Some help tweaking my speakers.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joe Woj, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. Joe Woj

    Joe Woj Agent

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    Just had some questions and concerns regarding my speakers.
    Here is my system btw...
    Sony HT-DDW740
    1.) Is it better, using the receiver, to set your speakers to +db levels or -db levels? Like for instance my Fronts are set to +0, my center is set to +5, and my rears are set to +8. My master volume is usually around 40-42 for most movies. Are you supposed to use -db levels?
    2.) Which brings me to my second question? Are you suppose to set the center speaker higher than the normal front left/right speakers, or should they all be the same...or lower? Right now I have 0-5-0
    3.) Also, to actually adjust the levels of the left/right front speakers you actually have to use the bass/tremble to do it, correct? Is it safe doing that? I would think the setup is designed so that the sub is supposed to do all the work for a set system like this.
    4.) Lastly, at what point should I be worried about damaging my speakers? Is +8 on my rears too much for a system like this to handle?
    Thanks, any help is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Wendell

    Wendell Stunt Coordinator

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    Basically all speakers should be at the same db levels but you will need a db meter to check the sound levels. You also should use a disc that has a pink noise that will play on each speaker, if you got toy story DVD there is a THX tuning feature that will play the pink noise. You will then need to check and set the speaker levels so that they will all output 75db on the meter when the pink noise sounds through each speaker, 75db is considered Dolby Reference.
     
  3. Wendell

    Wendell Stunt Coordinator

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    ... about the bass and treble controls, I usually leave them alone since they will only affect the main front R/L channels.
     
  4. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    If your reciever is like mine, having the surrounds that loud shouldn't make for trouble. For example: I have my fronts at +0dB, center at +2db and surrounds at +5dB. My reciever has a volume range of -94dB to 0dB. With the surround speakers turned up a bit the new max volume is
    -5dB. I typcially watch movies between -40dB and -25dB depending on the type and if it will annoy others. So, I still have plenty of volume to play with(as far as i know, an increase of 10dB doubles the loudness. So that means even at -25dB it is still capable of 4 times more volume.)
     
  5. Justin Ward

    Justin Ward Supporting Actor

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    also about your speakers. I don't think elevation is as easy to detect as stereo distancing. For example even though my center speaker is like 2 feet higher than my mains it doesn't seem to sound like that during fly-bys or other panning sounds. I think it is because your ears are not as sensitive to elevation.
     
  6. Joe Woj

    Joe Woj Agent

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    So having them set at +8 wont damage them then?
     
  7. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    Nope, it shouldn't damage the speakers provided that you don't play them too loud.
     
  8. Larry Hoffman

    Larry Hoffman Stunt Coordinator

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    Joe,

    First, it's very difficult to set the db levels by ear. You should try to either borrow or purchase a db level meter and use a DVD like AVIA to set up the system. This will allow you to have all the speakers at the same volume level at a specific spot in the room, which is the position of your chair. You may find that each speaker will have to be at different settings, depending on the shape of your room, how the furnishings are set up, etc.
    Does the reciever have the option to set the speakers to small or large? If so, set them to small, to allow the sub to handle the lower octaves, and turn the crossover on the sub as high as it goes, to get it out of the way of the crossover in the amp.

    Technically the center should be at the same volume level as the rest of the speakers, including the sub. ie. it registers the same as the other speakers once you have finished setting it up with the disc and db meter. Of course, you can adjust it up a bit, if necessary.

    I'm not sure of what you are asking in the 3rd question. Db levels and bass/treble adjustment are two different things. Once you have adjusted the db levels of all the speakers, the transition from the sub to the surround and center speakers should be fairly seamless. If the system lacks bass or treble there probably isn't much you will be able to do about it other than replacing the speakers.

    Hope this helps,
    Larry Hoffman
     

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