Listening Levels

Craig uk

Well-known Member
A quick browse of the thread - I don't see anyone mentioning speaker sensitivity for lower volume listening. The OP refers to valve amps - but generally speaking one has to partner a valve amp with a speaker that's got a higher level of sensitivity for a successful outcome!

For example a 15w tube amp wouldn't be able to drive reasonably a set of bookshelf speakers at 85db or floor standers at 89db sensitivity.
Yes and Audio Note would undoubtedly the best example of this way of thinking. My experience with valve amps is certainly in agreement with the fact they start to harden up the louder they were played, switching from Class A to AB when things got going. It‘s very unlikely I will ever venture back to tubes but my money would be spent on Audio Note kit if I do.
 

gava

Active Member
For those of us with decent DSP & Room correction software I think it's also worth have a couple of different settings - a more advanced "loudness" button if you like that boosts bass (particularly) but treble too so that it's more pleasing for lower volume listening.

My miniDSP can easily hold multiple settings, so I'm going to experiment with a soft volume setting that adds a nice U curve over my normal setting - because all the room and frequency curve correction still needs to be respected. See how that works.
 

JohnnyNapalm

Active Member
Usually I listen in the low 80's at my listening position for extended duration but have been known to hit over 100db's A Weighted for shorter durations. I like to feel the music as much as listen to it and would love to reach Concert levels within my lounge but hearing loss is not something I would welcome so that thought has been dismissed.
 

musicphil

Active Member
I like to crank it up every now and again but I have a listening room so no probs with neighbours.
But I also can listen at low levels at night and it sounds so sweet, LF and HF are there.
Back in the olden days there used to be a loudness button on amps that would increase HF and LF frequencies so it added as bit of impact to your low level listening.

Room size, rooms acoustics, extremely good amplifier and efficient speakers, if you can get most of them without added electronics you are doing very well. Get them all and you have a perfect balanced system and a delight to listen to at low volume levels.
 

andycc72

Active Member
I like to crank it up every now and again but I have a listening room so no probs with neighbours.
But I also can listen at low levels at night and it sounds so sweet, LF and HF are there.
Back in the olden days there used to be a loudness button on amps that would increase HF and LF frequencies so it added as bit of impact to your low level listening.

Room size, rooms acoustics, extremely good amplifier and efficient speakers, if you can get most of them without added electronics you are doing very well. Get them all and you have a perfect balanced system and a delight to listen to at low volume levels.
I've never heard any system that's a 'delight' to listen to at low volumes as I prefer my music loud. Music starts to come really alive for me around 80db. I do most of my listening at low-ish levels, around 70db-ish and it sounds really good on my system, but it doesn't do it for me in the same way as when I crank it up.

I have just had an offer accepted on a house with it's own 4x4m man cave/listening room at the end of the garden. well away from any neighbours or family . So IF it all goes through successfully this problem should be a thing of the past.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
Mrs is out tonight so I watched Team America World Police (not sure why the mood took me to watch that…) and now I’m listening to Metallica at a volume that is starting to give me a headache, but it sounds amazing and I love it.
 

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