DSP for my X3s, Why not?

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Desertpilot

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DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« on: 20 Jul 2022, 06:10 pm »
Hi Folks,

I am at the "end of the line" for sound improvements.
-- I've moved my speakers around my room way too many times over the past year.  I now have them in, what I consider, the best position for soundstage width and depth.  (See front view and side view photos)
-- The X3s are on GAIA II feet with carpet spikes.  Yes!  No more sliders.
-- I have several GIK 6 inch absorber/diffusor panels hung on my front and back walls.  (See side view and rear view photos)
-- There is a left side wall.  Left speaker is 21 inches from the wall.  I have thick "blackout" drapes and a couple GIK 2 inch absorbers on the left wall.
-- There is no right wall.  Thus, I hope the absorption on the left wall will create some "minimal reflection" symmetry between the left and right speakers.
-- Left and right speakers are 64 inches from the front wall.  Center speaker is 52 inches from the front wall.
-- Two SVS Ultra bookshelf speakers and two SVS SB13 Ultra Subwoofers are behind the MLP.  The bookshelves point towards the opposite speaker (i.e. rear right speaker points to left X3).  No toe-in for X3s and subwoofers.

I own Audiolense XO software from Juice HiFi, https://juicehifi.com/ and the minidsp-UMIK-1 microphone for measurements.  I've hired Mitch Barnett from accurate sound https://accuratesound.ca/ to create the DSP filters.  All my music is on a dedicated server and I use JRiver as my playback software.  It is true, JRiver will not use speaker correction or DSP for DSD files.  I've worked around that by creating a "zone" in JRiver to convert DSD files to PCM.  This works fine and corrections are now included.  I always have the option of switching back to the original zone to bitstream "untouched" DSD files to my DAC.

Setting up the software does take a minute (LOL).  But, it's working now.  Over the next few days I will take measurements and we'll see what Mitch can do.

I will report back with my impressions of the sound using DSP.

Of course, before doing measurements, I vacuumed the carpet and cleaned all the GAIA II feet (mostly to make sure they were tight and pointed correctly).  As I've said before, a clean carpet and speakers always sounds better!

Marcus












« Last Edit: 21 Jul 2022, 01:35 am by Desertpilot »

aniwolfe

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #1 on: 20 Jul 2022, 06:52 pm »
If you really want to hear a big improvement in sound. Try a chair without a headrest and shiny Leather. Its like a $50,000 improvement, at least in my system. Just sayin :)

TomS

Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #2 on: 20 Jul 2022, 07:14 pm »
I expect Mitch's configuration work to amaze you, well worth the effort and small expense. Keep us posted.

jtwrace

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #3 on: 20 Jul 2022, 07:34 pm »
Are you going to actually use XO to its full potential and make the X3's fully active?  This way all XO will be done in the digital domain along with the other benefits. 


Some very important steps:
  • Make certain that the speakers are precisely measured within the room where you want them and the "toe" if any, is identical.  I use lasers for all of this so they're very accurate (pun intended). 
  • Make a chart of your routing for I/O (in my thread as an example)
  • Make a file structure that makes sense to you for saving the data...you will have a bit
  • Not sure, ask Mitch.  He's the most patient person I think I've ever dealt with
  • Your measurements are absolutely critical for Mitch's work.  Garbage in = Garbage out. 
  • Patience and taking your time is imperative
  • Take REW measurements before and after which he can help with too so you can see the change acoustically too.  Get it right and I can promise you've never heard or measured anything like it. [size=78%] [/size]




Desertpilot

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #4 on: 21 Jul 2022, 01:00 am »
If you really want to hear a big improvement in sound. Try a chair without a headrest and shiny Leather. Its like a $50,000 improvement, at least in my system. Just sayin :)

Ahhhh, you are most correct.  And I may do this for the MLP.  But, I love my recliner.

Thanks for the tip.
Marcus

Desertpilot

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #5 on: 21 Jul 2022, 01:01 am »
I expect Mitch's configuration work to amaze you, well worth the effort and small expense. Keep us posted.

Will do!  And thanks for the vote of confidence.

Marcus

Desertpilot

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #6 on: 21 Jul 2022, 01:10 am »
Are you going to actually use XO to its full potential and make the X3's fully active?  This way all XO will be done in the digital domain along with the other benefits. 


Some very important steps:
  • Make certain that the speakers are precisely measured within the room where you want them and the "toe" if any, is identical.  I use lasers for all of this so they're very accurate (pun intended). 
  • Make a chart of your routing for I/O (in my thread as an example)
  • Make a file structure that makes sense to you for saving the data...you will have a bit
  • Not sure, ask Mitch.  He's the most patient person I think I've ever dealt with
  • Your measurements are absolutely critical for Mitch's work.  Garbage in = Garbage out. 
  • Patience and taking your time is imperative
  • Take REW measurements before and after which he can help with too so you can see the change acoustically too.  Get it right and I can promise you've never heard or measured anything like it. [size=78%] [/size]

Hi Jason, it was your interview with Mitch that sent me down this path.  And your comments here and the Audiolense user forum at AV Nirvana.  I followed your experience with Audiolense closely.  THANK YOU for taking time to communicate your experience.

1.  In Audiolense XO I set up the X3s as full range with sub.  Is this what you mean by "fully active"?
2.  Sorry, I used a standard tape measure.
3.  I'll look at your thread again for I/O charting.

Mitch has indeed been VERY patient with me.  Sure, I will do some REW measurements too.  I super appreciate your comments.

Marcus

jtwrace

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #7 on: 21 Jul 2022, 12:01 pm »

1.  In Audiolense XO I set up the X3s as full range with sub.  Is this what you mean by "fully active"?
2.  Sorry, I used a standard tape measure.
3.  I'll look at your thread again for I/O charting.
Marcus


  • It depends if you're going to defeat the X3's crossover or not.  Personally, I don't see why you wouldn't want to do that as then you can really take full advantage of AL XO. 
  • No need to be sorry...the closer it is it, the better and you would be surprised how far off to the MLP it is using a tape.  See this.  Then I use a laser on the side of the speaker and get the laser to hit the UMIK.  Do that on both speakers and now you know it's perfect.  You really can't do that with just a tape.

Desertpilot

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #8 on: 21 Jul 2022, 05:43 pm »

  • It depends if you're going to defeat the X3's crossover or not.  Personally, I don't see why you wouldn't want to do that as then you can really take full advantage of AL XO. 
  • No need to be sorry...the closer it is it, the better and you would be surprised how far off to the MLP it is using a tape.  See this.  Then I use a laser on the side of the speaker and get the laser to hit the UMIK.  Do that on both speakers and now you know it's perfect.  You really can't do that with just a tape.

Thanks Jason.  I read through your thread here on AC.  Just amazing!

GeorgeAb

Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #9 on: 21 Jul 2022, 11:28 pm »
I applaud your efforts of taking the time and effort to set up your room acoustics and speaker placement. Really well done, congrats. I hear wonderful things from the Spatial X3, good stuff! I look forward to listening to Spatial next weekend as they will be exihibiting at Pacific Audio Fest.
 
I use DSP in my setups and much prefer with DSP. I believe you will be pleased with the results and look forward to your impressions after you have sat with it for sometime. I used this for guidance on setting up my DSP filters, I thought it was fairly straightforward to follow:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev1bSSL8tRA

Desertpilot

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #10 on: 22 Jul 2022, 11:25 am »
I applaud your efforts of taking the time and effort to set up your room acoustics and speaker placement. Really well done, congrats. I hear wonderful things from the Spatial X3, good stuff! I look forward to listening to Spatial next weekend as they will be exihibiting at Pacific Audio Fest.
 
I use DSP in my setups and much prefer with DSP. I believe you will be pleased with the results and look forward to your impressions after you have sat with it for sometime. I used this for guidance on setting up my DSP filters, I thought it was fairly straightforward to follow:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ev1bSSL8tRA

Thanks George! I am watching the video now as I plan to run REW in addition to Audiolense XO.

Desertpilot

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #11 on: 23 Jul 2022, 01:56 pm »
Initial results, the X3s tested as full range speakers, no DSP, no crossovers:

- From about 100 Hz all the way up, all three X3s are damn flat (almost on top of one another) in frequency response.  This was very nice to see!
- Below 100 Hz, there is a steep roll off at 40 Hz on all X3s (not unexpected by me as I usually included a crossover of 40 Hz to my two SVS SB13 Ultra subwoofers just from listening to my system, prior to taking measurements).
- An unexpected result was uneven bass volume from my X3s.  Left speaker was good, right speaker was lower, and my center speaker was considerably lower.  All three speakers have the same bass amp.  All three speakers had the same volume level (the line on the bass volume knob was pointing straight up).
---- Today, I will adjust bass volume and re-run sweeps to see if I can equalize bass volume, using the volume knobs, across all three speakers.  I don't want to move speakers but will if necessary to even out volume.

No one said this would be easy but already we can see issues that need fixing. 

Still VERY excited!

Marcus

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Desertpilot

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #13 on: 24 Jul 2022, 04:34 pm »

- Below 100 Hz, there is a steep roll off at 40 Hz on all X3s (not unexpected by me as I usually included a crossover of 40 Hz to my two SVS SB13 Ultra subwoofers just from listening to my system, prior to taking measurements).

Marcus

I forgot to mention that my two SVS SB13 Ultra subwoofers tested out great all the way down to 10 Hz (yeah, teeth rattling good).

Mr. Big

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #14 on: 25 Jul 2022, 04:26 pm »

Desertpilot

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #15 on: 26 Jul 2022, 05:41 am »

- An unexpected result was uneven bass volume from my X3s.  Left speaker was good, right speaker was lower, and my center speaker was considerably lower.  All three speakers have the same bass amp.  All three speakers had the same volume level (the line on the bass volume knob was pointing straight up).

Marcus

Today I ran several measurements while adjust subwoofer volume on each of my X3s.  I finally got all three pretty darn close to equal.  Listening this evening was glorious.  I sent the latest measurement file off to Mitch.  We'll see if he agrees.

Oh yeah, I took photos of all X3 subwoofer volume levels to make sure I can reset them easily if necessary.

Marcus

Mr. Big

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #16 on: 26 Jul 2022, 01:34 pm »
Great!

looking at your 3 speakers each would have different woofer output due to each of their locations in your room, left a side wall, the one in the middle center of the room, and the one on the right looks like there is more of an open side area than the one on the left. So different room reinforcements to each of the speakers. I would guess that would impact the midrange and highs also.

Philipp11

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #17 on: 28 Jul 2022, 05:34 pm »

Desertpilot

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #18 on: 30 Jul 2022, 04:32 pm »
Quick update.  Mitch sent me a 2nd set of filters.  I installed them and they are working fine.  In the meantime, I finally "bit the bullet" and bought a new computer to use "exclusively" as a music server.  This took the obligatory few days to set up and push it hard to make sure it's a keeper.  Yes, it is working out fine.  I used it yesterday to play music with the new DSP filters.  A nice surprise is how well the server does its computations.  On my old laptop, there was a good amount of buffering and the occasional "hiccup".  The new server plays music immediately, no buffering.  Nice.

How does it sound?  No decision yet.  JRiver allows me to setup "zones" with different settings.  I added a couple zones so I can quickly switch between bitstreaming the original file with no DSP or playing the file with DSP.  I use JRemote on my pad to change zones and play music from the MLP.  Today, I hope to have a good chunk of time to critically listen and make A/B comparisons.  When using DSP the overall volume, across all albums, is much lower.  When making A/B comparisons, I need to adjust the "master" volume to compensate.  It is the exact same difference among all albums, so it's a quick switch.

I know we are going to make more changes to the DSP filters.  I will do more sweeps next week.


jtwrace

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Re: DSP for my X3s, Why not?
« Reply #19 on: 30 Jul 2022, 05:58 pm »
When making A/B comparisons, I need to adjust the "master" volume to compensate.  It is the exact same difference among all albums, so it's a quick switch.
Yes, that's totally normal and is what's known as insertion loss.  To deal with the volume swap between filters, you can use the Audiolense or Mitch's own Hang Loose Convolver which will balance all volume for you automatically so you just select them and listen.   ;)