Room/Speaker EQ: Does Your Receiver Have It, Do You Use it, Do You Like it?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Arthur S, Sep 23, 2006.

  1. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Room/Speaker EQ is now on many receivers, including Denon, Yamaha, Marantz, Pioneer, Harman-Kardon.

    There is not much discussion of this feature.

    I don't have it, but I would like it on my next purchase.

    Those of you who have it, please say a few words about your experiences.

    Thanks
     
  2. gene c

    gene c Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2003
    Messages:
    5,842
    Likes Received:
    47
    Location:
    Bay area, Ca
    Real Name:
    Gene
    I've used this feature on a Pioneer 1014 an Onkyo 702 and an H/K 435. I'm using various combinations of Polk RTi 8's, 6's, 4's and a CSi5 along with two Dayton 10" subs located on each side of my couch under the end tables. The Pioneer is the most flexible of the bunch as it allows you to view the eq settings it came up with. It also lets you make manual adjustments to it's eq but only 4 of the channels as the 40 hz setting is not adjustable. Unfortunately it also came up with the most bazaar settings of the group. It would set the FL to 0 and the FR to +9. It also turned my subs volume level to -9 and removed most of the deep bass(?). And each time I ran it the numbers would be considerably different as though it were guessing rather than measuring and adjusting. Overall sound was improved a bit but not that much. This avr was the first to offer this feature so newer versions may perform better. The Onkyo also allows for manual eq adjustments but does not allow you to view the eq results it came up with. I does have a three band eq for the sub though. But apparently I was not talented enough to use it properly. In other words, I kept screwing it up and had to return everything to 0. It's results for speaker distance and volume were very consistent and sound quality was really improved but it also was unable to adjust my subs properly. It turned the volume down all the way and after I turned it back up the bass was very bloated. Since I was unable to smooth it out myself, I had to turn the entire auto-eq feature off. The H/K was the least flexible but best sounding of the trio. Really improved the already wide front sound stage, stereo separation or "presence", which ever you prefer to call it, of the 435. It doesn't allow you to view or adjust the eq but it was the only one to smooth out the mid-range of my Polk RTi6's which I felt sounded a little harsh, especially with male vocals. And while it did a much better job with the subs, they still didn't sound right. The eq feature was also much less successful when I up-graded to RTi8's for the fronts. Didn't improve the sound stage much at all. Seems to do a better job with bookshelves. The Pioneer and Onkyo always set all speakers to large and all x-overs to 40. Had to manually reset them. Occasionally the H/K would set some to small and use a higher x-over but usually was large/40 as well. While the Pioneer and Onkyo were both relatively easy to use, the H/K had the best mic (and longest cord) and was easiest to set-up of the bunch. All three had trouble with my subs. Most likely my dual sub, strange location was the problem. To make a short story long, I would rate the H/K 1st, closely followed by the Onkyo, and then the Pioneer. But in the end, I wound up putting my beloved H/K 520 back in place. The RTi8 up-grade pretty much eliminated the harsh mid-range problem and for some reason I really like the way the 520 sounds. I will keep either the 702 or 435 for another room and sell whatever is left. So in the end, it looks like the auto-eq feature wasn't as useful to me as it may be to others. How's that for "a few words"?
     
  3. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks a bunch Gene, I really appreciated everything you had to say. The fairly new HK 745 appears to have one of the best EQs going. I not only does the speakers, but can EQ 2 subs. I saw an ad from J&R, and it is under $1900 now. That is still a lot of money, however, a year from now it out to be down in the $1,300 range.

    I would love to hear the experiences of others, please keep the responses coming [​IMG]
     
  4. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    I too love the EZset/EQ in my HK AVR-635. Really fixed my cheap speakers.
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    That is great to hear Luis!

    Please keep those post coming all you EQ owners [​IMG]
     
  6. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0
    Arthur, I find it odd that you wholly advocate this feature in other threads and then start a thread asking if it's a worthwhile feature... To that end, I went into my favourite local audio shop to audition 2 receivers with the feature (Pioneer 1016 and Yamaha RX-V1600) to see what the fuss is all about (actually, I needed a new spool of speaker wire for my new setup which is the excuse I used on the wife). Both receivers were auditioned with a PSB Alpha 6.1 setup. The reference material we used after set-up was SW EPIII opening scene (good use of sub and surround effect), LOTR ROTK final battle scene, and Matrix lobby scene.

    Pioneer 1016 - The Room/EQ feature seemed to come up with different settings every time we ran it without moving the speakers. The distances detected were, for the most part, within 12-16 inches of actual and it found our purposefully installed out of phase speaker. However, it set the center channel as large consistently (should have been small) and had trouble detecting the subwoofer. Each time we ran it, we then went in manually to tweak settings to our liking. Sound wise, the 1016 didn't impress me. Compared to other systems I've tried, it sounded "muffled" and I had trouble adjusting dialogue so that it wasn't overpowered by music/effects.

    Yamaha 1600 - The YPAO Room/EQ system appeared to be more accurate than the Pioneer (expected in a $600 more expensive system?) and consistently 6-12 inches from actual distance. It also had trouble with the sub, did set the fronts as "large" when speakers were within 5' of the YPAO microphone (I know, who would ever sit 5' from the display, but this was a test to see reaction of the system!) but it, too, found the out of phase speaker. Sound wise, way better than the 1016. Dialogue was crisp, surround sound better developed and enveloping, better sub response, you felt like you were there, not just watching the movie.

    Bottom line, to do the calibration manually with an SPL Meter and VE disc typically takes me 30 minutes to an hour. With the room/EQ features of the receivers, set-up took 3-5 minutes, tweaking took another 10-15 minutes. Advantage? Only if you plan on doing set-ups often and don't enjoy the other method ;-). Everything else being equal, would I chose a receiver with room/eq option over another... no, not yet.

    ---
    Oh, in case anyone is wondering what shop would give you the time to do this demo, two customers walked out with Yamaha RX-V1600's with PSB speakers because of the auditioning they experienced. The shop should have given me a commission or at least the speaker wire spool for free!
     
  7. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    To be fair you need to audition the HK 435 and up. I think the key to Harman Kardon's success when using the auto calibration is that it takes a Far Field measurement and then a near field measurement for the main L, R and center speaker thus the processor has more information to make a more accurate calibration. This to me, makes a great difference.
     
  8. John Brill

    John Brill Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    519
    Likes Received:
    0

    Good point, unfortunately the shop doesn't carry H/K, only Yamaha, Pioneer (no Elites for some reason), and Lexicon (which is affiliated with H/K but they don't carry H/K, weird). Also, in Canada, H/K is stupidly priced :-(
     
  9. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    JB

    The point of starting the thread was to get some feedback from people, like Luis, who actually use this feature, to talk about it, because, while undoubtedly, many HTF members have this feature on their receivers, they don't often mention it, and I wanted to hear from those folks.

    Right now, the king of the hill appears to be the HK 745 that not only EQs all 7 speakers, but separately EQs 2 subwoofers. This thing sells for $1725 and is falling in price.
     
  10. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have it,and don't use it.The less I alter the signal the better for me.
     
  11. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Curtis

    There are more than a few minimalists who choose to avoid signal processing as much as possible. There is certainly something to be said for this, especially for music listening, but for movies, I would humbly suggest that a flatter FR is more audible than a "direct path".
     
  12. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree Arthur and even will do it with music. Unless you have a "perfect" listening room your sound is been "altered" already by your room acoustics so in this case by using the EZset/EQ you are actually trying to correct for those room issues in order to obtain a "purer" sound.
     
  13. johndeerrm

    johndeerrm Auditioning

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello,

    I used the room EQ on my Denon AVR-2807, the fist time I ran it I was VERY disappointed with its sound. Everything sounded terrible, there was no "depth" to the sound and it seemed very directional. You could almost hear every speaker separately. [​IMG]

    I listened to it for a day or two and was truly disappointed in my new setup. While browsing this forum I read that the 2807 can take samples from up to 6 locations, my previous attempt at using the room EQ was only with 4. I tried taking measurements again this time doing all 6 and spreading them evenly across my couch, viola it worked perfect. Now I am truly impressed by the way my new setup sounds. Music is simply amazing, the movies are phenomenal.
     
  14. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Ryan

    It will probably help others to know that taking the measurements from 6 positions made all the difference [​IMG]

    Arthur
     
  15. CurtisC

    CurtisC Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    0
    Arthur,right you are.Whenever I think of a/v gear I still think of music.For movies I can see this may be a good thing.
     
  16. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2000
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    Imho minimizing room effect on the sound signal should be as good for music as it is for movies. Think about it...why would removing or minimizing the room "coloring" would be a good thing for one purpose and a bad thing for other?
     

Share This Page