Suggestions regarding my current gear setup - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 6 Old 08-20-16, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Suggestions regarding my current gear setup

So, I decided to finally get into this calibration world myself now...i've used contractors in the past to do our calibrations on theatre room projects, but am now interested in learning the basics myself....I've decided to learn REW since it seems to have one of the largest support forum groups (that'll be helpful for me)

I've started reading the help guides here, but have more to read...

Here's a list of the equipment I currently have and am wondering if you suggest that I change or upgrade anything. I've bought this stuff over the years always with the intent of getting into it myself, but could never find the time to dabble.

  • Radio Shack 33-2050 SPL Meter - from what I investigated so far, looks like it's recommended I still have an SPL meter in addition to my other testing equipment. Was thinking I may upgrade to a calibrated Galaxy model by Cross Spectrum just because...Or I keep my existing unit and just use the generic calibration file?
  • TEF25 Pro Kit - bought it new years ago [in 2007]. I should also have the EZTUNE [EZTH2] software that goes with it. Just never really used it alot (just tinkering in my office) since the support forum for it has always been pretty scarce, so it was a huge learning curve for me, I felt. However, I don't plan on getting rid of it. I'm hoping that after wrapping my head around REW that I'll be able to use the TEF25 as a complement device (perhaps)
  • Four calibrated TEF04 Mics - Are these mics a good match for me to use with the REW software? Do I need a special calibration file to use with them? I'd hate to have to buy another mic if I didn't really need to.
  • Goldline MX4 Mic multiplexer - bought off of Ebay years ago, with the intent of using it with the four TEF04 mics I have. So, Now I'm thinking I can just use it with the REW software. Are there any caveats with using mic response averaging with the REW process? Or would this setup [REW + 4 TEF04's + MX4] be a good one for me?
  • MacBook Pro - I run parallels on it. Is it better to run REW in virtual world on the Windows side, or just run the native Mac version?
  • External soundcard suggestions - am currently looking at picking up a FocusRite Scarlett (2ndgen) 6i6 for this purpose. However, I'm wondering since I already have the TEF25 USB preamp, if that should be used instead? The TEF25 unit seems to be recognized as "TEF2000" while running Parallels on my Mac. The Mac side doesn't seem to recognize the unit at all. I suspect it's because GoldLine never created any Mac drivers for it; the EZTUNE software is Windows-only. So, I'm thinking the TEF25's use may be limited to only inside Parallels (unless someone else says otherwise). My concern, though, is running anything unproven in Parallels as I don't won't to incorporate any possible anomalies because of it. This is why I was leaning toward just picking up a new Scarlett unit and run it natively on the Mac side. Plus, I'm not sure what has improved in hardware since my original purchase of the TEF25 in 2007.
  • Goldline TS-2 Audio Oscillator/Impedance Meter - Ebay purchase. To be honest, I forgot why I even picked that up, I think it was just to do sweeps and perform rattle tests in a room.

Please forgive me if any of this is addressed in the help guides. As mentioned, I'm going through them now, but figured I'd like to get a parts order in as soon as possible. Thanks in advance for your input.

Last edited by insurroundsound; 08-20-16 at 01:50 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 08-21-16, 12:22 PM
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Re: Suggestions regarding my current gear setup

Hopefully someone will chime in with some thoughts on the microphones... but definitely don't hesitate to run REW straight on your Mac.

I could be wrong about this...but I believe that you do not need an external sound card if your microphones are USB. I use a UMIK-1 mic (which sets you back about $100 bucks)... unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the TEF04. As long as the calibration file can be imported into REW, the TEF04 will probably work fine?
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-22-16, 07:26 PM
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Re: Suggestions regarding my current gear setup

I’d say only get the Focusrite if you need it for TEF25. Otherwise it’s cheaper just to get a UMIK-1 from Cross Spectrum – that’s all you need for REW.

I wouldn’t fool with a calibrated SPL meter, unless your use requires greater accuracy than the Radio Shack’s +/-2 dB deviation.


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post #4 of 6 Old 08-22-16, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Suggestions regarding my current gear setup

Thanks, Todd and Wayne....
Do you know of anyone who has used a Goldline MX4 with REW? Goldline says that in order to use it, the RTA should have "time averaging". If not, Goldline says to then use "slow mode" in the RTA. Any clue if REW has time averaging ability within its RTA? Or a slow mode setting? I didn't see anything that jumped out at me to suggest it did.

I know REW has an ability to factor in averaging, but was curious since I already have the equipment if I could use it with it.

I'm also still a little confused about the mics. I don't have a calibration file from Gold line to plug into REW's preferences. But I know all four mics were calibrated by Gold Line at time of purchase [all 4 mics have a calibration sticker on them]. Does this mean I don't need a calibration file to plug in?
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post #5 of 6 Old 08-25-16, 05:30 PM
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Averaging in the RTA can be set between 0 and 32 averages per displayed sample/curve.

I also would recommend a calibration file for the mic(s).
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post #6 of 6 Old 08-26-16, 07:05 AM
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Re: Suggestions regarding my current gear setup

Here’s the way I see it.

  • You wrote that you wanted to use TEF but the learning curve was too steep, so you decided to “get your feet wet” with REW. However, after getting familiar with REW you hope to eventually be able to utilize TEF.
  • To use your equipment (primarily the mics) with REW will require the purchase of the Focusrite (~$250).
  • However, a calibrated UMIK-1 from Cross Spectrum Labs will cost only a bit over $100.
  • So, you can spend either $250 or $100+ to “get your feet wet” with REW.

Alternately, you might try your USB mic pre amp with one of your mics. If it works you can utilize REW with no further out of pocket expense.

Just keep in mind that without a calibration file that you can load into REW, the accuracy of frequency response measurements will be unknown (but you will be able to generate useful acoustics measurements).

However, if REW is only a stop-gap exercise before you move on to TEF, there’s no reason to fret about less-than-accurate measurements. The idea, I would expect, would merely be to “get in” REW as cheap as possible I order to move on to TEF later.


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