Originally Posted by Augerhandle
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie
Movie reference level is considered to be 85dB (rather than FS 105dB) which, after running Audyssey, would be either 80 or 0dB on the Marantz volume depending on which volume scale is being used. Most owners generally listen well below 80/0dB. If your desired movie listening volume is below 80/0dB as well and you're not hearing any distortion from the speakers, then you do not need to add an external amp.
Movie Reference is 85 dB, with 20 dB headroom, which is 105 dB peaks. Thus my post.
Hmmmm, I thought it was THX that used the reference level of 85dB and Dolby used 75dB. It doesn't really matter as it's just a reference to set pink noise by relative to the peak value on the equipment. Obviously, a movie can be quieter than that most of the movie (e.g. A Quiet Place), but peaks should not pass 105dB. It says nothing about average volume, only that as long as the movie itself was mixed and mastered with the same calibration you should be hearing the same volume the mixing guy heard and meant for the movie. That does not mean one movie cannot have louder average dialog or anything else. That's up to the mixing guy's discretion. Hence, it's a reference point.
Some movies may therefore be easier to listen to at reference than others since the guys mixing it may differ on the levels they use. Raiders of The Lost Ark sounds great at reference (0) here (THX certified mix) while I play most movies between -5 to -10. It's entirely possible that the questionable Disney tracks are set at reference, but the mixing guy doesn't like loud dynamics or average loud volumes or thinks home mixes shouldn't be as loud as the theater.
Even soundtracks that get good reviews (e.g. The Matrix in Atmos) often aren't the same as the cinema mix in volume and/or dynamics. I have the real cinema DTS track for it and matching dialog levels compared to the Atmos track, the cinema DTS 5.1 version has WAY louder dynamic peaks for sound effects than the Atmos track. There is no comparison. The cinema track blows the Atmos track out of the water on my system. It's way more exciting for explosions and other sound effects. Yes, you miss some rear/height placement (Neural X does a good job compensating, though), but for sheer blow your guests out of the water realism, the old 1999 DTS lossy track is WAY better, IMO. But without access to it, you'd never realize it. I've read some studios do not alter the tracks for home use (e.g. Paramount), but sadly most do and forums parrot the false notion that they 'need' to be different as the one is smaller.
Well, that depends on the home and theater in question, but even so levels are levels and I'm not talking about the average level, but the dynamics of sound effects, etc. The fact The Matrix and Paramount tracks sound great disproves this notion that cinema tracks can't sound fantastic at home. You get what you pay for with quality speakers. There is enough room for a crappy sound bar mix in mist cases (lossy Atmos should be good enough for a crappy sound bar even if you think there's a difference). The studios should give us the real cinema tracks, IMO (minus any technical packing to fit them in the home format), but redoing the mix for an environment you cannot predict (home systems vary wildly) doesn't cut it, IMO.