Couldn't get an SPL meter...but will this work?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Justin Ward, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    My high school teacher lent me a decibelmeter. It seems to be very sensitive though, even talking lightly puts it over 70 dB. Anyway, I don't think this will work for getting reference level but will it work well enough for matching the speaker volumes? Tomorrow I am getting my Paradigm Titans and I want to volume match them to my current Kenwood center and surround speakers. I figure even it if it is not really precise, it is probably closer that the result I get with my ears. Since I am not calibrating to reference level will I need a disc(I have Pearl Harbour with the THX optimode) or will the reciever test tones suffice? Thank You
     
  2. Will Orth

    Will Orth Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I use my ears as I have been doing so for many years, and RTA REAL-TIME ANILIZER works best but costs alot!

    Best thing is get a few buddies over and listen to your set-up and do a comprimise to what sounds best.

    Hope that helps..

    Will
     
  3. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Justin,

    This "sounds" like a good experiment. See if you can prop the meter on a box (a big plastic milk carton box with the open holes wud be perfect, maybe on a cushion, too, to approximate one's ear level) in your listening seat. If it has scales to dial, set it for the 70 to 80dB range.

    (The following may not apply, but if your meter has a "Weighting" adjustment, select "C." If it has a Response adjustment for fast/slow, set it for "slow." This helps keep the needle from bouncing so quickly).

    By all means use the receiver's test tones. Read the manual twice.

    Use the Left Main as your benchmark. While playing that tone, turn the receiver volume until you see the meter register 75dB as close as you can get. Take the average in the middle if you need to.

    If this works for your set-up, then use the receiver's remote to access the Speaker Set-Up and the individual Center, Right Main, RS and LS to click the adjustment plus or minus as the tone plays for that speaker, and calibrate the speaker output to 75dB.

    Write down all these settings, including where the rcvr VOLUME control ended up on its scale, and save the paper.

    Level setting a sub is another game.

    THX Optimode can work but the setting will apply to that disk only. It wud be informative to try, and compare with the first settings you wrote down.

    Hope this works. Let us know.

    bill
     
  4. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    If I use the THX Optimode on Pearl Harbor, what dB to I calibrate it to? I know that Avia uses 85dB and S and V uses 75dB.
     
  5. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    One more question, the Technics speakers I have as fronts for now are rated for 91 db/w/m and the Kenwoods are rated for 88db/w/m . The center and the fronts are at nearly identical distances from my ears but I have to turn down the center speaker 2 dB to get the same dB as the fronts. Is this normal? Is it because the center channel closer to ear level?
     
  6. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Just calibrated the speakers. With the Technics speakers reference level is at -18dB. Does that sound right?
     
  7. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Justin,

    That -18dB volume position is exactly what the Technics takes to reproduce your 75-85dB calibration. It's an arbitrary figure. It's YOUR reference level.

    Other Technics users with other speakers will find somewhat different levels.

    You are correct about the center speaker. If it were placed 2 feet behind the plane of the fronts as Dolby recommends, you wud find you'd probably have to calibrate it a little louder.
     
  8. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Well I just calibrated my new Titans! I had to lower the volume for them because they are almost exactly ear level, therefore seemed louder than the Technics floorstanders. Now, my ref level is only -22dB. I love my new Titans.
     
  9. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Great. I had thot that Technics was just amp, not yr spkrs. What amp are you using?
     
  10. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    Just an entry level Pioneer. model VSX-D510.
     

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