Originally Posted by gvatty
Got my SC-07 on Wednesday to replace my Onkyo 804. Sounds great. Nice and clean. The only weird thing is that I have to turn up the volume at least 10db-15 db higher than my Onkyo even though my SC-07 has 35 watts per channel more power. I could play a movie like the Matrix at -25db on the Onkyo but have to set it at -10db on the SC-07. This is also true with my directv settings. All connections are HDMI. The loudness plus is on. The midnight setting is off. Any ideas why this is so?
Originally Posted by gvatty
I appreciate your reply and I understand that there are differences. However the volume of some movies and shows have gone up to 0 or 1+ dbs not being overly loud. The top setting of the receiver is +12db. I guess I expected more headroom.
First of all, I'll assume you have run MCACC. If you haven't, then the results you get at a given readout level are a function of your speaker sensitivity vs the assumption Pioneer made with their factory settings.
MCACC re-calibrates the sound levels so that 0 on its scale equals reference levels (with internally generated tones; external input can differ for various reasons). This generally results in the sound being softer or louder at the same numeric readout than it was pre-calibration, depending on the sensitivity of the speakers. Calibration to reference is mandated by THX to insure various processes work as they were intended. It does not affect the maximum volume the amp can put out. It just "corrects" the scale.
On non-THX receivers, the numbers on the display vary by manufacturer and often from year to year by the same manufacturer. They tell you nothing at all about the receiver's power output.
It once was fairly common for receiver manufacturers to set their volume control 0 point at some fixed value below the receiver's maximum output, frequently -10dB. In some, 0 was the maximum. This probably gave rise to the myth that the comparative settings told you something about the amps' relative power.
With the advent of automated level balancing systems such as MCACC, it became easy to apply some other standard, such as making 0 approximately equal to reference level. But manufacturers don't all follow the same practice and no industry-wide standards exist.
The volume control setting used to achieve a given listening level is affected by several other factors, such as the program content (not everything is recorded at the same level nor does it employ the same dynamic range) and the sensitivity of the output of the various connected components. MCACC uses internally generated tones and cannot account for these differences.
Bottom line is the numbers on the display are useful to help guide you to the same comfortable loudness level the next time you return to a source, but nothing to be concerned about beyond that.
That said, if you have run MCACC and still have to listen at or near 0, something is wrong, as most people would find that ear splitting (85dB average, with 105dB peaks). This first thing I'd do is run MCACC again to see if the condition corrects itself.