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Total newbie Q...

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Adam.Heckman, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Adam.Heckman

    Adam.Heckman Well-Known Member

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    Alright, I'm actually fairly embarrased to ask this questions, because I don't consider myself a HUGE newbie in the HT area. BUT... what the heck is 'reference level'?
    I hear people say things like "when I turn it up to reference level...". I have no idea what that's all about, could somebody help???
    Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Well-Known Member

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    Adam, Welcome to the Forum...

    Your question's answer and many more can be found in the Beginner's Primer (see the bug atop this Basics Forum). Here's a LINK

    Ref. Lvl is a systematic calibration that ensures everyone using it is talking the same language. This is useful when comparing the output or performance of your HT system and, say, mine. It's Dolby Lab's estimate of how loud movie track surround sound should be in theaters, but adapted to home living room, this usually is too loud, as noted below.

    bill
     
  3. JamesCB

    JamesCB Well-Known Member

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    Reference level = (usually)Too loud.

    Reference level is best left for the theaters and very large rooms. It's nice to know you can attain that level in a normal room though.
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Well-Known Member

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    Reference level is the level a DVD is mastered to achieve 105dB peaks from your fronts, center and surrounds and 115dB peaks from your LFE (sub). In order to replicate this on your system, you can "calibrate to reference" which means you use an SPL meter and a calibration disk or receiver tones to adjust your speakers to output at "reference level" - 75db (attenuated from 105dB by 30 dB) or 85dB (attenuated from 105dB by 20 dB)if you are using Avia. Once you calibrate to this level, you note the volume setting on your receiver. This is your "reference" setting (on many receivers this will be "00"). Play your DVD at this setting and you will be listening "at reference". As mentioned above, reference is very loud and requires some good/great equipment to achieve in all but the smallest rooms (115dB from a sub is really hard to achieve cleanly).
     
  5. Adam.Heckman

    Adam.Heckman Well-Known Member

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    Wow, thanks for the replies everyone!! I did look in the primer and in the glossary, but didn't find a satisfactory answer. Excellent to finally understand what's going on.
    Here's another q...
    Where can I buy a calibration disk? I know to try to get the analog SPL meter at the rat shack, but do they sell calibration disks there too??? Or is it going to be an internet order?
    Edit - An clearly I didn't look in the right place in the primer, thanks for the link!!
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Well-Known Member

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  7. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Well-Known Member

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    Adam,

    I suggest the $18 Sound & Vision Home Theater Tune-Up disk from amazon.com

    Type the words sound and vision in the blank call-up box.

    Does the same job as the $40 AVIA and is produced by the same people. Covers basic user controls to get proper tv picture, plus sound tracks for speaker level balancing.

    The new Digital Video Essentials for $20 is another, but the dialog may be too complex for some.

    bill
     

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