I calibrated Dirac within an Arcam AVR 550 as part of a lovely system comprising of KEF R series speakers, an SVS PB2000 ported subwoofer, Q Acoustics rear speakers, a Panasonic Blu Ray Player and Apple TV.
In some regards this was a straight forward calibration for me as I know the speakers extremely well and have worked with big ported SVS subwoofers before so know what they are capable of, however in saying that every room and setup requires a different approach to maximise the systems sound quality.
I tested several different approaches to best integrate the subwoofers with the main speakers and the subwoofer being a big ported subwoofer in a small room in close proximity to the listening position required a fairly unique setup approach within Dirac to maximise its low end extension (19hz in room) and punch without being overbearing or directional.
Amazingly the KEF R3 speakers had an in room response of around 40hz so they performed similar to most floor standers in most rooms and I utilised this for the benefit of the system for both music and movie sound performance.
I also had to manage the volume and performance from the surround speakers as they are situated extremely close to the listening position but after the calibration they sounded completely transparent as the overall sound field was fully and correctly integrated.
After a good number of hours listening, testing, tweaking working a few things out the system was sounding big, bold harmonically rich, very detailed, fast, impactful and damn right impressive. I think a lot of home cinema enthusiasts would be stunned at this systems sound quality in such a near field listening position. A job / calibration very well done
I first contacted Terry after months of watching his reviews online because I had a mere interest in getting a Nad with Dirac. I felt it was time to invest in speakers that will age with me and still be in use 30years later to some extent and also invest in an AV receiver that is not a budget range. Despite it being a mere plan to invest into a some nice av equipment Terry was happy to spend several months chatting away to me by email about the pros and cons of speakers, av receivers and Dirac. Terry explained some issues with Nad related to Dirac and explained in great detail to me why he personally prefers (when it comes to Dirac calibration) Arcam’s implementation.
To their credit Nad did confirm the issue we spoke about and I went ahead with an Arcam purchase along with some Kef r3 speakers for front and center channels; keeping a few of my 3020i for rear channels.
After 3 months of emails all the equipment was ready and in place and so Terry came to do his magic.
Take a pause here: how many people would entertain someone in such detail over so many months for just having ‘a plan to buy’. Every email and question was replied to quickly and with the utmost of courtesy.
So let’s talk about the actual Dirac setup. Terry is the consummate professional. He was on time, thorough and perhaps because he saw I have a genuine interest really took his time to explain what he was doing, how, and why each step was important and how it would impact the system.
Each time he felt something needed even the most minuscule of adjustment he happily went back to the pc to edit that, then as we listened to the new calibration explained why he had done the change, if it worked and if applicable why the past one had been better and needed a different tweak instead to deliver what he wanted. Nothing ever felt rushed or pushed out.
Terry was very flattering of my setup and made me feel my investment was a good one.
My Arcam did have a very strange issue (before Terry had even arrived I had spoken to Arcam tech dept) and it did have to go back for an exchange. Terry drove me to my garage a fair distance away just to help me pick up the packaging I needed for that exchange. What more can you ask of someone??
Once the exchange happened Terry came straight back to continue, but we realised that perhaps due to the original fault, it needed a whole new range of tweaks. And Terry just got on with it happily never once mentioning the time it took.
Terry is clearly both highly skilled and very passionate about this, and he treats you as a friend not a client he has to finish with ASAP.
The end result of all this is a system that is, to my ears, amazing. The difference between the Arcam and my previous receivers was night and day even with no eq and original (q acoustics 3020i) speakers. The difference between stock settings and Dirac’s adjustments were again, night and day. The difference made when Terry then expertly adjusted it even further and got every ounce of performance out of my speakers and receiver…mind-blowing.
I would strongly suggest anyone who has invested into a Dirac system to contact Terry at pursuitperfecrsystems.com about doing your configuration. You’ll end up with a setup your ears won’t believe and make a friend.
Thanks again Terry for all the patience and help you gave me and for the outstanding job you did with my Arcam.