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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: upstate NY
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1. After the Audyssey calibration, 80 is "reference". When the volume control is set there, it'll nominally produce the same sound level in your listening room at your primary listening position as you'd hear when watching the same movie in a calibrated movie theater. Modern receivers use a logarithmic volume scale which is similar to the sound level response of our own hearing. Many people don't like to listen at high volume levels, so they tend to listen to movies (over HDMI) at a level about 25dB below reference (80 - 25 = 55).
There really is no equivalent to movie reference sound levels in other audio formats, though. For example, pop music released on CDs is both compressed and recorded at higher sound levels, so people often listen to them another 10dB below reference.
You need to adjust both Dyn EQ and Dyn Vol to match your own preferences.
Try listening with them both disabled, for example.
Dyn EQ takes into account that we can't hear the lowest and highest frequencies as well at lower sound levels as we do at higher. Dyn EQ boosts the lowest and highest frequencies so you'll hear the frequency balance of a movie soundtrack as was intended by the studio when you're listening at volume levels below reference.
Dynamic Volume reduces the difference between the quietest and loudest sounds, so loud explosions don't annoy other people while quiet dialog is still audible. Many people don't bother to engage this unless they're watching movies while someone else is trying to sleep.
2. 12 dB increases the apparent volume by more than a factor of two, and required power by more than 8. If you're raising all of the inputs, then you're bypassing the limit you've put on the volume control. I suggest removing that limit instead.
3. In most cases, you should think of additional zones as after-thoughts. They were originally intended just to supply stereo music in other rooms and have gradually acquired other features with succeeding generations of receivers. The 2013 X4000 receiver provides more features than the 2012 (xx13) generation of Denon receivers, for example. I personally don't use multiple zones, though, so someone else will have to answer in detail.
Marantz SR7009 avr + MM9000 amp --> Atmos 7.1.4
Fronts=NHT 2.9+AC2, FH+TM=DefTech PM1000, LCR+TM amped