Volume is everything.

You may or may not agree.

Some folks love top volume level. Some others hate that. The thing is, in my own opinion, is that as one listens?

There is a drastic difference in simply cranking a song up and, "listening".

Listening for the perfect compromise between what a system can handle and what your expectations are.

The volume can make or break a system by one or two clicks. This all depends on a plethora of factors. This is system dependent. It also depends on what your threshold of distortion is and how you ears can handle it.

In my case? I cannot.

The varying of volume can make or break a presentation of enjoyment and bliss versus sheer pain.

When you offer up your system up to someone? Play it......not how you think they will enjoy it....

Play your system to where it sounds the very best, regardless of what you may think "your"prefererce of volume is". Play your system to where it shines the best.

Tom
~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~

Comments

  • pitdogg2
    pitdogg2 Posts: 24,323
    edited November 2023
    Couldn't agree more. For me, a lot depends on the recording and song in question. A great recording by Allison Krause can take some juice. Something by say Metallica, back that sucker down by a Factor of 5 or more.
    Don't get me wrong I like to headbang a song or two, and that's about it anymore.
  • bcwsrt
    bcwsrt Posts: 1,477
    Anything above 70dB is “too loud” for the misses, though. 😳😩

    Brian

    One-owner Polk Audio RTA 15TL speakers refreshed w/ Sonicap, Vishay/Mills and Cardas components by "pitdogg2," "xschop" billet tweeter plates and BH5 | Stereo REL Acoustics T/5x subwoofers w/ Bassline Blue cables | Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III integrated tube amp | Technics SL-1210G turntable w/ Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250 MM cart | Sony CDP-508ESD CD player (as a transport) | LampizatOr Baltic 4 tube DAC | Nordost & DH Labs cables/interconnects | APC H15 Power Conditioner | GIK Acoustics room treatments | Degritter RCM
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 27,880
    Wait, you mean there are multiple volume points on the volume control??? huh! :-D
    - Not Tom ::::::: Any system can play Diana Krall. Only the best can play Limp Bizkit.
  • ChrisD06
    ChrisD06 Posts: 880
    75dB for critical listening and 85-90dB for a damn good time
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,126
    VR3 wrote: »
    Wait, you mean there are multiple volume points on the volume control??? huh! :-D

    So, you DO know this. Who knew?

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • Joey_V
    Joey_V Posts: 8,480
    Very good thread Tom

    I was just thinking of this the other day

    I just measured my listening volume 75 is typical

    But sometimes it creeps up.

    I hit 50 on the arc 10 pre. I checked my db meter and I’m hitting 105.

    I says… this is kinda loud. It’s about the point at which where I feel air in front of the Magico woofers. I’m thinking I should really turn on my subs to take some stress off…
    Magico, JL, Emm, ARC Ref 10 line, ARC Ref 10 phono, VPI, Lyra, Boulder, AQ Wel, SRA Scuttle Rack, Bluesound
  • motorstereo
    motorstereo Posts: 2,028
    The volume knob also controls how far outside the box the speakers image. The more the fun knob gets twisted the wider and more detailed the sound stage becomes.
    At least that's how it works here. No doubt other's mileage will vary.
  • heiney9
    heiney9 Posts: 25,013
    105 is loud if you're measuring from your listening position. But I do feel it's a bit relative to your room size too. I usually listen around 80 with peaks around 87-90. Now I have a smaller room and my couch is against a back wall. The sound has nowhere to really escape, except the left side is open into the dining room.

    I feel like if I had 3-4 feet of space behind my couch and had another opening on my right the readings would be the same but it wouldn't "seem" as loud. My room loads up fast.

    92, 93 in my room seems very loud.

    I like to listen moderately loud because I like to feel the visceral impact of bass.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass Pass Labs XA25 | EE Avant Pre | EE Mini Max Supreme DAC | MIT Shotgun S1 | Pangea AC14SE MKII | Legend L600 | BlueSound Node 3 - Tubes add soul!
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,391
    heiney9 wrote: »
    105 is loud if you're measuring from your listening position.

    Wait. Are we supposed to measure from the listing position? I'm thinking anything over 25 dB is too loud for the ol lady.
    Gustard X26 Pro DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • muncybob
    muncybob Posts: 2,939
    F1nut wrote: »
    Feeling the sound is an important part of the listening experience.

    true dat. While I enjoy listening with my headset, if I really want to "get into it" it's cranked up a bit through the speakers.
    Yep, my name really is Bob.
    Parasound HCA1500A(indoor sound) and HCA1000(outdoor sound), Dynaco PAS4, Denon DP1200 w/Shure V15 Type V and Jico SAS stylus, Marantz UD7007, modded Polk SDA 2B, Rythmik L12 sub.
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,126
    One of the things that I have noticed at various audio shows and even with auditioning people's rigs, is that they sometimes feel the need to crank the systems up to where they are amplifying audible distortion. They may not notice it, or maybe they feel that people would be more impressed with additional sound pressure in the room.

    The thing is, there does come a point to where a system and the room interact and the room starts to get overloaded. Of course, with more headroom, the system can be cranked up more but then what ushers in is the delicate balance between the system itself and the room. You can start to lose some of the attributes of the system because the room gets overloaded, masking the frequencies that offer you some of that essential imaging/spatial locationality cues. It blends in those images to where they get more collapsed onto each other, instead of being in there own space.

    If you have any overponderance of the lower registers, the room can quickly get excited. This is when the aforementioned happens and at that point, it becomes a detriment to one of the systems benefits, only to achieve more sound pressure/volume in the room. This is an attribute for parties or casual listening, when sitting in the sweet spot isn't a concern but it becomes a deficiency when critically listening in the sweet spot.

    I am not saying that all music should be enjoyed at 80db or at a certain volume. This is very song dependent.

    A single guitarist, or maybe a couple of unamplified guitarists up on stage - You would not want to listen to this at 95Db. Well, you may want too, and that is your choice, but I sure as heck wouldn't want too. That's unrealistic to me. At 95Db, you lose what can be. Yes, you will still be able to place where the guitarists are up on stage but you may lose the subtleties of the air within the chamber (body) of each guitar. Slides and fingers hitting the body of the guitar will become greatly exaggerated. You would be better to simply turn the volume down to a point to where you get the best blend of ALL of the attributes your system has to offer, while being at a realistic playback Db level....as if the 3 guitarists were in your room. Try to match the same Db level they would be playing at live, in front of you. Instead of an unrealistic 95Db.

    What I am saying is that sometimes less is more.

    At last year's LSAF, I walked into the Raven room. They had two rooms and the one I am talking about is the larger of the two rooms. Long story short, the guy babbled on about how great the speakers were, about how many awards they had won, blah, blah, blah. Then he finally shut his yap and played the music.

    I had to leave the room. It was so loud for the selection they were playing, that they didn't even realize they were amplifying distortion. It was that distortion that eventually drove everyone out of the room. They all stayed to listen to what he had to say but when the music started playing? They all scattered out of the room like cockroaches when you flip the light on. The time from him hitting play to an empty room (besides two gentlemen discussing something in another area of the room) was an estimated elapsed time of about a minute.

    Now granted, this was a worst case scenario at an event. BUT, it has happened too many times in my travels, albeit to a lesser degree. I can't tell you how many rooms I have walked out of because the system operators didn't know what their system was capable of and they simply cranked it. What they thought was a good thing, actually became a detriment.

    Tom

    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • mantis
    mantis Posts: 16,995
    As a Musician, I tend to favor slightly louder than usual. I like to Feel the music and sometimes it takes a bit of room pressure to make that happen.

    I'm also a Metal guy at heart so there is that
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • smglbrth
    smglbrth Posts: 1,456
    Agree with the above statements. For me, it only takes one or two turns of the volume to make, or break, the music. Some I can crank, some I can't. Mostly rock on average for the latter. I told my sons that "less is more" when it comes to music. If the music is very "busy" it's harder to turn up, not always, but most of the time. For me, anyway...
    Remember, when you're running from something, you're running to something...-me
  • tonyb
    tonyb Posts: 32,897
    Cranking the volume, while not hearing any bad juju, retaining all the clarity and air.soundstage....that's heaven gents. Should all aspire to reach such heights in ones system.
    HT SYSTEM-
    Sony 850c 4k
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony 4k BRP
    SVS SB-2000
    Polk Sig. 20's
    Polk FX500 surrounds

    Cables-
    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Acoustic zen Matrix 2 IC's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable

    Kitchen

    Sonos zp90
    Grant Fidelity tube dac
    B&k 1420
    lsi 9's
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,126
    Agreed, a great system will allow you to do just that. There is still a limit though. That's the gist of what I am trying to get across.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • bcwsrt
    bcwsrt Posts: 1,477
    I’ve been paying more attention to volume since this thread. I actually had a couple pretty long sessions last night and again this morning at lower volumes and still enjoyed it immensely. I was doing some work on my MacBook both times, so that was the main reason for the lower volume, but I found myself going “Damn!” a few times when something magical stuck out. Might get a little more out of dynamic range fluctuations at lower volumes?

    It wasn’t a live-like experience that you get with higher volume, but it was still engaging enough that I lost my concentration on what I was doing several times. I agree with @heiney9 that “The better the gear the louder you can play without that feeling of ‘it's too loud,’” but also, better gear plays quieter better.

    I do find that, ordinarily, what sounds “too loud” when I first sit down, doesn’t after about 3 or 4 songs and I start nudging things up a a click or two. Whether it just takes some time to re-acclimate or get “into it,” that happens almost every time for me.

    Brian

    One-owner Polk Audio RTA 15TL speakers refreshed w/ Sonicap, Vishay/Mills and Cardas components by "pitdogg2," "xschop" billet tweeter plates and BH5 | Stereo REL Acoustics T/5x subwoofers w/ Bassline Blue cables | Rogue Audio Cronus Magnum III integrated tube amp | Technics SL-1210G turntable w/ Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250 MM cart | Sony CDP-508ESD CD player (as a transport) | LampizatOr Baltic 4 tube DAC | Nordost & DH Labs cables/interconnects | APC H15 Power Conditioner | GIK Acoustics room treatments | Degritter RCM
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,126
    bcwsrt wrote: »
    I do find that, ordinarily, what sounds “too loud” when I first sit down, doesn’t after about 3 or 4 songs and I start nudging things up a a click or two. Whether it just takes some time to re-acclimate or get “into it,” that happens almost every time for me.

    That's normal. Your ears get adjusted to the new (or new normal) Db level. The science behind that gets deep.

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • audioluvr
    audioluvr Posts: 5,391
    bcwsrt wrote: »
    ...better gear plays quieter better...

    Totally agree here.
    Gustard X26 Pro DAC
    Belles 21A Pre modded with Mundorf Supreme caps
    B&K M200 Sonata monoblocks refreshed and upgraded
    Polk SDA 1C's modded / 1000Va Dreadnaught
    Wireworld Silver Eclipse IC's and speaker cables
    Harman Kardon T65C w/Grado Gold. (Don't laugh. It sounds great!)


    There is about a 5% genetic difference between apes and men …but that difference is the difference between throwing your own poo when you are annoyed …and Einstein, Shakespeare and Miss January. by Dr. Sardonicus
  • Joey_V
    Joey_V Posts: 8,480
    Yeah. 50 on arc Ref 10 is about 102-106 db at listening. That’s about 13 feet from speaker baffle.

    I went to the bass section of the Magico and it was pumping some serious air. Like you could feel it with the palm of your hand.

    I felt like I could push it some more because it still sounded clean but I didn’t want to risk it for no biscuit.
    Magico, JL, Emm, ARC Ref 10 line, ARC Ref 10 phono, VPI, Lyra, Boulder, AQ Wel, SRA Scuttle Rack, Bluesound
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,126
    That's loud, Joey! Holy moly. 50 on my Canary is 92Db"ish"......of course, this completely depends on the recording selection that I am listening too. +- 10-15Db, I would guess off the top of my head...

    I am at 10.3 feet away at the moment.

    If you don't mind me asking an off topic question, what are the dimensions of your listening room?

    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~
  • treitz3
    treitz3 Posts: 18,126
    Revisiting this...

    OMG. The volume is truly everything.

    From Infected Mushroons to classical.



    Tom
    ~ In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence. ~