I typically listen in the mid 80dB range, I have measured to the mid 90dB range in my room, which sounds great but is just too loud for me.
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When discussing average listening levels, one needs to specify where the reading is being taken. For sake of consistency, placing the meter where your head would normally be and having it set up with the mic facing straight forward between the center of the speakers seems the most acceptable way to do this to me. Some folks take measurments 3 ft / 1 meter from the speakers, which is not nearly the same as what one hears at their seated listening position.
Having said that, some music sounds best at low to moderate levels while other music sounds best at a roar. A good system should be able to perform well at either extreme and be coasting somewhere in the middle. This doesn't mean that you'll always listen to "loud" music loudly, etc... It just means that each recording will have a specific spl range that it seems to work best at. After all, wailing electric guitars weren't meant to be listened to at 80 dB's and a chamber music wasn't meant to be listened to at 110+ dB's. On top of that, we all know that volume varies with our mood and recordings, so how do you tell what an "average" really is? Sean
we all know that volume varies with our mood and recordings, so how do you tell what an "average" really isGood point! One way of "averaging" is to measure voice at listening position. In my case that's ~5m away from the spkrs. I usually "average" 82-85db spl with opera aria.
BTW, as Dusty mentioned 800W -- that's ~29 db added on to the reference sensitivity. But the amp's current capacity plays a role too... I thought Maggies were around 84db -- and can they take 800W?? I'd be afraid of damaging the ribbons.
Why don't you buy an SPL meter so you know what you're talking about :). $50 well spent and you'll learn something about you and your system!
It really isn't all that philosophical and although different music will create a range you are correct....the keyword is Average and you'll find you have a sweet spot where you typically play the system. That sweet spot could define a limitation in your system and room size also music preferences.
Using an SPL meter is a great way to buy speakers, you'll be shocked how loud you can listen to one speaker and the next speaker is doing all sorts of nasty stuff that makes it sound 10 times louder at the same SPL.
Slappy I think that is instant ear bleading, which can't be good :)
Dusty, I have never pushed the maggies to there limits, there still is more, a lot more in fact, available but I don't want to risk a hiccup in the power and fry a ribbon. Even though they are only $100 I try to act like its more so I listen like a responsible audiophile.
80-85 for rock. 70-80 for classical. don't feel to old Will. Before I had my maggies, I used to listen to my electrostats at 75 max all of the time (they didn't sound right at louder volumes). in some way I miss those speakers as the maggies want to be pushed louder than I prefer. Yep, and I'm 26 too.
hello Rwbadley,when im listening to mancini ,i dont play too loudly,but when i put on something like audioslave,i cant seem to leave the vollume knob alone,,seems like every recording has sweet spot where it sounds best.ive worked around very loud machinery for years,that might have an affect on my listening levels too.but it does seem like the older i get,the lower the volume goes,,
Q_man if at 19 feet your systems SPL is what you say it is, how come your system has not taken off and is still on ground :) Did you know that the Concorde generates 130 db SPL at take off?
SPL measurements are done at 1 meter, not at 19 feet, God only knows what your systems SPL's must be at 1 meter. I would not like to go near it!
My rear center is only 7' behind me, and my left and right surrounds are 8' to either side. That helps some with the readings. All my speakers are full range and have a 104db sensitivity rating and I'm feeding them 200 watts each. The efficiency of the speakers is the main thing.
At 104db from my seat I only will listen for about 20 minutes or a song or two at a time that I really like. Then it is back down to 94db.The sound is still very clean at 104, but I don't want to over do it on my ears. Most of the time I'm at 94db, and I can sit there for guite a while.
Depends on the quality of the recording and my mood but any where from 75 to 105 db peaks. If I could go more I would but the sound becomes conjested and goes south quickly. At times I wish my system could handle 115 dbs.
Some of my recordings can have some large dynamic swings and it would be sweet to hear them with out acting as a human compressor, fearing that I'm going to blow a ribbon on my Maggies.
Slightly off topic, yahoo had a story today about a ClearChannel stadium which has had many noise complaints about its concerts, the latest one being by Korn. The article allowed that peaks from the concert reached 90db. Now, you might think that a general purpose audience and journalist might not notice that's a wee bit funny, but the article went on to say, "That's as loud as a kitchen blender."
The thing is I can't figure out the typo. The numerals "90" don't emanate from what they must have intended - a hellacious number - easily.
BTW, any dietician will tell you that corn is not fully digestible....