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Subwoofer Calibration?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Scott Aruti, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. Scott Aruti

    Scott Aruti Stunt Coordinator

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    In my system, the main left and rights and the surrounds are all on "+6" on my Onkyo TX-SR600 receiver's calibration setup; the center channel is at "+8" (to compensate for low dialogue over effects, etc.) and the 10" powered Polk sub is at "+6" as well.

    Originally, I had the sub at like "+7" or maybe even "+8" at some point on the calibration levels, but that was causing certain extreme DVD soundtracks to make the sub create a very loud "popping" or "snapping" noise, for instance during the senator's ship exploding in the beginning of "Attack of the Clones" (running in Dolby Digital EX) or when the chariots hit the wall in "Gladiator" (running in DTS ES)....my solution was to ease the volume back on the actual volume knob of the sub itself AND reduce the calibration level of the sub down to "+6"; this seemed to stop the sub from snapping during extreme scenes in DVDs.

    Now, though, I feel as though some DVDs just dont have the impact Im looking for in LFE...and stereo music has no punch with the sub at "+6" on calibration. I have been told so many theories about a subwoofer and where it should be set in a surround system. What is the correct answer? Some have told me that a subwoofer should be at least TWO DECIBELS higher than what the rest of the system is set at...which caused my bass to be way too overwhelming on some DVDs. Then I have heard that 10 dB more than the mains is what subs should be set at...as a rule, should a sub be set higher than the other speakers in a 5.1 array?
     
  2. ChadLB

    ChadLB Screenwriter

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    What speakers? Are they set to small or large? Crossover?
    Are you using a SPL meter and S&V/AVIA/DVE or tuning it with your ears because I don't understand why you would have any speakers at +6 unless if they are just bad speakers.
    What sub do you have? and what settings do you have on it(Volume/Phase/et).
     
  3. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    one of your speakers, usually your left front, should be the reference speaker at a level of "0.0". then, all your others are adjusted relative to it.
     
  4. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    I agree with Scott. You are possibly overloading your receiver's preamp by turning everything up so high. Turn down the levels and then use the receiver's volume control instead.

    Also, you cana't possibly correlate the internal levels you have set to the actual vulume you hear as different speakers can sound louder or softer with the same amount of power.
     
  5. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    Whoops!
     
  6. Mike Thompson

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    A couple things: first when you hear the snapping sound during loud bass passages, its likely the voice coil of the sub smashing into the backplate. Not a good sound; your sub will be damaged if that happens often enough. Don't pay any attention to the numbers except as a reference, as someone else posted start at "0". But it sounds as if you need another sub if you have to turn it down so you don't get enough slam. Since most subs are less efficient than typical main speakers, they will be at a higher number.
    Mike
     

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