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Discussion Starter #1
BACKGROUND
I have two ML Depth subs in my dedicated Home Theater. They are connected via RCA LFE input to Sub1 and Sub2 LFE outputs of a Denon 4311CI AVR; balanced and calibrated with Audyssey MultEQ XT32.

The subs are great in 7.2 DSX Wide multi-channel mode, but the kick drum in 2-channel direct/stereo is weak. It baffles me that a concert BR produces the desired result, but a 96/24 flac lacks the same depth. Examples being the Eagle's "All Night Long*" and Rush's "Tom Sawyer*."

*The Eagles flac file was re-mastered "using original analog master tapes by Bernie Grundman" while the Rush flac was "mastered by Andy Van Dette from the original masters through analog console, equalizers, and compressors" (hdtracks.com).​

Initially, I placed the subs behind the L/R mains (ML Source), but found a FR disparity. I moved the subs to 1/3 and 2/3 room width which solved the disparity, but not the kick drum weakness.

QUESTIONS
1) The sub has a control for 25 Hz +10 to -10 dB. I can boost or cut 25 Hz, but it seems only loudness changes. This causes an opposite volume adjustment according to the Audyssey sub level tool. Should I just set the knob at 0 and forget it?

2) The sub has 4 phase options 0/90/180/270 degrees. I tried them all, but I don't hear a difference. I use the same phase setting for both subs. The manual says start at 90, but the instructions on the controls lid says to start at 0 phase. Does the phase setting really matter?

3) In the AVR 2-ch direct/stereo settings I have Mains set to Small, Subs - Yes, Sub mode - LFE+Main, Crossover - 80Hz. Get this, low synthesizer bass is strong, but I cannot improve the kick drum frequency. Help me Home Theater Shack, you're my only hope.

4) I did buy a UMM-6 USB mic from Amazon, not knowing I should have bought from Cross-Spectrum. I have yet to use REW, fearing incorrect measurements. It's too late to return the mic to Amazon, do I have an option other than calling it a futuristic Harry Potter wand?

I am open to changing settings and performing additional calibration. Sub placement is limited to the front of the 18' x 15' theater. The ceiling is 9' high - Hershey style if it matters.
-Paul
 

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It does help to see an REW graph, but...

Are you using the OPPO for BD and stereo listening?

Are you using Dynamic EQ?

25Hz is not kick drum frequencies... and not a whole lot of music has information in that range, so I would not worry with that boost setting for music, unless you are listening to a lot of pipe organ music. Kick drum is generally around 40-80Hz.

The BD could be emphasizing the LFE channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is it ok to use the Dayton mic for the REW measurement?

I use the OPPO for both BD and stereo flac through HDMI. I also use the AVR for stereo flac playback.

Dynamic EQ is usually engaged.

Given the kick drum is 40-80, should I change the AVR's 2ch mains to large or drop crossover to 40 Hz. Audyssey sets mains to 40 when changed from Lg to Sm.
 

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You can use the Dayton mic and it should be fairly close from 30Hz up to about 10kHz. You are mostly concerned with what's going on from 30Hz - 120Hz anyway, and it should be fairly flat through that range. Someone who has the mic and the calibration file could probably answer this more accurately.

I think it is likely better to not use Dynamic EQ with music, as it can do some weird things to the imaging. You may or may not notice it, but at low to moderate volume levels there will be more bass with Dyn EQ On, since that is what it does. For movies it is fine, but with music, it is not usually recommended. You be the judge though.

I am assuming you have ran Audyssey for the currently speaker and sub location. If so, you can try changing the bass management around as you suggested above to see what you like the best and/or if it helps. You can also run some sweeps to get an idea of what is going on with the various setups.

My processor allows me to set Audyssey for each source. When I was using my OPPO 105 for movies and music, I setup the movies to be played back through HDMI to my processor and set it to Audyssey Movie with Dynamic EQ On. Then I ran an optical out cable to another input on my processor and set it up for Audyssey Music (only effects the upper frequencies) and set Dyn EQ Off. HOWEVER, As Audyssey equalizes my system is not sufficient bass for me. I add a +6db shelf filter in my DEQ2496 and bump the subwoofer levels up about 3dB over what Audyssey sets it. For movies... I like a LOT of bass, although surprisingly it is not overkill. For music I do turn off the Dyn EQ, but I leave the bass a little hot with the same settings for movies. I have it setup in my remote so I can remotely turn the bass level down if it gets to hot, but most of the time it is just right.

Keep in mind too, that you are comparing a BD vs a music file... which is not exactly an apples to apples comparison. I am not sure you should necessarily expect the same. I am not familiar with how that BD is mixed, but it could easily have some enhanced LFE.

You can see the differences between the two below. Red is music without Dyn EQ. This is merely what Dyn EQ does at this level... the more the volume, the less effect it has. Either way, you can see how much more bass I like in my movies and music. A gradual rise from about 200Hz. Movies and music sound great to me... and I think others (with better ears than I) that have heard it will agree.

movie_vs_music.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #5
:cool:
Ok, I'll give REW a go on the subs.

Point taken on DynEQ. I remember others saying it should be called CinemaEQ. I can do a macro in my Roomie remote to cancel EQ for music.

Yes, I run Audyssey after every change. I started using Wayne's Audyssey setup guide about a month ago. He's a genius!

You're definitely not the first person that mentioned Audyssey's conservative LFE levels. When I got the Denon 4311, several of us owners complained about the LFE levels. We were told "reference versus preference." :nono:
I was afraid the Audyssey reference police would come get me if I bumped up the SW setting. Which led me to a second sub. :spend:

I say that a bit facetiously, but one thing I like about this forum is encouragement. You just said it in your previous post, "you be the judge." Since I joined, not one person has told me what to do or talked down to me. I really appreciate that.

Good point about comparing a concert BD mix to a studio mix, because neither sound like a live concert. I'll start messing around with REW and post some graphs.

Thanks for the pointers.
-Paul
 

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Audyssey can struggle at times if there is a larger peak in your raw sub response. You are adjusting the sub level input based on the highest SPL of any peak in the response. Audyssey removes the peak but fails to compensate for the lower level. I have seen some post-Audyssey response graphs with low frequency levels being 5-10dB down below 120Hz because of this. It is one reason I have the DEQ2496 so I can tame a nasty 15dB peak at 45Hz prior to running Audyssey. Then I ignore the sub leveling and just run Audyssey, afterwards adjusting my levels where I like them.

Naturally I would like to hear the sound as close to possible as it is suppose to be heard, but we all have our tastes in what we like. It is important to be happy with what you are hearing. I keep experimenting all the time, continuously chasing musical nirvana. I suspect I have gotten pretty close for me anyway.

Wayne is superb! I wish I could keep him around my house year round, but I suppose I will just have to be satisfied with getting him here every few months and hanging on to him as long as I can. I indeed envy his ears... and his knowledge. I sincerely appreciate his friendship... just a genuinely nice guy. My wife loves having him around too. Of course she won't admit it, but she likes it when the HTS gang comes in for a few days too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I wanted to post a follow up. Sonnie, you were right! The music sounded better with DynEQ off, but it came alive when I turned off Audyssey. I get the power and kick I wanted. The dynamics, acoustics, and imaging is what I expect a studio to be like.
 

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I am thinking Audyssey on is going to be closer to what the studio would be like, since it is going to be flatter. It seems we don't always prefer the flat response the studios intend... to some it will sound blah, until we listen to it for long enough, then unflat doesn't sound as good.

I had the same experience as you. I kept turning Audyssey Off because I thought it sounded better, and it did have more bass, but only because there was a hump in the midbass. Turning Audyssey On took that out, so it sounded like I was missing something. Yeah... I was... a hump that wasn't supposed to be there. What I later figured out is that if I could raise the entire low frequency range with a shelf filter, I had the bass I wanted and everything else also flattened out like it should be... with a gradual roll off at the top. If I switch back to Audyssey Off, I still get a bump in bass, but now I realize it is the wrong kind of bump, and it no longer sounds as good as it does with Audyssey On, especially after listening to several hours of music.

BTW... I think the imaging might be a little worse for me with Pure Audio. Certain instruments, big bass and bass guitar particularly, are not quite as deep with Pure Audio. If there are instruments being used in that midbass hump range, it causes that instrument to sound closer. This also confuses the soundstage to a degree, although it might sound right if you have not heard it in what I would believe to be the correct way.
 

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My Onkyo 5509 only offers Movie and Music. Music doesn't roll of the top end quite as much as movies.

With your settings, Bypass equalizes all speakers except the front. I would try Standard and Flat. You might even measure one of your front speakers with Standard and Flat and see the difference in response. Then listen to both. IIRC, Flat will be more like Music on my Onkyo, it will not roll off the top end quite as much. When Wayne and I were doing some critical listening, we thought the top end not being rolled off did add a bit of "snap" and "sparkle" to the music (if I am using those words correctly)... with the Montis. It may depend on the speakers you have as to whether you like it or not. I would give each a good listen over several days and see which you prefer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am thinking Audyssey on is going to be closer to what the studio would be like, since it is going to be flatter.
I had the same experience as you. I kept turning Audyssey Off because I thought it sounded better...but only because there was a hump in the midbass. Turning Audyssey On took that out, so it sounded like I was missing something.
What I later figured out is that if I could raise the entire low frequency range with a shelf filter, I had the bass I wanted and everything else also flattened out like it should be... with a gradual roll off at the top.
You were right. I had not sampled enough music when I posted my joy with Audyssey Off. One minute into Blues Travelers' Run-Around I realized the bongos were muffled. I switched on Audyssey XT32, then Audyssey Flat, which brought back the missing frequencies at the expense of Bass loss. Befuddled but not discouraged, I copied the Flat curve to ManualEQ and made adjustments to my preference. It will do for now. I'm configuring my laptop and USB mic for REW. My next post will be the measurements. -Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I measured my subs and L/R speakers I use for music. This was my first time using REW. I pointed the mic up and measured each sub's SPL.

I took a before and after measurement of SW1. I adjusted the volume level as well as the 25Hz knob from 0 to -10dB (range is -10/+10dB). The SW1 adjustment showed the 25Hz knob does not really affect that frequency. I set the volume at 4 and Phase at 0 deg as always.

SW2 is where it got interesting. This sub is all over the place. The following graph has the original SW2 measurement. Moving the sub around to various locations did not change the response. I did my best to calm down SW2, but it refused. SW2 is louder than SW1 so I set Volume at 3 and Phase to 0 deg.

Once I measured the subs together, the problems I am having started to make sense. The 25Hz setting and volume was not the problem - PHASE was the problem. I measured every Phase combination available: 0/90/180/270 and it turned out SW1 at 270 worked best with SW2 at zero. Here is the result. *note the red and blue lines are mislabeled.The the Phase both subs were located at 1/3 the wall on either side.

There was nothing I could do to remove the 20Hz hump. The only way to fix 30Hz dip was volume leveling which affected 43Hz. The 50Hz dip explains the lack of kick drum in the music, but 60Hz is tough. I had to be careful in raising SW2 volume to make up for the 80Hz dive caused by SW1. Based on my initial sub measurements, I can only surmise that Audyssey XT32 helped level the SW volume, but apparently it cannot determine Phase problems with multiple subs. I suppose a bass equalizer/filter is in my future.

I measured my ML Source L/R speakers with and without the subs to see how things would shape up. The graph is an A/B comparison of 2.0 vs 2.2 FR. This graph was before I ran Audyssey XT32. The hour was getting late, so I could not do another REW sweep to get an after measurement.

However, I was able to listen to the same music mentioned in previous posts. The kick drum was audible and balanced with the music. The floor toms did not overpower the music. The clarity and imaging of the guitar riff trading between Joe Walsh and Don Felder in Life in the Fast Lane was...astounding - I don't know how else to say it.

Overall, lead singers were center stage while backing vocals were spacious/broad. The bass guitar sounded like it was played: smooth, plucked, picked, or slapped. Another surprise came from a live album. Whistles, hoots, and callouts were not only audible, but locatable. That has never been the case. I cannot explain why each track had depth and realism. It does not make sense that a 2 dimensional recording can produce an all encompassing result.

Even though music sounds better than ever, this is still an 85% Home Theater. I have yet to audition my reference movies. Maybe someone can point out additional things I can try or offer better measurement methods. I did my best to follow the help instructions, but I struggled with sound card and SPL calibration, sweep volume, and mic placement/configuration. It doesn't matter. I will keep at it until I master it.
 

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4) I did buy a UMM-6 USB mic from Amazon, not knowing I should have bought from Cross-Spectrum. I have yet to use REW, fearing incorrect measurements. It's too late to return the mic to Amazon, do I have an option other than calling it a futuristic Harry Potter wand?
My recommendation, get a copy of REW up and running so you can see how the room acoustics are interacting with the output of the subs.
 

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Maybe somebody will do you guys a favor and buy out Jason's contract. Don't know who, but stranger things have happened....:p

Do you have both subs on the same side of the room or on opposite sides of the room. One on the LRC side and one behind the MLP?

Not trying to me mean. That 20Hz to 60Hz suckout, will kill your kick drum.

With XT32 and the Depth i's I would be expecting much better graphing and from my position, you can do it.
 
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