Sound+Image - - Test -

The Dirac room cal­i­bra­tion used here is a bit more com­pli­cated than the nor­mal sys­tems on AV re­ceivers, be­cause you have to run it on a com­puter — though ei­ther Win­dows or Mac is fine. You can not to use Dirac at all, and just set the dis­tances and lev­els man­u­ally, but Dirac tunes the sys­tem for room and speaker anom­alies — in part — and also ad­justs phas­ing to en­sure a co­her­ent wave front. It also sets lev­els and time de­lays.

The mea­sure­ment mi­cro­phone plugs into a USB au­dio de­vice, and you plug that into one of the spare USB sock­ets on the hub plugged into the re­ceiver. You down­load the Dirac Live LE for NAD soft­ware from the NAD web­site and in­stall it (I had to in­sist to Win­dows at a cou­ple of points that it was okay, I was let­ting it ac­cess the net­work and so on). When you run the soft­ware, it scans your net­work and finds the NAD am­pli­fier. You fol­low the in­struc­tions built into the soft­ware — it’s all a bit old-fash­ioned and clunky, but it works — to makes sure the lev­els are set to a suit­able level, and then you let it rip. It likes to mea­sure nine dif­fer­ent po­si­tions. When you’re fin­ished, it shows you mea­sured graphs of all your speak­ers along with the NAD tar­get EQ curve. You click ‘Op­ti­mise’ and wait while your com­puter cal­cu­lates the ad­just­ments. This will then show you the ad­justed re­sult for your speak­ers (as­sum­ing that they ac­tu­ally re­spond as cal­cu­lated). Then you drag the re­sults to a col­umn in a chart. That down­loads the DSP ad­just­ments to the NAD am­pli­fier. Then you click ‘En­able’ (as I said, it’s a bit clunky), which switches them on.

Now you will re­call that I said that it tunes your sys­tem ‘in part’. That’s where the LE for NAD part of the soft­ware name comes in. This ver­sion only han­dles from 20 to 500 hertz. The full, paid ver­sion ($US99) cov­ers the full au­dio band­width.



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