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Reference Level
#377443 05/30/12 04:19 AM
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This topic comes up often. This is my understanding of it.

You start with an input signal from a reference disc, -20 dbfs. That input should lead to an output of 85 dbs. At your listening position. If you do that then the loudest part of the movie should be 105 dbs.

Sometimes members talk about reference level as 0 or such on an AVR. But reference dial number will be different based on the room, the speakers(location and sensitivity) and the location of the listener.

Reference level is loud.

Add to this if you know more or if I am incorrect.


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Re: Reference Level
Lampshade #377445 05/30/12 04:26 AM
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If the auto setup has been run using a mic at the listening position (or a proper manual calibration has been performed), -0 dB will result in reference level output. The setup takes into account the speakers, room, and listening distance.


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-Chris
Re: Reference Level
Lampshade #377448 05/30/12 04:36 AM
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I can't try this right now because my wife is home. But tomorrow I will give it a go.


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Re: Reference Level
Lampshade #377452 05/30/12 04:49 AM
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Chris, I'll add that the built-in test tones on receivers(and some separate discs)are 30dB rather than 20dB down from the full-scale 105dB level, so the calibration for reference in that case is done at 75dB rather than 85dB.

Then, as Chris Neon points out, the "0" level on the main volume control doesn't mean the same voltage output is occurring in all cases. The automatic or manual calibration adjusts the voltage output at 0 to take into account all the factors you mention so that the desired 75dB or 85dB is achieved at the listening position.


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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.


Re: Reference Level
Lampshade #377453 05/30/12 04:50 AM
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You had almost six weeks to have thought of this and done it at any hour of the day or night. Now I have to wait for the result. Ha, I just typoed "result" as "reslut." I'll have to think of a good definition.


Always call the place you live a house. When you're old, everyone else will call it a home.
Re: Reference Level
Lampshade #377468 05/30/12 01:54 PM
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Dang. I can't do the experiment because My friend has my meter.

Here is a small blurb about it at THX.

http://www.thx.com/consumer/thx-technology/thx-reference-level/


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Re: Reference Level
Lampshade #377476 05/30/12 02:17 PM
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Neon,
if you do a manual setup, how does the receiver know what reference is? Can you zero out the volume knob in a menu somewhere?


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Re: Reference Level
Lampshade #377485 05/30/12 02:46 PM
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I can't even image listening to a movie at reference level, and I like things loud. I find that in my room, with my setup and calibration, -19 up to about -15 is where I like to listen, my family is more in the -23 to -25 range. I turned it up to 0 before and I would have a killer headache after probably 30 minutes of a good action flick.


Farewell - June 4, 2020
Re: Reference Level
Lampshade #377501 05/30/12 04:22 PM
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if i were to listen to movies at levels of -20 to -25 dB rel. to Reference Level, i would often have a hard time understanding dialog.

to compound the problem, it's not every Blu-ray movie where they normalized the audio level to "0" (reference level) with a 0dB normalization offset;
good examples:
LOTR Extended on Blu-ray plays good at -7dB.
Inglourious Basterds plays well at -9dB.
Black Swan plays well at -10dB.
if you have any problem playing the above at Ref. Level, try these.

those 3 movies would be intolerably loud if played at Reference Level.
i can't see any good reason why they offset the playback level like this.

Some that play very well at Reference Level (all Blu-ray):
Super 8;
Godfather collection-the Coppola Restoration;
Hanna;
The 3 Bourne movies;
Saving private Ryan;

the only times i had headaches watching movies or listening to music was when i was upgrading my audio system and it was not calibrated.

Last edited by J. B.; 05/30/12 04:26 PM.
Re: Reference Level
J. B. #377503 05/30/12 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted By: J. B.

the only times i had headaches watching movies or listening to music was when i was upgrading my audio system and it was not calibrated.


I get headaches watching movies or listening to music when they suck.

Maybe I should recalibrate and re-listen to The XX again?


Always call the place you live a house. When you're old, everyone else will call it a home.
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