AV Rant #406: DIY Speakers Win Rocky Mountain

October 22nd, 2014 No comments

Special thanks to our listeners of the week Roland K., Cameron K., and Frederick R. Your donations help keep the podcast going! Thanks guys! This week, HSU put out 2 new subwoofers (LINK and LINK), Auro-3D comes to Denon and Marantz (LINK), Jason wants Tom to know there are Pacific Rim sequels on the way (LINK), Rob is excited about the new Mac Mini (LINK), and there is evidence that cable a la carte is on the way (LINK and LINK). Ray let us know that we butchered Dennis Erskine’s name last week and Aussie Gary joined our Hangout After Party last week and suggests checking out Samuel Barber’s “Agnus Dei, Op. 11″, Music and Monarchy by David Starkey (LINK), or The Tudors for the music. Aussie Gary also thought there might be something in a pre-fab room-within-a-room a la these portable “Office Pods” he found online (LINK). Gabe visited the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (LINK) and reports that the LXmini from Linkwitz Lab (LINK) stole the show. This DIY speaker solution costs about $400/pair and requires a bit of wood and PVC pipe to construct. Check out the details here and here. Tim is looking for the best bang-for-buck in projectors where the “diminishing returns” start to kick in, needs subwoofer placement advice, and clarifies his speaker needs. Jeff wants to use his Ultimate Ears UE Boom Bluetooth speakers with his receiver and wants to know how (LINK), Michael got his new sub and is loving it but has a crossover question and two-channel stereo issue, and John wants our opinion on the $130 Dayton Audio Sub-1200 subwoofer (LINK and LINK). Lior fixes his Onkyo by adding fans (LINK) but has a pushed-in tweeter that needs fixing (LINK and LINK for the drop-in replacement). Lastly Cameron asks about what to look for in a receiver’s specs to know that it can pass full 18Gbps 4k over HDMI plus he needs a 3.5mm cable and wants to know if he needs to spend money on a more expensive one while Kris has a new 4K display and wants to know what settings to use with his Oppo BDP-103.


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AV Rant #405: Phantom Receiver

October 21st, 2014 No comments

SVS released a new cylinder subwoofer and Jay wants to know what we think (LINK). Oh, and some new speakers too. Sammy want our take on the $330k a pair Tesseract speakers (LINK). Apparently, our race car driver Paul has to crash the AV Rant car in order to win (LINK). Works for us but stay safe Paul! Michael shares a story, asks for some of ours, and tells us about TVMobili – another HTPC front end (LINK). Tony tells us about his in-wall speakers and back boxes, Gaylen still hasn’t replaced his broken Onkyo, and David has a story about an AV Rant fan that Tom really wants to believe. Gary has a question about creating realistic audio and is interested in the new Pioneer Atmos receivers. Stephen has a couple of questions about folded ribbon tweeters, Nathan shared an article about 4k that has Rob almost saying something negative about another person (LINK), and Rohan needs some subwoofer buying advice.

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AV Rant #404: Pyramids are Dumb

October 19th, 2014 No comments

In a week where we recorded two podcasts back-to-back, Tom couldn’t find time to post either. He submits himself to your judgement and prays for mercy. In this podcast, we hear from Jeff and his SVS PB12-Plus/2, Tony found a speaker company in Australia that he wanted us to look at (LINK), and Nick explains why he chose to audition two Aperion Audio Verus Grand Center speakers rather than their bookshelf speakers. After hearing our interview with Chis from Audyssey (LINK), Jon tried out the Audyssey Media Player App and gives us a review and Eliezer has a little fun with Zu Audio (LINK and LINK). Moanis has a question about which surround speakers he should buy, Wilson has some questions about Audyssey and the Pinnacle speakers (LINK), and Barney wants to know if we think a room can be optimized for both surround sound and two channel music (LINK). Fred is shopping for subs and took Tom’s advice about spreadsheets (LINK and LINK) and Tim is building a new home theater and needs equipment advice. Look for another episode in a couple of days.

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AV Rant #403: Josh Pollard of Entertainment 2.0

October 10th, 2014 1 comment

This week we thank listeners Kendrick and Stephen for supporting the podcast. We welcome Josh Pollard from Entertainment 2.0 to the podcast. He answers all your questions about home theater PCs and home automation covering recent news, remote control selection, front end programs, and more. Jonathan lets us know how he liked Rob’s tailgating recommendation, Jeff reminds us of another Oppo player with 7.1 analog outputs, and Raul fixed his bass. Jerrod wants to know what color to paint his room and has a question about absorption panels, Jeff and Steve have power conditioner questions, and John has a question about the gamma setting on his display. Lastly, Jim wants to build boxes for his in-wall speakers and wants to know what we think. We’ll probably record two podcasts to catch up on the questions. If yours hasn’t appeared, it is coming.

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AV Rant #402: Interview with Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey

October 1st, 2014 1 comment

This week we bring you a special interview with Chris Kyriakakis of Audyssey. In it, Chris addresses all the questions you asked and some you didn’t including:

1) What are the things to remember between the different versions of Audyssey?

2) What are some of the differences between FIR filters, parametric EQ filters, “notch” filters, etc.? And what does Audssey MultEQ use? (from Andy E.)

3) What are the sampling rate and bit-depth limitations of the various versions of MultEQ?

4) Some AVRs that include MultEQ XT or MultEQ XT32 also say that they “support MultEQ Pro”. What is MultEQ Pro? And how close does MultEQ XT32 with Sub EQ HT get to MultEQ Pro without the upgrade? (from Jason S.)

5) Should speakers that measure very well anechoically still be EQ’d? (from Andy E.) Are there any special considerations when setting non-traditional speakers such as electrostatic or magneplanar, etc.? (from Matthew D.) What about di-pole Surround speakers where the 1st measurement position will be in the null? (from Jared M.)

6) We’ve frequently recommended using Audyssey Dynamic EQ. Can you explain how Dynamic EQ works – especially the “Reference Level Offset” feature?

7) What about Dynamic Volume and Low Frequency Containment – how do those technologies work?

8) So Rob H. has introduced this myth that setting an AVR’s master volume to 0 (zero) dB prior to plugging in the Audyssey setup microphone improved the automatic setup results vs. leaving the master volume at some other setting (eg. -30dB). Is there any possible way that the setting of the master volume level prior to plugging in the setup microphone is actually making any difference what-so-ever?

9) What parts of the automatic setup process are handled by Audyssey? What parts of the setup process are dictated by the AVR’s manufacturer? For example: speaker distances, trim levels, sizes (small or large), crossover frequency.

10) Home Theater Shack has a massive “Audyssey FAQ and Setup Guide” (LINK). It’s far too large to go over everything, but we’re particularly interested to know whether their description of “How Audyssey Works” (LINK) is accurate. And we’d also like to know if their examples of various microphone placement patterns (when using a version of MultEQ that supports taking measurements from several different positions in the room) is good advice that should be followed (LINK). –(from Tony C.)

11) Related to the last part of the question above, How does Chris personally go through the Audyssey automatic setup and room correction process? Does he exit the room completely or stand in a particular spot within the room during the measurements? Does he use a particular microphone stand? Does he place the microphone in a particular pattern? (from Cameron K.)

12) Is Audyssey MultEQ going to change or introduce a new version now that Dolby Atmos is here and other “immersive audio” formats are on the horizon? Is Audyssey looking at a way to implement elevation measurements? (from Cameron K.)

13) How will the current implementations of MultEQ cope with the Atmos-enabled upward-firing speakers and Modules?

14) This year, it appears as though Onkyo/Integra opted to no longer license MultEQ. That leaves fewer manufacturers that are still offering MultEQ in their AVRs and Pre/Pros. Is Audyssey MultEQ going away? (from Cameron K.)

15) Audyssey as a company offers more than just MultEQ, what would you like to share with our listeners about Audssey’s other products and services?

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