Acoustic Calibration Effectiveness

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

  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,651
    edited September 23
    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:

    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.
    FAMILY ROOM
    HDTV - Sharp AQUOS LC-70LE600U 70" | AVR/Streamer - Onkyo TX-NR3008 | Amp - Parasound HCA-1203A
    Blu-Ray/Media/Gaming - Sony PS3-320GB / Microsoft Xbox One | Broadcast - Xfinity X1 Platform
    Front Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Center Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Rear Spkrs - Artison Portrait LRS
    Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Dayton Audio SA1000
    Wire - Audioquest Type 4, BJC Belden 5000 | HDMI - BJC Belden | Power Cables - Pangea | Surge - Monster
  • OShagOShag Posts: 10
    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.

  • WLDockWLDock Posts: 2,651
    edited September 23
    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.

    FAMILY ROOM
    HDTV - Sharp AQUOS LC-70LE600U 70" | AVR/Streamer - Onkyo TX-NR3008 | Amp - Parasound HCA-1203A
    Blu-Ray/Media/Gaming - Sony PS3-320GB / Microsoft Xbox One | Broadcast - Xfinity X1 Platform
    Front Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Center Spkrs - Coming...DIY Statement II | Rear Spkrs - Artison Portrait LRS
    Sub - DIY Stereo Integrity HT 15 | Sub Amp - Dayton Audio SA1000
    Wire - Audioquest Type 4, BJC Belden 5000 | HDMI - BJC Belden | Power Cables - Pangea | Surge - Monster
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,427
    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.
  • OShagOShag Posts: 10
    Mantis, thanks. I am working on dialing in my main system. For sure I will be performing calibration this time using a mic.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 16,198
    I've played with it. While it helps with HT receivers, in two channel playback it doesn't deliver. I had a system professionally calibrated at AXPONA 2018 and ended up having to throw it out. The soundstage was stuck between the speakers and there was nothing I could do to change it. After removing DSP, the soundstage was beyond the confines of the room.
  • WillowWillow Posts: 9,709
    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.
    2Ch- B&W 703, SVS PB10 NSD, Marantz NR1607, Parasound 1500a, Pro-Ject Debut Carbon (Yellow) with Acrylic platter, Pro-Ject phono pre, MIT AVT 2 speaker cables, MIT AVT 1 and AVT 2 ICs, XLO Jumpers, Signal Dig Coax, Signal Cable Magic Power Cables x3, Samsung 55JS7000, Harmony 1100, Sony BDP-S6200, Marantz DV-4200 (as Transport), Cambridge Audio DAC Magic100, Monster 3600MKII, Android Mi Box3 and Apple TV. - Pool /Gazebo Yamaha RX-A1010, Polk Patio 25x4, Rotel RDV 1045 (as CDP) MIT AVT3 ICs - Work - Spotify Premium or Neutron App to my FiiO Kunlun into my Grado SR125e

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