Receiver Question (Spkr. Levels vs Volume)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Simonian, Aug 10, 2001.

  1. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

    Jun 20, 2001
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    Hey HEY!!!
    Ive heard someone ask this question sometime in my life but at the time it had no relevence to me at the time. I had never thought about it till now...
    ...on my receiver (Kenwood VR-2080) I have my levels set allmost all the way up. The range is +/-10db. Except my sub and center, the levels are approximatly +9db. The center is +10. I like to have the senter up just an eeeenssy weeennssy bit.
    Anyway, if I were to turn them down, a tad or at flat 0db, then turn the Master volume up, would there be a difference? I would asume no. I say that because I dont know if there is a difference between level and volume. (other than the fact to compensate for positioning, size of speaker, etc.)
    Any info would be greatly appreciated. [​IMG]
  2. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

    Nov 29, 1998
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    The purpose of the level controls is to set all 5 of your speakers at the same level relative to each other. The problem with having the level all the way up is you have no room for adjusting up further.
    I would suggest moving them all back down to 0 and turning up your volume when you want your system louder.
    Now, you need to make them equal to each other. Using your receiver's test tones (or better, Video Essentials or AVIA DVD test discs) and a sound meter (Radio Shack analog is the forum's favorite); you adust the levels up or down until all speakers are the same level. Your sub's level is much a matter of personal preference, but the rule of thumb is about +10 db over your 5 speakers. You can achieve that through your sub's own volume control (assuming a powered sub) and/or the receiver's LFE/subwoofer level control.
    Hope it helps.
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    Jeff gave a good description, but let me try it another way:
    Those +/- values for the CENTER and each REAR speaker is an OFFSET from the main volume control.
    All your speakers go up/down with the main volume knob.
    But the offset allows you to compensate for sitting different distances to the center/rears from the L/R.
    A Radio Shack Analog SPL meter for $35 is a nice tool to use when setting these offsets. A copy of the Video Essentials or Avia DVD will also tell you how to do these adjustments.
    Hope this helps.
  4. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

    Nov 23, 1999
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  5. rin

    rin Stunt Coordinator

    Oct 24, 1999
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    Hey Hey Scott!
    Ah, the Kenwood 2080. That was my first receiver with DD and DTS. I loved that unit and the remote was the coolest thing! And the silver face was a nice departure from all the black components at the time.
    While it is true that the level controls for center and surrounds are an offset from the main volume, even the main speakers can play at different volumes(when set at the same exact levels) due to room acoustics and other factors.
    Here is my advice to you for setting speaker levels. Get ahold of Avia or VE as the test tones are more acurate usually than the ones generated by a receiver or preamp.
    Set all the speaker levels to zero. Then, use the volume control, with the SPL meter, to calibrate the first speaker on the list(left main if I remember correctly) up to reference level(I use 75db with Avia). Then use the speaker level controls for the rest.
    Once you get all the levels set identically, use the delay settings to compensate for different speaker distances.
    Hope this helps,
    My Home Theater
    So Cal Area HTF Movie night

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