Yamaha RX2030 Volume - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 03:55 AM - Thread Starter
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I am new to decent gear so when I listen to my Yamaha 2030 through my two bookshel Polk LSIM703's and subwoofer, I thought it was strange that the volume displays -50 decibels when there is no sound and increases as I turn it up.  I thought it would start at 0 decibels when it was silent.  My issue though is that I was told not to bring it up to over -10 decibels or it could hurt the speakers.  At -10 it still isn't really cranking out the sound.  Is it true I shouldn't exceed -10?  Should I just add more speakers to get more volume?

Thanks,

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post #2 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 04:41 AM
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http://www.axiomaudio.com/understandingdb

-20db should be moderatly loud, -10dB should be getting very loud.

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post #3 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 05:20 AM - Thread Starter
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It's a pretty large room.  I have lesser quality speakers I can add until I splurge.  Is it OK to mix speakers?  I know the quality won't be as good with the other speakers.

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post #4 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 05:27 AM
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This depends on the audio source. When watching bluray I have to crank my receiver up to -10, but when watching the same movie via tv, -30 is ok.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 05:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2030too View Post

It's a pretty large room.  I have lesser quality speakers I can add until I splurge.  Is it OK to mix speakers?  I know the quality won't be as good with the other speakers.

Thought you're talking about spl, quality or not really besides the point. I would match front three at the least.

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post #6 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 2030too View Post

I am new to decent gear so when I listen to my Yamaha 2030 through my two bookshel Polk LSIM703's and subwoofer, I thought it was strange that the volume displays -50 decibels when there is no sound and increases as I turn it up.  I thought it would start at 0 decibels when it was silent.  My issue though is that I was told not to bring it up to over -10 decibels or it could hurt the speakers.  At -10 it still isn't really cranking out the sound.  Is it true I shouldn't exceed -10?  Should I just add more speakers to get more volume?
Thanks,

That type of volume scale is pretty typical of AVRs. I'm not familiar with Polks, but I don't know why you were told not to exceed -10 though. Speaker damage occurs more from too little power than too much. And volume setting has more to do with calibration than factory presets. It also depends on the volume setting of the recording, as not all BDs or DVDs are encoded at the same level. At my calibrated settings, I tend to listen to DTS MA track movies anywhere from -18 to -12, but have gone as high as -9 with a few. I find myself listening to TrueHD tracks a bit higher, though they aren't any louder. And lossy DD tracks I typically have to dial back anywhere from -22 to -30. According to SPL meter readings, even -9 is below (quieter than) the reference volumes most movie tracks are designed to be heard at, based on my calibrated settings using a Yamaha 3030. Yours calibrated or non-calibrated settings may be different. But don't fall into the "set it and forget it" mentality of A/V calibration: If a movie looks washed out, lower your brightness; if a soundtrack doesn't sound visceral enough, increase the volume. If your ears aren't ringing afterwards (assuming you don't have tinnitus, in which case your ears ring all the time) you're OK. Point being, discs often aren't authored with much greater standards uniformity than broadcast television. Well, actually, they are much better than broadcast in most regards, but you get the point, they're not perfectly made. That was the whole idea behind including test patterns on discs: to help ensure the end user display and sound are set to the same levels the disc was authored at. Unfortunately, some, maybe most, of these test patterns were not optimally level matched with the film on the disc either from what I've been told.

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Originally Posted by 2030too View Post

It's a pretty large room.  I have lesser quality speakers I can add until I splurge.  Is it OK to mix speakers?  I know the quality won't be as good with the other speakers.

There's nothing wrong with mixing unmatched speakers. They won't integrate as seamlessly as a timbre matched set. Whether you'll notice it with what you're watching or not, or even care, is more subjective and more dependent on how well they do match, if not relatively "perfect". But there's nothing technically wrong with it as long as they're all the same impedance. You're more likely to notice audible differences in timbre between the front mains than the surrounds, so those are the most important to try to match. BTW, you don't have to use a speaker specified as a "center channel" for the center. Though a center channel is typically going to be lower profile and designed to better handle all the important sound information that's sent to it, for imaging and more seamless matching, some prefer to use the same exact speaker at all three front main positions.

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 10:46 AM
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But there's nothing technically wrong with it as long as they're all the same impedance.

That dosn't matter, either. I'm using a combination of 4, 6 and 8ohm speakers (4 and 6 ohm drop down to 2.2 to 3.2ohm)

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Bose Jewel speakers.

 

Jealous of my speakers?

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post #8 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2030too View Post

I am new to decent gear so when I listen to my Yamaha 2030 through my two bookshel Polk LSIM703's and subwoofer, I thought it was strange that the volume displays -50 decibels when there is no sound and increases as I turn it up.  I thought it would start at 0 decibels when it was silent.  My issue though is that I was told not to bring it up to over -10 decibels or it could hurt the speakers.  At -10 it still isn't really cranking out the sound.  Is it true I shouldn't exceed -10?  Should I just add more speakers to get more volume?
Thanks,

No, it is not true that you ought not exceed the -10dB setting. How loud it will be will depend upon the input level, and so the volume control setting does not tell you how loud the output will be. You can turn it up higher (though see below).

Adding more speakers to the same channels is not a good idea, as you then will likely be wiring them in parallel, reducing the impedance presented to the receiver, and be more likely to damage it.

Normally, you can find the maximum safe volume by putting on a source that is at a fairly constant level, and gradually turning up the volume until you start to hear distortion, and then turn it down again until you no longer hear the distortion. That is typically the loudest safe volume your system can deliver, though it will NOT tell you that that volume control setting is always safe, because, as I have stated above, the output level depends on the input level (with the only exception being the volume all the way down), and so with a higher input level, that volume setting would not be safe.

Also, what is safe for your system may not be safe for your hearing. Many people do permanent damage to their hearing from excess volume. Often, they do this because it is usually not immediately apparent that one is damaging one's hearing, though one will pay for it eventually, unless one dies prematurely. You might want to do an online search regarding hearing loss from loud noises.

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post #9 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post

That dosn't matter, either. I'm using a combination of 4, 6 and 8ohm speakers (4 and 6 ohm drop down to 2.2 to 3.2ohm)

That's good to know. I've never tried using speakers of differing impedance together. I was just thinking about my father: He had a prologic receiver that ran two sets of large 8 ohm full-range speakers (one set outside, one set inside) without any problems for years. He replaced the inside set with something smaller, that took less space and was supposedly made more for dusty, shop environments, but they were rated 6ohm, I believe. The receiver died soon after hooking them up. He bought another, it too only lasted a couple months. He called me over to take a look at it, I saw that his new speakers were a different impedance and read in the manual of the new receiver where it said not to run more than two speakers at a time if they were harder to drive than 8 ohm and figured that's what happened. He bought another AVR and hasn't had any problems since, running just one pair at a time. I don't know much about speaker design, but it seems rather crazy to me that an AVR can run four 3-foot tall, full range speakers, each with a 10 inch woofer, a 4" mid and a tweeter (traditional box design) at 8ohms, but can't handle more than two tiny 8" tall bookshelf speakers at 6 ohms.

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Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

No, it is not true that you ought not exceed the -10dB setting. How loud it will be will depend upon the input level, and so the volume control setting does not tell you how loud the output will be. You can turn it up higher (though see below).

Adding more speakers to the same channels is not a good idea, as you then will likely be wiring them in parallel, reducing the impedance presented to the receiver, and be more likely to damage it.

Normally, you can find the maximum safe volume by putting on a source that is at a fairly constant level, and gradually turning up the volume until you start to hear distortion, and then turn it down again until you no longer hear the distortion. That is typically the loudest safe volume your system can deliver, though it will NOT tell you that that volume control setting is always safe, because, as I have stated above, the output level depends on the input level (with the only exception being the volume all the way down), and so with a higher input level, that volume setting would not be safe.

Also, what is safe for your system may not be safe for your hearing. Many people do permanent damage to their hearing from excess volume. Often, they do this because it is usually not immediately apparent that one is damaging one's hearing, though one will pay for it eventually, unless one dies prematurely. You might want to do an online search regarding hearing loss from loud noises.

General rule, always turn the volume down before powering off, lest the next thing you watch be recorded significantly louder than the last thing you watched.

Of course the distortion could be related to any number of things. If I heard distortion anywhere below calibrated reference, assuming you don't have severe hearing loss, and probably well above, with any AVR, either the AVR is significantly underpowered for my speakers/room and needs the help of an external amp or I'd have to assume I've got another problem, like a blown driver, or the EQ is improperly compensating for something more than it should, etc.

You're more apt to damage your hearing mowing your lawn for just a half hour once or twice a week, every year, all summer long, than watching even a loud actioner, even at reference levels. Listening to a concert near those same levels, with it's more constant volumes I can see. Though, I'm not clear on how much stuff builds/accumulates, like, how the math works when you watch an action movie, after mowing lawns all day with ear muffs, if there's a significant break between the two activities for your ears to rest and your ears aren't ringing at the start. Ringing ears is the only indicator I know of for hearing damage. Though, you've got to do the same activity repeatedly for the damage to be permanent. One concert a month played at ear ringing levels probably isn't going to be enough to cause long-term damage, beyond that of normal aging. Of course, it also depends on genetics. Some people can handle loud sounds better than others, just as some people live to a ripe old age smoking a carton or two a month. Others never smoke at all, but die of lung cancer at age 30.

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post #10 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an old browser at work so can't respond from there. 

 

I can see I came to the right place.  Thank you all for this very helpful information.

 

Fatbottom, definitely -10 is pretty loud.  Along with the two Polk LSIM703 bookshelfs I have a Polk Center that isn't in the LSIM family but is still a pretty decent 8 ohm alternative until or if I ever upgrade them.  The center is a little louder than I'd like so I manually turn it down a little or off completely when playing music with the tuner or phono.

 

Anders/Chad/Jack, really appreciate the detail you went into.  I totally agree with you about the input source being the biggest factor on my volume issue.  My phono  plays much lower volume than the tuner.  My MP3's are all over the place and I have to be careful when one of the hot ones starts playing. 

 

I don't really crank it too much but like to be able to and was concerned with what I was told about not exceeding -10.  I like that I'm hearing that the number on the dial isn't what I should be too focused on but the sound and any distortion.  I do find that I don't really get near -10 too often.  As for hearing loss, I know all about that having played in metal bands in the 80's.  Last hearing test a my kids school function showed me I did a lot of damage on higher pitched tones.

 

I am loving this new system.  The sound quality is like nothing I've ever experienced before.. Thanks for the advice.

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post #11 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 04:02 PM
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-10dB might not be loud, depends on the source. Try playing back a flac file with replaygain enabled and disabled. Some movies tracks are similar, no two films are the same.

Krell Evolution 900e x 7

Bose Jewel speakers.

 

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post #12 of 12 Old 05-02-2014, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll do some experimenting.  I haven't even scratched the surface of what this Yamaha does.  I just had to research Flac files.  I'll have to play around with that.

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