Need some advise on setting up 5.2 with a SPL - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 01-12-2013, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I could use some help in setting up/ calibrating a 5.2 with an SPL.

I can get there three ways:
1) The AVR is a Pioneer VSX-1120-K so it has MCACC to set up 5.1 speakers. Use it in full auto mode.
2) I also have the Disney: World of Wonder HD (WoW) set up disk with 5 speaker & subwoofer test tones for use with SPL.
3) I can use "Manual Speaker Set Up" with AVR's test tone with SPL.

I bought a cheapo SPL from eBay (AZ8928) and I have been trying to set up the speakers using SLOW + 'C' weighting as many a google threads out there show.

The problem:
The WoW instructions suggest:
Quote:
For best results, use a sound pressure level meter to adjust channel levels. A comfortable volume is usually between 78 dB and 85 dB as measured on a Radio Shack or equivalent sound level meter set for C weighting and slow response.

There is the master AVR volume (goes from -80 to 0 dB: where 0 dB is reference) and speaker levels that range from -12 to +12 for each speaker (including SW).

This may sound stupid, but how does one get to 78-85dB with SPL placed at listening position?

Option 1: I set the designated speaker level to -12 and slowly crank up master volume towards 0 dB as the specific test tone is playing to reach 78-85 on SPL?
Option 2: I set the master volume to something more comfortable like -40 to -20dB (reference is VERY loud) and I set the designated speaker level to -12 and slowly crank up the speaker level towards + 12 as the specific test tone is playing to reach 78-85 on SPL? What if I cannot reach 78dB at the selected master volume?

I am using Option 2 but am I missing something?

They also suggest setting the subwoofer(s) to + 3dB above the level used to set up the 5 main speakers. So if I decide to use say 78dB for the 5 speakers, the sub has to be adjusted to read around 81dB on the SPL? Using Option 2? or something else?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 4 Old 01-12-2013, 08:00 PM
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Here's the general faq for setup http://www.avsforum.com/t/824554/setting-up-your-home-theater-101 and from one of those links for using an spl meter:

Engage the test tone, or pink noise generator, on your receiver. You will hear a static sound in one of the speakers. Depending on your receiver, this static may automatically move from speaker to speaker. If you have a choice, choose manual channel selection. This way the tone won't change speakers while you're looking at the meter. Increase or decrease the main volume of the receiver and subwoofer (if it's a powered sub) to a "reference" position. Make it an easy position to remember, such as straight up on knobs, 0 on relative volume controls, and 75 on actual volume controls.

While holding the meter straight up from your listening position, check the SPL reading on the meter for that channel. Adjust that channel's level (not the main volume control) so that the needle reads +5 while the range is set to 70, or 75 on digital diplays. This means the calibrated level for that channel is 75db at your reference volume and listening position. Repeat this process for each speaker in your system. I recommend calibrating your subwoofer to the same level, but if you like a little extra kick in your bass, calibrate it 5db to 10db higher than the rest of your speakers.

Once all of the speakers read the same SPL level, your system is calibrated. The next time you watch a film, if you set the volume control to your "reference" position, you will be hearing the film in the exact balance and sound pressure levels that the sound engineers intended. Reference volume levels can be really loud. If you choose not to listen at these levels, the sound will still be balanced at lower volumes.

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post #3 of 4 Old 01-13-2013, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks but I am not sure it worked.

To get to a 75dB test tone from each speaker I had to set the volume level at -19dB (and L/C/R had their levels set to the max + 12 to get there). But for real movies/music/TV -19dB is extremely loud, I can barely tolerate -40dB for movies. There is no way I can listen to anything at -19dB.
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post #4 of 4 Old 01-14-2013, 07:25 AM
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I wonder if you have done the first thing yet?

Job 1 in setting up ANY sound system is to optimize the position of the front main speakers in the room so that they sound best to you.

This must be done with NO room correction and only the front two speakers in operation.

If you don't spend some time getting this right, all else is futile and you will waste time.

The front speakers are where most of the system sound must come from. It sounds like you are trying to get too much sound from the other speakers, which is not desirable.

Use your ears.

Forget the meter.
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