Ahhh….the home theater pre-pro….my thoughts on them are basically
summarized by the phase “can’t live with them, can’t live without them”!
Modern pre-pros are the brain of all modern home theaters. An AVR
(audio video receiver) is essentially a pre-pro and multi-channel power
amplifier in one box. Pre-pro’s do a number of essential things without
which it would be virtually impossible to watch movies in surround
Setting the Stage for Battle! Earlier this year Acoustic Frontiers had the opportunity to improve a two channel and home theater system in Tucson, Arizona. Our client owned a Polk / Onkyo system which incorporated the latest Audyssey XT32 ‘room correction’ algorithms. However he was unhappy with overall sound quality and wanted to know how […]
Today I’m going to look at room correction products specifically designed to be used with subwoofers only. Included in this article is examination of products by Audyssey, Velodyne, DSPeaker and SVS.
According to Stereophile magazine, the top (‘A’ ranked) room correction or room EQ devices are the: Audyssey Sound Equalizer; Meridian 861 with MRC room correction; Rives Audio sub-PARC / PARC; SVSound AS-EQ1; Velodyne SMS-1 and the Z-Systems RDP-1 Reference. This article explores the pros and cons of each device from a purely functional perspective…here is an excerpt from the section on the SVSound AS-EQ1: “Designed for use with either single or dual subwoofers, the AS-EQ1 is based on a implementation of Audyssey’s DSP room EQ code. Plug in the included measurement microphone and install the custom Windows based software onto your computer and you are ready to go! Because it uses Audyssey code many locations in the room are measured (up to 32) before the correction filters are generated. This makes it particularly suitable for use in a multi-seat home theater where the bass response and therefore degree of correction required will vary significantly from seat to seat”
Much confusion still exists about what a room correction product does, what problems it can (and cannot) solve and therefore its ‘place’ in a modern high quality sound reproduction system. Part of the challenge of understanding room correction is that it requires a reasonable level of understanding of sound quality, acoustic science, acoustic measurement and psychoacoustics (how humans perceive sound). The majority of the articles I have read online or in print magazines do not cover the fundamentals in enough depth to allow the curious and committed reader a chance to understand room correction on anything more than a cursory level. By the end of this article I hope that you will have learnt enough to judge for yourself what room correction can and cannot do and how best to apply it in the context of a world class music or home theater system.