SVS calibration on a Yamaha HTR5280

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Weeks, Aug 25, 2001.

  1. Tom Weeks

    Tom Weeks Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm attempting to set up my 20-39pc with my Yamaha HTR 5280. First off, you can control channel volumes on left and right surrounds and on the center channel, but the left and right mains are controlled only by the master volume on the receiver. How do you set the mains at 75db? Second, there seems to be several options on the set menu that can effect bass output. There are the left-right surrounds,center, and LFE sub volume (these are in step one on the set menu. Next in step two of the set menu there is the LOW FRQ TEST, which is supposed to adjust the output level of the subwoofer so that it matches that of the other speakers. Then in set up menu step 10 there is a LFE level used to adjust the output level of the LFE when playing back a Dolby Digital signal (it has a range of -20db to 0. If anyone out there has gone through this with this receiver and can help me understand what to do here, I would GREATLY APPRECIATE the help. I have the Video Essentials DVD and a Radio Shack test meter on the way. Thanks Alot, Tom
     
  2. Ron Stimpson

    Ron Stimpson Stunt Coordinator

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    Tom,
    Here's a bit to chew on:
    1. When you get your Video Essentials (VE), go to the chapter with channel balancing and turn up your receiver level so that your mains are hitting 75dB on the meter. THEN go to the L/R surrounds and center in turn and adjust them to 75dB too. If there is an difference between your main's levels you'll need to use the receiver's balance control. This is a bit of an awkward way to do calibration but when an OEM fails to provide level controls for all channels that's the way to do it.
    2. Put your receiver's subwoofer/LFE level control about 1/4 of the way up (so it it goes to -12dB set it on -6dB). This will give you some downward adjustment still you can dial in with the receiver's remote. Turn your SVS amp level knob up so that you are hitting a calibration that suits you. If you watch movies at moderate levels and your sub is in a nice corner, then I'd dial in a calibration of +4dB over your mains as measured with the SPL meter (that's more of a bump than it would appear given the way the SPL meter works with low freqs, but it'll sound great as long as you aren't playing Toy Story 2 at full reference calibrations. Note: whatever your display reads when you calibrate your system channels to 75dB with VE IS your referenece level as defined by Dolby Labs.
    3. Ignore the "low freq test" cycle. I've yet to see one that actually calibrated a subwoofer the way it ought to sound, or at least an SVS. You have a test disk and VE, trust me, calibrting that way is going to be FAR more accurate and you'll KNOW how it's calibrated that way. How did Mr. Yamaha like his subs? Who knows. Forget you even have this feature.
    4. Turn up the LFE "trim" or peak limiter or whatever it's called to the highest level. IF, you have problems with the sub bottoming (unlikely if you calibrated it as we describe), you might dial in a few dB lower levels but in effect this is a sort of compression circuit that will lower the LFE peaks, the very ones you want to hear! Turn that thing to 0dB before you do the VE calibration and you'll be fine. The simple act of calibrating as you will do, plus some sanity when it comes to playback levels and you should be getting clean, deep and undistorted and unmolested bass. Get the limiters and "calibration assistance" out of the way. A simple test tone, and the trusty RS SPL meter never lie.
    There's a bit more on calibration and use of the SPL meter you have coming in the manual too, should you get desperate enough to read it (hey, we don't like reading manuals either! ;^)
    Ron
     
  3. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Ron has pretty well laid it out for you so there's not much I can add although I can tell you that a few blunders along the way may be the norm, (at lease it was in my case).
    I've recently bought the SVS 20-39PC, some Aura Pro Shakers and a new receiver, the Yamaha RXV1 and installed both about the same time. I don't know about the Yam you have, but the RXV1 has sub outs for a front sub and two rear subs, whereas the front has 4v output and the two rears are 2v each......does that give you a hint of MY big blunder??????
    Calibrating all this stuff was fun and exasperating as I was getting some strange stuff happening. I wrote Tom V at SVS who sent me some pointers and the next day that I had the time, I went about checking things out again. I found I had plugged in the sub AND shakers into the rear sub outs.I only get about 1 day a week to play with my stuff so I was about two weeks into all my new equip before I even got the dadgum stuff hooked up right. But I am still playing with various settings and levels. I'm a "button pusher" anyway so I enjoy it.
    In the end I ended up very close to what Ron has said. Just start out with the sub volume about 3/4 on, and under speaker level settings, put the sub at -5. The mains are adjusted with the over all volume adjustment and the rears/ center are through the level settings. I listen to most movies at -35 to -40 db (per Yamaha volume readings) and find that the SVS will pound your socks off. On a few movie soundtracks, I find I can raise the sub level to -2 or so but on some I find that I have to go to -6 or -7 on sub level. I typically leave the DD and DTS LFE level settings alone. According to overall volume, I may increase the bass boost on the SVS itself. You'll soon get the handle on this bass monster and it WILL get simpler.
    The SVS is just what is said about it.... much, much low end and much adjustment available on the PC model although it will find bottom now and then cause, if you're like me, you want it on the edge anyway. And I think it likes it there.
    The Yam certainly gives you a lot of control onboard and you'll soon be stacking various dvds aside with a note for which scene demonstrates what the SVS was bought for. Some of my favorites so far are:
    Blade... the club is just pounding
    Shadow of the Vampire.... when the train leaves the station
    Gladiator.... opening battle
    Toy Story II.... the WHOLE MOVIE IS HOUSE SHAKING !!!
    Predator.... when they shoot off that bad a## gun of Ventura's (just after he gets killed)
    Saving Private Ryan.... tank scene
    Daylight.... tunnel explosion
    Supernatural DVD.... track 8... turn it UP
    There's many more and you too will have your list. I am finding the SVS producing low end I didn't know existed !
    It certainly makes you go back through your DVD collection.
    ------------------
     
  4. Tom Weeks

    Tom Weeks Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys. I really appreciate the help.---Tom
     

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