Subwoofer movies that DON'T suck? - Page 10 - AVS Forum
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post #271 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

What kind of sub do you have, and how big is your room?

If I count all the connected space, my room is 8,812 ft^3. It's a very ugly space for HT. The living room, which is my HT room, has a vaulted ceiling, it is open to the dining room, which is open to the kitchen, which is open to the family room, which is open through a hall back to the living room. On the left of the living room is an open staircase to the second floor. My sub, an SVS PB12 +/2, is located on the right side, about mid way between my right main and the LP. I sit 12' from the screen and about 5-6' from the sub. The sub actually sits on the fireplace hearth. I use 4" rigid home insulation to close up the fireplace.

My living room/HT has a large volume due to the vaulted ceiling, but not much floor space. I have to leave the left side open because it is the main thoroughfare. I have a 65" Mits RPTV. I have a huge entertainment center around it (my wife's requirement) that takes up the entire wall. I can't get tower mains because there isn't any floor space. I have Bose (I know, this is my next upgrade) 301 bookshelf mains, a Bose VCS-10 center, and Bose 161 surrounds. These will all get replaced this year with Axioms, Ascends, or SVS MTS-01.

I had not used the 16Hz tuning on the +/2 until last night. I did notice some lowering of the overall SPL (didn't measure), but it did seem to bring in a little more bottom end (not measured). This did not reduce the impact of the whole sound and I'm sure I have enough headroom that I can increase the gain if needed.

I have not EQed the system. Still trying to decide if I want to go SMS-1 or BFD. I have no bass treatments. I do get some boominess at a couple of freqs. But not enough during movie playback to bother me. It is more noticeable with music, but I rarely listen to music anymore.

I haven't calibrated at the 16Hz tuning. I just paused the movie, threw in a second plug, and changed the low cut filter.

I will try to get time to do some A/B comps of a scene between the 20 and 16Hz tuning and see if I really hear what I thought I was hearing. It's difficult to really tell the difference when you can't just go A-B-A-B, but have to go A, stop, make changes, B, stop, make changes, A...

I don't know how Craig has the patience to run the shootouts when he has to change out whole subs. Must be exhausting.

Sorry to ramble. Too much? See measurements below.

Randy
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post #272 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ransac View Post

.........I found the LFE in UE was deep, powerful, and relentless. During the movie, I paused it and changed my subs tuning from 20Hz to 16Hz and things got even better.

This is indeed great news. I have this one on deck for tonight. I LOVE the demon chasing the truck scene (saw it in theater). Will report back tomorrow!
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post #273 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ransac View Post

I found the LFE in UE was deep, powerful, and relentless. During the movie, I paused it and changed my subs tuning from 20Hz to 16Hz and things got even better.

How well is your system calibrated? I just watched flight of the Pheonix (crash scene) to make sure my sub still "had it" and yea - it still does. Super powerful bass in that scene. Maybe I'm just so used to good bass I didn't notice it much in Underworld.
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post #274 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 11:39 AM
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Watched UE last night. Very entertaining flick. Much better than the original, IMO. I thought the LFE was good, but definitely not remarkable.


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post #275 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 01:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUCHO View Post

How well is your system calibrated? I just watched flight of the Pheonix (crash scene) to make sure my sub still "had it" and yea - it still does. Super powerful bass in that scene. Maybe I'm just so used to good bass I didn't notice it much in Underworld.

I should learn not to give my opinion here. Now you guys are going to make me do work.

Randy
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post #276 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 01:42 PM
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My room is similar to ransac, vaulted and footage, but my sub is behind the seating area.
Some movies fill the room with pressure just like others experience, then some are a
disappointment.

Open Range, FotP and WotW are my favorites to demo because they sound and feel
spectacular in my room. I've heard the same scenes in someone else's room with the same
sub and to me didn't have the same impact.


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post #277 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUCHO View Post

How well is your system calibrated? I just watched flight of the Pheonix (crash scene) to make sure my sub still "had it" and yea - it still does. Super powerful bass in that scene. Maybe I'm just so used to good bass I didn't notice it much in Underworld.

Looks like I was running the sub a little hot. Set everything the same as I watched UE and ran AVR test tones:
MV = -7, 16Hz tune, RS meter C/slow
Readings:
FL = 81
C = 86
FR = 79
SL = 76
SR = 76
SW = 94 yeah, just a little hot

Played chapter 20, helo lifts off and ship explodes. Read 108 to 114 on the meter.
Played chapters 25-26, hocky puck bombs/helo crash. Read 108 to 112 on the meter.

Changed to 20Hz tune and played same chapters:
Chapter 20 read 108 to 114
Chapters 25-26 read 109 to 116

Wife wants to take a nap. Will take readings with meter set to fast to get peaks.

Then I will recal and run again.

Note: I am working to get FM radio to sound good and that is why my settings are so far off. I find that FM radio is very hard to dial in. Different stations and different songs on the same station are all over the map. So I tweak by ear to find a good balance, but it really screws up my calibration. The reason my center is hot is it doesn't match well with the mains.

The only DVDs, that many people refer to as demo material, that I have watched since getting my +/2 is Nemo and Haunting. Darla tapping is a good demo, but much of the movie is subdued. Haunting was great and had some really low stuff. What I liked about UE is the quantity of LFE.

4 hours later.

Ran same setup but with RS meter set to fast. No noticeable differences.

Set MV to -5 and used internal TT to cal speakers to 75db. It was tough to get the sub that low. Had to turn gain down from fourth tick (10:30) to under the third tick (8:45). Set sub to the 16Hz tune.

Ran same scenes:
Chapter 20 = 98-102db
Chapters 25-26 = 98-102 with 104db peaks.

Conclusion:
If you watched with a cal'ed system, the LFE wasn't that special. Run HOT and it rocks. I think I will be running hot from now on.

Me thinks me likes 110+db.

Oh, Kate B. is still fine to watch at any volume.

Randy
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post #278 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avdork View Post

I don't quite get it. If you spend any time at all calibrating your system, why would you ever adjust it? Comments like "well, I forgot I had turned down/up my sub..." just don't make any sense to me.

Eric Clapton Live DVD. Excellent low end, Tears in Heaven excellent for demo-ing.

The other tried-and-true LFE movies have been mentioned countless times in the thread. Some bad movies ARE made better by having a sound engineer spend some time working on some good LFE. I've had people over who leave comments like "that was a whole lot better than I was expecting." Movies that fall into this category were Hellboy, Doom, and War of the Worlds. I think the LFE stuff had a big role to play. If we instead watched with tv speakers, some people might just opt to leave early or talk with one another.

Today I found out I like to run my sub very hot. Flat might be good for music, but bump the LFE as needed/wanted for movies.

Randy
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post #279 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 08:14 PM
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You can call me crazy, but I run my sub 20dB higher than the other 5 speakers. My SPL shows all my speakers at 75dB while my sub is at 95dB. I like it that way.

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post #280 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 08:27 PM
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Cadd,

What's your normal listening volume compared to reference level?

Why using other people's TV settings is a
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post #281 of 735 Old 06-10-2006, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kweezr View Post

My room is similar to ransac, vaulted and footage, but my sub is behind the seating area.
Some movies fill the room with pressure just like others experience, then some are a
disappointment.

Open Range, FotP and WotW are my favorites to demo because they sound and feel
spectacular in my room. I've heard the same scenes in someone else's room with the same
sub and to me didn't have the same impact.

Does it sound better before the Jelly Belly factory tour, or after? (sugar high)

I thought about behind the couch, but that is right at the boundary of the living room and the dining room. I've heard that was a big no-no.

BTW, that is a nice looking sub. I wanted a premium finish, but they stopped the Walnut and the rest didn't fit my furniture.

Randy
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post #282 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 10:12 AM
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Watched last night and all I can says is WOW!. Just the quantity/quality of bass and LFE in this movie should satisfy most any basshead's cravings. Not to mention the outstanding use and mixing of the surrounds. Another bonus is the (IMO) outstanding PQ. There's plenty here that rates as demo material. Definitely qualifies as as subwoofer movie that DOES NOT SUCK.

Hey Craig, you might enjoy taking this one for a spin on those dual Maestro XLs.

For you guys who are showing 18db differences in your setups, if you haven't already, please see Bossobass's Subwoofer Setup Guide. His article is frequently cited as REFERENCE for subwoofer setup. Put in the time and effort, it's hard work but really pays off in the end.
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post #283 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

Cadd,

What's your normal listening volume compared to reference level?

That went completely over my head.

When I ran the test tones on my receiver, I set the master volume to -20 and all my speakers were set to 76dB or so. The sub is at 95dB.

When I listen to music or watch DVDs, I normally turn the volume to -20 or so. It depends. Using my SPL that would be in the 90dB range.

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post #284 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadd View Post

That went completely over my head.

When I ran the test tones on my receiver, I set the master volume to -20 and all my speakers were set to 76dB or so. The sub is at 95dB.

When I listen to music or watch DVDs, I normally turn the volume to -20 or so. It depends. Using my SPL that would be in the 90dB range.


If your receiver master volume is at -20 and you use the receiver tones to calibrate the speakers to 76dB, then -21 is your reference level (75dB w/ receiver tones). That means you listen AT reference level, with your subwoofer 20dB hot. Most people seem to be able to get close to reference level at the most, with actual reference level being too much for their rooms (I usually watch movies at about -5 or so).

What kind of subwoofer do you have, and how big is your room? You probably get a ton of compression where the subwoofer can't keep up. That means your sub just poops and can't play any louder for the actual loud stuff, and all the bass is pretty much at the same volume level. It's like having your brightness (black level) too low and all the dark areas blend into one black mass. I'm sure you'd find that you get much more detail and definition and texture to bass in movies if you ran your sub balanced with your speakers. Read my first post on this thread to see what happened when I actually calibrated my sub to be balanced with my other speakers.

You are asking it to reproduce up to 135-140dB (max LFE at reference level is 115dB), and you'd have to have multiple huge subs in a very small room to hit that.

Your system is very much out of whack, but if you enjoy it that way, it's totally up to you to run it that way.

Why using other people's TV settings is a
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post #285 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

Your system is very much out of whack, but if you enjoy it that way, it's totally up to you to run it that way.

If you look back at post 277, you see my set up before and after. When I ran my sub hot, I did enjoy the movie more than running at Ref. The one thing I didn't try (I will try later today) is to calibrate with the MV at -5 (maybe I should cal at an even lower MV), and then play back at -2. All I know is that playing at Ref level, I didn't get the impact of the LFE because it only went to 102, instead of 114db.

I will recal with the MV at -10 and then play back at -5 to -2. My only reservation to this is the 5.0 speakers will be too loud. I will see (hear) today.

You will see my answer to your question about my room and sub in post 271.

Randy
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post #286 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffD2. View Post

Watched last night and all I can says is WOW!. Just the quantity/quality of bass and LFE in this movie should satisfy most any basshead's cravings. Not to mention the outstanding use and mixing of the surrounds. Another bonus is the (IMO) outstanding PQ. There's plenty here that rates as demo material. Definitely qualifies as as subwoofer movie that DOES NOT SUCK.

Do you have your system cal'ed? Can you post your settings and measurements and where you set MV while playing the movie. I guess we are trying to determine if UE had great LFE because I was running the sub very hot, or if with a cal'ed system raising the MV would have produced the same effect.

Some have said the LFE wasn't that great and you and I think it was marvelous. Though I do think they suppressed the three big explosions. They just weren't as big as they could have been compared to other sound effects. I knew the explosions were coming and I braced myself based on other sounds and it just didn't materialize.

Randy
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post #287 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kweezr View Post

My room is similar to ransac, vaulted and footage, but my sub is behind the seating area.
Some movies fill the room with pressure just like others experience, then some are a
disappointment.

Open Range, FotP and WotW are my favorites to demo because they sound and feel
spectacular in my room. I've heard the same scenes in someone else's room with the same
sub and to me didn't have the same impact.

Kweezer,
Did I count 3 subs in your setup?
Javry
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post #288 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javry View Post

Kweezer,
Did I count 3 subs in your setup?
Javry

3!! Nope, just one. Just the progression of upgraditis, PDR10 1st, then PB2+, now the PB2ultra.


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post #289 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 12:31 PM
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If it has not been mentioned on this thread.

The movie "Irriversible" will cook your subwoofer.

I was not expecting bass like this from this movie, not WOTW's earth-shattering bass but probably the most SUSTAINED LFE I have EVER heard. By sustained I'm talking 20-25 minutes of straight low pulsating LFE, it just would not let up, damn near the whole movie the LFE was pumping. Made me fear for my sub more than WOTW's did.

Now this IS NOT A FAMILY movie, it contained scenes of graphic violence and the most intense rape scene I've ever witnessed, so don't watch this with kids and maybe not the wife, if so warn her. I didn't watch it with my wife and she came down to see what all the noise was about and I literally yelled "Get Back!!!" scared the crap out of her, but I didn't want my wife to see that. I'll admit the bizarre nature of this film had me on the edge, I didn't know what the director was going to pull next, I mean if a dark silent scene came on my mind was racing as to what evil was awaiting, it was a nice thrill ride. It's a french film, they are crazy, no offense but that was my second french film in a few days and both were well beyond american sensibilities, the french directors pull few punches. Now the movie is not grossly violent but there is an intensity to it. If has a similiar backwards storytelling like "Momento" It was like "Momento" on Extascy.

If anyone has seen this movie with a good subsystem chime in but I thought the bass was stellar and if it weren't for the nature of the film it would be a reference for me.

How the hell am I supposed to learn anything with all this yackin' going on.
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post #290 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

What kind of subwoofer do you have, and how big is your room?

........Your system is very much out of whack, but if you enjoy it that way, it's totally up to you to run it that way.

I have the SVS PB-10NSD and my room is pretty small. It's about 9ft x 11ft with 8ft ceilings. The only 2 small openings are small doorways.

If I turn down the gain on the sub, and calibrate it at 76dB like the other 5 speakers, I find that the bass is lacking

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post #291 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ransac View Post

Do you have your system cal'ed? Can you post your settings and measurements and where you set MV while playing the movie. I guess we are trying to determine if UE had great LFE because I was running the sub very hot, or if with a cal'ed system raising the MV would have produced the same effect.

Some have said the LFE wasn't that great and you and I think it was marvelous. Though I do think they suppressed the three big explosions. They just weren't as big as they could have been compared to other sound effects. I knew the explosions were coming and I braced myself based on other sounds and it just didn't materialize.

Yes the system has been calibrated with the RS meter, Avia and a BFD for my PB10 to 85db. HOWEVER, I've since connected another sub (think along lines of Dayton 12) as I'm toying with the concept of adding a second sub. Yesterday afternoon I did a basic calibration with the two subs connected. I used the AVR test tones to level match each sub independantly. I then played both subs together and used the AVR LFE volume to get about 4db hot, about the range I like it. I then played familiar music and adusted phase on the second sub until I achieved what I felt was optimum sound quality. This is a basic calibration. I watched this movie with both subs on and the BFD out of the loop.

I agree that the explosions could've had more pressurization to them, but they certainly weren't lacking. This movie had it's moments, like when the winged Marcus first descends from above, his flapping wings reminded me of the nazgools in ROTK. This movie might not have the WotW, Open Range, Darla tapping, U-571, Frodo hearbeat, M&C cannon blast classic moments. but certainly made more continuous use of the LFE channel than any recent movie I can recall. I've suggested to thebland he put this one in the review queue, I'll defer to his reference system whether this one makes the all time list, but for me it clearly does.

Once I've made a final decision on the second sub, I'll go through the effort of fine tuning with the BFD and Avia. It just doesn't make sense for me to do it at this point.
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post #292 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadd View Post

I have the SVS PB-10NSD and my room is pretty small. It's about 9ft x 11ft with 8ft ceilings. The only 2 small openings are small doorways.

If I turn down the gain on the sub, and calibrate it at 76dB like the other 5 speakers, I find that the bass is lacking

When you calibrate (should be 75dB for most receiver's test tones), that gives you your reference level # on your receiver's volume adjustment. If you are listening at that level or 5 notches below that, you should have more than enough bass with that sub in that tiny room.

Do you know what kind of frequency response you are getting? My instincts tell me that you probably have really bad bass response, with a big dip/s, which require you to turn the bass way up to get any impact.

You should run some Avia sweep tones (or download from realmofexcursion.com and burn to a CD) to see how flat or bumpy your response is. If you detect a problem, you can experiment with placement of your sub and/or seating position to get flatter response. You may also want to invest ($120 or so) into some bass traps (ie., from GIK Acoustics) for the front corners of your room to help smooth out the bass and give you more bass (by reducing overlap/cancellation).

Why using other people's TV settings is a
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post #293 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 07:17 PM
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I never used Avia before. When I get a chance, I'll download the test tones from the site you mentioned. Right now the sub is placed in front of the FR speaker. The other place I can place the sub is right next to me on the side of the sofa.

I tried that as well and it sounds the same. I guess you're right......my room probably gets me really bass response.

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post #294 of 735 Old 06-11-2006, 08:01 PM
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One thing you'll want to check is phase, or whether the "phase" setting on the sub is correct. If it's not correct, you could be getting some major cancellation like in the graph I've posted (blue line). In my experience, with 2 different subs I've had in two different rooms, with the sub placed hear the front of the room on the right along the right wall, a phase setting of 180 has worked best. As you can see from the blue line in the graph, a setting of 0 gave me a huge dip in bass.
LL

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post #295 of 735 Old 06-12-2006, 05:27 PM
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My phase is set at 0. I tried setting it at 180 and it sounds the same. The sub is right up against the right wall.....about 2ft from the front wall.

Dumb question. I went to www.realmofexcursion.com and went to the "download" section. Which file should I download and save onto a CD? So many to choose from. I see see pink noise, white noise, brown noise, sine waves, sine wave sweeps, slow warble, medium warble.....

If you can pin-point the exact file I need, I would greatly appreciate it. Sorry for being such a newbie.

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post #296 of 735 Old 06-12-2006, 06:50 PM
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Get some sweep tones that go from high to low or vice versa.

You can also get some tones for individual frequencies (around your crossover range, specifically) and see if there is a difference in volume at each frequency with the two phase settings.

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post #297 of 735 Old 06-12-2006, 07:14 PM
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Cool. I just downloaded them. Burning them in CD format now. 2 questions:

1 - There's a sweep from 1Hz to 35Hz. Will there be any damage if I play this? My sub goes down to 20Hz, but I really don't want to damage it by playing test tones in the single digits.

2 - For the 10Hz to 100Hz sweep, how would I know which frequency is playing? Basically, is my goal is to get the same volume (dB) during the sweep?

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post #298 of 735 Old 06-12-2006, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadd View Post

Cool. I just downloaded them. Burning them in CD format now. 2 questions:

1 - There's a sweep from 1Hz to 35Hz. Will there be any damage if I play this? My sub goes down to 20Hz, but I really don't want to damage it by playing test tones in the single digits.

2 - For the 10Hz to 100Hz sweep, how would I know which frequency is playing? Basically, is my goal is to get the same volume (dB) during the sweep?


Don't try the 1-35Hz tone.

For the 10-100Hz tone, there's no way to tell what frequency you're at. With Avia, you get the on-screen readout telling you what frequency you're at.

But even if you don't know the frequency, you can see how flat or uneven it is. If you have a general idea where the dips are, you can test with individual tones.

If you want to test individual frequencies, get the single frequency tones and play them one at a time (with enough time between tracks for the sub to cool off - 10-20 seconds for every 10 seconds played should be enough).

There are pre-made Excel sheets with graphs, so all you have to do is input the SPL and it will make the graph for you and factor in the Radio Shack compensation numbers, if you want to take that extra step.

Why using other people's TV settings is a
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post #299 of 735 Old 06-12-2006, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbri View Post

There are pre-made Excel sheets with graphs, so all you have to do is input the SPL and it will make the graph for you and factor in the Radio Shack compensation numbers, if you want to take that extra step.

Are these excel sheets online to be downloaded?
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post #300 of 735 Old 06-12-2006, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin12586
Are these excel sheets online to be downloaded?

I'm attaching the one I use.
You can put up to 3 sets of measurements into one graph. Copy the sheet to other tabs for different tests.

 

FreqRespX3.zip 4.2099609375k . file

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