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How do I know when the sound is "right"?

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by docb, Jun 8, 2005.

  1. docb

    docb
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    Hello All

    I am just at the stage where I have positioned the sub, (no movement allowed due to WAF). I am now tweeking with both Amp and Sub/speakers to get the right sound.

    But, how do you know it is "right". I have read a lot of the stuff on here, and i know that "right" is when you get it how your ears like to listen to it.
    But i am not convinced this is the correct way to go about it.
    I have recently had a TV calibration and i would have said that the Picture was good before, but now it is stunning. So my eyes got used to seeing an inferior picture and believed this to be a good picture.
    I am sure the same thing will be happening with my ears.

    Any suggestions?

    thanks

    Doc
     
  2. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Well the best thing to do is play some music that you know well to try and get the balance right (I use the John Peel recording of the SLF version of "Doesn't Make it Alright" where the bass drums and guitars are mixed quite loudly).

    Another useful tool is to play a sine sweep like the one on THX optimisers - you're aiming for the volume to remain constant to your ears as it goes down rather than bouncing around. :)
     
  3. docb

    docb
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    Thanks EvilJohn2

    Problem is do i "know" the music?
    If it was not playing correctly in the first place, my ears have become accustomed to the track at an inferior quality, therefore i would be setting the new system at the inferior quality.

    Doc
     
  4. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Presumably you've heard live music before at some point so should have half an idea what it sounds like. You really need to set it right so that a variety of sources sound just about right. :)
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Well the only way to 'know' that the sub is setup right is to get expensive testing/calibrating hardware! Or pay somebody with that equipment to do it for you.

    If you want to spend some money then a Velodyne Digital Drive sub has an OSD that shows you what your sub & speakers are outputting and parametric EQ to control the output. When the graph line is as flat as you can get it then you know the sub is 'right'!
    If happy with your sub then later this year Velodyne will be releaseing a separate unit that will have the DD subs software and will control your existing sub. It is called the SMS-1 and should be out in the not too distant future.

    Mark.
     
  6. deanym

    deanym
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    Have a listen through good quality headphones which will be less affected by room resonances etc, this should give you a truer feel of what levels each frequency should be at, then try and replicate the dynamics (rather than the soundstage - which 'phones won't help with).
     
  7. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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  8. docb

    docb
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    Thanks for the advice,

    I like the headphones idea as well, a good quality "live" recording, plus the head phones sounds like the way forward.
    Trying to remember what the music sounded like live, especially as i have usually had a couple of beers, could be difficult.

    Thanks again

    Doc
     
  9. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    There are plenty of gigs that I don't remember because of the :beer:, however, you would soon know if it wasn't sounding right. The recording doesn't really have to be a live one - just music that you know relatively well and has some bass content in. :)
     
  10. Ian J

    Ian J
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    What sub and main speakers do you have ?
     
  11. docb

    docb
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    Ian J

    I have a mission 78AS and Wharfedale 9.1 fronts. currently have crossover set at 80 but have tried it at 90 and cant decide.

    Wharfedale 9sr for surrounds and whafedale centre.

    I realise that at this price point i am not going to get the music sounding as good as a quality set of speakers/amp, but i would still like to know it is playing the music at its optimum.

    Thanks

    Doc
     
  12. Ian J

    Ian J
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    You are trying to achieve a blend of main speakers and subwoofer so that if you shut your eyes you would think that it is just a pair of large floorstanders playing the music and not a combination of bookshelf speakers and subwoofer.
     
  13. docb

    docb
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