If I could design my own AVR, instead of taking one off the shelf, what would it be like? Someone might be crazy enough to do this or we could do a kick-starter? Here we go…
The most important for me would be the DSP features. I would like to have a multi-stage DSP with optional building blocks that you could swap in and out as follows:
STAGE 1: DECODING
All the usual: Dolby, DTS. Nothing to see here.
STAGE 2: UPMIXING & ROUTING / MATRIXING
- All the usual, except I would bring back legacy Dolby Pro Logic, Pro Logic II, IIx, IIz decoders.
- I would allow routing of channels to multiple sets of speakers. E.g. if I wanted to have 2-3 rows of seating, I would like to send the same information / channel to multiple sets of speakers for surround and height speakers.
STAGE 3: TARGET CURVE AND GLOBAL PEQ
- PEQ filter bank / target curve options for the general target curve all speakers follow! (channel based at this stage, not speaker based)
- PEQ filters for the combined subwoofer response
STAGE 4: DYNAMIC EQ and DRC
- The option to try out and purchase the filters you want here and apply them regardless of the room correction technology used in stage 4.
- Audyssey Dynamic EQ and Dynamic Volume (this would be my choice)
- THX Loudness Plus (might work better in cases where Audyssey is too aggressive)
- Dolby Volume (again, a great fall-back)
STAGE 5: ROOM CORRECTION
The option to try out and purchase the filters you want:
- Audyssey XT32
- Dirac Live (this would be my choice)
- Only PEQ based automatic correction
- Mix and match: e.g. apply Dirac Live for the centre speaker but Audyssey XT32 for all the other ones while following the same target curve.
- How about applying XT32 upto 200Hz and then have broad PEQ filters for mid and high frequencies like Yamaha’s approach.
- This would allow to have the user decide what works best for their room and speakers.
STAGE 6: LEVELS, DELAYS AND SPEAKER PEQs
- Ability to apply separate levels, delays like today plus additional PEQs per speaker (not per channel or channel pair) to be able to correct room issues for a particular speaker. This would allow us to use Multi-Sub Optimiser first to correct seat to seat variation then run room correction which will apply the target curve using global filters.
If Yamaha were to license their technology, then I would definitely include their amazing CinemaDSP, YPAO corrections for main speakers which sound more and more natural and their YPAO Volume and Adaptive DRC technologies. They are relatively painless and hit the spot for those that just want things to work without worrying about it. Of course Yamaha will never licence these.
It is a shame that no company has the best technology currently in all the areas. I hope Dirac will focus on dynamic eq and state of the art DRC while Audyssey will polish their base filter designs and produce a more natural sound quality in more rooms and with more speaker types.
While Yamaha keeps doing its own thing and is really only in competition with itself (apart from subwoofer EQ which still needs more work!)