Avia versus Receiver Test Tones

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Chase_Smith, May 17, 2004.

  1. Chase_Smith

    Chase_Smith Auditioning

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    Hello. I have Sound and Vision's calibration DVD, as well as Explore Our World from Dolby.

    Sound and Vision's test tones are basically the same as Avia's, and Dolby's disc uses pink noise, which is basically the same as what is output by my receiver.

    So, the $64,000 question is; Which test tones are more accurate?

    I'm getting different readings when calibrating both discs to reference...

    Anyone know?
     
  2. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    This question has always puzzled me as well.

    I've read two different things, and of course, they are conflicting.


    1. You need to calibrate according to your receivers' tones/noise. Your receiver is what "produces the sound" so, use it's test tones as it is the same component that will be reproducing the sound for the movies.

    2. You need to calibrate to your DVD player's tones/noise. The DVD player is what is PROVIDING the sound for the movies. Use it's tones.

    [​IMG]

    I'm curious too, as I'll be setting up my NEW HT gear in about 10 days or so. [​IMG]

    FWIW, I've always used the reciever's pink noise and a Rat Shack db meter to calibrate for sound, and the Avia disc to calibrate my TV. *shrug* Seems to have worked well in the past, but I'm always open to new ideas!
     
  3. Nick Breckon

    Nick Breckon Stunt Coordinator

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    Everything I've ever heard has been to use a disc with test tones, as that is a closer simulation to what you'll be hearing on a DVD. You want the sound to be produced as a DVD's audio track would be, so the audio passing from the player to the receiver and out to the speakers is neccessary.
     
  4. Chase_Smith

    Chase_Smith Auditioning

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    Well, I just did the calibration with the Dolby disc, which basically has the same "noise" as the receiver test tones.

    Needless to say, I found the satellites much too quiet, with the subwoofer much too loud, even when the satellites were set to 75, and the subwoofer to 73db.

    I think I prefer my Sound and Vision disc, which has a different-sounding test tone, it yields much better aural results.

    Anyways, I'd like to find Guy Kuo and ask what makes the Avia test tones so much better than receiver test tones.
     
  5. Mike Keith

    Mike Keith Second Unit

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    Playing a Test Tone disc through your DVD player is the best way I know of, this way you are including the character of the DVD player and cables in the path.
     
  6. Nick Breckon

    Nick Breckon Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, the Avia test tones are 10db undercooked, or softer, compared to standard test tones. You need to calibrate to 85db as opposed to 75db with Avia. That may be accounting for why you find them to be "better sounding".
     
  7. MichaelDDD

    MichaelDDD Supporting Actor

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    Hey...that's right; the Avia DVDs audio is at 75db and DD Ref level is 85db, right? I forgot about that.

    That is a BIG difference when you're sitting there, remotes in hand, db meter on a tripod doing it over and over and over. Pink noise at 85db is deafening, whereas a movie at 85db is a whisper. Funny how that works out, isn't it? [​IMG]
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    The tones are different, and the impact of room acoustics and speaker and system response will affect the measurements. I would err towards the disc, because as in the past, newbies don't even have 5.1 hooked up, and calibrate with the receiver test tones, and not realize until they use a disc that they are only getting stereo from the dvd player, and so it goes....

    So I definitely recommend the disc. I beleive Avia's tones are shaped to minimize speaker response differences, and also to try to minimize the affect of the room, though that is a longer shot.
     
  9. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Using the above SPL's respectively, will result the same Volume Control REF Level (digital readout).

    IMHO - Dolby Labs DD-EX dedicated LFE test tone is by far the easiest way to REF Calibrate the LFE level, so even though I have AVIA, Sound&Vision HT Tuneup, original & digital Video Essentials, Delos DVD Spectacular, I only use Dolby Labs DD-EX test tones for my Audio REF Calibration chores.

    Phil
     
  10. Jack N

    Jack N Agent

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    For what it's worth, the first thing I'd be asking myself is "What do I listen to the most - Music or movies? If my answer is music, then which DVD I use to calibrate with becomes a moot point as I'd calibrate to the receiver's test tones.
     
  11. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    What is there to calibrate with music? You might use some burnt tones to get the sub right, but calibration doesn't quite mean the same thing in this regard...
     
  12. Chase_Smith

    Chase_Smith Auditioning

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    I figured out how to use Avia.

    Basically, you set the subwoofer to the same level as the left front speaker during the subwoofer level test tone, which was at 83db average.

    So, I got the same measurements for Sound and Vision, but on Dolby's disc, the surround test tones are 2db too low, at least by the comparison I did.

    Well, at least I have some cool DD-EX intros.

    :p
     
  13. Jack N

    Jack N Agent

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    "What is there to calibrate with music? You might use some burnt tones to get the sub right, but calibration doesn't quite mean the same thing in this regard... "

    The basic underlying idea behind calibration, regardless of what you listen to the most, is a balance within the system. So I guess I'm not understanding your question, or are you saying that calibration for music isn't as important? Can you clarify please?
     
  14. Cam McFarland

    Cam McFarland Supporting Actor

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    Who in the heck would be dumb enough to
    do this.....? :b
     
  15. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Cam, many people in the past have done this, I've responded to many threads where this was the case. You don't know how many people run the stereo cables to ther receiver, or run composite video thinking they will get hi-def. I can't even count how many threads here and elsewhere people stumble across the forums and wonder why their receiver never says Dolby Digital, and only says Pro-Logic, sometimes after a very very long time of using the system.

    Or they finally get the disc after 6 months and wonder why the rear channels sound in mono, or they arent getting anything out of the rears at all, but yet they still do with the test tones. Using a disc ensures that newbies have the most basic settings right, and these situations don't arise. It certainly is a travesty to spend big big bucks on a system and run everything in basic PL and not even know it.
     
  16. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    JAck:

    I mean with stereo, there is no "reference level" and no need to match the volumes of your mains, assuming you have things set up symettrically (which is a basic necessity for any kind of serious music listening). So a basic 2-channel setup doesn't need any kind of calibration of anything at all, IMO.

    If you add a subwoofer in the mix, then things get tricky in getting that at the right level, and crossed over to blend well with the mains, but this is sort of (but not totally) separate than HT calibration.
     
  17. Bill Blank

    Bill Blank Stunt Coordinator

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    Chris,

    I would think that many people do use a subwoofer when listening to 2-ch music.

    If they then use a dedicated CD player (as opposed to their DVD player) the levels between the sub and mains could vary significantly if they were calibrated using a DVD.

    Another factor that comes into play and that can significantly throw off you system is if you use a universal player for SACD/DVD-A playback and calibrated you system's sound using a DVD with Dolby specs as they treat the LFE channel completely different.

    If one has a processor capable of storing different level settings for different inputs, this should not be an issue. I do not have that luxury, only the ability to tailor my processor's subwoofer level per source. I therefore calibrate using it's internally generated pink noise to achieve 85dB across all channels at the sweet spot. I use a Test CD to match the sub-level for 2-CH and a Test DVD to calibrate for movie playback.

    I wish someone would release a TEST DVD-A/SACD so I could get that level correct.

    Bill
     
  18. Jack N

    Jack N Agent

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    Chris,

    I see what you're saying about calibrating to music when you're using 2-channel mode. I had "assumed" (I know) that you were talking about multi-channel music rather than stereo mode. I forget that there are still people out there who listen to 2-channel.
     
  19. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    [​IMG] There's a way to gain yourself some negative publicity with a statement like that on an audio forum [​IMG].
     
  20. Bill Blank

    Bill Blank Stunt Coordinator

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    YEAH! What's wrong with people listening to music in 2-ch??

    Bill[​IMG]
     

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