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post #1 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Testing my current speakers?

I might need new speakers, especially the center channel, but how can I know that?

My speakers are 1997 PSB left and right Century 400i bookshelf and center 200c. They're old, but so are my ears, and I'd sure like to know whether replacing them will make any difference for me.

It might well be that the speakers are putting out fine high notes and I'm just not hearing them. I can learn it by spending money on speakers and shipping, then return them if they aren't working for me, but I'd rather not saddle Crutchfield or some other company with return costs if I can learn ahead of time that I shouldn't have bothered.

Is there a do-it-yourself option for testing speakers that doesn't require me to buy professional testing equipment?
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post #2 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 09:40 AM
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Those are medium entry level PSB speakers, that lack the resolution of some higher quality speakers ... it is more about speakers and not equipment, a decent receiver can drive them speakers -- check out some newer model speakers, even PSB has better speakers today than what you now have

For me I prefer to test with CD's for critical testing

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post #3 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaywalker1 View Post
I might need new speakers, especially the center channel, but how can I know that?

My speakers are 1997 PSB left and right Century 400i bookshelf and center 200c. They're old, but so are my ears, and I'd sure like to know whether replacing them will make any difference for me.

It might well be that the speakers are putting out fine high notes and I'm just not hearing them. I can learn it by spending money on speakers and shipping, then return them if they aren't working for me, but I'd rather not saddle Crutchfield or some other company with return costs if I can learn ahead of time that I shouldn't have bothered.

Is there a do-it-yourself option for testing speakers that doesn't require me to buy professional testing equipment?
Use an SPL meter or SPL app on your SmartPhone with these test tones.

The voice frequency is about 85hz up to 3khz or so.

https://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_index.php

Crutchfield in my personal experience has zero issues with you buying and returning speakers.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #4 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gajCA View Post
Use an SPL meter or SPL app on your SmartPhone with these test tones.

The voice frequency is about 85hz up to 3khz or so.

https://www.audiocheck.net/testtones_index.php

Crutchfield in my personal experience has zero issues with you buying and returning speakers.

I spoke to a guy at Crutchfield today about what to replace first (speakers/receiver) and he agreed that speakers should be first as they degrade over time. I hadn't heard that previously.


Thanks for the tone link. As I expected I lose the sine wave tone well before 20 seconds.


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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post
Those are medium entry level PSB speakers, that lack the resolution of some higher quality speakers ... it is more about speakers and not equipment, a decent receiver can drive them speakers -- check out some newer model speakers, even PSB has better speakers today than what you now have

For me I prefer to test with CD's for critical testing
Thanks. I am answered. I'll ask my follow-up question in your budget speakers thread.
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post #5 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaywalker1 View Post
I spoke to a guy at Crutchfield today about what to replace first (speakers/receiver) and he agreed that speakers should be first as they degrade over time. I hadn't heard that previously.


Thanks for the tone link. As I expected I lose the sine wave tone well before 20 seconds.
What frequency is that at 20 seconds.

Depending on your age, you may not hear much above 14khz.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #6 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 11:49 AM
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Speakers often deteriorate around the cone. There are kits available to replace them from amazon and other places. I had a speaker repair place do it for my 1980s era Infinity towers, I had the same problem with the center channel. The tweeters were fine, it was the mid and woofer that went. It's very easy to notice if you take the grills off. A friend did it himself to a set I gave him.

And I agree with gajca, at 59 I sure can't hear the mosquito tone.

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post #7 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 11:54 AM
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Listen to one speaker at a time with music that has full frequency range and good spectral balance. Kick drum, bass, guitar, keyboards for lows, guitars, voices for midrange and cymbals for high frequencies. Play at a level you can put your ear close to each driver to see if sound is coming from them. Then, sit on axis, about four feet back with each tweeter at ear level (again listening to each speaker in mono) and evaluate it at higher SPLs, listen for spectral balance and distortion. Use an SPL meter to see if the level from each speaker is the same i.e. set level calibration with pink noise. If your AVR levels are radically different for one speaker, it may have problems.

Sweep tones are good to hear cabinet and driver resonances and distortion, but you must control the level as the sweep goes from low to high frequencies to avoid damage to drivers and your ears. Pink noise can be telling, play it at all levels up to the loudest you can stand or what the speakers can handle without incurring damage to drivers. I have an old test CD that has band limited pink noise that is very handy to hear pink noise through individual drivers. I used it to find a problem with a crossover in a 4 way speaker. A loose wire on a crossover board was allowing low frequencies to pass to the tweeter and causing distortion.

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post #8 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 01:01 PM
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Testing my current speakers?

https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...droid--390-810

$14 mic that plugs into your mobile device. Play pink noise through your speakers and you’ll be able to see the frequency response.

Works pretty well. A guy I met yesterday actually used it to calibrate his active crossovers and EQ in these three way tri-amped bookshelves:


Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #9 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...droid--390-810

$14 mic that plugs into your mobile device. Play pink noise through your speakers and you’ll be able to see the frequency response.

Works pretty well. A guy I met yesterday actually used it to calibrate his active crossovers and EQ in these three way tri-amped bookshelves:

That's the kind of thing I was looking for, as I can't trust my ears.

Basic question - how do I source the pink noise? gajCA (above) linked some tone files. Do I burn a CD with them and play them on the BluRay, or is there a better way?
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post #10 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaywalker1 View Post
That's the kind of thing I was looking for, as I can't trust my ears.

Basic question - how do I source the pink noise? gajCA (above) linked some tone files. Do I burn a CD with them and play them on the BluRay, or is there a better way?

Any Pink Noise from YouTube, through your device. The mic has an aux out still if you notice, so you can still play content through your phone.

The app that comes with the mic may have its own pink noise generator. Not sure.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #11 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russdawg1 View Post
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...droid--390-810

$14 mic that plugs into your mobile device. Play pink noise through your speakers and you’ll be able to see the frequency response.

Works pretty well. A guy I met yesterday actually used it to calibrate his active crossovers and EQ in these three way tri-amped bookshelves:
Looks like a good tool -- with tax and shipping $23.95 for me

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post #12 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 01:58 PM
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Looks like a good tool -- with tax and shipping $23.95 for me

Pick one up, why not!

You can confirm the sound signature of all the speakers you rotate through your household

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #13 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 02:35 PM
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Basic question - how do I source the pink noise? gajCA (above) linked some tone files. Do I burn a CD with them and play them on the BluRay, or is there a better way?
I have the analog audio out on my PC, (you can also use the headphone jack), sent to my 30 year old analog stereo receiver with one of these cables; miniplug to RCA.

In my case it is 20+ feet long and works great.

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...37967706&psc=1

If your receiver has optical audio inputs most PCs have optical video outputs if you prefer or have a spare optical cable laying around.

Geoff A. J., California
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post #14 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I just phoned them and ordered one. That's much easier than trying to buy through PayPal.
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post #15 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 03:17 PM
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I just phoned them and ordered one. That's much easier than trying to buy through PayPal.

Really? PayPal has been super speedy for me whenever I check out.

I guess all that’s important is that it’s on the way to your doorstep

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #16 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Really? PayPal has been super speedy for me whenever I check out.

I guess all that’s important is that it’s on the way to your doorstep
I suppose it's because we neither have nor want a PayPal account it's more difficult. I still haven't completed my speaker order from eBay because of credit card "validation failures," according to eBay customer service, and PayPal CS was not much help, either. I suppose that's why we don't use eBay much.
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post #17 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 06:51 PM
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I suppose it's because we neither have nor want a PayPal account it's more difficult. I still haven't completed my speaker order from eBay because of credit card "validation failures," according to eBay customer service, and PayPal CS was not much help, either. I suppose that's why we don't use eBay much.
Do you have a Amazon account -- it will cost a little more, but you can buy the speakers from the same seller on Amazon

You can also buy direct from PricedRight-Sales and skip Paypal and use credit card
https://pricedrightsales.com/collect...Standing+Tower

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post #18 of 26 Old 11-11-2019, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Do you have a Amazon account -- it will cost a little more, but you can buy the speakers from the same seller on Amazon

You can also buy direct from PricedRight-Sales and skip Paypal and use credit card
https://pricedrightsales.com/collect...Standing+Tower
Thanks. They're cheaper from their site than eBay.
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post #19 of 26 Old 11-14-2019, 10:27 AM
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Any idea if this would work with a USB-C adapter?

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post #20 of 26 Old 11-14-2019, 10:29 AM
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Any idea if this would work with a USB-C adapter?

I’m not sure how this would. So no?

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #21 of 26 Old 11-14-2019, 10:45 AM
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I’m not sure how this would. So no?
Using a usb c to 3.5 adapter on a phone that doesn't have a headphone jack? I guess I'll just order it and find out!

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post #22 of 26 Old 11-14-2019, 10:56 AM
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Using a usb c to 3.5 adapter on a phone that doesn't have a headphone jack? I guess I'll just order it and find out!


That might work actually. It is only $15

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #23 of 26 Old 11-14-2019, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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That might work actually. It is only $15
I'll need an iPhone Lightning connector adapter, too. Back to BestBuy.
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post #24 of 26 Old 11-14-2019, 06:19 PM
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I'll need an iPhone Lightning connector adapter, too. Back to BestBuy.

Amazon! Everything at Best Buy is overpriced.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #25 of 26 Old 11-14-2019, 07:26 PM
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Amazon! Everything at Best Buy is overpriced.
Especially the ACCESSORIES...that's where they screw you six ways till Sunday.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #26 of 26 Old 11-18-2019, 03:44 PM
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The usb-c to headphone adapter works fine. Unfortunately Dayton's website is undergoing maintenance, so the calibration file is not available right now.

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