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Loudness Management (Fletcher-munson?) - Dolby vs Audyssey Dynamic EQ in current generation AVR's

dlaloum

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So, for years now, I have been using Audyssey Dynamic EQ for evening listening at lower levels...

Basically it combines a set of loudness curves (bass & high boost) with some compression (I think?)

Now as I move away from Audyssey, I am considering AVR's where the main equivalent appears to be Dolby loudness management.

Has anyone compared the different loudness/compression options? What works best?

Yeah, this is far from audiophilia purism - but is also a function that many of us require in our households
 

snickers

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Really interesting topic, as I "can't" use any AVR without a param. loudness due to changing listening environments. As I have only a living room and not a dedicated home-cinema room and children. So I need to run different levels at different times and without the param. loudness it would be often really disappointing.

My short summary about the devices:
All AVR's and Pre's with Dirac have a loudness function, but you can't use it together with Dirac. So you have to choose and nobody wanna miss Dirac if he has it.
I don't know exactly what's with the Emotiva's. I think that I read something, that the XMC-1 can apply it also with Dirac.

I think the new devices from Onkyo/Pioneer/Integra also don't have it (please correct me if I'm wrong)

The most common devices that have it are:
Denon / Marantz / Yamaha

And how's with Anthem and ARC?
Would be great if somebody can confirm if it's possible to use Dolby Volume together with activated ARC measurement.
 
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dlaloum

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I've been reading the manual for the new Integra DRX 3.4... ( onkyo... )

Yes it has a loudness feature, and all indications are that it works alongside Dirac.

But how it compares to other such systems?
 

Galz

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Arc manual doesn't specify any restrictions to use with Dolby Volume. However, it's also not clear if you can set the frequency response adjustment (similar to dynamic EQ) separately from the dynamic range compression (similar to dynamic volume). What I like about Audyssey is that you can set dynamic EQ without dynamic volume, which gives you the bass impact without the compression and it works well for reasonable listening levels if the mix doesn't contain extremely problematic dialogue.

Do users of non-audyssey AVR/P mostly adjust the target curve to get the bass back? Or what else?
I know Arc by default adds some automatic "room gain" to the target curve, which basically boosts bass to some degree.
 

Trell

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Audyssey Dynamic EQ is a very nice feature that I use, and I’m surprised that Dirac still does not have something similar.
 

nick-v

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This is the best Audyssey feature IMHO. My media room is adjacent to my young children's rooms and Audyssey is extremely functional in this regard.

Light Dynamic Volume compression, Dynamic EQ and a light touch of LFC made my system very enjoyable for evening and night watching via my Denon AVR-X3700 after my young children were in bed (without waking them up).

My new JBL Synthesis SDP-55 sounds better "wide open" with Dirac Live and DLBC, but I've yet to be able to fine tune evening and night watching the way that I had it with Audyssey.
 
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dlaloum

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Audyssey Dynamic EQ is a very nice feature that I use, and I’m surprised that Dirac still does not have something similar.
An equivalent feature is there on the DIRAC AVR's - It may be provided via Dolby's software/licence - this is not clear - is this an updated Dolby Volume? Don't know!

I too was concerned with the absence of this feature as I do use it quite a bit (yes my HT is also my lounge room...) - the feature does claim to adjust audio perception (fletcher-munson?) - as well as doing compression.

So it appears to do the same things as Audyssey Dynamic EQ - does it achieve it as well? better? worse? - that is the question.
 

jhaider

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My short summary about the devices:
All AVR's and Pre's with Dirac have a loudness function, but you can't use it together with Dirac. So you have to choose and nobody wanna miss Dirac if he has it.

HTP-1 has both a very good loudness compensation (probably the best of any component - a couple curves to choose from, variable offset) and the best current form of Dirac (DLBC is an extra cost), operable at the same time.

Would be great if somebody can confirm if it's possible to use Dolby Volume together with activated ARC measurement.

Yes, but - I think the choice in Anthem boxes is Dolby Volume or immersive. (Don't get me started!) You can't go above 7.1 or decode Atmos (Anthem doesn't offer Auro) and use DV's loudness compensation (which you can separate from the dynamic range squasher component). At least you couldn't as of the previous generation (x20/AVM60). If the new ones have better functionality, that's great!
 
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dlaloum

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HTP-1 has both a very good loudness compensation (probably the best of any component - a couple curves to choose from, variable offset) and the best current form of Dirac (DLBC is an extra cost), operable at the same time.



Yes, but - I think the choice in Anthem boxes is Dolby Volume or immersive. (Don't get me started!) You can't go above 7.1 or decode Atmos (Anthem doesn't offer Auro) and use DV's loudness compensation (which you can separate from the dynamic range squasher component). At least you couldn't as of the previous generation (x20/AVM60). If the new ones have better functionality, that's great!

In my old Onkyo TX-SR876, there was/is a mutually exclusive choice... you either use Audyssey Dynamic EQ or you use Dolby Volume...

Enabling one, disabled the other and vice versa - ( and I have a feeling that there is also a THX loudness option, that is only available as another alternate - not able to be used if one of the other two are used)

It well may be, that on current generation AVR's certain loudness functions may be linked to certain codec environments eg: Dolby vs DTS vs THX vs Auro3D....

It would be nice if you could choose any upmixer / sound processor, and apply it to any decoder as you wished.....but that may not be reality.
 

Dj7675

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I had a love/hate relationship with DEQ. I thought the bass compensation worked well with the ability to offset to get it set pretty well. But could never stick with it because of the increased volume of the surrounds. StormAudio doesn’t have any form of loudness compensation. At first I was disappointed, but found with simple sub level, bass, and treble controls I haven’t been missing loudness compensation.

7D062332-6B98-4CA6-9C10-E4DD652F9362.png
 
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dlaloum

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Why would you want two loudness compensations running concurrently?
You wouldn't - but if you don't know where to find things in the menu... you can find it difficult to navigate - why is this not turning on... or not turning off.... etc...

Also I tended to find that Dolby Volume sounded less natural than Audyssey Dynamic EQ - which is why I started this thread...

The options available today are different to the ones available 14 years ago, when I purchased the TX-SR876... so it is worth looking into what they are, how they differ, and how they sound.
 

snickers

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HTP-1 has both a very good loudness compensation (probably the best of any component - a couple curves to choose from, variable offset) and the best current form of Dirac (DLBC is an extra cost), operable at the same time.

Great, thx for this point!
 

Miker 1102

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I had a love/hate relationship with DEQ. I thought the bass compensation worked well with the ability to offset to get it set pretty well. But could never stick with it because of the increased volume of the surrounds. StormAudio doesn’t have any form of loudness compensation. At first I was disappointed, but found with simple sub level, bass, and treble controls I haven’t been missing loudness compensation.

View attachment 184039
I adjust mine all thr time for content. I kinda drive myself nuts. I have a Denon but for general eq and room sound I love Sony. I don't understand why people hate them. I mean for music I miss the sound of my 300 dollar Best buy avr.

...
 
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dlaloum

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No need for Dirac to have it when THX has it, and Dolby has it - so the AVR manufacturers can pick and choose - if they have a Dolby licence (and they ALL do) - then they have access to Dolby's version.

After that, it is a debate as to which sounds better.

In a household, where the HT is in a shared lounge room, and much viewing is done after kids bed time, this function is absolutely essential!
 

Trell

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No need for Dirac to have it when THX has it, and Dolby has it - so the AVR manufacturers can pick and choose - if they have a Dolby licence (and they ALL do) - then they have access to Dolby's version.

I don’t know about THX, but Dolby does not have something similar to Audyssey Dynamic EQ. What Dolby has in a Denon receiver is a compressor and dialog normalization that only works with Dolby codecs.
 

Miker 1102

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Because I usually listen at a fairly low volume.
Yeah at night I can see the benefit. I have like my own room that's fairly isolated. I have never tried to have a real audio system with my family as they just don't care. I have an open room with enormous cielings and space that probably could be engineered to sound wonderful but I will never know. My family doesn't use vinyl, cd, mada. I thing the 21st century is going to bore me.
 

Sonic icons

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I suspect Audyssey Dynamic Eq + Dynamic Volume is better than alternatives for my purposes because of the "fine tuning" adjustments. I mean the 4 reference level offsets (0, -5, -10, -15) on Dynamic Eq, which lets you choose the strength of the loudness compensation at lower volume, + the 3 weights of the dynamic range compression (DRC) (Light, Medium, Heavy) on Dynamic Volume. I sometimes use Dynamic Volume (Light) + Dynamic Eq with "appropriate" ref level offset to reduce the loudness of peaks in symphonic classical music. But I've found that increasing Dynamic Volume from Light to Medium crushes the dynamic range too much and makes the music sound lifeless - thus, if Dynamic Volume didn't have a Light setting, I would never use it at all.

One thing that would concern me about the version of Dolby Volume on recent model AVR/AVPs (if I were planning to get one of those) is Dolby may be reducing the "fine tuning" adjustments available to users, relative to previous versions. I have this suspicion for the following reason: Dolby drastically reduced user adjustments between their previous multi-channel upmixer, Pro Logic II, and their current upmixer, Dolby Surround. In Pro Logic II, the user had a choice of eight center channel spread settings, numbers "0" to "7", and seven ratios of surround channel to front channel loudness, numbers "-3" to "+3". In Dolby Surround, the only adjustment is "center spread on" (a setting I find useless because it makes the center spread far too wide), other than that it's "take it or leave, we know what's best for your ears" :( :mad:. I've looked at manuals for JBL and Monoprice AVPs. The manuals are thin on details of user settings (if any) for the loudness compensation and DRC features.
 
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