why calibrate with a calibration disk vs. receiver's test tones?t

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Allan, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi, I have calibrated my speaker levels with the receiver's (onkyo 575) internal test tones and a RS SPL meter. My question is : why do people say to use the avia or video essentials disk to calibrate with instead. (I use avia for he video portion -- but I don't get why the disk's tones would be beter.)

    thanks,

    Allan
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    When you use the disc, you include the DVD player and all associated signal paths, all the way to the speakers.

    When you watch a movie, you hear the soundtrack, not the rec.'s tones.

    On my HK, the built in tones were not balanced the same as VE's tones. I believe the disc was more accurate.

    There's nothing wrong with the rec's tones, but I chose to use the disc.

    - CM
     
  3. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Colin, that makes sense. However, I also watch tv, listen to CDs, and listen to the radio. None of these utilize the DVD player either? So, maybe it would be better to use the receiver's tones?

    allan
     
  4. Rod Melotte

    Rod Melotte Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2002
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Good point - however, I would rather error on the watching the TV side and have perfect DVD then the other way around.

    I do not have the AVIA disk YET but used the Audio test on my T2(THX test) disk and was surprised at the difference.

    The T2 through my DVD player had my front speaks 10-15 decimals higher then the test using my receiver.
     
  5. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Receiver tones are, more often than not, wrong.

     
  6. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Vince,

    Thanks for the reply. when you say "wrong", what do you mean by that?

    Allan
     
  7. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 1997
    Messages:
    1,560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Allan - Since you have Avia why don't you try it both ways and see if the results come out different. I've never tried it with the receiver test tones, so I think I'll try it both ways too. I may not get to it tonight, but I'll do it as soon as I can. I'll report back here with my results too.
     
  8. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  9. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2001
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For a differing viewpoint, I have calibrated with AVIA and Video Essentials and prefer the calibration using my Denon's tones. I found the so called "reference" level to result in uncomfortably loud and possibly speaker damaging levels when using those disks. The Denon's tones resulted in a "reference" level about 7 db's less than Avia and 5 db's less than VE. Why they differ, I have no idea. Some where on this forum, this has been discussed at length, and a long quote was provided from Dolby Laboratory's which stated that you should always use the receiver's tones and NOT calibration disks, and that the chips used in the receivers are designed to produce a correct digital signal and correct reference tone levels.

    So why they are different is anybody's guess. But according to DD, you should always use the receiver. However, I know that opinion is not in the majority. Try it both ways and pick the one you like the most. I have heard that some Onkyo receiver have problems with the test tone of the subwoofer channel not being correct.
     
  10. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  11. Jeremy Anderson

    Jeremy Anderson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 1999
    Messages:
    1,049
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  12. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Vince, one last question on this point!

    So, is the only "flaw" (at least potential flaw) with using the receiver's test tones that they may not output tones at the exact same level. This is what you mean by the fact that they might be "wrong."

    Thanks again. It looks like I am going to have to recalibrate with Avia real soon.

    Allan
     
  13. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  14. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Vince,

    Agreed that the our goal is to set each channel to be the exact same. However, why should it matter if the recvier's test tones are different from each other. When you adjust it louder or softer (using the SPL meter), you will always END UP with each channel having the same output (or level).

    Am I still missing something?

    Allan
     
  15. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  16. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Allan,

    Heres another analogy, silly but might be effective:

    Let's assume you are a treadmill mechanic. You are called to a local gym and they have a professional walking team coming in to train- so they want you to calibrate 6 of their treadmills to run at the exact same speed.

    You determine, since you don't have any fancy way to measure the speed of the treadmill, that your best bet would be to get 6 people to all walk at the same speed on the treadmill and calibrate them so that the people stay even.

    (now of course, this is a bad way to do that job, but stick with me- it gets better)

    Now those treadmills represent your speaker level calibration (the thing your're adjusting).

    The people represent calibration tones (the control indicator of how they should be adjusted).

    As long as those calibration people do, in fact, walk at exactly the same speed-- you should be able to match the speed of all 6 treadmills by simply making all the people line up evenly. If they are walking the exact same speed- and all the treadmills are running at the exact same speed- that would make everyone even.

    However- what would happen if one of your calibration people on the treadmill was a show off and walked faster than everyone else? Well, if you adjust that treadmill to his/her "too fast" walking speed- you would have to slow that treadmill belt down to compensate and to keep that person even with the rest- right?

    The same would be true if one of your calibration people was lazy and walked slower than the others. If you then used their speed as your guide to set the pace of their treadmill belt- you would end up increasing the speed of that treadmill in order to allow that slowpoke to keep up.

    With the lazy person and the speedy person on the treadmills- you could finish your belt calibrations and all 6 people would be perfectly in step- but the belts on those two treadmills would still be "wrong" because they were adjusted to compensate for those two "non-standard" walkers.

    The minute you replaced your 6 walkers (receiver tones) with 6 walkers from the walking team which is expecting treadmills that are prefectly even (a DVD)-- then the two treadmills that were dialed using Mr. Slowpoke and Mrs. Speedypants will cause the perfect walkers on those treadmills to get off pace with the others.

    So the only way for you to really have the "proper even level" between all 6 treadmills would be to have 6 calibration people (tones) that were truely identical. Otherwise, you will be adjusting the belts (your speaker levels) too hig/low to comensate for non-standard walkers.

    Make sense?

    -V
     
  17. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Vince,

    Great explanation. Now I get it (and I like those analogies).

    I guess it is off to recalibrate with Avia this weekend.

    Thanks again!

    Allan
     
  18. Scott Page

    Scott Page Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2001
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Vince,

    Thank you for your information. I have asked many times on this forum for why my Denon's tones don't match Avia, which doesn't match VE, which doesn't match Optimode disks. None of them match each other, so my question has been what is reference if they aren't repeatable?. However, I will admit that Avia & VE are closer to each other than the Denon is to anything.

    Anyway, no one could tell me if the Denon was incorrect, or if Avia and VE were incorrect. Your answers are the best explanation with real testing that I have come across. So it sounds like I might be recalibrating using Avia, but at maybe Reference -5 (80 instead of 85 db, I'm just used to setting the dial at 00 rather than listening at -5).

    Thanks for your information.
     
  19. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 1999
    Messages:
    6,499
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  20. Allan

    Allan Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2000
    Messages:
    205
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Isn't 75 db (bot 85) reference level?

    allan
     

Share This Page