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Is Measuring Room Acoustics "Worth It" If You Don't Have Audyssey or Other Active Room EQ?

nobbyv

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Apr 21, 2020
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#1
I hope this doesn't come across as a loaded question from a new member. But I have a system that I pieced together that does not include any kind of room EQ abilities, and I'd rather not swap out any components at this time. So I'm wondering how much value there would be in getting a mic and running through amirm's excellent tutorials on measuring room acoustics. If I'm "limited" to speaker placement and maybe acoustic treatment changes ONLY, am I likely to experience significant improvements? I guess what I'm asking is: take someone who feels they made dramatic improvements to their system through a combination of EQ, placement and room treatment. In general, what percentage of that improvement would you say each of those categories gets you? Is 75% of the improvement due to room EQ? Or are they generally about the same? Or is speaker placement the largest driving factor?
 

Hipper

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#4
Measuring devices are tools to help solve problems. Finding out the frequency response and other parameters like decay times could help you with positioning of speakers, subs if you have them, and listening chair, and placement of any room treatment. It can also identify the sort of room treatment you might need.

The best way is with a microphone and some software like Room EQ Wizard (REW) but there are simpler methods that should help you. Test tones and your ears, test tones and a sound pressure level meter, or even just playing a bassy song. Bass is the major challenge in all typical listening rooms.

To experiment, play something with significant bass and walk around the room. The bass will sound different in different places. Do the same by just moving your listening chair forwards or backwards. This illustrates how positioning can affect bass particularly and that there must be a best position. A good start for typical speakers in a rectangular room is this:

http://www.barrydiamentaudio.com/monitoring.htm

This is how I started improving things. Then someone suggested room treatment and I discovered digital equalisers I've been hooked ever since.

I now have lots of treatment from GIK and a Behringer DEQ2496. I used REW to position, add room treatment, and create filters to add to the Behringer. I concentrated particularly on the 0-300 Hz region of the frequency response.

There's lots of reading if you are interested:

https://gikacoustics.co.uk/

http://realtraps.com/

Note they have a free downloadable CD of test tones:

http://realtraps.com/test-cd.htm

And there's this book, often quoted on here:

Sound Reproduction
 
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#5
I would echo what has been said about getting REW and measuring. It was a lot of fun for me and you can quickly and objectively optimize the speaker/ listener placement in a room. I have a modest amount of DIY room treatment and chose not to EQ.
 

Wes

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#7
Good. Now you need to decide whether to do one speaker at a time or together.

And whether to move the listening chair out of the way or put the mic right where your head would be.
 

DonH56

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#9
As has been said, even without EQ you can adjust speakers and listening position(s) to optimize the sound. You can also add treatment (absorbers/diffusers) to change the sound. Worst-case you'll discover you really do need (or just want, raises hand) some sort of equalizer to smooth and/or tailor the response to your taste. Personally I favor a few bands of parametric EQ(*) over a multiband graphic equalizer. That way you can dial it in to suit your room and taste, perhaps a high'ish-Q (narrow) filter for a bass peak, and broader filter to tone down the midrange/treble region if the room is too "bright" sonically.

FWIWFM - Don

(*) A parametric EQ allows you to adjust its parameters such as amplitude (boost/cut), center frequency, and Q (bandwidth of the filter). A graphic EQ has fixed frequency centers and bandwidths with variable amplitude so is less flexible. Inevitably, IME, the frequencies I need to "touch" fall between filter frequency centers and I end up having to overcorrect some and undercorrect others.
 
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#10
From what I read, using that Audessey tool resamples EVERYthing to 48Khz when it's active, running it through various processing rules etc. My buddy has a Marantz and used it a few times. In some locations in his living room it did sound "different" due to positioning of his couches/speakers, but it was software boosted. It didn't sound horrible however..
 
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