Calibration regimen...

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  • 07-13-2009, 06:16 AM
    Worf101
    Calibration regimen...
    I just replaced my mains. Platinum Audio Studio 3's out, A/D/S 1290's in. Now it's been almost a year since I calibrated my Onkyo 905 for these speaks and I have to do it again since it's now quite obvious that the 1290's, a sealed speaker with dual 8's, has far more bass reproduction than I was getting with Platinums which needed more sub help. Now I could do the following:

    1. Let Audessy do it and hope for the best.

    2. Whip out the Rat Shack SPL and do it myself.

    3. Do it by tape measurer and ear like I used to.

    What do you do, what do you recommend I do and why?

    Da Worfster
  • 07-13-2009, 06:32 AM
    kexodusc
    I let Audyssey do its magic - I've used dozens of auto-setup calibration capable machines and with very few exceptions the SPL/distance settings for speakers are bang on with my SPL meters and measuring tape, and when results on distance were different, the mic/auto-setup tended to sound better...I don't just use the Rat Shack meter either (which has some minor issues but can't be beat for the price). Even more, sometimes they can be more accurate than tape measure because they're based on actual acoustic tests, relying on the time the sound arrives at the mic, not assumptions about your speakers drivers and crossovers all being identical, and just relying on distance. That could be more important if your speakers aren't all identical, a few different systems I've setup I've noticed the centers and mains to be slightly out of synch with each other to the tune of ms or so...

    I qualify this with the understanding that I have had some odd-ball room acoustic issues render the results totally useless. Won't know until you try.

    Whether you like the auto EQ settings or not, that's a trail and error thing IMO. I've found most systems tend to eliminate a few issues and improve the sound generally, but there's been a few models I've tried using auto-eq only to have it produce completely offensive EQ results.

    I usually run the test once...record results, compare to SPL/tape measure....run it again to see if anything changes....if it's identical you're probably in good shape, sometimes it's not...in which case you can bet there's an acoustic issue somewhere in the room affecting the reliability of the results. Trial and error and the human ear are your friends here.

    Don't EQ the sub at all, these things ain't so hot for bass EQing below 100 Hz or so in my experience.
  • 07-13-2009, 06:57 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    I let Audyssey do its magic - I've used dozens of auto-setup calibration capable machines and with very few exceptions the SPL/distance settings for speakers are bang on with my SPL meters and measuring tape, and when results on distance were different, the mic/auto-setup tended to sound better...I don't just use the Rat Shack meter either (which has some minor issues but can't be beat for the price). Even more, sometimes they can be more accurate than tape measure because they're based on actual acoustic tests, relying on the time the sound arrives at the mic, not assumptions about your speakers drivers and crossovers all being identical, and just relying on distance. That could be more important if your speakers aren't all identical, a few different systems I've setup I've noticed the centers and mains to be slightly out of synch with each other to the tune of ms or so...

    I qualify this with the understanding that I have had some odd-ball room acoustic issues render the results totally useless. Won't know until you try.

    Whether you like the auto EQ settings or not, that's a trail and error thing IMO. I've found most systems tend to eliminate a few issues and improve the sound generally, but there's been a few models I've tried using auto-eq only to have it produce completely offensive EQ results.

    I usually run the test once...record results, compare to SPL/tape measure....run it again to see if anything changes....if it's identical you're probably in good shape, sometimes it's not...in which case you can bet there's an acoustic issue somewhere in the room affecting the reliability of the results. Trial and error and the human ear are your friends here.

    Don't EQ the sub at all, these things ain't so hot for bass EQing below 100 Hz or so in my experience.

    Hey! How are the rest of us supposed to make comments when you come along and answer all the questions in one fell swoop?

    Worf,

    Not much left to say besides, ditto. I like to let the program do it's thing and then check it manually afterwards. As Kex said, the program doesn't do below 100 Hz very well. That leaves you something to play with. A Rat Shack meter and a test CD can lead to hours of fun. But be very careful if you decide to check the higher frequencies too. Sine waves at even medium levels can damage your speakers.:mad5:
  • 07-13-2009, 07:07 AM
    Worf101
    Thanks folks...
    Thanks for the love. Now one more question, how many times to let the Audessy run? I only did it a couple of times last time and it didn't turn out so good. Do it 10 times, 20, 50? Just curious.

    Da Worfster
  • 07-13-2009, 07:14 AM
    GMichael
    As many times as it takes to get it right. (Right = sounds great to you)
  • 07-13-2009, 08:30 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Worf101
    Thanks for the love. Now one more question, how many times to let the Audessy run? I only did it a couple of times last time and it didn't turn out so good. Do it 10 times, 20, 50? Just curious.

    Da Worfster

    I would run it 3 or 4 times max, if you're getting wildly different results then you need incapacitate the other noise makers in the house, move further away from the trains, or you've probably got some fundamental acoustic issue in the room that is rendering the process useless.

    When I set the microphone, I measure the distance from the center channel tweeter as well, and keep it perfectly centered so you know it's in the same spot...even a couple of inches off can skew some of the results depending on your system.

    If the mic is left in one place and results are different after running it a few times, I grab the SPL and go with the closest measurements to what my SPL meter and tape measure suggest.

    As for the EQ, some systems have different pre-sets to eq all speakers to be consistent or timbre matched to the mains vs to eq all speakers to be more flat.

    We're getting into personal tastes here, and depending on the brand and model these can be very well executed or a bit more hit and miss. Trial and error is the best I can come up with. Sometimes I disable the EQ portion if the owner isn't happy.
  • 07-13-2009, 07:56 PM
    Woochifer
    Why not try the hybrid approach? Do the initial measurements using the SPL meter, then you can run the auto routine and remeasure just to verify how close the Audyssey is. No reason why all your tools should be mutually exclusive. You got 'em all, so go ahead and use 'em all!

    For subwoofer EQing, I've used the manual graphing approach, and the automated Room EQ Wizard approach. I'm happier with the more fine tuned results I get with the manual approach.

    As others have said, the accuracy of the automated routines will vary depending on the room noise and other factors, like where you are in relation to the mic (big bodies can alter the sound waves and give you different readings).
  • 07-13-2009, 10:04 PM
    pixelthis
    1 Attachment(s)
    Set the ratshack meter at 70 db and use it.
    I HAVE HEARD GOOD THINGS about audessy, but after using several of these
    auto-cal schemes I still prefer the results from my two ears , which are engineered better than the fifty cent mic they put with those receivers.:1:
  • 07-14-2009, 07:02 AM
    Worf101
    Well THAT was interesting...
    I settled down to do this yesterday.

    1. Closed all windows and doors.
    2. Unplugged the phone (nothing like having the phone ring right in the effin' middle of the routine).
    3. Took off keys, put on socks.
    4. Got camera,SPL stand out of basement.
    5. Hooked things up.
    6. Read the instructions
    7 Watched the whole process chit da bed.

    First 3 times I ran Audessy, it couldn't read the sub.
    I turned up the sub as the manual suggested, then it couldn't hear the right front speaker even though it seemed to be sounding fine to me. Wound up calibrating by hand. Sounds good right now. I'll try again today to use Audessey.

    Da Worfster
  • 07-14-2009, 08:00 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Worf101
    I settled down to do this yesterday.

    1. Closed all windows and doors.
    2. Unplugged the phone (nothing like having the phone ring right in the effin' middle of the routine).
    3. Took off keys, put on socks.
    4. Got camera,SPL stand out of basement.
    5. Hooked things up.
    6. Read the instructions
    7 Watched the whole process chit da bed.

    First 3 times I ran Audessy, it couldn't read the sub.
    I turned up the sub as the manual suggested, then it couldn't hear the right front speaker even though it seemed to be sounding fine to me. Wound up calibrating by hand. Sounds good right now. I'll try again today to use Audessey.

    Da Worfster

    Sometimes those auto-systems act a little buggy when not used for a while. I had several issues with my Yamaha set-up last time too. It took several attempts to get it to work as advertised.
  • 07-14-2009, 10:08 AM
    kexodusc
    Wow....that's screwy.

    I've had one system report speakers wired wrong when they weren't...I even took the the things apart to make sure. Funny thing is, reversing the speaker wires produced the same result...Problem was fixed by doing a factory reset on the unit.

    Might be worth a try?
  • 07-14-2009, 10:22 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    Wow....that's screwy.

    I've had one system report speakers wired wrong when they weren't...I even took the the things apart to make sure. Funny thing is, reversing the speaker wires produced the same result...Problem was fixed by doing a factory reset on the unit.

    Might be worth a try?

    My manual said that this might happen. Something about some speaker mfg's wiring the tweeters in reverse phase to create a smoother sound. My Primus 360's always come up as wired wrong.
    Still haven't found the steps for a factory reset on my model. The ones you gave me for the 1400/2400 didn't work out.
  • 07-14-2009, 01:50 PM
    Worf101
    Da Plot Thickens...
    I re-ran Audessey again, same result, misfiring speaker. So I discontinued put on some articulated music, took the grills off and listened... Tweeter was not tweeting, therefore the upper register was not clicking during the calibration tests. Now the speaks I got are the A/D/S 1290/2's. The first generation had fuses, this generation has an internal blowout protector or circuit breaker. I was hoping this kicked in but they said it would reset after lowering the volume. I turned it off and on and no luck.

    I'm disconnecting the speaker entirely to see if no juice to it at all will reset. If that doesn't do it then maybe the tweets blown and I'll have to find a place to repair it or replace it. Curious though as the other speaker seems completely unaffected. Any theories mein freunds?

    Da "Chit dat pisses me off" Worfster
  • 07-14-2009, 06:55 PM
    pixelthis
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Worf101
    I re-ran Audessey again, same result, misfiring speaker. So I discontinued put on some articulated music, took the grills off and listened... Tweeter was not tweeting, therefore the upper register was not clicking during the calibration tests. Now the speaks I got are the A/D/S 1290/2's. The first generation had fuses, this generation has an internal blowout protector or circuit breaker. I was hoping this kicked in but they said it would reset after lowering the volume. I turned it off and on and no luck.

    I'm disconnecting the speaker entirely to see if no juice to it at all will reset. If that doesn't do it then maybe the tweets blown and I'll have to find a place to repair it or replace it. Curious though as the other speaker seems completely unaffected. Any theories mein freunds?

    Da "Chit dat pisses me off" Worfster

    Might be a fuse or blown tweeter. Didnt you buy these used?
    I tried the auto-cal on a friends system and it couldnt find the sub either, BTW.:1:
  • 07-14-2009, 07:13 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Worf101
    I re-ran Audessey again, same result, misfiring speaker. So I discontinued put on some articulated music, took the grills off and listened... Tweeter was not tweeting, therefore the upper register was not clicking during the calibration tests. Now the speaks I got are the A/D/S 1290/2's. The first generation had fuses, this generation has an internal blowout protector or circuit breaker. I was hoping this kicked in but they said it would reset after lowering the volume. I turned it off and on and no luck.

    I'm disconnecting the speaker entirely to see if no juice to it at all will reset. If that doesn't do it then maybe the tweets blown and I'll have to find a place to repair it or replace it. Curious though as the other speaker seems completely unaffected. Any theories mein freunds?

    Da "Chit dat pisses me off" Worfster

    No manual switch on the protection circuit? I recall a lot of vintage speakers had those, and they weren't always easy to locate.

    A blown tweeter though should still at least be audible to some degree. If it's completely silent, then it might be something simpler on the crossover or elsewhere. Good luck.
  • 07-15-2009, 07:55 AM
    Worf101
    I think you're right.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    No manual switch on the protection circuit? I recall a lot of vintage speakers had those, and they weren't always easy to locate.

    A blown tweeter though should still at least be audible to some degree. If it's completely silent, then it might be something simpler on the crossover or elsewhere. Good luck.

    There may be some sort of manual reset protocol but I've been unable to find it. I'm going to ask over at AudioKarma as they've many members there who've owned and one guy who actually BUILT ADS speakers in the past. But right now I've no sound out of the tweet at all. I may swap tweets and that'll tell me if the problem is the tweet or the crossover or somewhere in between. Sigh.. sounded great for a while. Funny to the think that the calibration routine might have caused the tweet breaker to skitz out.

    Da Worfster
  • 07-15-2009, 09:06 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Worf101
    Funny to the think that the calibration routine might have caused the tweet breaker to skitz out.

    Da Worfster

    I didn't think it was very funny when I blew the tweeters out of my 1 week old Mini's durring calibration.
  • 07-15-2009, 07:17 PM
    Worf101
    Damn...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    I didn't think it was very funny when I blew the tweeters out of my 1 week old Mini's durring calibration.

    Damn man, guess it's not unusual then.

    Da Worfster
  • 07-16-2009, 03:42 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Worf101
    Funny to the think that the calibration routine might have caused the tweet breaker to skitz out.

    Da Worfster

    Not so hard to imagine - the routine sends short bursts of various tones and frequencies out...it may have just found your old tweeter's brown note frequency.

    Is there any sound at all coming from the tweeter? How old are these things? If I had to guess from a far I'd guess think it was something else, a short, crossover meltdown....usually the tweeters outlive the woofers by a decade or so. If the tweeter was toast, like Wooch said, they usually spit out a few squeaks and squawks and aren't silent completely.
  • 07-16-2009, 03:52 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Worf101
    Damn man, guess it's not unusual then.

    Da Worfster

    In best one-arm Dr. Chang in a labcoat voice:

    GM didn't follow standard protocol during..."the incident".
  • 07-16-2009, 05:02 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    In best one-arm Dr. Chang in a labcoat voice:

    GM didn't follow standard protocol during..."the incident".

    Hey now...
    I followed the procedures set forth to me by Rives and Rat Shack. Who knew that the auto calibration would cut 1k Hz by 9db and boast 6k Hz by 12 db?:idea:
  • 07-16-2009, 06:55 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    Hey now...
    I followed the procedures set forth to me by Rives and Rat Shack. Who knew that the auto calibration would cut 1k Hz by 9db and boast 6k Hz by 12 db?:idea:

    6 KHz was boosted by 12 dB? Wow....and you red lined the volume on that didn't you...that poor tweeter. He never had a chance.
  • 07-16-2009, 07:10 AM
    GMichael
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kexodusc
    6 KHz was boosted by 12 dB? Wow....and you red lined the volume on that didn't you...that poor tweeter. He never had a chance.


    Because of the cut at 1k Hz, the master volume was set at something in the range of 0 db. When the CD hit 6k Hz it almost blew out my ears along with the tweeters.

    Sine waves are brutal!
  • 07-16-2009, 07:23 AM
    L.J.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    Because of the cut at 1k Hz, the master volume was set at something in the range of 0 db. When the CD hit 6k Hz it almost blew out my ears along with the tweeters.

    Sine waves are brutal!

    Ouch.......yeah, too much of that gives me a headache :nono:
  • 07-16-2009, 08:48 AM
    kexodusc
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by GMichael
    Because of the cut at 1k Hz, the master volume was set at something in the range of 0 db. When the CD hit 6k Hz it almost blew out my ears along with the tweeters.

    Sine waves are brutal!

    Oh yeah, that's right. I'm keeping you away from my subs....