Automatic Calibration/Equalization Recievers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Eric Goldman, Dec 10, 2003.

  1. Eric Goldman

    Eric Goldman Auditioning

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    Be gentle; I am new to forums..I may not follow proper protocol.

    When I was looking to set up my HT, I took home the best Bose all in one DVD system out. As you all know, it sucked!

    However, I was blown away by the automatic calibration system. The spacial qualities of the surround sound was amazing (even if the overall sound quality didn't make it).

    Anyway, I ended up with a Marantz 8200, and the B&W CMD 900 series and matching center, surrounds and sub. It's pretty nice.

    When I read about the Yamaha Z9 with YPAO I went to my store. They didn't have the Z9, but my salesman set up a demonstration of the YPAO on the RX-2400 using the same B&W speakers. Once again I was blown away by the results. My home system never sounded quite that rich, full and enveloping!

    OK, I may not be some techie, but I think I do know what sound I like. So my question is why isn't everyone talking about these automatic calibration systems? I have since seen that Pioneer and Marantz have their versions.

    I don't necessarily want to plunk down $4,500.00 for a new receiver, but I feel that these automatic calibration systems are fantastic. Can I get this result with some eq's without an engineering degree?

    Some help and comments....[email protected]
     
  2. NickSP

    NickSP Supporting Actor

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    Can your dealer let you try out the 2400 in your own home so you can hear for yourself how the 2400 does compared to your existing Marantz?
    Also YPAO and MCACC have been discussed in great details on most boards if you do a search you should get many threads on them.
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    You can do better with an audio calibration disc and a db meter, than can be done with auto calibrations.

    Not as simple, for sure, but usually better results.
     
  4. John Robert

    John Robert Stunt Coordinator

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  5. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I disagree also. Both the MCACC and the YPAO work as advertised. It'll only be a short matter of time before every manufacturer includes it somewhere in their line and even though the EQ's are fairly rudimentary now, they still can achieve good results. It should be something when even more processing power is available and even better EQs are developed.

    DJ
     
  6. BenK

    BenK Stunt Coordinator

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  7. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    It all depends on what your priorities are. Even the best parametric EQ by Yamaha, YPAO, has serious limitations (hard coded frequency bands) that don't lend themselves to the best sound quality for all room sizes and speaker types. Pioneer's MCACC is based on graphic EQ which is not as good as parametric EQ.

    I tend to agree, if you have the time and knowledge, you can do much better than these automated systems.

    The automated systems save time for those who don't want to delve into the science of acoustics for improved sound quality. They can also be a good place to start for a newby.
     
  8. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    And here's another way to go! From Popular Science Mag: Many receivers can tune themselves to a space, but Bang & Olufsen has taken it a step further by intergrating room calibration directly into its BeoLab 5 speakers. A microphone built into the bottom of each speaker measures sound reflections of the room and adjusts the output to achieve optimum performance. The resulting sound quality, especially in the bass frequencies, blew us away. Price $16,000 a pair. "Ouch"! But maybe & hopefully in the future even Radio Shack will have speakers that adjust themselves. [​IMG]
     
  9. BrianL

    BrianL Auditioning

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    Are the YPAO and the MCACC different from HK's EZSET? Or are do they accomplish exactly the same things?
     
  10. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    Hmmm - re: those Bang & Olufsen - I fail to see how they will create that desired soundstage to you if they calibrate themselves without regard/relation to the other speakers?

    It seems awfully wasteful to spend money towards having an MCACC device built into each speaker.
     
  11. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Brian,

    In addition to setting distances and SPL levels for each speaker, Pioneers MCACC uses a 1/3 octave graphic-like EQ to actually change the frequency response of the speakers in the room. Yamaha's YPAO is like MCACC except it also offers a parametric EQ option (in addition to graphic EQ) to actually change the frequency response of the speakers in the room.

    Whether either frequency modification scheme is good or bad depends on the original sound quality of your speakers and where they are placed in the room. i.e. this may help because of the WAF when you can't place the speakers in their optimum position.

    I don't know about HK's EZSET in particular, but I think it only sets distance and SPL levels.
     
  12. Bill Will

    Bill Will Screenwriter

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    Ernest, Maybe the speakers can talk to each other & the receiver? That was just a short blurb in the mag. about them & it din't go into any detail at all. Something like you would see under new products in mags.
     
  13. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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  14. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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  15. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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  16. John Robert

    John Robert Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the HK EzSet only does size and distance. There is no attempt at EQ, unlike the Yam or Pioneer...
     
  17. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Ever since MCACC and YPAO came out, I’ve followed the info that has bounced around the web. The EQ portions of the circuits are the ones that have generated the most interest and in my mind, they are also the most controversial portions too.

    Without rehashing all of the stuff that’s already been said, my feelings are that I do think it’s the start of something good. Especially for HT newbies.

    And while I admit that you have to crawl before you walk, these things have quite a ways to go. The questions Bruce has raised here in this thread and over at http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=1 (please read all of the thread to get all of the info, including the latest stuff about the Yamaha 2400 review at audioholics) are some of the same ones I’ve had too.

    Bottom line is that while these circuits may be good enough for many users, they’re not something I’d put in my setup yet…
     
  18. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    RE: B&O $16,000 Beolab speakers

    The mics in the bases of the speakers are strictly for low frequency EQ correction for solid, yet non-resonant bass response. No EQ is applied to the upper frequencies ala MCACC or YPAO. The B&O's do not have any active DSP correction for any apparent sound stage adjustment. (Neither does MCACC or YPAO.) Initial reviews from 2 audio magazines have been extremely positive. David Ranada from Sound & Vision said they are the best speaker he's heard in quite a long time...
     
  19. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    David,

    I'm with Chuck on this . . .
     
  20. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    I guess I didn't make myself clear, so I'll try again. We are talking about $1000 receivers. I'm not comparing it to a Meridian system or $2000+ worth of digital correction equipment, which I said earlier would be more effective. I did say that IMO having it is better than not having it for a unit around the stated price range.

    If someone already has a nice pre/pro, I'm not saying they should take a step down and get one of these receivers just because it has some digital EQ. Some pre/pro manufacturers have been including some form of it as well(Krell & Meridian, for example)and we'll see it on more units in time.

    Also, Bruce, I think you are being unreasonably critical about the bass corrections. I can't say why they don't include it(maybe not enough processing horsepower?), but it is very easy to implement with something like a BFD, which alot of us use, so it's not like owners of these units are without additional options.

    Finally, I wonder if either of you, Bruce or Chuck, have had a chance to listen to one of these units and A/B the difference with and without it? In a dealer's showroom, unfortunately, it usually is not setup, as they often use the factory defaults and don't run the MCACC or YPAO.

    I think that once you come down from the ivory tower of audio theory, you'll find they perform admirably for units in their price range in the real world, but of course, they're not going to compete with higher priced pre/pros and outboard digital EQ units--they weren't designed to.

    DJ
     

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