Originally Posted by Bigham16
Hmmm...Not sure where to look for the a figure relative to 0dB. I have the Denon 4520 and a Gen 2 Emotiva XPA-5 which is rated at 200 watts for each channel @ 8 ohms. I have Golden Ear Triton 2 tower speakers with a 91dB efficiency.
I would hope all my gear could preform what you are asking and not give me "bleeding of the ears"
60dBs in my room gives me that feeling of being loud but not loud at the same time feeling.
I will definitely try your suggestion on the reference level offset and see what happens.
When the MV is set at 5 or 6 dB below reference, the dialog should sound plausible in volume (SPL). If a large sample of dialog doesn't sound natural in volume during a given movie, turn the whole system (MV) up or down, until it's right. Almost all filmmakers key the music and effects relative to a realistic, usually pleasant, dialog level. That might well be in the range of 70 to 80 dB (excluding shouting or very soft, dramatic delivery or whispering). The peaks
in both music and effects will be much louder. If you take a SPL meter ("c" "fast") into a symphony concert, down close, you may measure very brief peaks
as high as 115 dB (Paul W. Klipsch), or even higher with a large orchestra and the likes of Beethoven, Mahler, or Moussorgsky. THX measured the normal peaks
in The Empire Strikes Back
at 108 dB, and the bass peaks at 110 dB, in a 70 mm 6 channel stereo equipped theater. That was with the sound reproducing equipment of 34 years ago. The industry has now decided that, at reference level, full scale
will be 105 dB, with subwoofer full scale at 115 dB, from microphone position. These peaks occur fairly rarely, but can be quite dramatic. All
this should be without ear strain or unpleasantness (unless the filmmakers want it to be unpleasant). The government standards for tolerable SPL levels in industry do not
apply here, because these are brief peaks, but, FYI, the Feds think workers can deal with an average of 115 dB from machinery that does not have a steady output for 15 minutes (naturally, long term exposure has a much lower limit, I think about 80 dB). Rock bands, and other amplified music that is composed of more or less steady loud sound (wailing electric guitars) constitute an exception to these principles, because it is not just the peaks that are that loud, but prolonged, sustained tones. Ear damage and speaker damage can result. Once in a great while there is a movie that really pushes the duration of the peaks, and they are also an exception. I usually run movies at 5 dB below reference, and found myself turning down the MV for a few moments during the early part of The Grey.
Good, low distortion speakers, and adequate, clipping free, amplification should allow almost all loud passages to come through without discomfort.