'Digital' Room Correction


#1

After reading much on the subject over the last few years, I ‘broke down’ and purchased a McIntosh MEN 220 “Room Correction System.” This is based on the Lyngdorf “Roomperfect” software design. I knew from having my room measured that I had some fairly serious bass frequency issues. Upon hiring my local audio provider to come out and set the system up (via a true interface with the MEN220 and his laptop, and in conjunction with his professional audio meter and mic), he was able to ‘correct’ the frequency response to a very respectful level…not quite true flat, but he brought down the problem ‘humps’ to within a very respectful 2 dB hump. It sounds different!

Does it sound better? Hum…I think so, but I need time. Here’s the problem I have, by comparing the bypass mode with the 'corrected response" (a combination of six filters), I hear what sounds like a remarkable improvement almost across the board (for sure in the mid bass and female vocals regions) - the corrected version sounding noticeably better than the bypassed mode. Running the DS through the MEN220 however, sounds different in bypass mode than it does running the DS straight into the amp. While it takes a small amount of time to switch out the cables, I can hear a difference, and running the DS straight into the amp sounds better (in comparison to going through the MEN220 in bypass mode - which is ‘suppose’ to sound like nothing was added…I don’t think so).

The big question is, does the corrected version sound better than the DS straight into the amp? I think it does. It definitively sounds noticeably different. I’m going to have to live with it for a while to know for certain. I can’t tell if I’m more excited about a great purchase, or worried that I made a mistake (how many times have we all experienced this!!!). I’m having a hard time adjusting to the idea/concept of applying filters to the frequencies. The proof however, is - as ‘they’ say - in the pudding, and the pudding tastes pretty darn good at this point. I’d be interested to gain Ted’s take on the subject (if he is inclined77_gif)…or anyone else who has similar experience with this type of room correction. Keep in mind, this is not an ‘EQ’ process to make your speakers sound different. If you purchased a pair of speakers that are warm and rich, the speakers will stay warm and rich. The idea is that the speakers have been purchased because the user enjoys their traits. This is a process designed to address room modes…

I’m not entirely convinced yet, but this is pretty interesting stuff.


#2

I have heard a number of digital room correction systems and have yet to hear one where I prefer the treated sound. They all sound a tad plasticky and add a haze on top of the sound.

I believe this is because the problem which results in the bass nodes and other anomalies are still present. Putting less energy into these frequencies to flatten the frequency response relies on these nodes to continue do their thing, which conflicts with our brain’s understanding of the sound of the room (that is, the cues are now wrong). Additionally, the overhang and other timing issues caused by the nodes continue to exist.

To me, much less expensive room treatments sound a good deal better.

But I know a couple of people who absolutely adore the result and are exceedingly pleased.


#3

Timequest, the “corrected” sound takes a bit of time to adjust to. The bass is usually perceived to be significantly less initially but, in time, you realize it is as it should be. That was my experience with the TacT(initially a joint venture with Lyngdorf) system I had. The correction part of my system was digital in and out so was in front of the DAC. That is the way I think it should be done so that Ted’s work can do it’s magic before the signal is analog. Do not know how the McIntosh system works.


#4

Peter Lyngdorf founded TacT Audio. Lyngdorf Audio is TacT’s successor.


#5
lazbisme said The correction part of my system was digital in and out so was in front of the DAC. That is the way I think it should be done so that Ted's work can do it's magic before the signal is analog. Do not know how the McIntosh system works.
Gosh, I didn't even think of that. It's after the DAC........The output of the DS goes into the input of the MEN220. It's a dilemma: enjoy 'Ted's work' unimpeded by digital room correction, but with the negative impact of the room, or manipulate the sound to compensate for the room...... Like I stated; it does sound different and very good, I just haven't reached any definitive conclusions yetsurprised-011_gif

#6

That’s the issue I’ve encountered too when looking for a hardware based solution such as the MEN220 or Trinnov. From an ARC perspective, Trinnov is fantastic but pricely and I do not need all their functionnalties (conversion, preamp…). Ideally I would like to get a streamer with ARC. I searched solutions but no result so far. I also sent several emails to different company but none of them have such product in their roadmap.

The best solution,at the moment, seems to be building a dedicated computer for audio and use an ARC software to do the work.

I will probably go for a NUC-based computer using ROON as music player and DIRAC as ARC. I am still building the specifications as I want to be sure it will work flawlessly.

Maybe PS Audio will propose something with an external bridge ;-).sorry_gif


#7

To store the room correction in the library.

I was puzzeling how to correct the room for a flat frequency response. This can be done passive (fysical room corrections) and active (analog or digital room corrections). Everything should start by measurements. With this data the room should be fysical corrected as far as possible or at least as far as reasonable. After this a new measurement must be done to calculate the active room corrections. Please correct me if I’m wrong!

The active room corrections can be done by expensive equipment, or by the build in equilyzer in Jriver for example. I'm confident that less is more for this approach. Let me explain! During the test period of the PWD it became very clear to me that software, must be stored on a Nass or computer in the format you play it. So if the dac play wav files you better feed it with wav files, don't let the equipment do the calculations on the fly. I think while data is calculated on the fly you get fluctuations in load. Think of this we have a few bites that have to be converted to wav doublewords 32bit, in this bites is not one bit true which is easy or the conversion.Then we have a few bites where several bits are true which is heavy for the conversion. I'm not sure if this is the reason, but it must be in the timing or load somehow. With the PWD it was also true while the computer did the calculations on the fly. There alway's was a derating audible. There was less derating while using two computers (more is morepulling-hair_gif) one computer did the calculations and the second computer fed the wav signal to the PWD. So worst case was when the PWD did the calculations, better while the computer did the calculations, even better when using two computers and the best way is when using the wav format that could be played immediately.

So with this information and the room corrections data it would be great to convert a copy of the music library and store the result on a harddrive so you have the best possible private library for your music room.

This way we will need less interconnects, less powercables in comparison with an active solution, less electronic’s less software and no data converted om the fly. Less is more!

I’m not sure if this software is already on the market, if else it should be made!

Wijnand


#8

I found Acourate a very interesting digital room correction software. It can store a corrected library on a nass or computer. The only trouble is that it works only on Asio. I have Jriver Media centre 21, but it doesn’t seems to have an Asio driver.

I use a windows desktop computer with a I2S bridge. Can anyone tell me if it is possible to use an asio driver in Jriver 21.

Thanks in advance,

Wijnand


#9

ASIO is running fine in JRiver 21 here. You have to open options and enable the ASIO driver. (Just open options and type “ASIO” in the “Type your search here” box at the bottom.) Under General there’s a Features section that has an “ASIO Driver” check box. I had to start and stop my player twice to get it to play the first time, but after that it seems to be working.


#10

Thanks Ted!

I have installed the PS audio USB driver. Now I have Asio for the USB output for the DS.

The USB sounds different to the I2S bridge, not bad, but It would be nice if I can find an Asio driver that upports the I2S bridge.


#11

Actualy it’s fine!

I can use the USB output with Asio for the room measurements and after I have stored corrected library I can use the I2S bridge with wasapi again.

So more in a few weeks!