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What's your AVR typical/average dB when watching movies?

Poll Results: What is your volume average?

 
  • 0% (0)
    Lower than -40dB
  • 6% (2)
    -40dB to -30dB
  • 35% (11)
    -30dB to -20dB
  • 45% (14)
    -20dB to -10dB
  • 12% (4)
    -10dB to 0dB
  • 0% (0)
    Always more than 0dB .. Stay positive! :p
31 Total Votes  
post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I assume your AVR extends from -80dB to +20dB give or take. I personally use Marantz SR5007 but any properly calibrated and normally functional amplifier should have the same loudness with the same dB number, right?

What's your typical volume when watching a movie on surround format (Dolby, DTS and all their derivatives). That is the question

In 15' x 12' room I find that I need to crank up around -25dB to -20dB to adequately hear all channels clearly and shivering LFE. Note that it's only during movie playback session with native Dolby/DTS

In contrast when listening to music or any stereo source using direct stereo or multichannel (PL II or Neo:6) I found -40dB to -35dB to be loud enough.

What's with the difference? Is that normal if a Dolby/DTS track somewhat softer than typical stereo source? If you could explain that would be good.
It's kinda annoy me that I need to crank up the volume wheel for watching movies while music/stereo source could go louder with the same dB frown.gif .. Do you feel the same?

Share me your experiences with your AVR during movie watching or music listening, tell me your room size and don't forget to help by filling the poll. Thank you so much, people. wink.gif
post #2 of 12
It is called dynamic range. Directors wanted this way. And movie theatres played this way as well. If you don't like it, there is plenty of ways to level the sound levels..
post #3 of 12
This will depend somewhat on the brand of EQ being used. On your Marantz, Audyssey is used and if you have Audyssey Dyn EQ enabled, then movie "reference" volume (min 85db) has been set to 0db on the master volume dial such that on average movie listening level is generally -30db to -15db for most folks (so then you are average). TV and music tracks have no such "reference" level (which is why there is a "Reference Level Offset" (p. 109 OM)). TV listening tends to be a little lower (-40db to -30db) while music listening levels depend on how loud you like to listen ... some prefer at the same level as movie listening (ie. loud).
post #4 of 12
I find that the closer my listening/viewing level to the reference level, the better the sound. For me that's between -10dB and -25dB
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Oh wow I see most of you going above -20dB with no worries smile.gif

Not that I'm new to the AVR world, but I'm always worried that my AVR become overheated or short-lived for cranking it up too hard when watching movies.

So, apparently you also feel that stereo sources tend to sound louder than native surround formats?

Film makers should make the soundmix a bit equal and fix this Dynamic Range feature. Center channel used to be too soft while effect channel can go loud as hell all suddenly.

It's not uncommon that I need to crank the volume up, trying to hear the dialogue clearly while suddenly cars and building go bang, explode and makes me jump off my couch .. Not good frown.gif
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSayuSay View Post

Oh wow I see most of you going above -20dB with no worries smile.gif

Not that I'm new to the AVR world, but I'm always worried that my AVR become overheated or short-lived for cranking it up too hard when watching movies.

So, apparently you also feel that stereo sources tend to sound louder than native surround formats?

Film makers should make the soundmix a bit equal and fix this Dynamic Range feature. Center channel used to be too soft while effect channel can go loud as hell all suddenly.

It's not uncommon that I need to crank the volume up, trying to hear the dialogue clearly while suddenly cars and building go bang, explode and makes me jump off my couch .. Not good frown.gif
Cars crashing and explosions are very loud in real life and this is replicated to give you that being there experience if they compress it to much then they ruin it like they have with music no dynamics then the thrill is gone.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Cars crashing and explosions are very loud in real life and this is replicated to give you that being there experience if they compress it to much then they ruin it like they have with music no dynamics then the thrill is gone.

The average music listener is use to highly compressed music (a trend that began in the late 90's and is arguably worse today) with cd's and downloads, and very few people use their volume control as a result. They kind of expect for the sound to come out at a consistent volume at all times. Thankfully, this is not the case with movie soundtracks.
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oztech View Post

Cars crashing and explosions are very loud in real life and this is replicated to give you that being there experience if they compress it to much then they ruin it like they have with music no dynamics then the thrill is gone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bo130 View Post

The average music listener is use to highly compressed music (a trend that began in the late 90's and is arguably worse today) with cd's and downloads, and very few people use their volume control as a result. They kind of expect for the sound to come out at a consistent volume at all times. Thankfully, this is not the case with movie soundtracks.

Yeah well .. I don't mind thrilling action scenes and great LFE. In fact I love them otherwise I wouldn't bother getting AVR and separated systems. No?

What would you suggest then? I often mind my AVR remote when watching movies, crank my volume to get a clear dialogue from center channel, then tone it down when the actions come fast because it's literally too loud. I set and increased my center channel volume to the max but still sometimes it doesn't help much.

All in all .. I really want a cinema-like experience when you just need to sit, relax, enjoy the movie and forget about the remote or volume control in my hands. In cinema I could get both. A clear, loud dialogue AND great sound effects during actions. Not one of the other.
You don't turn up and down the volumes on cinema, do you? tongue.gif

While audio track for home videos kinda odd. Great in action scene but lacking in dialogue clarity and center channel (And my center channel speaker is decent). Why? frown.gif Just not loud enough out of the box. Heavy post processing and equalizing on the AVR only makes it worse.
post #9 of 12
I used to have trouble with dialogue even when listening very loudly especially when listening to uncompressed tracks. Was almost embarrassing to have this flash system and have my friends comment how great the explosions, gunshots etc. were but not be able to hear all the dialogue. As a result I wall mounted my TV, raised the position of my centre channel and upgraded to a larger three way centre from the same series speaker whilst refurbishing our living room and the dialogue is now much clearer. I don't boost the level like I used to and don't have to listen with it turned up as far if I don't want to.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avgass View Post

I used to have trouble with dialogue even when listening very loudly especially when listening to uncompressed tracks. Was almost embarrassing to have this flash system and have my friends comment how great the explosions, gunshots etc. were but not be able to hear all the dialogue. As a result I wall mounted my TV, raised the position of my centre channel and upgraded to a larger three way centre from the same series speaker whilst refurbishing our living room and the dialogue is now much clearer. I don't boost the level like I used to and don't have to listen with it turned up as far if I don't want to.

Totally agree with this one. Cars crashing and building collapsing while the ground cracking .. All sound phenomenal. But when the time comes for drama time. Oh crap eek.gif

Seems it's an annoying fact that the center channel is not LOUD enough. Just not enough, even on a lossless tracks.
Makes me wonder where the hell all the bits and extra bandwidth of "HDness" goes to if a simple things like dialogue and human voice cannot be made loud and clear enough?
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSayuSay View Post


Yeah well .. I don't mind thrilling action scenes and great LFE. In fact I love them otherwise I wouldn't bother getting AVR and separated systems. No?

What would you suggest then? I often mind my AVR remote when watching movies, crank my volume to get a clear dialogue from center channel, then tone it down when the actions come fast because it's literally too loud. I set and increased my center channel volume to the max but still sometimes it doesn't help much.

All in all .. I really want a cinema-like experience when you just need to sit, relax, enjoy the movie and forget about the remote or volume control in my hands. In cinema I could get both. A clear, loud dialogue AND great sound effects during actions. Not one of the other.
You don't turn up and down the volumes on cinema, do you? tongue.gif

While audio track for home videos kinda odd. Great in action scene but lacking in dialogue clarity and center channel (And my center channel speaker is decent). Why? frown.gif Just not loud enough out of the box. Heavy post processing and equalizing on the AVR only makes it worse.

Try a combination of setting Dyn EQ to ON (to boost the bass and surround audio at volume levels below 0db) as well as Dyn Volume set to Light or Medium (which will control the loud explosions and keep the volume level more normalized to include raising the level of softer dialogue). You'll also want to ensure your center speaker is pulled out to the edge (if inside a cabinet drawer) and angled up towards your ear height, although if you do make this adjustment, run Audyssey again.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by iSayuSay View Post


Yeah well .. I don't mind thrilling action scenes and great LFE. In fact I love them otherwise I wouldn't bother getting AVR and separated systems. No?

What would you suggest then? I often mind my AVR remote when watching movies, crank my volume to get a clear dialogue from center channel, then tone it down when the actions come fast because it's literally too loud. I set and increased my center channel volume to the max but still sometimes it doesn't help much.

All in all .. I really want a cinema-like experience when you just need to sit, relax, enjoy the movie and forget about the remote or volume control in my hands. In cinema I could get both. A clear, loud dialogue AND great sound effects during actions. Not one of the other.
You don't turn up and down the volumes on cinema, do you? tongue.gif

While audio track for home videos kinda odd. Great in action scene but lacking in dialogue clarity and center channel (And my center channel speaker is decent). Why? frown.gif Just not loud enough out of the box. Heavy post processing and equalizing on the AVR only makes it worse.

I'm not sure if you've done this or not, but one of the things I do (and have done for others) is use my Radio Shack SPL meter, & run the test-tones on the AVR to ensure that the sound pressure from each speaker (sans the sub, which I adjust manually) is hitting the listening area at the same SPL. This way, you ensure that the sound coming from the center channel (or any of the other speakers) is not any louder or softer than the other speakers.

If this doesn't help, both Dolby and Audyssey have a compression mode to reduce the dynamics.
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