Does anyone really listen to movies with bass peaks at 115-118db?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Pete Saunders, Sep 20, 2003.

  1. Pete Saunders

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    Anything over 100-105 db in my room would give me headaches. I have a M&K MX 350 that is very tight and deep in a room that has been optimally tuned for my ears (that being no boominess or excessive midrange hardness or brightness). To me, anything higher and you seem to completely lose the subtle details of the soundtrack. Oh, there is still plenty of shake, rattle and roll, but it is contained in my room and is very nonfatiguing.

    But I guess to each his own, since many of us have different opinions on what enjoyable bass is when listening to movies.

    Just curious about what you like in your home theater set up.

    Regards all!
     
  2. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    Sub Calibration: Flat for music, +3 dB hot for HT.

    Typical Master Volume setting: -15 to -10 with Reference Level being Avia 85 dB at Master Volume 00.

    This volume setting results in voices peaking around 80-85 dB, and bass peaks of 105-108 dB on bassy DVDs as displayed on C-Weighted Fast at the listening position.
     
  3. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    I've listened at sound levels of 116+ dbs. at my seating position (not very often), according to my trusty Radio Shack SPL meter. Even though my speakers produce excellent bass at high levels, I doubt that they reached those kind of peaks at any point. It takes a lot of air movement in the lower bass regions to produce 110 dbs.+.
     
  4. Pete Saunders

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    I also set my sub about 3+ db above references levels for movies (setting it about 78db). I had an older (about 6 years-old) M&K MX 150 that I had to set at the high 80s to get any decent bass output in movies, but it sure would get boomy. It actually sounded louder than new new MX 350 but only because distortion was causing that loudness.

    It's interesting how the better subs are much easier on the ears due to lower distortion and better blending into the music or home theater soundfield. At times it even sounds like you have less bass, but it's only the superior integration of the better designed sub. But still, once my sub goes past as certain db level, it's all my sensitive ears can handle.

    Thanks for your responses!
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    I think what you're experiencing is the lack of
     
  6. Zack_R

    Zack_R Stunt Coordinator

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  7. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    I leave my sub calibrated flat for both movies and music.
    I'm usually listening to movies at -15 and music at about -10.

    --Steve
     
  8. Pete Saunders

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    Well, M&K rates the MX 350 flat to 20hz, but who knows how much a drop off in db there is. I have really never measured it. The point is I certainly could turn up my sub for significantly more bass, but when the whole house is rattling it kind of rattles my nerves.

    Most of movie impact comes from the midbass region anyway: gunshots, car crashes, thunderstorms, etc. Shake and rumble comes from the lower levels of bass.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Supporting Actor

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    M&K doesn't make a sub that does 20hz with any authority. Period. Even the MX-5000 THX is struggling to put out that region with any useful SPL's.

    Interesting you should mention thunderstorms as "midbass". In the THX Cavalcade trailer it has a thundercrack effect and the waterfall charts clearly show it to have mainly 15-35hz content. Of course it's synthesized, but it sure sounds like the real thing.

    You just need to hear (feel) a sub that is capable of 110+ db in the 20-30hz range. I know where you're coming from on the "105db sounds loud enough" perspective. My old Definitive Tech PF1500 sub was totally incapable of doing anything under 30hz and I never turned it up anywhere near as loud as my SVS.

    Deep, clean, High SPL bass is like a drug for home theater lovers [​IMG]
     
  10. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    I was in my nephews' car about 8 months ago with my RS SPL meter. From the front seat, we were hitting 125dB with his (2) 12" subs. After about 15 minutes of testing, my ears were shot for the next 12 hours or so ... and probably degraded my hearing a bit for the rest of my life. [​IMG]
     
  11. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Actually, you can listen to very high levels of bass without ear damage. It's them damned higher frequencies that do ears in.
     
  12. Joseph_ P

    Joseph_ P Stunt Coordinator

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    WHAT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!!!!!!
    I'm guilty of bass peaks in the 115+ range[​IMG]
    DAMN SVS SUBS!!!!!!!!!![​IMG]
    Now i want to go EVEN louder,HMMMMMMM B4+ MAYBE!!!!.
     
  13. Pete Saunders

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    Oh no! SVS owners! Sigh! Actually the M&K MX 350 MKII was shown to have "substantial level of output in the 20hz ranges" according to LA Audio File using a Sencore SP295 audio analyzer.

    But that is not the point here. Everyone has their preference for a particular sub, and I didn't want this to get into "my sub is bigger than your sub" thread.

    If the bass is shaking my house off the foundation, it is fatiguing to me. My preference is for bass levels that offer good impact, are accurate, transparent, blends well into the movie soundtrack and allows me to hear the subtle details of the movie. And certainly distortion can makes things sound much louder and more fatiguing. There are times when 20hz or sub 20hz is fine for particular movies, but again, I believe most move impact (slam) comes from the midbass region.

    To each his own I guess.

    Regards
     
  14. Lee-c

    Lee-c Second Unit

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    alan halvorson: Do you know of any charts that list what the maximum safe db level is for a variety
    of freq.'s, from the standard higher freq. range down to the lower bass ranges?

    Just how loud can you play bass from, say, 60Hz down and still be safe? By safe, I mean you
    could listen to the bass at this high db level all you want and it would never do any damage to
    your hearing at all.

    Anyone know of any solid facts on this? It would be very nice indeed to know where the safety
    line for hearing is at various bass freq.'s when you're dealing with the kind of db levels
    we are talking about when running your system at ref. on these DVD's, especially the movies
    that run even hotter than ref. [​IMG]
     
  15. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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  16. Pete Saunders

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  17. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    I don't know. My gear isn't good enought to go above 105 dB. at 1 meter - let alone listening position.

    However, there is nothing like Dark Side of the Moon loud. It's just good. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  18. Craig_Kg

    Craig_Kg Supporting Actor

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  19. Tom Vodhanel

    Tom Vodhanel Cinematographer

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    >>>Anyone know of any solid facts on this? It would be very nice indeed to know where the safety
    line for hearing is at various bass freq.'s when you're dealing with the kind of db levels
    we are talking about when running your system at ref. on these DVD's, especially the movies
    that run even hotter than ref
     
  20. Joel~Solid

    Joel~Solid Agent

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    Well said Tom V

    Joel
     

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