Distribution is so limited that it's hard to compare any 2 of these devices in one place. You might try Perotta Consulting or Moon Audio, if they're convenient to you. I tried and gave up here in SoCal, ending up with a Velodyne SMS sub-controller which combines a room analyzer, PEq, and x-over. I also added subs. This is a different (less expensive, <$1800 with 2 high quality subs) way to address room issues, albeit only in the bass region (which is pretty much exclusively where most serious room issues -including mine - occur).
PS - During my research, I did learn one thing that may be of interest.
The TacT system attempts to acheive the targeted respone at the listening position. That is, it corrects for cumulative (speaker and room) anomalies.
The Lyngdorf attempts to correct only room anomalies and preserve the speaker's "native" response characteristics. It corrects the room only.
Source: Lyngdorf, USA>
Here's my 2cents. Don't choose a system because of the EQ. All these work well although differently. Choose the system components for their fundamental sound quality and functionality and only then consider which of these is appropriate for that system. There is no single answer.
P.S.: And you forgot to include Trinnov and AntiMode 8033 and........
Thanks all for responses. Kal, I understand your point completely.
The problem is that I am planning on replacing an old pre/pro. I more of a two channel guy, but I still need home theater and multi-channel.
While I cannot get a second system in a different spot in the house, I could -- for example -- get a dedicated 2-channel analog pre-amp, and get a separate pre/pro. It quickly becomes unclear what to do, without auditioning lots of stuff, which seem like a very difficult thing to do per Marty's point.
The only thing I have decided thus far is to purchase the XTZ room analyzer (based on your good opinion of that software/hardware) to see if EQ will likely make a difference.
I guess if your main concern is superb 2 channel sound, and you need EQ, I'm wondering if you are losing something by going with a pre/pro with EQ as opposed something focused on 2 channel like the TacT.
Not sure if the above makes my inquiry any clearer...
TacT is focused on 2 channel? Not as I see it.
In any case, let's suppose that you are not considering EQ, give us examples of what and how you might choose and configure your system. Just a hypothetical.
Okay, fair enough. Let's assume no vinyl (I was too busy buying musical instruments as a musician to spend money on records).
So digital sources for music (either redbook CDs, SACDs, or files on a hard drive). I have a high end "universal" disc player, and will probably always go this route. Or possibly transport and DAC, if I decide to give up on SACD -- but I have quite a few.
I have monoblock amps. Like these very much, and will likely stick with monoblocks over time.
On the HT side, BluRay and DirectTV
So what to do about the pre/amp, pre/pro situation. And have the Eq option.
The PARC is at the end of the signal chain (right before the amps), so I guess I could do anything with that....
Do I sound confused?
With only digital sources, I would avoid the DAC and the external EQ and go with the Anthem or the Classe SSP-800, if you add an external measurement system like REW. Those can handle all digital sources and have excellent DACs and DSP. The not-yet-released Sim prepro or the NAD M15HD might also be considered.
You can input any of your sources, including SACD, via HDMI or coax.
Kal, this is very helpful, and most appreciated. Just to make sure I am understanding you:
- you think that the one box solution -- the built in DACs and pre-amps in a pre/pro (that also happens to have EQ as a very important added benefit) is more advisable in my situation with digital sources than doing it with separate components, even if I could go with a separate pre-amp for two channel and a pre/pro (or receiver with pre/outs) for home theater and surround channels.
- I would need a newer UPD I believe to output SACD via coax, no? My Bel Canto PL-1A does not have HDMI, and as far as I know, SACD is an analog only option on it...
- you feel that the EQ available on the high end multi-channel pre/pros (Anthem, Classe, Sim) that also have other features such as tuners, etc. is not a compromise compared with the EQ in the others (e.g., TacT 2.2X, Lyngdorf) that are mostly all about the EQ.
Please correct me on what I have wrong! Thanks again.
2. Yup. The Oppo 980H (cheap but competent), the Pioneer DV-58 (better, sturdier), the Sony XA5400ES (CD/SACD only) and the upcoming universals from Denon and Oppo. Mebbe more.
3. Depends. If you want a pure correction, the built-in Audyssey MultEQ XT or ARC is entirely adequate. If you want some control over the response curve (as well as good readouts of the measurements/corrections and some better corrections), there's the AudysseyPro software. Also, I am firm believer in multi-point measurements.
The newer DAC in the Tact is purported to be much improved over the earlier version.
Okay this is enormously helfupl. Kal and all, thanks for all your time.
BTW, I have not heard the Denon prepro but, on paper, it also fills the bill.
Just one more observation:
The Velo SMS has an auto-correct option as well as the ability to output the "in-room" response (below 200hz) to a video monitor for manual adjustment.
In my room, I first:
Viewed respose on the monitor without any correction. It was pretty awful, as might be expected.
I then used auto-correct and viewed those results. They were much better, but hardly great.
I then corrected manually. In 15 minutes, I had vastly superior results with my Ohm 100s and Velo subs. Similar improvement was possible with Maggies and subs, but it took almost 2 hours. In every case I tried, manual tweaking made a huge -and hugely audible- improvement over auto--correction.
This may be peculiar to Velodyne's auto correct system. I'm sure that part of the explanation is due to the particular concern of room correcting for sub/mains versus mains alone. In the former case, you must first get it right through the crossover region (not easy), then get it right overall. For a "subwooferless" system, priorities differ.
Moral of my story:
Buy a system which allows you to view results an tweak manually, particularly if you'll be using subs.
The real reason that the auto-correction with the SMS-1 is inferior to the manual correction has very little to do with your analysis, although the choice of crossover does complicate the issue and the Velodyne has some limitations in that regard.
The biggest reason is that, with auto-mode, the SMS-1 will not vary frequency or Q of the 8 filters it has. Thus, in automode, the SMS-1 is little more than a bass-band graphic EQ.
OTOH, the bass only Anti-Mode 8033 does a dandy auto EQ without any display or tweaking.
I saw that the Velo's auto mode didn't utilize the capabilities of the PEq, hence my first comment that my results might be due to issues peculiar to the Velo's auto correct system. However, I'd love to find any auto system that can optimize all of the crossover settings - points (which may be asymmetrical), slopes (which may be asymmetrical), phase, and polarity (not the same). After that, it must adjust for smoothest response through the crosssover point, so that the transition from mains to woofer is seamless. After optimizing this critical transition, it can then determine which trade offs between ideal response through the crossover versus smoothest overall response are optimal. The latter is tricky because the smoothest transition may occur around a crossover point that is either too high or too low to provide natural octave to octave balance throughout the overall bandwidth of the combined system. If this is the case, it must try again.
BTW, if you reverse the process and try to optimize overall bandwidth balance first, there's a good chance you'll try hari-kiri before you get the subs integrated in a satisfying manner.
Such a system may exist - I'm not remotely familiar with what's out there. I'd just personally prefer the option of tweaking manually - especially if separate subs are involved - just in case the auto system comes up short.
Just a last thought - please do not misunderstand the tone of my last post - (on screen, it looks more aggressive than I intended it to be). I don't want to try to come off as an "expert" here. I'm completely certain that others - and specifically KR -have much broader experience. I've only commented because my own experience was "challenging" and if I can point out some of the obstacles I tripped over...so much the better.
In the end, my personal take on it was that the ability to trade off optimizing overall response vs. optimizing response around the crossover point was the single most important element in acheiving satisfactory results IN MY SYSTEM and FOR MY PRIORITIES. YMMV.
I do not know of any system which will do all you ask for. It is a task for knowledgeable humans. Of course, some products do make the claim. http://www.neptuneaudio.net/neptuneEQ_silver_p/neptuneeq-b.htm
You guys have convinced me (also some other professional reviews) -- the idea that you go with a computer's auto-correction and then stop seems a bit antithetical to this hobby.
Many/most of us who psot here try lots of things and go to a lot of effort to get sound that sounds good to us. Even those who eschew endless audiophile tweaking have likely spent serious time and money getting to the point where they are ready to leave it all alone and just listen to the music. Since tweaking the settings on an EQ is a lot easier (physically that is) and less expensive than (e.g.) buying, burning in, and swaping back and forht between cables, it seems that we should be willing to do this to optimize sound so that it is what we want to hear.
Gongrats and happy shopping!
Note that KR's observation re: the SMS' auto-correct shortcomings suggest that you might want to seek out a unit that provides both superior auto-correct AND a read-out for manual tweaking. This way, you'll start tweaking from a (presumably) better starting point and save yourself some time/effort. One of the earlier posts here implied -I think - that Audyssey Pro does the trick.
Another advantage of "seeing the room" for me was observing the large "hump" in my room from app 75hz to app 125 hz. This caused a higher than optimal X-over point at the SMS' built in 80hz highpass point. A pair of Bass Busters proved a great (I do mean great) fix.
Thus I'd still go for manual + superior auto if I could. If you can't find such an animal, the SMS-1 is a great tool at a fair price. I get pretty amazing results in my room with any of the main speakers I've tried - Verity Parsifal Monitors, Sunfire Cinema Ribbon Monitors, Maggie SMGs, and Ohm 100s. As KR noted, though, The SMS' high pass x-over has limitations. If you do go with an SMS, Id suggest that you either use mains that are happy being crossed at 80hz, or mains that you run full range. Otherwise, you might need an external high pass.
Another idea to bear in mind. My Velo subs don't perform nearly as well as the similarly priced SVS subs (they're much smaller, though). There's some debate on the sub threads on A-Gon as to which spec is more telling for a sub: "group delay" or "distortion". I don't have the knowledge to take a side here, but I'd note the $600/per model from SVS does a very good job on both tests.
At the end of the day, if you're willing to do the work, I suspect that the SMS, a bass buster (or 2), good subs, and good main speakers can provide amazing returns on your loudspeaker investment. In my case, $600 (for 2 bass busters, $600 for an SMS-1, and $1200 (for 2 SPLR8 subs) provide great bass performance and virtually seamless integration with a variety of different main speakers (dipole planars, omnis, and traditional dynamic minimonitors among them). At $2400 plus mains of your choice, I suspect that this deal is hard to beat.
BTW, if you have the space available, the SVS subs wil smoke the Velos (on paper, anyway) at the same price. Alas, at the time of purchase, I didn't have the space.
BTW, one advantage of any EQ or measurement system that has a good display is that you can use it to optimize sub placement and to view the effects of acoustical treatements. Not an insignificant feature.
"Lyngdorf broke away from TacT. How are these two systems different? Better, worse? There is some concern that DACs in the TacT units are not wonderful, so better to use an external DAC?"
The Lyngdorf RCS offers only analog inputs/outputs and has a limited number of target curves. I don't think the Lyngdorf RCS has a GUI.
TacT RCS has analog and digital inputs/outputs and a wide range of target curves with the ability for user modification. The TacT RCS 2.2X & XP also provide digital crossovers for the integration of subs. The XP adds DRC, XTC, Variable correction and some other new features.
TacT performance can be improved with some upgrades offered by Aberdeen Components/Maui Mods.
Kana is mistaken. The stand alone RC processor from Lyngdorf accepts digital inputs. I believe that some of their other RC products may not. He may be right, however, regarding the lack of a GUI. My understanding is that the TacT products offer more flexibility/control, including the ability to output results to a PC. Per my way too many posts, above, you know that I found this feature critically important in my efforts.
OTOH, some have complained about dificulties in using the TacT (and a few have bitched about the sound - to be expected from this bunch). Nevertheless, I'd suggest you search these threads for people's experience with the various devices since I was unable to check them out personally.
I was referring to the RP-1.
You're right the DPA-1 does have digital inputs and a single digital output, which means you can digitally output either a hi-passed or low-passed signal, but not both at the same time like the TacT RCS 2.2X & XP.
To use subs with the DPA-1, you need to physically measure the distance from your main speakers to your subs to calculate delays.
The TacT calculates delays automatically.
I agree the TacT has a steep learning curve, but there's lots of help available on the yahoo users forums. People interested in improving SQ should visit: