Should I turn the volume level up higher than the front to hear them louder?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by kurt_fire, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. kurt_fire

    kurt_fire Stunt Coordinator

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    edit: title doesn't really make sense but read on please...



    I've recently bought the HTS650 system from onkyo.

    but i can hardly hear the back channels when playing movies, xbox games, etc. it is suggested that I turn the volume of the backs to +8 and leave the fronts and woofer at 0? Or can this put wear and tear on my surrounds? thanks guy! and what is the optimal setting for this system using the 500 receiver from onkyo. thanks guys.
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer
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    Don't worry about putting wear and tear on the surrounds, they can handle +8 as easily as 0. The most accurate way to balance your sound levels is with a sound level meter than can be had from Radio Shack for about $30.
     
  3. kurt_fire

    kurt_fire Stunt Coordinator

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    what's the best way to determine the proper level without a sound tester?


    also, how does this thing from radio shack work? should all speakers be the same strength, or what?
     
  4. Greg Kolinski

    Greg Kolinski Second Unit

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    Without an SPL meter its just guess work.The reason behind using a SPL meter is to get all channels the same volume from the listening position,If you are like me,my room is far from even good[​IMG] ,too much stuff.....sitting closer to one of the rears vs the other ETC
    If I'm off base ,please feel free to correct me

    Greg
     
  5. Hal_J

    Hal_J Agent

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    i agree with greg. you either get the sound meter and do a real calibration, or just wing it. it sounds more involved than it is. the FAQ has a decent procedure, and i did my set up in about 10 minutes. (for SPL. tweaking the sub is a whole other story.)

    attempting to calibrate without the sound meter is like getting ready for work in the morning without turning on any lights. youll go through the motions, but your clothes wont match and you might end up brushing your teeth with shaving cream. [​IMG]

    i rationalized it this way: i just spent X hundred (thousand?) dollars buying audio equipment. i researched it for months. and now all of the sudden i dont have $30 and 30 minutes to calibrate the sound levels? doesnt make any sense. more analogy - it's like balancing the wheels on your car.
     
  6. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    If you can get the pink noise to rotate, close your eyes and let it go round and round, tweaking the levels until you think it's even.

    Do it loud.
     
  7. Chuck Bogie

    Chuck Bogie Second Unit

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    Yeah - You shouldn't "hear" the surround channels unless something is happening. I've got a friend who insists on doing the "stereo" thing with his receiver, and I won't watch movies at his place. Everything is set the same - sounds great for music for parties, but horrid for movies. A good scene to check stuff with is the first part of Blackhawk Down, where everyone's kickin' back in the hanger/barracks area - If you hear a lot of background noise, but the dialog isn't working, you've got the surrounds too loud.
     
  8. DarrenH

    DarrenH Agent

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    Hi Kurt,

    You might want to consider getting a calibration DVD like Video Essentials. These DVD's have test patterns to calibrate your TV as well as the audio levels using an SPL meter. The step-by-step instructions help you a great deal your first time through. It's worth the time and money and you will notice a difference for the better (at least I did). I agree 100% with Hal, anything worth doing is worth doing right...

    Darren
     
  9. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I concur with the above. I spent $5000 on my system and the best $65 spent was the RS SPL meter and Avia. Without this $65, the $5000 worth of gear was not worthless, but it was not much better. I have calibrated 4 other friend's theaters since then and everyone has been amazed at the difference. I'm visiting one friend who has moved to Georgia recently and the first thing she said when we arranged the visit was "don't forget the calibration stuff, we could not get the setup even close in the new house".
     

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