Author Topic: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)  (Read 3843 times)

Offline desray

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2019, 20:35 »
Is Dirac Live any good?

Just came back from ronildoq's place and I must say that I am quite impressed with Dirac Live's features and its performance. As ronildoq does not have a dedicated AVR or Pre/Pro Amp to take advantage of object-based sound formats like DTS:X and Dolby Atmos, it is a pity. But even w/o the height channels, Dirac Live did a very wonderful job overall to ronildoq's setup.

To members - whether Dirac Live, ARC or even Audyssey MultEQ XT32 that you are using right at this very moment, you will not be disappointed with any of the 3 when it comes to room EQ. Go for Audyssey if you do not want the hassles of learning calibration s/w but for those who seek for a more "refined" approach or perhaps you are the type that have the knowledge of how to play with room EQ like REW software, Dirac Live and ARC will be the way to go. For software-based calibration, it is more powerful and packed with features and highly scalable to "fit" your custom need for a finesse control over what you can get for your speaker and subwoofer(s). It is not about how much you spent on your speakers or subwoofers, it is all about putting everything into a cohesive and seamless package that counts.

I have to give it to ronildoq for able to put together such a great setup in a living room setting which imo is the most challenging of all and he is able to do it in a minimalistic way. Well done! I urge everyone to get a taste of what Dirac Live can do to your existing HT setup. Before you consider to spend more $$$ on speakers or better subwoofers, do consider investing a modest amount in audio calibration s/w such as Dirac Live to reap the benefits and you will be impressed by how good your existing HT sound system is. A new level of immersion and clarify it does as opposed to splurging money on AV equipment, especially speakers!

In short, I will say Dirac Live is indeed a good software based calibration tool to invest.  ;)

Offline desray

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2019, 20:36 »
Is Dirac Live truly better than Anthem Room Correction (ARC)?

The answer is it depends on your room, setup and whether you have the luxury to move your speakers and/or subwoofer(s) if required. Do take note that regardless whether you use Dirac Live, ARC or even Audyssey, you are at the mercy of your room mode. How good your HT system sounded at the end of the day depends on your room. Hence the focus on in-room EQ.

With in-room response, it will come down to how receptive is your room at certain frequency range...most calibration tools focused in treating the lower end of the Schroeder Frequency range (usually from 20Hz -250Hz range for a typical home theater setup, emphasis here is "Home setting") before it do more harm that good. Over-EQ to get a flatter response at the higher end may not be desirable. I'm surprised to see Dirac Live able to do EQ to as high as 15Khz...

ARC and Dirac utilize pretty similar calibration approach with the exception that the latter comes with more control and features like built-in delays and gain input/output to compensate for fairly accurate distance setting. This is something that ARC is missing. In addition, Dirac Live is able to play with custom house curve which resulted in amore "acquired" (Preference) taste to suit individual's needs. Again, this is something missing from ARC.

What both ARC and Dirac Live did very well is the ability to achieve a flat response (remove peaks and elevate nulls) at the key frequency range of 20Hz and 200Hz with emphasis to fix the 50 - 55Hz standing wave in order to provide you with a clean sound that complements the subwoofers. The subwoofers will then be able to get an effective and efficient HPF and crossovers amongst the speakers to achieve a well balanced sound with a healthy dose of bass without "too much bloating" that masks the surround effects. Dirac Live is a "feature-rich" toolkit for home theater enthusiasts provided you truly invest your time to really go through the features or else you will be wasting your money and only to use a few functions. If you want a step down from Dirac but something better and more refined than Audyssey, then ARC provides a more easy, intuitive and a all-rounder package and yet able to deliver equally impressive sound w/o the need for you to go through the literature and science behind it.

Calibration software is but just a tool...even if you reaped the maximum benefits and understand all the technicalities and how it all works, you can not escape from poor speaker layout and placement. You need to fix this before using the calibration software to achieve the best results.

So is Dirac Live better than ARC? The answer is Yes but with caveats.

Offline desray

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2019, 20:38 »
Picking the best frequency cut-off range for your Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers

Front pair of Dolby Atmos-enabled Speakers Frequency Response Curve
Max Frequency EQ at 500 Hz
Max Frequency EQ at 1 KHz
Max Frequency EQ at 2 KHz
Max Frequency EQ at 5 KHz

Rear pair of Dolby Atmos-enabled Speakers Frequency Response Curve
Max Frequency EQ at 500 Hz
Max Frequency EQ at 1 KHz
Max Frequency EQ at 2 KHz
Max Frequency EQ at 5 KHz

One of the greatest benefits of ARC is the ability to look at the target (linear) curve versus the corrected curve with bass management built-in. Rule of thumb,Equalization (EQ) should not be used beyond the treble region which is usually in the 2 Khz and above as the sound wave will become too  “directional”. If it becomes too “directional”, the calibrated mic will cease to become “accurate” when measuring these higher frequencies. A typical “law of diminishing returns” I would say. Hence it is advisable to keep it less than 2 Khz whenever possible. For ARC, the upper band limit for its In-Room EQ frequency range will be from 20 Hz to 5 Khz (or 5,000 Hz) to allow for better accuracy measurement using its proprietary ARC1M calibrated mic. For those who wish to do EQ until to 20 Khz (or 20,000 Hz) even though the ARC software allows it, it serve little to no purpose at all. Another great feature of Anthem ARC software is the flexibility to play with 4 distinct profiles to take advantage of “cycling” amongst the 4 Profile Presets and choose the one that fits your gear best. For instance, if my source is a Sony UDP-X700 4K UHD bluray player that playback Dolby Atmos/DTS:X  content, I may choose to set the maximum frequency range cut-off for my room EQ to be say between 20 Hz and 500 Hz and I set this as my Profile which I tagged it as “MxEQ-500”. For each Profile, I will set accordingly like “MxEQ-1K”, “MxEQ-2K” and “MxEQ-5K”.

Today’s topic is focused on optimizing my Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers. My speaker configuration is a 7.2.4 setup, meaning it  as 2 pairs of Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers (front and rear). With ARC, it is much easier to see, pick and do testing on-the-fly with ease. This is a huge advantage when compared to Audyssey which shows you rather rough frequency response curve. ARC calibration advocated that each speakers will be measured on its own “merits” vis-a-viz the Main Listening Position (MLP). Simply put, ARC measured each individual speakers relative to the MLP and makes correction to the nasty peaks and valleys to get to that linear response curve for the entire 7.2.4 speaker setup to be optimized in a coherent manner (in its simplest terms to say the least).

Picking the best frequency cut-off range for your Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers

If we take a look at the Front Dolby-enabled speaker pair and made side by side comparisons among the 4 Profiles - i.e. MxEQ-500, MxEQ-1K, MxEQ-2K and MxEQ-5K, you can see how the corrected bass response (denoted in green color) curve looks like. Our focus is actually on the treble region and above as Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker characteristics focused squarely in the higher frequency range and we need the “much-desired” boost in that upper region frequency to “shine” as much as possible without compromising the low to mid-bass range (between 20 Hz and 1 Khz). The idea or rather objective is to “pick” the maximum frequency cut-off range to ensure a that there will be a “boost” at 1 Khz onwards.

If we take a look at the Profile, “MxEQ-500”, you can see that at frequency cut-off range of 500 Hz, there is an immediate drop in level (SPL) ever so slightly which are visible for my front left and also for for the rear pair. This tells us that it is not ideal but it can be easily compensated by a 2 - 3db boost to both the front and rear pairs to make up for the slight dip in SPL.

Let’s move on to the next Profile, the “MxEQ-1K”. That is even worst than MxEQ-500 Profile. See the major dip in SPL levels from the target curve of 75db to 71db for my front left Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker. Literally all the speakers at 1 Khz range as the cut-off range performed poorly for Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers.

How about Profile, “MxEQ-2K”? Well, this seems rather “promising” as we can see that the corrected bass response curve (denoted in green color) seems to go up by for all the speakers in this scenario. And this is what we wanted - a green curve going “above” the target curve (denoted in black) at 2 Khz and above.

Now let us move to the last Profile, the “MxEQ-5K”, it immediately becomes clear as day that it literally flattens the “peak” in MxEQ-2K Profile for all the speakers. Although this is what ARC sets out to achieve in the first place - i.e. to get a linear response curve at the maximum frequency cut-off range but it also unwittingly put a lid on the “height” effects as well. It may be good for audio playback but it may not be good for playback of bluray titles authored in Dolby Atmos or DTS:X sound mix.

If we look slightly further, we can see that a 10 Khz range looks promising as it is rather similar to MxEQ-2K Profile with a corrected bass response curve staying above the black target curve.

The Winner is…
As you have guess it by now, the 3rd Profile - i.e. MxEQ-2K at 2 Khz or 2,000 Hz performed the best for my 7.2.4 setup. I have cycled between the 4 Profiles and find MxEQ-2K Profile to have that high octane drive for low frequency extension while having a good blend of “atmos-pheric” effects to take advantage of movies mixed in Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. Of course, I have also did some experimentation for the 10,000 Hz range since it follows closely to the MxEQ-2K Profile but I did not like it as it makes the whole sound mix more “confined” like having constipation. Recall when I first mentioned about ARC’s room EQ logic. The default maximum frequency EQ cut-off range is set at 5 Khz or 5,000 Hz and anything above will make the sound more directional and makes it less accurate for the ARCM1 mic to pick up. So EQ is best treated within the confines of 5,000 Hz and not above it. Since 10,000 Hz attracts “law of diminishing returns” which aptly explains the sound I heard with too much “flat-ness” and lose out on its dynamics. I have decided to pick 2 Khz as my preferred cut-off range for ARC to EQ.

Because of this neat feature which I can adjust on the fly and apply the settings via Wi-Fi and no need for complex setup. I am able to experiment with sound like I never could when I use Audyssey.

Offline rayleh

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2019, 20:58 »
Hi Desray, with the new Audyssey apps, we should be able to save different profiles and adjust on the fly? However, I do know that the apps doesn't support your previous Denon.

Offline desray

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2019, 21:11 »
Hi Desray, with the new Audyssey apps, we should be able to save different profiles and adjust on the fly? However, I do know that the apps doesn't support your previous Denon.

Bro, this is an Anthem thread...Yes, the X7200WA didn't have support for the new Audyssey app that can adjust the curve...I recalled X6300 onwards.

Offline desray

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2019, 06:50 »
I tried to salvage as much information from the web cache provisioned by Google. It will be gone within 3 days as that’s how the algorithm works. I will try to re-add the images that accompanies the postings in due course when I have the time.

Unfortunately majority of the member’s feedbacks after hearing the MRX 720 were gone except for the most recent one by winwinc81.



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Offline whitesox

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2019, 07:47 »
Abang Desray...

I heard ur setup alrd.
Comparing to ur previous 7200wa, ur LCR sounds much better ....
Anyway, I just still didnt like ur shaker... too me it is so fake.
Ur JL is a 'beast'...u need to 'disturb' them. Perhaps u may need help from AM.

 :)
« Last Edit: February 20, 2019, 07:49 by whitesox »

Offline desray

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2019, 10:37 »
Abang Desray...

I heard ur setup alrd.
Comparing to ur previous 7200wa, ur LCR sounds much better ....
Anyway, I just still didnt like ur shaker... too me it is so fake.
Ur JL is a 'beast'...u need to 'disturb' them. Perhaps u may need help from AM.

 :)

Thanks for the feedback.

Offline winwinc81

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2019, 12:39 »
Fantastic write up! Appreciate the effort in aiding new comers and us to decide whats best for us next! :)

Offline desray

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2019, 18:37 »
For those who own MRC 720/1120, I just discovered that HDMI Input 7 (or last Input with MHL feature) DOES NOT output HDR signal to your display (TV or Projector). For those who have multiple devices, pls do take note. There is no problem with your HDMI cable, your Anthem MRX AVR or your TV/Projector but rather the way HDMI Input with MHL did not accept HDR signal - however it has no problem displaying 4K content up to 60fps at Rec 709...just not HDR/BT2020 colorspace. So be mindful of that.


Offline desray

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2019, 07:24 »
Eagerly waiting for the ARC Genesis to be released - hopefully next week :P

Offline kaydee6

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2019, 14:37 »
ARC Genesis release should be any day now..

Offline Colgate

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2019, 15:18 »
I noticed jap products packed with more components and features compare to "angmoh" brands which could be justified by its price...

'Angmoh' price can be even double or triple and
Yet it is more empty space inside the metal case.

I personally, HT will go for japun brand but stereo
Go for 'angmoh' brand

 ;D

Offline YANG

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2019, 15:28 »
Well... more ingredients(aka "liao"), lesser space for heat dissipation.
It's like comparing Honda Civic to Ford Mondeo... 

Offline desray

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Re: Official Anthem MRX 720/1120 thread (II)
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2019, 15:28 »
ARC Genesis release should be any day now..

Yep. But I doubt Anthem will release it this week. Probably next week.



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