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To SVS owners, do you really follow reference settings? (1 Viewer)

Ryan Cruz

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 2, 2002
Messages
139
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?
 

Jeremy Anderson

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 23, 1999
Messages
1,049
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.
 

Dylan Savage

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 12, 2002
Messages
53
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.
 

Arron H

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
332
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.
 

Arron H

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
332
Here is Vince's reply from a previous thread about the rat shack spl meter:

Well, I think the 4db mistake on the RS meter is a popular legend. I've A-B'd with professional gear- and it's real close. It has some problems on specific freq, but on filtered pink (like you get with test tones) it's pretty close- and certainly not 4db off, even on Sub.
 

Ned

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 20, 2000
Messages
838
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.
 

Dan Joy

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 8, 2001
Messages
758
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
 

Phil Iturralde

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 7, 1998
Messages
1,892
... do you really follow reference settings?
Well, since 1998 (JBL ARC 80w Sub; 1999 - Sherwood 100w sub; 2000 AudioSource 200w SW15; 2002 SVS 320w 25-31PCi) - I always started @ 75 dB using Video Essentials then tweaked it a-little hot until my -10 dB to REF Level sounded correct with my favorite blockbuster DVD's. Each sub had it's specific minor corner placement location based on it's room interaction in my 20' x 30' w/10' high vaulted ceiling HT/family room.
When I first got my SVS 25-31PCi (April 2002), using Video Essentials dedicated LFE test tone (plays right after the Right Surround Pink Noise), it was ...
- REF Calibrated = 77 dB AVG (lowest swing 75 dB / highest swing 79 dB)
A few months ago, I re-checked my settings, and now it's
- REF Calibrated = 81 dB AVG (lowest swing 79 dB / highest swing 83 dB)
As always, I verified my final LFE REF Calibration point using my favorite blockbuster DTS & DD-5.1 DVD's (Toy Story 2 from the The Ultimate Toy Box set; Behind Enemy Lines; Diana Krall "LIve in Paris"; GalaxyQuest DTS; Jurassic Park III DTS; Pearl Harbor; etc.)
FYI: I monitored over 112 dB** @ my sweet spot while watching the INTRO of LOTR DVD w/friends over @ approx. -15 dB below REF Level!!! :D LOTR is one hot encoded glorious DVD Demo quality soundtrack mix!!! :emoji_thumbsup:
** RS Dial = 110 dB / Weight = C / Speed = FAST - no RS correction added.
Can't wait to watch Monster's Inc. , Spiderman & Attack of the Clones!!! This Friday NITE DVD
htf_images_smilies_popcorn.gif
is "The Count Of Monte Cristo" DVD!
Phil
 

Jim_C

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Messages
2,058
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.
 

Adam_R

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 10, 2002
Messages
395
I run my SVS 20-39PCi about 6 to 9dB hot. I listen at lower volumes and have a big room.
 

Manny_S

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Messages
54
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.
 

Tom Vodhanel

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 4, 1998
Messages
2,241
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
 

Richard Greene

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Mar 5, 2001
Messages
148
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.
 

Arron H

Second Unit
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
332
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?
 

Henry_W

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 7, 2002
Messages
137
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.
 

Michael R Price

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
1,591
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.
 

John Kotches

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2000
Messages
2,635
Richard:
I take exception to this:
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.
If you are serious about correct A/V setup, then the plaster only falls from the ceiling if that was the directors intent.
Otherwise, just as with music, the subwoofer shouldn't be noticed until you hit a passage that you know your main speakers are incapable of producing, or walking over to the subwoofer and determining its operating.
For those that are running hot, that's certainly your choice, but realize that you are in all likelihood obscuring other details in soundtracks by calibrating your sub in this fashion.
The way our brain works a louder sound, even slightly later in time will obscure a quieter sound. That's just the way the brain functions.
Regards,
 

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