How important is it to calibrate your sub to reference?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AaronNWilson, Oct 21, 2001.

  1. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    I just picked up a digital spl meter over the weekend and I was calibrating my levels via the 3801 pink noise. However since I have sub set to no since I am using an external XO I guess it doesnt send out any pink noise for the LFE channel [​IMG].
    Well I found out that when I ran the pink noise at the 00 level my Klipsch RF3s seemed to be around the 95 dB range. I knew these speakers were efficent but boy they can sure pound the notes out.
    Anyways I have all of my channels calibrated to 95 dB at 00 level. However the only way I could test the LFE level was by popping in the fight club dvd which showed the LFE setting to be at 100 dB at 00 (its a servo 15). Then I checked the DVD levels for the other channels and it was outputting around 88 dB at 00 level wheras the 3801 pink noise was putting out 95 dB at 00.
    So now basically Im wondering how important it is to have the sub set to the 85 dB setting?
    I tried putting the LFE setting down to the -10dB level but the sound just didnt have the authority that I have become accustomed to over the last few weeks with using the servo 15.
    I guess the DVD pink noise was the most accurate since that is the medium I usually am watching, but this means even with the LFE at -10 I am still having the LFE calibrated to 90 dB at 00 whenever the specs call for 85 dB right?
    What should I do about this?
    Aaron
     
  2. Bobby T

    Bobby T Supporting Actor

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    I'm no expert, but I would set the sub to reference level. Then raise it from there until it meets your personal preference. Remember that you are the one listening to it.
    ------------------
    What are we going to do tomorrow night Brain?
    The same thing we do every night Pinky, try to take over the world!
    Pinky and the Brain
     
  3. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    Aren't you supposed to be using 75dB with the Denon calibration tones?
    TV
     
  4. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    Yeah tom but that doesnt really matter to me, cause at least now I know that -20 is at the 75 dB level. At least now I have all of the channels producing 95 dB.
    Since the test tones on the fight club dvd were 7 dB higher than the test tones on the 3801 I will listen at -13. While watching the morpheus vs neo fight the spl meter was showing around 70 - 75 dB whenever they were speaking at a normal volume, and whenever morpheus landed on one knee breaking the floor the SPL meter showed a peak at 105 dB. I guess these levels are right on the money then.
    I was quite surprised to see the kinda decibels I was getting as I didn't think I was getting as much as that. I currently have the servo 15 set to 40% volume on the X30 crossover and that seems to have ample bass for now.
    I think that maybe next year I will buy another servo 15 because I like the bass to be perfectly blended with the mains, yet still be able to have that slam effect in the critical points of the movie.
    This servo really does crank out the decibels it is quite unbelievable. While running a frequency sweep from 15hz to 80hz with the volume control set at 00 (this is now seen to be about +13dB over reference) and with the volume set to 40% on the X30 I was getting 119 dB about 2 feet from the servo. This is quite impressive regarding I am only running the sub at 40% volume.
    I am currently having the bass produced by the RF3s and the servo 15 with the sub being XOvered from the mains simply because of the fact the bass blends so smoothly this way.
    Next on the list of upgrades is a CRT projector, some leather recliners and a much better XO than the X30 which will allow me to add another subwoofer for the rear channels (the phantom menace clearly demonstrated the need for bass in the surround channels).
    Aaron
    [Edited last by AaronNWilson on October 21, 2001 at 07:09 PM]
     
  5. Luis Gabriel Gerena

    Luis Gabriel Gerena Second Unit

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    In my case I change the sub's setting based on each DVD since it can handle each dvd differently. I use AVIA as a base for the others speakers and then fine tune for each dvd. Already have a big database of setting for my dvds...a pain everytime I upgrade but the best way to experience each movie as good as possible.
     
  6. Sean Conklin

    Sean Conklin Screenwriter

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    I set my speakers at 75dB and sub at 78dB which is 0 on my receiver, and I adjust my sub(with receiver SW volume) to suit different listening situations.
    For example the movie U-571(and a few others) I bring it down a little, for Pro-Logic stuff I usually bring it up a little. And music is usually fine at 0.
    ------------------
    Sean
    "Doing the Bull Dance..Feelin' the flow.....Workin' it..Workin' it."
     

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