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What do proffesion dealers use to calibrate there systems

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by dUnKle, Aug 25, 2003.

  1. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    Just been on holiday for three weeks - during that time me and the other half did a fair bit of shopping\travelling - whilst she shopped I checked out some of the demo rooms in various stores

    Anyway - after being rather impressed by all the various ( and not very expensive ) gear - I wondered what they use to calibrate there systems and how they go about doing it

    Are there any proffesionals here who can give step by step guide on how they do it ?
     
  2. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    SPL meter, calibration disc (Avia etc), and their ears?
     
  3. Chester

    Chester
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    Anyone have any suggestions as to an accurate SPL meter for the audible frequency spectrum, especially for bass? (Incidentally I've tested myself and can hear up to 18kHz, which apparently extremely high! My better half's hearing goes up to about 15.5-16kHz).

    Also, where are such test DVDs available? Does anyone believe that they can help you set-up, over and above using your processor/amp's configuration utilities and DVD videos?
     
  4. jont

    jont
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    There was/is an avia setup disk powerbuy in the sales forums ... and a couple recently in the classifieds ...

    Depends how far you want to go ... the test disk and a meter will get you sounds to a particular level but unless you then go for some sound shaping device (like a behringer) it won't take in to account your particular room dynamics/acoustics/furniture, etc ...

    Borrow/buy an SPL and a test disk from a m8 and you'll get 95% there within an hour or so ...

    Jon
     
  5. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    just out of interest ( and probably covered before ) but whats the difference between the amps test tone and that on a DVD

    I have the Ultimate DVD Platinum thing but never occured to use that to configure the sound
     
  6. ReTrO

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    Digital Video Essentials is due out soon, best thing it is avaialble as a PAL edition. Cost about £20.

    You will also be able to get it on NTSC DVD, and 1080i and 720p D-Theater tapes.
     
  7. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    will it also have sound calibration ?

    I see play have it for 14.99
     
  8. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    I would hope so. There was some on the old NTSC only VE.
     
  9. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    may go for a copy then

    what difference would the audio calibration on this have over my amps internal test tones ?
     
  10. buns

    buns
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    Chester,

    I believe Beekeeper has a super sensitive spl if you really felt it necessary to have something better than the rad shack ones.

    Ad
     
  11. Family Guy

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    I have a very good friend who is a THX certified installer - works for Sevenoaks. He uses a bog standard Radio Shack SPL - but has to send it to Skywalker ranch every year to be calibrated. He also uses lasers on the front three channels to line up the tweeters...and that does in fact make a helluva difference...:D
     
  12. avanzato

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    TBH I'm not sure that for basic level setup there will be much difference.

    On AVIA it's the other test tones like pink noise, warble tones, pans and frequency sweeps etc. that are just as useful. I'm sure DVE will include them and you can set up the picture too.

    I would consider a test DVD and SPL meter as essential equipment.
     
  13. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    I have a SPL meter and have all speakers set to 80dbs from my listening position - including both subs

    Still feel there is room for improvement

    Sometimes ( Phone Booth and beginning of Cradle 2 the Grave ) bass can sound a little TOO much - whilst at other times ( the skull crush in T2 ) it does not seem loud enough :(

    Perhaps one of these discs will make a difference

    and at least I could use it to calibtrate Tv and Pj and well
     
  14. avanzato

    avanzato
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    If that's your problem then I recommend you get the 'Master Handbook of Acoustics' from one of those online (or real) bookshops. It's all about room acoustics and will save you a lot of hassle and maybe even some money.

    Probably literally :lesson:
     
  15. Dominic

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    where can i get hold of the SPL meter and AVIA disk ?
     
  16. fondie

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  17. EvilMudge

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    The best dealers will use a RTA running on a laptop, fed from a calibrated mic or SPL meter. You can pay practically anything you want for that kind of capability from thousands to tens of thousands.

    I'll look into this some more.
     
  18. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    is there someway I can use my PC then to calibrate my system ?

    it has a mic in socket ?

    surely there could be ( must be ? ) a piece of software off the net that will pretty much do it all for you

    or is that something that needs making
     
  19. avanzato

    avanzato
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    You can download a 30 day demo of Spectra rta software from here
    You should be able to use your SPL meter as the microphone and plug it into the PC with a simple phono/mini jack cable. With test tones from a DVD or the ones built into the software you will be able to get a graphical representation of how your system sounds.

    It won't as such set up the system but you will be able to instantly see the effect of moving speakers around, crossover settings and phase controls.

    Calibration may be as simply as moving a speaker a few inches or extensive room treatments. It all depends how far you want to go.
     
  20. Dominic

    Dominic
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    fondie, thanks for then info. i have put my name down for a disk

    avanzato cheers for the software link, hopefully 30days will be enough time to tweak the my setup:eek:
     
  21. Dominic

    Dominic
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    fondie

    Is it worth the extra 15 pounds for a digital meter. ? or is the analogue the best one for the job.
     
  22. nathan_silly

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    It has features like average, peak, minimum and hold. Also it's easier to read by a novice (and easier to read from a couple of meters away)

    I paid £30 for the digital version.
     
  23. avanzato

    avanzato
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    I have an analogue one as I found the pointer easier to read and watching it move gives a better feeling of how the room is responding.

    But as Nathan says the digital one has other features. They both do the same job, so take your pick.
     
  24. Dominic

    Dominic
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    cheers for the replies, makes sense
    Nathan where did you get a digital one for 30 pounds ? online or high st ?
     
  25. nathan_silly

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    I bought it from a local Tandy shop as they were closing down.. pretty sure I paid £30 for it, although it could have been £20- I can't remember. Defintely not over £35.
     
  26. Dominic

    Dominic
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    cheers for that, my local tandy went some time ago, its was next to a real hifi store.

    I think the analogue will suffice for now.

    thanks for the advice on the tools, have you got any for the setting up of them.
    Ie what is the action plan once i get the DVD and the meter ?
     
  27. pwiles1968

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    For meters keep an eye on e-bay I picked a digi radio shack for under £20.
     
  28. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    anybody got more info on Digital Video Essentials on exactly what it will and will not allow me to configure ?
     
  29. ReTrO

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    I will have when the PAL DVD appears. :(
     
  30. dUnKle

    dUnKle
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    well - I managed to find the official web site for the product

    seems to have a fair few tests for both audio and video - along with test signals for 5.1 - 6.1 - 7.1 and also subwoofer tests

    Play have it for £14.99 so I have ordered it
     

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