XTZ is easier to use than REW because the hardware and software are well-integrated. It is less flexible than REW but you have to determine if it will do what you want.
Remember that, although REW is freeware, you still must buy the associated equipment.
Thanks Kal. In your experience, is the XTZ enough to properly set up a pair of speakers (no sub) including placement and room treatments? I will not be using digital EQ.
If you know what you are doing, yes.
I have used the XTZ Room Analyzer on multiple occasions for setting up my own 2-channel and 5.1 surround sound setups. It's fairly easy to use, but DOES take some time to learn all the nuances, and how to interpret the graphs. The latest version of the software is much improved over the original release. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a U.S. distributor yet, and ordering from Sweden may result in additional duties/shippig broker fees.
Thank you both for your responses. I'm a still a little confused though as I've not used either system. Let me rephase the question. Which system would work best to set up a two speaker two channel room with no EQ in the system?
Thank you again.
Your question calls up the thought: Do you know what you are doing? Neither system will offer a step-by-step procedure or set of instructions. Both will simply measure the system response in frequency and time. What you do with this information is up to you. Both will also suggest corrective filters but without an EQ that is simply more information. Both will only test one channel at a time but you can test others sequentially (or with Y-connectors).
What are you looking for?
I cannot speak to the Room EQ Wizard software but I do have XTZ. I used it to measure my room and also my speaker response in anticipation of getting an equalizer or room correction device. I also wanted to see the before and after results of the Audyssey MultiEQ of my Denon AVP processor. Having read up on the dos and don'ts of equalization, I was curious to know what the Audyssey was doing in both the frequency and time domains.
I use XTZ on a macbook pro running VMWare Fusion 3 and XP. The odd thing is that when I recall past measurements, especially for the FR and decay plots, the software crashes quite often, more than half the time. However, it relaunches quickly and I keep going.
I imagine that if you discover a room mode you might be able to place acoustic panels in the usual, suspect places (corners etc) and see the effect. This is, in fact, my next move- I am waiting for some bass traps to arrive from Gik Acoustics.
Great question Kal and in the big picture the answer is no. I have a general idea about room modes and understand the basic rules of speaker and treatment placement. I want to learn but don't plan to become an acoustic engineer. It seems from your responses that I would have to learn either of them regardless. Given this dose this help to recommend either of the programs? Also, are their and texts that you would recommend for background reading?
You may wish to try this program SynRTA. I think you will need some cables, laptop, and sound card. As I recall, it will give you a real time readout as you wander about the room.
Thumperrider112, you will need to learn to use either one but neither one will tell you what to do with the read-outs. I suggest that you read some basic audio and acoustics books like Everest or Toole.
Thanks again Kal and everyone else. I placed an order for the Everest book today. The Toole book in reading the reviews seemes to focus more on multi channel systems. Hopefully this will give me the foundation to get started with one of these tools.
Hi anybody know where to order XTZ analyser? Send a form thru XTZ website since sunday but so far no response thanks
I am interested in this program as well but I wonder if there is any other program that will do a bit more than XTZ.
I would prefer a program that can analyze frequency response and then perhaps make some suggestions as to where I might want to move the speakers. I think it would give me a better starting point as my speakers are rather big and heavy and are not easily moved.
If you use XTX, maybe you can measure in the corners or near boundaries and try to pinpoint the room modes and nulls. That may help you with placement. I think there is another program out there that actually tells you where to put the speakers, based on the dimensional measurements (that is, not doing actual acoustic measurements).
Classicjazz, I found this program, cara 2.1 plus
That does exactly what you said. However, since I don't think I can account for all the dimensions and items in the room, this kind of program has its limitation. So I wonder if there is a program that might try to calculate and suggest recommendation based on actual sound measurement.
If not, I think that program like Cara might give me a good place to start then fine tune with XTZ, I suppose.
CARA will not 'suggest' where to move your speakers but will select the optimum position within the range/area you specify. However, it is based on the information you enter into the system and not on real-world measurements. Also, it is based on powerful but incomplete analysis models. I think it is a great tool to use before room design and its value declines as more and more real-world constraints are imposed on it. There is a simpler and easier equivalent that is probably as useful in completed construction situations: RPG's Room Optimizer.
XTZ, otoh, is a measurement system that will tell you how the system is actually performing in your room. It will suggest filters for the room/loudspeaker variations below the critical frequency but it cannot suggest setup changes because it cannot know anything about your system except how it measures at the microphone. REW is similar but with more tools, as is GoldLine's EZTUNE. There are several others. These will all tell you what is wrong (or right) about the measured setup but leave it up to you to change that and see if things get better or worse.
Thanks for your information, I will check on these programs as well. The main concern I have is that once I get reading down with XTZ, I am not sure where to go after that. I will check out some of the book titles that you mentioned and hopefully they will give some insight into what needs to be done to correct the problem.
FWIW, I found the XTZ room analyzer pro II very easy to use. It quickly and consistently found a big room mode at 38Hz for which it recommended a -22db correction. I attenuated it down with a McIntosh MQ 107 (not quite all the way to a -22db, which made the sound too thin), and my boomy bass issue immediately disappeared in dramatic fashion. The A/B between the equalizer on and off and the bass issue is incredible.
I haven't tried any other room analyzer software or equipment but foundn the XTZ to be simple and to provide exactly the information I needed, so I thought I'd share my experience.