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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 ;)
Makes perfect sense to me too (mic positions). I am looking forward to moving to Dirac, and see what it can do for me. :)

I have read your other forum posts (about Audyssey), and very much agree with you.:T:T
 

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Discussion Starter #42
For those interested, I just updated the thread titled Data Supporting a Single Setup Mic Position for Audyssey or Dirac Live. It no longer applies to Dirac Live. And there are new recommendations for Audyssey.

As stated in the nanoAVR DL review, following the recommendations of Dirac Research and miniDSP is the right way to go, with the added advice to "randomize" positions after the initial measurement at the center of the LP (LPC). I will add the suggestion that LPC always be used for the first position, even if it does not have line of sight to all the surrounds (for both Audyssey and Dirac Live). The information at that point is so critical for the best SS&I for the front main speakers, that I believe it should always be used. For all remaining measures, line of sight to the surrounds is certainly important.

As always, let your ears and your experience be your own best guide.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Given the thread topic, it is worth noting here that in this latest work with mic calibration patterns, more listening comparison was done between the best SS&I performance of Dirac Live vs. Audyssey XT. While Audyssey did a very good job, the SS&I performance of Dirac Live was sharper and more precise. XT32 might have done a better job, although this can not be automatically assumed. See THIS POST for details.
 

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For those interested, I just updated the thread titled Data Supporting a Single Setup Mic Position for Audyssey or Dirac Live. It no longer applies to Dirac Live. And there are new recommendations for Audyssey.

As stated in the nanoAVR DL review, following the recommendations of Dirac Research and miniDSP is the right way to go, with the added advice to "randomize" positions after the initial measurement at the center of the LP (LPC). I will add the suggestion that LPC always be used for the first position, even if it does not have line of sight to all the surrounds (for both Audyssey and Dirac Live). The information at that point is so critical for the best SS&I for the front main speakers, that I believe it should always be used. For all remaining measures, line of sight to the surrounds is certainly important.

As always, let your ears and your experience be your own best guide.
Yes - I should have made that clear in my post too. Although I am very keen to ensure line of sight for all subsequent measuring positions, for the first position it is recommended to place the mic where one's head would be. If my ears were at a lower listening level, I would do as you suggest and ignore line of sight to the surrounds for the first position, since it is the mains which will most impact SS&I and the surrounds aren’t so relevant there. But for subsequent mic positions I think it is important that the mic can see the surrounds - not for SS&I but to better align the timbre/tonal characteristics of all the speakers in the system.

For the remaining position, a more randomised arrangements seems to work well, and it is a relief to not have to obsess over mic positions to the extent that Audyssey always seemed to require if one was to get consistent results. Audyssey seems to be much more sensitive to mic position during the measuring phase than Dirac Live is. I get a great DL calibration every time, regardless of the precise positioning of the mic (other than the first position of course).
 

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I have XT32 & I have high back chairs so I am going to try the right triangle setup with 8 measurements at my mlp. My goal is to improvement SS&I. I will report back once I evaluate the results.
 

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Just to be clear I am tall & my ears are about 2 inches below the high seat back in a seated position. In the right triangle setup measurement #1 is at centre of head ear height. Where is the 2nd measurement? Is it 2 inches higher at the seat back height or should I go higher given my ear height. My concern is measurements 3 through 8 as the #8th position has to end up at an equal height equal to postion #1
 

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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.
...I will add the suggestion that LPC always be used for the first position, even if it does not have line of sight to all the surrounds (for both Audyssey and Dirac Live). The information at that point is so critical for the best SS&I for the front main speakers, that I believe it should always be used. For all remaining measures, line of sight to the surrounds is certainly important.

As always, let your ears and your experience be your own best guide.
Yes - I should have made that clear in my post too. Although I am very keen to ensure line of sight for all subsequent measuring positions, for the first position it is recommended to place the mic where one's head would be. If my ears were at a lower listening level, I would do as you suggest and ignore line of sight to the surrounds for the first position, since it is the mains which will most impact SS&I and the surrounds aren’t so relevant there. But for subsequent mic positions I think it is important that the mic can see the surrounds - not for SS&I but to better align the timbre/tonal characteristics of all the speakers in the system.
Go higher.
Higher is better, go up 8 to 10 inches for point # 2.
I might need to return to a random yet repeatable mic location scheme to eliminate the unpredictability of midrange distortion some of my Dirac sessions have produced. Lately I've resorted to:
  • First measurement at LPC
  • Next four psuedo-randomized at or below seat height to left and right of LPC
  • Final four psuedo-randomized above seat height to left and right of LPC
I say "psuedo-randomized" because I located the mic in the same horizontal plane (i.e. parallel to the floor). While that pattern consistently yields good SS&I and engaging surround effects, bass is still a bit anemic and mids seem to carry an underlying distortion not unlike that of a over-driven guitar amp. I've so far been unable to establish a correlation between my measurement procedure and/or mic locations and the compromised performance. But some trials have yielded successful results. I plan on trying the Triangle Method next, and would like to add myself to the list of people reporting back with their findings.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Further Conclusions Regarding the Comparison of Audible Results Between Audyssey XT32 and Dirac Live

After quite a bit of additional work with Dirac Live and much listening to the results, an additional comment is in order.

When this initial exercise was done, we were using our best knowledge of both products to put them on an equal footing for the listening test. Since then, further experience with Dirac Live has led me to conclude that while our approach allowed us to get the best possible results from Audyssey XT32, that approach was actually holding Dirac Live back from giving its best results. Using the mic setup patterns suggested by Dirac Research give results which are significantly better than the single mic setup pattern which was used for this test, target curve capabilities and other operational factors aside.

My conclusion is that Dirac Live as implemented in the miniDSP nanoAVR DL is capable of sonically superior results when compared to Audyssey XT32, in terms of frequency response improvement and in terms of soundstage and imaging results.
 

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My conclusion is that Dirac Live as implemented in the miniDSP nanoAVR DL is capable of sonically superior results when compared to Audyssey XT32, in terms of frequency response improvement and in terms of soundstage and imaging results.
Certainly what I found here, and I was an Audyssey XT32 and Audyssey Pro user for years. No going back once I heard my first Dirac Live calibration.
 

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Further Conclusions Regarding the Comparison of Audible Results Between Audyssey XT32 and Dirac Live

After quite a bit of additional work with Dirac Live and much listening to the results, an additional comment is in order.

When this initial exercise was done, we were using our best knowledge of both products to put them on an equal footing for the listening test. Since then, further experience with Dirac Live has led me to conclude that while our approach allowed us to get the best possible results from Audyssey XT32, that approach was actually holding Dirac Live back from giving its best results. Using the mic setup patterns suggested by Dirac Research give results which are significantly better than the single mic setup pattern which was used for this test, target curve capabilities and other operational factors aside.

My conclusion is that Dirac Live as implemented in the miniDSP nanoAVR DL is capable of sonically superior results when compared to Audyssey XT32, in terms of frequency response improvement and in terms of soundstage and imaging results.
I'm very pleased that you came to this conclusion. In my experience, using all nine positions following the general mic position guidelines has produced consistently excellent results. I have concluded since my implementation of Dirac Live approximately six months ago that the sonic results are more pleasing than what I had been used to with XT32/Pro. I have never regretted my decision and have never looked back.

Glad to see that Keith agrees as well, even though he is trying to remain incognito by dropping the "1" in his screen name. :bigsmile:
 

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I'm very pleased that you came to this conclusion. In my experience, using all nine positions following the general mic position guidelines has produced consistently excellent results. I have concluded since my implementation of Dirac Live approximately six months ago that the sonic results are more pleasing than what I had been used to with XT32/Pro. I have never regretted my decision and have never looked back.
+1 to all that, Jerry. For anyone who has a spare $1,000, I can't recommend the miniDSP DDRC-88A highly enough. And even if it looks expensive at that price, one has to recall that it will last through numerous iterations of AVR or AVP, as well as potentially making the choice of the AVR/P cheaper in the first place since one no longer needs the inbuilt REQ, the best of which is usually found only in the higher end units.

Glad to see that Keith agrees as well, even though he is trying to remain incognito by dropping the "1" in his screen name. :bigsmile:
:) I had not even realised that! I must have forgotten to add it when I initially registered here. :eek:lddude:
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I'm very pleased that you came to this conclusion. In my experience, using all nine positions following the general mic position guidelines has produced consistently excellent results. I have concluded since my implementation of Dirac Live approximately six months ago that the sonic results are more pleasing than what I had been used to with XT32/Pro. I have never regretted my decision and have never looked back.

Glad to see that Keith agrees as well, even though he is trying to remain incognito by dropping the "1" in his screen name. :bigsmile:
If I am not mistaken, I believe you mentioned in an earlier post that you had not had a bad Dirac calibration. I can say that I have, but it has only been when I was NOT following Dirac recommendations.

I think it is great that Dirac has come up with a product that is almost foolproof as far as getting good results if you just do what they say to do, no jumping through hoops. Of course my way of going about things is I had to learn that the hard way by trying pretty much everything else under the sun, so I can now enthusiastically add my voice to yours that the Dirac method simply works, and sounds fantastic!

Thanks for your comments.
 

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If I am not mistaken, I believe you mentioned in an earlier post that you had not had a bad Dirac calibration. I can say that I have, but it has only been when I was NOT following Dirac recommendations.

I think it is great that Dirac has come up with a product that is almost foolproof as far as getting good results if you just do what they say to do, no jumping through hoops. Of course my way of going about things is I had to learn that the hard way by trying pretty much everything else under the sun, so I can now enthusiastically add my voice to yours that the Dirac method simply works, and sounds fantastic!

Thanks for your comments.
Same here - I have never had a bad Dirac calibration either. Not being as experimentally inclined as you and Jerry, I just followed the instructions as closely as possible and bingo! My first ever calibration was brilliant, right out of the box. Since then I have made new calibrations just following the SOP and the result is always never less than excellent.

I think this is a testimony to the inner workings of Dirac Live. When I was using Audyssey I was always trying new calibrations, with slightly different mic positions or different techniques etc, in pursuit of a better result. This seems to be SOP with Audyssey too, judging from the experiences related in dedicated threads elsewhere. On reflection, I think that all of this effort with Audyssey was an attempt to compensate for less than perfect calibrations to begin with - chasing the dream if you will. It never sounded 'quite right' so there was always the feeling that, with some additional user input, the result could be better. With Dirac Live, it sounds like it does in my imagination and I feel no need to constantly revisit the calibration in the vain pursuit of something better.

All of the above refers to using the auto-target curve. One of the joys of Dirac Live is the ease with which one can shape the target curve to one's preferences and I have experimented with that, with mixed results. The auto curve gives such a great result it is difficult for me to improve on it, but I welcome the fact that I can trym and that it is so easy.
 

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I've only ran one Dirac test... Dirac SE. It sounds fantastic out of the box but I only did a one mic test. I need to do multiple spots and see how it works out.

I also waiting for my full license so I can adjust the curve to my liking.
 

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I would like to add that I, too, have had impressive results with Dirac's recommended mic pattern--most of the time. Several calibration results produced less than optimal HF/MF response to these ears, but I have yet to discover a correlation which renders them repeatable. So I must resign myself to accepting that the "distortion" results from human error.

At risk of being admonished for rocking the boat: I stick by my findings as they are valid for my system, room, and subjective taste. So I'd like to go on record stating that I consistently prefer one of my custom patterns over that of Dirac's standard. I've tried all manner of standard randomness, only to return to my own Trial #4: 1 loc @LP, 4 locs along hypotenuse, and 1 loc at each ear. Except for a post-Dirac phase adjustment required to lift a dip through the crossover region, those calibrations synch all 5.1 channels together like a well-oiled machine! It's the one calibration I've tried that infuses movies with the sense of foundation, envelopment, and immersion usually found only in magazines.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Lou:

What a great thread for sharing info like that. With our different rooms, speakers, amps, furniture, treatments, it is no wonder we do not all get identical results. For me the key has been to think BIGGER. The more spread out the pattern, the more consistent the results I have gotten - the opposite of the way it would work with Audyssey, and counter-intuitive in a way, AND a testament to a robust, resilient, well-engineered correction algorithm.

But that is in MY situation. The more we share this info, the more resilient our combined experience base becomes. Kudos.
 

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So I'd like to go on record stating that I consistently prefer one of my custom patterns over that of Dirac's standard.
Isn't that exactly the point of having user-adjustable target curves? That you can adjust them to your own preference? This is a big step up from Audyssey where the target curve they prefer is the one you are forced to use, even if your own preference is somewhat different.
 
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