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Question about initial setup of surround sound system?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by George_M, Jul 27, 2001.

  1. George_M

    George_M Auditioning

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    When doing the initial set up and adjusting speaker output levels, is it best to use a sound level meter to match all 5 speakers? Does it make that much of a difference with the meter as opposed to simply adjusting them by ear?
     
  2. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    The human ear just isn't accurate/sensitive enough for you to get each speaker matched exactly. In short, YES you need to do it with an SPL meter. Also, test tones on receivers are rarely anywhere close to the levels produced by an actual source, so you need to get a DVD with test tones such as Avia or Video Essentials.
     
  3. George_M

    George_M Auditioning

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    Thanks. Very helpful. Where do you get an AVIA DVD?
     
  4. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    Many online DVD sellers will carry it. The full title is "The Avia Guide To Home Theater." I know that Polk Audio's site {www.polkaudio.com) sells it for about $40, which is about the norm. I know that seems pricey, but trust me... You won't regret it. Avia also has test patterns and color filters for setting your television's color, black level, white level, sharpness, etc. And if you're just now getting into home theater, Avia is a great straight-forward primer on how all this stuff works and the best way to set it up.
    You're also going to want to go to your local Radio Shack (or their website if you don't have one near you) and get the analog Sound Pressure Level meter (~$35). Again, money well spent.
     
  5. JerryHatchett

    JerryHatchett Stunt Coordinator

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    Does it make that much of a difference with the meter as opposed to simply adjusting them by ear?
    Uh, lemme see...
    YES! YES! YES!
    I can't overstate how much difference it made in my system, George. When I put my new 65H80 and SVS in a week or so ago, I decided to go ahead and calibrate my system with an SPL meter, even though I didn't really expect much of a difference. WRONG. (The SVS did make a difference, but that's not the difference I'm talking about here.) It sounds like a totally different system and I'm not exaggerating. Whatever you do, please go get the SPL meter and match those levels up.
     
  6. George_M

    George_M Auditioning

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    Thanks for all the technical advice. This site is great. When I bought my theater system (AVR500 with a full set of polk speakers) no one told me how to set it up to get optimal performance and sound.
     

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