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post #1 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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hi all, is there a noticeable difference between 63db and 71db?
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post #2 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by velocci View Post

hi all, is there a noticeable difference between 63db and 71db?

Sure, exactly 8db.
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post #3 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 06:59 AM
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Yes. It is generally accepted that 3dB is the smalllest difference in volume that an adult ear can detect, so a 8dB difference would definitely be audible.
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post #4 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

Yes. It is generally accepted that 3dB is the smalllest difference in volume that an adult ear can detect, so a 8dB difference would definitely be audible.

You can only hear a 3db difference?

Do you calibrate your system to within 3db??

It may take 3db to make a substantial difference, but 1 or 1.5db is detectable.
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post #5 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Easyaspie View Post

You can only hear a 3db difference?

Do you calibrate your system to within 3db??

It may take 3db to make a substantial difference, but 1 or 1.5db is detectable.

I've never done a test myself. It is generally accepted that 3dB is what the average adult ear can readily detect. If you can detect 1dB, then you have above average hearing or are younger than the average adult, or are being swayed by visual cues (spl meter, knowledge of volume setting, etc.).
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post #6 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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i'm deciding which air conditioner to get. one is 63db and one is 71db. the 63db model is about $750 more. so i'm wondering which one i should get. both have the same efficiency rating. which would you get?
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post #7 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocci View Post

i'm deciding which air conditioner to get. one is 63db and one is 71db. the 63db model is about $750 more. so i'm wondering which one i should get. both have the same efficiency rating. which would you get?

That would depend on where the A/C was going. If it's outside, then who cares how loud it is? If it's a window unit, then I'd get the quietest one available.
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post #8 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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its a central A/C so its going outside. I'm picky so I want a quiet one. that's why i'm trying to figure out if that 8db difference is a big difference. I want it to be quiet for when we're sitting outside.

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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

That would depend on where the A/C was going. If it's outside, then who cares how loud it is? If it's a window unit, then I'd get the quietest one available.

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post #9 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocci View Post

its a central A/C so its going outside. I'm picky so I want a quiet one. that's why i'm trying to figure out if that 8db difference is a big difference. I want it to be quiet for when we're sitting outside.

You'll easily notice the differece. But perhaps a appliance site might be a better place to get info?
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post #10 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocci View Post

its a central A/C so its going outside. I'm picky so I want a quiet one. that's why i'm trying to figure out if that 8db difference is a big difference. I want it to be quiet for when we're sitting outside.

How close are you to the unit when sitting outside? Mine is pretty loud, but it's around the corner, so I don't really notice it while sitting on the patio.

Wikipedia states that 60dB is "normal TV volume at 1m". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure)
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post #11 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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its going to be at the side of the house. But i'm picky. and I don't want to end up getting the 71db model and then wishing I got the 63db model.

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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

How close are you to the unit when sitting outside? Mine is pretty loud, but it's around the corner, so I don't really notice it while sitting on the patio.

Wikipedia states that 60dB is "normal TV volume at 1m". (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_pressure)

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post #12 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 08:30 AM
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Well, only you can say if that's worth $750. Is the sound level the only difference, or is it also more efficient?

Again from Wikipedia, 60dB is TV at 1m, 80-90dB is a busy road at 10m. Normal conversation at 1m is 40-60dB.

It it was me, I'd save the money and forget that I even knew there was a quieter model.
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post #13 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
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sound level is the only difference. there is a small difference in efficiency, but its to small to affect my electric bills.

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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

Well, only you can say if that's worth $750. Is the sound level the only difference, or is it also more efficient?

Again from Wikipedia, 60dB is TV at 1m, 80-90dB is a busy road at 10m. Normal conversation at 1m is 40-60dB.

It it was me, I'd save the money and forget that I even knew there was a quieter model.

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post #14 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

I've never done a test myself. It is generally accepted that 3dB is what the average adult ear can readily detect. If you can detect 1dB, then you have above average hearing or are younger than the average adult, or are being swayed by visual cues (spl meter, knowledge of volume setting, etc.).

Try calibrating your system to a 3 db difference and then get back to me on what you can detect.

BTW I am 38 years old and don't possess what I would call above average hearing. What is an average adult?

FWIW most adults don't invest the time or money into quality audio that most people on these forums do so what the "average" adult can detect is of little relevance here.
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post #15 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocci View Post

i'm deciding which air conditioner to get. one is 63db and one is 71db. the 63db model is about $750 more. so i'm wondering which one i should get. both have the same efficiency rating. which would you get?

I do not know what the measurements are although I understand the difference. Whether the difference is significant will depend on how loud the units actually are when installed. If either of them make the equivalent noise in your room indicated by their numbers (63dB or 71dB), they are both totally unacceptable. My 2 listening rooms measure 15dB and 25dB, respectively, and I am rarely bothered by the noise level in the latter room (although I am frequently aware of it).

So, an 8dB difference might not be worth $750 if you are comparing 15dB with 23dB but, imho, it would be worth every penny if you are comparing 25dB with 33dB.

So, are those in-room measurements of installed units or something else?

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post #16 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocci View Post

its a central A/C so its going outside. I'm picky so I want a quiet one. that's why i'm trying to figure out if that 8db difference is a big difference. I want it to be quiet for when we're sitting outside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by velocci View Post

its going to be at the side of the house. But i'm picky. and I don't want to end up getting the 71db model and then wishing I got the 63db model.

Sounds to me like you've already made up your mind.
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post #17 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

I do not know what the measurements are although I understand the difference. Whether the difference is significant will depend on how loud the units actually are when installed. If either of them make the equivalent noise in your room indicated by their numbers (63dB or 71dB), they are both totally unacceptable. My 2 listening rooms measure 15dB and 25dB, respectively, and I am rarely bothered by the noise level in the latter room (although I am frequently aware of it).

So, an 8dB difference might not be worth $750 if you are comparing 15dB with 23dB but, imho, it would be worth every penny if you are comparing 25dB with 33dB.

So, are those in-room measurements of installed units or something else?

From his earlier posts, it appears that the OP is talking about compressor noise measured outside.
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post #18 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

I've never done a test myself. It is generally accepted that 3dB is what the average adult ear can readily detect. If you can detect 1dB, then you have above average hearing or are younger than the average adult, or are being swayed by visual cues (spl meter, knowledge of volume setting, etc.).

Gee, then I guess there is no need to level match within 0.5 dB when running a double blind test of any audio equipment.
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post #19 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bluesky636 View Post

Gee, then I guess there is no need to level match within 0.5 dB when running a double blind test of any audio equipment.

The complication is that there is a difference in the level change necessary to be able to identify a loudness change and that necessary to distinguish that there is a difference. The latter is what screws up a lot of equipment comparisons.

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post #20 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocci View Post

i'm deciding which air conditioner to get. one is 63db and one is 71db. the 63db model is about $750 more. so i'm wondering which one i should get. both have the same efficiency rating. which would you get?

If you go for the 63db unit be sure that you get highly efficient speakers to hook up to it.

Ron
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post #21 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 11:39 AM
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I wouldn't place a whole hell of a lot of faith in either the validity of the manufacturer's stated dB levels or their real usefulness for comparative purposes. Who knows how they were measured and/or how much standardization that industry requires?

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #22 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 12:15 PM
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You might do a lot better than 8 dB reduction with some carefully planned acoustical treatments for less than the price difference.
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post #23 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
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it sounds like it, but i haven't. i know my wife wants the 71db model and doesn't want to spend the extra $750 or more.

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Sounds to me like you've already made up your mind.

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post #24 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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that's very true. but i'm not putting faith in the absolute numbers, just the difference.

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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I wouldn't place a whole hell of a lot of faith in either the validity of the manufacturer's stated dB levels or their real usefulness for comparative purposes. Who knows how they were measured and/or how much standardization that industry requires?

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post #25 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
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good point. but i wouldn't bother doing that. i'm to lazy.

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You might do a lot better than 8 dB reduction with some carefully planned acoustical treatments for less than the price difference.

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post #26 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 01:28 PM
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a 10db increase sounds twice as loud. Don't know if that helps.

I would buy the cheaper model and see what happens. No sense paying all that extra money if you are over-exaggerating how loud the unit will be to your seats. The further from it you are the quieter it gets. Being outdoors there should be a fast drop off of SPLs since the sound can go in almost all directions. I would think you sitting 12'-15' away it would be quiet enough. In an enclosed space the difference would be huge IMO.

The only time an window unit has been distracting in my memory is when we were sitting within a few feet of it. At 15' or more it is just ambient noise to me.

I also agree with the post about the levels in the first place. Who knows how they are tested and if it is relevant at all.

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post #27 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

I wouldn't place a whole hell of a lot of faith in either the validity of the manufacturer's stated dB levels or their real usefulness for comparative purposes. Who knows how they were measured and/or how much standardization that industry requires?

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that's very true. but i'm not putting faith in the absolute numbers, just the difference.

Why? You can't trust the difference any more than the absolute numbers, themselves. I mean, c'mon, what do they mean? Were they measured identically? On which side of the unit?

Even if the two ARE from the same manufacturer I wouldn't put a lot of faith in those dB numbers.

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post #28 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spivonious View Post

I've never done a test myself. It is generally accepted that 3dB is what the average adult ear can readily detect. If you can detect 1dB, then you have above average hearing or are younger than the average adult, or are being swayed by visual cues (spl meter, knowledge of volume setting, etc.).

The stuff I've read suggests that 3 dB is identified by most folks as "one notch" louder or quieter. THat's different from barely noticeable. There reportedly are folks who can hear a 0.5 dB frequency response difference between two speakers, if the difference is over a broad enough range of frequencies.
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post #29 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 03:27 PM
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I saw $750 more, but I don't recall seeing the total price. Is that 10% or 50% or...

Second, the comment about acoustic treatments may have been factious but it is something to think about. It might not help a lot but there are things you can do to deflect the sound towards areas away from people.

Finally, speaking of people, what about neighbors? $750 might be a lot but what if they decide they need to cover the noise of your air conditioner with some loud (insert the artist you hate most) music.
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post #30 of 32 Old 03-16-2010, 03:40 PM
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I bought a "quiet" outdoor central ac unit last year and it's very noticable and annoying when you're outside in the backyard with it, so I just turn it off when we're having an outdoor event. I shouldn't have wasted money on the quiet one, because it is still loud.
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