If you run a media server, you might want to consider Dirac Live. It runs on your computer and will handle 2 and 8 channels. The cost is $650 and they will give you a 2 week trial. I have not tried it yet but it looks very promising. Dirac is used in the Theta Casablanca and DataSat 20SI.
Trinnov is the only standalone I can think of but those features are built into the ADA and DataSat prepros.
The only one's I've seen or been referred to use RoomPerfect - Lyngdorf Audio, McIntosh, etc. Can't find any others.
I have heard the McIntosh at RMAF and a local dealer and it seems to do a lot of things right. But my concern is that if it is digitally altering the music delivery based upon room correction, is it really altering the music from it's original analog format? So what are you losing in that process, can't it be considered an extension of the tone control argument?
Theo: I would only consider this for HT. Not for 2.1 ch audio.
Also, in looking at the ME220 and the Lyngdorf, they are only 2 ch. Looking at the Trinnov now...
Audyssey made a stand-alone unit at one time, but I'm not sure if it's still available. I believe that TACT made one, too - but I mention it with the same caveat re: current availability.
03-28-13: Theo wrote:
I have heard the McIntosh at RMAF and a local dealer and it
seems to do a lot of things right. But my concern is that if
it is digitally altering the music delivery based upon room
correction, is it really altering the music from it's
original analog format? So what are you losing in that
process, can't it be considered an extension of the tone
controls are relatively crude and are subjective tools.
The better digital EQs are more sophisticated and can be
objectively demonstrated to correct room problems.
Now, their degree of transparency varies with the product
and how it is used but, ultimately, the listener needs to
decide on the net value of the results. Does the
improvement of the in-room audible response
outweigh the loss (if any) of transparency? IMHO, it does
in the majority of non-dedicated rooms and that is without
regard to the number of channels/speakers.
Kr 4 wrote:
"IMHO, it does in the majority of non-dedicated rooms and that is without
regard to the number of channels/speakers."
I'd agree and - IME - extend that statement to dedicated rooms.
I've had professionally designed, heavily treated, dedicated theater AND two channel rooms in each of my last two homes. (Due in large part to Kal's observations), I tried Audyssey in each room. Others may disagree, but I found it a 4 for 4, 100% no-brainer. Everyone's got different priorities, but I regard any trade-off in transparency (in both theater and two-channel rooms) as trivial relative to the overall sonic improvement - particularly in the bottom two + octaves.
Standalone room correction with adjustable delays, plus manual adjust? You didn't mention the overall integrity of your system needs. So, in that case, I'd likely steer you in the direction of the Audyssey piece. Especially on lower priced end -I think it's like $2500 new, and likely $1000 used, or cheaper - this makes sense. It tixes your time domain, has adjustability, a good sonic rep and, at every least, addresses most midfi/hi-fi entry systems, offering to fix your major concerns for better sound performance.
For cost no object perfromance, my experience suggest that if you're putting together a high end 2 channel system, and typical domestic small living space is what you're dealing with, than you insert the Rives PARC, calibrate out your ALWAYS troublesome bass mode issues, and forget about it! You are simply NOT going to get more full frequency sonic purity through your system than that, fundamentally. The rest is - as always - mid/high room treatments, corner traps, and whatever else you can do to fix the "un-EQ'able" excess Bass energy, which exists in most small home spaces (exceptions: very large typical rooms, or rooms open to much larger areas/spaces).
We are of course talking "stand-alone" processors here. I like what Ive experienced from hearing the stand-alone Audyssey processor, for dedicated home theater SEPARATES based systems ok. But, if money is no object, I still think that going Rives PARC -multi channel version setup - there too, as you simply will not beat the sonic transparency! And, basically, you're really only trying to EQ the bass issues - unless you simply cannot move your speakers to locations where they'll sound their best. So, in the case of speakers up in corners, or inside cabinet enclosures, etc, yes, I think the Audyssey works the absolute best as stand-alone here. Youll trade total transparancy and refinement for fixing other major fundamental issues in that case. So, I'm really only using it for HT duties, where ultimate sonic transparency isn't number one concern. The Adyssey works in analog domain, I believe.
If one can place speakers for maximum overall mid/high frequency performance (as well as best allowable bass response characteristics, fundamentally), I'm reaching for the PARC, myself! And that' 2 channel or multi, btw. If it's a dedicated typical mid-fi HT system, then Id chose the Audyssey.
I try to avoid the Audyssey scenario, however, by simply using a better AV pre/pro that already has built in Digital domain processing anyway! Then, the outboard becomes an irrelevant issue, of course.
Anyone else here disagree with the PARC as being beatable for performance, for your EQ issues? I mean, if you need miracles done to your sonics, got speakers placed in some cubby-hole, and you know nothing about placing a loudspeaker for best sound anyway, then why would you care to look into fancy outboard EQ's anyway? That's what I'd ask myself.
Yes, PARC for high end, and Audyssey for typical hi-performance mid/entry hi-fi multi channel (Mostly HT ) systems.
Not sure what else would trump here...really.
I will do demonstrations for Onkyo this year. I hope to get contact with the people who make the products. I want them to develope a new standalone unit with Xt32 and possibility for Audessey Pro with a 32-192 dac. Lyngdorf is an older system what really ruins the music. It filters the acoustic sound of the room. sound becomes clean and flat. The people who have it, don't use it. This says enough. I talked for some time with the Trinnov people. I think this is the best system available. it is not cheap!
If you need 7.1 channels you could get a modded Oppo with Vanity93 digi out board. You could run this straight digitally into a Trinnov MC8. The Trinnov will expand 5.1 to 7.1 using 3D remapping. You will have less flexibility than with an HDMI based SSP, but sonically the only thing equivalent to this would be usual suspect of >$25K processors (Meridian, Krell, ADA reference).
Found this old thread but after reading through some of the comments, I thought I would comment. I have heard the McIntosh MEN220 and it works superbly, better than you think. For the above commenter who discounts roomperfect, he/she hasnt heard it or hasnt heard it properly set up.
As far as the commenter who alluded to some sort of special decoder ring club that doesnt allow girls or tone controls, I just had to chuckle. If it sounds good to you with tonal adjustments, then it sounds good. I cant believe the number of people who swear tone controls are the first sign of the apocolypse and yet, they spend thousands on cables that serve the same purpose for them. As to whether the application of digital room correction and whether it somehow corrupts the analog....well, its better than listening to the pure analog in an untreated room with peaks and dips and smearing.
Seriously folks, go hear one for yourself and at least you'll understand the SIGINIFICANT improvements the McIntosh MEN220 can bring to a system. I was not a believer, especially for the money, until I experienced myself. Peace.
Sounds to me like you're attempting to insert this unit, say, between your Oppo Disc spinner, and a multi channel amplifier, and going sans the pro/pro, correct?
You know you're probably chopping dynamics across the board in half, likely, yes? Regardless, you can likely set the delays in the Disc spinner, so the delays shouldn't matter in the room correction. That said, if ultra purity is your thing, then simply get Rives Audio PARC, and you won't get any better sound or performance, period, bar none, for fixing the bass (only EQ problem you're really dealing with anyway, is going to fix the bass, for the most part)
Getting anything else isn't likely going to improve anything that the above won't make work amazing. The rest of your "fixable" (with any room correction that Im aware of) issues are going to be addressed with proper setup and acoustic treatments and considerations. No miracles fix fundamental problems.
Yes, Rives PARC
AVGoround, you must have me confused with someone else. I dont own a disc spinner, have never owned an Oppo, not that theres anything wrong with Oppo. I do agree that treatments and proper placement make a dramatic difference but they do not solve every issue, especially in rooms where people actually live. I am convinced that a McIntosh MEN220 will improve the enjoyment of most systems in most rooms for most listeners....especially those who are open minded.
Ghasley, perhaps you feel that this posting has evolved into being a posting about you, or otherwise you must have me confused with someone who was addressing YOUR comments! Either way, it has not, and I was not!! Just to be clear.
No, don't really care so much if you do or do not have a spinner, nor if you've ever owned an Oppo - not that theres' anything wrong with Oppo, mind you.
And even if you do agree that treatments and proper placement make a dramatic difference, but believe that they don't solve every issue, especially in rooms where people actually live, ..and are convinced that the Mcintosh MEN220 for all, including the open minded, ...just remember...I WASN'T TALKING TO YOU!!
I believe the gentleman who I was responding to his name's Edwyun ...not ghasley. Again,..lest there be any misunderstanding.
Dear Avgoround, I certainly meant no offense however I am surprised by how aggressive you appear to be. I was simply gathering that you were replying to me since the thread had been dormant for some time. I must admit that it is now quite some relief that you weren't communicating with me.
For some reason, this same person keeps forcing his way into my conversations.
Whatever. just don't let it happen again, sir. Please.
Thanks for the clarifiction AVGoround. I wasn't aware you had planted your flag and claimed this thread as your own however I can understand now that your single entry on this topic 9 months ago must have been your claim of ownership.
Its a shame though, Audiogon used to be a community where people exchanged ideas, shared data with one another. Good, honest debate never hurt anyone but your posts are very territorial which I don't quite understand. You might have actually been able to teach me something based on your experiences and maybe I could have added something to your enjoyment but alas, your attitude prevents the possibility.
I've been on Audiogon for over 15 years and have learned alot, shared a little and have a perfect transaction history. You have no transaction history and I can't quite figure why your tone is as it is, but oh well. I originally discovered this thread because the original poster and Kal both mentioned the McIntosh MEN220. It will probably surprise you but I found your post to be a reasonably coherent take on the issue of the room and appropriate treatment. My comments were never intended for you, they were intended as general in nature.
And by the way, I may just periodically post something on this thread because it appears to bother you so.
Last word freak ...marvelous
Due to the fact that sometimes there are those who simply can not be civil,
I will begin a new thread on the McIntosh MEN220 where anyone with an
experienced opinion may join in.
I find it troubling though that some are bothered by the mere presence of
others in a thread they didn't even start, which is why it might be best to
create a new thread. I certainly mean no offense to anyone nor do I have a
desire to be the cause of anyone throwing a fit in their parent's basement or
sending them over the edge. Wouldn't want that to happen!
I have a McIntosh MEN220. In my listening room it made a very nice difference. It gave more depth and better instrument placement. In the bypass mode music sounds very good. Placed in focus mode things seem to come into place.
I prefer the focused mode from my listening chair. The thing I notice in global is the soundstage becomes much wider but as expected not as focused. This is good if you have others listening who are not in the sweet spot. The EQ has several different preset positions McIntosh refers to as voicing. Depending on the music and your personal preference it can tame some music that may be bass heavy or treble edgy.
The nice thing is you can bounce between bypass, focus or global and choose what you think sounds best. Same applies to the preset EQ positions.
The MEN220 also has a built in crossover which I use to drive a solid state amp for my bass drivers and a tube amp for my mids and highs. It gives you the control to set the gain on your amps.
This is an expensive purchase so I'd recommend an audition and decide for yourself.