Well, I just got my Stryke test CD, now what?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Steve Stogel, Feb 11, 2002.

  1. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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    I bought a used SVS a few weeks ago, so the next thing I wanted was something to tell exactly how it did at different frequencies. Well, I bought Stryke's test CD. It's got sine waves and warble tones from 10Hz up to 20K. My question is, now what?

    Oh, sure, I plopped it in to see what 10Hz sounds...feels like (very cool, by the way). I suppose I could use it to batten down the hatches, as it were. I noticed that at 15Hz, my walls are shaking somthing fierce and I get a LOUD rattle from somewhere near the fireplace (too busy playing to hunt it down just yet). I plan on getting out the SPL meter and seeing what kind of frequency curve I get in my room. I guess that's what I do, right? And at what volume? I don't think I can calibrate it to anything in specific. This thing is recorded at extremely high levels it seems. If I had popped it in the DVD and cranked up to reference levels from the get-go, I shudder to think what would have happened. Thankfully, they give a nice warning to not do that.

    Do I just play, say, a 35Hz tone and get it to a dB I like? So play 35Hz at 90dB and then leave the volume set and start my charting?

    And is there anything I can do above 80Hz with my test tones? I got it for the sub, but it's the full bandwidth. Just don't know what I'd do. Thanks for any input.

    Steve

    P.S. FWIW, I'm using that RatShack SA-155 "amplifier" to convert line level to speaker level (my sub amp only has speaker level inputs). I know people were thinking it could be a fix for the rare but annoying Onkyo/Denon-CS+ problems. I just wanted to point out that the SA-155 is rated at 20-20K frequency response, so I thought perhaps it wouldn't pass on the tones
     
  2. KevinHunt

    KevinHunt Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Steve. I think you are right on. I would start at 20Hz, then raise the master volume to a dB reading you like(75-90dB) then leave your master volume there and cycle up through the tones. This will give you a dB reading at each tone with the same volume. Then you can eye your response or even graph it, which would probably make it easier to see your peaks and valleys(hopefully not many)[​IMG]
     
  3. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    There's a 1KHz test tone at the beginning of the Stryke BassZone CD. That's what you should use to set your master volume. Measure the SPL of one speaker (unplug the other speaker) with the SPL meter at a distance of 1 meter away, raise the master volume until you get to either 75dB or 85dB (whatever sounds comfortable to you).

    Oh, and don't forget to wear earplugs while you are measuring the SPLs!

    For subs, use the Sine waves; for main speakers, use the warble tones.
     
  4. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Kevin and Patrick.
    I appreciate the info on Sine vs. Warble. I do have one other question. If I calibrate to, say, 75dB with the 1KHz test tone at one meter with one speaker, how do I calibrate with the sub? I was thinking at the listening position, but would 1m be better? I've got a tripod, so I could just set it up and take the readings, I suppose. Or should it be nearer the listening positions (which are only 1-2m further away [​IMG])?
    Steve
     
  5. Shawn Sefranek

    Shawn Sefranek Second Unit

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    Where's a good online site to buy the Stryke's test CD ???

    Shawn S
     
  6. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Steve,
    The Stryke BassZone CD is mainly used for testing frequency response of your sub and speakers, not for calibrating the rest of your speakers with the sub. You should look into the Avia: Guide to Home Theater DVD, or the Video Essentials DVD for that sort of audio calibration.
    Shawn,
    Have you tried Stryke? Click on the "Test CD" link on the left hand side.
     
  7. KevinHunt

    KevinHunt Stunt Coordinator

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    Patrick, what if you want to use the Stryke disc JUST to map a response of your sub(s) from say 20-100Hz and not mess with the rest of your speakers - Do you still use the 1kHz tone to set your master volume? And do you do that with just one of your main speakers, then move to the sine waves for the subs?
    Steve, basically listen to Patrick. I know little of what I speak. Hey, I'm kickin' around a couple of ideas for my next purchase. I either want to get a region free, PAL-NTSC DVD player, or plop for an Art or similar EQ for my subs. If the EQ, I may call on you to borrow the Stryke disc to help me map and flatten out the response and you can come over to hear the dual +s and get your juices flowing for an SVS upgrade. Sound feasible? [​IMG]
     
  8. Steve Stogel

    Steve Stogel Supporting Actor

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    Patrick, thanks for the response. I've got VE and use the test tones to calibrate my sub with my speakers. I was wondering if there ever was a need to check the peaks and valleys in the higher frequencies. I bought the CD for the sub, but the fact that it has frequencies up to 20K confused me a bit. Didn't know what they were for. I didn't know if people EQed the whole spectrum to get as flat a reponse from 20-20K. Thanks again.
    Kevin, ABSOLUTELY. If you get that EQ and need the CD, just shoot me an email and we'll get together. I'd really like to hear what those 16+s sound like [​IMG].
    Shawn, I got the CD at http://www.stryke.com/testcds.htm It runs 10.95, and shipping gets you up to about $12. 30 second sine and 30 second warble tones from 10Hz on up to 20K. I think I'm going to try to map out my room reponse tomorrow [​IMG]. If you want to see every thing else they have, it's http://www.stryke.com/ Have fun.
    Steve
     
  9. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Patrick, Kevin, et all: I just ran into this thread, and since I just bought this disk, I wanted to explore something alittle more and try to get some clarification.

    Patrick, you said:
     
  10. Doug Drake

    Doug Drake Stunt Coordinator

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    Steve - You didn't ask me, but I feel like throwing in a guess...

    My understanding is that the Stryke CD is recorded pretty "hot." Thus, the bass signal you calibrate your sub to 85db from is stronger than the signal you used to calibrate your mains to. You would set your channel level/volume lower to compensate for that. Then, when you put in a music disk, the bass may be too low relative to your mains because it is possibly/probably recorded at lower levels than the Stryke disk.

    I would guess you'd want the same source for all speakers for calibration purposes, which would put them correct relative to each other.

    Doug
     
  11. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Thanks Doug,

    I've been overthinking this thing. Tell me if this makes more sense.

    * Calibrate the mains/center/surrounds with whatever. This should get all my sattelites putting out the same SPLs at a given volume (like 75db @ 00 for reference when using internal tones and VE). next...

    * Throw in the stryke disk. Simply adjust the sub's volume till I get the flattest response across the widest range from top to bottom that my room/system will allow. The actual db's do not really matter. At that point I'm shooting for similar SPLs.

    If the other chanels have already been calibrated and set (85db at 0 volume)....I'll have to be at reference. Won't I?
     
  12. Doug Fraser

    Doug Fraser Extra

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    The reason to use AVIA or Video Essentials and not Stryke to set up your levels is the first two have calibrated signals. Stryke does not publish (to the best of my knowledge) what level his signals are recorded at on the disc.

    Here is the logic behind the calibration levels:

    THX specifies the maximum in room sound pressure level (volume) to be 105 db. Avia records their test tones at 20 db below the digital maximum possible on a DVD. In a calibrated system one takes the 105 db (from the THX standard) and subtracts the 20 db (as the signal is 20 db down from the loudest signal permitted on a DVD) you get 85 db. 85 db is the in room sound pressure level (volume) you need to achieve to have a calibrated system (using Avia test tones).

    While I have my system calibrated to 85 db using Avia, I seldom have the volume turn up so that I am listening at reference levels. I find a maximum SPL (sound pressure level) of 105 db much much to loud. I typically set my volume control to produce approximate 90 db in room sound pressure level (I keep my volume control turned down -15 db from the ref level setting on my Integra 9.1).

    Due to the loudness, some people recommend calibrating system to 75 db vs. the recommended 85db when Avia test tones are used. While I have not done this I can't see any difference between setting the calibration higher and keeping the volume control low or vice versa of calibrating to 75 db and turning the volume control up more. Your choice.
     
  13. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Thanks again. I'm pretty sure I know where you're coming from. I understand the concept of ref level as it relates to playback volumes. By comparing my internal tones with a borrowed copy of VE, I was able to determine that my internal tones are pretty accurate. I also never listen at reference. Usually -10 to -20 depending on the material.

    I would not be looking to calibrate my system to reference with the Stryke disk. I use my internal tones to calibrate the speakers to "reference" easilly enough. But, with speaker level connections, I will not have the same tone for the sub. So, I want to blend the sub in with the mains and experiment with different x-overs and placement in the process. I was also thinking that when finances allow, it would also help me isolate and eq out peaks in my bass response via a BFD or something.

    Did that make any sense?

    --Steve
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Ow, my head hurts. [​IMG]
    SteveMa, it'd help if you listed your speaker setup, but it is a bit tougher to calibrate a sub if you use speaker level inputs on the sub's amp to get the bass info from because you don't have independent subwoofer signal control if you had a receiver that have a sub/LFE line level output to feed the subwoofer's amp.
     
  15. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    Thanks Patrick. Here goes.
    Marantz SR7000 AVR (fixed x-over at 100hz)
    B&W 603S2 mains
    B&W ASW1000 sub
    601S2 surrounds
    CC6 center
    I now have placement options for the sub that I never had before so I want to experiment with sub placemment and lowering the x-over. I'm thinking in the 60-80hz range, as I believe my mains are pretty clean down to about mid-high 40s.
    My setup is used mostly for music, but movies are pretty important as well.
    --Steve
     

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