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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Digital now reins supreme, even if it will be a long time before they (the guys who think cables matter) agree.

I recently upgraded to an Onkyo PR-SC5508 processor, that breaks the equalization down into much smaller and therefore accurate segments (Audyssey MultEQ® XT32), and that measures, adjusts the loudness, phase and frequency response of all speakers, and equalizes my two front and rear subs by independent and then unified tests.

I've now got something way beyond what I had before. It's not watts (I've got independent channels for all speakers, totally > 10K), or speakers (see system), its the digital enhancement. But 'enhancement' does not do justice to what happens. Perhaps 'transformation!

This, the digital equalization domain, will soon be the new cutting edge, whatever the cable (amp and even speaker) guys say.
 

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Dont forget that in the end its still an analog signal going to your speakers. Yes a good EQ can make a world of difference but so can many other aspects including room acoustic and shape, speakers and placement as well as how little distortion your amps are outputting.
You can achieve very good results with good outboard analog EQs and a little patience between the source and the amps as well.
 

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Now, speakers and amps are so very accurate for reasonable money, the EQ is most important. This is what gets rid of the ROOM PROBLEMS (which are usually huge by comparison to other problems).
 

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Room acoustics are the very first thing that should be addressed, EQ is a semi fix but there is nothing better than starting with a room thats already been treated correctly. Dont get me wrong, EQ has come a long way now that we have YAPO, MMAC and Audyssey but there are way to many other variables to consider to make a blanket statement like you have.
 

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OP, I know what you mean and I somewhat agree with you. But to tonyvdb's point, the best room equilazation (correction) in the world can't do miracle in a square room full of windows. Other factors need to come in play to help.

Also, if you'd hook up $20 pc speakers to your system, ain't nothing that can help that. Equalization is part of the equation.

cheers
 

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Room acoustics are the MOST DIFFICULT thing to be addressed physically, even with an advanced degree in mathematics, physics and acoustics, AND with an unlimited budget, which may mean busting walls down.
 

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OK, I don't have $20 speakers, but Stereophile (former) class 'A'. And, yes, I agree that this can matter, but not as much as I once thought.

And the digital correction will solve, ultimately, the square room problem. Nothing else will.
 

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Acoustic panels dont have to break the bank either you can build them yourself for very little.
 

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Bass traps, I've tried them, even built my own. Not worth the effort. I've still got diffusers/sound absorbent panels up (got rid got rid of the bass traps, copartively useless). Get a good eqaualizer. It's job is primarily to adjust for room anomalies (not speaker or amp problems, which are now minor, unless you've got some very cheap or broken crud).
 

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Bass traps, I've tried them, even built my own. Not worth the effort.
I know many many people on this forum who will flat out disagree with this but to each their own. If your happy thats what matters here. Im glad you have a system that is a joy to listen to :)
 

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OK, I don't have $20 speakers, but Stereophile (former) class 'A'. And, yes, I agree that this can matter, but not as much as I once thought.
There’s an old saying about equalizers: They can make a good speaker sound better, but they can’t make a bad speaker sound good. :T

But yes I agree that digital EQ has made great strides, especially what’s built into receivers. Late-model Yamahas have user-adjustable 1/3-octave parametric filters; when they get 1/6-octave I'll probably be inclined to ditch my outboard equalizers.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Digital now reins supreme, even if it will be a long time before they (the guys who think cables matter) agree.

I recently upgraded to an Onkyo PR-SC5508 processor, that breaks the equalization down into much smaller and therefore accurate segments (Audyssey MultEQ® XT32), and that measures, adjusts the loudness, phase and frequency response of all speakers, and equalizes my two front and rear subs by independent and then unified tests.

I've now got something way beyond what I had before. It's not watts (I've got independent channels for all speakers, totally > 10K), or speakers (see system), its the digital enhancement. But 'enhancement' does not do justice to what happens. Perhaps 'transformation!

This, the digital equalization domain, will soon be the new cutting edge, whatever the cable (amp and even speaker) guys say.
Hello,
I believe in a later post you stated you also own Stereohile Class A Speakers. For what its worth, Audyssey MultEQ was awarded Accessory of the Year by Stereophile as well. And this was prior to XT32 which I find to be brilliant.

My speakers, not including the Descent i and Depth, retail for around $15,000 and with the subwoofers is north of 20k. I think Room Acoustics are paramount to getting the best SQ. I also think that Bass Traps are a very powerful tool when properly implemented. Speaker Placement is another thing that makes a huge impact.

In terms of EQ, the addition of Active Crossovers would be the only thing I would add. In addition, if you have not performed REW, I cannot recommend that enough as well.
Cheers,
JJ
 

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+1 on the benefits of bass traps. I was a non-believer until our very own bpape showed me the light... Of course, it takes several to do the job. Perhaps the OP did not go far enough to gain the benefits?

That said, XT32 is a wonderful tool, especially when you add the Audyssey Pro icing on top!
 

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The auto cal EQ is an interesting animal, in some situations the way people describe its affects it almost works miracles and in other situations it is better to just turn it off.
I am glad you are happy with your PR-SC5508 and it is working so well for you but you would have to do some before / after (calibration) measurements in your room to actually know if the EQ is really doing what you think it is.

Many people like to listen to music with the EQ bypassed (Direct, Pure Direct) because they find that sound more enjoyable so there is something to be said for that too.
 
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