Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison - Page 4 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #31 of 94 Old 06-12-15, 09:10 PM
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

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RapalloAV wrote: View Post
Wayne I too have experimented many many times, writing everything down and always getting better to worse results.

Can you elaborate a bit on why you like just ONE measurement more than 3/4 or more please, Im very interested in your thoughts?

What I find with all my experiments is actually the bass seems cleaner for me with just one measurement then audyssey turned OFF!

I find every time no matter what positions I test for XT32, when I engage it the treble is too bright for my likings and the bass is coloured or distorted someway. I will try to explain.... With EQ engaged the bass notes seem to be extended and run for longer than what they should, which makes the bass sound wrong... Without EQ the bass notes stop BANG in their tracks, none of the extension, no distortion, its clean, big and smooth in all 12 seats...

I keep trying to use EQ as it almost seems like a religion that one should follow, but still after hundreds and hundreds of EQs, reading every forum on the planet about Audyssey I cant get it to sound good in my cinema!

Do you think this is true for some rooms?
I use it in my lounge room that's furnished with the normal things and its fine, better on...
My cinema is a very different room with lots of bass trapping, and acoustic treatments. Seems od that a room that's more perfect for acoustics should sound worse with it on than off... When a lounge room with normal acoustics should sound better with EQ turned on...

Interested in your thoughts????
Murray, you have been at this for so long, it is hard to believe that you are having these problems. Have you posted a comprehensive set of measurements from your home theater anywhere? Poor results must be reflected in the measurements, either bass ringing in the waterfalls, ragged frequency response, or something.
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post #32 of 94 Old 06-13-15, 08:25 AM
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

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AudiocRaver wrote: View Post

Dirac Live seems to have solved the problem. The review of the nanoAVR DL looks at the question specifically. The first mic position needs to be at LP Center, and handles all the timing and L/R frequency response matching needs, and the other mic positions can be randomly spaced around the seat area (no symmetry or careful spacing required) and their "average" gives the proper frequency response profile. Easy as pie and gives superb, no-compromise results. Seriously, works like a dream, satisfies the critical needs of the LP and helps you minimally compromise overall FR if you wish to accommodate other seat positions.
I disagree somewhat with your comment that the remaining eight Dirac measurement positions can be randomly spaced. In the user guide for my DDRC-88A, and using the "single chair" measuring approach, the user guide specifically states that remaining measurements should be taken on the circumference of a 1M-diameter circle and that the height of the mic should be varied up and down by 1ft over the measurements. While Dirac's web site is not quite as specific as the MiniDSP user guide, they do recommend varying the mic position, horizontally and vertically, and specifically advise against "tight mic positioning".

I absolutely agree, however, that excellent results with Dirac do not seem to be quite as dependent on mic positioning as does Audyssey. In the numerous Dirac calibrations I have done over the last six months, I have never experienced a "bad calibration". I can't say the same for my Audyssey calibrations, which were done with the Pro kit.
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post #33 of 94 Old 06-13-15, 10:49 AM
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

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AustinJerry wrote: View Post
....While Dirac's web site is not quite as specific as the MiniDSP user guide, they do recommend varying the mic position, horizontally and vertically, and specifically advise against "tight mic positioning".
Should that particular recommendation be generalized? The Dirac user manual for my Emotiva XMC-1 states that the pattern should be tightened for a reduced listening area. It further urges the user to follow the on-screen mic locations, which can be viewed orthogonally or obliquely, but without dimensions. To be fair, Dirac Live LE and Dirac Live Full are customized to run on Emotiva hardware, so it may therefore be optimized for tight mic patterns.

If you're interested, advantages of emptying the stack of all but one mic position have been discussed here.

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AustinJerry wrote: View Post
....In the numerous Dirac calibrations I have done over the last six months, I have never experienced a "bad calibration".
Excellent repeatability! Yet others have obtained questionable results. For instance, the default (and only) XMC-1's Dirac house curve yields aggressive treble, annoying sibilance, and anemic bass to these ears. Further, imaging suffered. Both conditions occurred regardless of mic pattern. I anted-up for the full version to achieve customizable house-curves and windowed frequency processing. Using the latter to bypass filter generation for frequencies above about 10kHz, improved imaging was realized, especially with tight mic patterns. Subsequent trials revealed that imaging remained independent of house curve manipulation.

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post #34 of 94 Old 06-13-15, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

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AustinJerry wrote: View Post
I disagree somewhat with your comment that the remaining eight Dirac measurement positions can be randomly spaced. In the user guide for my DDRC-88A, and using the "single chair" measuring approach, the user guide specifically states that remaining measurements should be taken on the circumference of a 1M-diameter circle and that the height of the mic should be varied up and down by 1ft over the measurements. While Dirac's web site is not quite as specific as the MiniDSP user guide, they do recommend varying the mic position, horizontally and vertically, and specifically advise against "tight mic positioning".

I absolutely agree, however, that excellent results with Dirac do not seem to be quite as dependent on mic positioning as does Audyssey. In the numerous Dirac calibrations I have done over the last six months, I have never experienced a "bad calibration". I can't say the same for my Audyssey calibrations, which were done with the Pro kit.
Jerry,

As always, you have done your homework. I always appreciate your comments and occasional nudges to keep me and other posters honest and accurate.

When I suggested randomness in the mic positioning for Dirac Live, I was remembering Flavio's (of Dirac Research) wording in this post, commenting on an earlier review, where he stated:

"We recommend that the microphone positions are spread out as "randomly" as possible within the measurement region and that the measurement region is not too small."

I agree this is worded a bit differently than is found in the Dirac Live documentation.

Again, thanks for the feedback.
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post #35 of 94 Old 06-13-15, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

I think the key point to be made about mic placement for Dirac Live calibration is that it is quite flexible, after that first critical LP position, and tends to be very forgiving.

I recently re-read some of the deep background info on the Dirac Research web site, and it is worth noting that Dirac Live's algorithm is designed to provide robustness in the way correction is applied, and that data from each point is analyzed multi-dimensionally (my term) to determine which parts of its data should be applied and in what way for effective correction that preserves frequency response and phase information critical to soundstage & imaging (SSI) at and close to the LP, while correcting frequency response and impulse response where it can be done without disrupting the sound somewhere else in the listening area. The approach suggests the benefit of having a "rich and varied" set of data points to work with, again hinting at some amount randomness in mic positioning to achieve it.

The takeaway, as far as I can interpret from this, is that even if one follows a somewhat set pattern like in the diagrams that accompany the application and documentation, the placement is not critical, and even benefits from some randomness in that placement. My own best Dirac Live calibration, with which I have been listening for close to 2 weeks, made use of a purposely very random pattern for the points away from the LP "center," as I wanted to stretch the idea to the max.

I see no harm in following the pattern suggested in the documentation, only suggesting for the sanity and enjoyment of the user through the setup process - and for the richer and more varied data set that will result - that the tape measure and laser distance finder be set aside after that first critical point and placement be done quickly and with eyeball estimates, rather than with painstaking spacing measurements that many are used to.
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post #36 of 94 Old 06-13-15, 02:07 PM
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

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Jerry,

As always, you have done your homework. I always appreciate your comments and occasional nudges to keep me and other posters honest and accurate.

When I suggested randomness in the mic positioning for Dirac Live, I was remembering Flavio's (of Dirac Research) wording in this post, commenting on an earlier review, where he stated:

"We recommend that the microphone positions are spread out as "randomly" as possible within the measurement region and that the measurement region is not too small."

I agree this is worded a bit differently than is found in the Dirac Live documentation.

Again, thanks for the feedback.
Thanks for the response, Wayne. And I certainly appreciate the effort you have spent in your analysis. I think it is interesting that the mic placement guidelines vary slightly, depending on whether you are looking at Dirac's recommendations, Emotiva's recommendations, or MiniDSP's recommendations. I think all agree that the order of the placements is not critical, and I believe Dirac and MiniDSP agree that "narrow" for a single chair is a 1M-diameter circle, and that varying height is important.

It's always interesting to hear the experiences of others, which is what makes this forum valuable.
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post #37 of 94 Old 06-14-15, 06:32 AM
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

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AustinJerry wrote: View Post
Thanks for the response, Wayne. And I certainly appreciate the effort you have spent in your analysis. I think it is interesting that the mic placement guidelines vary slightly, depending on whether you are looking at Dirac's recommendations, Emotiva's recommendations, or MiniDSP's recommendations. I think all agree that the order of the placements is not critical, and I believe Dirac and MiniDSP agree that "narrow" for a single chair is a 1M-diameter circle, and that varying height is important.

It's always interesting to hear the experiences of others, which is what makes this forum valuable.
Hi Jerry. I have been a lurker on this forum for longer than I can recall, but can't remember ever having posted before (no special reason - I am trying to keep my forum activity under some sort of control that's all). I'd add to this great discussion that I too have found that I get a stunning DL calibration when I take great care over the first mic position but then more or less randomly place the mic for the remaining 8 positions. This started because I cannot follow the user manual properly here: if I put the mic 12 inches below the first position, it is so low that the seat backs obscure its line of sight to the surround speakers. Clearly, that is not going to give a good result, so what I did was take the initial position, then use 4 positions about 8-10 inches higher, more or less as per the manual, with the remaining 4 positions just 'dotted' about the area around the chair. This way, every position gave a good line of sight to every speaker.

I am not saying this is the best way, or the only way, just adding another data point to the discussion and confirming that one does not need to slavishly follow the diagram in the user manual (or on screen). The next time I calibrate I will try using 8 very random positions and see what, if any, difference I get. The good news seems to be that a good cal results every time and there is no need to be as slavishly subservient to the demands of mic positions as seems to be the case with Audyssey, where, as you know, I tried to replicate the 'known good' mic positions to the millimetre for each cal. I am immensely relieved to be free of such strictures!
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post #38 of 94 Old 06-14-15, 10:40 AM
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

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AudiocRaver wrote: View Post
...I see no harm in following the pattern suggested in the documentation, only suggesting for the sanity and enjoyment of the user through the setup process - and for the richer and more varied data set that will result - that the tape measure and laser distance finder be set aside after that first critical point and placement be done quickly and with eyeball estimates, rather than with painstaking spacing measurements that many are used to.
I've gravitated toward this method, and oh what a relief it is!

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AustinJerry wrote: View Post
Thanks for the response, Wayne. And I certainly appreciate the effort you have spent in your analysis. I think it is interesting that the mic placement guidelines vary slightly, depending on whether you are looking at Dirac's recommendations, Emotiva's recommendations, or MiniDSP's recommendations. I think all agree that the order of the placements is not critical, and I believe Dirac and MiniDSP agree that "narrow" for a single chair is a 1M-diameter circle, and that varying height is important.

It's always interesting to hear the experiences of others, which is what makes this forum valuable.
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post #39 of 94 Old 06-14-15, 10:43 AM
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

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kbarnes70 wrote: View Post
....I too have found that I get a stunning DL calibration when I take great care over the first mic position but then more or less randomly place the mic for the remaining 8 positions. This started because I cannot follow the user manual properly here: if I put the mic 12 inches below the first position, it is so low that the seat backs obscure its line of sight to the surround speakers. Clearly, that is not going to give a good result, so what I did was take the initial position, then use 4 positions about 8-10 inches higher, more or less as per the manual, with the remaining 4 positions just 'dotted' about the area around the chair. This way, every position gave a good line of sight to every speaker.
Also better said than I. Aside from measured vs free mic locations and aside from broad vs. tight mic spacings, I've not experimented with above vs. below the seat back. Dirac has done an very good job at improving my surround experience, but I think it can get better using your method. I'm anxious to try your above-the-seatback pattern for better line-of-sight to my highly compromised surround speaker positions. It will be interesting to see if Dirac can improve the surround effects while retaining SS&I. I realize there's only so much DSP can do, so starting with the best relative speaker positions is important, but not all of us can position our speakers in prime locations (sigh).

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post #40 of 94 Old 06-14-15, 12:19 PM
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Re: Audyssey XT32 vs. Dirac Live Listening Comparison

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Also better said than I. Aside from measured vs free mic locations and aside from broad vs. tight mic spacings, I've not experimented with above vs. below the seat back. Dirac has done an very good job at improving my surround experience, but I think it can get better using your method. I'm anxious to try your above-the-seatback pattern for better line-of-sight to my highly compromised surround speaker positions. It will be interesting to see if Dirac can improve the surround effects while retaining SS&I. I realize there's only so much DSP can do, so starting with the best relative speaker positions is important, but not all of us can position our speakers in prime locations (sigh).
Agree totally with your last observation there. I just started from what seemed obvious to me - that if the mic doesn't have a really uninterrupted line of sight to every speaker, then the result is pretty much guaranteed to be sub-optimal. After all, my ears have a clear line of sight to every speaker In my room, with my high-back cinema chairs, this requires me to raise the mic quite a bit over and above the initial mic position (which is with the tip of the mic just above the MLP seat back - not quite where my ears go, but again, required if clear line of sight is a priority). Then, as I say, I completed the final 4 measurements 'randomly' around the seating area, but always making sure that the mic can 'see' all the speakers. It may be a compromised method, but then my HT is a set of compromises anyway, as many are. The bottom line is that I have better sound right now than I have ever done before.

As I am a newbie here, perhaps I should say that I am a very experienced user of Audyssey and Audyssey Pro and my current system is an Atmos 5.2.4 setup. Main speakers are M&K S150, surrounds are Tannoy Di6 DC (chosen for their good nearfield characteristics and coherent phase - my room is very small and the surrounds are closer than I'd ideally like) and the overhead speakers are Tannoy Di5 DC (chosen for their very wide dispersion - as per Dolby recommendations - and their power handling capabilities for my -5dB below cinema reference movie listening). Subs are dual Seaton Submersives in a Master/Slave arrangement. Amplification is 'adequate' for my purpose
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