Seasoned Audio Enthusiasts, a guide? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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11-07-2005, 05:28 PM
I know that there are alot of posters here that have alot of experience with setting up a HT. I was wondering if anybody could maybe make a how to guide as to setting up speakers, placement, height, receiver settings....any tweaks and helpful info for beginner to intermediate users, such as myself. Woochifer made a post recently saying that most theaters could benefit from proper setup, even moreso than from what brand receiver, ect you have. I was hoping that the pros could maybe get together and do a step by step guide to getting everything you can from your speakers and receiver. I know that mine is set up basically correct, but i know i could learn some tips from the pros.

also, my new receiver has a 5-band eq for each channel (which i have found to be a great benefit for music, not just treble and bass anymore), i know the basics here also, but any tips on how to set the mid and high frequencies other than just "by ear"? also, phase setting for subwoofer tips, anything else that could be helpful. the more nitty gritty details the better, I have the 03 video essentials dvd, any tests from here could be listed also. i currently have a 7.1 setup

I think alot of people in my shoes are ready to take our learning to the next level and would greatly appreciate any help. i learn alot here and there, but i know that a more comprehensive guide could piece all the info together. thanks again...

11-07-2005, 06:34 PM
First thing you should get is a home theater setup DVD. Since you're a newbie, I would highly recommend the Sound & Vision Home Theater Setup DVD. It's far easier to use than the Digital Video Essentials disc that you have, and has much better tutorials. I've seen the S&V disc at Borders for $15, and it's readily available thru S&V magazine or through any of several DVD sites. The disc has tutorials that go all the way back to connecting the wiring and using the remote control. It will also tell you how to properly setup the level balances, subwoofer phase, and channel delay. The most useful tests on that disc are the video tests, because most TVs do not default to the correct settings.

The audio tests are most effective if you also use a SPL meter, and that DVD will also teach you how to use the SPL meter for level matching. Radio Shack sells them for $40. If you want to be even more of a stickler for consistency, you can also mount the SPL meter on a camera tripod (keep it angled at 45 degrees and pointed towards the center).

As far as speaker placement goes, you should use the following diagram as your general guide. This is the ITU multichannel reference alignment, and it is what recording studios use when mixing DVD soundtracks.

Also be aware that Dolby recommends that you point the surround speakers directly at one another rather than pointed towards the listening position, if you plan to use your system for both movies and multichannel music. They also recommend elevating the surround speakers by about 2' above ear level (I would recommend at least 1').

Audioholics probably has the best collection of setup articles I've seen. There are several other great sites that have useful pointers on home theater setup, but this is a great place to start.