NEWS: McIntosh announces MX170 and MX123 AV processors and MC255 amplifier

the_dude2

Well-known Member
"The MX123 uses the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room correction software rather than the MX170’s RoomPerfect system but the results are similar in dealing with the environment’s audio characteristics. "

Don't post this is the Lyngdorf thread
(@Rock Danger )
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
Why not? They could use a good laugh.
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
No flame war intended but theres a lot of rhetoric against Audyssey and I wonder if it's still valid? I have absolutely zero frame of reference personally and other than anecdotal subjective opinion (which I take with a veritable truckload of salt) I've not seen any technical comparisons of the major players in room correction that don't come down to subjective opinion.

So taking this as an example, MkIntosh are towards the high end of quality and manufacturing so it would not be unreasonable to assume that they've done their research and testing on Audyssey XT32 before building it into their amp and found it to be good enough for one of their products. Of course, they might be wrong, they might not care etc. but somehow I doubt that.

Is it that people may be basing their prejudices on the initial iterations of Audyssey from years ago which we're generally regarded as poor in comparison to systems like Dirac? Can the same really be said of the most recent versions such as XT32 that are still not be as good as DIRAC or RoomPerfect but is still damn good?

I always find the snobbery/prejudice around room correction interesting and wonder how accurate or fair it is given the latest versions of these products.

G
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
Audyssesy is still on the bottom of the heap in comparison to Dirac, ARC, TEQ, RP and some of the computer based room EQ's. It has nothing to do with snobbery, it's just a mediocre room correction in the D&M series of AVRs. It's not as bad as it used to be however.

And then there's no info if this version of Audyssey in the McIntosh is the same version that's used in the dARTS system, which would be a much upgraded version on the old Audyssesy pro. But as far as I know the dARTS system is the only one that has it.

As far as McIntosh not caring, they didn't upgrade the HDMI board in their £22k processor and have no plans to and every other manufacturer did.
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
Audyssesy is still on the bottom of the heap in comparison to Dirac, ARC, TEQ, RP and some of the computer based room EQ's. It has nothing to do with snobbery, it's just a mediocre room correction in the D&M series of AVRs. It's not as bad as it used to be however.

And then there's no info if this version of Audyssey in the McIntosh is the same version that's used in the dARTS system, which would be a much upgraded version on the old Audyssesy pro. But as far as I know the dARTS system is the only one that has it.

As far as McIntosh not caring, they didn't upgrade the HDMI board in their £22k processor and have no plans to and every other manufacturer did.
This is exactly what I'm talking about.

Not here to defend Audyssey as I genuinely don't know but what exactly are you basing that statement on? Where's your evidence? What's your experience? What version of Audyssey? What testing can you point to? How much better/worse is it? What were the test criteria? How did you do a like for like when to my knowledge no two amps have more than one room correction software available?

I suspect you're regurgitating the exact rhetoric I was talking about and while I'm not in any way suggesting you're wrong in what you say I'd love to know what you are basing it on so I can go read it myself.

G
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
This is exactly what I'm talking about.

Not here to defend Audyssey as I genuinely don't know but what exactly are you basing that statement on? Where's your evidence? What's your experience? What version of Audyssey? What testing can you point to? How much better/worse is it? What were the test criteria? How did you do a like for like when to my knowledge no two amps have more than one room correction software available?

I suspect you're regurgitating the exact rhetoric I was talking about and while I'm not in any way suggesting you're wrong in what you say I'd love to know what you are basing it on so I can go read it myself.

G
What's my evidence? Personally owning several devices with different room EQ's. Seeing the room measurements from dozens of RC shootout threads, many many demos over years etc.
Audyssesy only does a fraction of what the other room EQ's do in their algorithms. The processing power involved is much greater in higher end systems, the R&D etc is at a much higher level and has demonstrable results, shown by peer and professional reviews all over the internet.

You suspect I'm spewing rhetoric, yet you genuinely don't know as you say. Maybe you should demo and test these things yourself and see what your conclusions you come to and that way you'll know for sure.

If you want marketing rhetoric, then look no further than fancy speaker and power cables.
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
the looks of those processors is challenging.
Dr Victor Frankenstein in conjunction with Monster Energy present to you.....
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
I know design is very much a personal thing, but blimey the looks of those processors is challenging. What a mix of colours and info.

IIRC there was a shootout between the different room EQs and Audessey didn't do that well. I think Room Perfect and ARC (pre-Genesis release) were the better performing ones

Edit: it was this one
Except it was only a stereo test. At least some attempt at neutrality was made which is good but no tests were done in a multi channel setup which is bad (or at least inconclusive depending on how the RC works and is tuned).

I'm as convinced as many of you are that the likes of ARC and RP are objectively better than Audyssey (and seemingly Dirac at least on Arcam which is a surprise) and indeed for stereo these tests would certainly suggest that however what I'd like to see is any comparative, preferably blind, testing done on multi channel setups to confirm it. It's generally a HUGE leap from the cost of products with Audyssey to products with ARC/RP but if you're getting a huge amount of extra value out of it then that can maybe "justify" that huge cost delta.

I'm not disagreeing or arguing that anyone is wrong I'm just looking for more objective proof than saying "It is because I say it is".

G
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
I'm not disagreeing or arguing that anyone is wrong I'm just looking for more objective proof than saying "It is because I say it is".
How do you think the sound quality of musical instruments like say, the piano where differentiated and classed back in the day? or take it one step back even to how they were designed and constructed. No blind tests, no room measurement software - it was completely done by ear.


Except it was only a stereo test. At least some attempt at neutrality was made which is good but no tests were done in a multi channel setup which is bad (or at least inconclusive depending on how the RC works and is tuned).
Many would argue that stereo testing is a much harsher critic of any RC as it's a more focused test, even mono and single speaker mono testing has been used in blind tests. What kind of objective proof are you looking for exactly?

Do you mean a graph? If so, how do you intend to interpret this - you're going to have to take the word of someone saying 'because I say it is' because it can be open to interpretation as not all things that appear bad or good are actually bad or good, it's just not as simple as that - much to the dismay of many Arcam users.
 

BriD

Well-known Member
I think what's being lost on this thread is the fact the average McIntosh customer doesn't give two hoots about things as complicated as room EQ.

It's got huge VU meters, a ton of muscle, weighs eleventy hundred pounds (no Commie metric measurements here), makes the lights dim when you turn on your rack and keeps the room warm.

WOOOOO MERICA!
 

martimu

Well-known Member
Am I reading that correctly?
Two different processors each using different room EQ and the lower spec one coming in with IMAX enhanced and apple streaming.
This has rebadge written all over it no?
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
Am I reading that correctly?
Two different processors each using different room EQ and the lower spec one coming in with IMAX enhanced and apple streaming.
This has rebadge written all over it no?
Wasn't the 122 a tarted up Marantz?
 

martimu

Well-known Member
Wasn't the 122 a tarted up Marantz?
No idea tbh. Would never have thought to look at McIntosh for AV but the lower end model reads to me like Denon 8500.

What more concerning is there's a part of me that likes the lights 😳
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
No idea tbh. Would never have thought to look at McIntosh for AV but the lower end model reads to me like Denon 8500.

What more concerning is there's a part of me that likes the lights 😳

It was. It was a fancy Marantzy. The more expensive models were a different platform and different components especially in the analogue stage. But what they didn't do was update the HDMI board to 18.2Gps and it was over £20k. I mean sure you could throw in a lumagen but it was shortsighted to make it impossible to upgrade, I reckon they would have had to ditch most of the insides.


Lights AND VU Meters.. what's not to like.. it better breathe fire and have the monster truck event voice for the menu system!

Word has it that the test tones are taken straight from NASCAR
 

martimu

Well-known Member
It was. It was a fancy Marantzy. The more expensive models were a different platform and different components especially in the analogue stage. But what they didn't do was update the HDMI board to 18.2Gps and it was over £20k. I mean sure you could throw in a lumagen but it was shortsighted to make it impossible to upgrade, I reckon they would have had to ditch most of the insides.
It doesn't surprise me if they mod a base unit. The pace of AV and the elements involved probably make it difficult for a HIFI company to compete.
The not upgrading on a 20k piece of kit though, wow! How pissed off would you be!
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
Its a lifestyle product though.
I wonder how the partnership with room perfect came about. Having met a few folk from Lyngdorf they are pretty guarded with their stuff. Maybe it was simply a case of 100 million dollars?
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
If you don't think McIntosh is a lifestyle brand then look no further than this:

I thought that was a meme... surely this is?

 

BriD

Well-known Member
Re: Room Perfect.. it's one of their standalone stereo devices (MEN220) which is seemingly fairly old now (can find mentions of it from 2014) so wonder if they bought rights to use it when Lyngdorf needed a cash injection...
 

martimu

Well-known Member
The clock is a cracker! Fair play to them for making one, shows a sense of humour.

Ah yes just seen the price in lightbox link, they most definitely have a sense of humour!
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
How do you think the sound quality of musical instruments like say, the piano where differentiated and classed back in the day? or take it one step back even to how they were designed and constructed. No blind tests, no room measurement software - it was completely done by ear.
Broadly, musical instrument improvements have come through necessitated advancements to fix mechanical problems and issues, especially on the piano, as much as anything else. With the exception of the very latest integration of digital capabilities piano construction has changed very little since around 1900. Some experimentation has happened of course but fundamentally what are generally regarded as the very best pianos today have changed little in over 100 years.

But musical instruments and RC in amps (or amps in general) are completely different things and are aimed at a fundamentally different purpose. Musical instruments are designed with the purpose of creating a unique and different musical timbre and are subject to a huge number of input variables. This means that subjective listening becomes far more important and relevant as you are not looking for a Bossendorfer to sound exactly like anything else you're trying to stamp your own unique sound on it by design. It then does absolutely come down to subjective preference whether you like Bossendorfer over Steinway because you're not re-creating sounds, you're creating them from scratch.

RC and amps are designed (or are they - this is a another discussion altogether) to replicate or re-create a recording of something like a piano. You don't generate new sound, you replicate sounds generated on something else so the input never changes. By that I mean a recording doesn't change from play to play and the goal most people aim for is for it to sound exactly how the artist intended it to sound (which in theory is exactly what is down on the recording which is never changing). So you're looking to exactly replicate what that Bossendorfer sounded like in the studio, you're not trying to make the Bossendorfer sound like a Steinway.

So the outcome is a professional performer on a Bossendorfer SHOULD sound different to the same professional playing the exact same piece on a Steinway. Conversley a Miles Davis recording played on a MkIntosh should sound exactly the same as on a Lyndorf all other things being equal. Their job is to faithfully replicate the engineers/producers/performers recording without colouring or changing the sound. Now I appreciate that this isn't what everyone believes. Some people like their equipment to colour or "flavour" the sound but as a whole I think most people are aiming for transparency in their amps/systems.

The result is blind testing for musical instruments would offer little benefit as they're designed to be different and within reason it comes down to taste, especially within the same class of instrument (mostly instruments are classed as either student, intermediate or professional with a price tag to match). Sure you might benefit from blind testing if your purpose is to be more objective but as they've not designed to all sound the same (or rather to exactly reproduce the exact same unchanging thing) it becomes less important.

But even in musical instruments, the ears can still deceive. In the hands of a professional, few if any can truly differentiate between a Stradivarius and a much cheaper modern violin if they don't know which is which ahead of time. So even though conventional wisdom is that a Strad is way better than a modern top end violin in reality few, if any can tell the difference. To illustrate that there was a violinist a few years ago that went out on stage in a solo concert and performed absolutely wonderfully with a fantastic full rich sound. The audience gave him a standing ovation and the consensus was it was one of the best performances ever. At the end of the applause he smashed up the violin (what the audience and orchestra thought was a multi million pound instrument) only to find that the instrument was a student model worth a few hundred pounds he'd bought the day before. His point was more to highlight the hypochracy and snobbery in music of course but the point still stands that conventional wisdom counts for little and can negatively taint our perception and opinion.

Many would argue that stereo testing is a much harsher critic of any RC as it's a more focused test, even mono and single speaker mono testing has been used in blind tests. What kind of objective proof are you looking for exactly?

Do you mean a graph? If so, how do you intend to interpret this - you're going to have to take the word of someone saying 'because I say it is' because it can be open to interpretation as not all things that appear bad or good are actually bad or good, it's just not as simple as that - much to the dismay of many Arcam users.
It depends on what you want to test.

In this instance, I would be looking for comparative testing that pits x number of systems against each other to find out which sounds better to those listening. In order for the tests to give a fair and true result, the listeners and testers can't know what they're listening (double blind) and the systems would ideally be configured by the manufacturers to optimise each system to their strength. Theres a lot more than just this but that gives you a flavour.

With all that in place if ARC truly is "better" than DIRAC then it should be clearly statistically apparent that more people prefer it. Over time and with a few more similar tests you'll get an indication of what sounds generally better. That's all there is to it.

Now I do think the test above was certainly indicative and certainly part of the answer but there are a number of problems with that which might have made the results less definitive. (which was touched on by one of the listeners)

  • Listener fatigue (it was a long day and listener fatigue was not accounted for)
  • Product setup (this is in no way at all suggesting they were not optimally configured but there was clearly unfamiliarity/difficulty with some of the kit)
  • Listener bias (some of the listeners already had pre-conceived opinions that were not mitigated through double blind testing)
  • Material choice (I don't know what was chosen but clip familiarity and personal taste plays a part)
I'm not in any way criticising what was done - it was never meant to be accurate or scientific in its goals. It was clearly a great day and a bit of fun where some effort was made to reduce the more obvious bias. But because of the issues you also can't put much weight behind the results as there's just too many things that could have tainted or influenced the results.

G
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
TLDR;

You're missing the point and don't understand psychoacoustics in conjunction with RC. You're also making presumptions from a self professed position of ignorance on an event you didn't attend. There are RC shootouts on paper too - miraculously.. same conclusions.

I wasn't there either, but I wasn't surprised on reading the results - if you're around this stuff long enough it really doesn't take much to hear very obvious differences in these room corrections on the end of good systems. Audyssey is built to a budget and falls flat on higher end speakers - it's a notch up from YPAO and MCAC however.

In my room, which scientifically measures above average, it was better to disengage it altogether. It's not something I would champion, it's much too heavy handed and not very intuitive and frankly just lazy.
 

Mr_Orange

Well-known Member
If you don't think McIntosh is a lifestyle brand then look no further than this:

I think it is a little unfair to brand McIntosh a lifestyle brand over a couple of tongue-in-cheek products like the lightbox and clock. Yes, they are clearly aimed at those with more money than sense, but that is just good business acumen on their part. They have realised that there is a customer who wants to buy into the McIntosh way of life.

They do make/have made some excellent products and their reputation shouldn't be tarnished by a lightbox, IMO.

I must admit that when I read the product announcement, it suprised me that they have licensed two different room correction algorithms for two different processors. I wold have expected that it wold have been more cost efficient to use two different versions of the same system.
 

xxGBHxx

Well-known Member
TLDR;

You're missing the point and don't understand psychoacoustics in conjunction with RC. You're also making presumptions from a self professed position of ignorance on an event you didn't attend. There are RC shootouts on paper too - miraculously.. same conclusions.

I wasn't there either, but I wasn't surprised on reading the results - if you're around this stuff long enough it really doesn't take much to hear very obvious differences in these room corrections on the end of good systems. Audyssey is built to a budget and falls flat on higher end speakers - it's a notch up from YPAO and MCAC however.

In my room, which scientifically measures above average, it was better to disengage it altogether. It's not something I would champion, it's much too heavy handed and not very intuitive and frankly just lazy.
Where are these RC shootouts on paper? You've claimed they exist twice now and I've looked more than once and I've never found any apart from industry magazine articles from years ago but I'd genuinely like to read them.

For what its worth I read all of the reviews from the people who were there, everything I said was based on what the people who were there said in their review so I don't really understand your point?

I understand psychoacoustics just fine having read and studied it for years. Am I an expert? Certainly not by my standards however I have a pretty good grip on the concepts of placebo, cognitive/confirmation bias and familiarity and how they can affect an individuals perception of what they hear. I have also read enough to know you should *NEVER* trust any test or individual who says "I know because I heard it" as the likelihood is that unless it's in a very tightly controlled test environment they almost certainly didn't. That's effectively what I'm trying to establish. Are your statements on Audyssey (or any other RC) based on proper testing or are they based on you saying "I heard it so it must be true".

The funny thing is I'm not even saying you're wrong or that you're subconsciously or deliberately lying, I'm just trying to understand what the basis is for your viewpoint. That way I can work out how much weight to put behind your statements as I'm not usually one to blindly believe/accept what some random person says on a forum just because they say it's true. So far your entire basis falls directly into placebo, cognnitive/confirmation bias and familiarity which are the very things you're accusing me of not understanding but then relying on to add veracity to your claims. If you're genuinely going to argue your opinion and base it on "I heard it therefore it's fact" then this discussion is a waste of time.

G
 

Rock Danger

Distinguished Member
My argument hasn't been 'I've heard it and is fact.' It never was. What I did say is after looking at the graphs, the peer review and being around the stuff long enough, it's not difficult to hear a room correction making a mess of things.

Audyssey falls into this camp in proper testing conditions and not all the placebo style things you've mentioned. As I said before - since you're on such a pure quest for truth, test them yourself, it's not an evil kabal of anti Audyssey people.. there's a reason why d&m only go to a certain price point.

To sum up - it's not room eq snobbery, there just happen to be better ones than what you have. This is because of the R&D, horsepower and algorithms used by different companies.

It can be shown on paper as well as group and single peer review. You're going to have to dig thru the forums where people who have owned several types of AVR/Processor have shown their REW comparison graphs. There is one about to show up on the Lyngdorf thread where the MK/MP50 system had it's subs flat to 10hz.
 
Last edited:

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
We were involved in the room EQ shoot out.
Same room, same loudspeakers, same amplification in an untreated toom
Not scientific, but a group of keen home cinema and hi fi enthusiasts took part.

We deal with different room correction systems every day. We know what works, what’s better and the expected results.
[email protected]
 

Latest news

Google Home update leaves smart speakers dumb
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
LG Display posts Q3 losses of $377 million
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Netflix reveals how viewing metrics determines a show's success
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Discovery launches dplay AVOD service in UK and Ireland
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Cyrus announces ONE Cast Smart Audio System
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Latest threads

Top Bottom