There is no rats - its as simple as this - all systems sound best with miminal to no processing done at all.
What HiFi have an acoustically treated room so do not need to use equalisations such as Audessey in there. I think they would say that it makes the sound worse, not better - make it sound processed by comparison to what they are used to.
There are arguements that equalising has benefits even in a treated room - however it depends on the room I think asnd how you set the system
For all receivers they do not use any EQ MCCAC, YPAO or Auddesey. I dare say they run the seup to get the ditances, levels etc then correct them if wrong. - Then disable any equalisation and post processing.
Then the review is purely based on actual sound quality of the unit as well as processing quality for films which is always mentioned in the review
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If what you say is in fact true then I find their reviews even more lackluster for not making such circumstances prefectly clear to everyone (unless I've missed something). Obviously they'd want to test products in the best environment possible, but only a small fraction of readers are likely to have perfectly treated rooms like theirs, and even then not utilizing one of the major features of a product like this is kind of misleading to me. Not that writing up on a receiver without using it's EQ is wrong, but if an advanced EQ and calibration system is availabul one would think they'd understand most readers want to know both results! Making a review of any product like this is always based on surrounding circumstances, that much is clear atleast. I still smell a rat in their review...
...but I can only make up my own mind if I test it myself.
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I originally thought that as well - but you have to factor several key points of reviews - the main one being fairness to all products - so that one can be reviewed and scored against another in a fair way.
The EQ wont improve the sound - therefore by Not using it they are testing the piece of kit to its best potential anyway in a room that will let it shine.
You are used to hearing room EQ make a positive difference - but if you was used to hearing a treated room you would most likely agree that procesing makes the sound worse.
With other reviews if the the reviewer just reviews it in his standard living room then that room is having an effect on all the kit he tests - therefore that review is ultimately folly and any comparison against other kit is even more folly - None of the the kit was tested in a fair environment to its full potential in the first place.
Admittedly the WHF reviews dont factor in the benefits of Room EQ in a bad acousitc room - but that is why its suggested you demo.
However if you factor in their test rooms they are giving the most accurate and fair environment to test all kit as its the same environment for all kit.
I have said this to you a few times - if your room at home was better accoustically you would most likely prefer other kit over the Denon / Auddessey system you find hard to better.
Your going to hate my system then ha ha.
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@ellisdj: although I agree with you on the fact that you'd want to listen to the amp without any kind of tweaks or EQ being done, I don't agree that it's impossible to test gear in a "living room".
If they set up a "simulated" living room and use that to demo the EQ-ing capability and ultimately the real life capability of the amps, it can serve as a very good comparison base for potential buyers. It won't represent their living room, but it at least gives them an idea on what the amp is capable of (doing a REW before and after would show that in an objective way).
Now they just test and never even mention how they do it, which is indeed misleading.
And again, it still strikes me as odd that all other reviews on the NAD line rave about the sound quality and that only WHF would find it wanting...
Either they did something wrong or they received a faulty unit is my opinion. But that's of course the beauty of the internet: you can read several reviews and in that way make up your own mind. One less positive reviews in my eyes doesn't weigh up against all the positive ones.
It's rather weird then how, as is suggested, WHF don't care to review brand products by actually using one of their key features. Most other professional publications I read regularly tend to do the opposite and report their findings both with and without calibration/EQ activated, which I find is the proper way to go for a somewhat fair review. And much like gunny suggested, I wish everyone would run tests in a "simulated" living room aswell, even though every room is indeed unique. Common living rooms are where these products mostly end up being used.
As a sidenote (and I probably do sound like a fanboy) there are other features of Audyssey worth auditioning that I believe no other system to my knowledge offers - Dynamic EQ (not to be confused by Dynamic Volume). Some people dislike it, and I fully respect that, but in the several machines I've tried it's consistently brought on bags of dynamic weight, clarity and immersiveness that I've yet to hear with any other solution at "normal" listening levels. It may be less 'correct' and 'pure' but does seem to offer one heck of a ride for movies that I personally appreciate. When switched off I feel as though the entire soundstage completely collapses (whether that's a Denon, Onkyo or Marantz... I am confident the same goes for NAD). This has been true with Apex and previous speaker systems I've used with Audyssey. It's as if the machines in question simply were constructed to be used with it on.
Hi Rich - looking forward to hearing it mate - especially your sub and how its been integrated and setup with ARC , Dont see why I would hate it mate, exepcting some deep bass goodness!!
It will be interested to hear a system with eq and no room treatment again. I will bring a few blu rays,and cds if you dont mind - you probs already got them but their ones I know well just in case.
Maybe I am wrong - Rich is going to show me I am
To the other 2
Its a mind set issue here I think - you both believe Audessey or similar to be of benefit to the overall sound - in that its a feature of the amp that improves the sound.
Well obviously it is a feature and may improve perceieved sound yet its not doing that overall. Really Audessey is there to try and piece together the errors in playback caused by the room / speaker placement, listening position etc. Therefore if there was no errors then there would be no need for Audessey at all - which is the best solution. Audessey will argue that equalising sounds best, of course they will - but none absotely none of the high end speaker, amp manufacturers etc have put eq into their kit with the exception of subs / bass. That is for a reason as its not best to eq.
These manufacturers actually think that its harmful to the overall sound to mess around with it
There is no such thing as a standard living room - every room is different, every room will have an impact on the sound its inevitable. Therefore to test a system in such a room and compare against others is not a fair test.
Fair play a reviewer can test at home and say yeah it sounds great and even better with Audessey turned on for example - but if thats in a bog standard living room then thats likely to be the case regardless so how is that a recommendation. Then that same reveiewer compares the sound to that of a Mcintosh system he reviewed recently - now chances are he's not heard anythign like the full mcintosh potential becuase the room hasnt let him - he is then making a honest but misleading comment in his review. Yeah he thinks the Nad sounds as good as the Mcintosh - but did he really hear the mcintosh at its best?
I obviously dont know for definate - just using it as an example from the nad review on hometheatreshack.
I can also say whole hearedly you dont need eq for a system to build a completely 3d soundstage around you that puts you right in there heart of things and presents the whole sound track with exacting precision. Its more than possible to get that without it if other conditions are right.
I didnt believe that this time a year or so ago but it is true.
bring whatever discs you like mate.
You have to be 100% honest of your likes and dislikes as all criticism re AV is constructive etc.
My wife has already informed me that I am not going to start putting up acoustic treatment in the sitting room
Anyway looking forward to it as your opinion will be interesting.
PS: Lexicon,ADA,Anthem,Datasat and Trinnov processors are all about room EQ and these processors cost from £9k to £20k. Lyngdorf also at around £100k to over £250k. Just an observation. He he
I know regards to those companies - maybe they have cracked the physics behind it all - we can discuss it tomorrow mate I am sure we will .
Leaving comment - apparently the best sounding processor is the new Bryston - no eq in that
Ha ha 1nil to you
See you tomorrow mate
Well obviously it is a feature and may improve perceieved sound yet its not doing that overall. Really Audessey is there to try and piece together the errors in playback caused by the room / speaker placement, listening position etc. Therefore if there was no errors then there would be no need for Audessey at all - which is the best solution.
It's partly a mindset issue to a certain degree, I have no arguments with that. And more or less like you said; the whole idea with Audyssey (and the likes) is for them to do exactly what they claim to do: help compensate for less than ideal situations in non-acoustically treated rooms and/or with non-ideally placed speakers. I would never claim otherwise (nor have I seen those companies claim otherwise either) and I don't mean to suggest that one couldn't acchieve a great sounding solution with a non-EQ system. In a fully ideal situation I'm sure it's possible. However, it's as much about personal preference as anything else, one must never forget that (some might actually prefer a 'loudness' boost, á la Dynamic EQ, as oppose to something that's constantly 'correct' or fully 'transparent'). For those of us who don’t have acoustically treated ”perfect” rooms etc (the majority of us) a calibration/EQ system can be a teriffic way to somewhat compensate for the former.
Back in the day when there were no calibration/EQ systems in receivers/processors (I owned 5 of those in the 90's alone) it was impressive enough because that was the referencepoint. Now I find it very difficult to go back to a non-calibration/EQ system with the Apex in my current living space. That's not to say I haven't given solutions such as those a shot (Primare SPA22 being the latest example). But they have so far given a rather bleak result by comparison. Then again, as you would probably say, it may have more to do with surrounding situations than anything else. And that might be true.
Even though I hope to try acoustic treatments at one point there is no way I would ever fill my livingroom with those things, regardless if they do wonders for the end result or not. Hence as it stands I’m willing to compromise. Can't say it feels as though I'm compromising while I enjoy my system though. When/if I get a dedicated room I may/may not feel different about it. I won’t know until I get a chance to actually try for myself. Thus, Audyssey + Dynamic EQ happens to be my current referencepoint at this time, and until I've experienced anything different in my own home it will likely stay that way. Others may have ARC, MCACC, YPAO or any other system as their referencepoint. Some will have none (you likely being one of them). I don't think one could say that either is 'right' or 'wrong'. It all depends.
On the subject of room EQ i've just recently become interested in the value of EQ as i've been using MCACC on my pioneer for a good few years now been perfectly happy wth it. For some reason which i honestly don't really know why i turned MCACC off. Frankly i'm pretty astonished how much better no EQ actually is. I'm in a small living room no room treatment but it's just added extra clarity and dynamic impact at a lower DB level. I'm now thinking that i've just bought into/assumed that the EQ process was better but the rather suprising reality to me is it isn't. So much so that i actually feel like i've brought a new piece of kit that's better than the old one..... but it's the same AMP. The more i look into it the more i find no EQ is the preference option. I also feel it's possibly a mind set kind of deal and that one can quite easily genuinely prefer an EQ'd sound. I asked a question on another thread i posted on EQ which i didn't really get an answer to and that was about the source material ie blu ray sound mix , wouldn't this have been EQ'd in the sound mix process so why would i want to EQ an already EQ'd mix ? Maybe it's not a real question don't know nobody really gave an answer. Another point that did come to light was there was an opinion that sub sat systems don't need EQ but full range systems do. I don't have any answers all i know is i'm now a non EQ convert and EQing ability won't form part of any future buying decision so it has broadend my optons some what
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The thing about EQ is that it is there to help people who don't have the ideal listening room available.
Maybe you're lucky and have a proper room but lots of people actually have rooms without curtains, hard reflective floors, relfective walls and so on that they can't / won't change.
In that case EQ attempts to compensate for the reflections the room is creating and which is distorting / taking away from the full potential of the amp.
Don't see why a sub sat system wouldn't require EQ but a full range system would when being set up in the same room. The same issues are still present so you use EQ or room treatement to get rid of them.
Also about your question on the blu ray sound mix being eq-ed: every sound track is treated in such a way that if you have the ideal listening environment, it will give you the best sound possible. This has nothing to do with EQ-ing against the "problems" in that room, so no, the 2 are not related and can / do exist next to each other.
gunny EQ thread is here the comments regarding smaller speakers and full range are in there..... it's probably not put the way i said it above but the gist is the design and ability's of the speakers.
Having watched the debate regarding Audyssey, EQ's etc. I've also turned the Audyssey setting to off and find the sound to be more open and more dynamic but to be honest I've not been impressed by my apex speakers to date. I'll probably have another shuffle about with positioning of the speakers and then play a few blu rays with Audyssey on and then off. For the minute I'm seriously considering selling the apex and goin back to B&W.
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