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Room treatment or signal treatment (Read 5772 times)
Pale Rider
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Room treatment or signal treatment
03/04/13 at 20:00:24
 
After rearranging my room, and thereby my prime listening position, as well as the location of my subs, I am coming to the conclusion that treating my room is a significant burden. Have therefore decided to explore signal processing as a way for dealing with the room issues, especially in the bass realm, something I was never very positive about. But a review of Dirac software in AudioStream and enthusiastic reviews of the DSPeaker units in AVF, Stereophile, & TAS helped to overcome my reticence. Ordered a DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2.0 Dual Core today. Will be interesting to experiment.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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beowulf
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #1 - 03/05/13 at 03:34:26
 
I have been watching this product as well.  Will be interesting to hear your findings .. it is also a multi-talented product and can be used as a DAC and preamp as well can't it?
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« Last Edit: 03/05/13 at 03:35:32 by beowulf »  
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will
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #2 - 03/05/13 at 05:58:00
 
I look forward to your thoughts on this too once you sort it out!

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Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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jpv
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #3 - 03/06/13 at 14:06:10
 
This looks like a nice unit and should give nice results.
You have to keep in mind that while the DSPeaker will correct the FR it will do nothing for relections. Once the sound leaves the speakers and enters the room it still needs to be controlled in the time domain. You will be happier useing both methods. I currently do both and you can't achieve a good FR and decays with just one.
I also recommend going to The Home Theater Shack and down loading REW. It is a free program. Run some sweeps to see what is really going on in your room, (don't cry). Postion your subs and main speakers to give the best results. Then use the DSPeaker unit.
Almost every room sucks and needs treatment. The improvement you will get from this will amaze you.
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VPI Scoutmaster, Grado Sonata1, Counterpoint pre amp and amp (modded by Altavista Audio), Proac sp. and home made subs. Lots of room treatment. Anti-cable sp cables, Decware IC, ZKit 1.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #4 - 03/06/13 at 18:21:57
 
@jpv, no argument about reflections and the time domain. I already use REW, as a result of some very good articles I read on Red Spade Audio a couple of years ago. I picked up the Dayton microphone and the preamp he recommended and set about to making measurements. Then I stopped, as I had the custom Rhythmik subs built for my system. Now, I get to get back to it.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Pale Rider
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #5 - 03/15/13 at 16:51:32
 
Actually, as it turns out, studying the DSPeaker manual, while I wait for my unit to arrive, there is some room for disagreement here. The DSPeaker does have some limited ability in its Advanced Calibration mode to correct for channel time-alignmen, either automatically or manuallyt. I am not suggesting it is a substitute for room treatment—because I think we are both saying this is a tool to use with other tools—but I am saying it does more than "nothing."
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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will
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #6 - 03/15/13 at 17:49:10
 
PR,

Thanks for the Red Spade links. Finally a concise explanation of tools and use of REW.

I look forward to your actual impressions of the DSPeaker rig. Electronic management of time alignment seems very tricky if the issues are intense, but man, someone should be able to solve the age old problem of room treatment that is not obtrusive in a normal room.

I have gone through all sorts of experiments combining traditional treatment blended quietly into the living room, and weird stuff like Synergistic Art Basik and Kemp boxes, which worked for me.

Depends so much on the room too and how bad things are. I was lucky in a lot of ways here. Relating to reflections, my plastered adobe walls (which wander in and out into other room spaces and alcoves) are very irregular, with almost no perfectly plumb and square surface. And an exposed log beamed ceiling with herringbone rough lumber boards on top, the boards spaced a bit and irregular, with a tar paper "diaphragm" on top, then 12" of fiberglass, and finally a low angled airspace above that being the "flat" roof, which in turn has four inches of foam insulation.

Though I have made some bass traps where I have room, my problem is still bass which so far I have refined with by narrow Q pulls in problem areas using my Pure Music player EQ.

Pain in the butt this room stuff.
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Mac mini, Tranquility DAC, modded Oppo 83, CSP3, TORII MkIV, Morrow SP-7, HR-1s...VHaudio DIY, Grover, MAC ICs...PI Audio Uberbuss...PI, VHaudio DIY, Neotech DIY, Cryoparts DIY power cables, HerbiesAudioLab feet and tube dampers
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Pale Rider
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #7 - 03/15/13 at 20:36:04
 
will wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the Red Spade links. Finally a concise explanation of tools and use of REW.

Agreed. I really like the Red Spade series on room and bass management.  I also like reading about his speaker building exercises. Smart guy, and very educational. His walk-through on REW makes it much less daunting for the beginner.

Quote:
Depends so much on the room too and how bad things are.

So true, and sometimes, I think folks have no clue how bad their room might be, until they start down this path and discover what an incredible change in their sound they can make.

Quote:
Pain in the butt this room stuff.

Concisely and accurately said. Hopefully, my DSPeaker unit will be here before too long.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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jpv
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #8 - 04/29/13 at 13:49:07
 
I see you are selling your DSpeak. Why did you decide to sell it.
I was really looking foward to seeing the REW before and afters.
I really think too many people don't realize how poorly thier room is.
They hear, room treatment killed my room, that DSpeak and extra cable ruined my system, just put a sugar cube in the corner that's all you need for bass traps, I already have too much bass, etc... so they do nothing.
Like I said in my prev. post until you see the response, undersatand what it is and how to correct it you are not getting 1/2 of what your system is capable of doing.
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VPI Scoutmaster, Grado Sonata1, Counterpoint pre amp and amp (modded by Altavista Audio), Proac sp. and home made subs. Lots of room treatment. Anti-cable sp cables, Decware IC, ZKit 1.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #9 - 04/29/13 at 16:57:51
 
jpv, selling only because I decided to invest in a DEQX Mate. I am still firmly committed to the process; I just could not justify the investment of keeping both, even though they are different devices.

I took some REW plots before and after the DSP, and they illustrated well some of the points you have made, and about which others have inquired:  your room and speakers are likely a big hot mess—mine were—until you take some steps passively [room treatment] and actively [electronics].

From my perspective, the addition of electronics, and a couple more runs of 1-meter Decware Silver Reference ICs paled in comparison to the impact on my room. It was just night and day. The DSP gets excellent marks from all the golden ears on the quality of their electronics, and while I only used it for the low-to-mid-bass freq adjustment, I was extremely impressed by . You can make the box as complicated as you want, and with REW as your other tool, you can use the equalizer functions to round out the rest. Heck, it's even a damn fine USB DAC, but I have a surplus of those right now. Wink

But I also wanted to address time alignment and full-spectrum freq response. For that, I had to make a step up, and the DEQX Mate seemed the way to go.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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jpv
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #10 - 04/30/13 at 13:28:35
 
I'd like to see the result of the before and after.
I think once people see what is possible other may try it and understand.
Good luck,
John
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VPI Scoutmaster, Grado Sonata1, Counterpoint pre amp and amp (modded by Altavista Audio), Proac sp. and home made subs. Lots of room treatment. Anti-cable sp cables, Decware IC, ZKit 1.
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Pale Rider
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #11 - 04/30/13 at 17:50:34
 
Thanks John. My former DSPeaker is off to Will in the great Southwest, while my DEQX Mate arrived yesterday. Due to unexpected house guests, I did not get it set up yet, but I should be able to this evening. I was able to load up the software [Windows based] on my MacBook Air running VMWare/Win 7. The manual is a wealth of information, and I am looking forward to this next stage of the experiment.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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Pale Rider
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #12 - 05/12/13 at 17:14:46
 
I spent quite a bit of time yesterday running through my first effort with the DEQX Mate. It is a powerful device. Unlike the DSPeaker, it has no "auto" mode that will simply perform a room correction for you. The DSPeaker is amazingly effective at that, BTW. And even its more sophisticated functionality—e.g., multi-positions and multiple readings, choosing between single and multiple speaker configurations, manual EQ—is relatively accessible from the front panel screen, and with a brief reference to the manual. Not so with the DEQX.

The DEQX is a full size piece of equipment, with a very spartan front panel: power switch, volume buttons, and small buttons for selecting which profiles are active. Nothing about its appearance says hi-end audio. It looks more like something built in a Hammond or other assembly line chassis. Not ugly, just very utilitarian in its appearance.  It is quite solid, but not quite like the PWD or Lumin. More like the Baetis. Functional, solid, utilitarian, but sort of "small shop" in look and feel. But not in performance.

Setup requires a PC running Windows. I used my MacBook Air running Win 7 in a VMWare environment. That was connected to the DEQX via USB. The PC controller is a powerful part of this process, but it is also a disadvantage. plugging in your computer every time you want to run the software is inconvenient (I am going to look into running the software on the Baetis; that would minimize the inconvenience of having a separate computer). The DEQX has three microphone inputs. You either buy or rent (hire a consultant) a calibrated microphone package. I opted for the standard Behringer package. The package comes with a microphone holder and wind screen, and it can be mounted on a microphone boom or tripod. I used a tripod, and wrapped it with a heavy blanket to minimize unintended reflections. All these DSP devices require a microphone, of course, so the inconvenience of running microphonic input is just part of the deal.

The DEQX manual is not short at 140+ pages. It is very thorough, and shows screen shots at every step of the way. Although DEQX recommends using a professional consultant, or will also provide email or telephone support as you walk through the process (including plodding and downloading files and profiles for review), you can in fact slog your way through it. And I think it is worth doing.

The DEQX process is: (1) measure your speakers anechoically, or as close to anechoically as possible (and they provide quite a few suggestions for this); (2) correct your speakers using the measurements just made (not a physical step, just the application of the measurements to the profile to correct transient, phase, and impulse variations), and you can choose to run a separate process to verify the corrections made; (3) place the speakers in their listening position; (4) measure the room, apply corrections for these measurements, and load it all up to the DEQX. Enjoy.

The impact of this process is not subtle.  It is amazing, on many levels. Interestingly, the ERRs are very smooth (I don't like the term "flat") speakers. Given the well-tuned radial design, and the crossover-less tweeter, that should not be terribly surprising. Still, it's impressive. But the design of the ERRs poses a challenge to the DEQX process. The ERR is intended to use room reflections as part of its transduction. I doubt the ERR sounds very good in an anechoic chamber. The first stage measurement process of the DEQX is constructed to remove room reflections, if possible in an anechoic chamber. My first efforts at speaker correction yesterday illustrated this conundrum. Each time, I ended up with pretty severe aural ringing or overshoot in the midrange, but not in the graphs of the speakers. It seemed the DEQX was doing a very good job of "correcting" the ERRs by "solving" for their perceived deficiency. And then as soon as I restored them to their listening position, I had way too much energy in the mid to mid-high bands. Almost hurt the ears. We all know that many speakers are sensitive, sometimes in the extreme, to room positioning. The ERRs are also more or less effective based on their placement, but generally in a manner counter to the typical "get it way out there in the room for optimum presentation."

The DEQX offers a number of ways to adjust for this challenge, including narrowing or widening the time window for adjustment of the amplitude, impulse, and frequency elements. This is slick and powerful. I ran out of time last night to refine this very far, but it appears that a combination of a "little less anechoic" initial measurement, and a little bit more reflection in the "correction window" might go a long way.

With respect to sub/bass management, the DEQX is very impressive. On the first pass, it essentially eliminated all my room boom. Bass is extremely tight in the room now, and very deep. I can even stand in my notorious "bass hole" in the primary room corner and now hear nice tight bass for the first time. This will actually make passive room adjustment a lot easier.
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Decware: Ultra | Torii MKIII [2] | SE84ZS | Taboo MkIII Sources: Synology 1812+ | Baetis Revolution | PWD DAC MKII | Lumin Network Player | Mytek 192 | Oppo 105 DSP: DEQX Mate | Emotiva Outputs: ERR [6] + Servo Subs | LCD-2 & other cans
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beowulf
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #13 - 05/13/13 at 00:37:39
 
Wow PR, thanks for the in depth report on the DEQX. Cool

You brought something up that I would have never thought of ... how the ERR's use the room and the challenges that room correction devices/software may have when they perceive the measurements of the ERRs.

Combining the software to the Baetis sounds like a good idea, however I read somewhere that the Baetis is locked down somewhat, so would that have to be a special request (or even be sent in to them so they could install it) as not to void the warranty?  This would be pretty cool though a combo if you think about it ... I know that less is more when it comes to running apps on a music server, but I've always thought that the Beatis can do a lot more (they just don't want it too for understandable reasons).

Do you still plan on room treatments as well or are you going to play with the DEQX a little more ... or is it even necessary at all at this point?

After spending time with the Baetis, do you feel it is a good bargain or that a C.A.P.S. server would be of better value?
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Dom
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Re: Room treatment or signal treatment
Reply #14 - 05/13/13 at 01:23:54
 
What about the Stein Music Harmonizer System.  Here is the link to their site....

http://www.steinmusic.de/EN/products/periphery/h2_harmonizer.html

There is a studio in NYC has them available to audition.  I was soo curious about the product that I called them up to inquire.  The manager said that this is one of those products that you can't imagine it's impact until you hear it live...it's just amazing!  When I get some time...I am gonna schedule a listening session just to see how good it really is.  Here is their website....

http://www.audioarts.co/

Also....here is a 7 min. YouTube video on their product....

http://youtu.be/9h7hG1kCwKU

Here is review from enjoythemusic.com ......

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/viewpoint/0212/aa_chapter_147.htm

Dom
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« Last Edit: 05/13/13 at 01:33:42 by Dom »  
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