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When are you too deep down the rabbit hole?

anphex

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I've been reading along here at Audio Science Review for a few years now and have used Amir's measurements to buy just about every piece of electrical equipment in my signal chain.

With an SMSL SU-9N, a Topping PA5 and now a Topping LA90D, I was pretty much at the physical limit of what is currently possible with SINAD and signal purity.

After a debate on an audio Discord server, I did some listening experiments with REW. To be precise, fired up the signal generator and tried different harmonic distortions at different levels. About -50dB at a 3rd harmonic is where it stops being audible. And that even at 1-2 Khz, where the ear is actually most sensitive. I knew that one online Klippel test before, but to determine this directly with a clean sine wave - which is also an unrealistic signal - made me see the whole thing with different eyes. Since music is always a multitone anyway, I think the audibility threshold is even more lenient there.

Thus, I currently run my whole system again on the - also very well performing - Denon 3700X and enjoy again the on board Audyssey XT with working surround, which in the current situation with High Sinad Audio only works with very complicated workarounds or cutbacks. If I get more serious at some point, I might just buy the MultiEQ-X license.

So what do you guys recommend? Just stick with the Denon and be happy? The Denon also has at least 80dB SINAD in all ranges. My speakers have a low sensitivity of 85dB, which also naturally increases the distortion and signal to noise ratio.

So I could sell the equipment and make something better out of the money of about 2500 € for equipment with top SINAD, but which now no longer bring me any added value.
Or am I missing something here? I still have great respect for the performance of these high SINAD devices, but since I just do not seem to hear the difference anymore, I prefer to take the comfort and simplicity of the good Denon 3700x.
 

Dunring

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I'd keep what you have. I've hit a wall too with my current setup and the gains just aren't worth obsessing over. It's like people who race cars and always trying to shave another 1/10th of a second off a quarter mile, even though they couldn't perceive it without a stopwatch.
 

FrantzM

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Hi

You are asking, I oblige :). Keep the Denon X-3700 and do acquire the Audyssey MultEQ-X windows software. it is worth the $200.oo IMHO.

I was properly humbled by the Klippel online distortion test. I don't think I made it past -30 dB :(.. Humbling (humiliating?) at first, then liberating. :D.

Peace.
 
OP
anphex

anphex

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Hi

You are asking, I oblige :). Keep the Denon X-3700 and do acquire the Audyssey MultEQ-X windows software. it is worth the $200.oo IMHO.

I was properly humbled by the Klippel online distortion test. I don't think I made it past -30 dB :(.. Humbling (humiliating?) at first, then liberating. :D.

Peace.
What exactly makes it worth it? I like the idea that you can make a fully customized response but currently XT32 + MultEQ phone app does a great job too.
The only thing that bothers me is that Audyssey boosts narrow valleys with +9 dB which I think is a very bad idea.
 

bodhi

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SINAD chasing is just ex-subjectivists changing addictions.

Blind tests have even better use case than detecting audibility, detecting "it doesn't really matter"-ibility. If the systems sounds good and you cannot detect any clear faults without comparing side by side to some other equipment then you don't need to buy new stuff or continue tweaking.

This approach is of course only to those whose focus is audio experience: tweaking and buying stuff just because is interesting hobby in itself.
 

notsodeadlizard

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I've been reading along here at Audio Science Review for a few years now and have used Amir's measurements to buy just about every piece of electrical equipment in my signal chain.

With an SMSL SU-9N, a Topping PA5 and now a Topping LA90D, I was pretty much at the physical limit of what is currently possible with SINAD and signal purity.

After a debate on an audio Discord server, I did some listening experiments with REW. To be precise, fired up the signal generator and tried different harmonic distortions at different levels. About -50dB at a 3rd harmonic is where it stops being audible. And that even at 1-2 Khz, where the ear is actually most sensitive. I knew that one online Klippel test before, but to determine this directly with a clean sine wave - which is also an unrealistic signal - made me see the whole thing with different eyes. Since music is always a multitone anyway, I think the audibility threshold is even more lenient there.

Thus, I currently run my whole system again on the - also very well performing - Denon 3700X and enjoy again the on board Audyssey XT with working surround, which in the current situation with High Sinad Audio only works with very complicated workarounds or cutbacks. If I get more serious at some point, I might just buy the MultiEQ-X license.

So what do you guys recommend? Just stick with the Denon and be happy? The Denon also has at least 80dB SINAD in all ranges. My speakers have a low sensitivity of 85dB, which also naturally increases the distortion and signal to noise ratio.

So I could sell the equipment and make something better out of the money of about 2500 € for equipment with top SINAD, but which now no longer bring me any added value.
Or am I missing something here? I still have great respect for the performance of these high SINAD devices, but since I just do not seem to hear the difference anymore, I prefer to take the comfort and simplicity of the good Denon 3700x.

This will inevitably happen to everyone who is carried away by some indicators that are completely meaningless at the ppm level.
All this has already happened, and the race for the ppm level too.
Then some enlightenment comes - everything below -80...-85dB of distortion is actually the same and completely different things become important here:
quality and availability of service;
the possibility of buying on credit (and not through alibaba and other strange place);
the opportunity to listen to the equipment in the salon;
equipment liquidity in the secondary market;
design;
support;
etc.

You have already answered your own question.
 

fpitas

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If you're too deep down the rabbit hole you stop asking sensible questions, and just buy stuff on impulse ;)
 

FrantzM

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What exactly makes it worth it? I like the idea that you can make a fully customized response but currently XT32 + MultEQ phone app does a great job too.
The only thing that bothers me is that Audyssey boosts narrow valleys with +9 dB which I think is a very bad idea.
Hi

Your call, if you are satisfied with the phone APP by all means , keep using it. Do know that MultEQ-X is another level: Granularity, Control, Repeatability, It can transforms your listening experience, IMO. Make of a supported AVR a fully customizable Digital Room Correction center. Some of the caveats are the licensing issues: The software is attached to the AVR, you replace it by another, even from the same supported brands? You must purchase a new license.,, And so far its Windows only.
It is so far updated with more and bug fixes, regularly...

Peace.
 
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anphex

anphex

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So the consensus currently: MultiEQ-X is worth it.
Well, if it is attached to my AV receiver, it also means it is raising its reselling value? Doesn't sound too bad.
 

LouB

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I'd keep what you have. I've hit a wall too with my current setup and the gains just aren't worth obsessing over. It's like people who race cars and always trying to shave another 1/10th of a second off a quarter mile, even though they couldn't perceive it without a stopwatch.
Only thing is that 1/10 of second may get you cool plastic trophy ! (don't ask how I know or what it cost !)
 

Trell

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When you find yourself too deep in the rabbit hole you'll have to use the Power of Bias to rescue you!

Just tell yourself that it's a deep gold mine and you're digging for the biggest gold nugget the world has ever seen!

I'll show myself out the door, thank you! :p
 

egellings

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When you find yourself too deep in the rabbit hole you'll have to use the Power of Bias to rescue you!

Just tell yourself that it's a deep gold mine and you're digging for the biggest gold nugget the world has ever seen!

I'll show myself out the door, thank you! :p
Don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.
 

Timcognito

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Or am I missing something here?
Yeah MUSIC and MOVIES focus on those. Or a new hobby like woodworking, most of tools are inexpensive. Avoid sailing at all costs.
 

Curvature

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SINAD chasing is just ex-subjectivists changing addictions.

Blind tests have even better use case than detecting audibility, detecting "it doesn't really matter"-ibility. If the systems sounds good and you cannot detect any clear faults without comparing side by side to some other equipment then you don't need to buy new stuff or continue tweaking.

This approach is of course only to those whose focus is audio experience: tweaking and buying stuff just because is interesting hobby in itself.
This is a very clearminded comment.
 

Rednaxela

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At the moment I'm playing with this setup:

Digital source -> Behringer DEQ2496 optical in/out -> Sony STR-DB940 -> KEF HTS3001SE and a stacked pair of active bookshelves as (not so sub)woofers, crossed over at 90Hz*.

A complete hodgepodge, but I'm honestly enjoying my audio more than ever.

This is partially due to the KEFs which are really quite awesome*. Plus the work I put in measuring, analysing and EQ-ing it al. This is the bit that I enjoy the most about my hobby. It seems to be a never ending journey and every time I do it I learn something new.

I have no illusions about the SINAD of the electronics in the setup. Knowing what I know now I have no worries about it either. There is really nothing like fixing tonality. Well, acoustics and directivity/dispersion perhaps. And speaker distortion. In any case I doubt I will ever reach a point where my next upgrade would target the SINAD of my electronics.

Like the OP, I'd love my setup to be simpler. With fewer boxes, a bit nicer looking and easier to use for the family. That said at the moment I find it hard to let go of the power and flexibility of REW and the DEQ2496. There is something about Audyssey, even MultiEQ-X, that makes me feel like I'd give up some of the total control I think I'm having now. Otherwise these Dirac/MultiEQ-X AVRs seem to represent the absolute sweet spot in terms of functionality, usability, flexibility, control, and looks.




* Now crossed over at 120Hz by the way - 90Hz seems to be asking too much.
 

bodhi

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Like the OP, I'd love my setup to be simpler. With fewer boxes, a bit nicer looking and easier to use for the family. That said at the moment I find it hard to let go of the power and flexibility of REW and the DEQ2496. There is something about Audyssey, even MultiEQ-X, that makes me feel like I'd give up some of the total control I think I'm having now. Otherwise these Dirac/MultiEQ-X AVRs seem to represent the absolute sweet spot in terms of functionality, usability, flexibility, control, and looks.
What do you do with all that control? If you have good speakers then you are mainly correcting room issues <300Hz or so and that is taken care of automatically. I seriously doubt many people are able to do better than the automatic correction. And even if some can, I also doubt the difference is major.
 

Rednaxela

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What do you do with all that control?
For instance select the <300Hz peaks I do and do not want to address. Or the extent to which I wanna do it.

Work from a MMM.

Etc.






Edit: merged three posts.
 
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Rednaxela

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I seriously doubt many people are able to do better than the automatic correction. And even if some can, I also doubt the difference is major.
Don't get me wrong, this might be the case for me too eventually.

In REW I just like and also use the flexibility to deviate from a target curve at points. Of course this is essentially the same as matching a different curve. O well. Maybe one day... :)
 
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