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Sound Pressure Level meter usage

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by torrent, Jan 15, 2003.

  1. torrent

    torrent
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    I would like to optimally set up my surround sound . I have read that you can do this using a Sound Pressure Level meter. Anyone know where I can get one from, approx how much they are, and whether there is any info online anywhere which tells me how to do this?

    Thanks
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Lots of electrical component outlets sell them,e.g.Maplins and usually for about £35-45.
    Just use your amp's setup procedure and set each speaker to the reference level(usually 75dB).....works so much better than doing it by ear.....I set mine initially by ear,then with a meter,and the sound balance is easily better now.

    If you search the forum,you'll find plenty of threads on this subject.
     
  3. torrent

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    Tx.

    Searching now...
     
  4. Apocalypse

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    Hmmm, if you aren't willing to buy a proper setup disc like Video Essentials or AVIA then yes use the Amp's own setup procedure. It's a common fact that the output from your DVD player will differ from the Amp's output, as you will listen to movies through your DVD player it makes sense to use the DVD test discs to get the most accurate sound levels. No doubt there will be some amp's that match the DVD player's output exactly but I've yet to use one and I'm now on my 5th amp.
     
  5. BK Electronics

    BK Electronics
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    You could always make a test disk disk, WinIsd comes with a sig gen, feed the output from your sound card to your input, record a set of tones and tone sweeps then burn them to disk.

    Well worth a try
     
  6. torrent

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    I have a Nakamichi Soundspace 11, which is an integrated system and so I assume the DVD output and AMP output are matched? I really know jack sh*t about this stuff so I am just trying to get my head round it all. I looked for AVIA set up disk but it only shows up on Amazon.com and not Amazon.co.uk. Is it region specific? I haven't heard of Video Essentials but will go search it out now.

    Dan, your suggestion sounds interesting but I only understood around half the sentence :)

    What's WinIsd?
    What's a tone sweep?

    Apologies for the dumb questions and thanks both.
     
  7. coolposter

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    Just one comment regarding the reference level.

    Set the receiver output at 0db and adjust the output level of all your speakers to 75db only if you are using a THX-certified receiver. Otherwise, just make sure all speakers' output are at same level.

    I'm using a Yamaha receiver and you will never turn the volume to 0db. :)
     
  8. 7ThGuest

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    Hi Torrent , probably would be wouldn't it!! (sorry it's been a long day)

    there is a thread open on the special offers section which points you to:

    http://www.tandy.com.au./

    It works out about £15 (delivered) for a Radio Shack Analogue Meter - absolute bargain got mine on order :D

    Regards

    7ThGuest :)
     
  9. bob007

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    Set channels to 75db if you are using the amps internal test tones, you can set the sub to 75db as well, to me it is a good starting point, you may want to increase/decrease the volume to your own personal tastes though.

    For a more accurate setting go for one of the dedicated test discs, something like AVIA or Video Essentials

    If you purchase one of these discs the levels are AVIA 85db and VE 75db.
     
  10. Apocalypse

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    Does anyone actually listen to a movie with the volume that's needed to get 85Db on AVIA, my loudest listening level for a movie equates to 74Db on the AVIA test tones :eek:

    To be fair to AVIA the disc does say 85Db might be too loud for some.
     
  11. 7ThGuest

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    Hi Apoc

    Mine are ging the other way but I can'thonestly handle anything more that -25db or my ears start to bleed the norm is -35db

    Regards

    7ThGuest :)
     
  12. Apocalypse

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    Those figures are your amp's setting, the figure I mentioned is the SPL reading, you'll see what I mean when yours arrives.
     
  13. Jase

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    Balancing the system to 85db with AVIA will give you exactly the same volume level/loudness as balancing to 75db with Video Essentials. Its the way they are recorded. Video Essentials is 30db down whilst AVIA is 20db down.

    Reference Level is 105db peaks for the main channels and 115db for the LFE channel.

    E.g AVIA 105db - 20db = 85db. Video Essentials 105db - 30db = 75db.
     
  14. BK Electronics

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    If you are interested I have the March copy of Home Cinema Choice and on page 166 a company called Keene Electronics are selling a meter with digital read out for £39.99. Their e-mail is sales@keene.co.uk
     
  15. James45

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    remember those analogue meters need correction values for them to be totally accurate, they are posted on here somewhere.

    that digital meter sounds interesting
     
  16. Apocalypse

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    I use the Digital version, always have. I don't know exactly what features the analogue version has so I can't really compare them.
     
  17. torrent

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    Excellent! Thanks for that.

    One last question to anyone. I can't find a copy of Video Essentials anywhere for sale and so I will probably end up with the AVIA one. Does it matter that these are specifically for NTSC format displays (as I would also like to set my plasma up with it as well, which is PAL)?

    Thanks to everyone who has responded.
     
  18. bob007

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    Link here for VE, and the stores even dropped the price by a tenner. :)
     
  19. torrent

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    Just tried....they've sold out :(
     
  20. bob007

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    That's a bummer.

    Try this no: Tel: 020 84510600 Bensons World Of Home Entertainment, can't promise anything, these may be out of stock as well, but they may put you intouch with another company.
     
  21. Jase

    Jase
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    torrent

    AVIA is NTSC only but still gives pretty good results when you view a PAL source after calibrating NTSC.:)
     
  22. groundy

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    The new avatar will take a while to get used to Bob ;). It's just not the same without that big yellow face.
     
  23. torrent

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    Jase, thanks for the confirmation.
    Bob007, found a copy of AVIA and have ordered it. Thanks anyway.
     
  24. Apocalypse

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    I have all 3 of the well known test discs (Video Essentials, AVIA and The Ultimate DVD Platinum) and I get the best display results when I use the AVIA tests. IMO Video Essentials is easier to use for setting up your sound levels but AVIA is more usefull due to it's multitude of different tests. The TUDPlatinum has the edge when it comes to Demos, if I had to get rid of one of the discs it would have to be VE as it's only a remake of the LD original and hardly has any extra features.
     

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