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Embracing Simplicity in Audio: Anyone Else Skipping Room Correction, Measurement Microphones, and the Like?

OP
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Or to put it the other way around, I don't think big-old horn speakers and home-made triode amps can bring simplicity to my life.
I understand what you mean. But that's not the point of these nice things either. It's perhaps a kind of luxury.
 

Multicore

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That is of course well thought out and correctly presented. Have you already gone down this route at home?
What have you done to your system, how did you go about it and what means do you use?
We use a MiniDSP Flex in the living room. It suits us very well as a "preamp" and we actually use all the inputs on it.

- Analog input is for the turntable, using the ART Precision phono preamp
- Optical input is for the HDMI switch and audio extractor, which connects to the video streamer (Roku) and a BluRay/DVD player.
- Coax connects to the Wiim Pro audio streamer (for lossless streaming from Amazon Music and my media server with ripped CDs)
- Bluetooth is useful for the phone, e.g. podcasts and audiobooks
- USB connects to the Raspberry Pi which runs Volumio, which we don't really need any more given the WiiM and bluetooth

Output of the MiniDSP Flex goes to a @Buckeye Amps Hypex 250 Wpc amp which feeds Ascend Sierra Tower loud speakers.

We think it sounds real good. After we got the MiniDSP and set it up using measurements there was no longer any need to adjust the volume control while watching TV and movies. Previously it was necessary because if we set the volume loud enough to hear the dramatically quiet dialog (directors love it when actors whisper) then the dramatic music and dramatic sound effects are too loud. I don't know why for sure but I take this as a sign that something is "better" that the problem is gone. It is certainly more comfortable.

In my office/study/studio I use Equalizer APO on the Windows OS. I need to do the room EQ again because we just installed two rugs in there, each thick wool rug from India 3 x 2.4m. One is on the wall. Once again, this was not simple but now it is done and we like it. What do you think?

1700854694460.jpeg


I like the engineering principle that things should be as simple as possible but not more simple than that. In other words, simplicity/complexity is constrained by requirements. In the case of high quality audio reproduction the requirements are stringent and the acoustical problems are complex. I am grateful that we can use measurements and equalizers to sort out some of the problems.
 
OP
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computer-audiophile

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We use a MiniDSP Flex in the living room. It suits us very well as a "preamp" and we actually use all the inputs on it.

- Analog input is for the turntable, using the ART Precision phono preamp
- Optical input is for the HDMI switch and audio extractor, which connects to the video streamer (Roku) and a BluRay/DVD player.
- Coax connects to the Wiim Pro audio streamer (for lossless streaming from Amazon Music and my media server with ripped CDs)
- Bluetooth is useful for the phone, e.g. podcasts and audiobooks
- USB connects to the Raspberry Pi which runs Volumio, which we don't really need any more given the WiiM and bluetooth

Output of the MiniDSP Flex goes to a @Buckeye Amps Hypex 250 Wpc amp which feeds Ascend Sierra Tower loud speakers.

We think it sounds real good. After we got the MiniDSP and set it up using measurements there was no longer any need to adjust the volume control while watching TV and movies. Previously it was necessary because if we set the volume loud enough to hear the dramatically quiet dialog (directors love it when actors whisper) then the dramatic music and dramatic sound effects are too loud. I don't know why for sure but I take this as a sign that something is "better" that the problem is gone. It is certainly more comfortable.

In my office/study/studio I use Equalizer APO on the Windows OS. I need to do the room EQ again because we just installed two rugs in there, each thick wool rug from India 3 x 2.4m. One is on the wall. Once again, this was not simple but now it is done and we like it. What do you think?

View attachment 329098

I like the engineering principle that things should be as simple as possible but not more simple than that. In other words, simplicity/complexity is constrained by requirements. In the case of high quality audio reproduction the requirements are stringent and the acoustical problems are complex. I am grateful that we can use measurements and equalizers to sort out some of the problems.
Thank you for the detailed answer and the picture. I see it as a well thought out and elaborated modern system. I always like to see representations of real world systems in the forum. I can usually do something with that.
 

JeffS7444

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Dirac is more advanced than you believe. They use their own type of digital filters, not available anywhere else, and their algorithm also implements phase corrections. There are interviews online with more details. I'm on the road so currently I can't provide any references.
Control over phase is a common feature in multi-amp systems. Or are you implying that DL can also correct for phase error which is literally hard-wired into a passive crossover? If so, sweet!

Parametric or otherwise, I shall be happy to try DL when I am in the mood to spend some $ for new audio toys.
 
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AlfaNovember

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we just installed two rugs in there, each thick wool rug from India 3 x 2.4m. One is on the wall. Once again, this was not simple but now it is done and we like it. What do you think?

@Multicore, Beautiful room! Will you share how you mounted the rug? I'm using carpet tackstrip in a similar capacity, but not entirely thrilled with the result.
 

wwenze

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Embrace simplicity

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Nothing is truly simple if it has to function. Once it has attained sufficient functionality, then sure go nuts with the discussion on how much more complexity is needed if it does not change the outcome.
 

fpitas

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fatoldgit

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Why isnt DSP room correction simple?

In my case three components before the speakers:

PC -> DAC/PRE/EQ -> AMP -> SPEAKERS.

DSP is done at 96/32 so has lots of head room for my 44.1/16 source material (i.e. no reduction in sound quality) noting I do upsample to 48/24 in my PC prior to sending to DAC/PRE/EQ

Sure implementing DSP can be a pain BUT the results are better with than without... even in a treated room as I have.

Peter
 
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Salt

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In short: if You like what You have, it's ok (why should it be not?).

Something more:
My first real setup in 80'th was a receiver (of french provinience), with lots of electronic stuff inside and, of course, treble-bass-loudness with loudness on - of course ;).
Enjoyed listening with some cannotremberspeakers, as it sounded better than in my car from tape :facepalm: .
At late eightees then met a guy who was doing DIY speakers and propagating the 'New English Style', meaning no EQ by default at any instance, the idea of the amplificating wire, that worked fine in his studio, but not everywhere.
So I made up some DIY with speakers since then, always with spot on the room they have to work in.
But even with mostly appropriate speakers not all issues are solved (mainly reflections and room modes), and the intention to correct these issues is, in my opinion, the reason for rolling tubes-OpAmps-wires-Cables-Preamp-Amp-Speakers-Source-?CableLifters?-?Animators?-?Klangschalen?- and so on, mainly called 'Audiophoolery'. Don't see foolish behaviour at all though, as there is struggling for best performance. Completely ignoring you can't grab the problem at this end is substituted by press and industry, as that's where the bucks go to in this market.

Baseline:
If the sound is full of pleasure: enjoy.
If the sound seems to lack something and displeasures: a Mic and DSP may help (supposed source, wiring and amp are not suspicious of failure)
 

Mart68

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You think you have no issues with your room or measurements show now issues? I guess 90% of West European houses, typically all concrete and brick and modest dimensions, has issues.
look for one where they've knocked two rooms into one and laid a concrete floor. Then furnish it like it's still 1975 (plus a bit of discrete treatment).

Not saying I could not make it better still with a bit of DRC but I'm not feeling the need and if I was I certainly would do it.
 

Keith_W

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A friend of mine has a 3 component system - computer, Kii 3's, and subwoofers. All tied together with DSP implemented by the PC.

I suppose it is conceptually similar to my system, which has 2 speakers, 2 subwoofers, 8 channels of power amplification, DAC, and PC. But it gets rather annoying having to flip all the power switches on. All my friend needs to do is turn on his PC, everything else powers on automatically when it detects signal. It would be nice to automate it with Google Home or Alexa, something I am going to investigate ... eventually.

I think that any system that aspires towards "ultimate" sound must include DSP. This is especially true for us objectivists, I mean we know that it brings an improvement, yet some of us don't do it.
 

Anton D

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I've always considered myself an early adopter, perhaps even an avant-gardist, when it comes to hi-fi technology. Over the course of the hi-fi journey, there have been paradigm shifts – the transition to CDs, later embracing streaming, and the shift from bulky floor-standing speakers to sleek active monitors, just to name a few.

In my experience, I've found success in keeping my signal paths straightforward. I've been hesitant to transform my regular home listening environment into an acoustic laboratory with heavy computer usage or reliance on proprietary DSP products. Call me old-fashioned, but I value the simplicity of my setup.

Are there others out there who, like me, choose to forgo room correction, measurement microphones, and other sophisticated tools in favor of a more straightforward audio experience? I'd love to hear about your approaches, experiences, and the reasoning behind your decision.

Is simplicity still a virtue in the ever-evolving landscape of audio technology?
With you 100%.

Your hobby is your hobby, your take is perfect!
 

Multicore

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@Multicore, Beautiful room! Will you share how you mounted the rug? I'm using carpet tackstrip in a similar capacity, but not entirely thrilled with the result.
Thank you.

The rug is stapled to a 2x4 cut to the same length as the rug. The 2x4 rests on four brackets mounted to the wall and is fastened to the two end brackets with screws. So there's approx 2 inch gap between the wall and the rug, which allows to access the electric outlets. I'll try to get a photo of the mounting.

1700860694549.jpeg


The 2x4 is not straight and is warped so it doesn't sit square on the bracket at this end. We will have to wait and see if the torque from the weight of the rug on the front pulls it out.
 
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Fahzz

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I don't use room correction because I've never gotten better results that doing it by ear, and my hearing isn't great*. I've used Audyssey, and whatever the Pioneer flavor was called in my AVR's. My listening space is such that both speakers must be placed in the same corner of the room.
When I last ran Audyssey for multi-channel, the result was terrible, and I haven't bothered with it since.
When I used it for 2.1, music sounded fine, but no different than without using it. I just move the speakers a bit until the vocals are dead center, and I'm done. Sounds great to me. To each his own I guess.
* I never thought of it before, but how do these programs know what someone's individual hearing profile is, and correct accordingly?
 

jsrtheta

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There was a time when practically every decent hi-fi rack had an equaliser with lots of sliders. I had that too, of course. Later came a time when even simple tone controls and filters disappeared again. Today I don't have any tone controls in my system. I could of course loop in a digital equaliser in the software when streaming, but I don't do that.
I have three old analog equalizers (two are spares). My computer and my stereo have never met. Only one piece of my kit was purchased new.

Suits me fine.
 

Timcognito

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I never thought of it before, but how do these programs know what someone's individual hearing profile is, and correct accordingly?
They don't because they would make it sound bad for others with better hearing. But it's a good question for headphone users.
 

gnarly

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Are there others out there who, like me, choose to forgo room correction, measurement microphones, and other sophisticated tools in favor of a more straightforward audio experience? I'd love to hear about your approaches, experiences, and the reasoning behind your decision.
I've not tried the room correction path yet. .
But not due to a desire for simplicity; my desire has been for i think is a more straightforward audio experience.

I want the best speaker I've ever heard...and forget what room it's in. Some rooms will work better with it than others, do doubt.
But I don't care about that. In fact, my #1 test is how does the speaker sound outdoors...devoid of a room.
I think our brain takes care of most the room stuff...and room correction is mainly just a room EQ to keep the brain from working hard.

To that end, the DIY speakers & processing I've come up with are probably some of the most complex likely to be encountered.
Tremendous amounts of measuring and development. Along with the ability to adjust/EQ them easily in real time for source material variations.
And is working for me. Whether outdoors, in-room at "sweet spot", in the next room, ....doesn't matter..... the complexity and work have been worth it.

And I guess I really have two audio modes...one is background/casual listening...and heck yeah, keep that as simple as it gets.
But when I want to rock, or want smooth emotional bliss.....I need the ability to conduct my system. Cause it will do whatever i direct...
 

Timcognito

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I know this conversation has its focus on DSP vs none, but real simplicity is coming from one box solutions like Lynigdorf and miniDSP with DSP, amplification, streaming and voice control in one box or active speakers with similar features. With with good test scores, higher power, smaller box, internet enabled, tablet UI, multifunction electronics and integrators like WiiM offering sophisticated products at mass market prices, this seems where the market may end up. The thing that will most likely not change is having to have a sub or two.
 
OP
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I know this conversation has its focus on DSP vs none, but real simplicity is coming from one box solutions like Lynigdorf and miniDSP with DSP, amplification, streaming and voice control in one box or active speakers with similar features. With with good test scores, higher power, smaller box, internet enabled, tablet UI, multifunction electronics and integrators like WiiM offering sophisticated products at mass market prices, this seems where the market may end up. The thing that will most likely not change is having to have a sub or two.
A good look into the future. Things simply need to be even better, more sophisticated, cheaper and easier to handle, then it will become a natural purchase option for a new acquisition. At this point, I just don't want to be an early adopter.
 
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