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Looking for post Neumann MA-1 auto alignment adjustment recommendations

camel

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I've done mostly reading here for awhile and hoping to tap some of the incredible knowledge here on how to get started.

I'd love some help this curve. I'm looking for something a bit more for playback and generic music, movie, and game use. As aligned from the software it's far too bright and forward for me from the KH80s. I know "harman" curve is thrown around a lot but would that make this system even more "bright" with it bringing up the higher frequencies? What target PEQ curve and values would you all suggest below?

I'm getting ready to move in a few months and not looking to adjust my room and hoping trying some additional curves can help bring down the fatiguing nature of the speakers I'm experiencing right now. Thanks for any and all suggestions!1

System
Two KH80s mounted on VESA arms above monitors in a 40/40/40 inch triangle from normal listening position
One KH750 sub placed on the right side, floor, about 60" away from right ear.

flat-curve-try1.png
 

dualazmak

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At least for me, it would be very difficult to provide you proper suggestions since I know nothing about your present and coming new room environment and room acoustics. I assume you would need to have subjective and objective (with microphone at your listening position) many try-and-error procedures at your new venue, I believe.

The only quite general suggestion I would like to give you here right now is you would be better to add another KH750 subwoofer, and better to have L&R subwoofers fed with L-channel and R-channel; the two "stereo" subwoofers would give you much more flexibilities for achieving excellent stereo imaging/perspectives for you together with the main SPs.

And let me also write here for you that "SPL house curve" is only one of the many factors for excellent music reproduction by your audio system; the room acoustics including furniture alignment and carpet on the floor would really "do matter", as well as the proper time alignment (group delay) between SP drivers, especially between subwoofers and main SPs, is another critical factor.

You also need to have your own consistent and preferred "audio sampler/reference playlist" (just e.g. ref. here and here) for your optimization procedures at your new venue in comparison with your past and present setup.
 

HarmonicTHD

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I've done mostly reading here for awhile and hoping to tap some of the incredible knowledge here on how to get started.

I'd love some help this curve. I'm looking for something a bit more for playback and generic music, movie, and game use. As aligned from the software it's far too bright and forward for me from the KH80s. I know "harman" curve is thrown around a lot but would that make this system even more "bright" with it bringing up the higher frequencies? What target PEQ curve and values would you all suggest below?

I'm getting ready to move in a few months and not looking to adjust my room and hoping trying some additional curves can help bring down the fatiguing nature of the speakers I'm experiencing right now. Thanks for any and all suggestions!1

System
Two KH80s mounted on VESA arms above monitors in a 40/40/40 inch triangle from normal listening position
One KH750 sub placed on the right side, floor, about 60" away from right ear.

View attachment 327222
Nah. Look up the Harman preference curve. It describes the anechoic frequency response not the in room frequency response. Meaning the in room frequency response of an anechoically flat speaker rolls of usually between 0.5 to 1 dB/octave depending on room and listening distance. Secondly the majority of the listeners preferred a slight elevation in bass.

Your curve is flat in room and not meeting Harman and it is therefore not surprising you perceive it as „bright“.

Why don’t you start with the factory default from Neumann MA1 that usually is pretty close to Harman. And from there you can fine tune to your individual preference.

Remember Harman is not a must nor something which everyone must love. It is, what the majority preferred and not each individual (in mathematical terms: there is a significant standard deviation to the average listener).

(BTW: I have the same speaker as you and MA1 for my office and I use the MA1 standard).
 

radix

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Is the only way to change the MA1 target curve the PEQ? If so, do you have a PEQ recommendation for a 4dB or 6dB Harman curve?

I think when I did this, I just dragged down some of the target curve handles ~0.5dB, then put in a HF shelf.
 
OP
camel

camel

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At least for me, it would be very difficult to provide you proper suggestions since I know nothing about your present and coming new room environment and room acoustics. I assume you would need to have subjective and objective (with microphone at your listening position) many try-and-error procedures at your new venue, I believe.

The only quite general suggestion I would like to give you here right now is you would be better to add another KH750 subwoofer, and better to have L&R subwoofers fed with L-channel and R-channel; the two "stereo" subwoofers would give you much more flexibilities for achieving excellent stereo imaging/perspectives for you together with the main SPs.

And let me also write here for you that "SPL house curve" is only one of the many factors for excellent music reproduction by your audio system; the room acoustics including furniture alignment and carpet on the floor would really "do matter", as well as the proper time alignment (group delay) between SP drivers, especially between subwoofers and main SPs, is another critical factor.

You also need to have your own consistent and preferred "audio sampler/reference playlist" (just e.g. ref. here and here) for your optimization procedures at your new venue in comparison with your past and present setup.
Appreciate the suggestion and great insight. Unfortunately I’m not going to buy two of these subs, this isn’t intended to be my main listening system and cost is already higher than I’d like.
 
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camel

camel

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Nah. Look up the Harman preference curve. It describes the anechoic frequency response not the in room frequency response. Meaning the in room frequency response of an anechoically flat speaker rolls of usually between 0.5 to 1 dB/octave depending on room and listening distance. Secondly the majority of the listeners preferred a slight elevation in bass.

Your curve is flat in room and not meeting Harman and it is therefore not surprising you perceive it as „bright“.

Why don’t you start with the factory default from Neumann MA1 that usually is pretty close to Harman. And from there you can fine tune to your individual preference.

Remember Harman is not a must nor something which everyone must love. It is, what the majority preferred and not each individual (in mathematical terms: there is a significant standard deviation to the average listener).

(BTW: I have the same speaker as you and MA1 for my office and I use the MA1 standard).
By “standard” I’m guessing you mean out of the box? I did use them that way for a couple of days. It felt like a waste considering I own the ma1 but ultimately the sound is most important of course. I think I may play with a standard setup without network control and play with the gain a bit to bring down the 80s and the sub up which is one of the problems I had with the standard setup. Overall the sound of the auto aligned system did sound better just way more fatiguing so I was hoping a tweak to that may help.
 
OP
camel

camel

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Is the only way to change the MA1 target curve the PEQ? If so, do you have a PEQ recommendation for a 4dB or 6dB Harman curve?

I think when I did this, I just dragged down some of the target curve handles ~0.5dB, then put in a HF shelf.

As far as I can tell with a network ma1 controlled system the only options you’re given are peq and some sort of “ssystem” spl level. Wish they’d open up more of the settings (like per speaker gain or whatever else they’re adjusting). Guessing the question about the harman curve was for one of the others. I’m also interested in that answer. :)
 

HarmonicTHD

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By “standard” I’m guessing you mean out of the box? I did use them that way for a couple of days. It felt like a waste considering I own the ma1 but ultimately the sound is most important of course. I think I may play with a standard setup without network control and play with the gain a bit to bring down the 80s and the sub up which is one of the problems I had with the standard setup. Overall the sound of the auto aligned system did sound better just way more fatiguing so I was hoping a tweak to that may help.
No I mean the default / standard preference curve setting of the MA1. This should not result in such flat frequency response but in an even roll off (as described above) towards the higher frequencies. And therefore sound less bright or fatiguing as you described it.

Maybe post some screenshots of your MA1 setup screens.
 
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OP
camel

camel

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No I mean the default / standard preference curve setting of the MA1. This should not result in such flat frequency response but in an even roll off (as described above) towards the higher frequencies. And therefore sound less bright or fatiguing as you described it.

Maybe post some screenshots of your MA1 setup screens.
The screenshot I posted above is the default curve with no modifications from me? That’s the only setting screen I’m aware of and what was displayed after alignment. It’s extremely bright to my ears.

The other setup screens are just mic measurements at various spots without much information.

Maybe that’s a feature of the multichannel license version? I don’t see anything in the manual about choosing any specific curve or target.
 
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radix

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I'm on 1.5.3.2037. The default Neumann target curve is a slight bass boost and flat everywhere else. Here is my uncorrected room showing the default target curve. I use an 80dB output level as that works best for my listening distance and means I'm usually around -30 to -20 dB on my DAC (RME ADI-2 DAC FS).

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 10.00.09 AM.png

This is my corrected room with default curve

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 10.00.50 AM.png


This is my corrected room with a harman-like curve. I did this as +0 dB at 1 kHz, then +0.25 dB/octave below and -0.25dB/octave above with Q 0.5. I then used a +4 dB and -4 dB shelf, also with Q 0.5.

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 10.01.52 AM.png


@camel you had asked in another message bout LED control. If you click on the "gear" you can adjust things like LED brightness and auto-standby. Personally, I have all the speakers set to "network control ON, auto-off OFF" and use a smart power strip to turn them on/off with my DAC's power.

Screen Shot 2023-11-20 at 10.03.03 AM.png
 

radix

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From the MA1 manual, it appears the software will pick a target curve depending on the room. Emphasis added.

Displaying the measurement results


After the measurement procedure the system will display the results.

The following curves are displayed:
  • Orange curve:
This shows the room-specific target response used by the system to align the measurement results.

Please note that this curve is not necessarily ruler flat. The system will create a target response optimized for the character of the room. This target response depends on the acoustical behavior of the room, on the distance between the loudspeakers and the listening position and on the placement of the loudspeakers in the room.

  • White curve:
This curve shows the combined magnitude response of the entire system. It represents the acoustical result after the alignment.
 
OP
camel

camel

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From the MA1 manual, it appears the software will pick a target curve depending on the room. Emphasis added.
This is what I see as well, the only "settings" they provide int he software is the ability to change the PEQ settings across 8 frequencies with 2 high/low shelves.

The "curve" target I received was identical to yours, slight bump on low shelf, everything else flat.
I appreciate you sharing all your settings. They are close to the path I started to take as well. I play with that direction more when I get home.
I'm curious what the output level actually does, lowers the gain across the entire system? (I'd love to lower the gain just on the 80s).

I did see the LED options in the desktop software (not only the IOS app), but thanks for the heads up! I think this is a known issue still, but auto standby still sucks and seems unreliable unfortunately. Not to mention they don't give you any adjustment settings at all. I may look into your power option, but that's more things strapped to my standing desk I'll have to deal with.
 

radix

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The gain control is to set the SPL at 1m for a 0 dBu input, which for me I choose to be 80 dB. I think it defaults to 100 dB, which is more like what one would want for doing movies.
 

DJBonoBobo

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I've done mostly reading here for awhile and hoping to tap some of the incredible knowledge here on how to get started.

I'd love some help this curve. I'm looking for something a bit more for playback and generic music, movie, and game use. As aligned from the software it's far too bright and forward for me from the KH80s. I know "harman" curve is thrown around a lot but would that make this system even more "bright" with it bringing up the higher frequencies? What target PEQ curve and values would you all suggest below?

I'm getting ready to move in a few months and not looking to adjust my room and hoping trying some additional curves can help bring down the fatiguing nature of the speakers I'm experiencing right now. Thanks for any and all suggestions!1

System
Two KH80s mounted on VESA arms above monitors in a 40/40/40 inch triangle from normal listening position
One KH750 sub placed on the right side, floor, about 60" away from right ear.

View attachment 327222
Hm, this does not look right to me. At this distance i would not expect such a big decline in treble or on the other hand such big boost from MA1. Did you use the correct height with correct acoustical axis according to manual?
If you did everything correct, just use a shelf and tune the "after" treble down so it matches the "before" curve.
 
OP
camel

camel

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The gain control is to set the SPL at 1m for a 0 dBu input, which for me I choose to be 80 dB. I think it defaults to 100 dB, which is more like what one would want for doing movies.
So effectively just adjusting how you want to control the max level (0 dBu) and step size? I'll try 80 to see if I like the control more, I definitely don't need the volume 100 dB provides.
 
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camel

camel

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Hm, this does not look right to me. At this distance i would not expect such a big decline in treble or on the other hand such big boost from MA1. Did you use the correct height with correct acoustical axis according to manual?
If you did everything correct, just use a shelf and tune the "after" treble down so it matches the "before" curve.
I assume you mean this?

Positioning the MA 1 microphone, loudspeakers and subwoofers​

Before the acoustic measurements required for the MA 1 alignment process can begin, the loudspeakers, subwoofers and MA 1 measurement microphone must be positioned appropriately. The measurement microphone should be mounted vertically in a microhone stand and located at the primary listening position. The microphone mounting height should reflect the listening position head height.

  • Arrange the front left and right loudspeakers and the listening position to form an equilateral triangle. The distance between the loudspeakers the listening position should be the same to within approximately ±0.5 cm. The measured distance between the two loudspeakers and the microphone is required by the MA 1 software.
  • The loudspeaker tweeter grilles can be used as a measurement reference points.
  • The positions of the multichannel centre, surround and height loudspeakers should be fixed as defined by the specific multichannel format. Dolby Atmos speaker position recommendations for example can be found here: https:/professionalsupport.dolby.com/s/article/Dolby-Atmos-Home-Entertainment-Studio-Technical-Guidelines?language=en_US
  • Subwoofers should be positioned as recommended in their installation manuals.
  • Place the loudspeakers and any large items of studio equipment or furniture as symmetrically as practical with regard to the central listening axis.

Some additional information of note
I definitely followed that as closely as I could, I can't say my accuracy is within .5 cm for the triangle, but it should be pretty close.
I followed the microphone positioning above and during testing as well as I could get it into position (some obstacles in the way left to right but still got withi)
I had a PC fan blowing the entire time but it seem to pass the gain and SNR tests without any issues, I've considered shutting down my main PC and using a laptop for alignment to get the room quieter.
The KH80s are mounted above my monitors and tilted down towards my main listening position and not straight ahead as depicted in a lot of examples.
 

radix

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My KH80 are raised to tweeter-at-ear-level by stands and positioned squarely facing me. I'm not sure how the software determines a flat vs rolled-off target curve -- maybe it looks at how live the room reverberation is? I know I tried getting as close to the CM distances as they asked, both for the listening triangle and the mic movements during measurements (being in the US, I went out and bought a metric tape measure just for this!).

I've been going back and forth between the default Neumann target (flat with a little bass boost) and my hacked Harman curve. I think I like the default Neumann more, but I might have gotten used to that sound at my office desk. I know when I first started out with the Neumann, they sounded way too bright, but that was a different room with a lot of glass. I think some of the super-detailed sound from them can also come across as bright.
 
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camel

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My KH80 are raised to tweeter-at-ear-level by stands and positioned squarely facing me. I'm not sure how the software determines a flat vs rolled-off target curve -- maybe it looks at how live the room reverberation is? I know I tried getting as close to the CM distances as they asked, both for the listening triangle and the mic movements during measurements (being in the US, I went out and bought a metric tape measure just for this!).

I've been going back and forth between the default Neumann target (flat with a little bass boost) and my hacked Harman curve. I think I like the default Neumann more, but I might have gotten used to that sound at my office desk. I know when I first started out with the Neumann, they sounded way too bright, but that was a different room with a lot of glass. I think some of the super-detailed sound from them can also come across as bright.
As much as I love the metric system, they let you select "inches" in the app for us crazy people with mostly inch based tape measures. :D

Fatiguing is the word I'd use right now and I have a hard time thinking I'd get use to it. With that said, I only have a couple of days with it and day to day listening will most likely be way different than my "testing" listening volume and selection. I want to try something closer to your curve when I get home next week and push the bass up a lot more (I'm square in the category that likes more bass in almost everything (almost)).
 

radix

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Fatiguing is the word I'd use right now and I have a hard time thinking I'd get use to it. With that said, I only have a couple of days with it and day to day listening will most likely be way different than my "testing" listening volume and selection. I want to try something closer to your curve when I get home next week and push the bass up a lot more (I'm square in the category that likes more bass in almost everything (almost)).
Ok. You could probably tune the bass shelf I did a bit, depending on where in the bass range you want the boost. I went in more strict octaves from 1 kHz, but you can wiggle things around more. You could also try 0.5 dB/octave steps too.
 

radix

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As much as I love the metric system, they let you select "inches" in the app for us crazy people with mostly inch based tape measures. :D

When I started w/ the app, maybe 2-3 years ago, I could not find a way to switch to English units. The MA1 software, in my opinion, is very difficult to use and really needs a UX overhaul. For example, from the start screen you need to click on a tiny little orange ">" arrow to go to the next screen. And that arrow is burried in a background graphic. I'm ashamed to say how long it took me just to figure out there was an arrow and that I needed to click on it.
 
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