How loud in DB, Is "cranking it"


Gents;

i just just got a new amp and was Playing my 87 db efficient speakers( Thiel)

My speakers 8 ft apart and I sit 9ft back

I was just playing my amp at "30 watts class A" and I heard 97 db at listening seat.
I normally listen at 70-75 db

I was told the Xa30.5 might not have enough power! In my questions to Audiogon

To me it's WAY more than I need......no issues here. If my amp is considered underpowered, You guys must be nuts!!
lol

So; the question:. 

How loud is " crankin it" for you guys
and
How loud do you normally listen?

frozentundra
I have never measured the volume of my listening...that's a bit too anal...
How deep is the ocean?

80 to 85 db is cranking it for me

The following is my understanding about sound and power

2 speakers increases the sensitivity by 3db so (sourced from enjoy the music dot com)
1 87 db speaker will produce 87 db of sound at 1 meter with 1 watt of power
2 87 db speakers will produce 90 db of sound at 1 meter with 1 watt of power

Placing a speaker in a room increases the output by about 4db so (sourced from enjoy the music dot com)
2 87 db speakers will produce 94 db of sound at 1 meter with 1 watt of power

Power required for average sound (Sources from PSB speakers)
2 87 db speakers will produce 94 db of sound at 1 meter with 1 watt of power
2 87 db speakers will produce 97 db of sound at 1 meter with 2 watt of power
2 87 db speakers will produce 100 db of sound at 1 meter with 4 watt of power
2 87 db speakers will produce 103 db of sound at 1 meter with 10 watt of power
2 87 db speakers will produce 106 db of sound at 1 meter with 20 watt of power
2 87 db speakers will produce 109 db of sound at 1 meter with 40 watt of power

The inverse square law states that when the distance from the source is doubled, the sound pressure weakens by 6 dB.
2 87 db speakers will produce 96 db of sound at 3 meter with 20 watt of power
2 87 db speakers will produce 99 db of sound at 3 meter with 40 watt of power

You also need to account for musical peaks which are louder than the average sound and voice coil heating which affects the speaker sensitivity

Everyone has different tolerances,  I like listening to small jazz ensembles or symphony at what I would say are "live" levels.... The problem is what is that?  A live Rock concert can hit peaks of 124 db and 121 db is the normal threshold of pain... while going to a symphony, you may be lucky to hit 92 or 93 db. 
And no, I would never attempt to listen to anything in my home over that mid 90's db point.
Ok,  so what is cranking it?
How loud is cranking it???

Maybe this will help you understand how loud I normally listen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xgx4k83zzc
Your amplifier is capable of over 150 watts @ 8 ohms as it has an additional 120 watts (class B) of headroom.

It would have even more headroom (> 150 watts) pushing your Thiels.

Depending on how fast the meter is you may not even notice the amp spiking into class B to cover transients.

I listen in the 70’s with peaks in the 80’s (higher dB’s trigger migraines).

I’m just getting over a headache that started yesterday afternoon (spent an hour waiting @ our local Apple Store for a tech to fix my wife’s iPod).
http://www.gcaudio.com/resources/howtos/loudness.html

On a properly set up system, you can (and, I do) listen as high a volume level as you want.  I listen at concert levels and it is not deafening.  Nice, detailed, dynamic and definitely CRANKED but musical, not loud.  Noise is loud.  Loud, to me, is not a pleasant adjective.  
frozentundra - 
My seated distance to speakers is similar to yours.  
Loud to me is 85 - 90 dB; over 90 db seems very loud.
Normal listening levels are in the range of 80 - 85 db using a Radio Shack SPL Meter set to Slow response and  'C' weighting.  See link for anyone unfamiliar with it.

http://support.radioshack.com/support_audio/doc72/72441.pdf


30 Watts in class A. 
I bet it goes to AB past that.
I don't like to play games so for me normal level is 93db or so and a typical Fri/Sat night jam session runs up to 110-112db on peaks. I'd go higher if I thought I could get away with the neighbors not knocking on the door. They should probably be thankful I have not purchased a sub just for that reason.

I'm guessing that those who are able to enjoy listening at under 80db must have a very quiet noise floor in the room to begin with or have very sensitive hearing.

The noise floor in my room is quite high though in general. Using REW I measure a constant 50-55db at all times without a peep from anything else taking place. 116yr old house, no insulation, about 30ft off a a busy street.
Amplifier to speaker power is a lot more complicated than rated power output vs listening dB. The trick is amplifying the entire audio band. Even a low power consumer receiver will crank out 90 plus db but if you place a spectrum analyzer you will find the lower end of the Thiel's frequency band to be way lower than the spec'd +/-3dB.

Put a Krell or a Levinson monster on a Thiel and match the output and you will immediately hear a profound difference at the same listening dB as the lower frequencies are brought to life.
100db is cranking at my house and definatley ringing ears,which isnt good for an ole fart like me there already beat of from being a musician ..120 db is painful and very damaging like ac/dc front row next to the pa lol usually 60-80 ish  ...

Anything over 90db is the beginning dB of hearing damage.
yep


I think I recall in an article that Eddie Kramer would leave the control room if a band needed to listen to playback above 90 dB. 
czarivey:

The Pass amplifier was reviewed/measured by Stereophile and having just looked up the info it output 332 watts into 2 ohms @ 1% distortion and close to 200 watts @ 4 ohms.

I do not understand what Nelson did with the new design, but it’s a major departure (headroom wise) from the Aleph series.