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When to use digital room correction (and when not to!)

Many times I am frustrated by how people expect room correction devices to solve all the acoustic ills of their room. Room correction devices ARE excellent at some things, particularly removing the negative influence of room modes, but cannot solve many acoustical issues. They should be thought about as a complement to appropriate acoustic treatment of first reflection points.

This blog posted was promoted by a recent thread on the Computer Audiophile forum where I stated:

The process for optimizing a system should be:

1) measure system (equipment, speakers + room)
2) design acoustic treatment scheme to resolve issues (early reflections, modal resonances, etc)
3) setup the system (speaker positioning, listening seat positioning).4) use room correction as a last resort for modal resonance issues below 100Hz or so

Once you’ve done this then you can start to
5) fix speaker issues such as group delay, phase correction using something like a DEQX processor
6) tune everything else, including power supply, equipment support, cabling etc

But normally it is:
a) buy expensive equipment
b) place speakers where they look good with no or little thought or knowledge as to best placement
c) spend a lot of time worrying about cables and little things that make small differences
d) ignore the room because you don’t understand the importance of it or
e) think that some magic room correction black box can make up for b) and an untreated room

What do you think, blog readers?

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