how do i tweak my HT?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jon K, Aug 31, 2001.

  1. Jon K

    Jon K Auditioning

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    hey everyone,
    i don't post often (i think my old posts got deleted when they switched forum software) but i come here everday and read...but i have gotten a lot of info from you guys...
    Phil Iturralde: the guy that always recommends the JBL NSP1, i have read your page and i bought that set recently from J and R for $300 shipped... [​IMG]
    so what do i need to do for my HT in terms of tweaking? i'm not too familiar with what you guys mean by setting the mains, center and rears to "small" and stuff like that...i have the speakers set up and hardware wise i'm pretty much set...i just need to get a digital coax cable from the DVD to the receiver...is that special cable or will a regular RCA cable work?
    here's my components:
    TV: Toshiba 36A60
    Speakers: JBL NSP1
    Sub: Sony SAW-M40
    DVD: Pioneer DV-525
    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V496
    [Edited last by Jon K on August 31, 2001 at 02:47 AM]
     
  2. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    I have a Monster cable designated for coax audio, does a good job. Had some time off this week, so i decided to rearrage my AV rack to accomodate the new Monster HTS-2500 Power Center. This lead to rearranging my L/R/C speakers to the poit where there is now distinction but not a gap. Of course, now I have to recalibrate the sub. I love this stuff [​IMG]
     
  3. Barry_B_B

    Barry_B_B Second Unit

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    Did a double-take, realised how similar our setups are.
    quote:
    __________________________________________________ __________here's my components:
    TV: Toshiba 36A60
    Speakers: JBL NSP1
    Sub: Sony SAW-M40
    DVD: Pioneer DV-525
    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V496
    __________________________________________________ __________
    Mine:
    TV: RCA 48" rear proj.
    Speakers: KLH L/C/R (replacing with Polk or Klipsch or HTD), Atlantic Technology surrounds
    Sub: same
    DVD: same
    Receiver: Yamaha HTR-5140 (close)
    Sure you're not from Jersey? [​IMG]
     
  4. Jeffrey Forner

    Jeffrey Forner Screenwriter

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    Tweaking can be done in an almost infinate number of ways and can involve adjustments to the home theater system itself or even to the room in which it's placed. For you though, I'll stick to the basics.
    The best place to begin is to get a calibration DVD such as Video Essentials (VE) or the Avia Guide to Home Theater. I own Avia myself and find it to be much easier to use than VE. These DVDs contain signals and test patterns for your TV and your sound system. The video patterns will help you determine what are the best settings for your basic adjustments such as Color, Tint, Brightness, Sharpness, etc., so you can achieve a more film-like image.
    The audio signals will allow you to set the output level of each speaker so that they all operate at the same volume in the "sweet spot" or the best spot in your home theater. However, to do that, you will also need another tool: the Sound Pressure Level (SPL) Meter from Radio Shack. You can pick up an analog model for around $30 to $40. The calibration DVDs should provide a good explanation of how to use it effectively.
    Another way to tweak your system is to play around with the placement of your speakers and subwoofer. Where you put them can greatly impact the quality of the sound. The surround speakers should be placed behind you or two the side, preferably slightly above you when you're sitting down. The tweater on the center speaker should be pointing at your face in the sweet spot. Finally, the front speakers should be at eye level when you're sitting down and pulled out in front of the TV.
    That should be enough to get you started. Keep cruising around this forum for plenty of other tweaking ideas!
    Oh and as for the Big and Small speaker thing, let me say this: It's an adjustment you should be able to make on your receiver. You see, some speakers can produce a lot of deep bass. Others, like your JBLs will trail off below a certain point. When you change the setting to Small on your receiver, the bass for those speakers gets redirected into your subwoofer, which is better able to handle lower frequency sounds. However, if you don't have a sub, set your speakers to Large, so that whatever bass you can get out of your JBL bookshelves doesn't get lost.
    ------------------
    -J.Fo
    "And you can tell Rolling Stone magazine that my last words were... 'I'm on drugs!'"
     
  5. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    Agreed and get some 12 guage cable from either Rat Shack or Home Depot.
     
  6. Jon K

    Jon K Auditioning

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    cool, thanks for all the replies so far...
    my dad has 200 feet of 16gauge speaker wire he doesn't need anymore...is that ok to use? i don't really feel like shelling out another $75 or so...the rears might need about 30 feet and the fronts and center will probably only use 10 feet max each...
    where do i get the Avia or Video Essentials disc? thanks again everyone...
     
  7. JasonKrol

    JasonKrol Supporting Actor

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  8. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Jon, welcome to the wonderful world of home theater!
    You can find 'VE' or 'Avia' at just about any place where they have a good selection of dvd's. You might have some trouble finding 'Avia' at 'Best Buy', I don't know why but they never seemed to carry it, just 'VE'. Another great tip for your sound meter when you get one, pick up a camera tri-pod if you don't already have one, it wll help you get more accurate readings from your speakers.
    Here's a simple rundown on how to use a sound meter...
    Mount the meter on the tri-pod and place the tri-pod right at your normal listening position with the meter adjusted to your ear level and pointed straight up at the ceiling. Turn on the meter, and set it to the 'C Weighting' position, you'll see what I mean when you get the meter, and set the responce to the 'Slow' position. Pop in 'VE' or 'Avia' and follow the instructions on setting your speaker levels. As the test tone sounds from your two fronts, turn up the volume on your reciever until the meter reads at least 80 dbs (get the digital sound meter, it's easier to read), then go on to the next set of tones for your center, and rear speakers and set all of them to 80 dbs as well.
    Now all of your speakers should play at the same loudness levels, so one doesn't overpower the other. Now, to set your subwoofer level is a bit trickier. Go to the section of the disc that covers setting up your sub, now, on your reciever set the LFE level to 0dbs, and on the back of your sub, turn the 'Low pass frequency' level all the way up, and your 'Level control' all the way down. Turning your 'Low pass' control all the way up ensures that your sub will be getting all of the available low end present on a soundtrack. Play the test tone from 'VE' or 'Avia' for your sub, and on the back of your sub, keep turning your 'Level Control' up until it reads 80dbs on the meter just like your other speakers. Now some people like to have thier subs just a couple of dbs higher than the other speaker just to give it a little extra kick, that's up to you, but if you do this don't exceed 83dbs if your other speakers are set to 80dbs, or you risk hearing the sub too much.
    Also, I would recommend that you set your speakers to 'small' on your reciever, this way your main speakers will be getting nice clean highs and mid freqencys and they won't be burdend with delivering the low end, your sub will do that.
    Well, I wish you luck on this venture, and I hope you keep us updated on your progress! Take care.
    ------------------
    So madly in love with Estella Warren!
     
  9. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Jason Krol, trust me you'll NEED that sound meter! I can't stress enough the importance of having one at your disposal, it's been absolutly invaluable to me! Besides 'Avia' and 'VE' are useless without one, it's impossible to accuratly set your speaker levels by the naked ear. It's not about being "anal" at all, it's about getting a nessesary tool for accuratly setting up, and maximizing your system.
    Tell him guys.
    ------------------
    So madly in love with Estella Warren!
     
  10. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    I suggest you go ahead and use your dad's 16 guage wire. Good enough (but just barely).
     
  11. Mike-H

    Mike-H Agent

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  12. SkiingNinja

    SkiingNinja Second Unit

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    Just another thing worth a mention:
    The RatShack SPL meter is inaccurate at lower freqencies. Most ppl say to add a few dB's at 20Hz. This page: http://members.tripod.com/~terrycthe...um/page11.html
    says 7.5dB's....haven't checked how accureate that is, but still, raise it a few in the really low frequencies...can't hurt [​IMG]
    Sean
     

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