/ Setup CD Version 2.6.1
||Pink Noise LR -20dB
||120 Hz LR -1dB
||110 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
||100 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 95 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 90 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 85 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 80 Hz LR
-1dB 2 min.
|| 75 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 70 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 65 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 60 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 55 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 50 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 40 Hz LR
-1dB 1 min.
|| 30 Hz
LR -1dB 1 min.
Hz LR -1dB 1 min.
||HF Contoured Noise -20dB
||LF Contoured Noise
-20dB 1 min.
||Holly Cole Jersey
||Holly Cole Don't
Smoke In Bed
||White Noise LR -20dB
||White Noise LR 180
degrees out of phase -20dB 4 min.
||80 Hz SINE WAVE BLIP test LR 60 sec
0dB FULL LEVEL ! One blip every 2 sec.
|| bonus track.
Test / Setup CD
Sine wave test tones are at -1dB ! Read the instructions
These frequencies are all
digitally generated in Wavelab and the CD is manually recorded (burned)
at a slow speed for the highest possible quality. This CD also has free
bonus music sample tracks on it. This CD represents more than 25 years
research into the best methodology for the easiest and most comprehensive
subwoofer and system alignment. This Version 2.6.1. has been redone in
both track order and content from the earlier versions. There's also a
new very unique BLIP test, explained below. Check boxes are
included to assist you.
You do not actually NEED any test equipment other than your
ears to use this disc, although you may find an SPL meter or a frequency
measuring device interesting. BECAUSE you have purchased a JL Audio Sub
(or even another good brand of sub) the sub is simply powerful enough
to cancel the bass in your room coming from your main speakers, leaving
you with sound worse than when you started. You MUST carefully and correctly
set up and integrate modern sub(s) to both the room (first) AND the rest
of your system (second) in order to receive the bang for the buck you
paid for. Adjusting a Home Theater receiver/processor is the easiest:
you follow the instructions and setup menu either "automatically"
and/or "manually" and decide which is better. For a 2-channel
system it is actually much more difficult to integrate a sub if you
want fanatic results, because you must match the sub to the mains
flawlessly. If you haven't done so, please read my "subs"
white paper here:
(opens into a
new tab or window).
Room acoustics is the major
part of the overall equation - perhaps 70%. SUB PLACEMENT is at least
20% of the equation, and everything else is 10% or less. IF you
have the ability to place the sub(s) WHERE THEY BELONG, then you will
do yourself a great disservice if you don't. If you purchase two subs
and each is coupling only 3 dB less than they could, you are throwing
away the equivalent of one entire sub.
For an entire discourse on
sub placement (and many other acoustic phenomena) I suggest reading Art
Noxon's articles here: www.asc-home-theater.com/ht-articles.htm
(opens into a
new tab or window).
if possible, do the "crawl around" test. That's the next step.
THE CRAWL-AROUND TEST: USING BONUS FREE Tracks 22,
23, 24 - Techmaster PEB Newtown Records
and Techmaster PEB were at the heart of the Bass Revolution. Their work
remains at the top of every list: engineering, musicality, style, quality,
production. Track 24 is the Ultimate Bass test. If your system cannot
play this at 110 dB it is either set up incorrectly or you need JL Audio
Subwoofers! You can
damage ANY brand of sub with these tracks if abused. Be careful!
Track 24 is very helpful for the "crawl-around" test because
it covers many frequencies AND it is repetitive. Place one sub AT YOUR LISTENING
POSITION, FACING FORWARD. Using the analog outputs of a CD player, plug
them directly into the sub. Turn the sub's filters to off, and the e.l.f.
trim to "0". Manually adjust the volume level of the sub to a
good 85 dB or so. Now crawl around the perimiter of the room, and listen
for the various couplings of the sub. You should notice a few areas where
the bass is thin and weak (the nulls) a couple of areas where the bass is
boomy and the fundamentals are louder than the harmonics (often too much
corner gain) and then a couple of spots (2 or 4 places) where the bass sounds
GREAT! Those are the spot(s) to put the subs so they inverse couple the
best to your listening chair. You can't fight with the laws of physics!
THEN, if you have JL Audio subs, adjust the ARO for EACH sub relative
to its position in the room, THEN adjust the phase relationship between
the sub and its main channel using the method outlined below. However, as
a suggestion, you might want to NOT USE any ARO or other computer
setting (such as Audyssey) until you LEARN the characteristics of
your system at its neutral settings FIRST. Then you may wish
to experiment by making ONE change at a time, or ONE computer "adjustment
run" at a time. It is very difficult to determine a result if you change
more than one thing at a time.
All modern, powered, sealed subs have a phenomena called group delay so
to best integrate sub(s) you must fix that timing issue so the sub lines
up in time with the mains at the crossover point. Since you cannot remove
this inherent delay in the sub you must add this delay to all the top channels.
You do this by manually setting the speaker distance settings in the setup
menu. I suggest setting all the distance settings THE SAME and to
a LOW number (for example 7 feet; then add 12 feet to the
SUB distance only (so the sub distance now = 19 feet). Now you have
added the correct amount of delay to the REST of the system
(the L C R Ls Rs) so you can then properly FINE TUNE the sub's phase with
the mains by adjusting the phase knob and polarity switch on the sub. Therefore
you have added just a bit more delay to the tops to give you a space for
a fine-tuning adjustment on the sub to sharpen the focus. This will give
you the best possible impulse response through the entire system;
the imaging and focus should then should be uncanny, and the bass focused
and as tight as possible. If this is done correctly, even if the subs are
behind you, you will NOT localize them; it will seem as if the bass is playing
from the front of the room, where it belongs, and this is true even if the
crossover frequency is as high as 120 Hz.
Deciding on the crossover freqency:
I suggest never going below 80, even if you think your speakers go down
to 40, or below. Even in a room where the existing "mains" have
a pair of 12" drivers (each) you will get far better results if you
correctly seal the ports and cross them over at 80, and of course you MUST
match the phase and timing relationship or the whole transition is not
valid. For Home Theater setups set the Mains=SMALL, Sub=YES, XOVER=80 Hz
and if you have a choice, 24dB/octave. Feed each sub with the same signal
placing "Y" cords anywhere. For JL Audio subs, if the room is
symmetrical and everything in it is placed symmetrically you may use the
master/slave system, but it is better (and yes, more work) to use each sub
as a master and then adjust the phase of each to match with the mains carefully.
If you have a 2-channel only system if you do not correctly use a crossover
you are both wasting your time and you will be frustrated. You simply CANNOT
correctly and flawlessly match a modern, sealed sub to an existing so-called
full range, probably ported speaker system unless it is matched. But you
be the judge. At least with this test CD you have a guide to work with.
Next we set the phase.
TRACK 8: 80 Hz, 2 min @ -1dBfs Using
80 Hz is an easy way to set the relative phase of the JL Audio subwoofers
to match the "mains", especially if you are using 80 Hz as the
crossover freq, such as when connecting to a Home Theater receiver. However,
whether or not you are using a bass managed HT system, or a separate crossover,
this method is still very useful.
Method A (easier, but
less accurate) After you have placed the sub where you want
it, put YOUR HEAD equidistant between the sub and the speaker it is CLOSEST
TO (for example the LEFT FRONT). Disconnect the 'other' front speaker.
Play the 80 Hz tone and adjust the PHASE CONTROL of the sub and the POLARITY
SWITCH until the bass is loudest and cleanest - in other words, the peak.
Method B (more accurate,
and more work...) Invert the polarity of the MAIN speaker the
sub is CLOSEST TO. Disconnect all the other speakers in the room. Place
your head equidistant between the sub and the speaker it is closest
to. Play the 80 Hz tone. Adjust the phase control until you hear a
distinct NULL. (IT MIGHT EVEN DISAPPEAR
COMPLETELY) If you can't get a null then flip the POLARITY switch on the
JL sub and adjust the phase control again. There should be some setting
of the two controls on the JL sub which will provide a rather sharp null
- in fact you might be amazed at how easily and completely the bass cancels.
Now put the wiring back the correct way to that one speaker. Reconnect
the other speaker and you're done.
If your speakers are ported, you SHOULD close the ports. Towels will do
for a test but you might consider purchasing a 3", 4", or 5"
thick slab of "foam" at a notions / sewing store; then using a
suitable circle template (food can, peanut butter jar, etc) mark the foam
and cut with a bread knife slowly. Then spray paint with flat black barbecue
paint and you will have a professional port seal. Some better brands of
speakers (B&W for example) come with port plugs for just this purpose.
What you are trying to accomplish is to NOT have multiple sources of differing
phase relationships (the main driver, the port air, and the sub driver)
at 80 Hz. The filter slope of both the sub and the mains should be a mirror
image in both the frequency and phase domain, and there should only be two
LF sources you are attempting to couple: the LF driver in your main speaker
and the driver in the sub cabinet.
If you have 2 subs repeat either of the above procedures with the mains
speaker the 2nd sub is closest to. All the sinewave tone tracks are recorded
exactly the same on both chanels therefore you can disconnect either L or
R speaker for your convenience.
The REASON for Method B?
When 2 waveforms are IN PHASE and they sum they may get 6dB louder,
but when 2 signals are OUT OF PHASE and they sum, theoretically they cancel
completely, therefore It is much easier to hear the NULL. In practice, LF
signals coming from 2 spots in a room won't sum 6dB louder; they will sum
perhaps 4 or 5 dB louder, because in a home size room the summation also
includes the summation / cancellation of various standing waves and reflections.
Further note: if you have self
powered speakers (such as studio monitors) that have Balanced XLR-type input
connections then doing the above test can become difficult, because you
cannot reverse the red and black wires because there aren't any! But
I have the easy solution: see my Polarity "Phase Flipper" Interconnect
kit, HERE. (opens
into a new window).
After you have successfully matched the phase of the subs to the mains (whether
a 2-channel system or a Home Theater system), you are ready to match the
level of the subs to the mains. But remember when you are ALL done with
this, inasmuch as your "system" is calibrated, there is often
a huge difference in the bass level and content between different sources.
You may find that DVD's are more consistent and that music CD's are all
over the map. You can then arbitrarily determine any reference point you
like and work + or - from there; i.e. you might have to turn your subs UP
3dB to play rock CD's and DOWN 2 dB to play SCI-FI movies. It's up to you.
Do not think because "it's calibrated" you are stuck with that
Track 18: HF PRE-CONTOURED Noise at -20dBfs This
High Frequency contoured noise is pre-countoured to be used with
a Radio Shack or similar SPL meter when setting up a Home Theater receiver
which HAS bass management. Adjust the volume control so this track is playing
through the MAIN SPEAKER(S) at 85dBa (slow weighted C) at the listening
Track 19: LF PRE-CONTOURED Noise at -20dBfs
This Low frequency noise is pre-contoured to
be used with a radio Shack or similar meter when setting up a Home Theater
receiver which HAS bass management. Leave the volume where it was in the
Track 17 test, above, and play this track. Adjust the SUBWOOFER level
so the meter (set to SLOW WEIGHTED 'C') matches the 85dB as in the test
above. By using these 2 tracks, it is not necessary to do any mathematical
or mental conversions... just match the levels at the listening position.
Since the SPL in the room is at
85dB, and the recording is at -20, that leaves 20 dB headroom for the Dolby
/ THX level of 105dB for peaks. (The Radio Shack SPL meter is HERE
TRACK 1 : Pink Noise LR 2 minutes @ -20dBfs
The L and R channels are IDENTICAL. Because
the noise is at -20dB below full scale digital, it represents the same level
as "THX" or "Dolby" "reference" level. That
means that when your system volume is adjusted "normally" you
should get 85dB SPL (slow weighted C of course...) at your sweet spot chair.
This also means the CD is CAPABLE
of 20dB MORE, which translates to 105dB SPL. You may use the pink noise
for overall SPL measurement. Since the 2 tracks are identical (they are
correlated) if you are playing one channel only and you turn on the 2nd
channel the room level should (on paper) sum 6 dB. However, as mentioned
above, because of phase anomalies and reflections in any given home-sized
room, this almost never happens, but you can expect a 4 or 5 dB increase.
TRACK 2 through TRACK 17: Tones @ -1dBfs These
tracks are all recorded 1dB below the MAXIMUM POSSIBLE ON THE CD.
PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN PLAYING THESE TRACKS. The highest
frequencies are first. Start with your system volume very low and move it
upward until the desired result is obtained. The REASON these are recorded
at this level is so you can determine if your subwoofer (or mains, or headphones,
or entire system etc.) is CAPABLE of playing these frequencies and at these
You can therefore determine the maximum possible output from your sub and
your entire system and how it is coupling into your room at
each given frequency. YOU are responsible for the careful and judicious
use of these test tones. It is theoretically possible to damage your speakers,
your amp(s) or your hearing with the careless use of these test tones or
of the Techmaster PEB tracks below. Please
If, when playing individual bass tones (or the Techmaster PEB tracks, below)
you find various objects, air conditioning grilles, drawer pulls, art objects,
lamps, neighbors, etc. vibrating then I suggest you get some museum gel
to stop their vibration. It's available HERE
TRACK 27, the BLIP test.
This test is quite unique. It presents one BLIP every 2 seconds. That
BLIP is 1/2 wavelength of an 80 Hz cycle, only going in the positive direction.
Therefore that waveform looks like this:
1 "BLIP" signal
Notice the BLIP is POSITIVE-GOING (only) and the top of the sine wave is
exactly at 100%, therefore this represents full possible modulation on the
TEST CD, i.e. 0dBfs. When you play this TRACK 26, the end result of the
phase of your system, sometimes called absolute polarity, should make the
Low Frequency cones move OUTWARD. This is also a fascinating, superb, and
rather severe test to determine the delay time of the subwoofer relative
to the rest of your system. As carefully outlined in my SUBS white paper,
if your sub is 360 degrees (or even 720 degrees) late, you cannot measure
it with a frequency-measuring device, and you will think the frequency response
is flat but the impulse response will be smeared. That is the most
important reason why measuring in the frequency domain is largely a waste
of time, unless you FIRST fix the time domain!
Since this signal is at 80 Hz, and your crossover is set to 80 Hz, you should
be able to hear this signal from either/both your mains and your sub(s).
Therefore if you turn the volume down on the sub(s), you can use this test
to determine absolute timing of other parts of the system. This will "rough
in" speaker distance timing, and then you can use the WHITE NOISE test
(below, and on the white noise page, here: www.soundoctor.com/testcd/whitenoise.htm
, to really fine tune.
FREE BONUS Tracks 20 and 21 - Holly Cole
Please purchase every
Holly Cole CD you can find ! She deserves it and you will
love it. While the recordings themselves are all superb, thay are of a different
enough flavor to keep you on your toes. The bass on Jersey Girl
is a little bit heavy, and a dB or two too loud. If you carefully adjust
your system then you should perceive this. If the bass seems WAY too heavy,
or not heavy enough, then I will venture a guess that either or both the
phase relationships and the levels of your subs are not set carefully enough.
Don't Smoke in Bed
tests the limit of the plain ol' 16 bit process. Her voice should be FLAWLESS
and yet the sibilants on many systems might sound flawed - yet the CD is
actually clean and the waveforms are pristine. This is a fabulous test track
to A-B different connections, i.e. compare the analog vs the coaxial digital
vs whatever else your player has for outputs, and choose the cleanest. You
can find Holly Cole CD's here: Amazon
. Her website is here: www.hollycole.com
While you're looking for Holly Cole recordings
try and find any of the now out of print Techmaster PEB CD's. You won't
Track 25 - White Noise, LR 4 min @-20dBfs.
Both channels sample-accurate / identical. Click
HERE for the white paper.
Track 26 - White Noise, LR, 180
degrees Out of Phase, 4 min @-20dBfs. For
use with HDMI connections, where you can't use "Y" cords, or if
you CAN'T get at your actual speaker connections, or perhaps you have bi-wired
mains and it's just way too much trouble to reverse the polarity of one
side... Since many players shut off the analog outs when an HDMI is plugged
|FREE BONUS Track 28 -
This TEST CD is $18 USD and
it comes with full printed instructions. This price INCLUDES shipping
and handling. The CD will be sent 1st Class Mail worldwide. Please
click the button below to pay with PayPal.
|There is no plug-in for experience...
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|This page is www.soundoctor.com/testcd
and was last updated on
January 5, 2012