sub volume level?

Lyden

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
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163
hi uhh i was just wondering what should i have my sub's volume set to? i turn it down but it gets hot either way so im not exactly sure what it should be at. thanks
 

Jeff Gatie

Senior HTF Member
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Aug 19, 2002
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Lyden,

Read the primer or do a search on "calibrating". The only way to truly set your system's "volumes" is to calibrate using a SPL meter and a calibration disk. You cannot readily determine by ear where your "volume" (i.e. channel level) should be at, especially your sub which most people tend to tune very "hot" (hot as in loud, not temp).
 

Rick_Brown

Second Unit
Joined
Oct 25, 2001
Messages
449
I have read several threads here from technically minded people who suggest that when calibrating your sub you should reduce the sub volume in your receiver's setup to, say -6db, and compensate by turning up the sub until you get reference level.

This procedure has the effect of ensuring that your receiver's preamp does not overload. You may have to play with both adjustments until you get a happy compromise, e.g. if you have to turn the sub way up to 8 or 9 you should probably increase the receiver's sub setting somewhat.
 

Ronnie Ferrell

Second Unit
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Jul 16, 2002
Messages
355
I have read several threads here from technically minded people who suggest that when calibrating your sub you should reduce the sub volume in your receiver's setup to, say -6db, and compensate by turning up the sub until you get reference level.
I am in this camp, BUT... If I set mine way down to -6, the signal never trips the auto-on feature of my plate amp.

After calibration to a level that will trip my plate amps auto-on switch, my receiver settings are -2 sub, +2 mains, and +7 center. My plate amp gain is set around 1/3. BUT these numbers mean nothing to anyone unless you have my exact same room, equipment, speakers, and speaker placement. The final point is, you have to manually calibrate you system and room with speaker placement, a calibration disc and SPL meter yourself. No one can tell you where to put your sub volume knob.

Ronnie
 

James Zos

Supporting Actor
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Jan 7, 2002
Messages
725
My understanding is that it is difficult to measure, and thus to calibrate, LFE using the standard Ratshack SPL meter most of us have, and thus, when it comes to subs, many tune by ear. Is this not so?
 

Ronnie Ferrell

Second Unit
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Jul 16, 2002
Messages
355
My understanding is that it is difficult to measure, and thus to calibrate, LFE using the standard Ratshack SPL meter most of us have, and thus, when it comes to subs, many tune by ear. Is this not so?
Not difficult at all. You just have to compensate for the meters shortfalls by adding the correction values you can find on the net, (to lazy to go look them up for ya..)

Now, I did up my sub level by +2db on my receiver after calibration for movies. I have a sealed sub and it helps boost the low end without adding to much to the rest of the range. For music I leave it set at calibrated levels.
 

Jeff Gatie

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Aug 19, 2002
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James, Ronnie,

Read Vince's Maskeeper's posts on the supposed correction factors on the RS SPL meter. The correction factors (which do exist) apply to very specific frequencies and do not necessarily apply when measuring a "pink noise" sound containing many frequencies of bass, like those coming from a calibration disk. A single frequency tone (or small range tone) will show these shortfalls and require compensation, but (IIRC) Vince has found the compensation for a "pink noise" tone to be minimal.

http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...se#post1430051
 

Ronnie Ferrell

Second Unit
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Jul 16, 2002
Messages
355
I guess I should have stated that I used individual test tones with an excel line graph and not pink noise to calibrate my sub, oops!:b

I did it this way because 2-channel +sub music listening is important to me. I wanted to make sure I did not have a nasty spike or dip that might through a pink noise calibration off. Good to know that the compensation for a "pink noise" tone is minimal.


Ronnie
 

Lyden

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
163
i cant ajust the levels on the reciver ... and i want the sub to run from sub pre out but its not on when in 2 chanel only DD or DTS... so i use main pre outs but by doing this isnt the sub just enhancing the lows that my mains are alredy covering? ... im trying to get this right but i guess im at a bottleneck for a lack fo remote to my reciver ... i might get a new reciver soon or for Xmass but till then i guess i should just deal? unless you guys know of a way to do everything without reciver's remote ... infact thats the only reson i want a new reciver well i do want to have DPL2 and full DTS ES and DD EX and errgh i think i do need a new reciver
 

Jeff Gatie

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Aug 19, 2002
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Lyden,

Every receiver that decodes/outputs DD 5.1 will allow you to adjust the individual channel levels of at least the front three and sub. I *have* seen some that adjust the surrounds as a pair instead of individually, but they are rare. Check your manual, there is a way, you just have to find it. You also should be able to run your sub through the sub-out for 2-channel, but I am less sure of this without knowing your receiver type. If you list the brand and model number, the members could probably help you with more specific answers.
 

Lyden

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Oct 23, 2002
Messages
163
i have a Pioneer 810s ... i cant ajust anything without remote .. thats the problem with getting open-box but hey $99 for a 810s thats one year old not a bad deal its main flaw was a easy solder fix (sp?) now its fine just no remote to ajust anyhting i'd be happy if there was a way but tehre isnt anything short of buying a remote
 

James Zos

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 7, 2002
Messages
725
Having read through this thread I decided to go and try to calibrate my sub using my trusty analog RatShack meter.

Here's the problem. And as far as I can tell it has nothing to do with whether I should add or subtract 2db.

When I set my other speakers, I get the little red needle to hover nicely around the 85db mark, just where I want it.

When I play a subwoofer tone using the AVIA disc, the little red needle swings back and forth within a 10 db range, and it seems impossible to get a steady reading at any db level.

So how exactly am I supposed to calibrate my sub to 85db (or whatever level I would choose) using the RatShack meter and AVIA test tones?
 

Ronnie Ferrell

Second Unit
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Jul 16, 2002
Messages
355
James- You are getting a 10Db swing when measuring your sub output using avia pink noise? You are testing with the sub pink noise that alternates between your other speakers and the sub, correct? Also make sure your meter is set to slow and "C"

I get about 2Db needle movement at the most, and have never seen a 10Db swing on the sub signal when using the above method.


Ronnie
 

Jeff Gatie

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Aug 19, 2002
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James, I'm with Ronnie. Use the pink noise tone that alternates between the speakers and the sub. Do not use the sweep tones that go from hight to low.
 

James Zos

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 7, 2002
Messages
725
Ronnie and Jeff, thanks for your replies.

I am using the pink noise tone that alternates between the center and the sub, not the sweep tones. I will try it one more time to confirm the results, but that is what I got last night and that is what I have gotten in the past, which is why I had given up trying to calibrate my sub with the meter. I don't have a tripod so it is hand-held, but I don't get that kind of fluctuation response with my other speakers. I'll post again tonight after I try it one more time. Thanks again for responding!
 

Ronnie Ferrell

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 16, 2002
Messages
355
I am using the pink noise tone that alternates between the center and the sub, not the sweep tones. I will try it one more time to confirm the results, but that is what I got last night and that is what I have gotten in the past, which is why I had given up trying to calibrate my sub with the meter. I don't have a tripod so it is hand-held, but I don't get that kind of fluctuation response with my other speakers. I'll post again tonight after I try it one more time. Thanks again for responding!
I could see how you might be getting a 10Db swing BETWEEN the 2 alternating speakers, but not just when only the sub is playing its signal. If this is the case, turn the sub up or down before you start your testing depending on if the 10Db swing is hotter on the sub or hotter on the other speaker playing.

If you get a 10Db swing when ONLY the signal is going to your sub, then I am kinda clueless what might be the issue.

Also if you have your SPL meter set to "fast" the needle can go all over the place with pink noise.


Ronnie
 

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