I always find it funny when people say that they calibrate their system at -6dB and what not.
I don't go beyond -15 max on the master volume with the speaker trim levels 00 on the avr for at least the front three speakers. So, in reality I am listening at 66dB. For action movies, this is plenty loud keeping in mind you will get transients of 20dB in short bursts. So, during transients, that would be 86dB. And mind you LFE is a separate track in 5.1 input stream, which is already 10dB hotter than all the other channels. So, you wiill be hearing transients in LFE at 96dB.
There is a reason why I do not cut the trim levels down to -9, -8 dB. If you let Audyssey or any other auto eq program to set the system, it sets your system keeping the master volume at 00. That's the reason why we get channel trims to around -8, -9 dB at listening position. Normally ppl sit 10-12 feet from the screen and speakers. I do not do this coz it kills the dynamic range of the system.
If the speaker trims are 7-8 db below the reference, then keep in mind that the redirected bass is also 7-8 db below the reference. Whereas the LFE that is separately mixed is 10dB hotter. So the difference between redirected bass and LFE is close to 17dB.
The net result is that you get weaker redirected bass and you try and bump up the bass to get it stronger. So, although you get stronger redirected bass, but it sends the separate LFE channel off the chart resulting in boomy bass or the sub bottoming out when LFE is also played with the redirected bass (which is derived from the main channels so it has the same level as the signal in speakers).
Bear in mind when we bump up the sub level in avr uptill 00 trim level, we are not increasing the bass. We are just letting more redirected bass flow into subwoofer which is already present in the recording mix. Imagine it as a valve on a water pipe. The valve does not produce extra water. It can only let as much water flow out of it as it is there inside the pipe. So the key is to preserve the maximum signal by keeping the speaker trim levels close to 00 on avr and set the system at 75dB with master volume manually.
Just my opinionEdited by braveheart123 - 12/3/12 at 9:56pm