Originally Posted by KPT
As a general comment when I have the master volume at say -35dB it is very quiet, you can't watch TV, movies, etc is this normal.
I would say from my perspective, no it's not. Not sure what's what with what and your situation as at -48dB to -45dB, for television viewing, with the subs turned off, our setup is at a comfortable listening level. I'm not knocking your system or bragging on ours. My comments are strictly for the purpose of comparison. I asked my wife to come into the living room and we both did a sound check and she's good to go at the above stated level. Her hearing ability being a bit better than my ability and having tested my hearing, I'd say I have average, old man hearing; 10Hz > 14kHz with a 5dB hole about 4kHz.
We're running a Marantz, SR5007, a pair of Klipsch speakers that are the older brothers to the RF-7 II's (Epic, CF-3's) and a RC-64 II for a center channel at about a twelve foot listening distance in a 3,500^ft3 living room with a twelve foot cathedral ceiling and large openings leading into the kitchen which act as a sound baffle. Our surrounds are the older brothers to the RS-62 II's (KSP-S6) and are located above and behind the main listening position by about 6'. The speaker system has been acoustically dialed in using Audyssey, MultEQ XT.
The point of my above, with a properly balanced system that has been reasonably dialed in, one should not have any trouble hearing the television at -35dB. If anything, I'd say for casual television listening, -35dB would rationally qualify as loud. So unless one has something else going on in the room in which to cancel the speaker produced sound waves or they have competing noise coming from somewhere else, you might need to give your system a closer look to see why you're having trouble listening at -35dB.