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post #721 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Some of us don't consider people using some cheap gears from Parts Express hooked up to some laptops in some rooms measuring SPEAKERS THEY OWN to be "3rd Parties".

We consider "3rd Parties" to be world-wide publications with high-precision instruments and certified experienced trained technicians measuring speakers THEY DON'T OWN in anechoic or at least pseudo-anechoic environments.
If you want to close your eyes to factual data and laws of physics that's your own business. I choose to live in the real world.
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post #722 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Some of us don't consider people using some cheap gears from Parts Express hooked up to some laptops in some rooms measuring SPEAKERS THEY OWN to be "3rd Parties"..

Why not?

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post #723 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by superedge88 View Post

If you want to close your eyes to factual data and laws of physics that's your own business. I choose to live in the real world.

Then you must be a robot. You just close your eyes and think that the "laws" of HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY (and PATHOPHYSIOLOGY) do not apply to you.

The REAL WORLD is ONLY about physics, but not about physiology? You know - the minor details where your cerebrum actually interprets the sound wave coming from the speakers? THAT physiology ?

Do you think all HUMANS are identical in the way our brains interpret these sound waves?
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post #724 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 09:13 AM
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Why not?

I hope you are not asking me for the definition of a "3rd" party.

1st party - that's you measuring your own speakers.
2nd party - that's your friends measuring your speakers.
3rd party - that's someone who has no affiliation to you or your friends measuring your speakers.

And although a FEW individuals may be experienced and trained and have access to high-precision high-quality instruments, most people simply do not.
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post #725 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I hope you are not asking me for the definition of a "3rd" party.

1st party - that's you measuring your own speakers.
2nd party - that's your friends measuring your speakers.
3rd party - that's someone who has no affiliation to you or your friends measuring your speakers.

And although a FEW individuals may be experienced and trained and have access to high-precision high-quality instruments, most people simply do not.

I agree with you about physiology but it can not overcome physics. A speaker sounding loud or cranking to you may not be to someone else so when someone says they want THX reference levels and you recommend your speakers because they crank it m,ay not be entirely true. Your cranking is not cranking to him. We all want accurate clear sounding speakers within each budget we set for ourselves. Some want it at 90 dBs, some at ear bleeding levels. When someone wants THX reference levels there is no compromises, they are set levels.

BTW, what if one who knows how to measure equipment and buys calibrated gear then buys 2 sets of speakers and measures them for themselves and picks the best one? You pick speakers because they sound good to you and they measure flat outside but don't bother to measure indoors. Do you think those awesome flat speakers magically stay flat once put in a room? Playing flat in a room is far more important to good sound then playing flat outside. Unless of course you are going to listen outside.
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post #726 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

3rd party - that's someone who has no affiliation to you or your friends measuring your speakers.
That's my definition as well.
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And although a FEW individuals may be experienced and trained and have access to high-precision high-quality instruments, most people simply do not.
Most builders/owners of DR250s are sound industry professionals, and they do.
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world-wide publications with high-precision instruments and certified experienced trained technicians measuring speakers
Find an issue of AudioXpress, or Speaker Builder magazines, going back to 1999, look at the names on the masthead, including Vance Dickason, Joe D'Appolito, Nelson Pass...and me.
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post #727 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 09:42 AM
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I agree with you about physiology but it can not overcome physics.

No more than physics overcoming human physiology.
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post #728 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 09:51 AM
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I agree. I have always said that if placebo is affecting you then it is part of what is happening, how can one deny it? If I swap out an amp and nothing else changes and I make sure all the levels and response is the same and I hear a difference then do I hear a difference? Whether or not I do if I think it sounds better why not use it? You see I believe in both but we have to make sure to remove all bias first to at least be honest with ourselves. My wife can hear differences in amps all the time if there are any. I don't know how she does it but I blind test her all the time and she can pick out which amp is which. Of course I let her hear each one first to get acclimated to any differences to be fair. I have failed many times myself. Saying a 89 dB sensitive speaker rated for 400 watts can play reference at 4 meters just can't, so if your physiology says it can you are fooling yourself because of physics. Now take that Klipsch speaker and it can because it can take the same power and is 92 dB sensitive. JUst barely though and depending on the room may compress doing so. At least it has a chance.
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post #729 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Most people conflate absolute loudness with distorted loudness. When they say, "Youch that's too loud!" it is often the distortion, at a loud volume, that is painful. Those same people later hear speakers that can handle that volume and say, "Wow, 8db below reference level isn't really that loud after all!"

Imagine someone with terrible speakers that distorted at 10w, who tried to play even easy volumes like -25dbFS. They, too, would say, "You guys are crazy...that's just too loud!"
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post #730 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 07:05 PM
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Also....the term "reference" is meant for commercial theaters, not home theaters.

The difference is that in a theater, the speakers are (much farther)farfield when compared to a home theater. I know for Dolby Digital there are/were different mixing levels for DVD vs Theatrical which have different dialnorm settings.

This thread has a post from Tomlinson Holman (THX) about it.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/all-things-audio/102523-mixing-levels-dolby-digital-dvd-vs-theatrical.html

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post #731 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally for commercial theaters, but nowadays for home theaters, too.

http://www.thx.com/consumer/thx-technology/thx-reference-level/ 

 

Yeah, I can imagine a small room that's not heavily treated would sound louder than the large theater, given the same level of direct sound. Probably the directivity pattern affects it too.

 

My current SEOS speakers are splashing the walls and ceiling less, and with some side wall reflection treatment up front and acoustic ceiling tiles, I'm finding that I'm turning it up to - 7dBFS to -4 dBFS.

Previously with Paradigms: -15 to -10 dBFS and the latter sounded harsh. I may have been getting amp distortion too as peaks would ask for more than what the receiver could handle, using 86 dB sensitive speakers.

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post #732 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

Originally for commercial theaters, but nowadays for home theaters, too.
http://www.thx.com/consumer/thx-technology/thx-reference-level/
 


Yeah, I can imagine a small room that's not heavily treated would sound louder than the large theater, given the same level of direct sound. Probably the directivity pattern affects it too.

My current SEOS speakers are splashing the walls and ceiling less, and with some side wall reflection treatment up front and acoustic ceiling tiles, I'm finding that I'm turning it up to - 7dBFS to -4 dBFS.
Previously with Paradigms: -15 to -10 dBFS and the latter sounded harsh. I may have been getting amp distortion too as peaks would ask for more than what the receiver could handle, using 86 dB sensitive speakers.
Also remember that now, THX equalization rolls off the highs.

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post #733 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 09:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

Most people conflate absolute loudness with distorted loudness. When they say, "Youch that's too loud!" it is often the distortion, at a loud volume, that is painful. Those same people later hear speakers that can handle that volume and say, "Wow, 8db below reference level isn't really that loud after all!"

Imagine someone with terrible speakers that distorted at 10w, who tried to play even easy volumes like -25dbFS. They, too, would say, "You guys are crazy...that's just too loud!"

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Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

Originally for commercial theaters, but nowadays for home theaters, too.
http://www.thx.com/consumer/thx-technology/thx-reference-level/
 
Yeah, I can imagine a small room that's not heavily treated would sound louder than the large theater, given the same level of direct sound. Probably the directivity pattern affects it too.

My current SEOS speakers are splashing the walls and ceiling less, and with some side wall reflection treatment up front and acoustic ceiling tiles, I'm finding that I'm turning it up to - 7dBFS to -4 dBFS.
Previously with Paradigms: -15 to -10 dBFS and the latter sounded harsh. I may have been getting amp distortion too as peaks would ask for more than what the receiver could handle, using 86 dB sensitive speakers.

Sorry Eyleron, I appreciate the all the work and research you've put into this great thread, including your rapid response to my recent KRK enquiry, but this is two posts in a row and I feel compelled to pull you up on an element of them. Sorry...

Your reference to dBFS as a program playback level or volume is incorrect. dBFS is a measure of the amplitude of a digital audio input signal relative to Full Scale. Full Scale is the absolute maximum level that can be handled (stored, processed, transmitted etc) by a particular digital system, beyond which "digital clipping" occurs.
http://www.rane.com/par-d.html#0_dBFS

It is not the same thing as, or interchangeable with, the relative* dB display for the master volume control, which I presume you are really referring to. For instance, on a reference calibrated system a -20dBFS input signal in a main channel of a program, when played back at an indicated -15dB(MV) will have a playback level of roughly 70dBSPL at the primary listening position.

* ... to reference level in a calibrated system
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post #734 of 824 Old 05-29-2013, 10:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, I appreciate that and apologize for my confusing the labels. So to indicate playback level versus reference level, one should use (MV)? And if someone has the type of receivers whose volume instead goes from 0 on up...will that create confusion? What do you suggest?
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post #735 of 824 Old 05-30-2013, 04:02 AM
 
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I'm not aware of any official dB suffix to denote playback level relative to SMPTE/Dolby/THX reference level, so I tend to state that the system is reference calibrated and follow dB with master volume, MV or "relative". So, no (MV) is not official nomenclature as far as I know. There's probably only a slight chance of confusion when units have absolute volume displays because you're generally dealing with large +ive numbers with absolute volume and small -ive and (sometimes) +ive numbers with relative volume.
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post #736 of 824 Old 05-30-2013, 07:00 AM
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You know this is a great point. Many processors say that MV 0 should calibrated reference levels but movies vary all the time in how loud they are. Many movies with the volume on 0dB MV is over reference level. A simple way to check is to run just your center channel at reference and play a very loud movie and set your MV to whatever peaks at 105 dBs.
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post #737 of 824 Old 05-30-2013, 08:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Do you know if anyone has tested those movies that seem to be over reference, to check to see if those peaks are indeed encoded as, say, +5 dBFS (I think I'm using the term correctly here, because we're dealing with the input, the recorded media?) ?

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post #738 of 824 Old 05-30-2013, 08:15 AM
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I can spec lab some loud ones and see. I know the steel case bluray of Van Helsing is loud! I know there are some movies that get over 125 dBs in the bass which is over reference even with all channels redirected to the LFE.
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post #739 of 824 Old 05-30-2013, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

Do you know if anyone has tested those movies that seem to be over reference, to check to see if those peaks are indeed encoded as, say, +5 dBFS (I think I'm using the term correctly here, because we're dealing with the input, the recorded media?) ?

I think it's been discovered by some, I think MK was one of them, that some receivers/pre-pros are over reference at 0db MV. Think one of the Pioneer receivers was at refence when it was at -10db MV but I could be mistaken.

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post #740 of 824 Old 05-30-2013, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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What does this mean?

 

That when setup with internal test tones, or a DVD or BluRay test tone, such that -20(MV) yielded 85db (or -30(MV) yielded 75db, as the case may be), that when playing back real material it was 10dB higher than it should be?

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post #741 of 824 Old 05-30-2013, 08:07 PM
 
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MK: You've sort of stumbled on one of my pet high horses with this. I've quoted you just as a jumping off point, but the following is not specifically directed at you. You're probably well aware of all this stuff...
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

You know this is a great point. Many processors say that MV 0 should calibrated reference levels but movies vary all the time in how loud they are. Many movies with the volume on 0dB MV is over reference level.

That's because reference calibration is only an "anchor" - the ship (movie) is free to drift around all over the place, within the limits of the anchor chain! smile.gif Reference calibration is really just a simple, reproducible method of setting up the total gain structure of the system [system = source > processor > amp > speakers > receptor (ears/meter)]. The notion that "reference" is defined by particular playback SPL's is incorrect. This inaccuracy is probably fuelled by the "lay-person friendly" descriptions on various websites and (I'm afraid to say) the authoritative sounding, but incorrect posts of some senior, well-respected forum members.

The accurate definition is one most are probably all familiar with: It's the input voltage required such that the total electro-accoustic gain of the production or playback chain, when fed a -20dBFS band limited (500Hz - 2000Hz) pink noise signal, produces 85dBSPL (C-weighted, slow reading) from each main channel, when measured at the listening position. This is a good discussion by the pros: http://abluesky.com/support/blue-sky-calibration-test-files/. You will note that they mention 20dB of headroom, but nowhere do they mention 105dBSPL as a maximum output level.

What's important to realise is that this gain matches reference level only for that particular test signal and measurement method. Beyond that, all bets are off! Extrapolating this to specific playback SPL's (eg 105dBSPL mains; 115dBSPL LFE) of program material (i.e. movies) is drawing too long a bow because the SPL of any other signal will be effected by various other equipment and room factors that haven't been (can't be) taken into account in the calibration. For example, frequencies outside the bandwidth of the test signal will interact with room modes and will cause differences in actual playback SPL's between properly calibrated systems. In addition, even within the bandwidth of the test signal there will be differences in playback SPL due to the measurement method. The slow setting on the meter averages SPL's over a one (I think?) second period, so if program peaks significantly less than one second in duration are reinforced by a room mode, they will not have been accounted for in the calibration process either!

Those interested just need to remember the theory of reference level calibration and not extrapolate conclusions about precise program playback SPL's. In other words, if your system is properly calibrated to reference, the best you could say is that your favourite Blu-ray movie will play at roughly the same SPL at a given MV setting as the next blokes properly calibrated system. (This is why I emphasised roughly in post #733. wink.gif )

Another aspect to all this is the presumption that every last drop of (digital) headroom is utilised by the movie's soundtrack creators during loud program peaks. That is, use of 0dBFS signals. As far as I'm aware they don't... peak signals of -4dBFS in the main and LFE channels are more typical in Dolby Digital soundtracks. I did read an AVS thread (can find it now) where a member related that when THX are supervising a soundtrack, they generally don't like see signals hotter than -6dBFS, and anything hotter than -4dBFS is a definite no-no. So again, the often quoted "105dB for mains; 115dB for LFE at reference" is looking a bit arbitrary.

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A simple way to check is to run just your center channel at reference and play a very loud movie and set your MV to whatever peaks at 105 dBs.
That would be an interesting exercise, but you would be measuring the movie as well as your rooms effect on it, yes? Plus, you would have gathered, I don't think there's anything magic about 105dBSPL. wink.gif
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post #742 of 824 Old 05-30-2013, 08:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

Do you know if anyone has tested those movies that seem to be over reference, to check to see if those peaks are indeed encoded as, say, +5 dBFS (I think I'm using the term correctly here, because we're dealing with the input, the recorded media?) ?

Yes I think you're using the term correctly, but by definition a digital audio signal cannot be greater than 0dBFS (Full Scale).
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post #743 of 824 Old 05-30-2013, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eyleron View Post

What does this mean?

That when setup with internal test tones, or a DVD or BluRay test tone, such that -20(MV) yielded 85db (or -30(MV) yielded 75db, as the case may be), that when playing back real material it was 10dB higher than it should be?

Yes exactly. When calibrated to 75db with the internal test tone 105db peaks where reached at -10db MV using program material that on other pre-pros/recievers would hit 105db peaks with a 0db MV, aka reference. IM almost positive it was MK who had this happen to him with one of his setups. Maybe he will chime in.

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post #744 of 824 Old 05-31-2013, 11:00 AM
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Yes it was me. All I am saying is that people think their MV 0 equates to 105 dBs peaks and it does not, depending on source, how many speakers playing etc.. So when I hear people say that reference is too loud it might be because what they think is reference(105 dBs peaks) is really 110 dBs peaks with just speakers. I do believe commercial theaters setup to max out at 105 dBs peaks so to get an idea is run one of your loudest sounding movies and measure so that their peaks are at 105 dBs from one speaker and I bet the MV will be less than 0 dB. Now your setup will be just as loud as the theater and not louder. That is all. Again I am just saying people tend to think 105 dBs peaks are the loudest when they are at reference and this is not the case, it is louder on many movies.
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post #745 of 824 Old 05-31-2013, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

Yes it was me. All I am saying is that people think their MV 0 equates to 105 dBs peaks and it does not, depending on source, how many speakers playing etc.. So when I hear people say that reference is too loud it might be because what they think is reference(105 dBs peaks) is really 110 dBs peaks with just speakers. I do believe commercial theaters setup to max out at 105 dBs peaks so to get an idea is run one of your loudest sounding movies and measure so that their peaks are at 105 dBs from one speaker and I bet the MV will be less than 0 dB. Now your setup will be just as loud as the theater and not louder. That is all. Again I am just saying people tend to think 105 dBs peaks are the loudest when they are at reference and this is not the case, it is louder on many movies.

For sure im in total agreement. My room is very bright and with my SHO-10s ran off an XPA-3 im hitting 105db peaks with many loud soundtracks at a -8db to -5db volume. I can go to 0db but dynamics become squashed on most peaks and they sound too loud. Im in the middle of getting more treatments for my room cause I have some bad slap echo. This doesn't just apply to Bluray mixes but theatrical mixes in the theater as well. Ive had friends who were projectionists and they wrestle with the same problems. On a Dolby Cinema processor a setting of 7.0 out of 10.0 is reference level and they have to adjust all the time to each movie . Some mixes are too hot and some are too tame. Apperently all Tyler Perry movies are quite mixes for some reason. On the other end all Michael Bay movies are mixed hot. Its a industry wide thing that just doesnt apply to us at home.

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post #746 of 824 Old 05-31-2013, 10:26 PM
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Yes THX reference levels are 85 dBs with 20 dBs of headroom on speakers. So measure your center channel alone wih an spl meter set to A weighting unless you run large and set your MV to 105 dBs peak. Use the most obnoxious or loudest movie you know where the vocals are usually too loud and peaks scream at you. You will realize that MV will be anywhere from -5 to -10 dBs so when people say reference is MV 0 it really is not. This is why every AVS forum memeber who comes over and says this is reference? I say yes and they say it sounds lower than their reference settings. Now when I do this with a coue of processors MV 0 does get me 105 dBs of peaks on the loudest movies and less with most.
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post #747 of 824 Old 06-01-2013, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by MKtheater View Post

So measure your center channel alone wih an spl meter set to A weighting
A weighting should seldom, if ever, be used. It filters out bass and high frequency content, giving a result that reads on average 10dB lower than actual broadband. At 100Hz it's down 20dB from actual, at 50Hz down 30dB from actual. Even C weighting requires compensation for accurate results below 50Hz.
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post #748 of 824 Old 06-01-2013, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

A weighting should seldom, if ever, be used. It filters out bass and high frequency content, giving a result that reads on average 10dB lower than actual broadband. At 100Hz it's down 20dB from actual, at 50Hz down 30dB from actual. Even C weighting requires compensation for accurate results below 50Hz.

I did not know the meter was that off in the range of 500-7khz. I know above and bass it is terrible. I guess the bass way to do it then is to run a movie at 105 dBs peaks(if you want THX reference commercial theater spl's) with a very loud recorded movie and turn off the subs and rest of the speakers with the meter on C-weighting which is even enough to do. I am not saying this IS what people should do but it will get the loudness of the theater if that is their goal. I know my theater at MV 0 is as loud as the loudest IMAX I have been to which I happen to like but some movie -5 is just fine. I do like loud and dynamic and I have the tools to do so cleanly as well.
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post #749 of 824 Old 06-01-2013, 02:24 PM
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Thanks MK and thanks Bill for the explanation. My goal is theater like sound and dynamics and I like it at loud but not uncomfortable loud. 105db peaks is what I like. My SPL meter is this one.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B005JX2EZ2/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1370121047&sr=8-2&pi=SL75

It's a cheapo and I wonder how accurate it is?

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post #750 of 824 Old 06-01-2013, 04:12 PM
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Yes it was me. All I am saying is that people think their MV 0 equates to 105 dBs peaks and it does not, depending on source, how many speakers playing etc.. So when I hear people say that reference is too loud it might be because what they think is reference(105 dBs peaks) is really 110 dBs peaks with just speakers. I do believe commercial theaters setup to max out at 105 dBs peaks so to get an idea is run one of your loudest sounding movies and measure so that their peaks are at 105 dBs from one speaker and I bet the MV will be less than 0 dB. Now your setup will be just as loud as the theater and not louder. That is all. Again I am just saying people tend to think 105 dBs peaks are the loudest when they are at reference and this is not the case, it is louder on many movies.

I doubt it. How many people have systems that can play clean 105db peaks at their listening position, much less 110db. I think most of the time the problem is, their is too much distortion and that is why the person thought reference level was irritating.

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