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AVIA Note: Subwoofer Calibration

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Guy Kuo, Sep 6, 2001.

  1. Brian_cyberbri

    Brian_cyberbri Stunt Coordinator

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    People who run their subs hot get more bass at lower volume. But I prefer to have the bass even with the speakers and listen to the whole system at louder volumes (-5 to -10 reference, etc.). Ie., I'd rather watch Matrix Reloaded at -5 with the sub calibrated correctly (I did yesterday, actually), than watch it at -10 with the sub 5dB hot. The bass shouldn't overpower the rest of the audio. And people say things like "anything over -20 (or -15)" is way too loud, and more often than not, they are running their subs 3-6dB too hot.

    Another thing I found when I discovered that I hadn't calibrated my sub correctly (and had been running it 10dB or so too hot) was that not only could I turn up the master volume higher and get cleaner sound, but the bass was much cleaner and more detailed. One example is the Echo Game sequence in House of Flying Daggers (I have the full bit-rate DTS R3 version). Before, the drum hits were loud, nice booms. But after I re-calibrated properly, I could turn the volume up much higher, and the bass was much more clean and detailed - I could hear the sound of the drum skins snapping, etc., with each drum hit distinct, rather than just boom after boom, all sounding bloated and the same.
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Good observation.
     
  3. Lee-c

    Lee-c Second Unit

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    I agree, the bass in movies is intended by the director to be at a certain level in particular scenes. If you run the sub hot, then the soundtrack doesn't blend as intended and the overblown bass might obscure other details in the movie's soundtrack.
     
  4. quigonsir

    quigonsir Auditioning

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    Hey guys, I have a question concerning the radioshack spl meter. I have been seeing conflicting reprts. Some say that you should compenste for the lack of sensativity of the meter by adding 2-3 decibles to the reading you get on the meter, yet others say add 6-7 decibels to the reading. Which is correct b/c that is quite a difference?
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    If you're listening to a typical sub test tone with say Avia, or self-generated from an AVR or pre/pro, I say 2 - 3 dB. Here's one set of compensation numbers, and you can see that 6-7 dB is only valid for 20 to 25 Hz or so. The test tones on Avia or from an AVR or pre/pro comprises frequencies higher than that.

    10hz.....+20db 12.5hz...+16.5db 16hz.....+11.5db 20hz.....+7.5db 25hz.....+5db 31.5hz...+3db 40hz.....+2.5db 50hz.....+1.5db 63hz.....+1.5db 80hz.....+1.5db 100hz....+2db 125hz....+.5db 160hz....-.5db 200hz....-.5db 250hz....+.5db 315hz....-.5db 400hz....0db 500hz....-.5db 630hz....0db 800hz....0db 1k.......0db 1.25k....0db 1.6k.....-.5db 2k.......-1.5db 2.5k.....-1.5db 3.15k....-1.5db 4k.......-2db 5k.......-2db 6.3k.....-2db 8k.......-2db 10k......-1db 12.5k....+.5db 16k......0db 20k......+1db
     
  6. quigonsir

    quigonsir Auditioning

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    Hmmmm, well I'm still a little confused b/c my sub goes down to 20 hz at -3 so, what should mine be set on? this shit is confusing [​IMG]
     
  7. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    That's its frequency response. You don't need to worry about that when calibrating.
     
  8. Haris Ellahi

    Haris Ellahi Second Unit

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    I have a little confusion regarding AVIA's subwoofer setup.
    My subwoofer is on the way and I currently run my home theater without a subwoofer. Right now I run my main speakers as "large" and my center and surrounds as "small" with a crossover of 80Hz and the subwoofer output set to "none."
    Just for practice for once I get my subwoofer, I configured my home theater as if I were running a subwoofer. I set all my speakers to "small" with a crossover of 80Hz and the subwoofer output set to "sub" (not "sub + mains").
    I own the original/first AVIA calibration DVD. Under "Audio Calibrations," if I go to "Main Speaker Setup" and run the "Channel Identification (5.1)," I get sound from each speaker as the tone goes through the left-main, then center, then right-main, etc. expect for when the LFE test is played. When the test reaches the LFE part, I can hear the voice say "LFE" but I don't hear any bass tone. This is expected as I have all my speakers set to "small" and with the subwoofer output selected as "sub" rather than "sub + mains."
    However, under "Audio Calibrations," if I go to the "Subwoofer Setup," I have options named "Subwoofer Level, Left-Front," "Subwoofer Level, Center," "Subwoofer Level, Right-Front," "Subwoofer Level, Right-Surround," and "Subwoofer Level, Left-Surround." For example, if I select "Subwoofer Level, Left-Front" a tone is played through the left-front speaker for a few seconds, and then a subwoofer/LFE tone is played for a few seconds. I guess you are suppose to match the level of the two tones. My question is, how come if I select "Subwoofer Level, Center" (or any other main speaker/subwoofer test tone), I can hear the relative tone from the relative speaker for a few seconds and when the subwoofer/LFE part is played for a few seconds, I can actually hear bass coming from the main speakers. I would have thought that when the tone switches to the subwoofer/LFE part, I would hear nothing considering I have all my speakers set to "small" and the subwoofer output to "sub" not "sub + mains." What's happening here?
    Lastly, under "Subwoofer Setup," why isn't there a simple subwoofer only test tone? Why is the subwoofer test tones "linked" to the other channels (such as "Subwoofer Level, Center?"
     
  9. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    Harris,

    That is the unique beauty of Avia. It is the only source that takes into account your bass management settings and the bass your main speakers play in bass reproduction. It is a little more work, but I think it is much better way to calibrate your sub.

    Take a look at Gary's first post. Obviously he can explain this better than any of us can.
     

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