how to use the spl

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steven Hallett, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. Steven Hallett

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    here in Edmonton the spl meter at radio shack is digital,whatis the right way to set the meter and the proper way way to measure or calabrate my onkyo 898 set up with 7.1 surround
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Steven,

    You might get some varied opinions on this issue, but:

    The settings should be as instructed in the test tones of your disc (usually Slow Response is better, C weighting [although weighting may depend on the tones]).

    Usually the best way is to put it on a tripod (it has a handy jack in the back), place it in the center of the listening area (try to find the best middle position if you have multiple seats).

    Put the meter about ear level (the level your ears are at when seated) and point it towards the front center of the room- usually angled upwards toward the top corner of the room (where the ceiling meets the front wall).

    -Vince
     
  3. Brad Craig

    Brad Craig Stunt Coordinator

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    Just a quick confirmation question...

    The subwoofer pink noise decibal should equal in decibals to the other speakers right???
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  5. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    ok, vince, DD LFE is max. Now what about DTS LFE? My range is -10 to +10.

    tks, bill
     
  6. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  7. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    The S&V HT Tune-Up disk offers DTS encoded audio test tracks, which I find because of DD's dialog normalization attenuation code, plays back approx. 4dB higher on my SPL meter and Yamaha receiver. Ok, that tells me my reference calibration for DTS soundtracks.
    Now, for LFE we've learned that DD code automatically adds a 10dB boost on playback. No problem.
    But DTS is of cse a different proprietary modality. I said in another post on this forum that this is the first time I've heard that DTS LFE level ought to be boosted at the AVR setup when setting reference
    Yamaha default comes at 0, FWIW. I dont think this is gospel, however.
    As for setting by ear, as you suggest with a dual encoded soundtrack, well you know how this can get out of hand -- the wow factor kicks and before we know it we are at the big-boom LFE level because it's more "dramatic."
    I am not beating this horse as a hardcore objectivist, and you may well shrug and still conclude to set the DTS LFE level that "sounds good to your ears in your own room."
    edit-- ok now I see yr posting on that thread in Speakers, and will start to digest it...thks
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    And certainly I wouldn't argue with what you hear. If you're looking to have correct playback levels, as intended, then the info I have provided will assist. If you would like to "season to taste" beyond the recipe, certainly that is a big option for HT!
    -V
     
  9. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    vince, I am not making an objection, merely trying to see where to set my DTS LFS level. In this thread in
    Speakers Forum we conclude per Greg and your affirmation, that DTS LFE should be set to max or +10 in most receivers.
    Now I'll listen for more oomph on DTS since I've been at 0 level all this time!
     
  10. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  11. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    alrighty, you've given me a fun project.
    Unfortunately, the AVIA/Ovation disks don't provide LFE tests per se, just SUB bass tones. So I'll pop some DVDs in.
    Dern, I just mail/loaned The Fast and the Furious, but I'll try U-571 & Gladiator in DTS[​IMG]
     
  12. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Bill,
    Avoid U-517... the LFE on DTS is off on that one.
    [​IMG]
    -Vince
     
  13. Steven Hallett

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    ok folks I just spent 89.99 plus tax (can.) on spl meter. i set it at c weight and at range of 80. then i tested my speaker tones WAS I EVER OUT .as i said i had set up my 7.1 thur my onkyo 898 by ear the front were out by 6db center backed off by 7db and 4 rears were all set way to high. then i played Gladiator in 6.1 dts es the first battle was great it all just blended so well.I have ordered on line the avia disk and will recalabrate thur the dvd and will post what happens. PS: THIS IS FUN,FUN FUN forgot i set the levels to 75 is this correct.
     
  14. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    steven, welcome back to your own thread we took over!

    Yes, 75dB is reference for most people.

    Make a penciled note of yr rcvr spkr setup numbers (e.g. Center +2.5, Subwoofer -12 or whatever) and where your rcvr's master volume ended up at reference if this applies to your rig and isn't 00.

    Of course, these will change with the test disk, but a record of before/after can be illuminating.
     
  15. Steven Hallett

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    Bill what do you mean -where the master volum ended up
     
  16. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    As I get it, there are two basic ways to calibrate spkrs from the AVR, receiver, pre/processor depending on the manufacturer and the style of volume or master gain control.
    I use a Yamaha; you an ONKYO.
    In method above, I set up my SPL on a tripod at the listening position, propped on the cushions. One can set for 70 and read "up" 5 dB for 75 or at 80 and read 5dB "backward." This for analog; don't have your digital.
    Now, I prefer my speaker setup settings to be in the middle of their full minus to plus ranges so I'll always have adjustment wiggle room.
    So I send the first test tone to the left speaker and then turn up the master volume with the remote until I read 75dB. On my AVR volume scale, this turns out to be -26 where 00 is the highest and -99 is the bottom. Then I match the left spkr maybe using the L/R Balance slider; likewise the center, rears and sub are set to 75dB, whatever it takes using the remote setup levels.
    The other method (that I know only circumstantially) is setting the AVR's volume to "00" at the outset, then as test tones are played, using the remote adjust up or down (plus or minus) until getting the 75dB reading.
    In this method for DVDS your amp's TOP VOLUME knob position is as high as you can raise it. But very few listen at full reference at home -- too loud -- more like -10 or -15 below.
    DVD soundtracks are the most dynamic audio range material we use: that's why we approach a receiver's maximum volume. On the other hand, CD music reaches output limits much sooner, so -40 on my receiver is pretty loud.
    sure hope I am on track here...lemme know
    EDIT Ok, I just looked at the Onkyo 898 manual online. Man, this is electronically advanced. So just follow its 0dB methodolgy and you will be all right.
     
  17. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    Vince,

    Over in the speaker/sub forum you posted a lengthy msg which got into the LFE pad settings. I just took the time to reread that thread.. and then came to the basic forum and found this thread that Bill referenced.

    I now understand what LFE pad is. My Onkyo 989 calls it LFE Level Setup. I'd never messed with it before and had just left it at the default settings of 0 for both DD and DTS. I was confusing LFE pad with the channel trim controls. But rereading your msg helped me understand the difference between "pad" and the "trim" controls.

    On my 989, my LFE pad can only be cut from 0 to -10 dB in 1 dB increments to off (- infinity). I find it interesting that Bill's Yammie has a -10 to +10 range on the DTS setting. I hope he comes back here and gives us an update on the proper setting. (I'm still puzzling over how you'd know what the proper setting would be with the -10 to 10 range and the default being 0).
     
  18. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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  19. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    I've been stockpiling references to bass management for some time. These include:

    Brian Florian @ Secrets and AVS postings

    Dolby Labs online guides

    Guy Kuos' sporadic postings on the net

    And of course, Vince Maskeeper's responses and mini-tutorials on HTF more recently.

    I believe there's no doubt that the Dolby Digital/THX "coding" standard for DD LFE imposes a +10dB playback boost for our subwoofers. In response, that's why consumer AVR makers have incorporated this automatically.

    The wiggleroom is that our amp's offer us a RANGE, which can be confusing "choices" to account for personal tastes.

    Then we get into these newbie how-do-I-set discussions and tend to fall into ABSOLUTES, which unfortunatly dont account for different gear, different rooms and different listening tastes.

    Vince is correct then that DD LFE ought to be the "highest." On my 2000-vintage Yamaha, the optional range is -10 to 0. The 0 is the highest and that's where I leave it.

    It is the DTS LFE standard that I recently was questioning.

    For some reason, my Yamaha offers a -10 to +10 range; it comes defaulted to 0, but that doesn't mean anything, I mean it may not be automatically correct.

    Here's what Guy Kuo says in one of his tipsheets:

     

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