Confusion on SPL calibration

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jake T, Oct 23, 2001.

  1. Jake T

    Jake T Stunt Coordinator

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    I just picked up the Radio Shack anaolog SPL meter.
    My question if - if I do most of my movie watching with the volume set at 50 (Onkyo TXDS696), is this the volume I should have the receiver set to when calibrating?
    Thanks for any help.
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    Jake T
    --"The Things You Do In Life Echo In Eternity"
     
  2. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Well, just set the SPL meter on C weighted SLOW and get the test tones going with the receiver. Then turn the receiver up to moderate level and click the DB settings on the SPL meter to 70db or 60db,,,or whichever one makes the needle on the meter STAY in the meter box. After you get that, adjust the center and rears to match the mains. It is not rocket science so don't worry about the level so much just as long as you get all 5 channels reading out the same on the meter you will be fine.
     
  3. Jake T

    Jake T Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Charles,
    I just did it and was very surprised to see how off I was doing it just by ear.
    [​IMG]
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    Jake T
    --"The Things You Do In Life Echo In Eternity"
     
  4. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    One important note, Jake...
    I have an Onkyo 595, and the internal test tone for the subwoofer is 10db too low in comparison to an actual calibration disc. I can't say for sure if that's the case on the 696 model, but if it sounds like sub output is lacking, calibrate all your speakers to 75db and then the sub to 85db (or 70 and 80, etc.). This ought to get you pretty close to what a calibration disc would give you.
    But I still recommend you pick up a calibration disc such as Video Essentials or The Avia Guide To Home Theater to get the most out of your system. Internal test tones are often slightly wrong (for instance, on my 595, the center tone is -1db and the surrounds are both -2db), and the only way to properly calibrate your system is with a disc so that the signal path is taken into account. Both discs have tests for speaker and subwoofer phase, crossover tweaking, video calibration, etc. and are invaluable tools for getting the most out of your system.
     
  5. Jake T

    Jake T Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Jeremy. I did use Avia
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    Jake T
    --"The Things You Do In Life Echo In Eternity"
    [Edited last by Jake T on October 23, 2001 at 04:38 PM]
     
  6. TomH

    TomH Second Unit

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    Where can I purchase Video Essentials or Avia?
    Which is better?
    Thanks
    Tom
     
  7. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Calibrate the subwoofer identically to the other speakers, otherwise you end up TOO HIGH.
    The test tones are designed so that all speakers calibrate to identical SPLs (including the subwoofer). They take into account that the LFE channel has a +10dB pad.
    Regards,
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    John Kotches
    Contributing Writer
    Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity
     
  8. Jake T

    Jake T Stunt Coordinator

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    Tom,
    you can find either online or at most A/V B&M's.
    I don't think I'm qualified to tell you which is better, but do a search here and I'm sure ther are threads on that debate.
    [​IMG]
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    Jake T
    --"The Things You Do In Life Echo In Eternity"
     
  9. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    John... I wasn't saying that a calibration disc would be wrong. Obviously with a calibration disc, you want to set all channels to the same level, since they already take into account the LFE padding. Jake's initial post made no mention of a calibration disc, so I was just letting him know that the internal test tones of the 696 may be wrong.
    When I first got my 595, I used the internal test tones to get a quick calibration. On my SPL meter, I set all channels to 75db, including the subwoofer.
    Later that evening, I popped in Avia to do a proper calibration. I turned master volume up until my left main was at 75db. When I played the subwoofer tone on Avia, the SPL meter read 65db.
    So like I said... the internal test tone for the sub is off by 10db from the results you would get using a calibration disc. Jake is using VE and not the internal tones, so the point is moot.
     
  10. Jake T

    Jake T Stunt Coordinator

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    After reading through this, I think I may have calibrated wrong. Should I:
    set my left front speaker adjustment to 0 and then turn the volume up to what I usually listen at(50) and then calibrate all the other speaker around that? This with the SPL dial at 70. or should the dial be set at 50? [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Or should I calibrate my system at a listening level higher(70) than what I would probably listen at?
    Wow. I never knew this stuff would confuse me so much!
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    Jake T
    --"The Things You Do In Life Echo In Eternity"
     

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