Originally Posted by bear123
Originally Posted by dsrussell
I agree. While I won?t come close to listening at reference levels (just my preference), I have noticed that I listen to movies louder now than a few years ago (was around -15 to -12, and am now, more often than not, at -12 to -10). Of course when my lady friend comes over, I?m at around -20 to -17
I don't think reference level volumes are realistic without a couple of things in place. First, I don't think most systems are capable of providing clean, distortion free, uncompressed reference level playback. So above -10, distortion is likely creeping in which is going to make things sound uncomfortably loud. Without large, high efficiency speakers, I believe clean reference level playback is more difficult than most people realize.
Second, I think a treated room can make a huge difference on how clean or comfortable reference level playback sounds, even with a system with the capability.
So when you combine not only a comfortably reference capable system, which are few and far between, along with a treated room, reference level can sound comfortably loud, vs agonizingly loud in an untreated room coupled with a system that may or may not be reference capable.
For me, even if I am alone, I have no desire to watch a movie close to reference level. -10 is usually as loud as I care to listen, but I fall into the category of untreated room, and a system that is not fully reference capable. So it is definitely uncomfortably loud for me much past -10.
When you say large, high efficiency speakers do you mean something like PA speakers or massive towers? Or do bookshelf and center channel speakers also have the potential to do this?
Also, SVS told me my prime bookshelves/cc can do 105dB peaks in a small room like mine with a 80Hz or higher crossover provided I supply enough clean power, which is around 150W or so, 2m ground plane. And I do sit within 2m of the mains/cc.
However, they did also mention that such levels in my 1150 cubic foot room would be quite unpleasant.
So, does this mean that my speakers can do 105dB peaks without distortion/compression issues provided the room is treated and not so small as to make such levels unpleasant (due to flutter echo, slap ringing, pronounced standing waves, etc)?
Or does it just mean they will do 105dB peaks without falling to pieces?
The reviews I've read indicate these speakers can play very loud without breaking a sweat and when I demoed them at a local store before purchase, I saw a very loud scene in one of the newer Transformers movies at very high levels (maybe -5 or -10) and while the room and SB-1000 sub were reaching and exceeding their limits, the primes were not distorting in any obvious, audible way. And they were running off an entry level Denon AVR costing less than a pair of these $500 bookshelves.