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How loud do you listen...

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by themmings, May 14, 2003.

  1. themmings

    themmings
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    Just settling in with my new amp/speakers and I was curious as to what volume levels people tend to listen to their kit with (neighbours/partners) permitting.

    I have a Denon 3803 and try to listen to my movies around the 25db mark (I think that's minus 25db).

    On another note - when you calibrate your speakers with an SPL meter to 85db, is there a certain sound level that you need to listen at to get the most from this calibration setting/soundtrack?

    Tim:)
     
  2. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    I've calibrated my MC-1 to 85dB. All DVD's are different though, my normal listening volume on one DVD might be -10dB, another could be -20dB.

    I don't look at the volume anyway, I just increase it until it's right.
     
  3. themmings

    themmings
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    Yeah, I do too - but the trend seems to be around the 25 'ish mark.

    But ohh boy do things get angry when the sub goes off. Watched Con Air last night and it went crazy.

    Saw the neighbour on the way to work this morning and he asked me if I felt the tremor last night! (Only joking, but you get the picture:rotfl: :devil: :rotfl: :devil:)

    Tim
     
  4. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I listen to anything ... just play it loud man!!

    Actually we usually listen at between 40 and 50 ... but thats on the Rotel 0-100 scale not on a dB scale that most amps have. It's quite quiet though ... 75 is calibrated to 75db.

    Agree with Nathan though ... its more what "sounds" right than what the display says.

    Vikki

    P.S. appologies for the butchered quote.
     
  5. CounterWhine

    CounterWhine
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    My stuff's calibrated to 75db and we usually listen at -10db.

    D.
     
  6. HotblackDesiato

    HotblackDesiato
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    Around 10dB under reference i find about right...of course with a nipper in the house the norm is closer to 40dB under reference.
     
  7. themmings

    themmings
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    So, can someone explain this too me...

    By settting my spl meter and calibrating my sound to 85db, what's this actually doing (apart from ensuring that the main seated position has exactly the same volume levels reaching it in db regardless of speaker distance)?

    Is there more to it? And what is meant by reference levels?
     
  8. nathan_silly

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    Spot on. That's all there's to it.

    Reference level is 00, it's the volume the director/studio wish to have the audience hear the film. Course it's your setup, so listen to what you like.
     
  9. themmings

    themmings
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    Thanks Nathan, are you referring to 00 on my amp volume db indicator or something else?

    If the latter, how do you know what the reference level is for each soundtrack/dvd?

    PS. I hope this is educating others too.;)


    Timbo:)
     
  10. nathan_silly

    nathan_silly
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    Yes, after calibrating your AV amp at 75dB, when it's at 00 then it's at reference level. However like I said, each disc is slightly different. Playing back say Titan AE at 00 might be very very loud-much higher than reference level, whereas T2 at 00 might be comftable (the two discs were just examples)
     
  11. themmings

    themmings
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    How loud!! That's gonna be well loud - too loud.

    Is that the reason for using a lower setting i.e. 75db as opposed to 85db on the SPL meter. So that you get closer to the reference level, but without the extra volume - if that makes sense...
     
  12. nathan_silly

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    No that doesn't make sense :)

    Calibrate to either 75dB or 85dB to all speakers. It doesn't matter which, just make sure all are the same, so- 85, 85, 85, 85, 85, 85. Then listen to whatever you like.
     
  13. kelvin

    kelvin
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    Not sure if the question is even still being asked... but my "preferred" listening volume is about 10db below reference.

    Speakers are calibrated to 75db at -30 on my amp (For some reason Sony insist on only having volume displays which range from -110 to 00 - but that's another story ;))

    K.
     
  14. Stellavision

    Stellavision
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    I set my speakers to 75db at 0 on my amp, which I believed was supposed to be the correct way to get close to Dolby reference level.
    I'm interested now to hear that people are setting to 85db and am curious to what the rest of you guys calibrate to?
     
  15. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I thought 85dB was reference for THX but 75dB was reference for Home THX - but I might be wrong.

    Vikki
     
  16. Jase

    Jase
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    Also depends what you use to calibrate your system. If you're using AVIA then balance all channels to 85db with the volume level set at 0db. If you are using Video Essentials or the Internal Test Tones then balance to 75db.

    In AVIA's case they are recorded at -20db below peak reference level, for Video Essentials it's -30db.

    Peak levels are 105db for each main channel and 115db for the LFE channel.

    e.g 105db - 20db = 85db (AVIA) or 105db - 30db = 75db (Video Essentials). Both these discs have also allowed for the difference of the LFE channel.
     
  17. Stellavision

    Stellavision
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    I just carried out an experiment.
    I used the auto setup on my Pioneer 2011 and then measured the levels with my meter afterwards.
    Interestingly the levels were all set by auto set up to around 80db (I got the odd 79 and 81 in there)
    So I've fine tune my system now to 80db.
     
  18. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Loud.
    This is surely the only way to appreciate the true dynamics of music (or movies?)

    Never usually less than -10db and have been known to go to reference on occasions.
    (which with 4 Servo's can be quite alarming on the odd soundtrack)


    Steve.
     
  19. cosmic023

    cosmic023
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    Hi All,

    I haven't calibrated my amp by spl meter, but by ear and it sounds pretty close.

    But as for listening levels i prefer -15dB to -18dB, and that's LOUD !! So i don't know how people are supposed to listen to their soundtracks at 00 level ??

    My poor neighbours, i don't think they would put up with those kind of levels, and my poor hearing !!

    I do agree once set-up to a reference setting of 85db, you listen to the soundtrack at the level you think is ok.

    The AVIA disc, also states that you could set-up your amp to a level of 75dB instead of 85dB if that is too loud !!

    Cheers

    Cosmic023
     
  20. Reiner

    Reiner
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    For movies it has to be loud to truly enjoy the dynamics, thus I usually set it somewhere between 11 - 12 o'clock position (12 o'clock = 0dB). As soundtracks on DVD might differ I will adjust accordingly.

    For normal CD listening 9 - 10 o'clock would be enough but if I am in a mood it will go close to 12 o-clock, too. :suicide:

    Good for my neighbours that I am only home once a year for a couple of weeks. :rotfl:
     
  21. Howard0000

    Howard0000
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    I assume "50" on my amp is 0db? it just goes in numbers from 1 to 100 :|
     
  22. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    Great Web Site, always great to learn new stuff. Just set up my system at reference volume using internal sound at 75dBC. Always wondered why it went over 0. I Frig the system a bit I have the rear speakers set about 6dB above the front it is not reference I know but I prefer it that way I’m sure I am not the only one.

    To answer the Thread Question - For CD listening it is set to –20 to –25dB, -25 equates to about 85dBC on the meter (Stereophonics). For DVD I use around –20 that equates to 80-85dBC (Blade II Scene 2 in DTS) or if it is a quiet sound track I will go for –15 that will gave me around 80dBC (Matrix Foyer Scene).
     
  23. chris

    chris
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    I must have a under powered 3803 as i have set it up with the internal test tones for 75db, but when i watch movies i have to run it at 00.
    When i listern to CD's it is norm on -10 to -15 and sky is norm -15 to -20.

    For an amp that is supposed to be 110 watts per channel, i seem to have to run it quite high........my old sony 930 was only 100 watts per channel and i could not turn this up past 11 o'clock position, when watching movies......if i turned it up to around the 3 o'clock position i had to get out the room because it was to loud...the denon, i can turn up all the way and it still does not start to hurt.

    Altough the denon does sound better with movies (better positioning) and i can run it at night without waking every one up, where the sony used to suddenly blast on certern parts of movies and then the misses used to come down complaining.
     
  24. sounddog

    sounddog
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    chris ... it depends on what speakers your running as much as anything. Oh and the room accoustics, your personal taste, etc, etc.
     
  25. Jase

    Jase
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    chris

    You haven't got the DRC (Dynamic Range Control) switched ON (either Low/Mid/High) have you?
     
  26. bunkerbuster2

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    I tend to listen at around the 90dB SPL mark

    Anything else just ruins my ears.

    i did test it with gain reduction ear plugs in..reached a steady 120dB SPL with the Matrix lobby scene (volume set @ -20dB on a 9000es processor)

    Actual volume level of course depends on amp power sensitivity of speakers etc.

    I'm only sending 150wpc to my speakers but because of their sensitivity(92dB) they produce serious volume levels
    With less amplification and low sensitivity speakers...I'd have a lower SPL figure.
     
  27. shodan

    shodan
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    Chris, do you have a volume control on your DVD player? I would suggest checking to make sure that is at full whack....
     
  28. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    This thread has got me thinking and here is an observation I have made - Tim let me know if I’m treading on your toes and I will start another thread but I think it may be interesting .

    If all AV amplifiers were set up with a standard reference level then they would theoretically give the same volume out at a specific level i.e. a sound track mixed to a max 0dB with an amp set to reference or 0 would have a theoretical max SPL of 105dB (assuming 75dB set-up using –30dB tone). So that said what effect does Wattage Have????? I know it gives more control to speakers etc. but does it affect the max possible SPL (Gain)? My 5300 will go to +10 on the dial, so I have a theoretical max SPL of 115 dB, do higher power amps go more than this? Anyone with a bigger Marantz out there what does you display go to?

    Before I get any complaints I’m not trying to provoke a mines bigger than yours battle , the thing I am trying to get at is that because the max level on my amp is set to +10 (105 dB), I do not think I can go above this independent of the fact that I have added power amps and have potentially 200W+ available per speaker (The Gain is still limited to +10 dB over Reference). By the way SPL is not why I bought them it was for control, Honest.


    :confused: I realise the maths might not be quite perfect but is my observation correct??
     
  29. Jase

    Jase
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    Just bear in mind that 105db for the main channels and 115db for the LFE channel are the peak levels. Certainly in the case of the LFE channel there aren't many subs that can actually produce this, most fall short.
     
  30. nathan_silly

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    pwiles, depending on your distance to the speakers, how inefficient the speakers are, impedance, sound pressure output - every persons requirement is different.

    For some a 50W x 5 poweramp into sats is fine. For others 100Wx5 into mid-sized standmounts, or even 300W+ into standmounts or floorstanders.

    Try plugging your Marantz into 4Ohm speakers with sensitivity of less than 86dB and you'll soon see why a high output amp can be needed.
     

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