Speaker level setup question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Matthew Anderson, Oct 16, 2001.

  1. Matthew Anderson

    Matthew Anderson Second Unit

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    When setting the different levels of your speakers in a HT system, what should the master volume be set to on your receiver/preamp? I know that the levels of your speakers should all be 75db but does it really matter what volume you listen to your test tones at? Thanks for any help.
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  2. Vasanth B

    Vasanth B Stunt Coordinator

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    This is a great question and I am curious about the answer, too. I set my speakers to 75dB but at what reference volume do you set this? I set mine when the volume is at 0 dB. My receiver goes down to -60 but only up to +18 dB (Denon AVR-1802) so I wonder if I should calibrate at a lower master reference volume to give me more range of volume.
     
  3. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Supporting Actor

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    If you are using the internal tones from the receiver or pre/pro then the master volume control is not part of the equation. Just adjust the level until it is at 75db. If you are using an external source then you adjust the master volume until the *left* main speaker is at 75db. Then use the level controls for each channel to adjust to 75db. Regards.
     
  4. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    since i'm running the 5.1 outputs of my dvd player, i'm using the player's test tones.
    all i did was use the spl to adjust all the speakers to the same level. i wasn't really too worried about reference...which i wouldn't be able to do without a calibration disc anyway.
    i was just more concerned that the same volume was coming out of each channel.
    i'll probably dink around some more once i get a calibration dvd...probably the new digital ve.
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  5. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    The answer varies with the receiver. On advanced receivers, the master volume setting is automatically set temporarlity to the 0 dB position while during speaker level calibrations. That allows the dB scale of the master volume to directly read out where volume is relative to reference level.
    On some other receivers, you need to manually zero the dB reading of the master volume prior to calibrating channel levels. This again allows the dB scale of the master volume to indicate where you are relative to reference level.
    On really simple receivers, the master volume isn't automatically zerored and its being set to 0 dB doesn't leave enough range in the channel level controls to reach reference during calibration. On those receivers, one sets left front channel level to zero, then adjusts master volume to bring the left channel to reference SPL level, then leaves the master volume alone while going back and readjusting all channel levels to reference. On such a receiver, whatever dB scale reading the master volume was at during calibration indicates reference level. That value is not 0 dB on the dial so you can't directly read where you are relative to reference off the master volume control dial. Instead you take the reading it was when calibrated to reference and then subtract that from the current reading to know where you are relative to reference. On such receivers, it is convenient to mark the reference and - 10 dB position on the knob once calibration is done.
    Oh yes, before we forget. The SPL reading you aim for while calibrating each channel to reference is that at which the test tone was generated. AVIA's level test tones are at professional audio levels (85 dB SPL), most consumer test signals are at 75 dB SPL. Just make sure you target the correct SPL for the test signal used.
    The step by step audio description in AVIA aims for a setting which is 10 dB below reference, a common level for home theater listening. That's why instructions in that section says to target 75 dB SPL which is 10 dB below reference for the AVIA tones.
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    Guy Kuo
    www.ovationsw.com
    Ovation Software, the Home of AVIA DVD
    [Edited last by Guy Kuo on October 16, 2001 at 07:46 PM]
     
  6. Matthew Anderson

    Matthew Anderson Second Unit

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    Thanks to everyone who helped on this subject. My Yamaha RX-V795 receiver has no 0db setting on the master volume so I will set the speakers according to the third method that Guy suggested.
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  7. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    Just as a point of reference, my Onkyo 989 ONLY resets the MV to 0 relative dB when using the internal test tones.
    When using Avia, I set the MV to 0 dB relative and adjust each channel to 85 dB.. or set the MV to -10 dB and then adjust each channel to 75 dB.
    If I understood the original question, I think the person was asking if it makes a difference whether you calibrate to 85 dB (spec) or some other convenient level closer to personal listening levels.. say -20 dB (65 dB SPL with Avia).
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  8. Guy Kuo

    Guy Kuo Supporting Actor

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    Rick, what you are describing works just fine. You'll end up at the same place provided there aren't a lot of other noise sources in the room. One reason we went with a higher level was to allow for the not so quiet room. My ears are like yours and I typically set MV to -10 dB and aim for 75 db SPL with AVIA. If I do any prolonged speaker measurements, I usually wear ear plugs.
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    Guy Kuo
    www.ovationsw.com
    Ovation Software, the Home of AVIA DVD
     

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