use a spl mrter or my ear

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steven Hallett, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. Steven Hallett

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    First my equipment:

    Onkyo 898 set up for 7.1

    speakers: Polk rt1000i's

    Polk cs400i

    Polk fx500i's

    Naunce bookshelf rears

    Omage 12inch sub

    Monitor: 61 inch panasonic

    Room size: 15x26

    Two lazy boy chairs are placed 12 feet from the screen with an end table between. I have set up the speakers by ear. If I were to use an spl meter, how do i use it, will it make a difference and where would i take the measurements from? From the center of the end table between the chairs or from my chair?
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Yes-- you need a spl meter, you cannot accurately do it by ear (unless you have a talent I have never seen).

    You use it with test tones provided on a calibration disc like AVIA or Video Essentials.

    It will make a huge difference.

    I would probably measure at a spot half way between the two chairs.

    -V
     
  3. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    another tip is to try not to hold the spl too close to your body when measuring. the sound bouncing off (or being blocked by) your body can disrupt the readings.

    i ended up using a tripod.
     
  4. Dave Nibeck

    Dave Nibeck Stunt Coordinator

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    If you don't have a tripod, set the meter on the back of the chair. If you normally sit in one chair (and are selfish [​IMG] ) use that location for your setup.
     
  5. Ron Eastman

    Ron Eastman Second Unit

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    I also suggest the selfish choice and set levels for the most common seating position. If you are watching alone why should you deprive yourself of the sweet spot? [​IMG]
    By the way, while I won't suggest that I have golden ears, I think my musician background helped me immensely before I bought my SPL meter. The first time I used it I was very happy to discover that I had the levels matched dead on for the front three speakers and only 2 decibels off on the rears. However, I consider my SPL meter to be indispensable as it removes that last bit of guesswork from setting my levels.
     
  6. Tony Granatelli

    Tony Granatelli Stunt Coordinator

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    I just purchased the infamous Radio Shack SPL meter. I am embarrassed to say I initially held it about 6 inches from the speakers.
    Then, I read a bunch of posts and found out you need to place it where you sit!
    How does that saying go, live and learn!
    Tony Mr.500 Granatelli
     
  7. Tim Lawrence

    Tim Lawrence Extra

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    Steven, I have nothing useful to add to the excellent posts before me, however; one quick question for you:
    When you finally do get a SPL meter and set your system up the way you like it, I'm sure some of your soundfield will ultimately change. The question I will ask of you is this - please post a review of your audio performance before vs. after the SPL calibration, with specific attention towards those Nuance rear speakers.
    I'm NOT going to say anything bad here, except that from looking at your gear list, they seem to really stand out against the rest of your quality goodies.[​IMG]
    If you're still happy after a calibration and they do you well for HT, please share that info with us here... I know a lot of people who rag on some names of gear, but ultimately if you are pleased with the results, that is what matters. I do know others who own these speakers. These people just may need to hear something good about gear that others say to simply replace at all costs. Some of us have made purchases that we just can't toss away. [​IMG]
    Anyway - good luck and enjoy the calibration game! [​IMG]
     
  8. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    Tim, knowing Steven personally I know his thoughts on the Nuance and can tell you he has already ordered Polk's to replace them.
    I agree with the "before and after", it is always interesting to see what you had set it to before the use of a SPL meter.
    And I already let Steven's wife know about the valuable real estate that the end table is taking up, it being right in the sweet spot.(This placement of the end table is due to wife acceptance factor) She wants a balanced look to the room but Steve has assured me the end table will soon be where it belongs...at the end, not in the middle. [​IMG]
    Perhaps though I should not jump the gun and let Steve tell you the situation.
     
  9. Steven Hallett

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    mike ,i did get spl meter and the settings we had were way off,set meter on back of my chair ,sounds great. i have ordered the avia and will recalabrate thur dvd when in and will post the results.as for end table and the valuble so clled realestate the wife WINS.I AM VERY HAPPY WITH THE SOUND FROM MY SEAT,SO THE FUNITURE REMAINS WHERE IT IS AT.as for the nuance rears the sound is quite satisfing,but i will replace them with a pair of rt35i polks to timbre match the rest of my system,and use the nuance some else in the house as they are a decent sounding set of speakers.
     
  10. Irv Kelman

    Irv Kelman Extra

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    Steven,
    Here is a little more detail for you.
    Place the SPL Meter at ear level in your listening position pointed toward the ceiling.
    For those with a THX Certified Controller/Receiver, use the internal test tone to calibrate.
    Adjust each speaker to 75 dB.
    Invite the neighborhood over to show off the system.
    [​IMG]
     

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