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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my Denon 3803. Very happy with it so far. But I do have a couple questions:


1) The volume control ranges from -80 to 0 to 18db. My previous Yamaha simply had a scale from 1 up as it got louder. Why do some receivers display the volume range like this? I do understand db's and that hearing is not linear. But why not just use 0...n db as the volumn goes up. And what is the signifance of the 0 point on the scale?


2) From my Tivo, I have both the digital toslink and analog audio outs connected to the reciever. This was required because I wanted to play Tivo audio to Zone 2 (I found that digital audio is not sent to zone 2 speakers). Anyway, when I pause, fast-forward, go into Tivo menus, etc. the receiver is constantly switching between digital and analog. Digital when playing a show. Analog when paused or in menus. I'm worried that this constant switching may be hard on the receiver (even though I don't hear any relays switching to make this change). Is this a silly thing to worry about?


Thank you.
 

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From what I've heard, the 0db point is "Dolby reference" volume. Not quite sure what this means, but it sounded reasonable to me. If this is the case, it would obviously not apply to receivers that normally stop at 0db or whose numbers climb from 0 and aren't labeled with "db".
 

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bunder is right. The 00 level is meant to be used for calibrating to reference level. Reference level is setup by using a known test tone source (like the AVIA DVD) in conjunction with a sound pressure level meter (like the ones Radio Shack sells.) You set the receiver's volume to 00, then adjust each speaker level individually to read 75db on the meter.


IMO, while this is useful if you need to know exactly what volume level you are running at, you don't have to do it. All I've done with my Denon is the balance the speakers by running the test tones I mentioned above. I didn't set the main volume at 00 before I started. I get along fine.


As for the auto input switching, it wouldn't concern me...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is that why the Denon speaker test tone is so loud (i.e. as if the volume setting is at 0 which is very loud). I always have to remember to turn the master volumn WAY down before I hit the test button or else I'm blasted out of the room! The test tone is soooo much louder than normal audio stuff I play.


I still think the -80 to +18 is a strange scale to use. During normal listening I don't think I've ever had it louder than -15. And that was very loud. Is 75db sound level pretty loud to the ear?


One other thing I don't understand is on my old Yamaha, I don't think I ever had to turn the volumn past the half way point. On the Denon, I notice I am well past the half way point (in a linear sence) when playing loud at around -15. I wonder why since the Denon is rated higher than the Yamaha.
 

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No, 75db isn't very loud if that is the volume that is coming out of the speakers when the Denon is at 00.


But keep in mind the the receiver's volume is partnered with whatever volume level is coming into the input. IOW, if the input signal is coming in at 2 volts, then the Denon at 00 will be a lot louder than it would if the input signal is coming in at 1 volt and the Denon is still at 00.


If one is really concerned about "accuracy" in volume calibration, then Denon's choice is the correct one. But I can certainly understand your point of view. (Truthfully, it doesn't matter to me either...)


One last thing to point out is that older equipment did NOT use linear tapered volume controls. They had a logarithmic taper to them and were either at or very close to their maximum by the 12 or 1 o'clock positions. (This made them seem more powerful. But they weren't...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
HAN... I don't think that the input signal level will make any difference in the final volume level in this case since I'm using TosLink connections.


I still don't understand why the test tone volume is so loud. I'm affraid someone will press the test button on the remote while the volume is set for normal listening. I turn the main volume down to -70 or so prior to testing the speaker levels.
 

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I'm not sure how to explain it much better than I already have but the input signal level has a direct effect on the final volume you hear whether it's from Toslink, coax or analog. There can be/often are input signal level differences from TV station to TV station, CD to CD and DVD to DVD. There are industry guidelines on recorded/broadcast levels but they are not always followed for various reasons.
 
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