the importance of caliberation

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by lakshmant, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. lakshmant

    lakshmant Agent

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    How important is calibration in a Home Theater

    after sometime of wait i could finally lay my hands on a SPL meter a analog one similar to radio shack,previously my system did sound very good,and though not boasting many people said it was the best HT they saw.Now i got the SPL meter set up C weighting slow and played the test tones in the THX DVD player which i have and to my surprise they read 66 db per channel.

    the common problems i faced..BEFORE calibration
    were mismatch of center channel
    2)over blown effects which were annoying
    3)absence of a smooth sound stage i was surrounded by sound ,but NOT immersed in it if you know what i mean...

    4)the intense urge to upgrade my equipment by a 1000 USD to get the best sound.

    But something told me to take a look at the existing setup ,
    i calibrated all channels to 75db and sub to 78 db and i found at once that there is cohesive sound field and there are now dynamics which i could never make out in films like LOTR or TITANIC..it seemed as if the whole 5 speakers become one large speaker spread across the room and playing to perfection.

    Gone was the urge to upgrade my system i spent 50 USD on SPL meter and another 20 on DVE saving me 930 USD to be exact.

    i had previously found a lack of power and head room in my system but now as the system runs with independent amps i get almost 14 db peaks in films when measured in A wighted and fast.


    I have one humble suggestion before you have your next desire to upgrade your audio setup,or even if yu have bought a HTIB ,i calibrated one with the SPL meter and DVE the showroom guy was blown away and said it sounded 3 times its price.

    Buy a good SPL meter radioshack is fine for general setup ,if yur budget permits maybe a more accurate meter like galaxy CM140 with a 0.1 db resolution for around a 100 USD on amazon.com .Go and get a good caliberation disc run the test tones at 0 db or a reference level .Try and adjust yur speakers with the spl meter to get a smooth response of + or - 1db over all speakers lock your levels at 75 db or 85 depending on your disc,calibrate your display and your system will perform at 2x its price...

    if you want to go further you can download some demo RTA software from etfsound.com and try RTA mesurement for room nodes and isolate them by treating the room or using a advanced 1/3 octave EQ .

    enjoy the HT experience it was the best thing since movies came out..

    i would suggest one pdf file for audio speaker setup it is the AES document on multichannel studios...

    http://www.aes.org/technical/documents/AESTD1001.pdf

    it is a free download and tells you how exact studio monitoring for 5.1 or 6.1 is and you can follow as many guidelines as possible based on your system capability
     
  2. Ryan Peddle

    Ryan Peddle Second Unit

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    You've hit the nail right on the head. Pretty much in any aspect of life if a group is working methodically together the outcome is usually quite better.

    If there are people who don't know what an SPL meter is, here is a picture of the common on HTF, but now relatively hard to find in stores, the Radio Shack Analog SPL (Sound Pressure Level) Meter.

    [​IMG]

    I have had mine for many years and any time I do any form of change to my system at all I recalibrate. I currently use Avia and it works great, but I may look at other software in the future.
     
  3. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    It's everything
     
  4. lakshmant

    lakshmant Agent

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    you can start with some good spl meters here digital though

    galaxy is a good brand with standard calibration


    http://www.galaxyaudio.com/galaxy/Pr...html#Checkmate

    available at amazon.com the cm130 is around 49 USD and the cm140 if u have a better system can be used .it costs 99 USD both are digital with A and C weighting with all features need for HT setup.
     
  5. DavidSGT

    DavidSGT Stunt Coordinator

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    Hiya,

    Joining in on the yay side..., for I have just acquired the Ratshack SPL mtr and Avia Calibaration DVD (jt ordered together with the SVS PB12) and just following the few simple steps(even a dunce like me can follow)...and...voila a more cohesive, balanced system.

    Previously a non believer now can really see the light(or in this case hear the sound..)
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Calibration does become a factor as you add speakers.

    While I love tools that are more precise - the good old Radio Shack SPL meter is all you need for "speaker leveling".

    It's a flawed yardstick - but as long as you measure everything with the same stick, it works great.

    The RTA suggestion - thats a different story. If you are doing a "poor-mans" RTA, you do want a more precise or calibrated meter.
     

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