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Calibration needs

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by whattodo, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. whattodo

    whattodo
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    I am about buying new receiver and my short list includes Arcam 300 or 250. Both receivers don't have auto setup function. In order to calibrate my system what do I need to have? :lease: At the least SPL meter is necessary, but other than that which procedure or equipment should I have? And is the calibration process difficult :eek: or is it piece of cake? ;)
     
  2. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    If you want to just set/balance the audio levels of each speaker, place the SPL in the middle seating position with the mic pointing up, and set it to C weighting and 'slow' response. Then play the test tones from either tha amps own built-in ones or a test disk, and set all the speakers and sub to the same Db level - I think it was something like 75 or 85Dbs. Provided they're all at the same level you should have it about right.

    It's pretty simple really and shouldn't take too long.

    Then play various DVDs and see if it sounds OK. You may find the center and/or the surrounds a bit quiet so you might want to adjust them to suit your own personal taste, especially if the dialogue is a bit muted.

    Gary.
     
  3. whattodo

    whattodo
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    Is what you explained the same auto setup/calibration feature which Denon, HK or Pioneer has?

    Is there a sth different than seting/balancing the audio? :blush:
     
  4. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker
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    I've not used the auto set-up on those amps but I wouldn't be surpeised if it works in a similar way.

    Gary.
     
  5. Alaric

    Alaric
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    Hi There,

    Thought some of the more nifty amplifiers set equalisers to tonally balance the sound and overcome some room anomalies. However to do this manually you'd need an amp with said equalisers built in, or separate dedicated equalisers and it could be argued some room/speaker adjustments too (are speakers in best place, bass traps, first reflection echos etc)

    I also think they check polarity and rough size of speakers in their auto set-up routines. Ie are the speakers connected correctly and are the small/medium/large for bass routing algorithms.
     
  6. Piers

    Piers
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    Whattodo,

    I see you are in Seattle so i don't think the mods here can possibly accuse me of soliciting for business. The auto set-up routines in most AV receivers (until you start spending really serious money) aren't that accurate.

    Take a look at the Home Acoustics Alliance website www.homeacoustics.net - members there, like me, have been trained and with the right tools should be able to do a far better job than an AV receiver can do!

    To do it properly you need more than a Radio Shack SPL - a Real Time Analyser is the tool of choice plus the training and experience as to how to use it. In the UK it has been a struggle trying to persuade people of the benefits of audio calibration, far easier to sell ISF video calibration, but the benefits are just as dramatic. Relatively minor changes to the room / furnishings / speaker placement can often make a huge improvement to sound, an HAA trained technician will do that for you.
     
  7. Alaric

    Alaric
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    Hi There,

    I agree with Piers that the ISF/HAA is a good route, particularly if you have the expensive equipement to warent it. Its akin to having spent thousands on a car, just to leave it in a poor state of tuning. I guess the visual side is a lot easier to see a 'quantifyable' difference in, a shop TV vs an VE/AVIA calibrated one is quite astounding, so a pro job will knock your socks off.

    As you are over the other side of the pond, you may find more people to calibrate things from the AVScience foums.

    As for an RTA you can also get computer progs to do this with a calibrated mic, ETF is a good one to search out, so is the one writern by one our our forum members in the TAG area...thats even free to use ! However a mic/pre setup will cost £100+ and it takes a lot of reading, time and research to do it that way, and a pro will probably be better and quicker, although also only once off....Personaly i'm heading down the diy route as i tweak and change stuff and like learning how and why etc.

    Cya,
    Lee
     

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