Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

Generic questions / topics. Below is my opinion. I wish to hear as many opinions (contradictory or otherwise) on the subject as possible. I'm sure such threads may already exist, but I'm plain lazy to pull 'em out; sorry about that

Many ask which speakers they should go for, for their HT setup:
For starters, I believe that most half-decent speaker set-ups (assuming power across the entire frequency-spectrum is similar) should be able to deliver nearly the same sound given some necessary processing and EQing. And given that most receivers now-a-days have an auto-calibration system which adjusts EQs, levels and delays for each speaker (i think many receivers even adjust delays for lows vs highs in each speaker?), don't you think the whole choice-of-speaker debate tends to be a little overrated?

This further brings me to a debatable topic on my mind: Studio monitors vs HT / Hi-Fi speakers
Does it matter? I understand many monitors are near-field, have narrow-ish "sweet-spots", etc. But shouldn't the calibration of the receivers then make up for these variables based on where you place your measurement mic?
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 07:56 AM
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Re: Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

Strongly disagree. I have had a parade of speakers through my systems and I am an advocate of speaker/roomEQ but, nonetheless, the speakers remain distinctive. In fact, I have had speakers that react badly to speaker/roomEQ.

So, no, speaker/roomEQ is not panacea.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

Ermm.. Obviously, I don't mean that you'd be able to achieve the "same" performance out of "every" speaker. But what I mean is -- say if you're comparing 2 pairs of speakers of different brands, but similar configuration (maybe 2 way -- 8" drivers + ribbon tweeters), don't you reckon with some amount of EQing and processing you'd be able to get both to sound very similar to each other?

I agree the room plays a big role in how sound is heard, but in this sort of a scenario, the room is constant irrespective of the speakers, so it'll have the same impact on either set.

I have no basis or evidence to prove my point (not even sure whether it can be proven, and in all probability i may be completely wrong!), but like I said.. I'm curious to get people's opinions on this topic.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 08:49 AM
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Re: Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

I have to agree with Kal. "Auto-calibration" results can be highly variable. The room and the speakers can interact with the system used, along with other variables to yield a wide variety of results. I generally recommend conventional speakers as opposed to dipoles. Rooms that have rather normal geometries and layouts, as opposed to corner installations and speaker placement that do not conform to the norms for surround sound are going to give the most predictable results. Speakers with poor response and dispersion issues are not going to be "fixed" with these calibration systems. Assumptions about what constitutes a "half-decent" speaker system can be problematic.

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 10:16 AM
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Re: Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

I've run speakers from the same series and can tell a difference, even using auto call. Changing my center from a JBL S-Centerii to an S-38ii created an improvement that I hadn't been able to change with autocal.

Maybe someday, but auto-cal is not there yet.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 11:00 AM
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Re: Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

My mains and surrounds are the same brand and series and my 4 surrounds are all identical. Even with this I can still hear a difference between each speaker because of room acoustics and seating position. Nearfeild I would think that yes they would sound the same but not at a normal listening distance of 3' or more away. Auto room correction only works so well and is dependent on if the user actually followed the instructions and measured several different positions (at least 5 and the more the better).

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Onkyo 805, Yamaha YDP2006EQ, Samson Servo 600 amp
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Panasonic PT-AE8000 on a 120" 2,35:1 fixed screen

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Sherwood/Newcastle R972, Mission 765's, SVS SBS02's, A/D/S MS3u sub, Yamaha YDG2030EQ
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 12:26 PM
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Re: Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

Equalization is electronic manipulation of the signal in an attempt to overcome shortcomings in the loudspeakers and the room acoustics. Creating a system that requires less EQ to get closer to ideal reproduction will generally always result in a far more enjoyable, less distorted, more detailed and dynamic listening experience.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 12:36 PM
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Re: Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

In other words, the better your system to start with, the better it will be after EQ.
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 12:40 PM
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Re: Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

It isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison, but it is kind of like asking if all V6 engine cars will perform the same on a given track. Same track, same V6 engine, totally different feel. But what if they all have the same tires and gas, are made of the same basic metal and plastic? Same thing. Individual components make a big difference is speakers. I know sound propogation isn't the same thing as the "feeling" of a good car, and that sound waves are sound waves, but the human ear can hear differences in even small areas of change.
I think I understand what you are trying to get at, that EQ is levels the playing field in same "type" speakers, like an MTM design in which both speakers use dual 6" mids and a 1" tweeter, but there are a lot of things inside the speaker, including cabinet design, that make a huge difference.

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post #10 of 13 Old 04-26-10, 07:40 PM
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Re: Choice of speakers, given auto-calibration

The reality is you just don't understand how loudspeakers work. EQ can fix many things, but it can't fix everything. Overly resonate panels, internal ringing, cone defects, and many other issues can't be fixed by an EQ system. EQ isn't a silver bullet for Speaker problems.

As far as Home theater versus pro speakers. The differences are merely aesthetic. A quality speaker is a quality speaker regardless of it's type. For example the Behringer 2030p and the Ascend Acoustics have equal quality, but the Ascend Acoustic speakers have a finish and that's living room friendly while the Behringer is utilitarian.

Ignore the near field ramblings and select the best speaker that fits your decor.
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