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post #121 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 3ll3d00d View Post
Why is this? Is it just the difference between a sine wave and normal content hence less stressful or something else? Having said that I don't know how it squares with Alan's experience of a sweep being limited at -15 and real content at -10 unless he is just unlucky to come in at the lower end of the scale. Can that 6-15dB range be narrowed with more info about a room perhaps? Size, construction etc
That 6-15dB range is related to different movie soundtrack content, not the room. There are some examples which don't have as much deep bass which will easily play at or near reference.

A very narrow band burst at the most limited frequency range is the worst case and will be much closer to the frequency sweep. Sound that has its energy more evenly spread across the 10-100Hz range will allow much louder playback.

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How do you go about determining the right amount of woofage to put in a room when you have that much uncertainty around max output? Is there some other approach you take to verifying performance?
What most of you are talking about here is absolute worst possible case design. Yes, that's a great goal and a sure fire way to never worry. Doing so would suggest 123-130dB at every individual frequency at the seats factoring in how we typically calibrate systems. I can with full confidence tell you this will make for a MUCH more expensive and physically larger subwoofer assembly than is needed to play 98% of movies back at reference level. Probably 3-10x overdone in cost/size. It will sound good though.
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post #122 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post
That 6-15dB range is related to different movie soundtrack content, not the room. There are some examples which don't have as much deep bass which will easily play at or near reference.

A very narrow band burst at the most limited frequency range is the worst case and will be much closer to the frequency sweep. Sound that has its energy more evenly spread across the 10-100Hz range will allow much louder playback.

What most of you are talking about here is absolute worst possible case design. Yes, that's a great goal and a sure fire way to never worry. Doing so would suggest 123-130dB at every individual frequency at the seats factoring in how we typically calibrate systems. I can with full confidence tell you this will make for a MUCH more expensive and physically larger subwoofer assembly than is needed to play 98% of movies back at reference level. Probably 3-10x overdone in cost/size. It will sound good though.
right I see what you mean now.

My take on this is that it's useful to know where you stand against an absolute measure (true reference playback) and then you can decide, based on the sort of content you listen to and the maximum level you ever listen at, how far towards that absolute (100% of all content playable) you want to go. My personal experience is that space, budget and aesthetics dominate but it's still nice to know where you stand (not least because then you can make better decisions on how to dial in the system to your preference and/or what the system is really capable of delivering hence you won't overdrive it).
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post #123 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks d00d, but while I was waiting, I made a discovery! Anyone wanna buy a MiniDSP??

Check it out. Same placement (1/2/5/6) but without the MiniDSP. I had to invert the phase on the 2 rear subs (since I lost the time alignment ability with the DSP) and re-calibrate the levels (so they may be off a tiny bit from session to session), but I'd say there's a substantial improvement in max output.

Audyssey off, LFE only.

Before (with MiniDSP) / -23,-21,-19,-17,-15,-13:



After (without MiniDSP) / -23,-21,-19,-17,-15,-13, -11,-9:




Without the MiniDSP, no matter how high of a sweep I ran (max was -9), I had no funny noises from the subs at all. I did however get a warning about clipping once I got to -11...I measured -9 anyways (and got the same warning). How do I measure higher without getting that warning?? Looks like I started compressing at -9 (but could that be the "clipping"?).

I hateses dirty MiniDSPeses.

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post #124 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
Without the MiniDSP, no matter how high of a sweep I ran (max was -9), I had no funny noises from the subs at all. I did however get a warning about clipping once I got to -11...I measured -9 anyways (and got the same warning). How do I measure higher without getting that warning?? Looks like I started compressing at -9 (but could that be the "clipping"?).

I hateses dirty MiniDSPeses.
sounds like you were clipping the input or output of the minidsp, you might need to get a multimeter out and measure the voltages to make sure you can drive the minidsp without clipping. I think there are quite a few threads on the subject, e.g. Mini-dsp input voltage and its limitations.
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post #125 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3ll3d00d View Post
sounds like you were clipping the input or output of the minidsp, you might need to get a multimeter out and measure the voltages to make sure you can drive the minidsp without clipping. I think there are quite a few threads on the subject, e.g. Mini-dsp input voltage and its limitations.
Thanks d00d, but regarding the new measurements, where do I stand now? Max SPL of about 110db now? Should be good to -5MV??

About to test some content, brb.

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post #126 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan P View Post
Thanks d00d, but while I was waiting, I made a discovery! Anyone wanna buy a MiniDSP??

Check it out. Same placement (1/2/5/6) but without the MiniDSP. I had to invert the phase on the 2 rear subs (since I lost the time alignment ability with the DSP) and re-calibrate the levels (so they may be off a tiny bit from session to session), but I'd say there's a substantial improvement in max output.

Audyssey off, LFE only.

Before (with MiniDSP) / -23,-21,-19,-17,-15,-13:



After (without MiniDSP) / -23,-21,-19,-17,-15,-13, -11,-9:




Without the MiniDSP, no matter how high of a sweep I ran (max was -9), I had no funny noises from the subs at all. I did however get a warning about clipping once I got to -11...I measured -9 anyways (and got the same warning). How do I measure higher without getting that warning?? Looks like I started compressing at -9 (but could that be the "clipping"?).

I hateses dirty MiniDSPeses.
Sounds like you needed to simply reduce the output on your receiver sub channel or MiniDSP input and then raise the level on your subwoofer volume dials. Digital clipping or clipping of the MiniDSP would cause an artificial limit to SPL and can be quite audible. This is the one known limitation of the MiniDSP products, but can usually be worked around.
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post #127 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 3ll3d00d View Post
Why is this? Is it just the difference between a sine wave and normal content hence less stressful or something else? Having said that I don't know how it squares with Alan's experience of a sweep being limited at -15 and real content at -10 unless he is just unlucky to come in at the lower end of the scale. Can that 6-15dB range be narrowed with more info about a room perhaps? Size, construction etc

How do you go about determining the right amount of woofage to put in a room when you have that much uncertainty around max output? Is there some other approach you take to verifying performance?
Yes source content is less demanding. Part of what I was trying to point in my previous post is exactly what Mark is saying. My spl meter shows about 3-5db more available headroom then what my rew sweeps show and it could be even more since spl meters tend to read low past 115db. To get a exact measurement of output one needs to invest in a term lab setup like bassthathz has or a setup like Bosso. From what I see REW sweeps end up displaying output numbers similar to 2m rms ground plane testing. (I could be wrong, but the numbers look similar when you compare them).

I think if Alan can get 110db on his REW sweeps then he should have enough headroom to watch movies at a target reference level of 115db.

Btw I will fix the link.


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post #128 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post
Sounds like you needed to simply reduce the output on your receiver sub channel or MiniDSP input and then raise the level on your subwoofer volume dials. Digital clipping or clipping of the MiniDSP would cause an artificial limit to SPL and can be quite audible. This is the one known limitation of the MiniDSP products, but can usually be worked around.
Good info! I ran into this with my mini dsp as well.
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post #129 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 04:04 PM
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Re the measurement warning, I am not sure there is a way around that with a USB mic. With an analogue mic then you can dial back the gain on the mic pre amp to allow for higher measurement levels but that is not possible for you. Having said that, if you measure with eq on them it will flatten out the peak and let you bump the volume a bit more without clipping.

Mind you I have not noticed any problem with the resulting trace when I have had that warning before. Besides which you don't sound like you have a need to measure beyond 120db anyway.
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post #130 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 04:10 PM
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one thing I do before taking the measurement is calibrate REW to the MIC with my SPL meter. I know Alan mentions he does this each time as well, but one thing he might try is calibrating at a higher level. I run the REW pink noise calibration around 105db and afterwards it says I have enough headroom for up to a 142db sweep.
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post #131 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Seaton View Post
Sounds like you needed to simply reduce the output on your receiver sub channel or MiniDSP input and then raise the level on your subwoofer volume dials. Digital clipping or clipping of the MiniDSP would cause an artificial limit to SPL and can be quite audible. This is the one known limitation of the MiniDSP products, but can usually be worked around.
Thanks Mark! I'll put it back in the chain and play around with it when I have more time. I hate not having the time-aligning ability....don't really need any EQ, but I do miss that one feature.

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post #132 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
one thing I do before taking the measurement is calibrate REW to the MIC with my SPL meter. I know Alan mentions he does this each time as well, but one thing he might try is calibrating at a higher level. I run the REW pink noise calibration around 105db and afterwards it says I have enough headroom for up to a 142db sweep.
Hmmm...interesting. I'll give it a go!

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post #133 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Running Audyssey (for the ump-teenth time!) on the 1/2/5/6/no DSP setup.....be back in a bit.

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post #134 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Just-a-wondering while I run Audyssey....if I can get REW to measure higher, and I do hear "funny" noises from my subs again, am I risking damage??

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post #135 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 04:34 PM
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you should not hear any noises...I have yet to push mine to the point they make noise. I am betting that was a mini dsp issue.
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post #136 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 04:38 PM
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If you are running short sweeps and are careful (ie raise the level slowly and stop at the first sign of trouble) then I don't think there any harm done. I think it ultimately depends on the power handling capability of the driver as a clipped signal puts more power into the driver so can destroy it given enough time caning it.

Having said that, as basshead says, you should not get that anyway if you have it setup correctly as you won't be clipping.
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post #137 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Your right basshead, no funny noises....although I couldn't get it to not give me the "clipping" warning. I tried calibrating with the MV at +18 even....no deal.

Anyways, I think I'm finally getting somewhere close to where I should be.

After running Audyssey, my max SPL sweeps are looking downright awesome!

Audyssey On, LFE only.

Before (with MiniDSP) / -23,-21,-19,-17,-15:



After (without MiniDSP / -23,-21,-19,-17,-15,-13,-11,-9,-7:



Looks like I can almost hit 115db! YEAH! Glad I figured out the problem....now I need another free day to mess with the MiniDSP.

I did get the "clipping" warning on -9 & -7 this time around as well.

Now to go try out some content real quick...wife will be home in about 15 mins!

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post #138 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh yeah, the above sweeps were with the subs running 7db hotter than where Audyssey set them.

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post #139 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, got to listen to some content (Pacific Rim).

No sign of strain at -5 and almost no sign at 0MV. Very happy right now!

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post #140 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 05:57 PM
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Nice! It sound like your mini setup was the issue. I think the mini dsp is a nice piece but it takes some work to get it dialed in with out clipping. I need to break mine out when I have a full day to play and see what I come up with. I know Bear123 has his working well.
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post #141 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
Nice! It sound like your mini setup was the issue. I think the mini dsp is a nice piece but it takes some work to get it dialed in with out clipping. I need to break mine out when I have a full day to play and see what I come up with. I know Bear123 has his working well.
Do you know what Bear did, or did he just get lucky?

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post #142 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 09:35 PM
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I am not sure.
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post #143 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 10:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Are you saying that LFE at reference is 115db with no compression? I'm obviously never going to be able to do that with my current subs.
Just re-reading the thread and ran across this....made me giggle.

Never say "never", right?

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post #144 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 10:14 PM
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Just re-reading the thread and ran across this....made me giggle.

Never say "never", right?


Setup is everything no doubt...looks like you are solid 115db from 30-80hz now which is pretty impressive for your size of room. I bet if you pulled the spl meter out and played some heavy bass music you would probably be close to 120db in that FR.
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post #145 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
I think if Alan can get 110db on his REW sweeps then he should have enough headroom to watch movies at a target reference level of 115db.
I can't believe I did it.

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post #146 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
one thing I do before taking the measurement is calibrate REW to the MIC with my SPL meter. I know Alan mentions he does this each time as well, but one thing he might try is calibrating at a higher level. I run the REW pink noise calibration around 105db and afterwards it says I have enough headroom for up to a 142db sweep.
Maybe I did this wrong....I just pushed up the MV, should I have raised the level of the pink noise? I can't find an option to do that when calibrating SPL.

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post #147 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
Setup is everything no doubt...looks like you are solid 115db from 30-80hz now which is pretty impressive for your size of room. I bet if you pulled the spl meter out and played some heavy bass music you would probably be close to 120db in that FR.
Had the SPL going on Pacific Rim at 0MV....highest I saw was about 108db.

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post #148 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 10:28 PM
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Maybe I did this wrong....I just pushed up the MV, should I have raised the level of the pink noise? I can't find an option to do that when calibrating SPL.
Yes raise the MV so the digital rew spl meter shows 105db or around there and click calibrate. A window should pop up indicating how much headroom is available for that calibration. Remember I am using 5.0 so maybe that changed as well.
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post #149 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by basshead81 View Post
Yes raise the MV so the digital rew spl meter shows 105db or around there and click calibrate. A window should pop up indicating how much headroom is available for that calibration. Remember I am using 5.0 so maybe that changed as well.
Yeah, that's what I did. Still gave me a "max measurement available" of 118db - same as if I calibrate at a much lower MV.

AVR: DENON 2113ci
FL/R: Klipschorn
CC: Klipsch RC64ii
SUR: Polk LS F/X x 4
SUB: PSA XS15 x 4 (Soon to be replaced with dual T-18s!)
DISP: Mitsubishi WD-73740
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post #150 of 157 Old 08-22-2014, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, time to show off.

Distortion: at -23 sweep level, under 1% THD until about 25hz. Max of 17% @ 17hz.



Frequency response: yeah, I wish I dug deeper, but I'm really really happy right now.



Decay: probably could improve with some bass traps (been on my short list for quite awhile, just been waiting to sort out my placement/phase issues).



Waterfall.



Spectrogram.



Any comments or suggestions are more than welcome and I'd like to thank all the folks who contributed to this thread and helped me sort out my issues, especially basshead, d00d and Mr. Mark Seaton!

I think the majority of this thread was wasted on my improperly wired voice coils (like 8 months of my life ), but there is still a wealth of great info here for anyone trying to integrate multiple subs in an unconventional room.

Thanks for all the help guys!

AVR: DENON 2113ci
FL/R: Klipschorn
CC: Klipsch RC64ii
SUR: Polk LS F/X x 4
SUB: PSA XS15 x 4 (Soon to be replaced with dual T-18s!)
DISP: Mitsubishi WD-73740
Alan P is offline  
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