SPL, Dynamics and bottom end

This is a roll-over from Twl's single driver thread entitled "okay, the gloves are off. Let the fur fly." If you haven't read that one, please check it out first and then report back here : )

What do you consider to be acceptable levels for the three following categories. Keep in mind that i'm talking about within the confines of YOUR listening area at YOUR seated listening position. These readings will be WAY different than the standard "1 meter" type of measurements that most test reports use as a reference.

Since we all have different size rooms with different acoustics, this is the only way to compare apples to apples. After all, a small speaker in a small room can have the same appr output levels that a big speaker can have in a big room ( in terms of spl's, etc...).

Please don't post results that only a "super system" could duplicate, as we all strive for that. As such, it would be senseless. I am talking about what you would find "acceptable" and consider capable of pleasing you in the real world using "non mega dollar" equipment.

SPL: this would be the "average" listening level. The volume that you would enjoy listening to your favorite recorded performance at while sitting at your seat.

Dynamics: peak spl level. In other words, how much louder should a crescendo be than the average of the entire recording ? Once again, measurements taken at your seat.

bottom end: cut-off frequency with reasonable output capacity. In other words, what COULD you live with in terms of low frequency output levels and extension ?

Keep in mind that i'm looking for specific numbers here. If you don't have an spl meter or have never taken measurements of your system, i encourage you to do so. It is TRULY an eye and ear opening experience. Besides, an analogue spl meter from Rat Shack is pretty cheap and can tell you GOBS of information about your system once you learn how to use it.

I've got to put one of my systems back together again, but once i do, i'm going to take measurements and i'll post the readings.

To keep things "level" and give us all an idea of where everyone else is coming from, it would be great if we could all use the same recording(s) as a baseline. Any ideas or suggestions ? Sean
Interesting post Sean, I have done some measuring of these readings and I can give you what I remember. This is the levels I usually go for when I am in the room. My system is a home theater/music rig and I find I listen to things like TV at around 55 dB, with peaks of 70 dB. DVD movies will tend to be around 55 dB also for dialog and normal passages, but the peaks are much higher, I have seen +24 on some of the really dynamic movies (quite annoying too). Most music I listen to though is around 70 dB, I can't remember what the peaks are, I didn't pay much attention since they vary so much by types of music. Of course there's also those times with music when it averages around 100 dB, but they are few and far between.

I'm used to play bass guitar and I still like my bass a lot. I would imagine though that I could probably live with anything which was able to reproduce the low notes from a 4 string bass so probably something around 30 Hz would be fine. I care about this more for music than home theater, I usually find the bass levels are so hiked in the mix on most movies that I would rather attenuate them for late night listening.
My main listening room is 33' x 14'. The noise floor in the room varies by time of day, but lets use 47 dB as an average. My typical listening level is between 75-85 dB. 10dB of overhead is a reasonable minimum. The system frequency response should be 30Hz to 18kHz. I actually prefer for bass below 50Hz to be shelved up 3-5dB from midrange levels.
My average listening level, ie not reading but listening is usually in the 85-88 db range with peaks of somewhere about 10 db greater than that. At this level instruments sound realistic and the room is filled with sound. I have good bass extension with solid response to 20 cycles using one of the Stereophile test discs as a source. I have reached peak levels of 107 db at my listening position which is cranking.
My average listening levels tend to be between 75-80 db with peaks up to 90 dbs and quieter passages to 70 dbs, depending on type of music. (The instruments, the sound stage, the air sounds most natural at this listening level. Listening position is near field) 90 db and above gets to be pretty loud in my average listening room and even though my system is still clean, room figures in heavily to break the balance, except well recorded solo pianos, I tend to listen little louder than the usual~(85 db). I have system that goes down to 20 Hz flat and I cannot live without anything higher, not even 25 Hz! I prefer rather rolled of higher end with still enough details left (flat till ~10k hz and 20 db linear roll off to 16 k and then flat to 20 k), Of course some of you might think this is to be too rolled off?