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  1. #11
    Join Date: Jan 2008

    Location: Wrexham, North Wales, UK

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    Quote Originally Posted by sq225917 View Post
    Saying that one's hifi sounds right from low volumes all the way up is forgetting the equal loudness curves. Unless the designer has implemented a special Fetcher Munson Tilt control in your pre-amp then it just doesn't sound the same at low volumes as it does at loud ones because the ears response to different frequencies isn't linear.
    Of course it doesn't sound the SAME, but it still sounds right; that's the difference. And by "right", I mean there's no lack of clarity, dynamic presence or 'excitement', when music is played at low levels. The sound is just simply quieter (and less 'impactful').

    If in order for your system to sound right ['alive'], and be enjoyable, you have to turn the wick right up (or listen at a certain position on the volume control), then something's fundamentally wrong!

    It should be like that from the first click on the volume control, right up until the sound starts to clip, although of course it will sound different, and arguably more 'exiting', at the point which voices and/or instruments are allowed to be reproduced in a more lifelike and realistic fashion, by increasing the volume accordingly.

    When I'm listening late at night or in the small hours of the morning, and so as not to disturb anyone at home sleeping, I often just have the Croft on at the first click of the volume control (stepped attenuator), from the off position - and I can happy listen for hours that way to music, without feeling 'short changed' [it still successfully fills the room with convincing sound].

    That's the best way I can put it

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Reed View Post
    As Simon (?) above infers, it depends very much on the type/design of the volume control, the compatibility/synergy of your amp. to your speakers, the level of the input signal with reference to input sensitivity and lastly, your auditorium shape, size and furnishings.

    Ergo, there cannot be a comparable factor in different people's experiences. The speakers alone, with large efficiency and load characteristics variations (as from Maggies through ESLs to high efficiency horns) would render comparisons odious, as it were, even without the other factors.
    Hi Mike,

    I'd argue the opposite, as indeed I've just pointed out. Essentially, I agree with what you're saying, but if a system is doing its job properly, it should be equally as good at resolving musical information at low levels, as it is at any other volume level. If it's not doing that, then it has issues.

    *That* is the key point here.

    Coincidentally, that's one of the things the combination of (quality) valve amplification [as unlike most SS gear, its not strangled by excessive feedback] and high-efficiency speakers does well: it allows music to be reproduced with the requisite 'presence' and natural dynamics, in order for one not to need to listen loudly, in order for it to 'come alive'.

    Chris (bumpy), with his OBs, I suspect will know exactly what I mean by that.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  3. #13
    Join Date: Mar 2017

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    You point Simon to what are also my concerns over this concept.

    If a Hi-Fi produces the full dynamic range as recorded, and the maximum level on a recording is reproduced by it as in the live event, the full dynamic range should be reproduced.

    But if the gain is turned down so that the maximum is now only reaching say, 50dBs in room when it should be reproduced at 90dbS, all of the levels on the recording will be lower by 40dB.

    The ambient noise in the room now becomes much more significant because the lower level sounds will be lost in this. I am fortunate in that my listening room was chosen, as was the house, because it is very quiet, but even so reproducing sound at a very much lower level than the original spls will result in a much reduced impact, and the low level stuff will probably be lost in the ambient noise.

    A symbol being crashed and producing peak spls of 90dB cannot possibly have anything like the impact when reproduced with peaks at 40dB. The curves of Fletcher Munsen, later Robinson-Davidson, and now a new universal standard with greater accuracy, will as Simon says greatly affect the tonality and hence impact, much HF and LF energy being completely inaudible at low levels. In the 70s loudness controls were provided to attempt to deal at least with the LF loss.

    I fundamentally disagree with much of your post 10 Mike, dynamics have absolutely no dependence on the volume control or its position, and if amplifiers and speakers are designed well enough to reproduce dynamic range, and are working within their designed limits, they will have a minimal effect on perceived dynamic range.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharos View Post
    A symbol being crashed and producing peak spls of 90dB cannot possibly have anything like the impact when reproduced with peaks at 40dB. The curves of Fletcher Munsen, later Robinson-Davidson, and now a new universal standard with greater accuracy, will as Simon says greatly affect the tonality and hence impact, much HF and LF energy being completely inaudible at low levels. In the 70s loudness controls were provided to attempt to deal at least with the LF loss.
    You're missing the point, Dennis. Please read my last few posts, and hopefully you'll see what that point is

    Essentially, you're mixing up sounds the same with sounds right.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  5. #15
    Join Date: Mar 2017

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    If it doesn't sound the same then it cannot sound right.

    So which point have I missed?

    I would suggest that you try playing Level 42's World Machine peaking at only 40dBs, and then tell me that it has all the dynamic impact of being played at peaking 80dBs.
    Last edited by Pharos; 06-03-2018 at 10:26.

  6. #16
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    You're still not getting it

    I'll try again later when I have more time

    Clue: the answer lies in post #11. Music can still sound 'right', at low levels, just not as loud.

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  7. #17
    Join Date: Jan 2008

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    Ok Dennis, let's quickly simplify things instead, by asking you a couple of questions [they also apply to everyone]:

    1) Does your system, musically, lack involvement at low volume levels?

    2) Does it sound rather flat and lacklustre, such that in order for it not to, and music be enjoyable, you have to listen loudly (or at a specific volume level)?

    If you can answer 'no' to those questions, then you're ok. If not, you have problems (or rather your system does)! And so does anyone else in the same position.

    This (my point) has got nothing whatsoever to do with reproducing music, with the required scale and intensity, in order for it to sound convincingly lifelike, such as you alluded to in your previous point, and which I agree with. Undoubtedly a certain loudness level is required for that to happen.

    Hopefully now you can see how that differs from what I've just outlined above

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  8. #18
    Join Date: Oct 2008

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    I'm Rodger.

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    The quality of recording and mastering plays a significant role here IMHO.

  9. #19
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    Yup, for sure, as it forms the source music signal.

    Let's presume then, when considering the above questions, that you're using a good recording, with wide dynamic range, and not something horribly compressed

    Marco.
    http://www.thestainedglasscompany.com

    "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do" -- Milan Kundera.

    BE HAPPY EVERYDAY!

  10. #20
    Join Date: Apr 2008

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    I'm Neil.

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    My system is very 'open and alive' at extremely low volumes, but I guess I like it most when it's turned up to around the 9 o'clock mark.

    This is really a system-dependent question though.
    Mana Acoustics Racks / Bright Star IsoNodes Decoupling >> Custom Silent Media Server >> Halide Bridge USB (with AQVOX USB power) >> Pedja Rogic's Audial Model S DAC + Pioneer PL-71 turntable / Vista Audio phono-1 mk II / Denon PCL-5 headshell / Reson Reca >> LFD DLS >> LFD PA2M (SE) >> Royd RR3s.

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