Room EQ Comparison

Eric SVL

Active Member
Thread Starter
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
125
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X4500H, NAD T758 v3
Main Amp
Hypex nCore NC252MP
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony PS3, PS4
Front Speakers
Buchardt S400
Surround Speakers
Polk LSiM 702
Screen
Samsung PN64H5000
Other Equipment
GIK Tri-Traps
Would there be interest in an objective and subjective analysis of Audyssey XT32 and Dirac Live?

Target curves would be made identical. Measurements would be taken before and after.

Goal is to see which achieves smoother results and which gets closest to the desired target.

Then, instant switching to determine if the differences are audible and to relate them to the graphs.

Equipment diagram attached as I currently see it.
 

Attachments

Sonnie

Senior Admin
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2017
Messages
2,578
Location
Alabama
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
NAD M17 V2 Processor
Main Amp
Emotiva XPA-1 Gen 2 Monoblocks
Additional Amp
Emotiva XPA Seven
Other Amp
Emotiva A-150
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Panasonic UB9000 4K UHD Player
Front Speakers
MartinLogan Classic ESL 9
Center Channel Speaker
MartinLogan Focus C-18
Surround Speakers
MartinLogan ElectroMotion ESL
Surround Back Speakers
MartinLogan Motion 12
Front Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Rear Height Speakers
MartinLogan EM-IC
Subwoofers
SVSound SB16-Ultra x 4 + 2x Custom 18's
Other Speakers or Equipment
Behringer Sub Amps x2
Video Display Device
Epson 6050
Screen
Elite Screen
Remote Control
Universal MX-890
Other Equipment
Dish Joey 4K
I think it would be cool to compare them head to head. I've compared them subjectively, but not with instant switching.
 

Kal Rubinson

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
89
Location
NYC / CT
Since you are probably using two different AVRs, you need first to A/B them in a blind test to see if their differences are, effectively, null.
 

Eric SVL

Active Member
Thread Starter
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
125
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X4500H, NAD T758 v3
Main Amp
Hypex nCore NC252MP
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony PS3, PS4
Front Speakers
Buchardt S400
Surround Speakers
Polk LSiM 702
Screen
Samsung PN64H5000
Other Equipment
GIK Tri-Traps
Since you are probably using two different AVRs, you need first to A/B them in a blind test to see if their differences are, effectively, null.
We'd be talking about differences in preamps and DACs then. I suppose I could do that before applying the corrections, though I don't expect there to be obvious differences. I could always be surprised.

But keep in mind the overarching theme here: Room EQ. These differences should disappear once filters are applied, because the microphone is going to hear those differences and factor them into the results.
 

Eric SVL

Active Member
Thread Starter
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
125
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Denon X4500H, NAD T758 v3
Main Amp
Hypex nCore NC252MP
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Sony PS3, PS4
Front Speakers
Buchardt S400
Surround Speakers
Polk LSiM 702
Screen
Samsung PN64H5000
Other Equipment
GIK Tri-Traps

Kal Rubinson

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2017
Messages
89
Location
NYC / CT
We'd be talking about differences in preamps and DACs then. I suppose I could do that before applying the corrections, though I don't expect there to be obvious differences. I could always be surprised.

But keep in mind the overarching theme here: Room EQ. These differences should disappear once filters are applied, because the microphone is going to hear those differences and factor them into the results.
All the more reason to know what you are working with before the EQ.
 

DanDan

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Messages
267
An impossible task IMO. Different systems sample different locations, end of.
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
85
I'm going to engage Accucal in July to do a "remote" calibration using facetime. I have Aidyssey runing in my media room and Onkyo's AccuEq in the man cave. I'll post before and after measurements if possible. I like the fact that once I go through this calibration I'll have the tools and the training to do it myself in the future and am not dependent on a manufacturer.
 

AustinJerry

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
74
I have a Marantz AVR connected to a MiniDSP 88A. The Marantz has XT32, while the 88A is now running Dirac Live 3.0 (without DLBC). a comparison would use the same speakers in the same room, and the comparison could be based on a one-position calibration for each, without moving the mic. REW comparison measurements could then be taken at the MLP, again without moving the mic. Turn on Audyssey in the Marantz while the 88A is in bypass mode, then turn off Audyssey and turn on Dirac Live in the 88A.

The only think that alludes me would be how to set target curves for both room correction systems that match. No clue how this would be done on my Marantz 8802a, which does not support the new Audyssey app. Even if this could be done, I am not sure I would be interested enough in the results to expend the time to make the comparison. There is no way I will ever be going back to Audyssey.
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
85
I get exhausted chasing "upgrades" with every year's "new" processor. Glad to see you got to keep your 8802 and swap out the room correction, good call.
 

CHFels

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
2
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Arcam SR250
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Marantz UD7007
Front Speakers
Spendor Classic 3/1
I have a Marantz AVR connected to a MiniDSP 88A. The Marantz has XT32, while the 88A is now running Dirac Live 3.0 (without DLBC). a comparison would use the same speakers in the same room, and the comparison could be based on a one-position calibration for each, without moving the mic. REW comparison measurements could then be taken at the MLP, again without moving the mic. Turn on Audyssey in the Marantz while the 88A is in bypass mode, then turn off Audyssey and turn on Dirac Live in the 88A.

The only think that alludes me would be how to set target curves for both room correction systems that match. No clue how this would be done on my Marantz 8802a, which does not support the new Audyssey app. Even if this could be done, I am not sure I would be interested enough in the results to expend the time to make the comparison. There is no way I will ever be going back to Audyssey.
AustinJerry is getting closer to what would be required, but the protocol is still not quite what one would want (IMHO). Neither Dirac nor Audyssey tell users to use just one calibration location, so if you do that you are just comparing wrongly-implemented Dirac vs. wrongly-implemented Audyssey. It has to be: calibrate according to the company's recommendations, then do two types of post-calibration measurement. First, single-point measurement at the main listening position. Then, in addition, a weighted sum of post-calibration measurements taken at various (reasonable) listener locations. A further wrinkle would be deciding whether to use the more focused "chair" configuration for Dirac or the wider "Sofa" configuration. Or just do both.

The Dirac signal could be processed on a laptop or in a MiniDSP box capable of 24/96, then sent to the digital input of the AV amp. As long as the AV amp is decent quality and doesn't do any unexpected processing of digital signals (e.g. downsampling or truncating), the resulting test should be very indicative. Or would be, except ...:

Room variance. The tests would have to be done in a number of different listening rooms, otherwise the results would be potentially idiosyncratic and non-indicative. Ideally, also with a number of different types of loudspeaker, at various different positioning locations.

So yeah, DanDan is kind of right: it would be a huge task to do this properly. But I for one would be very interested in seeing the results.

CHFels
 

AustinJerry

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
74
Of course you would be interested since it wouldn’t be you doing the work. Personally, I have little interest in the results of such testing. As I said previously, having had considerable experience with both Audyssey and Dirac, Dirac is the clear winner in my listening tests. Proving this by conducting exhaustive tests would be a waste of time, IMO.
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
85
I like Audyssey and am going to try a calibration by Accucal. You use an atmos blueray, a calibrated mic, and TrueRTA software. I like the ability to be free of relying on the manufacturer's selection:

 

AustinJerry

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
74
I like Audyssey and am going to try a calibration by Accucal. You use an atmos blueray, a calibrated mic, and TrueRTA software. I like the ability to be free of relying on the manufacturer's selection:
I suspect this will be a frequency-domain calibration, and will not give you the time-domain corrections that you would get from an automated solution like Dirac Live. While you may be satisfied with the results, you are likely to be able to do better.
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
85
Again, the problem is you have to BUY more crap, even if you just want the "time domain" solution you are stuck buying a new dac/processor/pre-amp, whatever. I'll post before and after measurements once I get the accucal calibration done. I prefer to squeeze more performance from the gear I have now.
 

AustinJerry

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2017
Messages
74
In the quest for better audio, one must be prepared to purchase the equipment needed to achieve your goals. While I see nothing wrong with attempting to get the best performance out of the gear you have, there is also nothing wrong with wanting to take it up another level, which you may not be able to accomplish with what you have.
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
85
Well I can measure "the next level" after my calibration so we will see. I am not at all unhappy with my current setup but am also seeking to see what I can squeeze out of the gear I have now. The MiniDSP is an option if I don't get a measurable and audible improvement.
 

Daniel Suran

New Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2019
Messages
4
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Marantz SR5012
Front Speakers
Triangle Elara LN-07
Center Channel Speaker
Triangle Elara LN-02
Surround Speakers
XTZ Cinema S2 Atmos
Subwoofers
XTZ SUB 12.17 Edge
Video Display Device
Panasonic 65" LCD
And
I think it would be cool to compare them head to head. I've compared them subjectively, but not with instant switching.
And what’s your subjective thoughts? Which one is superior?
 

Ethan Winer

New Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
7
I've measured there different room EQ systems, and written extensively about what they can and can't do. This final article I wrote about Dirac includes links to the earlier two articles, and includes quite a bit of data. For some reason I had to add some spaces in the link to get this post through, so remove them:

http:// ethanwiner. com/dirac/dirac.htm
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
85
I've measured there different room EQ systems, and written extensively about what they can and can't do. This final article I wrote about Dirac includes links to the earlier two articles, and includes quite a bit of data. For some reason I had to add some spaces in the link to get this post through, so remove them:

http:// ethanwiner. com/dirac/dirac.htm
Thanks Ethan, nice to see that you are stepping up. I see you are a new member so welcome. I look forward to reading your article.
Checking out the pic of your studio I have to tip my hat and say nice choice on the JBL "Dolly Parton" montiors sitting up on those stands.
 

Witchdoctor

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
85
Ethan, what a great article. I didn't realize how localized the benefits of EQ were as well as how important the use of bass traps are. It seems like a common sense approach but your testing revealed its actually a scientific approach. Plus, bass traps are a lot cheaper than a new processor "upgrade". I'll post some before and after pics/measurements after doing my calibration.
 

Ethan Winer

New Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
7
Thanks WD. This delves further into bass traps, and dispels a number of misconceptions:

 

CHFels

New Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
2
My AV System  
Preamp, Processor or Receiver
Arcam SR250
Universal / Blu-ray / CD Player
Marantz UD7007
Front Speakers
Spendor Classic 3/1
Ethan, very interesting test and article, thanks for posting it here. It does not surprise me that in a room with already-extensive treatment, Dirac can do more harm than good at places other than the sweet spot. I use Dirac myself, in a small and non-ideal room with the speakers too close to walls and corners, mainly for the purpose you say that EQ systems can be useful for: taming bass peaks. But I let it work full range, because I also find the high frequencies to be improved overall in my system.
 
Top Bottom