How accurate is YPAO?
Being a biased owner of the RX-V1400, I personally feel the job YPAO does on calibrating my system is alot more effective than S&V's disc and my SPL meter ever were, but I understand that this could very well be because I want to believe YPAO does a good job.
I've hauled the ol' meter out and everything seems good...the delay setting seem in order etc...
Is there any evidence out there confirming the accuracy of Yamaha's, Denon's, H/K's, etc, etc, calibrating/auto-setup features? How about the Parametric EQ? It'd be more expensive for me to add buy a Parameteric EQ and a yamaha receiver without YPAO than to buy the 1400..
It seems this is the big attraction in the receiver market these days, is it money well spent, or not? Any proof to back up manufacturer's claims?
I know some S&V articles and Home Theater mag writers were convinced, but, their opinion is often more biased than mine.
The thing to keep in mind is that the YPAO's parametric functionality CANNOT be replicated by hooking up an outboard parametric EQ to any AV receiver. The only way to make it happen would be use a stack of seven parametric EQ units and use the receiver only as a preamp, and hook them up between the preouts and a set of outboard amps.
The reason why something like the Behringer Feedback Destroyer is usually recommended as a parametric EQ with subwoofers is because most subwoofers are active. Without the separate amp on the sub, a parametric EQ like the BFD would be a far less feasible option. Incidentally, because the YPAO does not make adjustments below 60 Hz, you might still need to use a parametric EQ for the subwoofer.
What I've been reading about the YPAO on this and other boards is that the readings on the YPAO (and any other auto calibration) can be greatly distorted with a noisy room. It also seems that doing the calibration yourself will give you more consistent results, since even in a room with several noise sources and the needle on the SPL meter fluttering around, you can at least eyeball what the average level is.
But, the one thing that the YPAO does is free the user from the learning curve associated with all the various setup parameters. Half the battle in getting the best possible sound out of a system is just setting the thing up correctly, and the YPAO at least gives an assist in that area. Using a parametric EQ for my subwoofer alone took about 90 minutes to calibrate ONE channel, multiply that by seven channels, and it's easy to see the benefit of an auto calibration.
As for whether it's money well spent, by this time next year, that question probably won't matter because just about everybody will have some variation of that feature incorporated into their receivers by then. Given how tightly contested these receivers are nowadays, a feature like the YPAO is enough to put one particular model over the top if the other receiver doesn't have a similar feature. Having the feature certainly can't hurt, and given that Yamaha held the line on pricing (Denon raised the price by $100), it hasn't added to the cost of the product either.
Interesting take, Wooch
I held off on the Behringer Feedback Destroyer because I figured I'd give YPAO a shot. And I can always borrow a friend's for a week or so if I want, might be a good experiment.
I've been telling everyone one that will listen that I cannot do as well with a setup DVD, SPL meter, and all the time in the world as YPAO at setting the levels and delays. As for the Parametric EQ, well, I'm not sure. I'm not terribly impressed with it so far. It doesn't seem to ruin anything, but I can't really hear much of a difference. I guess it probably has something to do with my room acoustics. Maybe I don't have a whole bunch of midrange peaks?
Since the time I posted the original thread, I visited a friend of mine who has the HTR-5790 (seems everyone I know is buying a Yamaha these days, kinda sucks, I like playing with other brands when I visit). It reads his subwoofer as being 17 ft away from listening position, when in fact it's about 8 ft. I wonder if this might be a result of the woofer being "slow" or related to the fact his sub sits on bare hardwood flooring. I didn't pursue the matter, he seems happy.
If someone wanted to make a lot of money, they'd develop a feature in a receiver that eliminated the need to tweak and play with all the settings and parameters...looks like I've got some experimenting to do.
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