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How do I setup speakers with an analog SPL meter?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by thestorm, Feb 25, 2002.

  1. thestorm

    thestorm
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    Hi All!

    I'm now in the process of getting the best out of my AV setup. I own a Denon AVC-A11SR
    and I'm using it to drive 5 speakers. I don't have a woofer just yet.

    The tools I have purchased to optimize my setup are :

    1. Sound Level Meter(RadioShack analog display). I bought this from Cornwall Electronics via their web site.
    Their service was truly excellent! UNLIKE Maplin stores. Pls follow this link for the model i own :

    Cornwall Electronics

    2. The Ultimate DVD Platinum, which includes a complete home theater enhancement, setup & diagnostic tools.

    I would be very grateful if anyone who has been through this process before to advise me on this, as I'm not sure where to start.

    many thanks,
    Shaz
     
  2. BadAss

    BadAss
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    Play the 75db test tone on the DVD. Adjust the volume on your amp untill the DB level reads 75db on your SPM with it set to C weighting and slow. Then play the test tone on your amp and adjust each channel so they are all the same. And hey presto all Calibrated. Each amp/processor has a slightly different way of calibrating channels. My AV32R plays a 75db test tone anyway so no need for a DVD.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. thestorm

    thestorm
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    Hi Badass

    Thanks for u're help, this one's going to be a bit of a mission.

    Here are three q's if u can answer them.

    1. Ok so on the sound level meter itself, it has a range dial
    going from 120,110,100,90,80,70,60.

    And on the display on the dB range it goes from -10 to +6

    So do i switch the dial to : 70
    and ajust the voume of each channel so the dial needle hits: +5
    on the display? That's on the far right. That'll make it : 75?
    At present it's on -4
    with means it's on 66db?

    2.
    The dvd was saying, I should remain in the seated
    position from where i'd be enjoying the AV setup and take
    measurements from there. So do i point the sensor directly at the
    speaker itself?in the direct path of the cente point of the speaker driver?


    3.
    Why 75dB? the dvd was recommending about 78 to 80dB


    Thanks again,
    Shaz
     
  4. BadAss

    BadAss
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    Yes, your right. Set at 70db +5 = 75db.

    Sit in your usual possition and hold the meter right infront of your face pointing it at the ceiling.

    Dont know about your DVD's reference levels but 75db's is THX reference level so I use that. Youll never listen to a movie at reference level anyway unless you live next to a Rocket test site. Once you have your speakers set to the right level (75-85) this level then becomes 0db (the reference level) Any level below this is -db's anything above is +dbs. Its a strange way of putting it but thats the way it goes. Hope this helps.
     
  5. thestorm

    thestorm
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    also one otherthing i noticed was the db level of a test tone from my amp is 75db whereas the db level from the dvd is 66db!
    shocking! even though the amp is set to direct and no processing
    is added.

    :confused:
     
  6. BadAss

    BadAss
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    Use the amps test tone if it give a more acurate, less hastle than replaying the DVD. Ive never bought a test DVD apart from an old prologic CD several years ago.
     
  7. thestorm

    thestorm
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    But do think what goes in ..is what comes out?
    So if i'm playing it from the source that's what i'm actually getting? Sound at 66db?
    Anyway I've given up on the dvd for sound..i'm going to play
    with the video display settings!

    Thanks.

    Shaz
     
  8. thestorm

    thestorm
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    "Nearly all surround-sound processors and receivers will generate a test tone that can be used to check the speaker connections and to set the levels of each of the channels. However, I use a test DVD for calibration because I like to have a signal from an actual source and sometimes the tones generated by processors are not adequate to set the subwoofer level. Discs such as Video Essentials, Avia Guide to Home Theater, the Ultimate DVD (Platinum Edition), and DVDs featuring THX Optimode signals all have the required test tones."

    Source :
    http://www.hometheatersound.com/features/cinemacynergy/cc_20010201.htm
     
  9. JPC

    JPC
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    I dont have a DVD player yet......
    Does anyone know if there is a CD with test tones on it at all please?

    JC
     
  10. Jase

    Jase
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    Unless you have a dvd player the test tones wont be of much use to you. If you´ve got a surround amp/receiver then use its internal test tones, but they wont be much good without a dvd player unless you are only watching videos/Sky in Pro Logic etc etc

    I think there are cds for balancing 2 ch but this can be done by ear anyway so theyre not much use either.
     
  11. rnjones

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    Storm, I should be getting my sound Meter from Cornwall in the next few days, thanks for the link. I also have an A11SR.

    The HCC review (02/02) said in its tech tip section that the test tone should be at 75dB when the volume control was set at 00dB. But the A11SR was 20dB out of whack making 00dB very loud.

    I also have the platinum DVD. My thinking is if you have the amp set to 00dB and play the DVD you should get the same result as the test tone. But yours seems to be quieter. I think I need food this is making my head hurt.

    If you make any progress let us know.

    Has it changed the sound at all using the meter?

    Rog
     
  12. thestorm

    thestorm
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  13. rnjones

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    Shaz that is a good question which mode should you use for the Denon testones. Interested to hear if anyone has ideas on this.

    If you are using the Platinum DVD I think you can run tests in Prologic, DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1 so that makes the amp mode pretty straight forward.

    Maybe the test tones have nothing to do with the decoder settings. I dont know.

    I hope to get my meter next week and will probably spend most of saturday (9th) trying different combinations.

    I am sure there are people out there who can explain this.

    Rog
     
  14. Jase

    Jase
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    The internal test tone of the Denon lets you set the master level across all its various modes.

    Its only when you are using an external test disc that you set it to Dolby Digital (& DTS in the case of Dvd Platinum).

    The Denon will NOT store Dolby Digital/Pro-Logic/DTS etc channel levels independently (it classes them as one mode). On the higher end Denon´s with THX you can store different settings for the THX mode.

    It will remember individual settings for 5/7 channel stereo, stereo, Direct/Pure Direct etc though.

    cheers
     
  15. rnjones

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    Jase thanks for that. Does the A11SR store seperate settings for THX? So if I adjust levels whilst THX is on they will be different from DTS, DD, DPL2 settings?

    Sorry to be thick.
    Rog
     
  16. Jase

    Jase
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    My A1SE stores THX settings independently compared to Dolby Pro-Logic/DTS/DOLBY Digital (which it stores as one), havent got PL2 yet though but I would imagine that comes under Dolby etc

    The A11SR has THX so should do the same unless Denon have gone bonkers and taken off the ability to do so!
     
  17. rnjones

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    Nice one. I am waiting for the meter then I will investigate. Its friday , I m off to the pub.
    Rog
     
  18. Jase

    Jase
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    I´m supping one as I type!:D

    cheers:D
     

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