View Full Version : Well i finally got my SPL meter,
10-15-2002, 09:53 PM
I just bought my first SPL meter from rat shack this past weekend and setup my speaks with the meter, Now i was trying to be fancy and put the meter on my video tripod in front of me while sitting on the couch, I used to just have all my levels at +12db, now its 4+db, C5+db,5+db, rears R,+6db, L,+6db, and sub at -3db, any reason why my settings are so high as i see alot of people saying +1,+0db, This is set at receiver reference with the pink noise tone test and spl at 85db and sub at 89 db.....
also seems the sub is lower than i like t only 5 db higher then the rest of speaks. what bass and treble setting do you guys use, for movies i use treble at 12+(highest setting) and bass at 6 or 8+db on the receiver. and my sub volume is set at almost full on to get that 89 db setting at reference . Let me know what i'm doing wrong or right?? Thanks
10-15-2002, 10:05 PM
As long as you have the basic priciple of spl setup. Your OK. Your numbers are not that bad. Much better than +12. Most people will have different taste and room acoustics play a huge part. I just re-spl'ed my set up to the way Dr.Spec suggested and lowered my numbers a bit. And ya u are right, I had to crank my sub up by +3 to get the bass I like. As I did my spl setup on my Onkyo when my spl hit right about 85db my Onkyo actually said reference level on the readout. That really surprised me. And also the level adjustment volume during setup IS different than the master volume during playback. Because of the lower level settings my volume has to be turned up about 7% higher now. Overall not a big change in sound though.
10-15-2002, 10:32 PM
Just for kicks and laughs try this..............
set all of your levels back to 0db.Then start the test tone at the left front speaker and see what the level is.Whatever that level is set the rest of the system including the sub,and run a couple of movies.The sub being needed =5 db over the rest of the system leads me to believe you sit in a null area.A dip if you will in bass energy.It leads me also to believe you need to reposition the sub.The level not that your setup is wrong,The goal with using the SPL is to get all channels the same db level.Modifing to personal taste is one thing.Id try the same levels all around, your probably just used to listening to the system way out of tune....Id also try setting the bass and trebble back to 0.Give it a run, if you hate it set it up the way you feel sounds best.
Just a usefull or useless tip.
10-15-2002, 10:37 PM
Maybe he should crawl around on the floor? ;)
10-15-2002, 11:03 PM
Hey that would take me back to my drinking days(crawling on the floor) LOL, I have set the bass to 0 or 2 db and that wasnt bad but the highs just arent there with the treble at 0, maybe 4 or 6 wouldnt be bad, and also about the sub, I read to set the speaks at 85 db on the spl and the sub to 89 db on the spl, thats why i did that... when i set the levels all to 0 what should the spl meter read when i crank on the pink noise?? and also my receiver go's to 62DB/reference when i turn the pink test on, so thats where i set from and move level up to they read 85 db on the meter. should i be setting everything to 75 db instead??? and if so whats the sub reading?? 80db? or should it be the same as the speakers? Thanks guys
10-16-2002, 08:24 AM
Crawl around the floor......I love it ,I absolutely love it.........
Where you should set your SPL in my opnion the 75db doesn't work in all rooms.What I found that works well due to speaker effiency,amp power,room placement,Room size,etc is taking a reading at the left main speaker with all levels set back to 0db and setting up all the rest to the same SPL.......example......if the left main speaker is reading 81db at reference set at 0 db,I set the center at 81,right main at 81,right rear at 81,left rear at 81,and the sub at 81.(surround back channels as well if you have em).
This makes for a great starting place.Not the be all end all but a good start.I usually have to decrease the sub level to blend it in with the rest of the system.The sub should blend into the system without calling attention to itself.When the sub is much louder then the rest of the channels it calls attention to itself and you can hear exactly where it is in the room.....my opnion this is a bad thing.I feel many people are so used to hearing it cranked that when it is calibrated to the rest of the speaker package, they feel it lacks low bass power,not true,just think natural,how things sound in real life,this is what you want to shoot for,not reachable with home equipment but you can get real close................debatable I know!!!!!!!
Bass and trebble adjustments I also shy away from.I think proper speaker placement can solve just about all of your boosing and cutting needs.I'm into flat,but thats just me.
10-16-2002, 12:51 PM
I think 85 dB is WAY too loud to approximate a reference volume level. You can use 75 dB, 80 dB or 85 dB - the concept is still the same. I stole this from another of my posts, and added at the bottom is new info on the Rat Shack meter. This is for 75 dB.
1) Set all the individual speaker volume controls on the receiver to 0. Set the sub volume control to -5.
2) Play the center channel test tone and measure the SPL AT your listening position.
3) Adjust the Master volume on the receiver until the test tone for the center channel speaker is showing 75 dB on the SPL meter.
6) DON'T touch the Master volume ANYMORE, and write down the Master volume setting.
7) Switch to the test tones for the mains and surrounds and adjust the individual speaker volume controls on the receiver (NOT the Master volume) until they also read 75 dB at the listening position.
8) Switch to the sub test tone and adjust the plate amp volume control AT THE SUB (NOT the receiver Master volume, and NOT the receiver sub volume, which should be left at -5) until the SPL meter reads about 75 dB at the listening position. If you like your bass a bit on the hot side, adjust the sub amp volume control until you hit 78 dB at the listening position. The bass tone will fluctuate some on the SPL meter, so try to take an average.
Your system is now properly calibrated, and the Master volume setting you wrote down will get you pretty close to reference level SPL peaks for both surround sound and bass.
When measuring output, also consider the inherent rolloff of the RS SPL meter. Add the following to the meterís readout to get an accurate SPL.
This meter rolloff also affects the calibration levels. The RS meter tends to read about 2dB low during the typical subwoofer calibration tone. So 75dB on your meter is actually about 77dB or 2 dB "hot". If you go for 78 dB, you will be 5 dB "hot".
This is not a problem at lower listening levels, but if you play it at "reference", you might bottom or bust the sub unless it is particularly robust.
Also, LOTR is mastered very loud, so don't try that at reference.
10-16-2002, 01:04 PM
So ok whats the Reference deal?? you mean on the receiver volume? When my test tones are turned on it go's to Reference on the readout for the volume, I never listen that loud. I have my volume setup in the OSD to read 1+ 78+max db, so i listen to movies at around 35+ to 45+ note that reference is at 61+db on the master volume, it would be way to loud. so am i way off on this reference setting thing?? or what??
10-16-2002, 04:18 PM
Your "reference volume" is that Master Volume setting which will give you 75 dB at the couch on your test tones, when the individual speaker volume settings are at or near "0". You always pick one speaker (I use the center channel) and set the individual speaker volume to "0" and crank up the Master volume until the test tone reads 75 dB at the listening position. Then you calibrate the rest of your speakers to that speaker - your other settings should not vary much more than from "-3" to "+3", mostly dependent on speaker location and relative efficiencies.
Anyway, the term "reference" refers to a Dolby Labs spec which says that this is the approximate volume at which the original was mastered, and that is how they intended it to be heard in the movie theater. Although your test tones are only running at 75 dB, you can expect music and sound effect peaks of 105 dB and bass peaks of 115 dB from any channel at any time at this volume setting.
Yes, reference level IS loud - often times the subwoofer is totally incapable of reproducing reference level bass in a normal sized HT room, so be careful here.
Most people run their systems at 5-10 dB UNDER reference and find it completely satisfying. Nothing says you have to listen at reference levels, but you should calibrate your system at reference level with your test tones to ensure a proper volume balance between all speaks.
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