That said, I'm using either my laptop or ipod as my music source with the volume level at about 70-80%---so maybe that brings me to that 50 level on an absolute level.
it's really very difficult to judge volume levels with something like music because music recordings do not conform to any absolute "reference". The volume display -- in terms of comparing your numbers to other people's setups -- is really only going to be precisely relevant with movie content.
Also, after Audyssey, most of my speakers are at minus level. So the actual volume could be lower than -20 to -30.
actually that's not true, it makes it MORE comparable and not less so. Remember, Audyssey is calibrating your volume dial
to remove the effects of room acoustics and speaker efficiency, so that any two people with a Denon 1610 will have the exact same SPL at the first mic position with the volume dial set to "0". This is a necessary step so that Dynamic EQ "knows" your reference level and can make the proper adjustments to the tonal balance.
So (assuming you haven't adjusted the "Source Level"), that -20 on the volume dial is precisely meaningful -- you are 20dB below reference output.
Just curious, what setting do the majority of you listen to music I'm guessing the majority opt for "Other" but I find that RC minis perform well with B (Audyssey/DTS NEO mode). What other settings should I try? Thanks for your input!
kingraf -- I think with tiny speakers like the RC-Mini they will benefit tremendously with Dynamic EQ engaged. I'm sure you have found that yourself -- I know when I was running a 3.1 setup with RC-Mini's the difference when Dynamic EQ was engaged was dramatic.
For the record, when I listen to music:
1. I always have MultEQ + Dynamic EQ engaged, and I set the "reference level offset" to -10dB (or else bass gets too boomy/flabby). I NEVER use Dynamic Volume with music, with the one exception being when I want background music when people are over (e.g. a party or BBQ), I find it keeps the music soft and non-distracting while still being intelligible.
2. I also have to adjust the Source Level of my Apple TV input to -10dB so the volume doesn't blast me out of the room when I switch from TV to my music input.
3. I waver a lot with whether I prefer "Audyssey" or "Flat" for the EQ; I also go back and forth between using Restorer (HQ mode generally) and not. I think I have settled on Audyssey EQ curve with Restorer HQ as my default mode.
4. I typically run in PLII Music mode, but I find that the surrounds are a bit too intense on the default settings so I have changed the "Dimension" parameter to 5 (two clicks up from default, biased towards the front) and I also change "Center Width" to 4 (up one click from default, to spread out the stereo image a bit).