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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I want to attempt to calibrate my main speakers this time around. I had successfully calibrated my sub (flat to 13hz) about 2.5 years ago. I've just did some reading these last few days and decided to use REW to calibrate my main speakers this time. I understand that I need some thing better than the RS sound meter for full range. The ECM8000 mic seems to be the best candidate for me since I've already have a mixer, Alesis MultiMix8. I have few questions though.

1. The Alesis Mixer have 3 eq knobs (hi, mid, lo). What level should I set them at? Should I turn them all down, set it in the middle, or at max? It also has 2 effects knobs (pre, post) where should I set them at? Should I turn off all the eq and/or effects on the mixer?

2. I do have a different mic that I use to sing Karaoke. Can I use that mic for this job? The mic is Sennheiser E835. My guess is no since I need the calibration file? Just want to throw it out here for the pros.

3. Can the BFD DSP 1124P use for calibrating the main speakers? Currently I'm using it to eq my sub. I might need one more for the mains unless you guys recommend something else (less than $100).

4. Do I need to measure one speaker at a time or I need to run both speakers on?

5. Hook-up wise, do I need to run the cable directly to each speaker line-in during the measurements? Or I can just plug it to the AUX line-in?

Sorry for so many questions. I just want to clear things up a bit.

Thanks.

Al,
 

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Hi Al,

1. The Alesis Mixer have 3 eq knobs (hi, mid, lo). What level should I set them at? Should I turn them all down, set it in the middle, or at max? It also has 2 effects knobs (pre, post) where should I set them at? Should I turn off all the eq and/or effects on the mixer?
Set the EQ knobs straight up. You don’t want them influencing speaker response. Better yet, use the Aux A send for your testing. It will totally bypass the EQ section. Don’t forget to run your calibration routine between the line input and the Aux A output. And make sure your receiver's tone controls are bypassed, too.

Re the Aux outputs: In a recording setting,they could be used as a separate mix for a recorder, while the main mix would be for the monitoring system. In a live situation, the Aux sends are typically used for stage monitor mixes. For REW they generally have no use, but as I mentioned, since Aux A does bypass the EQ section, it might be better suited for the job.


2. I do have a different mic that I use to sing Karaoke. Can I use that mic for this job? The mic is Sennheiser E835. My guess is no since I need the calibration file?
A calibration file is needed for any mic used.

3. Can the BFD DSP 1124P use for calibrating the main speakers? Currently I'm using it to eq my sub. I might need one more for the mains unless you guys recommend something else (less than $100).
Most feel the BFD isn’t clean or quiet enough for full-range use, but feel free to experiment for yourself. The consumer-level setting (switches on the back) reduce background noise, so that’s probably the setting you’ll want to use. There’s no such thing as a good equalizer for under $100. Maybe a used vintage pro audio model, but nothing new.

4. Do I need to measure one speaker at a time or I need to run both speakers on?
If you don’t get the mic situated at a perfect equidistance between the two speakers, you can get comb filtering, due to the inexact time alignment. So, it’s best to test one at a time. If you have a dedicated room with symmetrical “shoebox” dimensions, then it’s sufficient to measure only one of the speakers. Any EQ needed will be relevant to the second speaker. If your room is asymmetrical (like maybe a family room with openings all over the place), then take separate readings of the two speakers. You’ll get the best results with the mic pointed at the speaker, less than 45˚off axis. If you point the mic too far off axis, the graphs will show reduced high frequency response.

You might want to take a look at this thread about full-range equalization. It has tips on how to measure, interpret the results, and how to tell a good equalizer from a questionable one.


http://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/rew-forum/6691-my-first-rew-please-chime.html


5. Hook-up wise, do I need to run the cable directly to each speaker line-in during the measurements? Or I can just plug it to the AUX line-in?
Which cable? Not sure what you mean “speaker line in.” Just connect things the same way you did for your first REW calibrations.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Most feel the BFD isn’t clean or quiet enough for full-range use, but feel free to experiment for yourself. The consumer-level setting (switches on the back) reduce background noise, so that’s probably the setting you’ll want to use. There’s no such thing as a good equalizer for under $100. Maybe a used vintage pro audio model, but nothing new.
Thanks for the help. What is a good equalizer for full range speakers? Something that won't burn my pocket. If possible, can you list me a few decent equalizer?

Thanks.

Al,
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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Here is a good source for used YDP's:

http://www.saviusa.com/equipment_sales.html

Ask for Shawn and tell him Bryan sent you. He will send pictures and do testing before sending you a unit. I purchased my last two from him.

Ebay has two Rane PE 17's listed right now.

There is also an Ashley eq for sale. Wayne has recommended these in the past. I have not tried one on my highs though. It is a one channel, which could work for a center channel. I would look for the 2 channel version.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ASHLY-PQ-16-Six-Band-Parametric-Equalizer_W0QQitemZ250357676807QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item250357676807&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66:2|65:1|39:1|240:1318

There is also the XTA DP202. No one has tried it, but it looks to be a good unit. There is a single channel version also (DP100).

There is also the Sabine ADF4000. It can be controlled by a laptop or manual. I tried a different Sabine eq on my rear channel and was getting some noise. When I tried it on my subs, it was quiet. The ADF4000 may be different though.

Wayne is the best source though for eq recommendations. Let's see what else he recommends.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great... Thank you Bryant.

One more question, what is the different between the Rane PE-15 compared with the Rane PE-17... From what i've read, they are both 5 bands Parametric EQ...

Thanks.

Al,

Here is a good source for used YDP's:

http://www.saviusa.com/equipment_sales.html

Ask for Shawn and tell him Bryan sent you. He will send pictures and do testing before sending you a unit. I purchased my last two from him.

Ebay has two Rane PE 17's listed right now.

There is also an Ashley eq for sale. Wayne has recommended these in the past. I have not tried one on my highs though. It is a one channel, which could work for a center channel. I would look for the 2 channel version.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ASHLY-PQ-16-Six-Band-Parametric-Equalizer_W0QQitemZ250357676807QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item250357676807&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66:2|65:1|39:1|240:1318

There is also the XTA DP202. No one has tried it, but it looks to be a good unit. There is a single channel version also (DP100).

There is also the Sabine ADF4000. It can be controlled by a laptop or manual. I tried a different Sabine eq on my rear channel and was getting some noise. When I tried it on my subs, it was quiet. The ADF4000 may be different though.

Wayne is the best source though for eq recommendations. Let's see what else he recommends.
 

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One more question, what is the different between the Rane PE-15 compared with the Rane PE-17...
Stay away from the PE15. It has been proven to introduce a lot of noise into a system. It is not good for highs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Stay away from the PE15. It has been proven to introduce a lot of noise into a system. It is not good for highs.

Thanks for the heads up... I was able to find 2 on craigslist for cheap... Anyway, I will try to measure my speakers first then will see if I need some eq... my receiver got some eq built in as well...

Thanks.

Al,
 

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Be careful. This could happen to you! Thanks to Wayne's bad influence. :bigsmile:




:dumbcrazy:
 

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Wow, first time I ever saw tennis balls as part of a home theater set-up. :laugh:

Regards,
Wayne
They are good for additional 3dB! :dumbcrazy:

Actually they help keep the two separated so they do not get too hot. I am still researching different locations for all of them. Obviously it has to be WAF approved. :sad2:
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I sat down today and got some measurements done. After more than 2 years, my FR has changed... It wasn't as smooth as before but decent I think. I have added a few furnitures and moved the sub in a lil to make room... There wasn't a major thing I needed to do on BFD. I added 4 filters and I think it's good enough... Unless, you guys see it differently... Here are the graphs:

Sound card calibration pix.


Subwoofer xover 80hz graph with 4 filters (20hz -3db, 27hz -4db, 41hz -4db, 63hz +6db).


Same thing in waterfall. It looks like bottom heavy. Should I minus the gain on BFD a lil more?


Full Range up to 5k hz since my RS analog meter isn't accurate beyond that.


Waterfall.


All graphs are without smoothing... Any pointers? Please let me know.

Thanks.

Al,
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Are those the three YDP2006? You're probably in audio heaven with those toys. The sound must be well balanced:T I want to hear a before and after EQ. I've been looking for stores that can demonstrate a before and after EQ but can find none. Most stores are just into selling you big name brand items and never/seldom go into details like eq stuffs...

Oh by the way, great invention on those tenis balls. They must be rattle-free due to the ball absorption :bigsmile:

Be careful. This could happen to you! Thanks to Wayne's bad influence. :bigsmile:




:dumbcrazy:
 

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Are those the three YDP2006? You're probably in audio heaven with those toys. The sound must be well balanced:T I want to hear a before and after EQ. I've been looking for stores that can demonstrate a before and after EQ but can find none. Most stores are just into selling you big name brand items and never/seldom go into details like eq stuffs...

Oh by the way, great invention on those tenis balls. They must be rattle-free due to the ball absorption :bigsmile:
Yup, those are the YDP's. :yes:

I must say that my set-up has never sounded so good. I can tell the biggest difference when listening to music. On movies, the center blends much better now. I am still trying to deal with the cabinet placement. I may move it in the future though.

The tennis balls have helped mostly with heat. The YDP's did not like resting on one another. I think the biggest contributor to the heat problem is having them stuffed in the cabinet. They cannot breathe. I have to leave the door open a couple inches while listening. The third one has not gotten hot sitting in its test/current location.

As for your graphs, you look to be a little "bloated" in the 80-100Hz range. Can we see the full range plot (fourth one down) with 1/3 octave smoothing applied?
 

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I read briefly about the YDP2006. Why do you need three?
Sub, center and mains?
One YDP for left and right rear channels.
One YDP for center and subs.
One YDP for left and right mains.

Total of three. :bigsmile:

The fourth eq (Symetrix 551E) is for <20Hz. tuning. :dumbcrazy:
 

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All graphs are without smoothing... Any pointers? Please let me know.

Subwoofer xover 80hz graph with 4 filters (20hz -3db, 27hz -4db, 41hz -4db, 63hz +6db).
Hard to judge the effectiveness of your EQing without a baseline graph.

Same thing in waterfall. It looks like bottom heavy. Should I minus the gain on BFD a lil more?
No, it’s fine. It’s common to have long decay times at the lowest frequencies. EQing that to make the waterfall look good will wipe out your excellent extension.

Full Range up to 5k hz since my RS analog meter isn't accurate beyond that.
Full range graphs typically need to be smoothed. Try 1/3-octave smoothing.

Waterfall.
Typically no good reason to waterfall above the bass frequencies or perhaps lower midrange.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here is the graph with 1/3 smoothing.



There is the graph before eq. I forgot to save the measurement data. Only got the image saved.


Thanks.

Al,
 

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Here is the graph with 1/3 smoothing.

I will let Wayne give you his official thoughts. I still think the 75-100Hz area looks too high compared to the rest. The one thing that I see that may help with the highs is the 375-500Hz dip. I am not sure if it is wide and deep enough though. There also may be an over sag between 200-1,000Hz. compared to the lows and the 1k-5K area. But let's wait and see what Wayne says.
 
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