Speaker Calibration w/ Onkyo 494?

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

  1. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok guys, I just got a new digital SPL meter from the local Rat Shack.
    First, I have never calibrated a HT system before. So I need your help. Second, I don't know how I will edit the output levels of my speakers using V.E. (I should get it in the mail next week).
    Right now, I only have the internal tone in the reciever. I will have V.E. in a couple of days (if I ever get it from dvdinternational.com), but for now I only have the reciever. On the individual speaker output levels I can only go +/- 12 and that is the max.
    Can someone give me a step by step of how I should do this? With the reciever tones AND with V.E.?
    Help!!!!!!.........Wil
    ------------------
    "The rose petal floats on water,
    the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
    Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

    al'Lan Mandragoran,
    *******The Wheel of Time
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I know it's not what you want to hear, but you should probably just wait for VE to show up. It walks you through, step by step, explaining everything fairly well.
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  3. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    Here it is quick and dirty with a little pointers particular to the Onkyo receiver. I have a 595 though so I don't know if there would be any minute differences there.
    1) Don't use the internal receiver tones unless you want to go ahead and do a rough calibration now before getting V.E. The internal tones are off by quite a bit so it's best to just use the V.E. provided tones.
    2) Set the SPL meter in the listening position where your head would be and point the end up between 30 and 60 degrees.
    3) I believe you use C weighting and slow response. I don't have the meter in front of me so I'm not sure on the weighting, but I think that's right.
    4) With V.E. you're going to calibrate to 75 bB I believe (Avia, which I have, is 85 dB I think unless I've got them backwards). You want to pick a central volume position that you want to be "reference" per say. I set my volume to 60 and then adjusted from there because that allowed me to actually get to 85dB within the allowable adjustable range in the speaker adjustment. Some people will leave their front mains at +-0 in the speaker adjustment and find the main volume level that puts them at reference level and use that as their center point and then just adjust the center and the surrounds, it really doesn't matter which you choose though.
    5) Find the reference tones on the disc and play through them one speaker at a time. I've never used V.E. so you're on your own there [​IMG] You basically want to adjust the speaker levels so that they all output the same dB level, as read on the SPL meter, on the reference tone. So just got through the tones from speaker to speaker making adjustments for each channel so that they all read the same dB level on the meter. Make sure your room has the same ambient noise that you may have when watching a film or listening to music or whatever while you do it (fan running, air-conditioner hum, etc.)
    6) On the 595 if you enter the speaker configuration and try to adjust the speaker levels it automatically cuts off the external sound source and begins playing the internal test tones (ANNOYING!!), all is not lost however. Read in the instruction booklet how to do temporary speaker level adjustment. This doesn't cause the internal tones to start playing and allows you to adjust based on the DVD sound output. However, these settings are erased when you turn off or standby the receiver. On the 595, when you adjust the speaker levels in the temporary adjustment you can then push the "TEST" button on the remote which will make the internal test tones start but this also makes your temporary adjustments become the settings in the permanent speaker level setup which will then be saved when you power-down the receiver, it's a nice way to transport your temporary adjustments into the permanent speaker settings in the config menu.
    The 494 has a different remote though so I don't know if it can do this. If it can't the best thing to do is use the temporary adjustment to set the level of the speaker via V.E. and right down the level to which you set each speaker and then go into the speaker config menu and set the speakers from the values you wrote down, ignoring the reading given by the internal test tones.
    [EDIT] Oops, forgot the subwoofer, but I don't have one so I can't really be any help there as I haven't calibrated one, sorry [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Sean Laughter on August 10, 2001 at 10:53 PM]
     
  4. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean,
    Thank you for the help. However, from what I have read in my manual, I never saw anything that lets me "temporaraly" set the speakers. I can only set the speakers from the remote, and when I go to set them, all external sources are not outputted.
    Right now, I have my receiver set with a phantom center, meaning it's only set with 4 speakers. I don't know if this would make a difference, but I don't think it should.
    Is there a way to calibrate my system with V.E. if I can't use an external source? I don't see how that would be possible.
    This sux, I thought that the 494 would be okay for me to start out with, but right now it's not lookin' so hot. [​IMG] ........Wil
    ------------------
    "The rose petal floats on water,
    the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
    Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

    al'Lan Mandragoran,
    *******The Wheel of Time
     
  5. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    Sorry Wil, I don't know anything about the 494 so maybe someone else can help you with it. It would seem odd that they'd leave that feature out of the 494 though, maybe I can get my hands on a pdf of the manual tomorrow when I get home (to the land of broadband cable internet as opposed to 28.8 modem internt, hehe) and see if I can find anything. Of course, I don't even know of the 494 manual is on the Onkyo website yet.
    If you're using a phantom center I'd imagine just making sure the front mains are even is enough.
    [Edited last by Sean Laughter on August 10, 2001 at 11:45 PM]
     
  6. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Nope, it's not on Onkyo's web site. I'm screwed [​IMG] ........Wil
    ------------------
    "The rose petal floats on water,
    the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
    Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

    al'Lan Mandragoran,
    *******The Wheel of Time
     
  7. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    Wil,
    Using the internal tones will be better than not doing anything at all obviously. Some people just don't like internal tones because it takes your actual audio source out of the equation. I also don't think anyone knows to what dB level the internal tone should be calibrated, but as long as you make the internal tone the same on all the speakers it should be fine. I think the internal tone on my 595 is noticably less loud then the test tone on my Avia disc though if that helps, meaning it shouldn't be calibrated to 85dB.
     
  8. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    And I just got my V.E. disc today too [​IMG].......Wil
    ------------------
    "The rose petal floats on water,
    the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
    Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

    al'Lan Mandragoran,
    *******The Wheel of Time
     
  9. Sean Laughter

    Sean Laughter Screenwriter

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    Well Wil, there is a way to do it using V.E. though it's hardly the most convenient.
    Go into the speaker config and play the internal test tone but don't pay it any mind, just pick a speaker level and set it. Now, get out of speaker config and play the reference tone from from V.E. while measuring using the SPL meter. Note how close you are to the required decibel level (for V.E. I think it's 75dB). Now, go back into speaker config and raise or lower the speaker level depending on if it was high or low. Get out of speaker config and play the test tone again and see how close you are, repeat until you get the right level. Then, move on to the next speaker.
    Inconvenient and annoying but it should work, just not nearly as convenient as being able to get rid of the internal test tone altogether if you don't want to use it.
     
  10. Wil_J

    Wil_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean,
    Thanks for the advice. That's exactly what I ended up doing. I didn't know that I would be able to do that, because I had never seen (or heard) a V.E. disc before. Thanks for the help! [​IMG] ........Wil
    ------------------
    "The rose petal floats on water,
    the kingfisher flashes above the pond.
    Life and beauty swirl in the midst of death."

    al'Lan Mandragoran,
    *******The Wheel of Time
     
  11. Doug Lachman

    Doug Lachman Auditioning

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    I also have the 494 and I believe it works the same as 595 when you push the test tone button on the remote it "saves" the speaker level that it is currently sent at. Push the test tone button twice, the 1st will turn on the test tones, the 2nd will take you back to the speaker level setting function. If you don't do this the levels will return to whatever they were set at previously - I have tested this out and it works. Check the back of the manual.
    Please let me know how you make out, I just bought the RS SPL meter and am just waiting for the house to be empty before I calibrate my set up.
     

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