How loud is too loud

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by mofet_n, May 19, 2003.

  1. mofet_n

    mofet_n Extra

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    I have one question I always wanted to ask: How loud could you possibly drive your speakers, withought having them to blow. What I'm currently using in my home theater is a HK 325 (5.1 setup) with rti70 polks, csi40 center, R50s for the back and velodyne cht-15 sub. Now, on my hk, I set all speakers to large and the volume per channel is set to 9 for the fronts and 8 for the back. My room size is from mid size to large. I watch Fast and the furious at around -32db and most loud movies like T2, saving private ryan and jurassic park at the same volume (sometimes -30db). Is this loud or could I drive my speakers and amp and not cause any damage.
     
  2. Ron_L

    Ron_L Second Unit

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    until you can hear distortion, it'd say it's good. If the amplifier is not clipping and kept at a reasonable temperature, it shouldn't be a problem. The key here is listening for distortion, if the sound starts to break up, turn it down.
     
  3. Jason GT

    Jason GT Second Unit

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    How loud is too loud?

    1. What Ron said.
    2. When your ears start to bleed.
    3. When your neighbors complain. [​IMG]

    One question about your channel settings: how did you set these and why? These per-channel settings are usually meant for calibration purposes (to account for differences in room configs, speaker placement etc).
     
  4. jorgen_boberg

    jorgen_boberg Auditioning

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    "3. When your neighbors complain. "
    -------------

    The fact that you still can hear your neighbors complaining is a sign that you need to pump up the volume [​IMG].

    // jorgen
     
  5. Ron_L

    Ron_L Second Unit

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    Well you dont' want to be hurting your ears, they are with you for years to come so treat them right.
     
  6. mofet_n

    mofet_n Extra

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    Thanks guys! To answer the question about calibration, well, I did it because the surround speakers are very close inback of me, and the fronts are very far away, so what I did was higher the channel settings for all the front speakers and lowered the surrounds. If I was to keep all of them at factory settings (0), I would have to always turn the volume up all the way on my receiver just to be able to hear something.
    So anyways, I hear no distortion at all, I guess I'll be able to drive all my street crazy. Anyway, I have the future shop warranty which is exchange at the counter, so I can blow them anytime (if they would blow that is).

    Thanks everyone!!!
     
  7. Lee Carbray

    Lee Carbray Second Unit

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    The only time you know it is too loud is when it is too late.[​IMG]

    Mofet, you should invest in a SPL meter and calibration disk.
     
  8. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    According to my trusty Radio Shack SPL meter (analog), I've gotten my system to 116 dbs. at my seating position, about 15' away. On one cd (the remastered Iggy Pop Raw Power), I tripped a 20 amp circuit breaker. Both of these situations were too damned loud - I've backed off a bit since.
     
  9. Randall Duncan

    Randall Duncan Stunt Coordinator

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    How loud is too loud?
    • When your eyes go blurry. (happened to me before)
    • When your SPL meter explodes.
    • When the FBI shows up at your door.
    • When your heart has trouble keeping a constant rhythm.
    • When your speakers' voice-coils shoot from the cones.
    • When the front baffle of one of your speakers falls out.[/list=a]

      Well... A couple of those things have happened to me.
     
  10. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    Hearing damage is permanent if you don't take steps to avoid long periods of SPL exposure.

    It's amazing how many people tell me that they hear a constant ringing, hissing, buzzing sounds resulting from exposure to loud music (headphones or live concert).
     
  11. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    "Loudness", to me, is related to the distortion you're hearing. If it sounds "loud," or hurts your ears, you are probably stressing your system. If there is obvious distortion (crackling, or something), then you are definitely past the limit.

    I have never heard obvious distortion with my system except when I played a song with a loud drumbeat that clipped my amp constantly. However, above 90db or so the sound starts to get more tiring and "loud" sounding.. actually, now that amplifier distortion is no longer an issue, it's less of a painful annoying distortion a more like the music is sort of "overwhelming." I have relatively powerful speakers and amps, but at that point there is some subtle distortion coming along even though I am well below any absolute output limits. I hope to eventually own a speaker system for which this kind of distortion is not an issue.
     
  12. Frank_Ber

    Frank_Ber Agent

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    It is loud when uhhh.. it's loud! [​IMG]

    I offer you a warning from the Surgeon General:

    Surgeon General's Warning: "Listening at excessively loud levels can cause permanent hearing damage.”

    I hope I am not too late.
     
  13. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Another thing to consider is when you have all those speakers playing at one time, light distortion can be difficult to here till it's to late.

    Cooked tweeter, midbass driver, etc.

    As suggested, a spl meter and cali disc is highly recomended. You also may consider the small setting when doing movies on some or all of your speaks to lighten the load on the Receivers amp section.

    Loud is when you think it's loud. But as others have brought forth hearing damage is a definite posibility when one contines to listen at extreme spl volumes for longer periods of time....

    Short extreme spl burts can cause the prment damage also....
     
  14. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    Real Name:
    Ron
    I am comfortable around 105-110db. When I am not alone, it usually drops to 90-95. Most do not like it loud. I had one friend start bringing ear plugs when he came over.


    Peace Out~[​IMG]
     
  15. Geoff L

    Geoff L Screenwriter

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    Hey Ron

    I am sure those are peaks and the average spl is much lower say, 87 to 94-db depending on how hot the subs are, but thats still plenty loud....

    With a good movie, Action or Thriller perferable, I'm known to run around the same spl or louder.... [​IMG]

    No EAR plugs here, but might you think your friends where trying to tell you something Ron?

    Obviously they didn't like your movie choice![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Edit: Ron do you run your sub/s hot???

    Cheers
    Geoff
     
  16. BryanZ

    BryanZ Screenwriter

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    When you and your guests start experiencing unnecessary bowel movements at the listening position.
     

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