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post #1 of 17 Old 02-15-2008, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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How do I go about using my radio shack sound meter to set up my speakers? What steps do I go about doing. And I hear some of you running your subwoofer hot. What does this mean. I am a bass freak and the more the merrier. Thanks
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-15-2008, 02:51 PM
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Get some test tones (your receiver probably has an internal test tone you can use.), and adjust the gain settings so all the speakers read the exact same level at your seat (note: the sub will read a bit lower than it actually, by about 2-3db or so)

As for running the sub hot, it just means calibrating it so it is somewhat louder than your other speakers. Try it "flat" (same volume) first. If you think it is too weak, bump the level up a few dB

-Jason
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 07:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurtful Goat View Post

Get some test tones (your receiver probably has an internal test tone you can use.), and adjust the gain settings so all the speakers read the exact same level at your seat (note: the sub will read a bit lower than it actually, by about 2-3db or so)

As for running the sub hot, it just means calibrating it so it is somewhat louder than your other speakers. Try it "flat" (same volume) first. If you think it is too weak, bump the level up a few dB

I was actually going to post a similar question to this..

I have the same meter..

So i set the volume to a loud enough level.. say 75 DB.. set the radio shack meter to fast response.. A.. 60 on the dial?... Then just sit in the normal position aiming the meter forward.. start the tones up.. get the DB value to be identical for all speakers, even the rears?

I've tried this, but found that the rears just aren't loud enough with my yamaha RX-v795a 5.1 receiver.. but not as bad in my big room with my HTS780 onkyo receiver that came with that set..

In the room where i think the rears are too low at even DBs.. i'm using polk rm6750 speakers.. smaller speakers..

but this room is 12x12...

So i've found that i prefer the rears to actually be a bit higher in DB than the fronts (IE: +4-6DB on the setting) ... to sound louder and better when playing 5.1 DD tracks..

Is this typical.. or should they realistically be the same DBs? I've always found this to be the case, no matter what type of speaker i've had in the rear.. at least with this 12x12 rooms yamaha receiver.. Or is it that newer receivers pump out better volume these days on the rears, than with this older receiver?


Thanks

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post #4 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markm75 View Post

I was actually going to post a similar question to this..

I have the same meter..

So i set the volume to a loud enough level.. say 75 DB.. set the radio shack meter to fast response.. A.. 60 on the dial?... Then just sit in the normal position aiming the meter forward.. start the tones up.. get the DB value to be identical for all speakers, even the rears?

Nope. "slow response" not fast, and "C" weighted, not "A". Don't point meter forward. Point it up at a 45 degree angle.

Regarding levels, theoretically, ALL speakers SHOULD be set at the same level, however, the bottom line to all this is that the system sounds good to YOU, and if that means bumping up the rears a few db, than so be it.
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by lwien View Post

Nope. "slow response" not fast, and "C" weighted, not "A". Don't point meter forward. Point it up at a 45 degree angle.

Regarding levels, theoretically, ALL speakers SHOULD be set at the same level, however, the bottom line to all this is that the system sounds good to YOU, and if that means bumping up the rears a few db, than so be it.

i'm still not clear on the 85db reference thing.. do i generate pink noise out of say my center speaker.. adjust the master volume till its at 85DB.. or is this a speaker wide pink noise set to 85db when using the dvd?

Would i aim at the speaker for this reference part.. or still straight up or 45 degree angle off vertical?

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post #6 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 04:33 PM
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 04:39 PM
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My Lexicon Pre-Pro has internal test tones that goes from speaker to speaker and allows me to adjust each speakers levels independently. I set the meter to 80db and calibrate all speakers -5db below 0 so I am calibrating at 75db. All of this is totally independent of the master volume.

If you're pre-pro or receiver does not have internal test tones, you can get a disc such as Avia or DVE that has test tones on them that basically work the same way.
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post #8 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markm75 View Post

I was actually going to post a similar question to this..

I have the same meter..

So i set the volume to a loud enough level.. say 75 DB.. set the radio shack meter to fast response.. A.. 60 on the dial?... Then just sit in the normal position aiming the meter forward.. start the tones up.. get the DB value to be identical for all speakers, even the rears?

I've tried this, but found that the rears just aren't loud enough with my yamaha RX-v795a 5.1 receiver.. but not as bad in my big room with my HTS780 onkyo receiver that came with that set..

In the room where i think the rears are too low at even DBs.. i'm using polk rm6750 speakers.. smaller speakers..

but this room is 12x12...

So i've found that i prefer the rears to actually be a bit higher in DB than the fronts (IE: +4-6DB on the setting) ... to sound louder and better when playing 5.1 DD tracks..

Is this typical.. or should they realistically be the same DBs? I've always found this to be the case, no matter what type of speaker i've had in the rear.. at least with this 12x12 rooms yamaha receiver.. Or is it that newer receivers pump out better volume these days on the rears, than with this older receiver?


Thanks

are your rear speakers pointed towards you, are they to high. ???
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post #9 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 06:55 PM
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The correct way to use a Radio Shack SPL meter is to set it to C-weighted, slow. Hold the microphone straight up, pointed at the ceiling, with the SPL meter where your head would be while listening. That's the way I was taught at THX training at Skywalker Ranch in 1991, and nothing has changed. Tony Grimani still does it the same way, and that's good enough for me.

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post #10 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

The correct way to use a Radio Shack SPL meter is to set it to C-weighted, slow. Hold the microphone straight up, pointed at the ceiling, with the SPL meter where your head would be while listening. That's the way I was taught at THX training at Skywalker Ranch in 1991, and nothing has changed. Tony Grimani still does it the same way, and that's good enough for me.

Thanks for the clarification.. but what about the reference signal.. how do i get to that point.. is it the same way, but with pink noise going through all speakers at once.. or just one test speaker.. raising the main volume till it hits say 85db.. and do i point it at the one speaker if using just one to get to the reference volume, or still point it straight up.

Thanks again.

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post #11 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ditch-digger View Post

are your rear speakers pointed towards you, are they to high. ???

Can speakers really be "too" high.. well i guess speakers could be.. But in the theaters they are above ear level.. much bigger of course..

My speakers in both of my rooms are ceiling mounted.. ie: i use omni mounts on them.. coming down off the ceiling around the edges of the walls...

In my 7.1 setup in the living room i have large speakers (relatively speaking).. say 10" tall, 4" deep, 6" wide with the onkyo 780 system. Sitting on the couch these rear speakers are about 4 feet above our heads, but they are pointed directly downward on each side of the couch.. same deal with the side speakers.

In the office 5.1 setup.. i have the two rears mounted off the ceiling as well.. but they are probably not quite as high up.. maybe 3 feet.. those are the polk rm6751 series.. they are roughly 6" tall by 4" wide or so.. relatively small...

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post #12 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markm75 View Post

Thanks for the clarification.. but what about the reference signal.. how do i get to that point.. is it the same way, but with pink noise going through all speakers at once.. or just one test speaker.. raising the main volume till it hits say 85db.. and do i point it at the one speaker if using just one to get to the reference volume, or still point it straight up.

Thanks again.

Turn on the pink noise, and turn the volume to 0. Calibrate one channel at a time to 75 dB. This method is more or less standard, but if in doubt...RTFM.

Don't point the meter at the speaker. Hold it straight up where your head will be. And when you do the surrounds, make sure your head isn't blocking the SPL microphone.

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post #13 of 17 Old 03-07-2008, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

Turn on the pink noise, and turn the volume to 0. Calibrate one channel at a time to 75 dB. This method is more or less standard, but if in doubt...RTFM.

Don't point the meter at the speaker. Hold it straight up where your head will be. And when you do the surrounds, make sure your head isn't blocking the SPL microphone.

When you say turn the volume to 0.. do you literally mean, turn the volume all the way down (master control).. or do you mean.. set each speaker at 0 DB (in addition to setting the sub at, what i thought i read, 25% volume and -2 DB?).. (Do i also do the whole set the speakers to small in the receiver settings, i'm assuming this is still the case)..

Then turn the pink noise on, getting all speakers at 75dB.. so when i'm done.. irregardless... each speaker will be outputting 75dB?

Sorry.. i just like to get things accurate

Thanks

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post #14 of 17 Old 03-08-2008, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markm75 View Post

Can speakers really be "too" high.. well i guess speakers could be.. But in the theaters they are above ear level.. much bigger of course..

My speakers in both of my rooms are ceiling mounted.. ie: i use omni mounts on them.. coming down off the ceiling around the edges of the walls...

In my 7.1 setup in the living room i have large speakers (relatively speaking).. say 10" tall, 4" deep, 6" wide with the onkyo 780 system. Sitting on the couch these rear speakers are about 4 feet above our heads, but they are pointed directly downward on each side of the couch.. same deal with the side speakers.

In the office 5.1 setup.. i have the two rears mounted off the ceiling as well.. but they are probably not quite as high up.. maybe 3 feet.. those are the polk rm6751 series.. they are roughly 6" tall by 4" wide or so.. relatively small...

not sure..?
for my entire ht life i have always had them as high as possible but pointing at the listening area. then recently i said why have them high and pointing at me. why not at ear level.
i have my rears the same height as my mains now.

not really saying one is better than the other, just an option to try.
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-08-2008, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markm75 View Post

When you say turn the volume to 0.. do you literally mean, turn the volume all the way down (master control).. or do you mean.. set each speaker at 0 DB (in addition to setting the sub at, what i thought i read, 25% volume and -2 DB?).. (Do i also do the whole set the speakers to small in the receiver settings, i'm assuming this is still the case)..

Then turn the pink noise on, getting all speakers at 75dB.. so when i'm done.. irregardless... each speaker will be outputting 75dB?

Sorry.. i just like to get things accurate

Thanks

I meant turn the volume to 0 dB, if you have a display that indicates that.

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post #16 of 17 Old 03-08-2008, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

I meant turn the volume to 0 dB, if you have a display that indicates that.

I really don't think it matters when you are using test tones what the volume is set at. The receiver will not change the loudness of the tones based on volume setting, or it shouldn't. Mine doesn't.

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post #17 of 17 Old 03-08-2008, 08:40 AM
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I imagine that different brand receivers must be adjusted differently than others. My Yamaha will not let me use the DVD to adjust the volume settings (using the spl meter). I have to use the pink noise emitted by the receiver, not the dvd.

I have to use the volume control to set my main speakers to the 75 db setting, but to set the surrounds and center speakers so they will adjust to the 75 db setting, I have to go into the receiver settings via the remote and then set the affects speakers (surrounds, center) individually using a different button control than the volume.

So, I would suggest reading the receiver manual to first learn how to adjust the different speakers, then, use the spl meter with that method to get the db settings all the same.

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