How loud is your music/movies?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Allen Marshall, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I just got my sound meter and calibrated my speakers and had a rosey old time watchin the Avia disk. Now if some of you remember i used to go on and on about how it feels like my Reciever cant push anymore when i put the master volume to -17db and couldnt decide if it was my speakers or the reciever hitting there limit.

    My reciever comes in at a heavyweight knockout of a swashbuckling 75 watts to 6 channels, do not be alarmed by it's sheer power......

    my setup:

    Yamaha HTR-5640
    Athena AS-F2 fronts
    Athena AS-C1 center
    Athena AS-B1 rears

    For the longest time i tackled with my speakers 93db sensitivty at 1 watt and 96 2 watts, 99 4 watts and 102 8 watts thing i read on the primer. I really wanted to know if i was just deaf and listening to music to loud. I remember my exact quote "my speakers dont go that loud, atleast i dont think, im not really demanding a whole lot from them but they just wont go higher".

    So after i calibrated my speakers i figured i'd sit in my sweetspot and watch the meter at the volumes at which i:

    A. Watch movies on
    B. Skip Chapters to Action parts and turn it louder then
    normal.
    C. Listen to music.

    Well now i can finally get some interesting information on if i listen to music to loud or if i really need to get a new reciever fast cause this one doesnt push.

    MUSIC-I listened to a number of songs and set the sound meter up at my listening position, i put it at -28db master volume which is the exact number i normally put it at when i listen to music. The whole time it fluxuated generally between 87-90db and on a certain song hit 93db 3 times.

    MOVIES-When i watch movies i either put it at -30db or 24-db depending on movie type and DD or DTS, usually -30db for DTS and DD action movies and usually -24db with suttle type movies on DD. So i popped in the two movies. The Animatrix-Final Flight Of The Osiris and the last 20 minutes of Mission Impossible 2, both at -24db on DD. Mission Impossible hit 91db once on a motorcycle skid but since the whole ending was pretty high paste it was basically 85db-90db the whole time.
    The Final Flight Of The Osiris swordfight, was between 80-89db, im saying 89db cause it never hit higher then that.

    EXTREME MOVIES-When i watch movies temporarly just as a hyper action mode i enter for about 15 minutes, i put the volume really loud, not unbareably loud but louder then i put it when im gonna watch a whole movie. Sooooo i popped in the matrix and skipped to chapter 15 and put the volume down to -17db. I wanted to scare people on halloween so i put Saving Private Ryan D-Day scene on at -18db and my reciever shut off after like 5 minutes.
    That fight scene really gets me in the mood, it's general area was between 95-100db, i was thinking it was gonna shut off but i didnt care. At the volume i actually get some good bass out of the AS-F2, not very deep...but it'll rattle things. When neo gets kicked back into the piece of wood, it hit 105db. This isnt from a meter away or whatever the sensitivty is judged on it was from my sweetspot 15ft away.
    Then i watched the lobby scene at the same volume and it constantly stayed over 100db and hit 106db at a part which i dont remember. Well i was pretty much all actioned out after that, not having a subwoofer doesnt make my extreme movie listening time very fun. Then of course the elevator exploded and thats when the reciever shut off.


    I've lately come to realize my speakers dont have a problem with the -17db there just pissed of cause they have to be my subwoofer. Reciever on the other hand, if i listened to music i dont think i'd make it past -20db without it turning off. And jeez, after 20 minutes of music at -28db on 6ch Stereo (My preference to listen to music on) the reciever gets really hot. Well, my reciever is weak, but it's better then the one i had before it, the Kenwood 100x5, that thing shut off at first sign of Danger (Dynamic change).

    Sooooo, now that i know the levels, if im using my sound meter right, i want to know what levels everybody else listens to music and movies at. If i find out im listening/watching this stuff 10db louder then everybody else i'll realize i need to learn to not be so volume hungry, always wanting to push it alittle further (B4, B4, B4, B4, B4, B4)

    Oh and if you do what i do, those short periods of extremem action, list that to, and distance away from speaker.
     
  2. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    Ohhhhh yea, i remember reading saying DD and DTS is not supposed to be a sound difference. Then i must have a problem cause DTS doest at 40 what DD does at 30. DTS is an absolute nosence when people are sleeping but i like the sound of it alot better.
     
  3. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    you guys are lucky, i just go as loud as i can, that is until my amps run out of juice [​IMG]

    the downside to owning magnepans. 440 watts of rotel per channel and i still cant get to reference level.
     
  4. Eric Eash

    Eric Eash Second Unit

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    well, i've hit over 120dB LFE while watching a movie at the listening position, but i had to make sure all my neighbors were cool with it first. most of the time, between 80-90dB from fronts at listening position.

    eric
     
  5. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    I didnt think my music would be that loud but my neighbor (who's a family friend) said they could hear it like a window was open (which there wasnt). I was a bit suprised by that one, without having a subwoofer. Now i dont feel so combfortable playin britney spears music, jk.

    When i really want to see how good my speakers can sound i put on some of my dad's jazz cds like the rippingtons live in L.A. or Sound FX's "Euro Cowboy". Good music to help me compare speakers.

    This is alittle off topic but, im a bit concerned about my dogs hearing (2 cocker spaniels and 1 cavalier king charles spaniel). Are there ears more sensitive to louder volume then ours? Like is 90db more rough for them then us or is it the same. I dont want to make them deaf.
     
  6. Allen Marshall

    Allen Marshall Supporting Actor

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    by the way Robert, on your system whats the master volume you get to with your "using all the juice you can" exploits. Just trying to compare master volumes wiht powerful amps to weak ones out of interest. Like mine, -17db can hit 105db peak and -60db you cant even hear unless it's DTS.
     
  7. HienD

    HienD Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't push my system very hard. Refrence level on my receiver/speakers is 75 on the volume knob or so. Of course, that's the theoretical point with with the calibration disc or test tone. With music and cross over point of 80Hz, my speaker can only reach about 93db @ 8 feet away before harshness starts to creep up. This is with the sub off. In the direct mode, with the speakers getting full range signal, can only reach 90db before it start to sound harsh. But I usually listening to music @ 80dbs max. Movies sometime higher. So that not a big problem. I'm guessing it's the speakers and not the receiver.

    My system as follows.

    Onkyo sr600.
    wharfedale
    Diamond 8.2 Mains
    Diamond 8.1 Rears
    Diamond 8 center
    Jamo, E4.4 sub.
     
  8. Bernie_A

    Bernie_A Stunt Coordinator

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    With my HK 7200, I really like to listen around -17 to -20 with movies I haven't seen before. That way, there's enough volume to S.T.H.O.O.M. (scare the hell out of me) when I'm not expecting it. Can't wait till the new SVS sub replaces the little 10" sub I have now. I'll probably wet my pants :b
     
  9. Phil Iturralde

    Phil Iturralde Screenwriter

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    HT/family Room = 20' x 30' w/10' high vaulted ceiling that runs 20' front to kitchen wall
    • REF Calibrated using Dolby Labs EX DVD (w/dedicated LFE test tone)
    -- HT Speakers @ 75 dB
    -- SVS 25-31PCi @ 77 dB AVG. (swing range 76 dB - 78 dB)
    • Yamaha RX-V1300 REF Volume Mark = -20 dB
    • JBL S26's (x6) w/JBL S-Center and SVS 25-31PCi
    • "Sweet Spot" = 9' from Center Speaker / approx. 12-1/2' from my SVS in the front right corner.

    ====

    The following SPL's based on RS Meter Dial = 100 dB (110 dB @ -5 & REF Level readings) / Weight = C / Speed = FAST read @ my 'sweet spot'.

    DD/DTS-5.1/6.1 Blockbuster DVD's:
    • Most DD/DTS-5.1 DVD's @ VOL -30 dB = LFE peaks 105/106 dB AVG.* (-10 dB below REF Level)
    • Most DD/DTS-5.1 DVD's @ VOL -25 dB = LFE peaks 109/110 dB AVG.** (-5 dB below REF Level)
    • Most DD/DTS-5.1 DVD's @ VOL -20 dB = LFE peaks 114/115 dB AVG. (REF Level)

    *My usual once or twice a month Friday NITE DVD sessions SPL levels w/family & friends since 1998.

    **Has disturbed my closes neighbor that's 50-feet away in his duplex!!!

    Music CD's PCM - 2-channel:
    Most of my Jazz Music PCM CD's @ VOL -45 dB = 95/98 dB SPL bass peaks.

    Some DVD's are mixed Hot, so I monitor it via my RS Meter!

    Phil
     

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