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Room Uncalibration (1 Viewer)


Second Unit
Jan 24, 2010
East Tennessee
Real Name
Last week, I listened to the interview with Paul Hayes in the sticky section on building. In it, he discussed the errors that can be introduced with room calibration programing in AVR's. It was an interesting discussion. After thinking about his ideas, I began wondering what the calibration from my Denon AVR would have done to the sound in my room. My room has a size ratio that should be less likely to induce resonance-it's around 22' in width, 19' in length and 9.5' in height. Most of it is decoupled from the house, with double dry wall. I'd intended this design to attenuate and dampen low frequency sound (what would be most likely to echo in a small room) and partially reflect high frequency sound (that is less likely to induce an audible echo in a small room). I also have 1 irregular surface-stone- on one wall to breakup a sound wave, and vertical and sofits on one wall and on the ceiling. Padded furniture, a padded rug over a wood floor, and a large furry Maine Coon cat that loves watching movies tend to provide additional dampening. My speaker system is supposed to be relatively neutral, if the reviews are to be believed.

After listening to the discussion with Paul Hayes, I wondered, if one has a room with decent acoustics, and speakers with neutral coloration, just what purpose does software for room calibration have?

We had friends over earlier that day, and watched "The Count of Monte Cristo". I tried a bit of experimentation that night. I looked at the specifics that the calibration achieved. It always switches the front right and left speakers to large, after I start them on small. it also had different levels to each speaker, after calibrating from multiple positions. I turned the calibration off, put everything to reset, and readjusted without the Audesy (?) programing. I remeasured all the speaker positions (that didn't change-was it necessary ?) set the floor standing Pardigms to small on the right and left, and used a digital decibel meter to balance nearly all the speakers, to about 80 Db at reference level. The subwoofers (both adjusted simultaneously) didn't seem to work as well-possibly because the Db meter wasn't as sensitive to low frequency. I turned those down a bit (just as well, my wife says she feels but doesn't always hear when I'm playing something with the doors shut).

I was pleasantly surprised. I listened to certain sections of the same movie we watched earlier-such as the island and cave scenes, and could hear more detail, like waves lapping on the shore, that was audible with my self calibration, and wasn't before. I'll listen to more, but it seems like Paul Hayes was right. The room calibration program may remove more than it corrects.


HTF Expert
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Jul 4, 2012
Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
Real Name
Some speaker designs don't work, at all, with room correction software, not even REW.

Ohm Walsh
Martin Logan ESL

Like I always have said...

Auto room correction is for those people that just throw speakers anywhere in the room.

AntiMode (8033 being primary version) is a different story.

Parker Clack

Schizophrenic Man
Senior HTF Member
Jun 30, 1997
Kansas City, MO
Real Name
I have never used autocalibration and just used a dB meter (analogue) to adjust the sound in the room. I also do this about every 3 months to "dial" the room in. Never been disappointed and

always makes the sound "breathe" into the room.

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