Manual or auto speaker calibration ?


New Member
Dec 29, 2008
Dear Friends

Which method is better for speaker calibration?

The speaker delivery person did a manual callibration on my Diamond 9.2 front using the Onkyo SR606 menu but he entered some values for the subs and satellite(though i dont have them ).

Has he done the right thing or should I use the microphone given by Onkyo for auto speaker calibration ?

Appreciate if experienced members can throw some light on the subject.

Thanks in advance.

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That best method is as follows:

1. Use the auto calibration available with the AVR first. Note down the figures used by auto calibration.

2. Set your sub woofer manually using your front speaker settings as reference. One of the most common crossovers used and that suggested by THX is 80Hz. But this need not always be true.

3. Listen to the system for a a little while using both movies and music.

4. Using the auto calibration figures as base, alter the frequency and dB levels of individual speakers to the level that your ears like. For example, you may need to enhance the settings for the centre channel to hear dialogues properly. I have also found, that to get a proper 5.1 effect, it may be needed to keep the surround speakers at a higher slightly higher level particularly if you room is not very quite.

Repeat 4 a number of times, till you reach optimal level. Do not be afraid of experimentation. The settings done by the installer are not God's words. What your ears like are.

Having a SPL meter and a setup DVD would be of immense help.

I would also add that if you change the room layout/furniture, run the calibration again. I keep the summer holidays time as a reminder to calibrate every year as a ritual. Sometimes the setting are off by a bit due to the layout changes.

what i have found personally is that most times the sub woofer cross over and front speaker sizes are off. As Venkat suggest, change this to a reasonable value between 60-100 Hz if your AVR or sub allows that (not all of them do). Ensure there is silence and you are away from the listening position when you run the test though.

I did auto calibration and found it was sounding better than my manual setup.

the problem is whenever I do auto calibration subwoofer is not recognised and it does not function.

Any idea why is this or any mistake that I am doing.

Venkat and marsilians any suggestions.
I have personally found auto-calibration not to work in my situation. Every time I ran it, it stopped midway (Audessy) and refused to go forward. Many times, it complained of excessive background noise (Mumbai ...what do you expect).

So I finally did manual and so far it has worked for me. Maybe I'll try it in the future when my locality stops honking, shouting, swearing, whistling, reversing and barking...

the problem is whenever I do auto calibration subwoofer is not recognised and it does not function.

Any idea why is this or any mistake that I am doing.

Venkat and marsilians any suggestions.

This is surprising. Most AVRs will recognise a sub automatically.

In any case, try the following:

1. In the speaker set up on your AVR, please ensure that Sub is 'on'.

2. When you do auto calibration, please ensure your sub is powered on and not switched off.

Are you using a proper sub woofer cable?

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jinx, you may never see the day of sound proof until you sound proof in mumbai.

Venkat, the moment I do manually subwoofer on it goes into manual mode. I followed the instructions as per the manual, three to four times(set up). It is not getting recognised though. Sub woofer cable is Monster sub cable. Other wise in manual mode sub works well. Only in auto setup it is not getting recognised.

I will try this again and get back.

Thanks a lot.

I use auto calibration and then tweak it manually.
Audessy Multi-XT works like magic on my Denon AVR 2809. It not only gets the size, crossover and distance correct for each channel, it also corrects the placement and speaker flaws through the individual equalizer for each channel. After the auto calibration I can change the crossover freq without any problem. I can also copy the Audessy FLAT equalization settings and tweak them further for some channels myself, and then save it separately. The crossover freq settings are not saved separately. It just overwrites the original settings. It is generally recommended that we could increase the lower cutoff frequency without any issues but not reduce it below what Audessy detected.

One more thing:
I always 'wake up' the sub-woofer by playing a test tone before starting the Audessy auto setup process. This is important as my Definitive Technology Supercube II does not have a switch to bypass the auto stand by mode. So if I do not wake it up before the auto setup, Audessy would not detect the sub.

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