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setting up speaker levels with meter but `sounds` incorrect

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by jookster, Mar 28, 2005.

  1. jookster

    jookster
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    Hi there,

    Just wondering if anyone has set up their system using a meter but found that their ears are different to what they are hearing, i.e front left and right are the same on the meter but left or right sounds louder.

    What have you done?

    Cheers
     
  2. kit1cat

    kit1cat
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    Hi,

    I have similar problems setting my system up, I have poor hearing which is worst in my right hear. I use the meter to set all speakers equal then adjust the right speakers up to allow for my hearing problems. If you have perfect hearing could be a room layout problem. Use the meter to set all speakers level then fine tune using your ears.

    Barry
     
  3. JBL 4645

    JBL 4645
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    Guys…guys first of are the front speakers matching by that I mean are they the same…films are mixed on matching speakers that are placed in the room carefully and use electronic active crossover frequency dividing networks…the result is far greater dynamic range less distortion… :smashin:

    But still it needs EQing balance the sounds frequency so that when sound images are panned from centre to left or right to centre to left…the timbre changing will be almost seamless…so this is a very common misunderstanding that the Hi-Fi home cinema salesman seals you the odd looking? :eek:

    Mismatched centre channel…if you’re going to buy a home cinema…high quality bookshelf loudspeakers that are magnetically shielded so the matching one for the centre channel can be placed on top of the TV monitor…next to get best results in setting this up the Dolby digital and surround –EX as well as dts-ES decoder package with loads inputs and outputs on it fine…go for one that’s affordable there are plenty of them out there… :smashin:

    Next buy separate stereo amplifiers all the same make and model…and some graphic equalizers as well some EQ’s come with a built in RTA real time analyzer and a microphone input…now if this is all going over you heads…it’s about time someone tells you the best ways around this dilemma stop letting the Hi-Fi salesman pushing you into spending thousand of pounds on a lemon… :nono:

    Now if you have pre-outputs on the back of your AVR great next get some stereo amplifiers keeping them all the same and EQ’s too and re-plug the whole thing…and if the centre speaker is not the same make it so…if the bookshelf loudspeakers can’t handle the low end of the frequency spectrum…use some matching active sub bass speakers three one for each speaker and connect them via the low pass inputs and the high pass outputs going to the matching three screen speakers… :smashin: :smashin:

    This the subs will then extend the range…and for the LFE use two subs same as the other three…so now the is a total of 5x sub bass speakers and keep the subs up front…there are some nice ones available go for ones that have a 12in drivers… :smashin:

    So now EQ this play the wideband pink noise using a calibration disc like a Dolby 5.1 or dts 5.1 disc which is what I’m using for alignment and calibration…this will take several hours to accomplish the alignment setting each of the fronts to 75dBc slow weighting…and the stereo surrounds to 72dBc each and when the two are added by +3dB will = 75dBc… :thumbsup:

    Make sure the room is quite no children running in and out of the room… :lesson:


    Setting up the microphone on a microphone stand in the middle of the room play the pink noise each channel at a time start with the centre channel one first...at first the response on the RTA will have peaks and dips in the sound use cuts on the EQ and get the response to be as flat as possible use the centre is done match the left and right for the same… :thumbsup:

    Once done check it over by plying the pink noise internal generator and listen to see if it sounds the same and looking at the RTA as this will be also looking at the sound note the RTA if there is on channel that needs EQing play the test disc again for that channel…at the very least this could take few days to do…good luck if you decide to take this option as I have practiced for the past 14 years… :thumbsup:

    That’s that for now hope I haven’t gone to far over your heads…but if you’re going to make an omelette you have to break some eggs… :lesson:

    Ashley… :)
     
  4. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I think that despite all the comments from our ex-projectionist above,that this is actually one of the most useful.....my own system runs a Tag AV32R/DP with room equalisation,all checked out using the Tag's software,and an external RTA,and whilst the sound quality has improved massively from uncorrected settings,it's clear that with the system uncorrected,there is a very siginifcant R sided gain due to room reinforcement.

    An equally valid explanation,as given by Barry is hearing imbalance between your 2 ears!....none of us have identical hearing in both ears,and there can be surprisingly large variations.

    I'd simply ignore the advice regarding 5 subs in what is most likely an average sized room....even some of the very best US based home cinema systems(at over $1 million)seem to manage with 1 or 2 subs.
     
  5. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Ashley - you seem to be suffering from a bad case of forum diarrhoea. If you wish to help other forum members you could do so by actually answering the questions instead of rambling on at great length about completely unrelated tripe.

    The short answer to jookster's question is possibly either that he has better hearing in one ear, or that what he is listening to has been balanced towards one speaker more than the other or most likely that he has his subwoofer outside the line of the front three speakers which often skews the sound balance the other way.
     
  6. JBL 4645

    JBL 4645
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    Ok…ok then I may go over top I’ll do my best to keep it to the Topic :smashin:

    Sorry

    Ashley :)
     
  7. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Patronising get!
    I think a lack of puctuation and spelling is what makes this nonsensical.
    ...and this applies to people with projectors and the space for floorstanders, does it? Ahem
    Don't be rediculous.
    Yeah, right!
    5 subwoofers? The *real world* is through the door on your right.
    :rolleyes:
    That'll be the microphone 99% of people don't have. :rolleyes:
    I'm sure your intentions are good, but your post is about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.
     
  8. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    To be fair, the post is technically correct and is exactly the sort of process I would expect a proper cinema to go through on calibration. Nonetheless, very little of it is of practical use in the home environment.

    It's great to have former cinema projectionists around who clearly know a thing or 2 about audio but it would be better if they could tame it down to the appropriate level where necessary! ;)

    WRT the original question, did you have the SPL meter in your seating position whilst taking measurements? That's very important for (hopefully) obvious reasons, otherwise it could be slightly off-centre hearing as mentioned above. Is there any chance you could get someone else to sit in your seat and provide an opinion? :)
     
  9. Beobloke

    Beobloke
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    And probably best left that way - most of the cinema sound systems i've heard are bl**dy awful.
     
  10. JBL 4645

    JBL 4645
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    Depends on which cinema you go to, the last one Cinema Company I was working for had 12 screens…and not a single screen there sounded unique, they where too much on high end sounding and not much, feel to it…

    Disappointing, and have to sit though a film and check it over for picture and sound and noting the time, reel queue changes and often I will take my own personal sound level meter, in with me…

    As there as been a few films advertisements and trailers noted for extremeness, and the projectionist is often forced to turn the fader down from 7 which is set at 0dB 85dbc Dolby reference level, a lot of this does apply to home cinema and Stuart Wright, if you are going to pick at every detail…

    I really, could not care much…I’d preferred a thank you glad to have you onboard…

    Something simple, like that would suffice…

    And with my home cinema, changes to its audio chain is always being upgraded at the most affordable cost, and seeing my background and experience, as been a beneficial and indispensable, asset to me, makes it all, the most of fun…

    Ashley…
     
  11. alexs2

    alexs2
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    JBL....try and keep to the topic.

    None of this has any relevance to the original post,which has not been read by the original poster since it's inception,one month ago.
     
  12. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    Oh, let me spell it out, then.
    Part of my remit here is to keep the signal to noise ratio as good as possible.
    Your posts are pretty noisy.
     
  13. JBL 4645

    JBL 4645
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    Seems to me you know all there is…can I learn a few audio tips from you then.

    Ashley…
     
  14. alexs2

    alexs2
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    JBL...you simply won't be told.....keep your posts to something approaching relevant to the thread,rather than taking issue with the forum administrator or moderators,when asked to keep replies useful.
     
  15. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I know how to run a successful forum.
     
  16. JBL 4645

    JBL 4645
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    Now depending on which loudspeakers you have and there position, if your room is small and you haven’t designed the layout for the screen channels to be,

    1 at the same height, forget what anyone else tells you, the same height…

    Remember the speakers have to be at the same height its important if you what it to perform well

    2 angle them downwards to the listening position, and the left and right tow them in slightly and this will take a little time to get right…

    3 set the sound pressure level meter up in a position where it will make it easy for you, though you, can buy a tripod to fit it too, now place it in the listening position set the weighting to 70dbA slow or 80dbA which is the professional setting standard 85dbA and use wideband pink noise from the test disc say a dts music and demo one that’s what I always use and I never go wrong…

    4 switch the bass management off as this will skew the sound up.

    5 Play the left center and right channels over and over and make the adjustments this will take time adjusting in 1db steps only using the level adjustments on your AVR, and listen to the bass mid and high in whole, when the sound goes to the left and right they sound the same there about for argument sake, and the center is just a little different sound, due to it’s position in 3-D space!, there will be little things to get right hear, so my highest recommendation is to use the pre-outputs on your AVR along with EQ’s for each of the whole 5.1 6.1 7.1 what ever….

    And repeat the procedure all over again….

    As you will still have a lot to do, to get it right and Active crossovers will also make a huge difference too as passive crossovers suck…

    But if you what to try the above procedure, for the time being, it won’t hurt…

    http://www.jmgkorea.com/image/cinemasolution/4645c.gif

    But hay…

    ….It’s only a movie…

    Alfred Hitchcock.
     
  17. Ray

    Ray
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    You'll find a lot of references to setting up your system with a sound level meter in the SUBS forum. Some people report a major improvement in their audio when they have used a meter - most people find a slight difference and then retune to what their ears tell them sounds right. If you are hearing one speaker louder than the other either get out the cotton buds or re-adjust based on your hearing. At the end of the day it's got to sound right to you. Can you get anyone else to check it out for you ? - just to put your mind a rest.

    Ray

    OFF TOPIC - Can we have one forum for our "ex-projectionist's"' poor SNR offerings? :boring: He spouts the same old stuff all over the forums regardless of the thread topic.
     
  18. Piers

    Piers
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  19. JBL 4645

    JBL 4645
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    Yes check the A weighting first as this will be sensitive to the range fromm500Hz upwards to around 16KHz, once done check the C weighting to see what left I’ll bit that the low frequency range is going to need some adjusting which is what I have done and is spot on…

    Now I check this with the RTA looking for a flat as possible line done now, I can see there needs to be some low frequency extension added to the left center and right, this is done by using an audio mixer and taking the low end spectrum from all of the six-channels going into the audio mixer then outputting going to an EQ then on to the sub bass amplifier, then on to the JBL 4645 THX cinema sub…

    Using the mixer gives me total control over the sub bass from the split-surrounds, the font left centre right and the LFE channel which is set to -10db on the THX bass management, this all blends in nicely, and with sound positioning of sounds being panned like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, there is so much going on this mix is so active throughout the running time to the last music beat on the end credits…

    But adding more to this I use multi EQ’s 1 for the room EQ that is left center right LFE split-surrounds, centre back surround upper center channel…

    Then a second lot of EQ’s so I can make changes to the sound playback if it is really top end too much for taking, I can customise and make it EVENT sounding….


    http://www.jmgkorea.com/image/cinemasolution/4645c.gif

    But hay…

    ….It’s only a movie…

    Alfred Hitchcock.
     
  20. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    JBL, you've said that lot before and I've said that it's technically correct. It is not, however, pertinent to this thread as I don't think anyone here has access to full EQ for each audio channel.

    Please don't outstay your welcome as you obviously have a lot of interesting knowledge to share. :)
     
  21. alexs2

    alexs2
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    JBL....once again,you appear to be totally missing the point of these forums.
    They are for HOME cinema owners/users,most of whom have no use for active crossovers(other than may be incorporated into their active speakers should they have such),or would want to add an audio mixer,or your usual 6 front speaker advice.

    Equally few of us would use even single octave RTA's let alone the 1/24 octave systems you need to properly analyse a room's response.

    Keep the advice sensible and on topic,as you have been asked to do so many times before.
     
  22. machinehead

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    jbl put everything in laymans terms.you talk to much gibberish.gues it's all the sohisticated cinema equipment tha does it.do they have their own forum?.yould be better off there.lay off our mod stuart.he would lose you in music as well as hi fi.to recap.............. we don't want gibberish answers to simple questions.

    regards machinehead
     

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