MCACC from Pioneer.

Posted by: Philippe

MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/28/11 06:38 PM

Pioneer's exclusive Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration system (MCACC). I finally bought a Pioneer SC-27 AVR instead of the Marantz SR6500 i said on a previous post. Anyway this is a heavy unit and so far this is a pretty good match with my Axiom speaker.
The MCACC is maybe not the Auddysey from other brand. Some say Auddysey is a class of is own. But i read many good review from the pioneer MCACC one.
Took about 3mins and evething is set and ready to play.

I have a small room. 12x11x8. The speaker needed a 7.5-dB boost at 250 Hz and a 9-dB cut at 50 Hz to bring it in line with the Axiom speakers. But the only part i am not sure of is that it set my front and center to LARGE. I know nobody here will tell me to put any speaker set to large (Even the M80) But again, i wonder if i should thrust it. I have not made A-B test but still wonder if i should leave it.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/28/11 08:05 PM

It is the receiver mfg that sets a speaker to small or large, not the setup feature. Correction tools like Audyssey and others measure the speaker (in Audyssey's case the -3dB point) and report it back to the manufacturer. For Audyssey if a speaker measures a 40hz or better -3dB point then it usually is set to Large.

Anyway, to answer your question, you still want to change those to "small" since you have a subwoofer in the mix.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/28/11 09:03 PM

I've had good luck with MCACC myself, but as the knighted duck said, set the speakers to small...

Good luck and enjoy...
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 12:00 AM

Yup. My 45TX used to set my M22's to large. Set them to small and MCACC works fine. Others will suggest using the SPL, which may give better results but I was always happy w/ MCACC.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 08:00 AM

Same here. Sound is much better with MCACC. I've experimented with just adjusting the built-in equalizer, but overall, MCACC setting is best. Turned off with music, makes it a little lifeless at times. Since there's only one mic position, I usually just put it on a tripod in the center of the room at seated ear level, then try and turn the cat off. She meows a lot.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 09:36 AM

I have set the mic at my usual listening position. Should i put it in the center of the room ?
Posted by: J. B.

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 10:14 AM

if this program does not require taking many measurements at different positions like Odyssey, then i think the only place you should put the microphone is exactly where your ears will be doing the listening (middle of the head).
it seems logical to me, as the sound will then be equalized where you do your listening, not in a spot where it will not do anything positive to your listening spot.
doing it in the middle of the room will most probably make it worse at your listening spot.
dips and peaks change all the time when one moves around in a room; if you want to hear what it does, send a 1 or 2 kHz tone through one speaker and then slowly walk around in the room while listening to the tone. you'll be surprised.

to be sure, try both and listen for a couple of days before you decide which is the better one.
Posted by: J. B.

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 10:18 AM

if you don't change the speaker settings to "small", you will end up with double bass where the M80's and EP350's frequencies overlap.
Posted by: J. B.

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 10:56 AM

some tips on how to use MCACC and what it does can be found here:
http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/receivers/723-pioneer-sc27-receiver.html?start=2
Posted by: J. B.

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 11:10 AM

here's a comment by the person who made the test, it can be seen at the end of the test posted above this one.

"2) I think the main thing to keep in mind is that MCACC and Audyssey are designed very differently. Where Audyssey MultiEQ (what I typically use) will take multiple measurement locations to try to correct for a wide variety of locations, MCACC only tried to correct for a single location in the room, which might be at the expense of other locations. Talking to Pioneer they thought that most people would use a receiver such as this in this way (solo listening to music, or watching TV or film), and that they don't have the processor power to be able to do real time room correction for multiple seats at once right now (this could change in the future)."

the important thing here is when he says:"...which might be at the expense of other locations";
this is why i think the mike should be set at the listening position (middle of the head position); if not done this way, it could compromise the quality of the resulting sound.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 11:21 AM

Originally Posted By: Philippe
I have set the mic at my usual listening position. Should i put it in the center of the room ?


I put mine in the center of the room because there are many seating positions within the room. This seems to work for me.
Posted by: cb919

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 11:35 AM

It never hurts to experiment but I do agree that the primary listening position should at least be your starting point.

I used the primary position for my calibrations but then used the advanced MCACC to compensate for standing waves at 3 points across my main couch. Note that you can only do the 3 point standing wave measurement if you go into the advanced MCACC and perform that specific calibration individually. Full auto mode will only use the one position.

Main thing is to experiment and do what sounds best to you. Have fun!
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 11:48 AM

Sort of a mixed bag between MCACC and Audyssey. One tried to make a single, primary position as great as possible, but potentially at the expense of other listening positions in the room, the other tried to make all listening locations good, but at a compromise of making a single spot great.

That is my understanding, and I could be way off on the Audyssey.

Of course if you have decent room treatments, I would think that the Audyssey could be VERY successful for multiple listening locations sounding great.

I am doing a number of sound treatments in my current theater build, and while I've been a die hard Pioneer user since v1.0 of my theater back 10 years ago (building v4.0 now), I am going to be looking hard at other brands mainly to try out Audyssey's multi-location tuning. With the treatments, I am hoping for several great listening locations with only minimal compromises vs. one finite sweet spot that I've had in the past.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 01:42 PM

The GUI does not offer the possiblity to set each speaker individualy. I only have 50hz-80-hz-100hz, etc to all my speakers.
Posted by: cb919

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/29/11 05:54 PM

Yup, that's a limitation of the Pioneer processing/design - only one global X over setting is allowed. I personally don't find it a limitation for my setup, BUT if I had M80's or something bigger that might bug me enough to change receiver brands.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/30/11 12:06 AM

I still say that you are either making it great for 1 or pretty darn good for many. Just a different way to do it. Both do well in helping to fix frequency issues...
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/30/11 03:44 PM

I did come across the following comment by Alan Lofft in his article on choosing a receiver:

How to buy a receiver
---------------------------------------------------------
Auto-Setup and Calibration

Even inexpensive AV receivers now have some type of auto-setup mode, with many including a supplied microphone and auto-calibration/equalization circuit (Audyssey is very common) that claims to adjust the frequency response of the system’s speakers to match the room’s characteristics.

While the auto-setup modes are initially useful for first-timers, they are still prone to error, sometimes setting speakers that are small to “Large” and making errors in speaker level settings of 4 dB or more. You should still do a manual check using a sound-level meter and a pink-noise signal.

Unless you have really poor speakers, I recommend you turn off the auto-EQ circuits. They may help smooth out the non-linear spikey frequency response of poorly designed speakers, but with really smooth linear speakers like Axioms, they often degrade sound quality.
---------------------------------------------------------
Posted by: Philippe

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/30/11 04:20 PM

And when Alan has wrote this ?
Posted by: Joebob

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/30/11 07:13 PM

Originally Posted By: Philippe
... I have a small room. 12x11x8. The speaker needed a 7.5-dB boost at 250 Hz and a 9-dB cut at 50 Hz to bring it in line with the Axiom speakers. But the only part i am not sure of is that it set my front and center to LARGE. I know nobody here will tell me to put any speaker set to large (Even the M80) But again, i wonder if i should thrust it. I have not made A-B test but still wonder if i should leave it.


Hello Philippe. I also have an SC27, M80's and a VP150.

The M80's, I would say you can run either as large or small depending on which sounds better to you. I have tried both and this week I prefer setting them to large.

The VP150 I would always set to small because it's bass extension (85 hz at the 3db down point) is not as good as the M80's. MCACC always sets my VP150 to large, so I change it back to small after running MCACC.

MCACC also tries to correct pretty hard at 250 hz in my room with the M80's. I guess you know that you can tweak the MCACC settings. I normally copy the MCACC results I use to another memory slot and adjust to taste.

There is no right and wrong really. What sounds best to you? MCACC on or off, Phase control on or off and S-Wave on or off? Try them all and pick what sounds best. FWIW, I like the M80's large, the V150 and QS8's small, EQ on, Fullband Phase on and the EQ tweaked by ear but I've tried all the combinations.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/30/11 09:49 PM

Nick, I don't have MCACC and wasn't following this closely. As you commented, you might be "way off" in how Audyssey works. What it doesn't do is to simply average different results from around the room at the expense of getting the best result in the central listening area. I requested and received references to technical papers from Dr. Kyriakakis which go into detail on the complex process involved, which was helpful in my decision to use Audyssey. The multiple measurement points(the more the better)aren't scattered about the room at various locations, but are tightly clustered about the central listening positions(suggested to be within about 2')to give as many samples as possible for the mathematical algorithm to work with. For example, see this illustration showing that even with 12 measurement points being used, they're all at the main listening location, not at widely separate alternate locations. Also, some of the FAQs here relate to the multiple measurement point question in a somewhat simplified way and are worth reading.

Although I use Audyssey, certainly MCACC when applied correctly has benefits and should be used to improve the overall listening results.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/30/11 10:31 PM

Yes, but if say listening spot 1 needs a bump in a certain frequency in order to be "ideal" and listening spot 2 is right on the mark, and listening spot 3 needs a drop in that same frequency, how can it boost (or drop) the output at that frequency without impacting the other listening spots. Sort of like the Goldilocks problem. Too hot, too cold, just right. Very simplified for only 1 aspect, but substitute delays and echos in for frequency levels and it seems somewhat the same. Their website even states that it "creates clusters" of similar point measurements and then adjusts based off of these 3-5 "clusters" of information. If you are clustering, you are doing some level of averaging or "best case we can manage" for each cluster.

Now don't get me wrong, I think that Audyssey is a good step up in complex room analysis for room acoustics and management via electronic controls over the other products out there. I was just playing devil's advocate that it doesn't mean that it is the end all/be all for everything, just a very complex way to try to get the best for a wider audience, but as soon as you "cluster" you are making some sort of compromise somewhere.

Again, I could also argue the MCACC is designed for single hermits that have no friends, or that the friends they do have aren't worth getting a good acoustical adjustment since MCACC is a single sweet spot only method.

Again, I can play it both ways, and the best part is that I am learning a lot myself. In fact, I am liking the idea of Audyssey for my next receiver more and more.
Posted by: Philippe

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 08/31/11 05:37 PM

At this time i run with full MCACC on but only change the M3 and VP150 to small and it sound pretty good.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 09/25/11 10:50 PM

Here is a somewhat interesting comment made on avsforum today, concerning MCACC vs. Audyssey.

Link #2539.

Quote: "There are some of us who came back to MCACC from Audyssey. For me it was the sterile SQ with the audio from the mains and center channel that I didn't care for. No life to it! However, I do use a SVS AS-EQ1 (with Audyssey) for the subwoofer(s) EQ with success. MCACC was designed by those in the studio business (Air Studios) and Audyssey was designed by software designers."

Posted by: grunt

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 09/26/11 01:24 AM

Originally Posted By: CatBrat

For me it was the sterile SQ with the audio from the mains and center channel that I didn't care for. No life to it! However, I do use a SVS AS-EQ1 (with Audyssey) for the subwoofer(s) EQ with success.


Hey I could’ve said that. wink
Posted by: jakewash

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 09/26/11 09:22 PM

I'm pretty sure you have wink
Posted by: grunt

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 09/27/11 12:35 AM

Originally Posted By: jakewash
I'm pretty sure you have wink


Touché!

BTW love your avatar, always was my favorite character.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 09/29/11 09:51 PM

Thanks, He has been a favorite of mine as well, I have a stuffed toy version of Bill.
Posted by: axiom_man

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/01/11 09:22 PM

I still just fail to understand why set the M80's too small. really .... why wast all that money when a set of M22 would do the same job then.
Guess that's why I went wioth the M&K 750's just seemed to me speand more money on a good set on Bookshelf's if I am going to run a sub and set to small and cutoff at 80hrz.

Hey which by the way ....is that not a THX spec ?????? think they maybe onto something ??

Just, if I am cut off at 80 - 100hrz and set to small, then I ain't hearing anything coming form the 80's below 80 -100 anyways
Posted by: bdpf

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/01/11 11:19 PM

Originally Posted By: axiom_man
why wast all that money when a set of M22 would do the same job then.

You should set it to small so no frequencies below its range get send to them, that way you preserve your woofers and your amp.
Nobody says you need to cross your towers at 80Hz.I like the way my setup sounds the best when I have the M80s and VP180 crossed over at 40Hz, I like the 40 to 80Hz region better from the M80s than the EP600. To me, that plus the flexibility of playing with the cross over and the ability to play much louder if I want to was worth the extra cash. For you and others, it might not and in that case it is best to stick with bookshelves.
What you need to do is experiment and see what sounds best to you.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/02/11 01:18 AM

IIRC, 80hz was picked as the THX spec frequency for no other reason than the engineers felt most home speaker systems could play down to that level with out problems.

As Bruno said, nobody says you have to set your crossover that high for speakers that can handle playing lower. I run my M80s at 40 hz or 60hz depending on my mood and media I am listening to. In my old house I had them set at 60hz 90% of the time but in the new place I can run 40hz much more often, it doesn't get boomy anymore as I now have a much bigger room smile
Posted by: axiom_man

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/02/11 04:26 PM

yeh, ok
but I thought if you have speakers set to small that the crossover is set to 100 automatically.

Even so, if you have the M80's whynot leave them at Lagre and set your crossover to 40 in the AV and instead of setting main+LFE just set the setting to LFE.

Once I ave this theatre room setup next year I am going to have me some real good sound tests. With the M&K's and subs and then M80's.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/02/11 04:57 PM

I was with you for a LONG time on the large vs. small setting. I had things set to large and really liked it for a full sound for stereo music listening, but if I wanted more punch, I'd force the sub into the mix. For movies, I messed around with the large setting for a long time before finding that those crazy THX folks must have figured something out and unless you have subs built in to your front speakers, small sounded better.

There is logic behind it, and a lot of people get stuck on the words "large" and "small"...

Bass Management Guide part 1

I love the quote from the above article:
Quote:
People have a psycological difficulty with the word SMALL. They have spent good money on their front speakers and get insulted when the AVR sets them to SMALL. Remember that this is not a personal insult against you or your speakers. My Definitive Technology front speakers have 15" built-in subwoofers with built-in 300 watt amplifiers. In addition to those, I have six external subwoofers in my HT room. When I set the front speakers to SMALL, the quality of the sound (both music and movies) improves.

and
Quote:

It is helpful to redefine the words SMALL and LARGE to:

LARGE = The speakers are not Bass Managed.
SMALL = The speakers are Bass Managed.



The rest of the info on the subject can be found here:
Bass Management part 2

If you want more information, albeit from the Audyssey folks, read this blog article:
Small vs. Large
I like this quote from the blog:
Quote:
Here is a better rule: All speakers are Small. In today’s complicated AVR lingo that just means: If you have a subwoofer you should always turn bass management on. Always. Even if your receiver clings to the past and automatically sets your speakers to Large.


Good luck!
Posted by: bdpf

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/02/11 05:09 PM

Originally Posted By: axiom_man
Even so, if you have the M80's whynot leave them at Lagre and set your crossover to 40 in the AV and instead of setting main+LFE just set the setting to LFE.

By setting them to large, the setting LFE or LFE+main has no effect, it becomes automatically LFE+mains. So the M80s will get all the frequencies and tried to play them. Before I had a sub, I had them set to large, I was showing them off to a friend and played the first 5 min of Percy Jackson and the Olympians at 0dB on the receiver. When Poseidon first steps on land, I heard one of my woofers starting to rattle. I think I damaged it during this time as the woofers were trying to play frequencies that they can't handle. I think that when you have no sub, even the LFE is sent to the mains, at least it sure feels like it as the M80s alone were able to shake my hardwood floor pretty well.
If what you're trying to achieve is M80s playing from 40Hz up and the sub taking over playing 40Hz down, set them to small and LFE only. That's the way I have mine setup and like it like that.
Posted by: JohnK

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/02/11 09:38 PM

With a "large" setting, a crossover for the mains is generally unavailable and they play full-range. If no sub is in use they also play any LFE that is occasionally present during movies. The large setting also makes the LFE+Mains(or Plus, Double, etc.)setting available when a sub is used. The sub then plays any LFE by itself and also plays any bass in the mains channels below the mains crossover set simultaneously with the main speakers.
Posted by: axiom_man

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/02/11 09:51 PM

OK,
thanks guys ...things seem to be meshing together now abit more.

Even thought the AV says set to small, it is not small as in the speakers are in a physical sense.
Basically, it is setting your ability to run bass management, because it detected a sub.
So I can crossover still at 40 or 50 hrz with the M80's and let the sub do the down low.
Where as if I had M22 well maybe they will be better with a 60 - 80 crossover and are actually a small speaker.

But, if I have no sub ( music) and M80's then it would stay large and play all the frequencies.
Posted by: bdpf

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/02/11 10:19 PM

In my Denon, you can have different settings for multi channel and stereo listening. You could set multi channel to whatever cross over you like best and stereo to full range if you wish.
Posted by: nickbuol

Re: MCACC from Pioneer. - 10/02/11 10:49 PM

Yea, if you have no sub, then feel free to leave them as large and see how they do. I remember hearing Randy's (SirQuack's) M80s a few years back with no subs turned on (he had like 3 in the room) and I couldn't believe how well they did as "large" speakers. I swore that at least one sub was turned on.