Acoustic Calibration Effectiveness

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New to the forum, so hello to all and hope your Sunday is going well. I am currently
watching football, which I usually do on Sundays. On to the purpose of my post.

Yesterday, I coordinated with family and hosted a surprise party for my dear better half. I usually put a 2-channel based system together in the bar area where everyone eventually congregates for libations and dancing.

The system I use for this is as follows:
Source: Apple Macbook Air Laptop or phones
DAC: W4S DAC2 DSD
Pre/Power Combo: Pioneer Elite VSX59TXi
Speaker Cables: AQType4
Speakers: Klipsch RP600 sitting on acoustic foam pedestals

I don’t normally do an acoustic calibration for this setup I do for our parties, but decided to do it this time. I placed the microphone well out into the room and ran the procedure. What was very surprising was how much better everything sounded - not that it sounded bad to begin with. The sound was much more organized and spread out. Switching between calibration / equalization on and off revealed how homogenized and muddled the presentation without calibration and how the sound became much less strained and ‘big’ sounding after calibration. Just reminded me how effective these type of tools can be.

Can you guys please share / elaborate on your use of calibration and how this affected the sound of your speaker system?

By the way, pic of the setup attached.


jnpzc0tzjhyn.jpeg


Thanks,
OShag

Comments

  • WLDock
    WLDock Posts: 3,073
    edited September 2019
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    Year ago before I really got into home theater I used to see a lot of tools in the Pro Audio world to tune a PA System. It makes sense for road crews that have to tune a new venue often to have some automated tools to help with the process. That world has some very powerful tool available today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WrqntP8J4Q

    Within the home theater environment the auto EQ can be just as effective. I found that when I was using Audyssey XT32 I got the best results when I would take several mic position measurements near the main seat position. My system is set along the long wall and I have a couch and love seat side by side. So, my total listening position is wide and XT32 allows for 8 seat positions. I would take a measurement at each seat but also do measurements a few inches away from the main seat position. While not always perfect the best cals seem to create clarity, cohesiveness and focus to the sound. It really does takes some experimentation and several cals to get it to ones liking.
    2.2 Office Setup | LG 29UB55 21:9 UltraWide | HP Probook 630 G8 | Dell Latitude | Cabasse Stream Amp 100 | Boston Acoustics VS 240 | AUDIORAX Desk Stands | Mirage Omni S8 sub1 | Mirage Omni S8 Sub2
  • OShag
    OShag Posts: 10
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    WLDock wrote: »

    While not always perfect the best cals seem to create clarity, cohesiveness and focus to the sound.

    WLDock, thanks. It must have been great to have worked in the pro audio world including setting up PA systems. You surely got great experience that helped in dialing in a system for best performance. What you stated about clarity, cohesiveness and focus was what I was hearing. I was surprised it made such a difference. Although I’ve not tried it, I hear that Audyssey is a great tool. I think I will look into getting that toolset.

  • WLDock
    WLDock Posts: 3,073
    edited September 2019
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    OShag wrote: »
    WLDock, thanks. It must have been great to have worked in the pro audio world including setting up PA systems. You surely got great experience that helped in dialing in a system for best performance.
    I've never worked as a sound guy but did intern at a cable station while in school for A/V production and electronics technology. It was through playing music over the years that I got a chance to adjusted PA systems and had the up close and personal conversations with real sound guys. I've never really got into the digital/DSPstuff much myself back then, mostly analog.

    2.2 Office Setup | LG 29UB55 21:9 UltraWide | HP Probook 630 G8 | Dell Latitude | Cabasse Stream Amp 100 | Boston Acoustics VS 240 | AUDIORAX Desk Stands | Mirage Omni S8 sub1 | Mirage Omni S8 Sub2
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 17,098
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    Since the beginning calibration system have done nothing but improved. When they came out I really hated them, well most of them I did however find a few on the market that worked well.
    I always judged the system with a manual calibration vs a auto calibration. When calibration systems started to sound better then manual setups I leaned towards them more and more.
    I still manually check over the calibration, check the room and then tweak as I see fit. It's a part of my job so calibrations are very important to me. I find a properly calibrated system always sounds better then one that is not.
    It's also the last thing to do after placement and treatments.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • OShag
    OShag Posts: 10
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    Mantis, thanks. I am working on dialing in my main system. For sure I will be performing calibration this time using a mic.
  • Willow
    Willow Posts: 10,911
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    You have nothing to lose if you give it a try. If it sound better to you keep it that way. If it doesn't try moving things around if you can. If you can't or don't like what it produces, go back to square one.
  • FrighteningWrecker
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    Willow wrote: »
    You have nothing to lose if you give it a try. If it sound better to you keep it that way. If it doesn't try moving things around if you can. If you can't or don't like what it produces, go back to square one.

    You surely got great experience that helped in dialing in a system for best performance. What you stated about clarity, cohesiveness and focus was what I was hearing. I was surprised it made such a difference.
  • BlueFox
    BlueFox Posts: 15,251
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    SPAM.
    Lumin X1 file player, Westminster Labs interconnect cable
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD; Pass XP-22 pre; X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers; SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
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    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
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  • tdmoon
    tdmoon Posts: 4
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    Let me first state I'm a total noob to both this forum and home audio, so I have little experience with system calibration.

    My first avr was a Sony STR-DH590. I didn't notice a huge difference with the system calibrated but it did sound a bit cleaner. That unfortunate receiver wasn't long for this world and when it died I replaced it with an Integra 20.7.

    The Integra was a huge upgrade in sound quality, night and day difference. I had read quite a lot about the importance of system calibration but the used Integra did not come with a calibrating mic. I was always curious if having one would make much difference in the sound quality. Just recently, on a whim, I plugged the mic from the Sony into the Integra and tried to perform a calibration.

    To my surprise, the Integra calibration actually worked using the Sony microphone. I didn't think you'd be able to intermix parts from different calibration systems. The difference was dramatic-the Integra sound I had already been pleased with is now immensely better. Obviously, I am terrible at setting systems up(had done it by ear and using spl meter and measuring tape) so different people may have different results re: calibration but it sure made me a believer.