I'm baffled on how to calibrate subwoofer with SPL meter. Please help!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Stephens, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. Scott Stephens

    Scott Stephens Stunt Coordinator

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    I just got an analog SPL meter and I think I set up my speakers (excluding the sub) correctly. Here is what I did:

    1. Set the volume level on my Denon 3802 to 0.

    2. Set the SPL meter to "C" weighting, "Slow" response, and the dB level to 70 (per Video Essentials' instructions).

    3. I then calibrated all my speakers (L/R front, center, L/R/Back surrounds) to +75 db using VE's test tones. Is this correct? I ask this because I have heard some talk on this forum about calibrating the speakers to +85 dB. Also, what should the reciever's crossover be set to? I've presently got it set at 100 Hz, but several people on the Forum recommend 80 Hz. Any ideas?

    OK, hopefully I'm up to speed (if not, let me know). Now on to my major hang up. I can't for the life of me make sense of any instructions I have found to calibrate my subwoofer.

    Is there a specific dB level the sub needs to be calibrated to, or is there a RANGE of frequencies? When the test tone for the sub starts, the SPL meter's needle fluctuates. So, I'm assuming there is a RANGE rather than a SPECIFIC frequency (but I don't know what this should be) to which the sub should be calibrated.

    Also, in calibrating my sub, what should the settings on the sub itself be? I have a Paradigm PW-2200, and right now I've got the crossover set at its highest level (120 Hz I think). But what should the volume level of the sub be set at for calibration?

    Sorry for the massive amounts of questions, but I really need some help on this...so anyone's input would be much appreciated. Thanks...
     
  2. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    I know that for Video Essentials you use 75, and for Avia you use 85. The crossover depends on what kind of speakers you have and how low they can go. You should make sure all of your speakers are set to "small" in the receiver, so all the bass is diverted to your sub. There is also a similar thread that has just started as well, with some answers you might find useful...
    Frequency on sub test tone
     
  3. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Scott,

    The lower you set your crossover frequency, the less directional bass becomes, which means it is more difficult to localize the subwoofer.

    I have had options to crossover above 80Hz, but invariably I end up going back to 80Hz.

    If your speakers are good to -3dB @ 80Hz or even lower, I'd suggest 80Hz as your crossover frequency.

    Also, make sure the crossover in the subwoofer is either disabled, or the crossover is set to its highest possible value to avoid cascading crossovers, which will give you a funky response.

    Regards,
     
  4. Jami Bradley

    Jami Bradley Auditioning

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  5. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    FYI: Read over my Calibration Techniques using Video Essentials.
    **NOTE: Because my website is 'free', hosted by GeoCities, if too many HT enthusiasts visit, GeoCities will shut it down for an hour or so because it exceeded the specified 'freebie' Data Transfer Rate. Sorry about that, just bookmark it and visit my site an hour later or when everyone has gone to bed!
    Phil
     
  6. BrianWoerndle

    BrianWoerndle Supporting Actor

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    You have everything correct.

    As far as the sub setting, I turn the subwoofer level i the receiver down a little(-3 to -5). Then use the sub's volume control to get a reading of about 75db. The reason to set the subwoofer level down some is that if you send too strong of a signal to the sub, it might have distortion in it. Then the sub amplifies that distortion. Keeping it down generally is a cleaner signal, which is what you want to amplify.
     

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