Do I Need REW?

Smithster

Standard Member
Hi All,

I’m new to the forum but a long term lurker.

I’ve slowly been building my home cinema and have been considering my subs (BK Monolith and a MJ Acoustics Pro 55).

I’ve found the best configuration is to use just my Monolith as shown on my sketch. However I’d like to improve the consistency in my listening positions (all three if possible).

I’ve never run an analysis on my room but if I were to guess I’d say the results would be:

MLP 1 - a dip in the 50-70Hz area and a peak around 30 Hz, both with sub or just mains on their own. This makes some music sound thin if there’s only bass present in the 50-70Hz range. Some tracks can sound ‘thumpy’ if a kick drum, say, is around the lower frequencies.

MLP 2 - generally a warmer bass seat. A lot more mid-bass here, however I suspect a dip below 30Hz. Some movie scenes don’t rumble as much as MLP 1. Some music tracks can sound too bassy.

MLP 3 - I think I have phase cancellation (a null?) here. Music generally sounds thin (which surprises me being near field to the sub) but there are still some bass frequencies which sound ok, my guess would be 40Hz is OK.

So my question is, do you think I’d benefit from buying a mic and running REW? Or have I just got no hope in improving matters?

I was considering a better sub and EQ’ing some problems out (using my calibrated ears). My Mono is also a bit big so liked the idea of something smaller. However sorting out my room problems probably makes more sense than buying more equipment.

I still have my smaller sub which I could introduce in any of the positions, A, B or C. I’d rather not put it in position A or B as it will push my mains into the centre, ruining some soundstage and imaging.

Any thoughts/guidance would be most appreciated.

Carl
 

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Conrad

Moderator
When assessing whether you need REW you need to think about what options you have.
If you measure with REW and see that you do have nulls and peaks (you will), is there anything you can do about it? Would you have anywhere else you could put the sub? Would you be able to go duals? Would you want to invest in something like a minidsp to try and tackle the issues?

You mentioned using EQ. If that would be a new sub with in-built EQ then you'd be better off getting a minidsp and adding that to the monolith.

There's not much you can do with a single sub other than move it. A monolith is no small sub and it doesn't look like you've got a whole host of options.

What AVR are you using now, does that have EQ in it?
 

Smithster

Standard Member
Thanks @Conrad. A lot of what you’ve written is what I suspected.

I can only put the Monolith in one other location (position C) but I tried that previously and concluded it wasn’t a good spot. I’ve tried in position A, but it looked bad and wasn’t very good for my MLP 2.

I could go duals using my other sub. I’ve tried this before and it wasn’t very successful, but that was before I knew REW was such a thing. I’ve not tried any combination of positions with the Mono where it is currently.

My AVR is a Yamaha RX-A880 and has a parametric EQ on the sub channel. I’ve been using this and adjusting by ear to get it the best I can. I don’t know much about a mini DSP but presume it’s a more powerful way of EQ’ing your subs.

TBH it’s not toooo bad how it is now, I’m just wondering whether the mic is £130 well spent
 

Conrad

Moderator
Mixing subs can be problematic. You usually end up compromising the more capable sub with the lesser one.

The one good thing is that the mic's hold their value. Kalibrate are about £115, soundimports are about £102, it just depends who's got stock. If you can't do anything about the response then you can always sell the mic, they generally go for about £85 or so. At least you'll know then.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Hi All,

I’m new to the forum but a long term lurker.

I’ve slowly been building my home cinema and have been considering my subs (BK Monolith and a MJ Acoustics Pro 55).

I’ve found the best configuration is to use just my Monolith as shown on my sketch. However I’d like to improve the consistency in my listening positions (all three if possible).

I’ve never run an analysis on my room but if I were to guess I’d say the results would be:

MLP 1 - a dip in the 50-70Hz area and a peak around 30 Hz, both with sub or just mains on their own. This makes some music sound thin if there’s only bass present in the 50-70Hz range. Some tracks can sound ‘thumpy’ if a kick drum, say, is around the lower frequencies.

MLP 2 - generally a warmer bass seat. A lot more mid-bass here, however I suspect a dip below 30Hz. Some movie scenes don’t rumble as much as MLP 1. Some music tracks can sound too bassy.

MLP 3 - I think I have phase cancellation (a null?) here. Music generally sounds thin (which surprises me being near field to the sub) but there are still some bass frequencies which sound ok, my guess would be 40Hz is OK.

So my question is, do you think I’d benefit from buying a mic and running REW? Or have I just got no hope in improving matters?

I was considering a better sub and EQ’ing some problems out (using my calibrated ears). My Mono is also a bit big so liked the idea of something smaller. However sorting out my room problems probably makes more sense than buying more equipment.

I still have my smaller sub which I could introduce in any of the positions, A, B or C. I’d rather not put it in position A or B as it will push my mains into the centre, ruining some soundstage and imaging.

Any thoughts/guidance would be most appreciated.

Carl
Apparantly you can use the Denon Audyssey mic or the Yamaha YPAO mic with REW.
(Just google for that and there are a fair few hits). Might be a way for you to see if you want to get into REW before shelling out for a UMIK-1.

Although according to this results are very inaccurate

 
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Conrad

Moderator
Although according to this results are very inaccurate

That's the problem really. It's great to get used to taking measurements, seeing what it can do, and it'll be fine for speakers, but for subs I wouldn't want to make any decisions based on the outcome of an Audyssey mic.

The umiks, and others of the same standard, come with a calibration file that's custom to that specific mic.

But it's a great idea to get you going to see whether it's for you or not.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
That's the problem really. It's great to get used to taking measurements, seeing what it can do, and it'll be fine for speakers, but for subs I wouldn't want to make any decisions based on the outcome of an Audyssey mic.

The umiks, and others of the same standard, come with a calibration file that's custom to that specific mic.

But it's a great idea to get you going to see whether it's for you or not.
While the video deals with the YPAO mic there is nothing to say the Audyssey one is as bad (or good). I may do some compare measurements using my UMIK-1 and a couple of my Audyssey mics just to confirm how bad (or not) the Denon/Marantz ones are.
 

Smithster

Standard Member
Apparantly you can use the Denon Audyssey mic or the Yamaha YPAO mic with REW.
(Just google for that and there are a fair few hits). Might be a way for you to see if you want to get into REW before shelling out for a UMIK-1.

Although according to this results are very inaccurate

Sorry I’ve only just seen the video - I thought it was an advert!
It seems the YPAO mic is not very accurate but I’ll use it to get a feel for REW. I use a MacBook but I’ve found a good guide to get it running on mac
 

Conrad

Moderator
While the video deals with the YPAO mic there is nothing to say the Audyssey one is as bad (or good). I may do some compare measurements using my UMIK-1 and a couple of my Audyssey mics just to confirm how bad (or not) the Denon/Marantz ones are.
I'd be very interested in that. I might try it myself if I can connect my Audyssey mic to my laptop.

Sorry I’ve only just seen the video - I thought it was an advert!
It seems the YPAO mic is not very accurate but I’ll use it to get a feel for REW. I use a MacBook but I’ve found a good guide to get it running on mac
It should be easier than setting it up on Windows. Macs natively understand mutlichannel, if you connect over HDMI. With Windows you have to have the right sound settings, and use a specific driver.
 

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