Room calibration - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-09-2017, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Room calibration

Can anyone recommend a room calibration software or hardware? I listen only to classical music and I need the volume of the different parts of the orchestra to be reproduced as accurately as possible. I just purchased a Sony STR DH730 receiver and, even after running its room calibration, the volume at 70 hz are still 10 db higher than 45hz and 300hz. I verified this with my trusty Radio Shack SPL meter. So, I am looking for a way to further flatten the equalization. Thanks.

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post #2 of 14 Old 06-09-2017, 04:12 PM
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Room tuning is an art and science. You need to measure the room at many points to find issues that can be helped with acoustic treatment. You need to optimize location of speakers and listener if you have any wiggle room.

Pros use SMAART, TEF, Meyer SIM etc. Those just analyze and cost a lot, then you need good EQ to correct problems.

Look at Dirac, miniDSP, ARC (Anthem), Audessey, REW etc.

Best Room Correction under $2,500
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-09-2017, 04:17 PM
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Perfectly flat (accurate) sound, asides from some calibration, requires acoustic treatments and one or more properly placed and integrated subwoofers.
Folks here use free software called REW (Room EQ Wizard) and calibration microphone like UMIK to measure in room response and tweak it as necessary, either by acoustic treatment, calibration, etc etc.
Thats the first step at least. Welcome to the rabbit hole.

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-09-2017, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. I am not looking for a perfectly flat equalization. But, 10db difference is a lot. That's more than twice of our perceived volume which from what I understand is 6db. I was surprised that the Sony's auto calibration can not detect or correct that difference. Is the Sony's inferior to Audessey, which is used by other brands and which I have heard a deal about?

I checked out the REW, and it seems to be a good solution. It recommends a few calibrated condenser mics. I think that these mics require phantom power, right? I already have a omnidirectionsl generic condenser mic. Would that not suffice?
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-09-2017, 11:18 PM
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What you descibed looks like you have to tame room modes. One of the "cheapest" solutions would be getting a unit which contains one of the better Audyssey room EQ variants, or spending additional money for something like Dirac etc. Everything else is a lot more work on your side, especially if you consider acoustic room treatment.
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post #6 of 14 Old 06-10-2017, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gurkey View Post
What you descibed looks like you have to tame room modes. One of the "cheapest" solutions would be getting a unit which contains one of the better Audyssey room EQ variants, or spending additional money for something like Dirac etc. Everything else is a lot more work on your side, especially if you consider acoustic room treatment.
a unit which contains one of the better Aiudyssey EQ - do you mean replacing the Sony receiver? I just bought it and would like to make it work.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-10-2017, 02:00 AM
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Then you have to live with what you got
Might be better off checking the corresponding Sony thread then, because people there might have gotten themselves envolved more deeply than I am using Sonys for this purpose.
They could even provide some workaround for specific problems / situations with that machinery...
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-10-2017, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dik F. Liu View Post
a unit which contains one of the better Aiudyssey EQ - do you mean replacing the Sony receiver? I just bought it and would like to make it work.
+1 on the room treatment and speaker position suggestions. Taming this beast may cost a few bucks.

I worked with GIK Acoustics out of Atlanta. Using my room plan, they made recommendations for acoustic treatment. This was all on the pre-sales side, too.

BTW which Sony receiver do you have?
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-10-2017, 09:18 AM
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There are a number of factors here that can affect your readings.

1) the room can be one of the biggest difference in sound you will make. Here is a recent thread comparing speakers and them with the room treated. Treatments don't have to be expensive or just panels. There can be creative solutions for acoustics and aesthetic that will still have a huge impact on your room.
6/3/17 Northeast Audio GTG & Beer Tasting-w/JTR, DIYSG, Next Level Acoustics, Quest

2) The radio shack SPL meter is not very accurate. There are correction files people have made for it to do what you are trying. It is good for relative SPL levels but not for testing individual frequencies on the same speaker.

3) REW, audio tools for iPhone/pad, Dayton measurement system, true RTA would all be better for taking more acurate measurements. some sell a calibrated USB mic so you don't need phantom power.

4) While Sony is a big name I have never found their audio products all that great. You are using a very basic stereo receiver which is probably using inexpensive chip amps. Speakers are not a fixed impedance, the numbers they state think of it as an average (not accurate but for simplicity good enough) but in reality impedance varies with frequency. Some inexpensive amps simply can not handle these swings well. Depending on your speakers they might be a difficult load for that receiver. I'm not a big believer that you need monster amps to get good sound at moderate listening levels with most speakers but in your case you might need to go for a better model. With the exception of Class D amps which most receivers are not, buy by the pound. A receiver that weighs ~25 pounds will be an upgrade over that ones that weighs 14 pounds. Since you just need stereo and not all the latest HDMI bells and whistles you can probably find some great deals in the used market.

Here are links to measurements with impedance graphs of some popular book shelf speakers, A Polk and Ascend Acoustics. Notice how these speakers drop to 4-5 ohms at certain frequencies and other frequencies they are at 30 ohms. An amp needs to be able to handle these shifts.Scroll to see it.
http://soundstage.com/measurements/speakers/polk_rtia1/
http://soundstage.com/measurements/s...scend_sierra1/
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-11-2017, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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@gurkey . I asked for Sony's support, and what I got from them was just cut-and-pastes that didn't address this problem. Ditto with their online chatting. I know what you mean about people there who might have gotten themselves more envoled. I searched through their different massage boards (communities) but, amazingly, can not find one about receivers. I know that this can't be right. But, I really looked.

@ Bill-99. I bought the Sony STR-dH750 because my previous basic Sony DH130 2 channels receiver lacked a subwoofer output, and I had to connect the subwoofer via its speaker level inputs which I know isn't ideal. So, I bought this new receiver for its line level subwoofer output.

@Ellebob . I know that my listening room. It isn't ideal and the sound is too live. But, it is my art studio and so I can't put room treatments in it. Yes, I have the Radio Shack correction chart and it seems at least for the frequency range of the music that I listen to, the difference is .5 db which is acceptable for me. I know that my Sony Receiver is not that impressive. I had to stick with Sony as my receiver is connected to a timer and it doubles as my alarm clock. When the timer's setting turns on the Sony, it goes on automatically and blast my AM station very loudly and wakes me up. I know this sounds silly but I do need this. I have tried other brands of receivers - Pioneer, Technics, etc. and when the timer feeds the power to these receivers, they don't turn on automatically.

My current set up is a Sony STR-Hd730 receiver, a Dayton Audio SUB 1000L subwoofer, and a set of Kef !100 speakers. The receiver is connected to my laptop and I play mostly M4A files via MediaMonkey
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-11-2017, 06:03 PM
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room calibrations are great and all...but why not just buy equipment that sounds great in your space?

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post #12 of 14 Old 06-11-2017, 09:30 PM
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I actually sea lot of opportunity for acoustic treatments in your room. You can use those canvas paintings and put some type of absorptive material behind them. A few more paintings would help. Owens Corning OC703, mineral fiber, sonofiber are all materials you could use and some are very inexpensive.
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-14-2017, 12:09 AM - Thread Starter
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These paintings are only on the wall before going to their collectors. So, putting sound installation behind them not feasible. But, I see what you mean. To tame the mid bass, I have already plugged the Kef Q100's ports with the supplied sponge. So, these are now acoustic suspension speakers. May be putting sound installation behind them will further tame the bass.
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-21-2017, 01:36 AM
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It is unfortunate, that many people are buying equipment without considering the influence of room, speakers, speaker positioning and listeners position.
Thus not only the technical and acoustical qualities (and outer appearance plus pricing ) are of major importance but also the quality of room eq.
Because one can't be separated from the other anymore. I doesn't help much, if all the features you wanted are there just to realize afterwards, that the "environment" the installation is running in is not up to the task and either no relevant cure or at least not without major effort are available.
Speakers, speaker positioning, room acoustics and listener positioning are major ingredients which have a much larger influence onto the sound quality as anything else. They have to be tackled in most cases with at least some electronic means as an afterthought. Unfortunately Sony is not one of those which are known for doing well in this area. Acoustical cure eliminating or preventing any problems are even better but at a price to be paid.
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