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Amp newbie volume question

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by toshrpowner, May 12, 2002.

  1. toshrpowner

    toshrpowner
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    Might be a stupid question this one.
    I've just got a Sony STR-DB1070 surround receiver, and I was wondering why does the volume display show a NEGATIVE decibel value when the sound gets louder?
    Just wondering.
     
  2. Craig_Nike

    Craig_Nike
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    We have all done the same post at some point.

    In short, the answer is that 99% of amps are all the same. Dont worry about it.

    It has something to do with technical and un-understandable decibel type explanations. I read an answer from somebody very knowledgable in this area once and my brain still hurts.

    Do a search if you're really interested, it'll be there.

    Give us a yell if you have any other questions on the 1070.
     
  3. Reiner

    Reiner
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    In short and over-simplified: 0dB is the amplifier at nominal load and the volume is shown in reference to that. Since you listen usually at lower volumes it's negative.
     
  4. stranger

    stranger
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    that is the simplest and most easily understandable explanation of that query that i have ever seen, thanks.
     
  5. shoehorn

    shoehorn
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    That's what I was going to ask - just got my 859 last week - very impressed. I'd like to turn it up louder,but I don't know how far I can go without damaging things (I've got the Mission FS2-AV set-up). Currently I've got to -20db but this doesn't produce as much volume as I would have expected being as it's 3/4 of the power (ie -80db is the lowest) and I'm scarred to go further...
    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.:)
     
  6. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Movies require a higher setting compared to other sources (like CD, tuner etc.) as DVDs are recorded with different levels due to the high dynamic range.
    You can also change your "Dynamic Range" (Midnight Mode) settings if you think dialog is too low but music and e.g. explosions too loud. [Normal setting as recorded is MAX]

    Rule of thumb:
    Normally you should not go higher than half way, else it will get distorted too easily.
    For normal listening (music) I have my amp on 9-10 o'clock, for movies it's usually 10-11 (with tendency to 12 in some movies).


    Perhaps your speaker are particular difficult to drive (low impedance or sensitivity), thus requiring you to go to 3/4 !?
     
  7. shoehorn

    shoehorn
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    OK - I see your point with a 'normal' dial control (1 to 10), but I have to spin the volume dial several times to get to a decent volume level and as I spin the dial the display goes from -80db to -20db (I haven't been any further yet...). So could I go to 0db without damaging things...?
     
  8. JSW

    JSW
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    On my 1070 I normally listen at -45.

    I have just set up using Avia disc and reference level of 75db is at -33

    I think that is loud enough for me.

    Craig i'm having all sorts of probs with my 1070 regarding bass and lack of it when im listening to DVD Audio discs.

    I have setup as follows:

    Tosh 900e to 1070 Bitstream via Digital Coax and also the analogue outs to the analogue multichannel 2 ins

    Havn't connected the 2 channel out from the Tosh yet but when I do I assume this goes to the analogue cd in on the amp?

    I get plenty of bass via bitstream but it is somewhat lacking via the analogue. Am I missing something somewhere ?

    Thanks
    Bry
     
  9. timothyw

    timothyw
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    Just thought i'd clarify for you, -20db is _not_ 3/4 of the power output that your amplifier is capable of. The decibel scale is not that simple ;-)
    You can find lots of information at:
    http://www.glenbrook.k12.il.us/gbssci/phys/Class/sound/u11l2b.html
    but i will try and keep it simple- The decibel scale on your amp is not a linear scale. Going up from -20db to -10 db will not have the result of being (10db/60db)=16.7% louder. As a matter of fact, a 10 db increase results in a 10 fold increase in the intensity of the sound (1000%!)
    Decibels actually increase intensity levels according to this formula-

    Intensity multiplied by = 10 ^ (decibels/10)

    So going up to 0 db on your amp from -20db would actually make the intensity of the sound 100 times more!
    Of course, it doesn't actually 'sound' 100 times louder, as your actual perception of the volume is pretty subjective. This is why we have SPL metres to set up our speaker levels ;-)

    Anyway, what I'm ultimately getting at is that as long as the sound isn't audibly distorting, and your entire house isn't shaking, it is perfectly safe to turn that volume up. With the average home cinema amp it will probably start to hurt before you start clipping the amp. Thats my experience anyway.
     
  10. Craig_Nike

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    MMMMmmmm - DVD-Audio, good question.

    I must say that I neither have DVD-A or SACD at the moment. So maybe one of the clever audiophile boys can chip in here too.

    I'm not positive the Sony 1070 will work and play well with DVD-A ? Obviously it is SACD ready but I'm thinking the frequency ranges ect for DVD-A vs SACD are different and Sony is only wirking on getting SACD right - help please ?

    The above question aside:

    I think that the settings in each section are different. i.e. you can have bass set at+10 in CD digital in, and then -10 in DVD digital input and it will switch between the 2 when you switch.

    I'm ssuming you have already checked this and they are the same.

    Also - I dont think (sorry im at work, cant check the 1070) you can adjust the audio properties on the 1070 when you have DVD-A (or anything) hooked up through MultiCHannel inputs. If this is the case, then the bass setting would have to be done in your Pan DVD-A player, the Sony is onyl amplifying what it is getting.
    While in the digital connection (can you input DVD-A in digital I didnt think so ?) the Sony is able to do some processing and amplifying ?

    Sorry to ask more questions that I answered !
    Happy to discuss more if you can clear up some of my guesses above.
     
  11. JSW

    JSW
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    Hi Craig,

    Thanks for your input.

    DVD A can be listened too in a few ways:

    The way it is intended IE: 96/24 through the analog multichannel outputs (Some discs are capable of 192/24 through the 2 channel analog outputs but the disc has to have the track mastered at 192/24 obviously and also the amp must support it in the inputs otherwise it will get downmixed)

    for compatability there is a 48 pcm track and usually a dolby digital 5.1 track as well.

    Some also have a DTS track 96/24 like the Queen disc.

    The 2 channel pcm out on the queen disc is 96/24 but through the coax it gets downmixed to 48khz, I assume this will not happen once I connect the 2 channel output and then should not get downmixed.

    Some discs that say they have a Dolby Digital track actually play as PPCM 5.1 and the dolby digital logo dont light up and the lfe dosen't show up either ???

    The Toshiba manual is way to basic and dosn't help to understand the way in which it should really be connected up to take advantage of the different listening options.

    Its trial by ear at the moment and either the Queen disc is really crap or my setup is way out :(

    I will have to play a bit more but in the meantime if anyone can shed any light on what I should or shouldn't be doing then please speak up :)

    Cheers
    Bry
     
  12. shoehorn

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    Hi Timothy,

    Thanks for that - it's all a lot clearer now... (and LOUDER too...)
    :D
    Not sure the girlfriend likes it but I can't hear the complaints anyway...:D
     
  13. JSW

    JSW
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    Any connectiing it all up correctly guru's ?????
     
  14. lynx

    lynx
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    I find that connected to the 1070 via co-axial cable,a bitstream signal sounds far too bright and sometimes bordering on aggresive with some recordings.Much better when fed through the analogue conector. Though i stress that is only *my* opinion as friends have commented that it sounds better delivered through bitstream.
     

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