Low volume vs high volume

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Linkous, Dec 20, 2001.

  1. James Linkous

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    I'm a newbee in process of researching the purchase of a home theater system. I guess I'm showing my age, but in general I listen to movies/music at low to moderate levels.

    So my question is, are there other considerations for 'low/moderate volume' systems. IE, do large giga watt speakers deliver better sound than smaller more effient speakers at lower volumes? Are there certain types of speakers that are better for low volume systems.

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Link
     
  2. James Linkous

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    bump
     
  3. Fredrik E

    Fredrik E Stunt Coordinator

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    I think any sound system that sounds good at high levels will also sound good at low levels.

    Actually, theoretically, it will sound slightly better, because the distortion of an amplifier will decrease, when you turn down the volume.
     
  4. PeteD

    PeteD Stunt Coordinator

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    Welcome to the forum James! Enjoy your stay!

    I'm assuming you don't have DVD now, and that you'll be including this in your system.

    Your preference of listen volumes has a direct impact to which reciever you end up with. But for a different reason than you think.

    DVD tends to reproduce theatre sound very well. Something that isn't as apparent when you watch a VHS tape is that movie sound is dynamic.

    On DVD when you play a movie at low volumes (say loud enough to hear the dialog properly), You'll be watching Ben Affleck whispering sweet nothings into Liv Tylers ear, when a meteor crashes out of the sky and the obvious difference in the volumes of those two events will be apparent in the sound design.

    What i'm saying is if you listen to movies at low volumes, you WILL be riding the volume control almost constantly.

    I speak from experience (my girlfriend is a light sleeper).

    Here's the point of my post: Buy a reciever with DRC (Dynamic Range Control). This also is known as Midnight Mode. It basically reprocesses the sound from the movie so that the quiet parts are turned up and the loud parts are quieted automatically. You usually have some sort of control as to how much or how little.

    Just a piece of advice...

    Pete
     
  5. James Linkous

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    Thanks for the replies.
     
  6. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Actually, this might be a factor in your choice of speakers. Some speakers sound as good at lower volumes as they do at higher volumes, while some certainly need to "open up" before they sound their best. If you know you'll be doing a lot of low level listening, you might want to keep this characteristic in mind as a relatively important factor in your speaker choice.
     
  7. Bob Christensen

    Bob Christensen Stunt Coordinator

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    Some HT receivers have a menu option to set your "Dynamic Range" as well. Setting this to Min will make watching DVDs much more enjoyable at low volume settings.
     

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