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Speaker level confusion.

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by rulocal, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. rulocal

    rulocal
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    I am generally happy with my AV set-up as follows.

    Sony DVPNS930 DVD
    Panasonc 32PD30 TV
    Pioneer VSX812 Amp
    Quad 11L & L-Centre
    Monitor Audio BFX rears.

    I was however finding it difficult to 'settle' on speaker level settings, particularly the rears, so I bought an SPL meter. This however confused me even more as I found the 'test tones' on the amp gave a completely different result to the THX optimisation on Finding Nemo. Then I tried the THX setp on on Star Wars ATOC and this again gave a slightly different result.

    I have concluded the following.

    1) The test tones are useless and THX optimisation is meant to be different for each film

    or

    2) I am going mad.

    Please could someone who nows about these sort of things give me some pointers.

    Thanks
     
  2. Family Guy

    Family Guy
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    Set you SPL to SLOW and weight C. Turn the dial until it's on 70db.
    Start the test tones (use the internal ones on the amp...). Raise the MASTER VOLUME until the SPL is reading 75db for the front left and right channels. Leave the MASTER VOLUME where it is.
    Now adjust the rest of the channel until they all read 75db. The subwoofer may or may not need turning up or down - it depends.

    Hope this helps...
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    The THX optimization tones are unreliable. The internal test tones are good for astart but try and get hold of Avia Guide to Home Theatre which is available from the Powerbuy forum or DVD Essentials. These are much more accurate and give you a greater variety of test tones to fine tune your video and sound
     
  4. Family Guy

    Family Guy
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    The problem with avia is there is no surround back channel tones...if you have a 6.1 setup (and the Pioneer 812 is a 6.1 receiver), you have to "guesstimate" the SB level...
    Also, I find the internal tones more reliable if you are using your amp for more than DVD's...My amp is on all the time, so I use the internal tones as I find the avia tones are innacurate for Sky...however, avia is invaluable to make sure that your system is calibrated correctly AFTER using the internal tones...and brilliant for setting up display devices.
     
  5. Ian J

    Ian J
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    No problem for me as I don't have surround back anyway. That is probably why I didn't notice the ommission.
     
  6. Family Guy

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    I don't have them either...but I could see the ommision being a problem if you needed the tones.
    It says on the THX DVD (that is much sought after) that the tones SHOULD NOT be used to calibrate a system. They are there to ensuret that it is working correctly - hence the in phase/out of phase tones...
     
  7. rulocal

    rulocal
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    Thanks for the help guys, that's very useful. I shall have to look into this AVIA DVD.

    Army Bloke,

    I have a question about your SPL meter tip. When you say each channel should read 75db, I presume you mean that the needle ( I have an analogue one) should read +5db.

    Thanks again

    Paul
     
  8. Family Guy

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    Yes it should.
     
  9. Malky1903

    Malky1903
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    I have similar sized speakers to yours and a 912 amp. My speaker levels are as follows

    Fronts @ 0db
    Centre @ -3.5db
    Rears @ -1.5db

    I'm not saying this will sound OK with your speakers but other than relying on your SPL meter or optimiser, your ears are the next best thing :)
     
  10. Family Guy

    Family Guy
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    This information is totally irrevelant (sp?). What about seating position, speaker distance, cable used, room accoustics etc...all of these factors contribute to how loud a system will go and that includes speaker calibration...

    I know that you mean well mate, but your info could do more damage than good. 99.9% of people who calibrate their systems using their ears have their rear spekares up to high...I can't produce evidence, but belive me, I know. I think most experienced people here would agree also...
     
  11. Brimstone

    Brimstone
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    What is generally considered a good height above listeners ears for bipole rears?
    (as you suggest many ppl set them too high up).

    I will have the bipoles on the wall behind me (directly behind couch) either side
    of the sofa, pointing forwards towards the TV (behind due to space and room layout).

    I have heard of various suggestions around 1-2M quoted.

    Any suggestions or pointer?

    I know - listenening works best, but im not planning on making 5 sets of screw
    holes in the wall before finding a happy position (wall mounted), so im after a
    good idea of a starter point. Also will be laying cables into the plasterboard (after
    laying under laminate flooring and putting skirting boards back on), so will be
    positioning in a hurry, possibly without even geting the amp/speakers set-up at
    all, depending on how flooring/skirting /DIY works out. Will try to leave cable free
    after skirting goes back on so i cabn play with the height a bit (if i can find a way
    to hold them up without screws before deciding a position.....). New house, so need
    flooring in every room done pretty quick after move in (they don't give ya nothin
    these days).

    Cheers, Mark.
     
  12. Brimstone

    Brimstone
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    Doh!

    End of a long week of Backshifts and DIY and moving house woes.

    That'll be 'high' spl level setting then... not height....

    :suicide:

    Anyone care to answer the question anyways?

    On the subject of rear volume levels - most people seem to want to hear their rears,
    when i tihnk actually most of the time they just produce quiet ambient effects
    and are only really noticable when they are 'designed' to be by the films soundtrack
    for particular surround effects. So folks turn them up a bit to hear them, thinking
    that it sounds right (but maybe not as intended). Normally (most of the time) you
    shouldn't notice them directionally, but just feel the 'in the middle of it all'
    sensation. Hope that makes sense. Wouldn't be the 1st time if it didn't.

    :D

    Mark.
     
  13. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I had my bipoles about 2 metres from the floor which is a couple of feet down from the ceiling and that seemes about right in my room.
     
  14. Brimstone

    Brimstone
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    Cheers Ian.
     

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