Is "reference level" LOUD to YOU? - Page 4 - AVS Forum

AVS Forum > Audio > DIY Speakers and Subs > Is "reference level" LOUD to YOU?

View Poll Results: Is properly reproduced (read: relatively low distortion, unstrained/unclipped programme) "reference
1. Perfect. This is the way movies should sound. 28 12.17%
2. A bit too loud for me/my guests, I'm usually between -10 and 0 on the volume dial 70 30.43%
3. Too loud, I'm usually between -10 and -15 on the volume dial 80 34.78%
4. Much too loud, I'm usually - 15 or more on the volume dial 47 20.43%
5. Ae you crazy, it's not loud enough, I spend most of my time in "0+ land" 5 2.17%
Voters: 230. You may not vote on this poll
DIY Speakers and Subs

brian6751's Avatar brian6751
10:32 AM Liked: 129
post #91 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 3,443
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from what i gather, this thread is not about everyone's tastes. it has more to do with the CHOICE NOT to build your system to handle reference levels and defending that CHOICE. If you dont want to do it, dont. but preaching about how ridiculous everyone is for chasing it, just for self satisfaction is itself, ridiculous to me.

"Overkill" in this hobby is totally subjective.

Kill it till it dies from it. kill it with fire. kill it again..... eek.gif

if Joe Schmoe wants to spend enough cash to have 135DB's flat to 3Hz, so what? My opinion is, that i want a system that can reproduce EVERYTHING the recording has at the levels they were mixed at. that doesn't mean i will always play it back at those levels.
FOH's Avatar FOH
10:32 AM Liked: 213
post #92 of 363
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I've been around the finest, very high output systems in the world. Systems of this ilk, operating full tilt at a great outdoor venue, are glorius to experience. No ingress of smeared reflected early energy, no troublesome resonant build-up. Only the coherent, direct sound, and maybe some spacious late reflections that only add to the goodness ....


There is a physical point whereby our hering mechanism can take no more, that's not what were discussing here.
Aside from that physical limit, our tolerance of loudness is primarily based on distortions and non-linearities entering the equation.


Momentary peaks are extra-ordinarily demanding, sapping power supplies, and output stages, easily clipping amps in an manner most audio enthusiasts aren't even familiar with. These drive signals elicit magnetic non-linearities, compression and distortions and driver break-up. All types of distortions can occur prior to the diffraction on the face of the speaker and it's immeadiate surroundings ..... because aesthetic concerns trump the distorted nearfield acoustic of the front stage. Thus, instead of an ideal launch of energy toward the LP, we get multiple exposures ... smeared in time of the aforementioned upstream non-linearities.


In and around proaudio, it's recognized that a clean system, in the right environment, can approach phenomenal SPLs without one fully realizing it and the inherent warnings that typically we encounter in the home. These distortions and non-linearities, are what's greatly responsible for what forms our tolerance for how loud we lik it on the big end. It doesn't matter if these distortions occur before, or after the energy leaves the loudspeakers.


Most AVS'er systems seem pretty capable, but most rooms/set-up are garbage. Aesthetic concerns trump acoustic needs for many, .. I get it,.. a balance must be had. But I see more "Audio 101" fundamental errors made around here than I care to even think. These diffracted, smeared, soundstages (mostly with killer bass cool.gif ) aren't as tolerable psychoacoustically, as a more ideal acoustic environment. Treatment as well, but I'm not talking treatment here, this is set up. But I do understand.

I'm not immune either, my room is quite modest, warts and all. My system doesn't encounter limitations often, I've got (4)18s, (4)15s, and Seaton Catalysts. The room is an ongoing acoustic experiment. With an open kitchen to the rear, it's anything but ideal eek.gif


Thanks
MKtheater's Avatar MKtheater
10:39 AM Liked: 522
post #93 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 14,787
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It has to do with many things. The room, the speakers and amp running them, whether or not your processor's MV 0 is 105 dBs peak or higher(many just assume they are all the same), personal preference, etc... There are some people who feel reference is too loud in my room and most of them will blast the TV to a point where I think it is too loud LOL. Some like reference and some like reference on certain movies. Most of the guys that love the movie experience not only likes reference but want me to go louder at times. I really do have a reference capable system and the reason is I measured and my system can handle constant sine waves at reference from each speaker at the seats with under 5%THD. The average was under 1%. So I know for a fact it can and the resulting sound confirms what I measured. I would bet many of the speakers I have owned had higher THD at reference than what I have now but could still play reference and sound great doing so, however, I prefer this system I have now to any other I have owned. I will run a sweep of my center at 105 dBs again and then compare it to my 888LP at the same level and see what the differences are. I know I prefer my arrays over the 888LP although the JTR is very nice.
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
10:47 AM Liked: 327
post #94 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 4,157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

from what i gather, this thread is not about everyone's tastes. it has more to do with the CHOICE NOT to build your system to handle reference levels and defending that CHOICE. If you dont want to do it, dont. but preaching about how ridiculous everyone is for chasing it, just for self satisfaction is itself, ridiculous to me.
"Overkill" in this hobby is totally subjective.
Kill it till it dies from it. kill it with fire. kill it again..... eek.gif
if Joe Schmoe wants to spend enough cash to have 135DB's flat to 3Hz, so what? My opinion is, that i want a system that can reproduce EVERYTHING the recording has at the levels they were mixed at. that doesn't mean i will always play it back at those levels.

I definitely can concur with this. I prefer to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it. It's usual for the masses to attack what they don't/can't understand. I have a very meager setup compared to a lot on here, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate those who have put the blood, sweat, tears, and funds into a great system. Headroom is a glorious thing. I don't have to be listening at reference to take advantage of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post


Most AVS'er systems seem pretty capable, but most rooms/set-up are garbage. Aesthetic concerns trump acoustic needs for many, .. I get it,.. a balance must be had. But I see more "Audio 101" fundamental errors made around here than I care to even think. These diffracted, smeared, soundstages (mostly with killer bass cool.gif ) aren't as tolerable psychoacoustically, as a more ideal acoustic environment. Treatment as well, but I'm not talking treatment here, this is set up. But I do understand.
I'm not immune either, my room is quite modest, warts and all. My system doesn't encounter limitations often, I've got (4)18s, (4)15s, and Seaton Catalysts. The room is an ongoing acoustic experiment. With an open kitchen to the rear, it's anything but ideal eek.gif

Thanks

It's been stated many time before, and can't be emphasized enough. Home theater is all a balancing act. With the exception of the very few, everything is about compromises. Based on layout, available space, funds, waf, etc; everything is a give take here. My quest is to produce an effect that mirrors the original source as much as possible, while adding my own personal "interpretation" to it. I prefer more surround envelopment in movies, hence not treating my back third or rear upper wall area. Other builds have. What works for me, might not work for someone else. Doesn't mean either are wrong.

As usual on AVS, we tend to debate anything that doesn't coincide with our personal nature. The original poll was how loud do you listen to movies; and we've covered the entire gambit about now, a lot of which had no direct correlation to original post. biggrin.gif
AV Science Sales 5's Avatar AV Science Sales 5
10:52 AM Liked: 533
post #95 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 8,397
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

How does the upper frequency response compare. As mentioned earlier, the rolling off in the upper frequencies can allow a little more output before ear bleeding sets in. smile.gif

Could be the roll-off, I have not measured. The SEOS-12 with DNA-360 sounds smoother.
FOH's Avatar FOH
11:07 AM Liked: 213
post #96 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 4,749
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bass addict View Post

It's been stated many time before, and can't be emphasized enough. Home theater is all a balancing act. With the exception of the very few, everything is about compromises. Based on layout, available space, funds, waf, etc; everything is a give take here. My quest is to produce an effect that mirrors the original source as much as possible, while adding my own personal "interpretation" to it. I prefer more surround envelopment in movies, hence not treating my back third or rear upper wall area. Other builds have. What works for me, might not work for someone else. Doesn't mean either are wrong.
As usual on AVS, we tend to debate anything that doesn't coincide with our personal nature. The original poll was how loud do you listen to movies; and we've covered the entire gambit about now, a lot of which had no direct correlation to original post. biggrin.gif

Largely, tolerance of ref level is about distortion, .... before, or after .... the energy leaves the loudspeakers.
beastaudio's Avatar beastaudio
11:18 AM Liked: 997
post #97 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 8,130
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Quote:
There are some people who feel reference is too loud in my room and most of them will blast the TV to a point where I think it is too loud LOL.

Wow, you just said it spot on. My old roommate would always complain how loud I would watch movies in the theater, but then I would come upstairs and he would have the tv with two little NHT's blaring to a point it was hard to converse. So strange. I also love when I pull up to a car at a stop light blasting some music being all proud of their system at which point I yell, "I CAN SMELL YOUR VOICE COILS!!!!!!!!" To which only one person has ever understood what I was talking about.

I have enjoyed this convo. Even though the standard bickering has taken place, there have still been many good posts to glean information from. If you don't do this on AVS in the first place, and choose to ignore some of the pander, then I can see how frustration can arise. I let it get the best of me at times too smile.gif
Aaron Smith's Avatar Aaron Smith
11:20 AM Liked: 20
post #98 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 640
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post

I've got two decades of bad relations with my next door neighbors to prove it.

That is a totally awesome statement!

Who hasn't had that sharp rapping at the door from the Sound Police? biggrin.gif I've only ever lived in an apartment for about 6 months when we built our house (and after a few days realized I had to disconnect the equipment to stay out of temptation's way). That was 6 months of sound hell. All of the other 9-10 times were neighbors in a typical residential neighborhood not liking their window panes vibrating I guess. smile.gif
imagic's Avatar imagic
11:32 AM Liked: 3086
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I actually had more problems when I live in a suburban cul de sac than I do now living in a Philly rowhouse. The brick walls on our 60+ year old rowhouse do more to mitigate the bass leakage than those 'structurally engineered' homes. I used to rattle windows hundreds of feet away. As for apartments? When I first moved to Philly I made the mistake of renting a 'penthouse loft'... the first year was great and then a new neighbor moved in and she had zero issues calling the police and being generally crazy about any sound. Never again, nobody lives under or above me. I live in a busy, noisy neighborhood on purpose.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Smith View Post

That is a totally awesome statement!
Who hasn't had that sharp rapping at the door from the Sound Police? biggrin.gif I've only ever lived in an apartment for about 6 months when we built our house (and after a few days realized I had to disconnect the equipment to stay out of temptation's way). That was 6 months of sound hell. All of the other 9-10 times were neighbors in a typical residential neighborhood not liking their window panes vibrating I guess. smile.gif

MKtheater's Avatar MKtheater
11:39 AM Liked: 522
post #100 of 363
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Yeah, I lived in an apartment for many years going to school and about 4 years after. During that time I wanted to put together a kick butt sounding system and never knew what real bass was yet. So the best system I have ever heard at that time was a M&K S-5000 system with Ada equipment. I was a total newb so I just figured I had to get the same to get the same results. So in that apartment I had 7 M&K S-100B speakers, an Ada processor and amp, and a little M&K MX-70b(dual 8's) sub. I used to love that system even now except that little sub was never enough. It did great in an apartment but still nothing below 35hz or so. I remember one day playing LOTR:FOTR at very loud levels(I did not know what reference was back then) and then we thought we heard pounding on the door. I kept playing the scene and looked thru the peep hole and sure enough there was a man standing there. By the time I walked over to the rack and turned down the movie and opened the door he was gone! I never heard anything sense. I felt bad so I never played it that loud again but I was moving soon and here I am playing reference at 3am in the morning without even waking the kids!
mastermaybe's Avatar mastermaybe
02:17 PM Liked: 185
post #101 of 363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"And another 50% like it quieter, still."
that's fine. i'm not sure that i see your point though. why should what the bottom 50% like somehow figure into what the upper 40% spend their money on?

Well you didn't see my point...it has nothing to do with what anyone spends their money on.

Unsurprisingly to me, 90% of this thread feels reference level playback is too loud...especially for the typical length of a movie.

Also not surprisingly, those 90% have been told they've never experienced "good reference ", don't know what it really is, and even that they "don't get it" by the other 8%.

So rather than this simply be a sampling of folks opinions on a given volume level, it morphs into some attempting to tell people what to think and/or that they don't know what they're talking about or listening to. Go figure.

Perhaps most telling, is that 90% of those on an audio video forum (and the diy area no less, where spl is nearly manically pursued by a good sum) feel it's too loud....imagine posing that question (with an example perhaps wink.gif ) upon the general populace.

This isn't a war, it was merely a little exercise to see what people like/prefer. It's unfortunate that a very small number used it as an avenue to attempt to paint people as "uniformed" or worse, simply unintelligent enough to submit a personal opinion.

Thanks though, it's largely been a fun discourse.


James
mastermaybe's Avatar mastermaybe
02:19 PM Liked: 185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

from what i gather, this thread is not about everyone's tastes. it has more to do with the CHOICE NOT to build your system to handle reference levels and defending that CHOICE. If you dont want to do it, dont. but preaching about how ridiculous everyone is for chasing it, just for self satisfaction is itself, ridiculous to me.
"Overkill" in this hobby is totally subjective.
Kill it till it dies from it. kill it with fire. kill it again..... eek.gif
if Joe Schmoe wants to spend enough cash to have 135DB's flat to 3Hz, so what? My opinion is, that i want a system that can reproduce EVERYTHING the recording has at the levels they were mixed at. that doesn't mean i will always play it back at those levels.


Actually, that's not even close to my intentions, nor those residing within the vast majority on the thread.

Pease reread the title of the poll and the spirit and "object" will be quite clear...and largely supported by the majority of the posts.


James
tuxedocivic's Avatar tuxedocivic
02:28 PM Liked: 660
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I can't help but feel the same way as mastermaybe. Those "for" reference say those "against" reference are beaking at them, and vise versa. But from the perspective of "against", I'm not AGAINST, I just find it to loud. And to say it's because I haven't experienced it, is wrong and condescending. But it gets said all the time in the forums. I flinch at the sound of a door slamming. Wear ear plugs to concerts. Find bars way to loud. Even good ones with good systems. I play guitar and keep my amplifier pretty low. Etc.. I don't like loud sounds. I do like action movies though. Very much. So where's the contradiction. I think some people just have differing impressions of sound. Makes it cheaper for me, so ha tongue.gif
BassThatHz's Avatar BassThatHz
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For those who voted: 5, 1 or 2... I'm dying to know what you guys are getting uncorrected with pink-noise playing in your system?


I find ~85db-A of treble is sufficiently loud for a maximum treble, maybe even a bit "over the top".
As for bass, I prefer it in the 115-125db-C range on average.

Much more than that in a residential setting, is simply too-loud for too-small a room in most cases IMO.


I tell ya what, after I finish my new home-theater build, I'll keep an eye on my SPL meter the next time I have people over for an action movie and I will report back here what levels I'm explosing them to and if anyone complained about the volume being too high.

I've had a reasonably stout system for years but never once did it occur to me to attempt measuring levels during movies. eek.gif
All I know is that it is not uncommon for me to listen to music in the 110dbC+ continuous range.

All values will be un-distorted and un-corrected of course; basically whatever my CM-140 say's it is.
maxmercy's Avatar maxmercy
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TC,

You are on point, as is FOH and MK.

I believe if you have the ability to playback at reference linearly with low distortion, I would prob still listen lower most of the time, probably around -7 to -10dBRef, with 0dBRef for first viewings or movies known to have wonderful sound mixes. I unfortunately do not have the luxury to have experienced reference level playback at low distortion (no commercial cinema I have recently been to has ever been close, IMO). I bet very people few have experienced linear Reference playback. I am talking about flat freq response (good room treatment, not just gobs of EQ) as well, with low distortion, both IMD and HD. Getting 105dB from LCRS and 115dB from Sub with the ability to have peaks as high as 125dB with bass managed 7.1 systems, This is as tall as an order gets. I would really like to listen to an HPS4000 equipped cinema, as 6dB of headroom is supposed to be built into each install. The problem is the 'subwoofers' are 40Hz folded horns, so no deep extension, maybe 30Hz.

Since I have never experienced it, I cannot fully comment, but I think I would pick choice #1 or #2.

But too much life gets in the way most of the time. A baby sleeping, etc. has a lot to do with playback level. Also the ability to comment on the film as it is happening with whomever you are watching it with, esp if it is not the first time, makes a lower playback level worthwhile sometimes....


JSS
maxcooper's Avatar maxcooper
02:52 PM Liked: 18
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Sorry for the car analogy, but there's a theme in this thread that reminds me of "everyone who drives faster than me is a maniac, and everyone who drives slower is an idiot."

Everyone who listens louder than me is maniac, and everyone who listens quieter is an idiot.

Enjoy your systems, at whichever volume you choose. :-)

-Max
mastermaybe's Avatar mastermaybe
04:04 PM Liked: 185
post #107 of 363
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post

I can't help but feel the same way as mastermaybe. Those "for" reference say those "against" reference are beaking at them, and vise versa. But from the perspective of "against", I'm not AGAINST, I just find it to loud. And to say it's because I haven't experienced it, is wrong and condescending. But it gets said all the time in the forums. I flinch at the sound of a door slamming. Wear ear plugs to concerts. Find bars way to loud. Even good ones with good systems. I play guitar and keep my amplifier pretty low. Etc.. I don't like loud sounds. I do like action movies though. Very much. So where's the contradiction. I think some people just have differing impressions of sound. Makes it cheaper for me, so ha tongue.gif

Yep, and I actually LOVE loud. I love rock concerts and play my music way louder than necessary...but there's something - as others have said- about listening to many/most FILMS at these levels. Dialogue, everyday sounds, etc, can simply come off too exaggerated, and, well, loud.

The "good stuff", lol, like plane crashes, pods emerging, avalanches, etc...that's mostly great...but two hours of that can get a bit thin too.

Live and let live in this case is fine by me.


James
mastermaybe's Avatar mastermaybe
04:10 PM Liked: 185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmercy View Post

TC,
You are on point, as is FOH and MK.
I believe if you have the ability to playback at reference linearly with low distortion, I would prob still listen lower most of the time, probably around -7 to -10dBRef, with 0dBRef for first viewings or movies known to have wonderful sound mixes. I unfortunately do not have the luxury to have experienced reference level playback at low distortion (no commercial cinema I have recently been to has ever been close, IMO). I bet very people few have experienced linear Reference playback. I am talking about flat freq response (good room treatment, not just gobs of EQ) as well, with low distortion, both IMD and HD. Getting 105dB from LCRS and 115dB from Sub with the ability to have peaks as high as 125dB with bass managed 7.1 systems, This is as tall as an order gets. I would really like to listen to an HPS4000 equipped cinema, as 6dB of headroom is supposed to be built into each install. The problem is the 'subwoofers' are 40Hz folded horns, so no deep extension, maybe 30Hz.
Since I have never experienced it, I cannot fully comment, but I think I would pick choice #1 or #2.
But too much life gets in the way most of the time. A baby sleeping, etc. has a lot to do with playback level. Also the ability to comment on the film as it is happening with whomever you are watching it with, esp if it is not the first time, makes a lower playback level worthwhile sometimes....
JSS

Pretty much, yep. I'm the -10 to -7.

FWIW: I just watched a bunch of scubasteves BD clips at reference and was just laughing at how freaking absurd it was. Fun? Absolutely. The cars and windows crashing for instance in the WOTW clip sound as close to the real thing as I can imagine.

But LOUD?! Yes, absolutely. I find if I back it off 5-10 I get about 97% of the impact...especially considering I'm running 5-7 dbs hot on the LFE.

YMMV.

James
mastermaybe's Avatar mastermaybe
04:19 PM Liked: 185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxcooper View Post

Sorry for the car analogy, but there's a theme in this thread that reminds me of "everyone who drives faster than me is a maniac, and everyone who drives slower is an idiot."
Everyone who listens louder than me is maniac, and everyone who listens quieter is an idiot.
Enjoy your systems, at whichever volume you choose. :-)
-Max


Perhaps, but I think most of us don't really care, to be honest.

My only allusion was to the reality of extreme bass systems and I stand by my assertion...while definitely giving credence to beastaudios proper point: that some are way out there to EQ down real low. Yep, definitely a nod to that...and folks playing just about everything hot 20-30dbs in the bass dept. wink.gif

James
LTD02's Avatar LTD02
04:44 PM Liked: 1170
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"Well you didn't see my point...it has nothing to do with what anyone spends their money on."

your argument through the entire thread has been that since most folks find full reference too loud, why spend all the time, money, space, etc. on shooting for a 125db+ capable subwoofer system.

here are just a few thoughts that might help square your poll results that show most folks think reference is too loud with the reasonable desire to have a 125db+ capable bass system.

some folks like a ton of headroom in order to avoid as much distortion and compression as possible.

some folks like to run their bass hot regardless of the mv setting.

some folks like to shoot for single digits in rooms with little room gain, which results in total overkill for most of the bass.

some folks like to use their subs for music where they listen way above movie reference.

some folks are just happier knowing that they have more than they 'need'.

maybe it would be informative to run another poll asking the folks who shoot for 125db+ capable bass systems what their rationale was. that might lend more insight than suggesting their decision makes no sense.

it is an interesting discussion, it just seems to have been framed in the wrong way.
mastermaybe's Avatar mastermaybe
05:49 PM Liked: 185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"Well you didn't see my point...it has nothing to do with what anyone spends their money on."
your argument through the entire thread has been that since most folks find full reference too loud, why spend all the time, money, space, etc. on shooting for a 125db+ capable subwoofer system.
here are just a few thoughts that might help square your poll results that show most folks think reference is too loud with the reasonable desire to have a 125db+ capable bass system.
some folks like a ton of headroom in order to avoid as much distortion and compression as possible.
some folks like to run their bass hot regardless of the mv setting.
some folks like to shoot for single digits in rooms with little room gain, which results in total overkill for most of the bass.
some folks like to use their subs for music where they listen way above movie reference.
some folks are just happier knowing that they have more than they 'need'.
maybe it would be informative to run another poll asking the folks who shoot for 125db+ capable bass systems what their rationale was. that might lend more insight than suggesting their decision makes no sense.
it is an interesting discussion, it just seems to have been framed in the wrong way.


It was framed perfectly, thanks: you're attempting to "frame" an issue that I'm neither stating or inferring...and certainly didn't initiate with my poll question...although I knew the "you don't know what real reference is" foot soldiers would certainly make sure was represented.

And you've completely misrepresented my thoughts, so please relent. I have not spoken a word to those spending time sand money on huge bass as being misguided because most people feel reference is too loud...because that's just plain stupid. I supplied distinct reasoning to the latter that has not a thing to do with the former.

The "bass issue" (again those playing back 20-30dbs hot, NOT those who have a ton on hand to EQ down ultra low) is one that could disappear right now, for all I care...your other points (a few which are debatable at another time and place) are pretty straightforward and well-known to those serious about the hobby- especially in this area of the forum, but, crucially, really off topic, as was my own dialogue re it. The core (and only) question remains: what is your feeling on reference level playback: specifically, is it too loud?

But again, this is all off topic and I'd prefer to not further pollute this thread with it.

The question remains for all those willing to vote and partake in the discourse: what's your feeling on proper reference level playback?

James
BassThatHz's Avatar BassThatHz
06:22 PM Liked: 444
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This is how many db I get with THX Intro sound in 2-ch mode + subs.

How can I tell if a bluray title is properly mastered for reproducing THX Ref output uncompressed and/or not mixed at -20db cold?
Madaeel's Avatar Madaeel
06:40 PM Liked: 37
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12-18-2012 | Posts: 234
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I voted #2 but would listen at reference all the time if I could. I think between my room, equipment, and the actual varying levels between discs, it's hard for me to watch at reference.

I was at James' house in early November, along with a friend of mine, and as James said we listened to WotW at reference and every movie clip he demoed at or *above* reference. The only time it hurt my ears and sounded a little shrill was on the LotR demo. James' room is well damped with carpet, bass traps, panels, and fabric on the walls and ceiling. His room is pretty dead. Plus his speakers are insanely efficient at 106db. Combine that with his ADA amp and you have a system that can do reference with plenty of headroom to spare and of course low distortion.

A couple of the clips he had at +5 above reference and I couldn't tell. It sounded so clean I would've never known nor told him to back off the volume. My friend and I both sat through WotW at reference and it sounded amazing. We watched the movie and other clips for probably around 5 hrs that day and neither me nor my friend had any ringing in our ears or felt fatigue. I could listen to James' system all day at reference no problem.

While I agree the room and equipment play the major role, I think the levels the movies are calibrated at are ridiculously inconsistent and greatly contribute to the different playback levels.

I remember watching the first Sherlock Holmes earlier this year and at -10MV it sounded louder then reference. It had to be one of the loudest movies I ever watched. Also a friend of mine had the Blu rays of RotF and DotM, and RotF we watched at -5MV and we could've watched it louder where DotM we couldn't turn up past -10MV. I also just watched Prometheus at -5MV and it sounded great and I could've watched it at reference no problem.

I also think a lot of movies that have a DTS soundtrack are considerably hotter then the DD soundtrack. Not all of them but the vast majority. Or I could be crazy and it's just me......

I do know even with my sub par system in my highly reflective living room, it depends on the movie on whether or not I watch at reference. Unfortunately I think most are too "hot" to watch that loud.
brian6751's Avatar brian6751
07:23 PM Liked: 129
post #114 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 3,443
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

"Well you didn't see my point...it has nothing to do with what anyone spends their money on."
your argument through the entire thread has been that since most folks find full reference too loud, why spend all the time, money, space, etc. on shooting for a 125db+ capable subwoofer system.
here are just a few thoughts that might help square your poll results that show most folks think reference is too loud with the reasonable desire to have a 125db+ capable bass system.
some folks like a ton of headroom in order to avoid as much distortion and compression as possible.
some folks like to run their bass hot regardless of the mv setting.
some folks like to shoot for single digits in rooms with little room gain, which results in total overkill for most of the bass.
some folks like to use their subs for music where they listen way above movie reference.
some folks are just happier knowing that they have more than they 'need'.
maybe it would be informative to run another poll asking the folks who shoot for 125db+ capable bass systems what their rationale was. that might lend more insight than suggesting their decision makes no sense.
it is an interesting discussion, it just seems to have been framed in the wrong way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mastermaybe View Post

It was framed perfectly, thanks: you're attempting to "frame" an issue that I'm neither stating or inferring...and certainly didn't initiate with my poll question...although I knew the "you don't know what real reference is" foot soldiers would certainly make sure was represented.
And you've completely misrepresented my thoughts, so please relent. I have not spoken a word to those spending time sand money on huge bass as being misguided because most people feel reference is too loud...because that's just plain stupid. I supplied distinct reasoning to the latter that has not a thing to do with the former.
The "bass issue" (again those playing back 20-30dbs hot, NOT those who have a ton on hand to EQ down ultra low) is one that could disappear right now, for all I care...your other points (a few which are debatable at another time and place) are pretty straightforward and well-known to those serious about the hobby- especially in this area of the forum, but, crucially, really off topic, as was my own dialogue re it. The core (and only) question remains: what is your feeling on reference level playback: specifically, is it too loud?
But again, this is all off topic and I'd prefer to not further pollute this thread with it.
The question remains for all those willing to vote and partake in the discourse: what's your feeling on proper reference level playback?
James

the opinion of how the thread is framed is based on your posting history. i have read several of your posts about what a waste of time and money it is to have the capability that many here shoot for, whether its reference or above. this thread is just another way for you to stand on that soapbox. its just sugar coated. and nothing more than a red herring IMO.
imagic's Avatar imagic
07:27 PM Liked: 3086
post #115 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 6,434
Joined: Dec 2005
+1

'Reference' is not some conspiracy to inflict pain on music and movie lovers. That said, by all means turn it down if it suits the mood. Just don't use the word 'us' to imply most people don't like a fully immersive, OSHA approved movie or album listening experience. LOLS!!! biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by brian6751 View Post

the opinion of how the thread is framed is based on your posting history. i have read several of your posts about what a waste of time and money it is to have the capability that many here shoot for, whether its reference or above. this thread is just another way for you to stand on that soapbox. its just sugar coated. and nothing more than a red herring IMO.

tuxedocivic's Avatar tuxedocivic
07:59 PM Liked: 660
post #116 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 5,101
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Do any of you reference guys find the theatres to sound bad or good? Cause I find they sound terrible. Some down right painful. My wife agrees. So if it's not a conspiracy to inflict pain, which of course it is not, why have a reference level that theatres can't reproduce. At least in my experience. I can most definetly reproduce sound louder and cleaner than the last two theaters I was at. Skyfall hurt and the experience was ruined. The Hobbit was missing everything below 40hz and had several instances of hard clipping (dragon crashes into tower at biggening).
bass addict's Avatar bass addict
08:00 PM Liked: 327
post #117 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 4,157
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I find the same thing. We have sub par theaters at best. The LFE is sorely lacking and the midrange is shrill and obnoxious.
whiskey_face's Avatar whiskey_face
08:15 PM Liked: 19
post #118 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 77
Joined: Feb 2012
movies I watch pretty quiet to be honest. loud enough to be able to hear dialog easily.

video games when im home alone get slightly louder.(unless its forza that I play LOUD) If the wife is home and playing with me the games are quiet so we can chat to each other with out yelling.

music on the other hand I dont play around with volume. I firmly believe for some albums, theres not a stereo loud enough on the earth for them. biggrin.gif
MKtheater's Avatar MKtheater
08:22 PM Liked: 522
post #119 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 14,787
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Theaters all lack the low end for sure. My local THX theater actually sounds good and never harsh but not nearly as loud as the IMAX I visit which I like much better BUT will have moments of shrill vocals or effects. Is it the recording, the speakers over driven, or both? I can play most movies at reference and some just have either a too hot effect or bad recording.

BTW Madaeel, LOTR was played 5 dBs over reference, at reference it would have been great or perfect. I forgot to turn down the MV from the demo prior which was a lower recorded movie.
maxmercy's Avatar maxmercy
08:23 PM Liked: 147
post #120 of 363
12-18-2012 | Posts: 2,375
Joined: Nov 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxedocivic View Post

Do any of you reference guys find the theatres to sound bad or good? Cause I find they sound terrible. Some down right painful. My wife agrees. So if it's not a conspiracy to inflict pain, which of course it is not, why have a reference level that theatres can't reproduce. At least in my experience. I can most definetly reproduce sound louder and cleaner than the last two theaters I was at. Skyfall hurt and the experience was ruined. The Hobbit was missing everything below 40hz and had several instances of hard clipping (dragon crashes into tower at biggening).

Theaters in my town are not good for sound save for the 'adequate' IMAX 15/70 about an hour away. They simply do not have enough system, and are apparently OK with spending less for it.

The IMAX Digital in town is straight up horrible, as the presentation is played way beyond any sane distortion limits....

JSS

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