Does Audyssey auto-setup work in the presence of room resonance?

PseudoRandom

Novice Member
I've got a fairly basic/cheap 5.1 setup in my living room comprising a Yamaha DSP-AX563 amplifier and some matching satellite speakers and sub.

The amp has an "auto setup" mode where you place the supplied mic in your listenting position and press go. This particular amp sets up level, delay and crossover, but no EQ. However, despite trying various workarounds, it doesn't like the ~40Hz room resonance when setting up the sub. It fools it into making the sub about 20m away and absolute minimum volume. I can see why, but it makes auto-setup a bit pointless. I've done it manually now and it sounds ok.

Anyway, I have been considering buying a receiver with the Audyssey MultEQ (perhaps the Denon AVR-1910) mostly in the hope of getting a bit clearer upper-mid range, getting the sound more acceptable in other seats besides the "hot seat", and getting that Dynamic EQ feature because I don't always want the sofa to shake. I hesitate to rush out and buy though, because I'm concerned the room resonance will screw up the setup again.

Does anyone have experience with the Audyssey system in the presence of room resonances? Does it cope during auto setup? I'm not specifically expecting it to kill the resonance(s) as such, but more whether it can deal with it in order to correct everything else.

Secondarily, anyone have an opinion whether the Denon would have any shortcomings over my existing Yamaha?
 

Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
I do agree that it does make the auto setup pointless if you have to set it manually for best results.
I'm not sure on the newer yamaha models but on the older models like the 563 and 763, etc, the audessey mic was not that great to say the least. i have the 763 and ended up setting it up manually which now sounds great. Many other Yamaha owners has done the same.
Going by the opinions on here, the Denons fair much better.

I doubt very much the 1910 will have any shortcomings over the 563, because it is on par with the ax-763 or newer models rXV 765 and 1065, which are the bigger brothers to the 563
 
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dante01

Distinguished Member
I'm not sure on the newer yamaha models but on the older models like the 563 and 763, etc, the audessey mic was not that great to say the least. i have the 763 and ended up setting it up manually and sounds great. But i do agree that it does make the auto setup pointless if have to set manually for best results

Going by the opinions on here, the Denons fair much better.

I doubt very much the 1910 will have any shortcomings over the 563, because it is on par with the ax-763 or newer models rXV 765 and 1065, which are the bigger brothers to the 563
Yamaha don't and never have used Audyssey. Audyssey is not a general term for auto calibration or the microphone used to auto calibrate, it is a third party system incorporated into some AV amps.

Audyssey Laboratories, Inc. is a USA-based company, created as a spinoff of the Immersive Audio Laboratory at the University of Southern California in 2002.

The first Audyssey implementation was used in home theater receivers in 2004.

Audyssey is intended to deal with the negative effects of acoustics in relation to audio reproduction.

Audyssey is not a blanket term used when referring to auto calibration in general and not every AV manufacturer uses it or supports its use.

It has been suggested that the most recent implementations of Audyssey are processor hungry and can put strain on the microprocessors used within AV amps. It has even been suggested that turning Audyssey off can relieve that strain and give better overall audio output from an amp. The reasoning behind this is that the amp is les busy messing about with Audyssey and free to get on with what it was intended for.
 
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Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
I stand corrected. Apologies. I thought that was another term for or to do with auto calibration.

Thanks for the info.
 

PseudoRandom

Novice Member
Thanks for your replies.

Having read the Denon 1910 owner's thread, it's curious that some people switch off the Audyssey features, while others swear by them. I'm hesitating even more now, because that was the reason I wanted the new Amp! :rolleyes: (The Yamaha is pretty decent for the price in most respects.)

dante01 said:
It has even been suggested that turning Audyssey off can relieve that strain and give better overall audio output from an amp. The reasoning behind this is that the amp is les busy messing about with Audyssey and free to get on with what it was intended for.
Being involved myself with both electronics and software design (some including DSP), this does sound like a pretty wild theory invented by people who have no idea what they mean. I note you take care to phrase your reply neutrally, giving no clue to your personal opinion. ;)

However, just because the proposed "reason" lacks technical merit doesn't mean the observed behaviours aren't real. Is there a forum here that discusses Audyssey implementations and the success or problems thereof in more depth? Or is it all muddled in with the general discussion of various bits of kit? (I've read the Audyssey website quite extensively.)
 

Passingbat

Distinguished Member

Strawbs

Novice Member
.. I note you take care to phrase your reply neutrally, giving no clue to your personal opinion. ;)

However, just because the proposed "reason" lacks technical merit doesn't mean the observed behaviours aren't real. Is there a forum here that discusses Audyssey implementations and the success or problems thereof in more depth? Or is it all muddled in with the general discussion of various bits of kit? (I've read the Audyssey website quite extensively.)
haha, very astute. :D

Logic would seem to suggest that continual sound possessing would indeed utilise more cycles than not having these calibrators active - but it also has to be considered that receivers were built with provision for sound possessing to be active and should therefore not suffer sound degradation as a result.

With that statement you may well notice that I too have not committed to either argument. Suffice it to say - my personal preference is the latter of the two proposals.

I agree it seems a topic worthy of it's own discussion, but I don't think anyone has got around to starting one - how are you fixed ...?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your replies.

Having read the Denon 1910 owner's thread, it's curious that some people switch off the Audyssey features, while others swear by them. I'm hesitating even more now, because that was the reason I wanted the new Amp! :rolleyes: (The Yamaha is pretty decent for the price in most respects.)


Being involved myself with both electronics and software design (some including DSP), this does sound like a pretty wild theory invented by people who have no idea what they mean. I note you take care to phrase your reply neutrally, giving no clue to your personal opinion. ;)

However, just because the proposed "reason" lacks technical merit doesn't mean the observed behaviours aren't real. Is there a forum here that discusses Audyssey implementations and the success or problems thereof in more depth? Or is it all muddled in with the general discussion of various bits of kit? (I've read the Audyssey website quite extensively.)
I personally think there is a place for EQ and acoustic manipulation within AV amps, but I do also believe that any form of DSP will be detrimental to the audio signal. Use the direct mode of any amp and the difference is apparent. Audyssey seems to be more and more complex with each and every implementation. I think a balance has to be struck. Is every AV amp without Audyssey sub standard? If Audyssey is so wonderful then why doesn't a £250 Audyssey equipped AV amp sound like a £1500 AV amp and does a £1500 AV amp lacking Audyssey sound better or worse than the £250 amp that has Audyssey?
 
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PseudoRandom

Novice Member
I think a balance has to be struck. Is every AV amp without Audyssey sub standard? If Audyssey is so wonderful then why doesn't a £250 Audyssey equipped AV amp sound like a £1500 AV amp and does a £1500 AV amp lacking Audyssey sound better or worse than the £250 amp that has Audyssey?
I think everything you have said in your reply is very relevant to people's perception of sound reproduction in general. :thumbsup:

What is "better" sound? How much fiddling with the signal is "good"? I think part of the problem is that many people can't actually answer those questions.

Do you go with the serious HiFi fanatics, thinking messing with the signal is "unclean", even to the point of selecting one device over another because it has fewer transistors or shorter wires? Or do you go with the Average Joe and want something so the neighbours three doors down know that you've just bought a new system?

I would argue most people posting in forums like this are neither. We sit on the fence somewhat, looking for guidance. The purist view fails to allow that even the most expensive speakers and treated rooms are still imperfect. So perhaps we do need to mess with the signal a shade to compensate. The guy wanting the biggest sound is not interested in sound purity or defnition, only tools to make it more "impressive".

Something like Audyssey is supposed to help you get the "correct" sound by, allegedly, measuring what's wrong and correcting for it by doing the opposite. Sounds like a panacea, but you just know it can't be...

You mention the difference between direct and EQ-compensated mode. One would hope they are different! But which is correct? The one you like the sound of, or the one that can be measured to most closely represent some ideal curve? (And I make no claim here to my opinion on that. ;) ) The last few replies almost imply "direct signal is not as good as partly-corrected, but fully-corrected is worse again". That just doesn't sound logical to me at all - is that a result of struggling with your ears or your ethics?

Also interesting is your discussion of expensive vs. cheap. This has long been an issue in all AV equipment. Any of the larger electronics companies can build a single-channel 150W output stage that is measureably "perfect" for a handful of pounds. I can't believe in this day and age that any of the analogue stages of amplifiers are poor, unless deliberately designed to be in order to make the more expensive ones sound better. Generally, more money either goes with brand name or more features (extra inputs, extra formats, extra DSP, better system integration,...) but time and again you see people discuss how much better (not just a tiny bit) amp A sounds over amp B with the same source and same speakers. Why is that? The snake-oil effect kicking in with the high price tag? Deliberate hobbling of cheap models? Trying for a huge profit margin, perhaps the kit is actually only worth £50?

I apologise for drifting far from my original question, but perhaps these sort of discussions answer the "why" of such diverse opinions appearing in every discussion of DSP. Even in this thread we have a "tending toward using it" and a "generally don't use it" in only half a dozen replies!
 
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Strawbs

Novice Member
I think Purists have an unenviable task in trying to recreate Studio conditions that don't really exist. Their insistence that music should not be artificially modified in any way before it reaches the ear - that it should be re-played the exact same way it was recorded, ..the way it was meant to be heard.. is, I think, more to do with the mis-guided belief that they can somehow obtain the unobtainable.

Unobtainable because every recording studio & sound room produces its own particular nuances which Electronic equipment cannot yet accurately measure, and because of this, no two studios sound exactly alike. They are all designed to produce a sound particular to the pair of ears that guided their construction, and since every pair of ears hears differently on different days of the week! a Standard is used, but that is only as good as the Electronic equipment used to create and maintain that Standard, Electronic equipment that can't measure every nuance. Most Purists read or are doing some other quiet activity when they play music, to me Pure\Direct audio sounds incredibly dull, and is therefore only really suitable as background music. Purists spend their time and money trying to emulate someone else's idea of perfection. ;)

Perfection for me at this time, is the setup I currently have because it has plenty of room for Volume, Tonal and Spacial adjustment. I see auto-calibration as a Base ...a starting point from which to tweak the characteristics of the output to match my preference.

A couple of years from now my hearing may have aged sufficiently to warrant another new system with a different character, but for now at least, Digital Signal Processing & Tone adjustment are a necessity for my listening pleasure.

Q. what matters the most when listening to music or watching a movie?
A. Enjoying the experience!

Auto-Calibration & DSP make that very much easier to obtain. :)
 
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