Tact 2.2XP for room correction "proof of concept"


I am currently integrating a 2.2 and 5.2 system using an analog MCH player as source, analog MCH preamp, outboard DAC, 2 channel preamp with bypass, external cross-over and bass EQ unit. In summary, lots of boxes, a cabling nightmare and no room correction other than for the subs. I use my system 90% of the time in 2.2 mode.

I also own a Casablanca III, and Theta will be releasing Dirac room EQ later this summer. Upgrading my CBIII would allow me to move from MCH analog to HDMI based, and allow me to do bass management and EQ in the Casablanca III processor, dramatically simplifying my system in the process. However upgrading my CBIII to HD Dirac level would be a significant outlay, so I want to test the room correction waters before committing a substantial funds.

So I am thinking of getting a used Tact 2.2XP to see if room correction (and better crossover filtering) helps my system, and if does move to CBIII HD Dirac when it is released. Has anyone used a Tact based 2.2 system, and compared this with ffect of room correction in a very good multi-channel system playing in 2.2 mode? In other words, can Tact correction be used as a good proxy for what to expect from a multi channel SSP?
edorr
I don't have an answer for you, but I can suggest an alternative approach to answering your question:

Try to get hold of a Velodyne SMS-1. They're less than $400 new. This will provide "subwoofer only" room EQ and give you a good sense - tho not a perfect "apples to apple" comparison - of what that a given sub-specific room correction system sounds like. I used to use that set-up, but recently switched to Audyssey Pro32 (via an Onkyo pre-pro) for use exclusively in a 2.2 music only system.

I made the switch largely to avoid the complexity of boxes you describe, but have come to appreciate the full-range correction offerred by the Audyssey enabled pre-pros. Obviously, YMMV on that one. If you prefer "sub-only" correction, any of the Audyssey enabled stuff is less suitable to answering your question.

Incidentally, IMHO, both the Velo and Audyssey offer startling improvement in the low registers.

A few caveats:

The built-in low cut filter on the SMS is rudimentary; inflexible and mediocre sounding. A separate x-over for low cutting the main speaker is better, but might not be appropriate for your purposes (temporary comparison preview).

DO NOT use the SMS "auto EQ". It's primitive. Manual room EQ (via the real time FR display that can be sent to any video monitor) is a giant PITA, but light years better than Velo's auto system.

Good Luck.

Marty
Marty, I am using the SVS Sub EQ unit which is similar to the Velodine. Problem is my mains run at full range through an all analog signal path, while the subs go through an A/D/A conversion. I have a suspicion the resulting time delay differences are causing problems, because an in room REW measurement shows big dips below 100Hz, while my sub EQ charts (generated by the EQ unit) look relatively flat.

I want to play around with full range EQ and digital high pass / low pass cross over setting with full time and phase alignment, and see if I get better results. To be fair I have absolutely no "boominess" issues, and bass sounds pretty good to me, but I read the occasional reports of guys going down this path and discovering what they had been missing all along.
Edorr,

I've measured my room with Studio Wizard EQ (a room Wizard variant) and saw consistent results between the SMS-1 readout and the SWEQ analysis, so this sounds like it might be room specific.

However, I will say that the XT32 full range EQ on the Onkyo sounds great, and strikes me as an overall improvement vis a vis the old set-up. I don't hear much in the way of tonal differences anywhere in the entire spectrum (other than slightly, though audibly elevated output down low) with Audyssey, rather than the SMS on board. However, imaging strikes me as clearly improved with the new arrangement - and that might go to your point re: time delay. Maybe.

FWIW.

Marty
Marty, I am using the SVS Sub EQ unit which is similar to the Velodine. Problem is my mains run at full range through an all analog signal path, while the subs go through an A/D/A conversion. I have a suspicion the resulting time delay differences are causing problems, because an in room REW measurement shows big dips below 100Hz, while my sub EQ charts (generated by the EQ unit) look relatively flat.
It does, indeed, introduce some latency on top of whatever the sub needs. With an all-analog path, you cannot introduce the necessary delay in the L/R signals.

I want to play around with full range EQ and digital high pass / low pass cross over setting with full time and phase alignment, and see if I get better results.
How do you plan to do this?
Kal, I plan to do this by taking out my SVS Bass EQ unit and my external analog crossover, and get a Tact 2.2XP unit (digital in/out version) to do my cross-over filtering and room EQ - all in the digital domain. I will still use 2 external DACs; one for my 2 subs and one for my mains.

The Tact 2.2XP will not do anything for my multi-channel 5.2 system (which continues to be all analog), but if I like the digital Tact route for 2.2, I will probably make the leap of faith Theta Dirac Live will work equally well in 2.2 and 5.2 mode, and eventually go down this path if/when Theta ships.
OK. I suspect that the Theta/Dirac will be superior but that's all to the good. Too bad there are no rental units for these things.
Too bad indeed, alhhough I have had good luck picking up used stuff on audiogon and resell without a loss for these type of expiriments. I'll keep my eyes open, and if all else fails I may even get a new one (at a healthy discount) and just take the hit if/when I switch to Theta/Dirac.
If you are going used, consider also units from Trinnov and DEQX.
Thanks - I checked and the Trinnov ST2 and the DEQX HPD-3 look very intriguing. I need a bit more looking into functionality and specs, but I may cast the net wider and pick up the first reasonably priced unit of any of these three contenders that shows up.
I have exactly what you need. An audio control "Diva". Lets talk about it. How can I contact you?
The Diva has no digital in/out so it does not meet my requirements.