What is "reference level"? - Page 7 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #61 of 81 Old 02-08-14, 01:33 AM
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Re: What is "reference level"?

Greenster wrote: View Post
That is the best explaniation I have heard. It makes total sence to me when you put it that way.
Yep, everyone has a different level due to their experience in life. Many times I've read a post where they comment about their sub shakes the whole apartment complex, and they're talking about their 8" model with a 200 watt plate amp. Now take that person and have him listen to a system with 16 or so 18" drivers, each with 3" of excursion powered by a 6K watt amp, and their frame of reference changes forever.

Like the old quote says, "Contentment is destroyed by comparison"

Earth: The Insane Asylum of the Universe-nowhere else could things be this messed up.
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post #62 of 81 Old 02-08-14, 04:01 PM
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Re: What is "reference level"?

I prefer...

There is no replacement for displacement.
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post #63 of 81 Old 03-16-14, 12:44 AM
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Re: What is "reference level"?

We just got back from a local Movie theater where I ran an app from my phone that shows the DB levels... It showed peaks of only 90db while watching Robocop. Pretty much the same as what I watch movies at home at.

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Samsung 65" FP, Yamaha CX-A5100, Xilica XP4080, (4) Klipsch RP160MS, (4) JBL 8340As, (2) Yamaha P2500s amps, PS3, XBox One, (1) Asus mini pc, (2) Furman Power Conditioners, Darbee Darcet, and a Project RPM 1.5 Carbon turntable..
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post #64 of 81 Old 03-23-14, 09:08 PM
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Re: What is "reference level"?

I love this discussion. I don't have a THX certified AV receiver so I'm going to run some dB tests to see what reference level actually is on my system. I don't think I would ever listen at that volume though in our small living room.
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post #65 of 81 Old 04-10-14, 09:23 PM
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Re: What is "reference level"?

My Onkyo 702 is THX certified. Doesn't make it reference. But for me reference level is pretty much when I can't take it anymore. Everything is almost (important) maxed out.

Home Theater: Onkyo TX-SR702 AVR, Infinity IL-60s & IL-36C, DefTech PF1500 sub, CSW The Surround 5.1 x 2, Draper Cineperm 92", LG PF1500, Behringer BFD, Sony BDP-S570, Pioneer Elite DV-49AV Universal player, Dish 622.

Stereo:Denon PMA-630 integrated amp, Technics SL-1300 turntable, Shure M97xE cartridge, Toshiba SD-4960 universal player, Infinity Overture 3 speakers.
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post #66 of 81 Old 05-20-14, 05:40 AM
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Re: What is "reference level"?

I think reference level is any Level the Director or sound engineer or whom ever is responsible for the sound on a movie, decides it should be and what he finds appropriate for the viewer to experience the movie the way he intended., I do believe that in the movie industry there is certain guidelines as to what it should be, and in order for it to be a THX certified copy that reference level is stipulated at 85 db.

On every THX certified amplifier 0db on the diplay is considered the reference point at which the required 85db volume is achieved but please bear in mind that this is also related to room size and the power required to achieve the required volume in that space hence the reason why some amps are THX I/S plus, THX select (smaller rooms) and THX ultra (for larger rooms) Check THX website for specifics. http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-ent...ce-categories/

This does not mean that 0db on every amplifier can be considered to be "reference volume" as stipulated by THX, on a non THX amp this can be anything.

So if you want to find out what reference level is on your amplifier is my suggestion would be to use the test tones on a THX certified disc and turn up the volume on you amplifier until you get a 85db reading on your SPL meter.

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post #67 of 81 Old 05-24-14, 05:56 PM
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Re: What is "reference level"?

well..., we have stumbled upon a place I feel history is stranger than fiction. The question is "what is reference level", in fact a far cry from how do we measure "reference level". I love 16hz's explanations and I see 16hz is a preferred frequency so I will start at the beginning and hope this includes all instruments..., an important question when considering real sound reproduction and reference sound reproduction.

Well I'll admit I've read every post until page two when I realized we were saying the same thing in deferent words I believe believing we were saying something more..., well...

Let's start at the beginning..., "What is "Reference Level" sound". Come on???? think about it. Wait..., only for a minute. Reference is the sound of an instrument played at its natural reference sound level. So..., but then, a bass drum is louder than a flute when played in chorus and not in refrain or at least, it must be etc etc etc..., or, is it???? Well this is the question. So this naturally leads me to the question what is the loudest natural instrument in the orchestral pit..., played at natural or its normal levels and levels, not within refrains nor at solo intervals. I can only imagine these measure at 75 to 85db for brass instruments, of course depending whether the instrument is one of a reference quality instruments e.g. Stradivarius or the like instrument. In any case, what is this "reference" idea. Well the idea of a reference level is an admirable idea but how do we measure this esoteric idea

Now..., moving on, I remember as easy as it is to identify the loudest instrument in the orchestral pit, as a brass instrument,
Well..., Ii would say "the loudest instrument" it must be based in reality at some point and we must adjust other instruments and adjust recording levels to this level..., at some point.

Now, I ask you..., what is this level of optimal play back and in effect optimal recording???????????? Imagine recording at anything less than this optimal reference level....

I'll pause here

We believe everything we tell ourselves..., don't we??
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post #68 of 81 Old 05-24-14, 07:48 PM
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Re: What is "reference level"?

I only wish that motion picture reference level was the same as orchestral reference level. I generally listen to movies at below reference level because I believe that room size has an effect on percieved volume. 85dB w/ 105dB peaks is just not comfortable for me and my stablemates, even though distortion is at very low levels. BUT. I listen to symphonic orchestral music at levels much higher than I would hear it live in a concert hall outside the first few rows. Why? Because I can, and it gives me a more visceral response. Bruckner and Mahler come to mind. Even so there's no way I or anyone else can realistically reproduce the sound of a pipe organ in a cathedral.

Home Theater: Onkyo TX-SR702 AVR, Infinity IL-60s & IL-36C, DefTech PF1500 sub, CSW The Surround 5.1 x 2, Draper Cineperm 92", LG PF1500, Behringer BFD, Sony BDP-S570, Pioneer Elite DV-49AV Universal player, Dish 622.

Stereo:Denon PMA-630 integrated amp, Technics SL-1300 turntable, Shure M97xE cartridge, Toshiba SD-4960 universal player, Infinity Overture 3 speakers.
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post #69 of 81 Old 06-13-14, 04:48 PM
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Re: What is "reference level"?

16hz lover wrote: View Post
My reference level is far from 90% of the people on here. it is the actual level of being on the stage with the musicians, or in video, the level it would take to convince a blind man the sound was not coming from speakers but was really happening near him. 99% of all systems fail to deliver this. It is called a "reproduction system" for a reason.
Yep I agree!

I'm a drummer by trade...lots of live touring gigs in the past...I know loud and it can be very uncomfortable to most.

I can say that my system will run you out of the room with the volume at 0db. At -80db it shakes the screen and it at rock concert level at the sound board. My room is 24x20 10' ceiling, acoustically treated. I've never ever understood this so called reference level of 0db and I find movies and concert blu ray mixed hotter than others.
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post #70 of 81 Old 10-20-14, 08:43 AM
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It's much less fuzzy and subjective than you are making it out to be. Like you are discussing what the term "fast" means to you, vs the term "speed of sound at sea level."

Movie Reference Level, 0dbFS, is: at the listening position being assessed, the volume level is such that each channel will produce a maximum of 105dB, except LFE, which shall be 115dB.

Now, whether one likes that level or not is another issue.
And even that is complicated. To return to the analogy of speed...
In a 1950s car, going 70mph on a winding road might seem insanely fast and uncomfortable. Your spouse is screaming, "Too fast!" but what she or he really mean is, "Too fast in this car on this road!"

In a 2014 Porsche or similar, it doesn't seem so fast. Tires aren't screeching losing traction, the body isn't shaking and rolling and creaking, the engine isn't straining.

So, is Reference Level too loud for you and yours? Is your equipment and room capable of attempting this without producing objectionable noises and distortion?

For most people, no, it's not capable. And winding road torture test of home theater audio, deep bass in LFE channel, renders no one subwoofer capable of passing.
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"reference , level"? , meant , reference level

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