AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 60 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,949 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a non THX certified AVR, how close to "reference" is the 0 dB volume setting? Because it's really loud! As in hear it at the end of a 150 foot driveway! This is with Denon AVRs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,587 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/19574160


In a non THX certified AVR, how close to "reference" is the 0 dB volume setting? Because it's really loud! As in hear it at the end of a 150 foot driveway! This is with Denon AVRs.

If the receiver has DynamicEQ and you used the autosetup procedure, 0 dB on the volume level ought to be reference (assuming no dialnorm offset). Yep, it's mighty loud. I tend to listen in the -20 to -15 dB range for movies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,949 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's nuts! Yes, I never get it past -15 or so. I typicaly listen at -22 to -20. Not to sound too elimentary or cause fights but, why is "reference" so loud? In my 12 X 16 room, that makes the cats run and screws start undoing themselves! I don't have a spl meter but, I am guessing it is well over 100 dB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,119 Posts
^^^


at peaks it might be... on non peaks, not even close to 100db...


do you have a spl meter?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,710 Posts

Quote:
why is "reference" so loud?

...because you're looking at "reference" as being the reference volume at which you listen to stuff. That is absolutely not the case. "Reference" is -20dBFS* (or -30dBFS for THX test tones) and is the volume to which you calibrate all your speakers. "Reference" is not, nor ever has been, the reference listening volume.



*dBFS is decibels FULL SCALE. Thus the reference calibration is done at 20dB below full scale (105dB) which is then 105dB - 20dB = 85dB. Most pre-pros use test signals at -30dBFS (75dB) so calibrators don't go deaf at 35 years old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,133 Posts
Reference level is actually 85db but most find that too loud and use 75db. Like mentioned you need to get an spl meter and see what your reciever is actually doing at "0" and set it correctley.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,710 Posts

Quote:
but most find that too loud and use 75db.

85dB or 75dB is not a choice! It is only a choice to the extent the media you're using to produce the test tones is 85dB or 75dB. You must do your level setting at the same level (85dB or 75db) that the test media was recorded at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,949 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do not have a spl meter. I might get one in the future.

Dennis, I am curious. If I were to have Yo Yo Ma in my room playing a cello, I know for a fact it will not have the same percieved spl as what is considered "reference". So why, with the exception of being cool, is "reference" so loud? I would think "reference" would be the spl from a non amplified instrument at a certain listening distance. And I know each instrument has it's own spl when played.

Am I on the glide slope here?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,587 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/19576982


I do not have a spl meter. I might get one in the future.

Dennis, I am curious. If I were to have Yo Yo Ma in my room playing a cello, I know for a fact it will not have the same percieved spl as what is considered "reference". So why, with the exception of being cool, is "reference" so loud? I would think "reference" would be the spl from a non amplified instrument at a certain listening distance. And I know each instrument has it's own spl when played.

Am I on the glide slope here?

While movies are mostly mixed on systems calibrated to reference level, music is not. So "reference level" is utterly meaningless when you're playing music. At best, there is a different reference playback level for essentially every recording. Arguably, especially for pop material that's not been hypercompressed, there is no single reference level even for a single recording because the mixing and mastering engineers listened at different levels at different times, in part to see if the mix translated well at different sound levels.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,710 Posts

Quote:
Am I on the glide slope here?

You're below the glide slope and to the right of the localizer. (that's a bust)


The reference tones were not developed to mimic someone's voice level (a baby screaming is 130dB), nobody gave a hoot about how loud or soft Yo Yo Ma played his cello or Rachmoninoff played his piano. The reference tones were developed to allow studio engineers, mix stations, playback systems to have their entire playback chain calibrated to the same level at the listening position. A fair number of decisions entered into this choice including the 22dB to 105dB dynamic range, equal loudness curves, weighting curves, amplifier dynamics, and on and on. The point being is a method had to be developed so that each speaker in a playback chain could be calibrated to a known level, or standard. The test tones were generated at -20dBFS, were intended to be played back at -20dBSPL strictly for the purpose of playback chain calibration. It was only when THX entered the scene that test tones in consumer equipment moved to -30dBFS (75dB) to lessen the impact on the hearing of those doing calibration.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,710 Posts

Quote:
So "reference level" is utterly meaningless when you're playing music. At best, there is a different reference playback level for essentially every recording.

This is only partially true. They are supposed to calibrated to reference; however, many, not all, music recording engineers are sloppy, don't give a hoot, and do what they want. The result ... people don't wanna buy their CDs any more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,587 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine /forum/post/19577117


This is only partially true. They are supposed to calibrated to reference; however, many, not all, music recording engineers are sloppy, don't give a hoot, and do what they want. The result ... people don't wanna buy their CDs any more.

IDK, I've seen Bob Katz's proposal for something like a reference level in mastering, and from his description of the issue, it's needed essentially because there are no standards (which is not necessarily contrary to your statement). In my admittedly limited experience, in analog days, people generally sought to get as much signal onto tape or LP as possible. So a string quartet would be mastered to max out just as "loud" on the LP as a rock band in full roar . . .. So there was not reference then, for music, at least in the "85 dB when reproducing bandwidth-limited pink noise at -20dBFS" sense. Maybe reference (defined in some different way) has been around for movies for a longer time . . . . But I'm just an amateur fiddling around with stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,604 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/19574160


In a non THX certified AVR, how close to "reference" is the 0 dB volume setting? Because it's really loud! As in hear it at the end of a 150 foot driveway! This is with Denon AVRs.



0 dB on the master volume control means nothing specific in general. Some receivers calibrate "reference level" to be the 0 dB setting on the master volume control, and others do not do so.


My non THX receiver uses 0 dB on the master volume to indicate full volume, nothing higher in level. When calibrated, -22 dB is the calibrated "reference level" setting on the master volume control.


I tend to listen to action DVDs at about -27 dB on the master which is about -5 dB below the "reference level" setting (-22 - (-27) = -5).


Buy a Radio Shack Digital SPL meter and then calibrate your receiver!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,604 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz /forum/post/19574225


If the receiver has DynamicEQ and you used the autosetup procedure, 0 dB on the volume level ought to be reference (assuming no dialnorm offset). Yep, it's mighty loud. I tend to listen in the -20 to -15 dB range for movies.


You should check your master volume calibration with independent test tones recorded at a known value (I use -20 dB FS tones recorded on a CD = 85 dB SPL) as well as with the THX Optimizer (subject to THX/non-THX receiver dialnorm variations) that is supplied on a lot of THX mastered movies. They both match the calibration made with my receiver's internal test tones (-30 dB FS = 75 dB SPL).


I doubt that you listen to movies at -10 to -15 dB lower in level than I do. My old Pioneer receiver had a mute button that lowered the sound level by 20 dB.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,949 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My Denon AVRs will go into the positive on the volume scale. Anyway, if I get a spl meter and turn up the volume until I get a base of 85 dB, that is "Reference"? I will also check the test tones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,949 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Oh, the -15 to -20 on the VOLUME setting is the level I listen at. I have no idea the spl level at that point but, it is loud enough for me. BTW, my speakers have a 90 dB "sensitivity".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,441 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/19583702


My Denon AVRs will go into the positive on the volume scale. Anyway, if I get a spl meter and turn up the volume until I get a base of 85 dB, that is "Reference"? I will also check the test tones.

Is your system calibrated (using Audyssey since you don't have a SPL)? If not "reference 0" on your volume control means nothing since it has no relevance to what is actually reference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,587 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio
My Denon AVRs will go into the positive on the volume scale. Anyway, if I get a spl meter and turn up the volume until I get a base of 85 dB, that is "Reference"? I will also check the test tones.
I'm not sure hwat you're asking. How loud a sound will be depends on (a) where your volume control is and (b) how loudly it is encoded. So, for example, when in amovie people whisper, it's quieter than when people yell, without you changing anything on your volume control. If your receiver has Audyssey DynamicEQ, when you run autosetup (with the little microphone) your system will be set so that "0" on the volume readout equals reference level (within a couple of dB anyway).


Otherwise you pretty much have to use a test sound encoded at a known digital level to determine where on your volume readout "reference" is. The common test CDs or DVDs tend to use a digital level of -20dBFS (20 dB less than the loudest sound they can encode). Playing a test tone encoded at that level, then you would turn your volume control until an SPL meter showed 75 dB (if playing back through only a single channel). Whatever the volume display says, is "reference" within your setup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,949 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I will try that. I will pick up a spl meter next week.

I have not done Audyssy yet as I don't have all of my equipment yet. I have a Denon 1802 set up in another room but, that does not have Audyssey.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,119 Posts
^^^


as long as you have the avr and speakers hooked up to it, run audyssey...
 
1 - 20 of 60 Posts
Top