Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark Blu-Ray 2nd Edition - Page 27 - AVS Forum
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post #781 of 795 Old 01-08-2015, 08:30 AM
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It is recommended to use a Radioshack SPL meter, analogue rather than digital.
Amazon would be a good place to start looking
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Should have mentioned that you could get an SPL app for your phone
I have never used one, and it wouldn't be as accurate but it could be a cheap option as all you are trying to do is check that all channels are at the same relative level.
I got an app for my Samsung GS4 but I'm guessing it's not as good as a real SPL meter. Are there any SPL meters worth buying for $25 or so?
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post #782 of 795 Old 01-08-2015, 12:22 PM
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The Radio Shack digital SPL is only $30. I suspect it is reasonably good for the job, although I have not personally used one.

A serious audiophile should consider a measurement system like REW, using a professionally-calibrated mic. The software is free, and the mic is less than $100. There is a link to a beginner's guide in my sig.
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post #783 of 795 Old 01-08-2015, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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RadioShark SPL meter is a very good value for money choice. Just make sure that you have set it to "C" weighting and slow response.

There more details here: http://www.spearsandmunsil.com/portf...ern-help-text/
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post #784 of 795 Old 01-08-2015, 04:21 PM
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Ok will pick one up

Regarding setting /checking speaker levels,

Do I have to do it at a loud volume like 75 dB or can I do it at a level closer to what I listen at?
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post #785 of 795 Old 01-08-2015, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post
Ok will pick one up

Regarding setting /checking speaker levels,

Do I have to do it at a loud volume like 75 dB or can I do it at a level closer to what I listen at?
Dolby/THX Reference Level is 105 dB Peak at your listening position and that is the level to calibrate to if you want true 'reference level'.

S&M Pink Noise Test tone has -30 dB which means it is 30 dB below full scale digital (0dB). This is a THX requirement and they all use it, whether the unit is THX certified or not.

Playing that tone and calibrating so that the channel levels read 75 dB on the SPL meter gives you reference level (75+30=105).

The average level will be 75 dB and the peaks will be 105 dB.

75dB will not be a so loud sound to listen for some minutes the same time that will be loud enough to overcome your room noise floor level.

BTW If you got the RadioShark with analog display, it's easier to use the 70db from 75db.

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post #786 of 795 Old 01-08-2015, 05:08 PM
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The digital meter can read from 30 to 130 dB. Are you saying it will be more accurate at 75 dB vs something closer to the 30 dB min limit? Regarding room noise, is there a certain dB above the rooms ambient noise level that the test tones must be to set speaker levels accurately?

Another question is if I listen at a level well below 75 dB, wouldn't it be more accurate to set levels at that lower volume level? Or does it have more to do with the lower limits of the spl meter and room ambient noise levels?
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post #787 of 795 Old 01-08-2015, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post
Ok will pick one up

Regarding setting /checking speaker levels,

Do I have to do it at a loud volume like 75 dB or can I do it at a level closer to what I listen at?
This has been explained in simple terms numerous times.
It is also explained clearly on the S&M disc
You are either determined to know better or are taking the piss
Do your own thing, its your system, you have waisted my time and your money buying a meter.
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post #788 of 795 Old 01-08-2015, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post
Ok will pick one up

Regarding setting /checking speaker levels,

Do I have to do it at a loud volume like 75 dB or can I do it at a level closer to what I listen at?
You should output the speaker level-setting tones built into your AVR. They should measure 75dB at the main listening spot, with the SPL meter tip at ear level and pointed towards the ceiling.

You could also play the level-setting test tones from the S&M ver 2 disk, with the master volume on your AVR at reference (zero). If you use Audyssey room correction, it should be on, with DEQ and DVol off. I find the S&M test tones more accurate than using the AVR test tones, because the test tones bypass Audyssey.
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post #789 of 795 Old 01-08-2015, 05:47 PM
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I have a yamaha receiver. The only setting I'm not sure about is the eq. It can be set to off, PEQ (auto set during YPAO), or GEQ (manual).

I ask about the volumes because I'm not setting speaker levels from scratch but rather double checking and if necessary, tweaking them to match each other. The way YPAO has it set now is the front left speaker at 0.0 dB on the receiver and all other speakers raised or lowered to match. I don't know whether that produces 75 dB with master volume at 0.0 dB.
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post #790 of 795 Old 01-09-2015, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post
I have a yamaha receiver. The only setting I'm not sure about is the eq. It can be set to off, PEQ (auto set during YPAO), or GEQ (manual).

I ask about the volumes because I'm not setting speaker levels from scratch but rather double checking and if necessary, tweaking them to match each other. The way YPAO has it set now is the front left speaker at 0.0 dB on the receiver and all other speakers raised or lowered to match. I don't know whether that produces 75 dB with master volume at 0.0 dB.
Start by measuring your Center Channel and adjust your volume until you see 75db at your Radioshark. Your amp volume it will be at 0db, -10db, -5db...it has to do with your amplifier and the sensitivity of your speakers where it will be the volume of your amp to provide you 75db.

After that proceed to the other speakers to adjust their levels until all they reach 75db.

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post #791 of 795 Old 01-09-2015, 10:03 AM
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I calibrated my Yamaha's volumes yesterday with a $30 SPL meter from Amazon Canada. I think any meter would do as long as it's C-weighted and there is a slow option.

My AVR's test tones varied quite a bit; the pink noise on the disc was much more consistent.

One question: If I placed my amplifier at 0.0 db and my SPL read around 72 db, should I turn my just amplifier's volume above 0.0 (I think goes to 16), just the individual speaker's above 0.0 (goes to 10), a combination of both or neither? I'm worried about introducing distortion.
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post #792 of 795 Old 01-09-2015, 01:01 PM
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Well, I got the meter and tried using it with volume at 75 dB... way too loud (gave me a headache in a few minutes and was creating a ruckus in the house... possibly affecting neighbors too). I even tried putting on my noise canceling headphones but it was still too loud. I tried measuring at 65 dB and 55 dB as well, though honestly I don't like an average sound level past 45 dB or so (with pink noise test tones). YPAO is loud too but it only lasts for seconds whereas manual adjustment takes several minutes or longer in my case since the SPL meter kept jumping up or down by a decibel or two when I was trying to match speaker levels exactly. Bottom line is unless I can use this SPL meter at levels around 45-50 dB or so, the noise is going to be a problem and I'm better off returning it and sticking with YPAO.

Another question is if I turn off the PEQ (EQ portion of YPAO auto cal), will that screw up the (auto set by YPAO) speaker levels/distances somewhat?
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post #793 of 795 Old 01-09-2015, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasmaPZ80U View Post
Well, I got the meter and tried using it with volume at 75 dB... way too loud (gave me a headache in a few minutes and was creating a ruckus in the house... possibly affecting neighbors too). I even tried putting on my noise canceling headphones but it was still too loud. I tried measuring at 65 dB and 55 dB as well, though honestly I don't like an average sound level past 45 dB or so (with pink noise test tones). YPAO is loud too but it only lasts for seconds whereas manual adjustment takes several minutes or longer in my case since the SPL meter kept jumping up or down by a decibel or two when I was trying to match speaker levels exactly. Bottom line is unless I can use this SPL meter at levels around 45-50 dB or so, the noise is going to be a problem and I'm better off returning it and sticking with YPAO.

Another question is if I turn off the PEQ (EQ portion of YPAO auto cal), will that screw up the (auto set by YPAO) speaker levels/distances somewhat?
45 is too low. I'd be shocked if, when on slow, you ever get a consistent db rating. Typical background noise is around this.

Also, calibration is meant for 75. Deal with it for three minutes.

Finally, yes - turn of the PEQ then measure the volume - at 75 db!!!
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post #794 of 795 Old 01-15-2015, 05:16 PM
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Well, I returned the radio shack digital spl meter because YPAO seems to be working fine and was easier to use and because the build quality on this unit is extremely poor from the 9v battery connector to the battery cover to the foam covering the mic. The lcd screen and buttons also felt cheap and there was a weird effect on the screen when it was turned on or off. The supplied case was nothing special either. I guess one can't expect too much for $30, but the reviews on the radio shack website were also mostly poor and talked about build quality.
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post #795 of 795 Old 01-15-2015, 05:18 PM
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I assume it measures accurately as it was in line with the YPAO results but I wonder how long it would be before something broke on this cheaply designed product.
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