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SLM Set up.. THX Optimer, VID Essentials or Amp test tones?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by martian1, Sep 29, 2002.

  1. martian1

    martian1
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    Can anyone advise please... Trying to set my system [KEF speakers, Marantz 6200, Rel 150 Sub]. I am using a Digital sound Pressure meter and have read previous posts on how to use it.
    I have amp at refrence 0db and set each speaker at 75db using C weighting and SLOW.
    My problem is which system to use to set speakers up as i am getting quite a difference between these three..THX optimer on T2 Disc , Video Essentials and amp test tones i am also a little confused as to how to set Sub up.
    The Video essentials and the THX optimer tools give similar results only in THX test all speakers need tweeking down approx -8db as it seems much louder. As i dont have THX speakers or amp i assume the response of these speakers ets is different therefore its probably unwise to use this tool..Right!
    I am also assuming setting up system from a DVD test disc will give better results as its the format used to listen to movies. But... Amp test tones seem more accurate in that i knew my front left speaker needed to be 2db higher than right as stereo image was out [vocals focused to right speaker rather than middle] Video Essential has front pair equal !
    One other problem i have with Video Essentials is that the disc keeps refering to pro logic not DD 5.1 and does not seem to give a test signal to both rear channels is this a problem or am i missing something!

    Cheers for any help. ;)
     
  2. bob007

    bob007
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    Jase is the daddy on this one and it looks as if he has gone sunbathing, so i will try and fill in.

    Test discs are the prefered, more accurate than the amps test tones.

    THX optimiser found on the dvd's are only there as a check that all channels are correctly positioned, not meant for setting channel levels, it does mention that on the disc. There is a frequency sweep and a in/out phase feature which I found useful. THX optimiser is the only one as far as I know that has the surround back option on it, if you want to try it Pearl Harbour has optimiser on with surround back option on.

    Sub level, can take a bit of time, I set mine at 75db on the SLM and worked from there, play a cd/dvd that you are familiar with, one with plenty of bass, then adjust to your personal taste. :)

    When Jase gets back maybe here can explain a bit more, will send him the shortcut to this thread. ;)
     
  3. martian1

    martian1
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    Thanks for that, I think i might have set SLM wrong when i first set speakers up using amp test tones. I dont think i had it set to SLOW and C Wheighting as i am getting a different result. And think i set up using Vid Essentials after reading previous posts [did a search] and calibrated using these settings instead:blush:
    Anyway i re- did it and put Star Wars on [pod race] found with new settings i can play at reference level 0db and it seems much better, although centre dialogue is a bit muted [as a known problem with disc!] the bass is tighter and not overblown as before overall sound is crisper with better effects sweep.
    When i set my sub up i used the roll off dial to blend with fronts [set to Large] and set Volume to 12o clock turning test tone on amp for sub down to -15 [min]. i then found i could set Bass to 75db without problems i had before, i have settled sub at 78db for now. I will try a few more discs and see how it goes, i have never been able to play a movie at the 0db mark before as it tended to lift the roof so would you agree i have improved set up if i can play at the reference level!
     
  4. bob007

    bob007
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    While you are setting things up try switching all speakers to small thus sending all bass from Xdb (amps crossover) to the sub, unless your speakers can go down to about 25Hz it's is normally recommended that speakers are set to small. Reset crossover to max on the sub and let the amp do it's job there, you should hear some noticable difference. ;)
     
  5. martian1

    martian1
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    BOb007 i thought big floorstanders would be set to large, i will try it and set Roll off to max. Do i set Sub VOL to 12oclock?
     
  6. bob007

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    When they state large it is not the size of the speaker but it's ability to reproduce the LF, I to have floorstanders rated at 35Hz but have set them to small.

    If you are wanting to try it - Set all speakers to small, set amp xover to 80Hz unless the amp does this automatically when you set speakers to small, turn xover to max on the sub, the amp will control the xover, if the sub has internal xover as well leave that to on/in, then just run the test tones again, you can leave the sub volume at 12 o'clock, if you need to turn it up/down you can adjust it from the amps bass management. :)
     
  7. bob007

    bob007
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    A good test to hear the difference between large and small is the beginning of The Mummy, when the guy rides up in his chariot, when I had speakers set to large this was just audible and sounded a bit muffled, set to small it all became more crisp and clear. :)
     
  8. martian1

    martian1
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    I have set up as you suggested, all speakers to small. I think my amp [Marantz 6200] sets the crossover as i cannot remember ever seeing any info or a switch [no reference to it in OSD menues].
    I decided to settle using Video Essentials to set with spm, i have done this and found my speakers are very close to odb on all front channels in speaker adjustment menu on amp. Front left+1db , Front right 0db, Centre-1db, Rears are -3db, sub -2db .
    I do have two problems ! my sub is stuck in a corner [only place for it] , and my centre isnt a great match for my fronts its a B&W CC6 rated 8ohms [Fronts rated 6ohms].
    I find a lot of my discs sound a bit muted with centre speaker and its very tempting to crank it up! although titles like saving private ryan sound fine, do you think its just the discs?
    After trying a few films i have a problem with bass boom, i think my room cannot handle bass using crossover set to Max and i am either going to filter some out or revert back to Fronts large and blend crossover in. I have tried setting phase switch in reverse as well. I am going to leave alone for a while and see if i can tweek things first, as you are correct about fronts sounding crisper using this method.
     
  9. bob007

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    Would think it's the discs if you have some that play fine. Some discs do have very low dialogue, so turning up the centre a few db will cure it.

    Shouldn't have any boom with the sub set to max as the amps crossover should filter all frequencies from what the crossover is set to, whether by yourself/pre-set via the amp. Try looking for any reference to crossover in the manual. The only thing I can think of is that the crossover is set to high and you are getting far to much midrange from the sub. You could try try setting the crossover on the sub to 90Hz to see if that makes a difference. :)

    Almost sure with the 6200 you can pre-set the crossover manually, could be wrong.
     
  10. martian1

    martian1
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    OK i will dig the manual out [who reads these things :eek: ] i am getting there! I think the possible problem with the bass is my room shape and having the sub in the corner. I intend to put it on some slate and try and isolate it from the floor, I have managed to get an improvement anyway by reducing the Roll off slightly [about 3 clicks from max] the Volume is still set at exactly 12 o clock and i re- set it with the sound meter to 78db at refrence. I then slipped on Black hawk Down [DTS] which turned up today and....:D :D :D
    Setting my fronts to small has given me a great improvement, thanks for that! and if i can select crossover on amp i will [what do i set it to again?] I will then set the subs roll off back to max.
    OH... And regarding the centre channel, i did notice a distinct difference in tone on the test sweep the centre sounds quieter even though its set at 75db like the rest..strange, anyway i wil just edge it up a bit on the dialogue if need be.

    Cheers
     
  11. Jase

    Jase
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    If you can adjust the crossover on the amp, set it to 80hz then adjust the crossover on the sub back to max (assuming you´ve left all speakers small, all bass to sub).
     
  12. bob007

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    We do, that's why we can answer your questions. :D

    Glad you are getting it sorted and have heard an improvement on setting speakers to small, it can make a big difference. ;)

    Keep adjusting the sub, it takes time to get it right, even moving it 2"/3" or placing magazines/a small cushion in the corner might help.

    :D
     
  13. Philip Newton

    Philip Newton
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    when you say set crossover to max on sub (mine goes from 50 to 150) which is max as I would assume that 50 is max as it is lowest frequency Please help. I know its a bit simple.
     
  14. bob007

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    Set to 150, max freqency the sub will reproduce.
     
  15. martian1

    martian1
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    I have read the manual, it just states that if you have traditional full range hi-fi speakers that go below 100hz set to Large, other wise set to small and the low frequencies below this will be produced by the Sub.
    My speaker Frequency range is +/-3db......45Hz-20HZ

    - 6 ............40HZ

    Not sure exactly what these figures mean but i do no its the reason why i have been setting my systems fronts to Large setting, is the manuals info misleading. I am guesing that setting the way i have produces a purer deep bass than trying to blend with fronts, because if you get it wrong [and its hard to achieve] you end up with your sub and fronts competing against each other rather than blending in unison. Also i believe manufactures figures are their to impress, and they probably cannot achieve the very deep bass efficiently without putting a strain on the amp and speakers. using your sub right will produce the very low frequencies beyond any hi-fi speaker, the kind you cannot hear but feel...am i right!
    I have decided to give my sub a try back to front with the drive unit facing the wall is this a good idea?. It seems to displace the bass a bit better although i am still struggling to set the roll off to max, dont get me wrong it doesnt sound crap at max just seems
    to wallow a little bit. A good example would be the pod race scene in star wars [ engines starting] and saving private ryan with the tank [when it turns into street]. I think the sub tends to want to bounce on the floor spikes causing distortion.
    I have one other question , Will setting speakers to small effect music playback in stereo mode or direct? will i lose any quality.
     

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