To SVS owners, do you really follow reference settings?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Cruz, Sep 11, 2002.

  1. Ryan Cruz

    Ryan Cruz Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm sure that with this sub a lot of people crank it up more than just 75db or 85db (depending on your speaker settings).

    But what I want to find out is around how much higher do you usually set your SVS when you watch movies?
     
  2. Johnny Mac

    Johnny Mac Stunt Coordinator

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    Bout 80db (using VE) is usually plenty for me. I leave it there for all music/tv/movies.
     
  3. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

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    I have my 20-39CS+ EQ'd flat +/-3dB corrected (no house curve) with the subsonic filter defeated. With Avia, I set my speakers to 85dB and the SVS to 82dB (to account for the RatShack SPL meter's 3dB inaccuracy with bass). I used to run it hotter than this, but after reading some of Vince Maskeeper's comments about reference levels, I decided to try it this way. It took some getting used to, but it really makes the sub blend with the rest of the speakers better in the crossover range and brings out more detail in the entire soundstage. It's nice to know that I'm hearing things the way the sound engineer intended it to be heard. And trust me... there's no lack of deep menacing bass running it this way.
     
  4. TysonL

    TysonL Agent

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    I tend to run my 20-39PCi about 6-8db hot.

    Tyson
     
  5. Dylan Savage

    Dylan Savage Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeremy, I think you've got your SPL meter inaccuracy backwards. It runs 2-3dB high not 2-3dB low (this is what I read from Tom V.) so to calibrate it "even" with your fronts you'd want it at 88dB on the rat shack meter.
     
  6. Arron H

    Arron H Second Unit

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    Vince Maskeeper is very capable of speaking for himself on this matter but as I recall on another thread, he indicated that the bass inaccuracy attributed to the rat shack spl meter is a myth. He has tested with the rat shack spl and other more advanced equipment and found that the rat shack meter is actually very accurate.
     
  7. Arron H

    Arron H Second Unit

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    Here is Vince's reply from a previous thread about the rat shack spl meter:

     
  8. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    I follow reference settings for music. For movies, I may run it 3-5 dB hot.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    I run at +2-3db (needle swings between 76-78 relative to 75 for mains).

    The closer you listen to reference levels (105/115 peaks) the less boost you need. If you're always 10db under reference then you'll probably like it 3-6db hot so you get the impact. For critical music listening I can see running the sub a little under or just even with the mains.
     
  10. Dan Joy

    Dan Joy Supporting Actor

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    My reference volume level is -16db on my DA5ES. I listen anywhere from -26 20 -38db usually(kids, small room, and I want to keep my hearing). My SVS is 2-3db hot for movies and flat even for music. :b
     
  11. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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  12. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    At reference I have my SVS set +/- 3db over 85. The needle swing makes it difficult to know for sure. The receiver sub level setting is -9.

    When I actually watch a movie my wife likes the volume level much lower so I have the main volume set well below reference. When this happens I pump up the sub level setting in the receiver to -3 or -2. I don't know what the increase translates to in terms of db's but it allows me to still get the impact of the SVS at the lower volume.
     
  13. Adam_R

    Adam_R Second Unit

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    I run my SVS 20-39PCi about 6 to 9dB hot. I listen at lower volumes and have a big room.
     
  14. Manny_S

    Manny_S Stunt Coordinator

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    I have my SVS 25-31PCi calibrated to 80dB(lowest swing 79 dB / highest swing 81 dB) using Video Essentials,RS SPL meter, my Denons's master volume at the "00" and Denon's SW level at -6. When watching movies at reference level, I may turn up the SW level just a little depending on the movie. If I'm watching a movie with my wife, volume levels usually stay around -10 to -7, so I have to turn the sub up to compensate.
     
  15. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    Both of the RS SPL meters I have run between 2 and 3dB low on subwoofer calibration tones. The RS meter's rolloff down low has been well documented for years now...from a variety of reputable sources. The SPL meter needs this added to it to get back to *in the ballpark* accuracy...

    16hz/11dB
    20hz/7.5
    25hz/5.5
    31hz/3.5
    40hz/2.5
    50hz/2.0
    63hz/1.5
    80hz/1.5

    Or something like that,

    TV
     
  16. Richard Greene

    Richard Greene Stunt Coordinator

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    Bottom line first:
    For audiophiles, a subwoofer is operating perfectly only when you can't tell it's on ... until you turn it off.
    For videophiles, plaster must be falling from the ceiling.

    The Rat Shack meter is a true bargain and quite accurate between about 32Hz. and 2,000Hz. I'm confident they are within +/-2dB in that range (possibly within +/-1dB if you get lucky).

    The posted internet correction factors are so large primarily due to the standard adjustments from C-weighting to U-weighting (unweighted actual SPL). A smaller portion of the corrections are to adjust for the actual Rat Shack errors for a specific meter (not yours). In general, those errors mean the Rat Shack meter measures a few dB's too low below 32Hz. (and the errors tend to increase as frequency declines) versus a perfect meter using C weighting.

    C weighting adjusts the SPL reading for the average person's difficulty of hearing low bass and high treble frequencies at reasonable SPLs -- it's sort of a "house curve" for average ears -- a flat frequency response using C-weighting would theoretically sound flat to the average person at normal listening levels. I have no idea who was tested to come up with this average person curve -- no one asked me -- they probably used prisoners and street people, (formerly known as bums), for all I know.

    Some examples for specific frequencies:
    C-weighting at 31.5Hz. plus 3dB = U-weighting at 31.5Hz.
    C-weighting at 20Hz. plus 6.2dB = U-weighting at 20Hz.
    C-weighting at 10Hz. plus 14.3dB = U-weighting at 10Hz.

    Not only does the ability to hear bass vary from person to person, it also varies for each person at various SPLs.
    The lower the SPL, the more difficult it is to hear the lowest bass frequencies. So each person needs a gradually rising bass frequency response (measured) to sound subjectively flat. In plain English that means the subwoofer frequencies have to measure somewhat louder than the main speaker frequencies to create the illusion of a flat bass frequency response.

    The unequalized bass frequency response in a home listening
    room is actually so far from flat that I hate to use the word "flat" when talking about subwoofers. Some bass peaks due to room resonances can make a subwoofer sound louder than SPL measurements made using pink noise or warble tones suggest ... simply because these test tones do a poor job of exciting room resonances that your ears can hear loud and clear ... but that's another story.
     
  17. Arron H

    Arron H Second Unit

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    TV,

    I understand about the correction values for specific frequencies and I have used them in combination with the Stryke disc to measure the response curve for my sub. Are you saying that a reading of 86Db-88Db from a sub calibration tone is actually closer to 88Db-90Db?
     
  18. Henry_W

    Henry_W Stunt Coordinator

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    I am with Phil on this one - about 3-4 db hot for HT. I also found that over several months the SVS (20-39PCi) was hotter than my initial settings (break in?). I was noticing the difference in HT and went in to recalibrate.

    For music I had a much lengthier experience in finding my favorite settings. For stereo/multichannel stereo I have the reciever set sub out at -4 db which is aproximately -7db from my HT setting. This gives me the most seamless blending for my speakers and room setup.
     
  19. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    A better question is whether setting your sub to 2-3db below the mains according to the RS meter (to achieve exact calibration through VE/Avia/etc.) actually gives you the level the movie director intended you to hear. Or the level that will provide accurate bass when you listen to music using those settings. Who knows?

    Also, does compression play into this at all? In other words, could a reference level scene stress a sub and require it to be calibrated a few decibels hot to produce the actual correct volume? I can imagine that'd be an inexact science, but I can also imagine it wouldn't be too big of a deal with an SVS.
     
  20. John Kotches

    John Kotches Cinematographer

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    Richard:
    I take exception to this:
     

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