Downloadable test tone accuracy

Setting gains on my new amp, and read that I should use a 1000 hz test tone at 0db. Downloaded some 1000 hz test tones from a few different websites, both at 0db. When I run them through the Audacity plot spectrum analyzer, they always end up being at least 3-5 db higher at that frequency. So what should I trust, the Audacity analyzer OR the websites which supply these downloadable tones?

When I download the 1000 hz test tone -5db (in this case, from the Kicker website) on the spectrum analyzer it shows 0 db at 1000 hz. Wonder if I should use that instead?

If the 1000Hz sine wave goes from +1 to -1 then it’s “0db” .

plot spectrum uses FFT, which means it’s an approximation.
Increasing the window size in plot spectrum increases the accuracy, (and the processing time).

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There’s a better way to check the amplitude - Run the Amplify effect. It will default to whatever positive or negative change needed for 0dB peaks. For example, if it shows +3dB your peaks are currently -3dB. If it defaults to zero dB (no change) your peaks are already 0dB.

You can cancel the effect if you don’t actually want to change it, or you can “normalize” it to 0dB or whatever you want.

If it’s stereo the spectrum analyzert might me combining both channels… Just a guess…

There is some “imperfection” in spectrum analysis or you’d get a vertical line with a pure tone. …I sort-of understand some of the trade-offs and why it’s imperfect, but my math isn’t quite that good. :wink:

FYI - Audacity can generate tones (sine waves & square waves and a coupled of other shapes).

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When I tried the amplify effect, it gave me a reading of -.088 for the new peak amplitude to be 0db, but it still was showing 6db on that analyzer :face_with_raised_eyebrow: However, I mixed the stereo tone to mono, and the db level is now at 0db, exactly as stated on the file download!

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