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Thread: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

  1. #1
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    Default Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    I was playing with my Audyssey MultiEQ Pro kit this weekend and couldn't decide if applying midrange compensation (a dip in the 2 kHz region of the target curve to account for directivity changes around a typical tweeter-to-midrange crossover frequency) made the calibrated response better or not.

    I wonder if Dave could chime in on at least the theoretical advantages and disadvantages of applying midrange compensation for Sierra Towers / Horizon with RAAL tweeters. I don't think the exact crossover frequency has ever been confirmed, but I'm assuming it's somewhere around 1.8 kHz as RAAL recommends for 70-20XR. Audyssey Pro also allows to shift the MRC dip from 2 kHz to any desired frequency, so that's also an option.

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    Default Re: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by Kisakuku View Post
    I was playing with my Audyssey MultiEQ Pro kit this weekend and couldn't decide if applying midrange compensation (a dip in the 2 kHz region of the target curve to account for directivity changes around a typical tweeter-to-midrange crossover frequency) made the calibrated response better or not.

    I wonder if Dave could chime in on at least the theoretical advantages and disadvantages of applying midrange compensation for Sierra Towers / Horizon with RAAL tweeters. I don't think the exact crossover frequency has ever been confirmed, but I'm assuming it's somewhere around 1.8 kHz as RAAL recommends for 70-20XR. Audyssey Pro also allows to shift the MRC dip from 2 kHz to any desired frequency, so that's also an option.
    Not a proponent of this at all... Basically, what Audyssey is trying to do is to reduce off-axis tweeter "bloom". This is quite common with dome tweeters but any competent loudspeaker designer is already aware of this and has a keen enough ear to determine if there is too much overall energy at these frequencies.

    An example of this can be seen in the attached image (first graph). Reducing the bloom by simply reducing the energy at these frequencies is, in my professional opinion, not recommended. In the case of our ribbon speakers, this compensation will do more harm than good as there is no off-axis blooming at any frequency.

    attached is the polar response of the ribbon towers (the green graph)
    Attached Images Attached Images
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    Good Sound To You!

    David Fabrikant
    www.ascendacoustics.com

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    Default Re: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by davef View Post
    Not a proponent of this at all... Basically, what Audyssey is trying to do is to reduce off-axis tweeter "bloom". This is quite common with dome tweeters but any competent loudspeaker designer is already aware of this and has a keen enough ear to determine if there is too much overall energy at these frequencies.

    An example of this can be seen in the attached image (first graph). Reducing the bloom by simply reducing the energy at these frequencies is, in my professional opinion, not recommended. In the case of our ribbon speakers, this compensation will do more harm than good as there is no off-axis blooming at any frequency.

    attached is the polar response of the ribbon towers (the green graph)
    Dave, thank you for an in-depth response.

    Having seen this graph before, I already knew how flat the off-axis response of RAAL is. Being able to disable MRC was one of the reasons why I decided to get the Audyssey Pro kit in the first place. (There is no way to disable it in the consumer Audyssey versions.) I figured I'd ask you about it anyway, since playing with target curves in the Pro software is a fun exercise and I'm usually quite indecisive about what sounds best to me. Case in point: I'm still not sure if for music I prefer the high frequency roll-off of the standard Audyssey target curve or no HF roll-off of Audyssey Flat.

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    Default Re: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    Not being able to turn off MRC in non pro-kit Audyssey setups is a serious problem. As a loudspeaker designer I take serious issue with this. Even a loudspeaker that has serious off-axis bloom, amplitude reduction is not the fix. Audyssey can not change directivity and reducing the level not even a band aid and shouldn't simply be based on what Audyssey staff members perceive as "sounding better". I was not aware of this until now and it might explain a lot with regard to a few comments I have received from customers using our ribbon speakers with Audyssey based receivers.
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    David Fabrikant
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    Default Re: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by davef View Post
    Not being able to turn off MRC in non pro-kit Audyssey setups is a serious problem. As a loudspeaker designer I take serious issue with this. Even a loudspeaker that has serious off-axis bloom, amplitude reduction is not the fix. Audyssey can not change directivity and reducing the level not even a band aid and shouldn't simply be based on what Audyssey staff members perceive as "sounding better". I was not aware of this until now and it might explain a lot with regard to a few comments I have received from customers using our ribbon speakers with Audyssey based receivers.
    Good thing I posted the link to MRC info on the Audyssey site then. Indeed, it is somewhat bizarre and arbitrary that you have to spend an extra $700 and quite a bit of extra effort (or pay somebody for a Pro calibration) just to get a flat FR target curve for Audyssey, and that's on top of a relatively expensive Pro kit compatible receiver with Audyssey XT or XT32. I think Audyssey is a very valuable tool for people with less-than-ideal setups, but it can introduce issues of its own.

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    Default Re: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    The 2kHz notch filter is only active in the Audyssey "Movie" setting (formerly known as the "Audyssey curve" in older receivers.

    The Audyssey "Music" setting (formerly known as the "Flat" curve in older models) is what you should use if you do not want Audyssey's "opinion" of how things should sound.

    Also, if the Receiver or Pre-amp is THX Certified (which pretty much just means Onkyo or Integra when it comes to THX Certified Receivers and Pre-amps that also use Audyssey), when you use one of the THX Listening Modes (THX Cinema, THX Music, THX Game, etc.), Audyssey is automatically set to the "Music" or "Flat" curve, rather than the default "Movie" or "Audyssey" curve.

    The reason the THX Listening modes do this is because of THX Re-EQ, which is THX's own "opinion" of how things ought to sound, and THX demanded that their EQ settings should not cascade on top of another non-flat EQ program.

    There were a number of AV Receivers that had Audyssey, but did not offer the choice between the "Movie" and "Music" settings. The only had the default "Movie" or "Audyssey" curve. So those particular receivers were the big problem. With those, there was no way to get the "Music" aka. "Flat" curve, unless you upgraded to the Audyssey Pro kit. However, some of those default-only receivers were THX Certified! So there was a work around: you would use a THX Listening mode (which would then force Audyssey into the "Music" or "Flat" curve, even though those were not options that you could select in the regular user menu), and then you could manually turn off THX Re-EQ to get back to a "Flat" setting! Problem was, THX Re-EQ ALWAYS defaults to being on every time you cycle the power of the receiver, or switch to a different listening mode and then switch back. So that was a hassle. But at least it was POSSIBLE to get rid of the 2kHz notch filter that way - haha.

    Bottom line, the 2kHz notch filter is not ALWAYS there when using Audyssey. If you have the choice in the user menu to select the "Music" or "Flat" curve, then that disengages the 2kHz notch filter. It's just the default "Movie" or "Audyssey" curves that have the 2kHz notch filter. And using a THX Listening mode with THX Re-EQ manually turned off (every time!) can get you the flat curve with no 2kHz notch filter, too

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    Default Re: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan_teller View Post
    Bottom line, the 2kHz notch filter is not ALWAYS there when using Audyssey. If you have the choice in the user menu to select the "Music" or "Flat" curve, then that disengages the 2kHz notch filter. It's just the default "Movie" or "Audyssey" curves that have the 2kHz notch filter. And using a THX Listening mode with THX Re-EQ manually turned off (every time!) can get you the flat curve with no 2kHz notch filter, too
    Thanks for a helpful explanation, but there's another nuance here. Only one target curve / set of filters is loaded into the receiver after an Audyssey calibration and that becomes the "Movie" curve. The "Music" curve is calculated internally by the receiver by applying a predetermined offset to the "Movie" curve that compensates for the applied HF roll-off and MRC and makes the target curve flat. So it is my understanding that while yes, you can use the "Music" curve to get a flat FR, you can't (without a Pro kit) have a calibration with HF roll-off, but no MRC.

    UPDATE: This is incorrect. Audyssey "Music" curve does not compensate for the MRC dip in the "Movie" curve, therefore if one has the dip, so does the other.
    Last edited by Kisakuku; 05-30-2013 at 11:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by Kisakuku View Post
    So it is my understanding that while yes, you can use the "Music" curve to get a flat FR, you can't (without a Pro kit) have a calibration with HF roll-off, but no MRC.
    Yes, absolutely correct. One sort of work around is to use a THX Listening Mode and to actually use the THX Re-EQ default. THX Re-EQ applies a high frequency roll-off. But, of course, it also monkeys with other parts of the frequency response - heh. So it's only a partial work around.

    Personally, I'm ok with no high frequency roll-off. I'll take the flat response with no 2kHz notch filter over the "Audyssey" curve, that's for sure!

    I definitely agree that it's a major pain to have to try and work around (or spend around) a program like Audyssey, though. Especially when it's perfectly capable of delivering the desired results, but it's just hamstrung by marketing decisions

    But yeah, I did want Dave and others to know that you can get rid of the 2kHz notch filter, since that can be a very offensive alteration that is not needed with well designed speakers! But if you want the notch filter gone AND anything other than a flat target curve, you're right back to needing Audyssey Pro (or putting up with THX Re-EQ's "opinion" ).

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    Love these room correction discussions. I have a different flavor (pioneer) and basically turned off the EQ calibration altogether. There are 2 additional components that I am still questioning the merit of: "phase control" and "standing wave correction".

    Here is an example of the standing wave correction
    No. Filter 1 Filter 2 Filter 3
    Freq 74Hz 239Hz 101Hz
    Q 2.6 9.8 9.8
    ATT 3.5dB 1.0dB 3.5dB

    No results are given from phase control, just on or off setting.

    These modern components I think have gotten a bit out of control.

    Anyone have an opinion on either of these "features"?

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    Default Re: Audyssey midrange compensation and RAAL Sierra Towers / Horizon

    Quote Originally Posted by jonathan_teller View Post
    But yeah, I did want Dave and others to know that you can get rid of the 2kHz notch filter, since that can be a very offensive alteration that is not needed with well designed speakers! But if you want the notch filter gone AND anything other than a flat target curve, you're right back to needing Audyssey Pro (or putting up with THX Re-EQ's "opinion" ).
    So turns out I was too hasty in agreeing with your explanation. The AVS gurus pointed me to these two posts by the Audyssey founder, who has stated that consumer (non-Pro) Audyssey Flat / Music curve has the same MRC dip as the Audyssey / Movie curve. The only way to get rid of it is to use the Pro software, as I have originally stated. (I've updated my post above.)

    http://www.avsforum.com/t/795421/off...#post_18910114

    http://www.avsforum.com/t/795421/off...#post_19714566

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