ app.
Follow its instruction for measurement
I selected the high frequency roll off 1 as target
I did not do any editing for the curve
I exported the result back to AVR

During HT playback , I use yellow button as direct mode and red button as Audyssey .
I would manually go to setting / audio to select the Audyssey as either : Reference, Flat, L/R bypass .

For stereo playback , I use yellow button as direct mode , green button as stereo with Audyssey. I would manually go to setting/ audio to select Audyssey as either : Reference or Flat.

The video I linked contains a lot of things you need to do right in order to guarantee good results, including 5+ measurements but no further than 50cm from the MLP, getting rid of the mid-frequency loss (yuck!), having a quiet room, etc. If you do all of that the results will be very good to excellent.

On my Denon x2500h there is also the option to have L/R mains w/o Audyssey correction, the rest of the system with -- that would be mostly OK if you cross over @100Hz or higher. I assume that is an option on your Marantz, as it is a x4x00h equivalent? If so, may be an option to consider.

Audyssey definitely sounds different from Dirac, I think that is because it does not do timing based correction.
 
OP
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MasterApex

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.
Regarding the subwoofer; this is to be expected. The DD18's onboard DSP introduces additional latency to the signal path, which is what the AVR's distance values represent. In the case of your passive speakers, the only source of latency is their physical distance from the microphone.
Thanks…I use this info for manual setup , adding the sub distance does make the bass more in-phase with front,
 
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