Calibrating logitech z 5500 speakers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I have had the z5500 speakers for my pc for about 3 years now. I finally want to calibrate them due to 5.1 gaming, it's hard to hear the dialog. I have recently calibrated my home theater to 75 db. Would I just calIbrate to 75 db on my z5500? Thanks
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 11:55 AM
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Calibration doesn't have to be any specific dB number. Just as long as the channels are all the same you're good to go. Most people just use 75db's because it's not to loud when setting everything up and it gives them a reference point on their avr's to how loud their system is playing in contrast to what the system is capable of.

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post #3 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

Calibration doesn't have to be any specific dB number. Just as long as the channels are all the same you're good to go. Most people just use 75db's because it's not to loud when setting everything up and it gives them a reference point on their avr's to how loud their system is playing in contrast to what the system is capable of.

Most people use 85 dB because it's the THX reference level. Some find it difficult to calibrate at this level (it's a peak level in normal listening, but the calibration tones are playing at that level the whole time), so there exist some calibration tones recorded to allow you to calibrate at 75 dB.

The point I'm making is that the specific level only matters if you're trying to calibrate properly such that a setting of -0 dB on your amp puts you at the THX reference level. If you simply want your speakers level matched it doesn't really matter. If your processor allows it delay matching and room mode correction are also very important to getting the best sound. Worst case you can achieve similar results through proper placement of the speakers.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ferrisg View Post

Most people use 85 dB because it's the THX reference level. Some find it difficult to calibrate at this level (it's a peak level in normal listening, but the calibration tones are playing at that level the whole time), so there exist some calibration tones recorded to allow you to calibrate at 75 dB.

The point I'm making is that the specific level only matters if you're trying to calibrate properly such that a setting of -0 dB on your amp puts you at the THX reference level. If you simply want your speakers level matched it doesn't really matter. If your processor allows it delay matching and room mode correction are also very important to getting the best sound. Worst case you can achieve similar results through proper placement of the speakers.

It's not 0 on all avr's is my point, you actually have to test it. Each speaker will determine what your reference will be on your avr (speaker sensitivity). Most receivers that people have won't automatically set reference with internal tones (which 99% of people use) so it makes no difference if you calibrate at 60, 70, 80, 90 etc dB's, if you don't have a point of reference.
When I do audyssey pro calibrations, I set the reference on the units I calibrate. It's different on all units because of speakers, room size etc, heck there are lots that won't even come close to reference at seating position.

Not that any of this really matters on a z500 system anyways lol. I had one 5 years ago it served it's purpose.

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post #5 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post


It's not 0 on all avr's is my point, you actually have to test it. Each speaker will determine what your reference will be on your avr (speaker sensitivity). Most receivers that people have won't automatically set reference with internal tones (which 99% of people use) so it makes no difference if you calibrate at 60, 70, 80, 90 etc dB's, if you don't have a point of reference.
When I do audyssey pro calibrations, I set the reference on the units I calibrate. It's different on all units because of speakers, room size etc, heck there are lots that won't even come close to reference at seating position.

Not that any of this really matters on a z500 system anyways lol. I had one 5 years ago it served it's purpose.

It is 0. That's the point of calibration. You calibrate -0 dB on your amp to be 85 dB SPL. I'm not sure what you're suggesting otherwise. That -0 dB on the amp is supposed to be 85 dB SPL out of the box? Obviously not, or there would be no need to calibrate the system. I'm also not sure what you mean by a reference. Reference tone? Any Dolby Digital decoder is required to be able to output an 85 dB reference tone. Look up posts here on AVS or elsewhere by Dolby engineer Roger Dressler to find specifics.

The internal tone on most receivers is meant to be used to calibrate to 85 dB SPL, although as I stated some are now doing 75 dB because it's easier on the user. If you are not calibrating this way you are doing it wrong. As I said, if all you're looking to do is get your speakers level matched, it's fine, but it's not calibrated as most would understand that term to mean. If you can't achieve reference levels with your listening environment and speakers, it just means your amplifier is not powerful enough, nothing else. Stating that lots of people have systems that can't be calibrated to reference levels does not change what doing a proper calibration means. That's like pointing to all the TVs that do not have proper color decoders and saying that calibration just means making it look good, not adhering to a standard.

Here is the top hit for me for "how to calibrate thx reference level" :http://nodef.blogspot.com/2008/11/0-...nce-level.html

It's a pretty good overview of what speaker calibration means and where the 85 dB number comes from. It seems like you're just talking about level matching the speakers, which is not calibration, and that's fine.

Decided to check Audyssey since I don't know much about it, and it looks like they calibrate to 75 dB SPL at -0 dB: https://audyssey.zendesk.com/entries...eference-level
Probably because nobody on the planet actually listens at 85 dB SPL in the home.
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-21-2012, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by ferrisg View Post

It is 0. That's the point of calibration. You calibrate -0 dB on your amp to be 85 dB SPL. I'm not sure what you're suggesting otherwise. That -0 dB on the amp is supposed to be 85 dB SPL out of the box? Obviously not, or there would be no need to calibrate the system. I'm also not sure what you mean by a reference. Reference tone? Any Dolby Digital decoder is required to be able to output an 85 dB reference tone. Look up posts here on AVS or elsewhere by Dolby engineer Roger Dressler to find specifics.

Geez man. 85 dB's is dolby reference right? yes.
Do all receivers have the ability to play at reference? no why? because different speakers and different rooms with determine if your system can play at reference. Why would you calibrate your system for reference if you system cannot hit reference? You wouldn't. You take waterfall charts, measurments etc and make spreadsheets to find the systems limits and calibrate to distortion or clipping. You then set you "0" on the system to be as loud as the user should turn up their system so they don't damage anything and it doesn't sound like crap. Some people don't have the budget for big amps, better speakers ect, so you use what you have. I calibrate to the level the system can handle, set all crossover points, delays etc after I've made all my calculations etc.

With audyssey and audyssey pro, you set a mic up, run it and the software on the pro will allow you to do set the system curve. It's all done by computer and your avr. The user does pretty much nothing but move the mic around and hit start and stop. The user can change things like distance, speaker size, crossover point if they want but it's generally better if left alone. The pro software will then set the reference point of the system. It's always 0 but it's changed to be 0 by the calculations it's made. Could be 10 dB's more than factory. So like I said, I and audyssey changes the reference point for each system. Some units, you can't change the 0 and the new reference may be -12 from 0. It's noted and the user will have thier own dolby reference point of 85dB's. 85dB's is the average volume, not the max.
Reference is freaking loud, although some peoples systems can handle it fine, other cannot handle the peaks and distort or clip.

All your doing is picking link off the net. How bout you actually go do it, then you will have some more insight.

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post #7 of 14 Old 02-22-2012, 01:44 PM
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Please allow me to chime in here: Buck Calibration on a Computer System and just boost the CC to your liking.

When I used to obsessively calibrate my audio system in my projector room, I quickly realized I preferred my rears and my sub run "hot"....and after awhile I found that my mains still overpowered my CC at times.....of course based on the content. So there is no magic bullet. If you really want to sit there with a SPL meter then by all means have fun, but this to me represents a colossal waste of your time.

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post #8 of 14 Old 02-22-2012, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post

Please allow me to chime in here: Buck Calibration on a Computer System and just boost the CC to your liking.

When I used to obsessively calibrate my audio system in my projector room, I quickly realized I preferred my rears and my sub run "hot"....and after awhile I found that my mains still overpowered my CC at times.....of course based on the content. So there is no magic bullet. If you really want to sit there with a SPL meter then by all means have fun, but this to me represents a colossal waste of your time.

Use REW. It takes 5 minutes to set it up and take all your measurements. It of course come down to preference. I tend to run my subs 5-7 dB's hot.
Also unless he's go a good soundcard, he's not going to calibrate anything anyways. Level match and done.
Although sitting there with a spl meter may seem like a waste of time, have someone pay you $500 for 2 hours and that may change your mind

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post #9 of 14 Old 02-22-2012, 03:48 PM
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I've had ISF calibration. In the end, I change it back to what I like. Had some guy say "Man but that is not what the Director intended" and my reply remains "F*** the director, I've purchased his product, I'll consume it the way i choose"

ISF calibration used to be good for getting your devices balanced, eg: like when they reprogrammed the color module to fix red push and such like that....back in my CRT days, but with Digitals I never felt the need to go there. My LED set is inherently going to push blues at any temp setting, etc....its just a tradeoff.

I'm all for calibrating flesh tones and what not but when it comes to sound, honestly, getting a close approximation with an SPL meter is good enough...but for games and computer crap? Why bother.....??

I once calibrated my monitor and every game I played on it was darker than dark, I immediately threw away the calibration settings and went back to what looked right.

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post #10 of 14 Old 02-22-2012, 04:30 PM
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I agree 100% about ISF. I have a friends that does my displays for free but I always tweak how I want it to look. Same goes for audio. I have 5 preset EQ's that I will use depending on my mood lol.

Audyssey is the way to go for someone who want their system calibrated easily. Doing all your crossover points properly does make a big difference IMO. I currently have 10 DIY subs and it took me almost 10 actual hours to get them all to jive in their different spots. My DCX2496 is a god send!!

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post #11 of 14 Old 02-23-2012, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N8DOGG View Post

Geez man. 85 dB's is dolby reference right? yes.

No, 85 dB is the THX reference level used by theaters. That's why it's used by home theater owners, to try to match the theater experience, as I pointed out in my first post here.

Quote:


Do all receivers have the ability to play at reference? no why? because different speakers and different rooms with determine if your system can play at reference. Why would you calibrate your system for reference if you system cannot hit reference? You wouldn't.

That's true. But just because a particular system can't be calibrated to the standard reference level doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You can calibrate to any particular level you want, and it would be a benefit over not calibrating, but that wasn't the point I was originally trying to make. Re-read my first post and you'll see that I said exactly the same thing (that 85 dB is specifically used because it's the THX reference level). I got derailed because it sounded like in your other posts you were talking only about level matching the speakers. I guess I shouldn't have been as specific about THX reference level for calibration, but as I pointed out first thing in my first post that's the level most people use for a specific reason.

Quote:


With audyssey and audyssey pro, you set a mic up, run it and the software on the pro will allow you to do set the system curve. It's all done by computer and your avr. The user does pretty much nothing but move the mic around and hit start and stop. The user can change things like distance, speaker size, crossover point if they want but it's generally better if left alone. The pro software will then set the reference point of the system. It's always 0 but it's changed to be 0 by the calculations it's made. Could be 10 dB's more than factory. So like I said, I and audyssey changes the reference point for each system. Some units, you can't change the 0 and the new reference may be -12 from 0. It's noted and the user will have thier own dolby reference point of 85dB's.

I understand how Audyssey works, I have just never used it. I have used Pioneer's MCACC which is similar. I'm not sure I understand your discussion on changing 0. They way I understand these systems to work is that they set the overall AVR output to -0 dB, and use the individual speaker cuts & gains to get the desired SPL at the listening position (along with delay correction and EQ for room correction).

Are you saying you would have -12 dB be the reference point because the amp is too powerful for the speakers and -0 dB would cause damage to them, or at least cause distortion? That makes sense. I'm not sure just how much individual levels can be cut, and it probably varies by processor, so if you can't cut the individual level enough I guess you do what you have to.

Quote:


85dB's is the average volume, not the max.
Reference is freaking loud, although some peoples systems can handle it fine, other cannot handle the peaks and distort or clip.

All your doing is picking link off the net. How bout you actually go do it, then you will have some more insight.

The link I chose is Audyssey's site where their engineers answer questions from users. They specifically state that their system calibrates -0 dB to 75 dB SPL. Maybe it fails gracefully if it can't, I don't know. The similar Pioneer calibration routine I have used steps the left front channel up in volume until it distorts. If it hits 75 dB SPL first, it uses that. If it doesn't, it uses the max to set the other speakers. It sounds like from your description Audyssey may do the same.

85 dB is the average SPL, you're right. I forgot about that. 105 dB is the max, and 115 dB for Dolby Digital for the LFE because it's mixed at +10 dB to the other channels. I agree that it is insanely loud for home use. Most people listen at best at half that volume or a bit less. That's why systems like Audyssey & Pioneer MCACC use 75 dB SPL as the reference level (because -10 dB is half the perceived volume, in case anyone is curious).

Also, it's kind of asinine and unhelpful to the conversation to suggest I'm just grabbing links off the internet. I have calibrated speaker systems. I haven't used Audyssey, which is why I've said as much and went to the company itself for the information I posted. The other link was simply to provide more information about THX reference levels and calibration, as, again, it seemed like you were discussing level matching earlier in the thread and calling that calibration.

Anyway, I think the conversation has run it course. It's a wild tangnt for the OP, who is probably best served by your original advice to just do it at a comfortable max volume.
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post #12 of 14 Old 02-23-2012, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post

I've had ISF calibration. In the end, I change it back to what I like. Had some guy say "Man but that is not what the Director intended" and my reply remains "F*** the director, I've purchased his product, I'll consume it the way i choose"

ISF calibration used to be good for getting your devices balanced, eg: like when they reprogrammed the color module to fix red push and such like that....back in my CRT days, but with Digitals I never felt the need to go there. My LED set is inherently going to push blues at any temp setting, etc....its just a tradeoff.

I'm all for calibrating flesh tones and what not but when it comes to sound, honestly, getting a close approximation with an SPL meter is good enough...but for games and computer crap? Why bother.....??

I once calibrated my monitor and every game I played on it was darker than dark, I immediately threw away the calibration settings and went back to what looked right.

I like a calibrated display for movies (and understand that it's fully subjective and others may not like it), but I agree about games. The problem I've run into is that at best they allow you to adjust the black level, but you have no idea what that's actually doing. Is it just elevating the black level, compressing the gamma curve? Offsetting the whole curve and causing clipping in the whites? And that says nothing of dealing with PC levels and video levels if you're gaming on an HDTV, which is a whole other set of crap to deal with between some TVs that can't switch between levels, drivers that have bugs outputting correct levels if you use HDMI output, and games that may or may not even be mastered to any particular standard.
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-23-2012, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ferrisg View Post


Are you saying you would have -12 dB be the reference point because the amp is too powerful for the speakers and -0 dB would cause damage to them, or at least cause distortion? That makes sense. I'm not sure just how much individual levels can be cut, and it probably varies by processor, so if you can't cut the individual level enough I guess you do what you have to.

pretty much. Individuals can be cut by 12dB's and gain 12dB's on most units. So in essence you have a 24dB swing to play with for each channel.

I currently have a full JTR setup and they are 101dB's sensitive. I hit the 85 dB reference at -17 on my integra 80.3 with all channels set at 0 on the channel trim. Thats what I'm getting at. You can calibrate your channels lower to make the 0 on your avr the reference level but some people have a crazy match of speakers and the sensitivity of all the different ones can be 15bB's difference. Also audyssey will lower my channel trim to -12 on all channels during calibration and my reference level is still -5 on the integra. On my system I can change the 0 to my -5 level making it the new 0 and that is now the reference. It's just an indicator, it doesn't really mean anything other that that.

I'm bad at explaining myself sometimes. I'm a visual person. I could show you what I mean in about 10 seconds if we we both looking at a unit. lol

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post #14 of 14 Old 07-17-2013, 03:00 AM - Thread Starter
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I finally started to calbrate my z5500s. The only
Problem is that my control pod only lets me listen to the pink noise on each speaker for 2 seconds. Not enough time to get a correct reading. And my eax app on the computer will
Only play a channel for 2 seconds too. Are there any apps out there to run the pink noise just like a avr? Thanks.
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