Subwoofer Calibration using SoundAndVision and Radioshack SPL Meter

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Stephen Hopkins, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I'm trying to calibrate my sub using a Radioshack Analog SPL meter and the SoundAndVision setup disc.

    The problem is that when i match the level test tone coming from the sub w/ the test tone coming from the left front speaker like the disc says to, the bass is nearly non-existant.

    When i do the same type of calibration using the test tones from my receiver (Pioneer VSX-D811S), the Subwoofer is amazingly overpowering and all together too loud.



    Would it have something to do w/ my sub position (back wall, pointing at couch)? Is it just me being a teenager wanting everything to be bass heavy? That doesn't explain the volume being too loud when i calibrate using my receivers test tones.

    Any ideas?

    I have all speakers set to small and my crossover set at 100Hz (only other options are 150Hz and 200Hz).

    My sub is an RCA 12" 200watt Front Firing w/ 3" Downward Firing port setting on a 1" thick patio block. The Enclosure is around 70 liter (16" x 16" x 16", 28.444 Cu Ft). It sets along the back wall pointing toward the couch, about 6 feet from the listening position.

    My mains are Sony SS-MB300H on 19" stands, 41" total, 11ft from the listening position, 10ft apart.

    My center is a Sony SS-CN490, on top of RP HDTV 5ft from the ground, 11ft from the listening position.

    My R/L surrounds are Sony SS-MB100H at ear level 4ft from the listening position.

    My R/L back surrounds are SS-MB100H at ear level 2 ft behind the listening position.
     
  2. DanielSmi

    DanielSmi Second Unit

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    I gues you didn't want to buy my Jbl Pb-10 (I sent you an e-mail yesterday) since you have that RCA sub. But in refards to your problem before I set my sub with the sound&vision disc i thought the bass was about as loud as the rest of the system but it was actually about 10-15dB louder. When you set the spl between the speakers the bass will sound anemic and yeah I think it's because you like the bass real loud. I don't now why your sub is over powerful when you set with the internal test tones never heard of that . Does your sub have stereo RCA inputs and are you using a splitter to split the mono cable before you plug it in to your sub? If you are then that will add 6dB to your bass but I don't think that is your problem but I'm not sure.

    Daniel Smith
     
  3. Kris Coffin

    Kris Coffin Stunt Coordinator

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    From what I have read around the forum here, is most people set there subs at about 6bd's higher than refrence (75db refrence for Sound and Vision) So you would be looking at about 81dbs on your spl. I had exactly the same issue you did. When the system was all calibrated to 75, including the sub, bass was next to nothing in most movies. Sounded great during music playback, but just wasn't pulling its weight in the HT aspect. So try bumping it up to 81dbs and see what you think.

    Kris

     
  4. Binh Vu

    Binh Vu Stunt Coordinator

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    I've tried to calibrate by Receiver test tone, Home & Visions and Avia. They're all different from each other. I don't know which one is the best though.
     
  5. Daryl L

    Daryl L Supporting Actor

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    Sound & Vision and Avia are recorded for calibrating at 85db with volume control set on reference level. Their Subwoofer test signals are not LFE signals, instead these 2 disks us the Left mains bass to calibrate the sub so the sub is calibrated to 85db also.

    However most people prefer to calibrate their subs hot(3 to 6db higher) because of something to do with low level frequency roll off I think, I can't remember exactly off the top of my head.

    Receivers either add 10db to any LFE signal it receives aside from bass routed from the Main speakers and some includes a dedicated LFE Level Output adjustment in the receivers menu for you to calibrate LFE signals which is not included on either Sound & Vision or Avia. I hope I remember all this correctly and hope it helps.
     
  6. Bill Street

    Bill Street Stunt Coordinator

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    I tried to calibrate my sub using the test tones on Sound and Vision DVD. I noticed the tones for both the Left Main and Sub were well below reference level, and a good bit softer than the volume present on the rest of the disk. Is this to prevent damage by pumping out a higher volume of sound?

    Also, it says to calibrate with an SPL but that if the numbers were different to "trust your ears".

    Should I just leave at lower level and calibrate so that sub hits about 6 db's above left main signal?

    Thanks
     
  7. Daryl L

    Daryl L Supporting Actor

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