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Speaker Levels - Please help!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by rulocal, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. rulocal

    rulocal
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    I have just set up my first Home Cinema set up which i have incorporated into my Hi-Fi. The AV Set up is as follows.

    SOny DVPNS930 DVD
    Panasonic 32PD30 TV
    Pioneer VSX812 Amp
    Quad11l (Fronts)
    Quad Centre
    Monitor Audio BFX (Rears)

    I have go everything up an running OK but am having to turn up the level of the rears to get good surround effects. I think this is due to the layout of the room speakers and would appreciate any feedback.

    The room is 14 foot by 13 foot and if you imagine the TV in the top right corner, flanked by the fronts and with the centre in the cabinet below, the sofa is along the opposite (longer) wall. I have been forced (they wont go on the sides) to mount the rears about 2 metres up and a couple of feet from the end of the wall.

    It just seems to me that because of the difference in height between the front array and the rears and the fact that I am sitting so close to the back wall the rears aren't really getting a chance to contribute if all the levels are set as per the MCACC. I thought maybe of tilting the rears downwards but can't see how this is possible.

    When I turn the rears up, so that the 'test tone' is significantly louder for them the overall effect improves but when things quieten up front the rears are too loud.

    One other thought I had is speaker cable as I am using QED Silver Anniversary at the front, but cheaper QED contour flat cable for the rears. Could this be contributing to the problem?

    Despite this issue the system can sound wonderful but would love to get more consistency from front to back.

    many thanks in advance for any assistance.

    Regards

    Paul
     
  2. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi paul
    Are you using a spl meter for setup?
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  3. rulocal

    rulocal
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    Gonzo

    I am not using a SPL meter at the moment. I am considering getting one but the thing is that my system sounds 'better' when there is a significant difference between the 'loudness' of the tones for the front and rears when setting up. It is when the tones are similair (albeit I am sure not 'the same') that the rears really don't seem to get involved enough.

    Am I misunderstanding the role of the SPLM. Won't this just get the 'test tones' at the same volume?

    Thanks
     
  4. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi paul
    Yes you are correct thats what the spl meter does but you would be suprised at what seems level with the ear sounds like to level with the spl meter.
    My set up is similar to yours with the speakers either side the tv in the right corner.my rears are at the back wall firing forwards 7'up the wall and everything sounds great.
    Ive just been to a friends to balance his system bfx rears he had them on +12 decibels re calabirated they are now +3 and +2 decibels the system now pans round perfect without the rears becoming intrusive.
    Hope this helps Gonzo.
     
  5. rulocal

    rulocal
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    Sounds exactly like my problem. SPL meter here we come....

    Any ideas where I can pick one up in London. I would like to get one before Xmas.
     
  6. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Unfortunately (surround) channel levels are not normed, thus there might be a difference between different titles.
    In theory you would need to adjust your setup everytime you change the DVD. But then again most don't have any calibration signal on it, so the best advise is to use the test tones from the AV amp/receiver or a specialised setup disc together with a SPL meter.
     
  7. chris

    chris
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    I use the Avia test disk for mine.......
    when i first set my surround speakers up, without a test disk, meter, it sounded good with just the test tones from the amp, but once i put a film on, there was to much noise from the surrounds......
    Once i brought a SPL meter, i found out that the front speakers were approx 65 for one speaker and 80 db for the other(so not set right) and the surrounds were about 90 for one and 95 for the other (well out).
    Once callerbrated it sounded a lot better and it evern sounded a lot better once i got avia....not sure, but i think the test tones on the amp may be diff.
    The rear surrounds are supposed to be for effects with films.......you should not actually hear them, they should just blend in with the film, when you hear a sound coming from say the right speaker, it should not sound like it is coming from the right speaker, but comming from further past the speaker......if you see what i mean.
    The only time you should hear the rear speakers, is when the sound is supposed to be behind you....but evern then it should not be loud enough for you to tell it is coming from the rear speaker.......this is starting to get a bit messy....but i'm sure you know what i mean.....or you soon will do.
     
  8. squirrely

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    hi rulocal.
    how do the bfx surrounds sound with the quads,i remember you were having trouble finding out what would match them tonally.
    also why did you not get the wharfedales?
     
  9. rulocal

    rulocal
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    They go very well together. I decided against the Wharfedales for aesthetic reasons. Not the best basis for a decision on speakers, I know, although given the rears were always going to be compromise of some sort I am thrilled with the result.
     
  10. rulocal

    rulocal
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    The SPL-led adjustments have made a significant difference to the overall 'soundfield' with the rears and fronts now perfectly balanced.

    I have also been experimenting with the BFXs in 'dipole' mode and have found that this produces more of a 'wrap around' effect' which adds greatly to the whole cinema feeling. I had thought that this mode was for rear/sides in a 6.1 setup and it just goes to show it's worth experimenting with these things. (In the privacy of your own home, of course :blush: )

    Happy new year!
     

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