Denon 3801 test tones?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chriss M, Dec 19, 2001.

  1. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    I just picked up a radio shack spl meter and im trying to calibrate my system using the built-in test tones with the 3801. I'll pick up the Avia disc later on but for now this is all i have. In the manual, it says to calibrate the tones to 75db, but they seem to be alot closer to 85db than 75. In order to get 75db's i have to set my 2 fronts to -9db and my center to -7db. 85db's is +1 on the 2 fronts and +2 on the center. Which way should i set it ? Or should i just wait until i can get the Avia disc?
    Im working with a Denon 3801, 2 Paradigm Monitor 3's, a Paradigm CC-370 center, and 2 panasonic AFC280 satellites.
    This is my first time doing this so i;m pretty clueless [​IMG] Any advice would be great [​IMG]
     
  2. Henry Carmona

    Henry Carmona Screenwriter

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    hi Chriss, and welcome.
    Im sorry no ones chimed in to help, actually im quit surprised.
    i dont have an SPL meter, so i cant help, but i wanted to bump this thread up in hopes of getting somones attention.
     
  3. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Yes I had the same problem.

    I think on some of the 3801's the test tones are miss calibrated.

    Use a test disc even if you use one of the THX optimode,you can find on various DVDs, you're gonna be closer to the true spl.
     
  4. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    yup this thread fell pretty quickly [​IMG] thanks for the the replies though, i'm going to try to pick up the Avia disc today. I'm still curious about the internal test tones though. Is it normal that they are that far off?
     
  5. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    I figured someone else would post, but I guess not, so I will answer.

    Yes, this is normal. It totally depends on your speaker sensitivity and room response. If you have efficient speakers, in a smaller room, then it will not take much power to get the required 75 db from the internal test tones on the Denon 3801. I had the 3801 (and now have the 3802) matched with really efficient Klipsch Reference speakers. The lowest rating is 94 db for my surrounds. My mains are 96 and my center is 97. As you can see, it only takes a few watts of power for me to reach reference level.

    The Denon test tones are meant to be calibrated to 75 db with the volume at 0. This is so that you have an easy reference mark (0 volume setting) and any other volume setting is in reference to that. So if you calibrate like this, and listen at -10, you are watching at 10 db below reference. Avia is designed to be calibrated to 85 db, at the same volume setting. So even using Avia, your speaker level settings should be the same at a volume setting of 0.

    I have my system calibrated to 75db at volume 0 with internal test tones, and my settings are like -3 and -4. I may have a larger room than you, or you may be sitting closer to your speakers. All of this has an effect on your level settings - that's why an SPL meter is critical - so you know you are calibrating to the correct levels.

    You could, if you wanted to, just leave your level settings at 0, and then turning up your volume until the front left speaker came to 75db. This would most likely be at -9 on your volume control (using your -9 speaker setting at 0 as a guide). Then you could go around and adjust all of your speaker levels at this volume control. But why? The Denon adjusts its max volume to counteract any level settings. The volume control will go up to +18, so you can turn it up past 0 if you ever need to. But I can tell you that you most likely won't. That is really loud already. Some people think you are losing headroom - you really aren't, as your max volume would now be at -9, instead of 0, and turning the volume to 0 in this situation would be like turning it to +9 when properly calibrated. I resisted doing it correctly, too, but then gave in and finally did it the "right" way. I have to say it is much easier now, as I can just turn my volume to -15 and know that I am at 15 db below reference. Before I would have to turn it to like -24 and calculate in my head how far below reference I was. Denon does it this way to make it easier to find a good volume setting for movies. If you want to crank it, you know that you can go to -10, and you are 10 db below ref.

    I am not sure about this whole issue with 3801 test tones being incorrect. My 3801 was correct, and my 3802 is correct. When calibrated with internal test tones, at a 0 volume setting, I get 75 db. If I pop in Avia, and leave everything as is, I get 85 db. That is dead on. Try it this way and let us know the results.

    I hope this helps!

    Bryan
     
  6. Chriss M

    Chriss M Second Unit

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    Thanks for such a detailed response Bryan, it was very helpful! I couldnt find the Avia disc locally, so i ordered it and it should arrive on Monday. I'll definitely post the results here. Thanks again [​IMG]
     
  7. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    Speaker efficiency don't have much to do with this at all,as you need only a few watts to reproduce the tones on any speakers.Furthermore I still have my old Denon 3600 and it's calibrated levels almost matching with my 3801 when used the "external test tones[test discs like Avia],the level was also very close when I used the internal signal on the 3600,but it was grossly different when running the 3801's signal.This tells me that the 3801's test tones a miss calibrated by a big margin[@9db on channels],all though it may only present on a few products,nonetheless I've heard people mentioning this before,so I'm not the only one for sure,other's may work good like Bryan's.

    In any case if you use discs like Avia,then you should be fine.
     
  8. Andrew_B

    Andrew_B Stunt Coordinator

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    My 3802 test tones did not match level with the Avia tones. I went with the Avia calibration and it sounds great.
     
  9. Francois L

    Francois L Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a Denon 3801 and the sub calibration level is

    10 dB lower on it than on the AVIA dvd. I used the AVIA

    and get perfect results.
     
  10. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

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    The important thing is to match levels in the 5 channels as closely as possible, and set the subwoofer level to match. The relative number on the receiver calibration screen is not really important.

    Some people like to set their receivers so that when 0 dB is indicated on the display, the system level is 85 dB, which is the academy reference level. If you want to do this, fine, go for it.
     
  11. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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