question about dynamic range and speaker compression

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by dcguy, May 10, 2004.

  1. dcguy

    dcguy
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    Hello. I'm new to setting up a surround sound experience. What exactly is dynamic range and speaker compression??

    My Yamaha HTR-5740 receiver lets me choose a dynamic range setting. It has Max., Std. and Min. The default is Max.

    Can someone tell me exactly what happens if I switch from Max. to Std. or Min.? I understand some movies have a lot of dynamic range that will cause the volume and subwoofer responses to be greatly increased during certain scenes. If my receiver is set to Max. (compression), does that mean I am supposed to hear the full range of response? What would happen if I put it to Min.? I am a little confused because if Max. and Min. refer to "compression", what exactly is being compressed, and why would "maximum compression" give me the most dynamic range?

    Thanks for helping me understand these differences. I have searched the Web for information but nothing gives a layman's explanation of what this all means.
     
  2. jrpavel

    jrpavel
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    Confusingly max actually refers to dynamic range, not to compression, so if you are watching at night and don't want to surprise the neighbours, use min, eg.
     
  3. ancientgeek

    ancientgeek
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    Roughly speaking, dynamic range is how loud the loud bits are compared to the quiet bits. Pop songs tend to have less dynamic range (loud all the way through!) and are suitable for listening to in the factory and in the car, with background noise. Classical music or movies may have a large dynamic range and you'll have to turn up the quiet bits to hear them.

    If you turn the movie volume down so as not to disturb the neighbours with the loud bits, you may not be able to hear the dialogue because it's too quiet.

    To save you twiddling the volume up and down, the amp can do it for you and "compress" the dynamic range, so the quiet and loud bits are closer together in volume, to help you listen at low volumes, or with high ambient noise, or poor quality speakers.

    I haven't heard it called "speaker compression" before though. Perhaps the amp doesn't do it on the headphone output.
     

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