really silly reference/calibration question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Todd Beachler, Nov 16, 2002.

  1. Todd Beachler

    Todd Beachler Stunt Coordinator

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    With the purchase of my $120 Sony SA-WM40 from my.sony.com (thanks for the heads up!), I decided to calibrate my system this weekend before I watched AOTC. I have a set of Cerwin Vega HT speakers from the early/mid 90s. My receiver is a Sony STR-DE935. After a long friday night of driving around town, I found the Avia disc and purchased a RS SPL meter. I calibrated my system without any problems thanks to a few hours of research on this great forum. A big thanks to Vince Maskeeper!

    So, my question is this: I currently have a piece of masking tape secured to the perimeter around my volume knob. I have then, with a Sharpie, marked reference on this piece of tape. How does everyone mark reference on their recievers? Surely not a gawdy piece of tape.

    I know some receivers have hash marks around the edge of the volume knob. Mine does not! Wouldn't it be nice if these companies would design a rotating plastic ring around the perimeter of the volume knob. This ring would have a hash mark on it with "00" or "ref" stamped into it. You would then be able to calibrate your system and then rotate the ring's mark to line up with your reference.
     
  2. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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    The read out says "00" on my pre/pro.
     
  3. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Same as Lewis. I calibrated my system after first setting my master volume to "0". Now, I know that when my volume is at "0" I am listening at "reference." I usually listen at -10 to -20 (10 to 20 below reference).

    --Steve
     
  4. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    A lot of receivers/processors don't have the dot on the dial. Instead they have a numeric value displayed on the front panel. Makes it really easy to get back to the right level.

    If yours doesn't have the read out, you are stuck with making a mark to line up the dot on the dial (tape if you don't want to deface the receiver).

    Also, given your equipment, I'd advise against trying to play at reference level. I'd calibrate to at least 10dB below reference.
     
  5. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Why would anyone turn their system up to full volume (i.e., typically "0" on a reverse read-out volume display) and then calibrate?

    Doesn't full master volume leave no headroom and clip the amplifier?

    I thought the objective in calibration was to reach a predetermined SPL (I've heard 75, 80, or 85 - I use 75, personally) on the calibration test tones at the seat. The master volume setting at which this occurs is really unique to the room and set-up, isn't it?

    For example, I reach 75 dB at the seat on the calibration test tones at -15 on my HT receiver master volume setting. For others, it would probably be different.

    I know "reference level" SPL at the seat is 105 from any surround speaker and 115 from the sub, or 121 from the sub if the speaks are set to small.

    I can't hit that safely in my room. At -15 on the master volume, I hit 114 bass peaks at the seat - plenty loud for me and reaching the limits of my single sub.

    If I was going to try to hit reference levels in my room, I'd need another 7 dB increase, which would be -8 on my receiver. Again, a unique master volume setting for my room.

    Arbitrarily setting the master volume to "0" and assuming that's going to automatically give "reference level" volume doesn't make sense to me. What am I missing here? Any clarification would be great.

    Thanks,

    Ed
     
  6. Frank Carter

    Frank Carter Screenwriter

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    Todd,

    Where did you get that Avia from? I live only minutes away from Lorton in Springfield. BTW, that's an excellent idea about the rotating ring.
     
  7. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Sounds to me like you understand it just fine Edward.

    Question though, what are you using to generate the tones? Avia is 85dB for reference (tones are recorded 20dB below max output on this disk). Video Essentials is 75dB (tones are recorded 30dB below max output on this disk). If you are just using the tones your receiver generates you have no idea what level they are at, which can pose a serious problem for accurate calibration.
     
  8. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Yikes, using reference level to set levels for a normal human being? [​IMG]
    Once I worked at Incredible Universe for X-Mas and they had a THX certified Technics receiver for sale (this was 1995). It's indicated "O" (or reference) level was incredibly loud--I honestly don't know who would listen to their HT system at this level for any length of time.
    No wonder some people's subwoofers (or their system's bass response in general) don't sound right............
    LJ
     
  10. Todd Beachler

    Todd Beachler Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey, Frank! I finally found the Avia disc at the Suncoast in Potomac Mills. I started up at the new 'Tweeters' in Bailey's Crossroads, then the Best Buy in the same shopping center. I went down the street to a mom and pop TV store on King street and a salesman in there advised me to check out the Suncoasts. I tried the Springfield mall Suncoast first and the salesman wasn't even aware that they carried anything like that, but I looked anyway and didn't find it. Next, I tried the Sam Goody on the lower level. Nothing. I finally went down to Potomac Mills where I found it. I believe there were two more copies, but they are $49.99. Unless you HAVE to have it, like I did, go to
    DVD Pricesearch and find a retailer. The cheapest is around $35. Hope that helps!
     
  11. Mike Sloan

    Mike Sloan Second Unit

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    When I have my Denon 5803 generate the "internal" calibration tones..it automatically sets the Volume to "0." Then I use the trims for each channel to bring it down to 75dB. When I lister to the theatrical version of LOTR I can't stand it above -15 on the master volume.
     
  12. Mike Sloan

    Mike Sloan Second Unit

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    Todd...I think the New version of video essentials is available for around 29.95. Due a search...I can't remember where I saw it[​IMG]
     
  13. Mike Sloan

    Mike Sloan Second Unit

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  14. Lewis Besze

    Lewis Besze Producer

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