View Full Version : CAll me stupid but...
12-17-2002, 02:10 PM
I need some simple answers. So I got the SPL meter from RS and have read every thread I could find on how to use it. For some reason I just don't think I'm doing the readings right.
This is what I did.
1) waited until late because I kept getting readings from cars going by.
2) turned the volume to about 40 on my oink
3)ran the test tone in all the speakers (SPL@60)
4)tried to level them off by increasing or decreasing the output so that all would read at the same number or as close as I could get them. I think I was at 1 give or take .5
5) the sub goes off the scale, but I was more worried about the rest, the sub will take more time to perfect it appears.
It feels right, but I did it about 20 times and I don't think I set the levels the same way twice.
12-17-2002, 03:37 PM
the best way.. and other people on here may not agree with me on this. i use a set up DVD for the white noise levels. most receivers have a built in tone generator. mine does too. but it only stays on each speaker for about 5 seconds before it moves to the next one. so I use a set up DVD. AVIA makes a good one.
Mine is some other off brand. get one if you can. it will also help set up your TV for proper color, brightness, and contrast.
anyway, play the disc, perform the white noise test tones. beginning with the left front, then center, right front, right rear, left rear, and sub. all should read as close to the same level.
I set mine to about 75db on the SPL. sounds good. and makes a difference when playing a DVD in either DD or DTS.
good luck, come back if you still need help.
12-18-2002, 12:30 AM
i used nthe avia disc and what a difference it made in the over all sound.. thing was is i didnt like the way the sub sounded after i did mine so i have it turned up a little higher than recommended, so when i do pink noise the sub hits a lot higher db then the rest. but hey every ones ears are different.
12-18-2002, 07:58 AM
Danger Boy is right you should use the Avia or Video Essentials disc to calibrate your Home Theater so the noise generator is coming through your processor, wires, dvd player and so on.
But what I can see is that you should set the meter to a level range of 70 not 60 and balance all your speakers to +5db above that. If your sub is maxing the meter out physically turn the sub done to get a proper balance you shouldn't try to cut the sub using -db attenuation on the preamp.
12-18-2002, 12:28 PM
Agree with Liv4Fam: VE or Avia is best, but test tones can work pretty good too.
Set-up the meter on a tripod (even makeshift one) at the listening position, angled upwards 45 degrees. Try not to stand in front of, or behind the meter - crouch low or even lie on the couch to read it.
If you are using test tones, set the meter to C-weighted Slow and the 70 dB scale. Set all the speaks to 0 on the receiver to start, and use the master volume to set the center channel tone to 75 dB first.
Don't touch the master volume after that. Write this master volume setting down somewhere.
Then get the other surround speaks to also read 75 dB by adjusting that individual speaker control above or below 0 (you should be able to do this within -3 to +3 if your speaks are all about the same efficiency).
The sub tone will fluctuate the meter badly, even on the slow scale, so try to get an average reading of 75 dB. You will have to grossly adjust the sub volume at the sub amp first, and then fine tune with the receiver sub control. Try to get the sub volume at the receiver to read between -3 and 0 when you are at an average of 75 dB on the meter.
Remember, the Rat Shack reads about 2 dB low on the sub tone, so an average reading of 75 dB is really about 77 dB. This should give you a slightly hot LFE channel, which many enthusiasts prefer. If you want it even hotter afterwards, that's OK, but just remember what your baseline setting was - some DVDs have very hot mastered LFE tracks, and some have very wimpy mastered LFE tracks, so adjust up or down from your baseline to taste.
12-18-2002, 02:42 PM
Thanks Doc, everyone. Bought a tripod yesterday and spent the time I was supposed to be napping (went to LOTR TT @midnight) playing with it. I did pretty much what you said accept I set the 75Db on my first speaker (left side) and set the rest up off of its reading. I did sit behind the meter on the back of my couch, which is flush with the back wall, so I will try again with a different sitting position. I think the one point I was getting hung up on was the 75Db. 30or 40 tries in I figured out that I had to increase the volume on my receiver to get up to that level. Once it was all set-up the sub was my only hanging point. I live in an upstairs apartment so I have to keep the volume on it pretty low, but it works well enough. Is it common for one side to be more dominate then the other? My right side runs +2 (volume increase) both front and rear.
12-18-2002, 03:17 PM
75 db for me is pretty loud.. having all 6 speakers kicking out white noise at that level is very loud. but yeah 75db is a good place to set your individual speakers up to. then see how everything sounds once you put in a DVD and listen to it.
12-18-2002, 03:51 PM
Yeah, it's extremely loud. I usually have the volume @ around 34-40 (# on receiver) when watching normal TV. With the adjustments I'm down to 28.
12-18-2002, 05:13 PM
Soccerplyr did it help setting up our speakers with a SPL? Does the imaging between all speakers sound good? your set up is very similar to mine.
12-18-2002, 05:19 PM
Yeah, going off a main is just as good as the center - I just prefer the center but it all works out the same.
Yep, it's surprising how loud you have to set the master volume to hit 75 dB on the test tones. I have to get mine up to -15.
I have left side dominance on my system by 1 or 2 dB on the mains - don't know how common it is. Must just be room acoustics.
I have found that the master volume setting which gives me 75 dB on the test tones (-15 for me) to also be just about the maximum safe volume I can play my system at without wrecking the sub. Anywhere from -18 to -15 on the master gives me 112-115 dB peaks on the sub, depending on the particular DVD. That's pretty GD loud.
I usually listen at -20 for serious HT playback - loud but not deafening and well down into the safe zone for the sub - around 110 dB peaks.
12-18-2002, 07:10 PM
I seem to have a different volume meter on my Marantz receiver than you all do. Mine does not have "-" numbers.. it goes from 0 to 90 i think. i've never checked exactly. but for good dvd listening on my system... 65 is pretty decent level. 70 on rare mostly dialog movies.. but hardly ever over 72. At 70 - 72 the peak SPL is right around 100 - 112db. very loud for me.
12-18-2002, 08:05 PM
danger- By the time I got it all set last night I only had about 10 minutes to test the sound before I had to leave for the theater. I'll dedicate about 2 hrs tonight and will get back with you.
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