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IK Multimedia ARC System vs Acoustic Treatment???
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#121
11th February 2010
Old 11th February 2010
  #121
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I'll take a listen, thanks! I'm curious though - how much "make up gain" do you have to apply once the correction is activated? Does the corrected ARC output have a much lower SPL level? Or, is there no change to average output levels?
#122
11th February 2010
Old 11th February 2010
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Originally Posted by Captain Proton View Post
the difference Arc has made to the decision making process has been huge so it DOES work.
As I explained in my Audyssey Report article:

Quote:
To be clear, I am not opposed to the use of EQ to reduce the one or two lowest modal peaks in a room. Conventional broadband bass traps are less effective once you get below about 50 or 60 Hz. So even if an equalizer or DSP device cannot reduce ringing, just lowering a peak's level and the amount of its ringing (if not reducing the decay time) improves the sound in a very real way.
So I understand - and have stated clearly - that in rooms where peaks are more of a problem than nulls, EQ can help.

Quote:
Here is the measurements from one of the rooms
You should do that again using software such as Room EQ Wizard or FuzzMeasure. After calibrating ARC, measure the response, then move the measuring microphone a few inches to one side and measure again. Our ears are about six inches apart, so try two locations six inches apart and see what happens.

--Ethan
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#123
11th February 2010
Old 11th February 2010
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I understand that really I do, but the proof is in the pudding.

If the end result is me being able to make accurate eq, level and general production choices then it's a clear winner regardless of the exact science behind it.

To be honest I couldn't give two hoots how it works but the benefits are clear... in a room the size of mine no amount of bass trapping could fix it as it is just too small. It needs bass traping and a program like Arc.

Even if it just sorted the low end out I would be happy. So I've tried it 4 times in seperate bad sounding studio's and the benefits were huge compared to not having it....so the end result is it works.

Bear in mind that all 4 studio's pump out regular mixes for release so it really is a real world test. One of the rooms just didn't have enough room to put any traps in it was that small. It took all of 30 mins to fix one guys mix he had been having real trouble with.... after the Arc was setup you could hear how quiet the bassline was and the vocals.... but without the Arc on they sounded roughly correct although very 1 note boomy bass.

There is a bit of top end phasyness, but only slight... not that it's a problem as you would never export through Arc only monitor.

Mr Hudson, yes there is a volume difference but you have the volume make up gain for this.

Ethan I would however like to re calibrate the room whilst Arc is being used but not sure how I would go about running two arcs... maybe I will give the other software a shot running through cubase running arc.
#124
11th February 2010
Old 11th February 2010
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Can you generate/play a sine wave in Cubase between say 20-500 Hz? Record that from one location with ARC on and off, then try another location, again on and off, like Ethan suggested. If the results measure flat in multiple locations with ARC engaged, where those multiple locations cover an area that would be reasonable to sit still in while mixing, that would be interesting. I'd do it myself, but then I'd have to buy ARC first :-)
#125
11th February 2010
Old 11th February 2010
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The problem I have is that my room is very small so I really dont move about much at all. I also sit very close and personal to my NS10M's with a sub bass just tickling the bottom end of the frequencies.

I can tell it's even by running a sub bass patch on the Arp Odyssey and playing through the scale.

With Arc off I get certain notes that are nearly twice as loud as others and some notes nearly dissapear. With it on they all sound the same volume which for me means everything.

I suppose I could hook up another measurement mike and record straight from Cubase or even do a sweep tone from 400hz down to 20hz maybe? With Arc on and off in the center of my listening position and 2 extremes of my listening position.

It's not just eq though as stereo imaging has vastly improved.... the only downside is I now know why some people hate NS10m's lol in my room they sound quite soft but Arc brings it back to reality.

My main gripe was with Ethan saying that it just does not work, I just didn't agree. It's an ungraceful way of fixing the problem sure but it's quick, cheap and you can set it up anywhere in 30 mins in any room.
#126
11th February 2010
Old 11th February 2010
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It would be a public service of sorts to see that test done, but I fully understand that this all takes time to do - and takes time away from other fun things. Count me among the curious though - I have seen nothing like the above test for ARC itself. And, a well conducted test would be well received by Ethan, I would think. Even if your room is small, the point has been made that moving even INCHES can throw things out of whack, so you wouldn't need to move too far to make the test work out. I'd just slide the mic back from your ideal listening position a few inches, centered between speakers I guess.

The trick is that ARC lives in your DAW, so other than playing sine waves, I'm not sure how to route REW or FM output through the ARC adjustment. Maybe there is a way.

It is still striking to me and worth understanding how flat the post curves look in ARC. Ethan's study showed virtually nothing close to this "starting point leveling".

Even if one grants that moving a few inches destroys any fleeting benefit, the starting point post treatment effect measured and shown in ARC is far more profound than what Ethan measured (going by memory here, perhaps Ethan did get audyssey to measure in this narrow a dB range by frequency). Perhaps the initial mic placement for the EQ adjustment process in the Ethan tested room was slightly different than where Ethan ended up measuring later on - which could cause variation I guess, if it really is a game of inches.

I guess I would also note that while Ethan acknowledged the use of peak trimming where peaks are the predominant issue, it didn't seem like peaks were the only problems in your graphs - there were equal amounts of peaks and dips. Unless the tool is trimming peaks to match nulls, then adjusting high end down, leading you to need to add gain as the final step via the trim knob.

I still haven't heard it explained how ARC could ever measure that flat even in a single location if nulls can never be touched by EQ.

(These questions aren't all directed at you CProton, either, just puzzled).
(And, I'm no pro on these matters, just learning and asking, which is obvious. And I hesitate to ask about these tools, because they are soundly panned)
#127
11th February 2010
Old 11th February 2010
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Yeah I certainly have nulls as well as peaks. The left speaker is a lot different to the right in the Arc display due to me having to take the door off so I could get my desk in lol.

I took 30 measurements on that graph moving roughly a 1/2 foot either side of the central spot and 1/2 foot forwarda and half a foot back from the central spot and everywhere inbetween.

I'll take a Soundforge sine sweep tomorow and record with Arc on and Arc off into cubase then take a look at the plot afterwards. I'll do 1/2 ft either side of the seet spot but I rarely move either side when mixing.

I took an older video of my room when showing proof that you could run a HZ/Volts Yamaha CS-30 over CV from a Motu Soundcard... so you might be able to get a rough idea on the size of my room if that helps.

YouTube - Yamaha CS 30 running Silent Way in Cubase 5
#128
12th February 2010
Old 12th February 2010
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My main gripe was with Ethan saying that it just does not work
Well, it doesn't do everything that is claimed. This is not my opinion, but proven fact as shown in the graphs in the article.

If you read that article again you'll see that I never said Audyssey doesn't work at all. Look, if your room has a boomy resonance around 150 Hz, then lowering the resonance with EQ will make a very real improvement. I'm sure I made that point in my article. I'm sure I also mentioned that I use a one-band EQ myself in my living room me theater setup!

--Ethan
#129
12th February 2010
Old 12th February 2010
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Ethan your words were "It doesn't work" on various forums, I am saying "It does work" in the real world situation.

And not to just be another poster who spouts off without any evidence I've got some.

Now here is how I did this real world test:

I took a Measuring microphone (not the one that comes with Arc), and placed it where my ears sit when mixing.

I then made a 500hz to 30hz Sine Sweep 500hz to 30hz Sweep.wav - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage

I played this Sweep in Cubase 5 and recorded the outcome first with Arc OFF. Here is the file: No Arc Sine Sweep Room.wav - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage

I then did the same with Arc ACTIVATED. Here is the file: Arc Activated Sine Sweep Room.wav - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage

I then ran both files through IXL's Awesome Freq meters to show the differences whilst showing the recorded level differences. Arc OFF is the top track and Arc ACTIVATED is the bottom track. The picture is below.

For those listening/downloading the audio files.... please listen on headphones so your own room will not mess with the sound. You have to take the room out of the sound to hear my crappy room if you know what I mean

Arc On Off Sweep Test.jpg - File Shared from Box.net - Free Online File Storage (picture of results)

Looking at the graph which one would you rather mix in?
Attached Thumbnails
IK Multimedia ARC System vs Acoustic Treatment???-arc-off-sweep-test.jpg  
#130
13th February 2010
Old 13th February 2010
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Thanks for sharing man! Neat to see some additional tests of this. Good of you to take the time to share this.

Let me anticipate some of the questions you could certainly get - (1) What if you move the mic a few inches - does the effect hold? This would be the "head in a vice" objection, so to speak (2) Say you set-up a plain 'ol parametric EQ that "undoes" some of the worst of the peaks and dips - can you arrive at a fairly similar result?

Anyway, I know you are happy with the results, so at a certain point the questions end and off you go! But the questions above will probably last on for some, if you want to dive further into the proof game, so to speak.

Very cool, thanks again for sharing.
#131
13th February 2010
Old 13th February 2010
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I see this is an old thread that's been around for a long time, so I doubt there's much I'm going to say here that hasn't been said already (and no, I did not read the entire thread), but my experience with Audyssey has been very, very positive.

My room is properly treated, and I am currently in the process of adding even more bass traps and diffusers, so yes, I understand that Audyssey is no substitute for proper room treatment. However, if you combine proper room treatment with PROPER USE OF AUDYSSEY depending upon your application (and proper Audyssey set-up, which I'm sorry to say most people get dead wrong), the improvements Audyssey can and does provide are very real. Much of what Audyssey does is in the time domain. It really is quite remarkable. If you haven't done so, do look into it.

As far as Audyssey set up goes, there is a thread over in the reciever forum on AVSFORUM that goes into detail about how to do it to get the best results (the Audyssey guys themselves participate in that thread regularly). Going from memory, you really need a tripod with a boom arm and a proper mic adapter, plus you need to make sure that the mic/stand are not touching any surfaces that might reverberate (such as the chair) and that there are no nearby obstacles (like the back or front of a chair) that would create close proximity comb filtering. Also, keep the microphone away from room boundaries, and give some thought to the pattern you will use to surround the main listening position. I have performed Audyssey setup the "wrong way" and compared the results with the right way, and there is a marked difference, both in measured in room results and EQ settings.

Don't knock it, guys. It does work.
#132
13th February 2010
Old 13th February 2010
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I was hoping Ethan would comment on my findings as I figured he would like it when someone goes to the effort of bringing tests and results to the table. Most forum dissagreements are just opinions without any evidence to back it up so I thought I'd be different lol.

I actually left the big cushiony office chair in the room when I took the measurements as it would be in the same place when I'm mixing..... I have wondered about if maybe I should be sat in the chair when doing measurements because I to will be sat in the chair when mixing?

Any thoughts?
#133
13th February 2010
Old 13th February 2010
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Haven't read the whole thread so may have missed something - ...

....what about your modal and time domain response? ARC doesn't help in that - even though it claims it does. It doesn't. It will change the frequency response..... but who really cares about that? Apart from speakers. Sort the time domain response absolutely with priority.

ARC is useful in a fairly well treated room to fine tune those bits that you just can't fix.

But it does not help at all in an untreated room. Does it make it sound better? sure. Does it help you do a more translatable bit of work. Not at all.
#134
13th February 2010
Old 13th February 2010
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Ummm errr .... yes it does.

2 of the rooms I did had NO I repeat NO bass traps or treatment of any sorts. We fired up a track he was working on and I told him to make decisions based on what he heard with Arc on, 30 mins later and a quick trip to his front room hi fi confirmed when A/B'd that the Arc version of the dance track was a lot better than without. The Bass before was non existent because he had this huge honky 12db of flabby bass end freq. the top end was over hyped due to the reflections from the wall and having large monitors in the tiniest room I have ever seen used for a studio.

All his mixes were always midrangy bass light with dull tops and the vocals always seemed to sound wrong.

30 mins later and some very drastic changes the mix sounded a lt better just with a few level changes and a lot of eq's taken off that were on.

Of course I could be lying but then why would I having nothing to gain. I don't know much about time responses etc, but I do know when something sounds correct, and if the end result is a great sound coming from the hi-fi, Ipod or the tv then it's job done.

I mean look at the freq responce graph I posted, listen to the with and without Arc examples I posted (on headphones of course), do you really think it has no benefits at all?

Sure you could spend £300 on more bass traps, but in small rooms there really just isn't the 'room' or if like me you already have 7 large traps up and it still sounds like crap because the room is just too small for traps to fix. The proof is in the pudding, I've had just over 40 releases under my belt for Dance music so I've managed to figure out when something translates well. Wouldn't work without it.

Quote:
frequency response..... but who really cares about that?
Like I said before, I would have thought that was the most important part. If I am hearing 12db boost (due to room errors),on any bass note that is a G then if my song is in G I will end up turning the bass down by -12db more than I should. If I work in the key of C where maybe a massive null (there is a huge one in the example I posted) then I would end up boosting the bass by silly amounts.

If having Arc on stops this then guess what....it works whoopy I can now trust my decisions a lot more than without.
#135
13th February 2010
Old 13th February 2010
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the boosts in your room are TIME DOMAIN. Knocking out 12dB will do nothing to stop the build up. They'll CHANGE it - but they wont solve it. You're inducing a phase shoft everywhere in your monitoring chain whcih completely changes what you're "viewing". Frequency response is nowhere near as important as time domain response..... modes and frequency build up are time domain. ARC does nothing to address those. You may BELIEVE it does - but it doesn't ARC even cunningly imply it odes.... but it does not. That 12dB boost may well only require a slight tempering in the time domain - ie by acoustic treatment. You knocking a fekkin great 12dB minus in there is likely entirely wrong!!.

Go an compare your ARC'ed tracks with something mixed in a decent room..... All you've done is shift your problem into areas that don't fall into your rejection range. In the professional environment, and for the professional mixer - ARC does nothing to address major problems. A nice tool to deal with frequency domain issue due to none optimal monitoring etc - but totally fallacious in any claims to improve time domain issues - which are the REAL problem in an untreated room. You're fooling yourself if you think you've done anything other than move the problem - seriously...... Got a tighter kick sound? Awesome....great - now try and mix timpani with what you've done. Or tale your mixes to a club. Or listen to your cut mastering engineer complain about your smeared frequency range which means the bloody needle wont cut.

I've used ARC a number of times - it fu.cks with stereo, badly. Using it in an untreated room - dodgy ground. Great product if you have a decent treated room - in which case it almost becomes oxymoronic. It's a tool for getting the blind to lead the blind.... sorry. Glad you like what it does for you - but i promise you, in a years time you'll say "what was i thinking".....


and what does:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Proton View Post
The proof is in the pudding, I've had just over 40 releases under my belt for Dance music so I've managed to figure out when something translates well. Wouldn't work without it.
mean?

Pissing competition? ..... really?
#136
13th February 2010
Old 13th February 2010
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And not to just be another poster who spouts off without any evidence I've got some.
Excellent. But incomplete. As narcoman said, your sine wave sweep tells only half the story, which is why I suggested you use real room measuring software in my Post #122. Further, in that same post I suggested you measure the room at two locations six inches apart, after calibrating ARC for one location. When you do that, then you'll have real evidence.

I really don't see why you keep harping on this. I have explained - and agreed! - why an EQ can help in rooms where boomy peaks are the main problem. My friend with the Audyssey I tested for that article has a room that's basically a cube, and Audyssey did improve the sound.

--Ethan
#137
13th February 2010
Old 13th February 2010
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Quote:
=narcoman;

and what does:

mean?

Pissing competition? ..... really?
Cool now I understand a bit better, as for the pissing competition I was only mentioning it so you didn't think I was some 17 year old uber noob who just found a dodgy copy of fruity loops 40 dance releases is bugger all, I mean it's hardly an accolade.... now if I had a proper chart release then yeah maybe I could boast a little. If I could go back and do it all again I would not be composing dance music for a living...more like the music I love listening to.

Totally honestly..... my mixes have improved a lot, especially in the car which I know inside and out due to spending half my life in it.

My room is so small I really do not think bass traps would fix it much more, although I am sure I could squeeze another 4 in there. For me and 3 of my friends it has helped hugely..... if it only takes them/me 80% there then I am happy, it's got to be better than the 40% (totally guessing before the quantify police get me), I had before.
#138
13th February 2010
Old 13th February 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Excellent. But incomplete. As narcoman said, your sine wave sweep tells only half the story, which is why I suggested you use real room measuring software in my Post #122. Further, in that same post I suggested you measure the room at two locations six inches apart, after calibrating ARC for one location. When you do that, then you'll have real evidence.

I really don't see why you keep harping on this. I have explained - and agreed! - why an EQ can help in rooms where boomy peaks are the main problem. My friend with the Audyssey I tested for that article has a room that's basically a cube, and Audyssey did improve the sound.

--Ethan
I was just up for some semi scientific geeking out, I will try and use the software on that web site.... have to register ... but yes I will try and figure it out.

The music play back of commercial tracks has improved a lot as has my decision making progress so for me it's worth it, I think as someone said before it only really benefits bad sounding rooms which are unsaveable by bass traps. Think I will build a few more and squeeze them in somewhere.
#139
14th February 2010
Old 14th February 2010
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have to register
If you email me from my personal site Ethan Winer - Home Page I'll be glad to send you the latest version of REW. Then you can ask "support" questions here. REW is not terribly difficult to learn and set up.

--Ethan
#140
14th February 2010
Old 14th February 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Proton View Post
Cool now I understand a bit better, as for the pissing competition I was only mentioning it so you didn't think I was some 17 year old uber noob who just found a dodgy copy of fruity loops 40 dance releases is bugger all, I mean it's hardly an accolade.... now if I had a proper chart release then yeah maybe I could boast a little. If I could go back and do it all again I would not be composing dance music for a living...more like the music I love listening to.

Totally honestly..... my mixes have improved a lot, especially in the car which I know inside and out due to spending half my life in it.

My room is so small I really do not think bass traps would fix it much more, although I am sure I could squeeze another 4 in there. For me and 3 of my friends it has helped hugely..... if it only takes them/me 80% there then I am happy, it's got to be better than the 40% (totally guessing before the quantify police get me), I had before.
dude - the rest of your posts showed you weren't some fruity loops kid.... so dont worry about that one !!!

I have absolutely no doubt it's improved some things for you - but just look out for other probs that creep in. In fact - if you do just a smidge of bass trapping (Ethans bang on with what he says about that lot) things will improve even more. ARCS effectivity becomes a useful addition whe you do have a halfway treated room.... It's a fair product for what it does - my issue is not to expect it to do miracles !!
#141
15th February 2010
Old 15th February 2010
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Are there any room analysis programs that will make target correction presets for use with vst eq plugins? I'd like to experiment for myself but don't want to pay IK 500 bucks for the honor.
#142
15th February 2010
Old 15th February 2010
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dunno - but ARC and the ERGO system aren't static EQs. So it's not quite as simp[le as producing a preset.
#143
15th February 2010
Old 15th February 2010
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Just curious, when we say that they aren't static EQs, what are they instead?
#144
15th February 2010
Old 15th February 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrhudson View Post
Just curious, when we say that they aren't static EQs, what are they instead?
well ARC isn't just an EQ. It has all manner of phase shenanigans going on.... There are also none static processes going on.... They wont tell me what these are - I asked if they were actually dynamic EQs.... no response.
#145
17th February 2010
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#146
26th May 2010
Old 26th May 2010
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ERGO measurement:

#147
5th August 2010
Old 5th August 2010
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[OT personal stuff removed. -mod]

Anyway, back on topic. I have a new ARC System boxed, was going to sell it because I actually ended up getting over $2000 of acoustic treatment through Glenn (who I highly recommend). But after reading some of the results here, my initial assumption that I "don't" need the ARC System, because I have treatment, is changing. It seems that the ARC System and Acoustic Treatment is not a either/or situation. Each helps the situation on its own, but also work great together.

And to echo someone else's statement a few pages back, let's keep the trolling down. If you don't own the ARC System or have not personally tried it out, please refrain from posting. It doesn't help find "Truth, Justice, The Scientific Way" when you're critiquing something you've never used. And using the 'based on' as an excuse would be like me saying, "I've eaten plenty of grapes, and although I haven't eaten a single raisin, I can attest to their awesomeness."
#148
5th August 2010
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And I really wonder which option would be MORE effective in practice to the end resulting sound graph, 1 corner mondo trap or the ARC System. They're the same price.
SAC
#149
5th August 2010
Old 5th August 2010
  #149
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I know ARC claims to utilize the impulse and time domain measurements m in a ksdhflksjdfhmumbleashkjasdamumbleiuashsdfh manner, but the silence is a bit deafening in that they never seem to show the objective results of the process by which an original response is magically transformed into an optimal 'improved' response, be it via the before and after of the impulse, doublet, ETC, Nyquist, Heyser spiral or even the frequency, coincident, quadrature, EFC or any other objective reproducible means.

At that point all we ever seem to hear are emotional testimonials and vague assertions regarding the amazing improvements in wqeoiwueormumblekasjdfklashdfsmumblekasjdfksadhfas...
#150
6th August 2010
Old 6th August 2010
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