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Do You Calibrate Your Sound System?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Dr Griffin, Apr 24, 2016.

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Do You Calibrate Your Sound System

Poll closed Jun 24, 2016.
  1. Yes

    21 vote(s)
    95.5%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    4.5%
  3. I Didn't Know Anything About This

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
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    They may not be perfect and it may not be as good as a actual SPL meter. But I felt that until I can get around to getting an SPL meter the app should help till then. I also downloaded an app called RTA Analyzer which may or may not do a good job but I am going to try it.
     
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  2. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Cinematographer

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    I'd be interested to hear how well the RTA app works.
     
  3. bigshot

    bigshot Cinematographer

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    I've done sound work professionally, so I have some experience. I EQed and balanced levels by ear using the built in parametric equalizer in my AVR using a variety of music, then when I was happy with it, I invited a sound mixer friend over to do tone sweeps to check my work. It turned out that I had EQed by ear about as close as I could get using the limited features of the built in equalizer. The auto EQ in the AVR was completely useless.
     
  4. JohnRice

    JohnRice Executive Producer

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    I use an SPL meter and a calibration disc when I feel ambitious, or a meter and the internal generator when I feel lazy. Then I'll do a little tweeking with the EQ for surround, just to get it to taste. I've done it so many times after equipment upgrades over the last 25 years, it's become almost second nature now. I never use auto calibration, because those always want to make my Thiels sound dead. It may be considered ideal, but if I wanted dead sound, I'd have bought dead sounding speakers.
     
  5. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    Chad Billheimer (Chad B) calibrated my audio and video. On the audio side, he used REW measuring and the Audyssey Pro calibration option on my Denon X3000 receiver. Far better results compared to the regular Audyssey auto-cal.
     
  6. AV_Alexander

    AV_Alexander Extra

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    Quick answer: YYEEESSSS! absolutely!
    quick explanation.. Small tropical acoustic domestic spaces are acoustically very challenging in relation to seating n speaker locations, to attain flat reasonably accurate freq response and also reverb rt60! Yes! DO EQ!!!
    Plan for seats at 1/3, 1/5th , 1/7th, or 1/9th room boundary distance locations, and corresponding 1/6th, 1/10th, 1/14th, or 1/18th speaker locations locations fer best starting point! Then, run auto EQ in your processor! Ideally each location should be ideally RE measured independently w a sound level meter n test tones, or RTA analyzer, independently for tweaking speaker, then seating locations lastly.
    If it otherwise sounds great to you, that's probably all you'll do to it anyway, n just rely on ur room DSP in today's processors or receivers.
    Also, toe in to get all ears hearing unrolled off highs n mids, place rears just behind rows or beside your seats fer dipolars, wide enough mains with multiple drivers fer wide but solid soundstage, at 1/4 height from floor or ceiling locations vertically, and sub's just off center boundaries!
    Small rooms absorb to little bass , n need more diffusion in mids/highs, n large spaces absorb much more bass, n need more mid/hi range abdorbtion.

    Enjoy... And EQ too
     
  7. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
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    I agree Dr Griffin they most likely are not as accurate but they should do a half way decent job when money is tight.
     
  8. LoveHT

    LoveHT Agent

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    Given a choice I would use calibration, then adjust by ear.
    Let me give a quick explanation.
    Based on your viewing/music tastes, calibration may be too broad of a set-up. Meaning... You usually only calibrate with a few selected audio sources; or even just one.

    When I calibrate, I play the averages game. I calibrate from multiple audio sources then I try to average the results.
    Lastly, I tune by ear. As I aged my hearing is also compromised. So a good reference and calibration on my system may not work for you; etc.

    Now for the rant...
    Calibration is either the most overlooked, or over thought out process. It goes from one extreme to the other. I know, I constantly am trying to figure out, what the best approach to setting up my speakers is. Just when I "think" I have it, I start all over again.
    And of course to the non interested HT people, the sound is always fine.

    So give yourself a break, if you don't like it adjust it until you are content. That's why we buy our stuff, so we can play with it!
    Rant is over....I need to adjust my speaker stand 2.3 CM to the left. LOL
     
  9. gadgtfreek

    gadgtfreek Supporting Actor
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    I do, I love XT32 if you follow the rules.

    Most important was speaker/sub choice and placement IMO. Also aiming. Once that is done, I can run XT32's 8 measurements and it turns out well.

    I have an SPL meter from cross spectrum labs which I check levels at the end with a blu-ray that has -30dbfs and -40dbfs tones for speakers and subs. XT32 seems to just about always nail the speaker levels, but subs generally require 5-6db boost.

    It's funny, Audyssey fans fought that concept for years on AVS as set it and forget it, when many of us felt subs were too low. Now the common recommendation is to run audyssey and boost subs 3-5db.
     

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