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Pointless thread! Why SPL meters rule!!

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by lostprophet, Dec 20, 2004.

  1. lostprophet

    lostprophet
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    Finally calibrated my system to 75db with the test tones and an SPL meter (then added a couple of db's to the sub! :devil: ) and oh my god what an improvement, I had the rears about 4db too high and the centre a touch low and the sub WAY too high. Now everything sounds sooo much sweeter, I'm chuffed to bits and wish I'd bitten the bullet and bought an SPL meter sooner, hard to justify £30 for something that only gets used a couple of times though.

    So the point of this thread, well just as the title says, if like me you wondered how much use it would really be, beg, borrow or steal (well maybe not steal) one and give it a try!

    Xmas day at my house, wonder how the family will take to a bit of movie watching at reference after dinner! :rotfl: :eek:
     
  2. bob1

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    Glad to hear you have it all sorted, most people set the rears too high.
     
  3. Vodder

    Vodder
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    I got my m8 to get me an analogue one when in was in the states. That was 2 motnhs ago and I still haven't used it! Just need to find the time to sit down and recalibrate everything!...
     
  4. The Gooner

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    Can I borrow your SPL meter please :thumbsup:
     
  5. TCD

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    Me too! I ll hire it off you for a fiver!
     
  6. sacd

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    Look on e-bay.
    I just bought a digital one for 25 quid.
     
  7. pragmatic

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    Maplins sell them, and if your cheaky you could use it and take it back under there 7 or 14 day return policy as long as you keep the packaging.
     
  8. Tejstar

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    If you're going to get one, then get a digital one - makes a big difference :thumbsup:
     
  9. Poolsharkie69

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    I am thinking of gettign one here in Canada. I woudl not have a clue on how to even start using one. Any leads to a guide or something for a setup like mine in my signature?
     
  10. lostprophet

    lostprophet
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    All the advice I've ever read says the analogue is the better buy (the bonus being its also cheaper) as its more accurate, with regards as to how to use it a quick search on these forums will bring up loads of useful threads of how to use it.

    If all you want to do is calibrate your speaker levels then running the internal test tones on your amp set the meter to 'C' weighting and 'Slow' then set it to 80db. Now set the master volume on your amp so that you get 75db from the fronts then leaving the volume there (this being reference level) adjust the volumes of the sub, surrounds and centre to 75db also. Some people then turn up their sub 4-6db (I know I have).

    Hope this helps, hope I haven't gotten anything wrong, I'm pretty new to this myself! Happy tweaking!
     
  11. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Lostprophet is pretty much right. You need to perform the calibration by setting the main amplifier gain to 100dB (or 0dB on some amps) and then trimming each speaker so that the meter reads 75dB using the individual channel setting.

    There's very little between the digital and analogue versions. The main difference is that it's easier to see trends on the analogue, for the same reasons that we still have analogue dials on car dashboards. :)
     
  12. Poolsharkie69

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    Ok not sure how to turn up the volume to 75bd...will the spl meter tell me what volume it is at? Stpuid question I know...but my yammie goes in -db's. I will follow your advice...I may stop at radioshack today to see how much one is here.
     
  13. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Most experienced people believe that the analogue meters are superior. What makes you say that the digital one is better ?
     
  14. Family Guy

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    You won't find a professional installer anywhere in the world that uses a digital SPL metre.
    If you attend the THX install course at Skywalker ranch and take your own SPL metre to be calibrated, they won't do it unless it's an analogue one...
     
  15. sacd

    sacd
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    Well I have used both, I and have to say that i would rather have numbers in black and white than a wavy needle. However, each unto his (or her own) I just need some good pink noise so I can callibrate properly.
     
  16. Family Guy

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    The test tone generated by your amp should be sufficient...or should I say, will be sufficient.
    As a rule, I never use an external noise to calibrate a system...here's why...

    Each input will have a different input level. ie, your CD player may input signals at a higher gain than your DVD player. So using an external pink noise via your DVD player will give you incorrect levels when playing CD's...or Sky...
    using the internal test tones generated by your amp/receiver/processor will guarantee an even sound level accross every input... :thumbsup:
     
  17. Tejstar

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    Good advice :thumbsup:
     
  18. Andy1

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    Fair enough, but what if the test tones don't last long enough ?

    My Pio 812 emits a test tone for about 3 seconds per channel, and therefore you cannot calibrate before the tone moves to the next speaker. Pioneer say there is no way to overcome this.

    Only solution seems to be the DVD essentials software, unless any one knows different .

    Cheers
     
  19. Tony8377

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    Is there not a manual setting for the test tones on the pioneer like there is on my Denon and that way you choose when to move onto the next speaker?
     
  20. belgrade

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    I've tried to calibrate my system (yamaha dspax640, MS avants, bk-xls200) using the internal test tones of my amp with an spl meter, but I have the following problem.
    Setting the master volume to 00 ,using the internal test tones, there is no way I can reduce each speakers level to 75 db - I think only my mains would display 75 db, and that was at their lowest setting. The centre, at its minimum setting would only go as low as 80db.
    What I have done is set the amps master volume to -20, and then calibrate each speaker to 75db. My final speaker setting look like this:

    Mains: -2
    Centre: -5
    Rears: - -1.5

    Family Guy, with reference to your quote, is there something that I am doing wrong above? Do my settings look ok?
    With my amps internal test tones, and the master volume set to 00, should I be able to calibrate the speaker levels to 75 db, or is this an inherent disadvantage with using the internal tones. Have I done the right thing in lowering the master volume and then recalibrating?
    I'm asking because I was thinking of getting a calibration disk (avia or dve). Would such a disk solve my problem, and enable me to calibrate more accurately?
     
  21. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    Hi Family guy,

    So in that case dont bother with my DVE disk and just set up via amps test tone?
     
  22. Family Guy

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    Hi mate - not 100% on this, but am reasonably sure...when you get the test tone for say the FR speaker, as long as you are adjusting that particular channel, then the tone will stay on that channel...is that correct?
    If it is, then move the individual volume of each channel as soon as the tone starts...it dosen't matter which way - your only interested in getting the tone to stay on that channel. You can then take your time adjusting the level...
    If it dosen't stay on the channel while your adjusting it, Pioneer have a seriouse issue with the x12 series of amps...
    :thumbsdow

    75db is THX reference level mate...not a industry standard. While it's nice to pay Mr Lucas all that dosh, I guarantee NOBODY (apart from you) is going to know what level you used to calibrate your speakers. Calibrate the remainder to the speaker you can get nearest 75db...in your case, set your SPL to 80db abd set all your speakers to that. The important thing here is the fact that ALL the speakers are set to the same level - not the level they are set at...I bet people would notice the speaker you have set to 80db...but they won't notice it if all the speakers are set to 80db... ;)

    My advice would be to set up the amp using the internal test tone, and then see exactly how close it use by running the tone on DVE...my betting is the amp tones will be more accurate. DVE is superb for calibrating picture settings and for testing things like cutoff points and srossover points...

    :thumbsup:
     
  23. Andy1

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    Thanks Family Guy, I am sure you are right.

    However, when I tried this a few months ago it is still almost impossible to set the levels. Within a few seconds of releasing the "increase volume" button on the receiver the tone moves to a new speaker. So, you can never actually get a steady reading as the SPL always takes a few seconds to settle down and get a stable reading, by which time it is too late to adjust the sound !

    Thanks anyway.
     
  24. bob1

    bob1
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    How could you tell which is more accurate if both methods give you different readings.
     
  25. Family Guy

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    What I actually should have said is the internal test tone would be more accurate ACCROSS ALL SOURCES - my apologies for the confusion...

    I think I need to point out here that not all amps will aoutmatically output a tone at 75db...I do know that ampos that have auto set up function do...apart from my Onkyo 702, whose auto set up function is CRAP!!!. Also, all THX certified amps (select or Ultra) will output a 75db tone...
     
  26. bob1

    bob1
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    I see where your comming from now,i never seen the point in reference level anyway other than you can say "i watched that film at -10 last night", big wow.As long as all the speakers are set at the right levels you will be ok and then it may not be to your taste.
     
  27. Londondecca

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    I have been looking at different meters, what if any, for this application is the difference between a £25 unit and a £100 one?
     
  28. Family Guy

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    About £75... :D

    No idea mate - could you post a couple of links...?
     
  29. dinoprada2003

    dinoprada2003
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    My advice would be to set up the amp using the internal test tone, and then see exactly how close it use by running the tone on DVE...my betting is the amp tones will be more accurate. DVE is superb for calibrating picture settings and for testing things like cutoff points and srossover points...

    :thumbsup:[/QUOTE]
    Ta, but is it even worth bothering with now with auto setup on most new amp/recivers via mic? :)
     
  30. Family Guy

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    Ta, but is it even worth bothering with now with auto setup on most new amp/recivers via mic? :)[/QUOTE]
    No harm in checking the settings once you've run the auto set up...
     

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