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How loud do you listen to DVD's

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Tardis, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. Tardis

    Tardis
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    Hi Fellow Enthusiasts,

    I have read in some threads that some people listen to their DVD’s at about –10db, or thereabouts depending upon what Amp/Receiver their using.

    I have a Sony STR-DB780 and I usually listen to DVD’s between –500db and -480db. My receiver goes down as far –1000db (quietest) and up as far as –00db (loudest). So –10db would be far too loud for me. Does this seem right and if so, why such a difference in volume between Amps and Receivers or do I need to do something with my Receiver.

    Any thought or suggestions on this matter?
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I assume you mean between -50 to -48dB,as going down to -1000dB would be impossible for any human to hear!

    Also,it's not the receiver/amp's volume control alone that determines the SPL at your ear,but the efficiency of your speakers etc,and whether or not the thing is set to a standard reference level....so what you would really be asking is at what SPL people listen to their DVD's etc.

    Having said all that,depending on what I'm watching etc the level varies(if it's something slushy my wife's put on the SPL somehow gets down to 70dB or less preferably)but a good DTS encoded music DVD may make it's way up to over 100dB peak at the seats.
     
  3. Tardis

    Tardis
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    Thanks for the reply Alexs2.

    What I'm saying is that if I turn my receiver down all the way it actually reads -1150db and then the final touch on the remote volume control takes it to -00db and no lower. I would have to turn it up to about -700db before getting some sound. A good DTS encoded DVD film is loud enough at -500db. The room shakes.

    So I was wondering if mine needed tweeking up or something because by your 70db to 100db it would be deafening?
     
  4. alexs2

    alexs2
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    My point was that no matter what the reading on the amp's volume control,it's the SPL at your listening position that matters in terms of comparisons.
    If I set my system to a slightly different reference level than yours for instance,and the resultant difference was only 3dB,it will amount to a 2 times difference in volume.
    Using an SPL meter allows you to set your own system much more accurately than by ear alone,and a degree of comparison,assuming that most SPL meters are adequately accurate(another matter altogether!).
    Are you sure the display isn't reading down to 100.0dB instead of 1000dB?

    The figures I quoted from mine are using an SPL meter at the listening position when we were setting it all up a little while ago.
     
  5. Mylo

    Mylo
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    My amp is calibrated for 70dB at a volume setting of -20dB.

    Late night viewing will be 70db or less. Films with decent sountracks will be approaching and sometimes exceeding 100dB when I'm watching at an civilised hour.

    Cheers, Mylo:smoke:
     
  6. chris

    chris
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    It does not matter what the display says...if you like it at that volume and the nieghbours are not complaining then thats ok.

    I have calibrated my amp at 0.0db so the speakers are at 85db on my SPL meter useing Avia (my Amp, denon 3803 goes from -80db to +15db).

    I like to listern to films at around -5db, but the nieghbours hate it....they say that everything shakes in their house, so i now have to keep it down to around -15db, unless its a really good sounding film and then it goes up to -10db.

    Of course, if they are out then its anywhere from -8db to 0.0db, depending who's in my house.
    I tend to listern to music at a lot less volume........this could be anywhere from -30db to -18db, depending what mood i'm in.

    I dont know how acurate the display is, but it gives me a good indication of where to put the volume before the movie starts.
     
  7. Tardis

    Tardis
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    Alexs2, I stand corrected. It is -100.0db your right.

    Being new to this game I don't recall using a SPL meter, so Mylo and yourself are right in that I should callibrate my Amp.

    Could you recommend an SPL meter to buy and is it an easy job to do?
     
  8. mw3cdj

    mw3cdj
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    Depending on the film , soundtrack , time of day .

    Got my 3803 calibrated to 75db @ -12db on the display and my preferred listening level on the display is between -5db and -12db.

    Daran.
     
  9. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    Just a quick question, why do any of you have your amps calibrated to a level such as 75db at anything other than 0 on your amps display, the general concensus on setting up your amp is to use test tones, if these are internal then they are automatically played at 0.0 on your amp, the Denons definitely play all test tones @ 0.0, so when calibrating your SPL meter should be set at C weighting and Slow response, then calibrated to 75db, this gives you reference listening levels when you have your amp at 0.0

    If using a DVD such as DVE then you should set your amp to 0.0 and again cailbrate to 75db, if using AVIA then you should calibrate to 85db due to the difference in reference level on the AVIA disc.

    Ryan :smashin:
     
  10. mw3cdj

    mw3cdj
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    rscott4563,

    I calibrated my 3803 using the AVIA disc.

    Would there be any sonic difference if i would calibrate @85db with the 3803 set to 0.0db rather than what i have it calibrated at now ?? Or is it just the convenience of knowing that reference level is at 0.0??

    Daran
     
  11. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    I don't think there is any difference apart from having it at the same reference as everyone else and therefore a lot easier to compare with other peoples listening levels (as in this thread), I don't think the actual level on the amp you calibrate to is important as if you set a level to say +10 then it mearly means you reduce the maximum volume you can go to by 10, so for the 3803 if say your front right and left channels are set at +10 to attain your 75db @ -12 then the maximum volume your amp will go to will be +15 - 10 = +5 if you get what I mean.

    Also have you tried comparing your AVIA calibrated setting with the Denons own built in test tones?
    If you have only setup with AVIA then I assume that you must have manually set the channel levels whilest using the DVD, which may mean that you have set the DVD input but what about any other inputs, such as if you run your television sound through the amp, has this input been calibrated, if you use the built in test tones in the initial setup then its global and affects all inputs, this can then be adjusted with say AVIA on your DVD input if this is different.

    Ryan :smashin:
     
  12. mw3cdj

    mw3cdj
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    Hi rscott4563 ,

    Thanks for the reply , the reason i calibrated my 3803 the way that i did was because -12db was around 75db on my spl meter.

    Just lazy i suppose !!!!!

    I'll get busy this afternoon and recalibrate at 0.0bd as it would be easier in discussions like this to compare settings, as you said.


    Didn't think of that, i thought that as soon as you calibrated the amp it was done. Thanks for the pointer , looks like i got another 2 inputs to calibrate.

    Thanks ,
    Daran
    :smashin:
     
  13. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    No worries, I actually haven't bothered to use my copy of DVE to calibrate my DVD input at all and have just left it with the internal test tones so it would be interesting to see if there is any difference between an external setup disc and the internal tones (I realise your using AVIA so this might be different to DVE anyway but it might just give me an indication of whether its worth rechecking the DVD input with the DVE tones), don't forget though to set AVIA tone to 85db not 75db.

    I know it will vary depending on setup (speakers, room size, etc) but let me know what your channel levels are once you set your amp to 75db using the internal tones on the global setup, when setting mine up I was very suprised to have to set my speaker down to -6.0, -6.0, -5.5, -6.0 for my FL, FR, SR, SL (havent got my centre in use yet), no point stating what my sub is at as this will obviously be down to where the volume control on the sub is set..

    Cheers

    Ryan :smashin:
     
  14. mw3cdj

    mw3cdj
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    Will do :smashin: .

    But wont be until late Monday or Tuesday, room's in a mess , paint , Auealex bits everywhere and no plasma , waiting for a replacement:( .

    Daran
     
  15. alancolledge

    alancolledge
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    Tardis, I've got the same amp so I know what you mean about
    -10dB being loud:eek:

    I got my decibel meter from Tandy (do you remember them!) years ago but more recently I have seen the same type being sold in one of the mail order companies in the Home Cinema mags. For eg Keene Electronics digital dB £39.99

    Perhaps a new thread who has the loudest home cinema might come out!:D
     
  16. Tardis

    Tardis
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    Thanks AlanC,

    Though most of the replies I've received on this thread have been interesting and informative on the subject, it is nice to get a reply about exactly what I meant about -10db being too loud.

    What db display on your amp do you have when listening to a dvd normally now that your amp is callibrated. Mine is usually -50.0db with dts or DD 5.1. (uncallibrated)

    I have looked up Keene Electronics and they've got exactly what I want. Thanks. I presume setting up the amp is fairly straight forward. I hope?

    Once again thanks to everyone for their input, much appreciated, as always.
     
  17. rscott4563

    rscott4563
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    I forgot to actually put my listening levels in earlier, obviously these are only comparable if you have properly calibrated your amp to 75db at reference 0.0 using test tones.

    Normal television watching around -25

    Something good on tele -17

    DVD movie - 15 to -10 depending on the type of movie and whether the neigbours are in

    Music -30 to -22

    Ryan :smashin:
     
  18. alancolledge

    alancolledge
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    Tardis,

    My normal listening levels depend on .....

    a) The neighbours being in
    b) The wife
    c) The babies asleep!!

    Seriously though I agree with you that -50dB is around what I would comfortably listen to any source at any time of the day.

    When I put a dvd on you want to make it an event, if you know what I mean;) so I push it a little to -40 but normally have to put the compression function on as dialogue is great but as soon as an explosion comes along my better half starts to complain.

    The last time when a,b and c were out :clap: I tested the system with a couple of my favourite scenes including the pod race, asteroid chase etc. and I must admit to giving up at -20dB on the amp as it starts becoming 'car alarm' loud and I couldn't imagine watching a whole movie like this.

    I know the size of the room is dependant but at these levels it would be hard to hear you shout!:zonked:

    What speakers do you use with your amp?
     
  19. Tardis

    Tardis
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    AlanC,

    This is my first setup in HC and been involved less that a year. I already want to start updating some stuff but the other-half wants to re-decorate and refurnish the whole place, so I'll have to wait awhile. This what I have at the moment.

    TV Toshiba 36ZP38
    Receiver Sony STRDB780
    Video Panasonic NV-FJ710B
    DVD Pioneer DV565A
    Cable TV NTL Pace (Digital)
    PS2
    Xbox
    Centre Jamo E3 CEN
    Front Jamo E350
    Rear Jamo ESUR
    Sub Eltax Impact 8
     
  20. electrolyte

    electrolyte
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    I also have a 780 (with Elac Cinema 1 speakers) and agree with both of you on the levels. -10dB is WAY TOO LOUD! ;)

    For DVDs I tend to watch at about -45 to -50 if I'm watching and a,b,c are out or around -60 if the mrs is watching with me. I haven't calibrated my system either.
     

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