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Emotiva XMC-1 Dirac Room EQ Measurements and Analysis

By RichB

Dirac provides detailed measurements data but it does not provide the ability to measure and display the actual results after calibration. For that, many use other measurement software such as Room EQ Wizard (REW available at http://www.roomeqwizard.com/) for feedback. The Emotiva supplied EMM-1 USB microphone was used for the Dirac calibration and for the corresponding REW measurements.

Using the Dirac DLCT sofa graphic, I labeled the nine recommended positions to simply the measurement process during repeated measurements (eliminating the need to switch the graphic between Top, Front, and Oblique views). My shorthand labels for these positions are:

1.    Back Center Low (Main Listening)
2.    Back Right High
3.    Back Right Wide Low
4.    Front Right Wide High
5.    Front Right Low
6.    Front Left High
7.    Front Left Wide Low
8.    Back Left Wide High
9.    Back Left Low

The measurements spanned a 3-foot wide by 14 inch deep area roughly matching the seating positions of my love seat. The low mic height was set to 38 inches and the high mic height at 47 inches. The 9 Dirac position measurements were then averaged.

Dirac Live Calibration Tool (DLCT) Measurements

The XMC-1 comes standard with the Emotiva EMM-1 microphone and with a universal calibration file. The charts below show the EMM-1 Dirac (DLCT) measurements, default target curve, and predicted results (labeled Avg. Spectrum After).

Dirac Default Target Curve.jpg

The Dirac EMM-1 measurements show significant variation in the lower bass with up to 12 dB peaks. There is a similar 10 dB drop in the 100 Hz to 300 Hz band followed by modest peaks and dips and a gradual decline in high-frequencies.

REW EMM-1 Measurements

The average response taken with the same mic positions used for Dirac are shown below. The red trace is the XMC-1 in Reference Stereo mode (no processing) and the blue trace is Dirac Live using the default curve.

EMM-1 Dirac (bue) Reference (red).jpg

The Dirac default target curve has reduced the bass by 10 dB and that does a good job flattening the bass response. There is a mid-bass boost of 5 to 10 dB between 100 Hz and 300 Hz. Above 1 kHz, the correction ranged from 0 to about 5 dB.

The Dirac and REW measurements are completely out-of-sync above 400 Hz. Below that, both show a bass hump and mid bass dip, although to a lesser degree with REW. Given the measurement and target curve, Dirac applied appropriate corrections. I attribute these discrepancies to mic/calibration file issues and not anything to do with Dirac or the XMC-1.
The XMC-1 and Dirac provide no information concerning the trims and distances applied. So for Preset 1 and 2, you are back to measuring speaker distances and using an SPL meter for levels.

Parametric Equalization (PEQ)

Since I have been in the purist camp for many years, I have not used PEQ in my system. With the REW mic in place from my Dirac measurements, it was a simple process to create filters to flatten out the bass response. I set about doing this by measuring with REW, selecting a peak or valley center frequency, applying a gain or cut to level it out, and then using the width parameter to narrow or expand the band to match the REW measurement. This was a very simple and straight-forward process. The results are shown below apply an 8 non-overlapping filters to level out the bass response below 80 Hz.

EMM-1 8-Band PEQ.jpg

In a ½ hour, I was able to flatten the bass to within 5 dB between 22 Hz and 75 Hz.

 

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Recent Forum Posts:

KEW posts on December 10, 2017 16:20
darien87, post: 1097933, member: 13366
I love mine.

Dirac made a noticeable difference in my system. Not huge, but definitely an improvement.

Still a little annoyed at the pops and snaps when it locks on to an audio stream for the first time though. Hopefully they'll get that sorted out with a firmware update.
Did they get this sorted?
PENG posts on October 31, 2017 18:10
RichB, post: 1098441, member: 11091
If you assume that a short sine-sweep at some level is representative of amplifier performance playing music. I would not make that assumption. No-one measures amps this way.

Rich

I am not suggesting anyone to use a short sine sweep or any sweep to represent amp performance playing music at all. I am saying that one can do some of those sweep tests to compare the in room response of speakers using different amps and can see how much difference one can expect. From my own experiments using a $90 mic and free REW, I know the difference between speakers and their placements have far greater effect than between my different amps/preamps/AVR. Expectedly we agreed on something and disagreed on a few other things.
RichB posts on October 30, 2017 10:56
John Morrison, post: 1217957, member: 83979
I have the XMC-1 and am completely satisfied with the integration into my home theater. It connects to a Parasound 5.1 amplifier.

There is one issue. I have an MX-980 Universal Remote. I downloaded the IR codes specifically for this device (XMC-1 Main). The ability of the MX to control the XMC is inconsistent. Most of the time it does not work. Other times it will respond sporadically. The at times it will work flawlessly. I have not been able to use any Macros referring to the XMC. The remote that came with the unit works perfectly. I spoke with Emotovia and the specialist (who is incredibly intelligent) was not able to understand the problem. He recommended using the codes for the UMC-1 and gave me the conversions for the XMC inputs to the UMC input names. EG DVD on the UMC is Input 1 on the XMC. Setting up a separate button on the MX-980 has resulted in complete control of the XMC and perfect Macro operation. At times I check control of the XMC using the MX-980 button with the XMC-1 IR codes and it continues to be unreliable. Some place on Google I read that the issue might be a conflict with the HDMI-CEC feature. I disabled this and has not made any change to the problem.

Perhaps the XMC-1 is too new that the integration with Universal Remote Control has not been established with user experience.

I had some difficulty learning the remote codes with the Pronto remote.
If you can use codes, try the codes in this file.

- Rich
everettT posts on October 30, 2017 10:26
John Morrison, post: 1217957, member: 83979
I have the XMC-1 and am completely satisfied with the integration into my home theater. It connects to a Parasound 5.1 amplifier.

There is one issue. I have an MX-980 Universal Remote. I downloaded the IR codes specifically for this device (XMC-1 Main). The ability of the MX to control the XMC is inconsistent. Most of the time it does not work. Other times it will respond sporadically. The at times it will work flawlessly. I have not been able to use any Macros referring to the XMC. The remote that came with the unit works perfectly. I spoke with Emotovia and the specialist (who is incredibly intelligent) was not able to understand the problem. He recommended using the codes for the UMC-1 and gave me the conversions for the XMC inputs to the UMC input names. EG DVD on the UMC is Input 1 on the XMC. Setting up a separate button on the MX-980 has resulted in complete control of the XMC and perfect Macro operation. At times I check control of the XMC using the MX-980 button with the XMC-1 IR codes and it continues to be unreliable. Some place on Google I read that the issue might be a conflict with the HDMI-CEC feature. I disabled this and has not made any change to the problem.

Perhaps the XMC-1 is too new that the integration with Universal Remote Control has not been established with user experience.
Are you using the mx line of site ir, or rf to ir ? Did you setup the remote or an installer. One thing with the macros is there maybe need to be longer pauses between each command, especially if ur line of site ir only.
John Morrison posts on October 30, 2017 10:05
I have the XMC-1 and am completely satisfied with the integration into my home theater. It connects to a Parasound 5.1 amplifier.

There is one issue. I have an MX-980 Universal Remote. I downloaded the IR codes specifically for this device (XMC-1 Main). The ability of the MX to control the XMC is inconsistent. Most of the time it does not work. Other times it will respond sporadically. The at times it will work flawlessly. I have not been able to use any Macros referring to the XMC. The remote that came with the unit works perfectly. I spoke with Emotovia and the specialist (who is incredibly intelligent) was not able to understand the problem. He recommended using the codes for the UMC-1 and gave me the conversions for the XMC inputs to the UMC input names. EG DVD on the UMC is Input 1 on the XMC. Setting up a separate button on the MX-980 has resulted in complete control of the XMC and perfect Macro operation. At times I check control of the XMC using the MX-980 button with the XMC-1 IR codes and it continues to be unreliable. Some place on Google I read that the issue might be a conflict with the HDMI-CEC feature. I disabled this and has not made any change to the problem.

Perhaps the XMC-1 is too new that the integration with Universal Remote Control has not been established with user experience.
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