whats your idea of loud music.

ok here' what got me thinking about all of this.

i was in a dealers show room a while back checking out his ar monoblocks(sweet)& he put some smooth jazz on for me,the maggies sounded fantastic & i asked him to turn it up to a loud volume so i could see how the maggies responded.

after he gave me a stupid look he turned it up a notch & then stepped away & covered his ears like they might rupture or something & were talking about the volume being at the point where i could of heard him fart from 5 feet away,i asked him why he wouldnt turn it up loud & he told me that he wasnt sure what i thought loud was but the volume he had was more than enough for anybody.

i also see threads where guys reccomend these low power amps that i have owned with speakers i have owned & they say that the amp speaker combination can obtain listening levels that are not only louder than anybody would care to listen but unsafe levels to boot & when i had the same gear i thought the combination was way under powered & no where near being loud.

i consider loud to be when you can feel as well as hear the music & not from sitting right in front of the rig,i also consider loud to be when things on the walls move & my coffee cup has a little ripple on top of the coffee or when the dog runs for cover,i also consider it to be not loud if somebody in the same room can talk to you from 5 feet away & be heard.

im not looking for a right or wrong answer im just curious as to what other guys consider loud to be defined as.


FWIW I am in your camp.

My stereo must be able to reproduce LOUD music for sustained periods. I have several different speakers that run from 89 DB/W/m to less, and I find my 250 WPC Proceed HPA's to be light.... If I had my way I'd run much more powewr to them.

Let's face it, I don't alwatys listen at this level, and often I WOULD like to be able to hear the person 5 feet from me, but regardless of the volume, I want it to be free from distortion, and in my experience, the amp is the biggest limiter of getting to loud volumes with speakers of this, reasonable, sensitivity...

Now if you switch to horns of 116 Db sensitivity, one watt will do you for all you want...so they say, but I personally would rather have too much amplifier power on hand than not enough any day.

As for te coffe cup, I don't get up early enough to listen to tunes... but can empathize with the idea...
I must be somewhere in the middle of the loudness preference scale.
Went to a dealer and was able to listen to some Wilson Audio Maxx speakers. The sales guy wouldn't turn the volume up enough for me to experience any of the bass slam and dynamics I know the speakers have to be capable of..He said they actually are playing louder than they seem because they do not distort. There may be some truth to that but I wanted to feel some of the energy but, noooo.
Then on the other hand I was invited to go listen to a nice fellows system that had some Revel Salons with Meridian and Levinson gear. He played the music so loud I thought my brain would explode. Owwwch! I kept reaching for the remote. I could not hear a word he said the whole time we were listening and he sat only about 4 feet away.
I do like to feel the music a bit, dynamics, bass and drums and such.
But no screeming stuff and if it's going to be loud no harsh garbage please!
I like to be able to reproduce fairly loud listening levels when I want to. This means at least 200wpc. I also feel many people running low powered amps with average sensitivity speakers are more than likely clipping the amp once in a while, something I don't believe in. I use an Innersound ESL 300wpc at 8 or 600wpc into 4 with my Vmps RM 40's in my 12x17 room. I've noticed having plenty of power makes for a more relaxed and fuller sound on all the speakers I've owned for the last two decades.
"im not looking for a right or wrong answer im just curious as to what other guys consider loud to be defined as." 85 db and up, with good, crisp, accurate reproduction is loud for me. In certain musical passages, I'll push the volume higher for the dramatic effect, but that may not be what the performer had in mind. The remote volume control can be good and bad.

For an extended listening session, I put on the CD, close my eyes and with the volume set on the low side I begin to slowly increase the volume (via the remote control) until the sound "snaps into focus". When it just sounds right to my ears on that listening session, the volume is right. That is how I do it.
I mostly agree with the above. But since when does WPC indicate loud? Good sounding loud any way. Driver excursion, SPL, and control is far more important than WPC, any day, and this requires amperage, not just voltage.

BWOE, I have experimented with a pair of AB International 1100A's that I have vs. the pair of Protons I use, the Protons sound much more musical, and have the same output dB as far as my ears are concerned, given my listening rooms size. The Protons are 110wpc, the AB International's are 550wpc. Different amplifiers obviously, but they both do the same thing.

There comes a point when a room can only tolerate "x" amount of SPL, any more than that and it sounds like crap, imaging goes out the window because your ears can not decipher the music from all the reverberation due to inherent room acoustics.

It took me quite a long time to get my cross-overs "tuned" or dialed in to my particular room w/my given drivers of choice. Move to the middle and the sound was ok, move to the back and it was bass heavy, and so on and so forth. The wave form created by a specfic speaker driver became completely different depending on placement, and crossover point. Where I wanted a given freq. with in the room was a chore to say the least.

All this is very driver (raw) dependent. Even with all the experimenting I did, certain electronics, esp. speakers have a sound of their own, no matter how much power you add to the mix.

Why did I ramble on? Because loud equates to SPL IMO, not WPC. So, for a given person, 90dB might be loud, but for people like myself, I prefer "live" levels, because I listen to a lot of "live" recorings. But studio recorded music (atleast for me) doesn't require the same power to be enjoyable. For me the essence of the source material is different, and my ears tell my brain this when I listen to a given type of music, loud is dependent upon the music type there fore, and not WPC.
My wife and I of course differ over what loud is....my definition is not being able to hear the phone ring 2 feet away when I'm listening to my favorites..A person's rig should be able to satisfy at all levels....Live music is not a quiet affair...this will be an interesting thread
go back to the dealer with humble pie/rockin the fillmore and crank it up until he cries like a little girl. remember, the flea-watt amps where originally built for and by a generation that thought vaughn monroe was a god.
An interesting fact is that the human ear perceives "Loud" by when distortion occurs. In other words, a system overloading at 85dB will sound louder than clean sound at 95dB. (Don't quote me on the exact numbers).

Some music needs to be felt as well as heard. In my case this is organ and sometimes massed choral, but I recon that pop would also apply. My system includes, in the front, three 12" and three 15" drivers working in conjunction with three MG1.6, with six 600 wpc amps powering the whole mess. The surround channels are only four 7" drivers and 450 wpc. With the right recording, I can just begin to feel a real pipe organ at work. If you doubt this, consider for one moment the "drivers" that the organ uses!

Sometimes I realize that I am playing the music too loud. The way I notice this is by focusing on a soloist, for example a violin or vocalist. I know how loud a single violin can play, and if the reproduced violin is louder than that I turn the volume down. Unfortunately this depends on how the recording has been mixed. Many times the soloist is boosted relative to the orchestra, so that if the soloist is right the total sound is too quiet. (One advantage of multichannel is that, if the mix puts the soloist in the center channel, which is usual practice, you can rebalance a recording with overemphasis on the soloist by turning down the center channel).

Finally, I do have tools to measure SPL. IMHO, over 95dB, neglecting brief peaks, is too loud.
HAHA.. Good thread. I listen at moderate to moderately loud levels but the mood strikes I love to crank it up and "feel" the music.

I do have this buddy who runs a Cary SLI-50 (30WPC) and runs a pair of Tyler Linbrooks. He listens to stuff LOUD period. It always amazes me how loud and clean his stuff will play without strain.

My idea of Loud?

The Foo Fighters Concert at the 930 club here in DC last month. My ears rang for days...

I have Marantz Reference Sm-17 amps bridged for 200watts/channel running moderately sensitive PSB Stratus Bronzes. I have never turned them up much past 1/4 turn and try to run them below an SPL of 85 dB to preserve hearing, but that is usually plenty loud enough. I do like having the reserve power or headroom, though.
I agree, and years ago posted something here on realistic sound levels. My contention was based on a statement by a top-notch record producer (I think that's what he was, can’t remember his name) who said that for every recording there is only one correct volume level. From this I asked why a system had never been devised whereby some index would be put on recordings and the volume level adjusted to that level. This could be done automatically, so I guess it would require some sort of precise microphone at the listening position and some sort of circuitry in the equipment, to set it that level taking into account the room and the other associated equipment. Well you guessed it: the responses were unevenly split with most people who fancy themselves true audiophiles braying that this was a blatant objectivist's plot to take away their freedom to set the volume by ear and to their liking. Pointing out at the outset that the listener could override such a system did not seem to sway them. A number of people believed that my idea made sense. I still think it does, but with the almost total absence of standards for recording, it will be a very long while before we see anything like this. I know that most m/c video receivers do have something like that now, but, again, there is nothing indexing the correct volume level in the recording.

My other, often made point, is the very low level at which most high-end shops (the others simply like playing noises very loud to impress the general public) play music when demonstrating equipment. Historically, the prototypical demo of this kind was the Linn dealers of yore who, to a man, had an LP12, low powered amp (usually Naim) and small box speakers. Voice or very small ensembles were the featured musical fare, punctuated by snide remarks about Japanese equipment and power ratings to woever asked for the system to be played louder.

To this day I still wonder if a person with a limited budget should go for sensibly priced equipment with gumption, or the teeny-tiny-weenie school of audio systems.

BTW I hate acoustic guitars that sound like King Kong; I hate large ensembles that sound like you are listening from a balcony outside the venue through a small window.

So, I say, volume where necessary, but not necessarily volume!
Loud to me is realistic concert level sound volume. This is not the level I listen to all of the time, but when you really want to enjoy a particular piece of music, this is the test.

For some music I listen to (prog rock, fusion, folk-rock, . .) this level will leave your ears ringing after extended listening (ie just as they will after a concert. And most certainly, you can't conduct a coversation at this level (much less hear a fart 5 ft away ;-) ).

I've had the same experiance as you with others when I asked them to turn up the volume. Normally I don't receive this from a high-end dealer though.
Using a Radio Shack sound level meter I feel average (not peak) DB levels over 90db from listening position are loud.

Comfortable music listening levels average 80-85db for me.

If listening levels need to be lower than 75-80db I switch to headphones.
Big Joe I think you are 100% right on here. I like it loud. I keep a rat shak db meter in my listening space so 90-100 db I am generally happy. Above 105 and I can get uncomfortable but play it at that level sometimes, I would say that is pretty loud. One very good buddy shares my taste and thinks the same way. I have been doing this for 30 years so I should be stone deaf if my hearing was damaged each time someone told me it was dangerous. Like growing hair where you don't want it, the loss of high frequency hearing is a natural aging process. I really don't mind soft music mind you when I am not really concentrating on the music. I just had some Sunday morning Jazz on to see what the content of the recording was (the new Monk and Coltrane) at probably 80db in an adjacent room. That was fine. I can still hear the sonic differences of different systems as well as the next guy.
For me it depends upon the type of music and the time of day. I can't stand louder more raucous music early in the morning. Maybe my ears just need to be warmed up first. I can also listen to smooth jazz louder than most other types of music. It might be the distortion/compression used in the engineering or broadcasting of the radio signal. My wife and I always have a volume knob battle because she likes music in the background and I like to actually listen to it. Dan
I've always considered loud to be when I start having trouble hearing myself talk.

I've never run into a conservative dealer. The good ones set you up in a room by yourself and let you have at it solo.
Loud to me includeds the predominant volume level, not the transients. My usual listening level is between 75 and 85 db with peaks to 110. My equipment includes 4x1000 watts to power the 4 15" subwoofers. I'm told that the speakers are 99 db efficient.

So, I figure I'm using about 1-2 watts out of the 4600.

I do sometimes like to play LOUD!!!

That's more like 100-110 db with peaks to 150 db.

We had Sousa and those KODO people in the room recently an it's emotional. It's like being on the field of a big college football game with the 100 person marching band.

Great music = moderate listening levels
Fun music = Loud listening
Drunk listening = what was I talking about?
The Beatles.
my days of blasting my music to ear bleed levels are over, but I can still, every now and then, crank it. My 2 channel, though loud, cannot get to ear bleed levels, but my music room stereo, easily can do that. With only (Nad integrated) 50 watts per, Denon DVD 2910, and Definitive Technology speakers, I can humble my tympanics. How? Very small room with low ceiling and close proximity to speakers. Listened /viewed, for the second time in a week, Cream at Albert Hall-- powerful....High decibel level...
Loud music to me in my room is when the imaging and focus muddies up at my usual listening position, which is about 9-10 ft away farfield from from my Dunlavy V's. SPLs beyond 95 db tend to do this in my room. Few dbs below that and with good recording sound is very realistic sounding.But even then I usually mostly listen at may be when the peak is at 80/85 db.
My amps never clips though- Classe CA-400s, 400 watts at 8 ohm and 800 watt at 4 ohm.
However some times I like to listen to my system when I am in my backyard, then I crank it up even louder (in the room it is easily 105-110 db) so that it sounds real when I am outside.

I too have wondered why the CDs don't have info as to what was the SPL range/peak during recording. Stereophile (magazine) recordings some time give out this info and I set the level at that db for that passage to adjust the sound. Another info I thought would be helpful to audiophile is the instrumnet loaction/s on the stage at the time of recording.
FWIW I believe OSHA says levels at 90 db are safe for up to 8 hrs and 105 db safe for up to 1 hr. I generaly listen at 85 to 90 db for several hrs.
Huh... what did you say?
This is all of you in 20 years.
Good luck.
And totally forget the Maggies!
For loud you need some other speaker if you want it to last.
I am not saying LOUD is wrong... I am just saying LOUD is gonna make you sorry some day when you can't hear a D@MN thing.
I never get mad at jerks wasting their ears in a car with the music at 110DB... Soon, very soon... they will not be able to hear at all without it being at 110 db through their hearing aids.
i find the music im listening to almost always sounds best at a REALISTIC sound level, and by that I mean the sound level a real live instrument would make. A violin sounds most like a violin at a moderate volume, it sound rediculous at 110db.

however i mostly listen to acoustic music and my system wouldn't be up to playing at rock concert levels, still i think theres something to be said for playing music at the volume those instruments can reasonable be expected to play at.
I've been listening to 90-100+ db music for 25 years, and my hearing is perfect, you can't just assume someone who listens to loud music, is going to lose their hearing, you kinda sound like my mom.
Joe-I know you ride & if you're like me you have ridden a motorcycle w/out earplugs (although I do wear a helmet-no debates everybody please) for a long time which may make the need for the music to be alittle louder & dynamic. remember all those cool old rock album covers that had "made to be played loud" somewhere on them?? can't remember any titles at the moment...
Readster: I am your mom..
I never wanted to tell you... I gave you up for adoption...
Elizabeth, Readster is correct. Not every 'Jerk' looses hearing by listening to loud music for extended time. I use to listen my car stereo at 105-110 db and my hearing is still perfect, but then again am not that 'old' and never been called 'Jerk'. So I am an exception. But you do sound like my wife....She always keeps telling me lower the volume...
I'm a physician-internal medicine for 25 years.Most people in the field (ENT, Audiology)agree that sound levels over 85 dB for prolonged periods adversely effect hearing. That data also comes with many spl meters. Lots of people in their 60's and 70's require hearing aids. Some of it is genetic... but Elizabeth may be right.
John Dean
I read an audiophile audiologist say that if you can't hear your thumb and middle finger rub together next to your ear, you are running the risk of hearing loss. I usually follow that suggestion. I used to listen at fairly loud levels and didn't think it was causing any problems. I am now 52 and have noticed hearing loss. From age or loud music, I don't know, but I dont want to lose anymore of my hearing so I try to be conservative. It takes a little adjustment, but music is still very enjoyable within these guidelines.

The frequency that I seem to have lost is exactly the Hz of my wifes voice. ;)

Elizabeth, you aren't married are you? I didn't think so.
Go Elizabeth!

Actually, at many demos I've been surprised at how loud manufacturers and/or dealers like to play music through their equipment. All music, rock or classical or whatever.

I know Harry Pearson liked to turn up the volume.

I suspect that some dealers don't like to turn up the volume because they're spinning smooth jazz - who'd wanna hear that loud? (Shudder.)

I'm a former choral singer. I've sung in symphonic choirs with orchestras and that produce...well, a LOT of sound. Much more than what you hear out front in tha hall. (It was a trip being in behind the tympani for some pieces, I can tell you.) So I do like to listen to music at "realistic", even visceral levels. But I don't listen that way all the time.

Speaking of loud...

I'll never forget the time at a Pink Floyd concert in the 70s seeing a road manager check (an apparent) faulty speaker. Well, actually, it was a phalanx of speakers, stacks and stacks of 'em, the monsters piled high and wide at the left and right front corners of the stage. The volume was LOUD. During the concert, this guy crawls out across the front of them, from speaker to speaker, making a painfully slow progress whilst the band is in full tilt. After many minutes, he finally arrives at the one he thinks is a problem...balances on his toes and leans the entire upper part of his body into the horn to check it further - blew his hair back! He was in platforms and tight pants too. Wonder what his hearing is like today?
PEHARE, you might be right about loud pipes causing some hearing loss especially since my helmet dont cover my ears,in my youth i used to ride bikes with open headers that would rattle my teeth but since ive gotten older i prefer to run a baffel to quiet it down a bit,ear plugs are out of the question for me,drivers scare me too much.

there's about 30 of us who ride together & we generally make the younger guys with the louder bikes ride in the back on the right & every once in a while i drop back just to see how loud it is,jesus! these kids on the jesse james type hard tails will be completely deaf by the time their 30.

i have an old hard tail shovel head with open headers in storage that i plan to give to my oldest son when he's ready & every so often i'll fire it up & go for a spin,i cant believe i rode that thing for so many years with it being so loud,one of these days im gonna get around to measuring the sound level from my bikes just to see.

i dont listen to super loud music very often unless im half in the bag usually i listen at lower volumes but every so often i like to blast it out real good ,i was just curious as to what every body else considered to be loud.

god do i feel bad for the guy who put his whole head inside the horn at a pink floyd show,what was he thinking,i laughed my ass off when i read that & i can visualize his hair blowin back too.

Mike-I've read that it's the wind noise rushing by at speed that is the killer, not necessarily the pipes. Of course I haven't owned a straight piped bike in a long time. You may not hear it w/the pipes playing their music at speed but it's there & working on you.
Elizabeth, and others, Okay I agree with you. It is just that you should have used the word 'stupid' rather than 'jxxx' that's all.
When my wife comes down and tells me it's too lound. That's how I know it's loud.

"I've always considered loud to be when I start having trouble hearing myself talk."

right on

Hmmmm... 8w push pull amp into 89dB 4ohm (3.5min) floorstanders gives me plenty of volume, but I would take quality and musicality of sound over volume any day. In my experience, bigger amps sound a bit dull and sterile at lower volumes, and as I suspect most of my listening is done within the first 1 to 2 watts at a distance of around 3m, I find a smaller amp which is able to use its fuller range of output somewhat preferable. It tells an interesting tale to look at my past amps:

200wpc monoblocks -> 23w stereo DNM amp -> 18w integrated (via 70w pre-power it must be said) -> 8w push-pull.

And you know what? The system has never sounded better. Though I must also add that the particular power amp I am using is reknowned as punching far harder than its paper spec would suggest.

As I recall, studies of people isolated from loud sounds suggest hearing loss is not a normal aging process. In some individuals, there can be calcification of the ossicular chain, but a surgical procedure, a stapedectomy, usually offers good results.

Is it exibitionism that leads so many motorcycle riders to want loud pipes? Many BMW bikes have a mellow sound, and some of the newer Japanese bikes sound pleasantly like a very muted high-reving Formula 1 car. But the dorkcycles blast through town disturbing everything in their wake. That must be exhibitionism. Any why is it the kid in the SUV with the sound cranked way up so its boomy bass can be heard several cars away always has the windows down? Exhibitionism.

I love the sound of a Ferrari V-12, but I don't want to hear blatty or booming exhaust.


have you ever had a bike go by you that was so damm loud you couldnt hear yourself talk on the cell phone,if so then that guys pipes did what they were designed to do & thats to wake you up.

people driving cars or suv's dont see motorcycle's (why you ask) because their TOO BUSY on their cell phone or TOO BUSY watching a movie or TOO BUSY putting on their make up or TOO BUSY eating or TOO BUSY reading the paper or TOO BUSY blabbing to the person in the passenger seat or TOO BUSY scolding their children or TOO BUSY flippin the radio station & on & on & on,BUSY BUSY BUSY multi tasking while driving,but wait let me guess...........not you right?

ive been riding loud harleys since i was 16 years old (long before they became a cool investment) & i can attest to the fact that people only care about bikers AFTER they blindly run them down (but officer he just came out of nowhere) ive heard that speech while i lay waiting on an ambulance have you ?

i personally take offense to your ignorant & uninformed statement that we are show off's on our dork cycle's,do i want everybody on the road to look at me,yes i do & not becuase i want them to see how cool i am or how tough i look all tattooed up but because i know until they look at me im casper the ghost.

there's an old biker saying that will sum up all your questions about why we have loud pipes "if you have to ask i cant explain"

mike,the show off on the dork cycle.
Depends I guess, on the mood I'm in. There are times after work when I sit down in front of the system, to answer email, with a record on the table, and my hearing becomes very sensitive, such that "loud," is no more than 70 dB average SPL.

Other times "loud" doesn't begin to happen, until up into the high 80s. Our most important sound system is prone to "gain adjustments," as befits our mood and state of energy.
A BIG LOL to Mike the biker and Elizebeth.

Loud wont hurt you until it becomes such that it over powers the ears mechanical abilities to discren frequencies, and this is quite beyond 110dB, thus causing mechanical defect/damage to the working parts ofthe ears and the need for hearing aids- LOUD rarely causes this, most often unchecked bacterial invasion is the culprit.

If the Sound is loud, yet undistorted, more often then not, no hearing function is, or, will be lost. Want proof?
Ask all the ENT doc's whom own Krell systems. Or, some one who has been into Audio for more then 20 years- BTW, I hear just fine, better then most for that matter.
Eldartford made some good points about distortion, power levels and perceived volume. If one looks in the archives, you'll find that i've always been a BIG fan of "dynamic headroom" in all aspects of system operation. Stressing any part of the system introduces some form of distortion and that added distortion adds apparent volume.

When a system has reached the point of having a high level of dynamic headroom, one can listen at phenomenally high levels for extended periods of time without it sounding "all that loud" and / or experiencing "listening fatigue". This is not to say that i would recommend making a regular habit of this or that everyone should strive to achieve such things from their system, but personally, i find this a very desirable trait. I also found that when i had achieved this level of performance, my listening levels had actually crept up on the average. I know that others here have experienced and shared similar vantage points too.

Having said that, i find that certain recordings have what i find to be a "proper" listening level. Not everything was meant to be played at roaring volumes, nor do all recordings sound best as "background music". A good recording sounds best at the appr listening level that one would encounter if listening to the performers at a live event. Obviously, that volume level will change with the size of the venue, one's listening position, the acoustics of the room and volume of people in attendance, etc... Just as we all have personal preferences in volume and seating positions at live events, i'm assuming that also applies to how we listen to and have our our systems set up at home too.

Other than that, Alpha 03 also made some very valid points. What we are discussing here is the ability ( or inability ) to generate clean SPL's. Due to different levels of loudspeaker efficiency and how they individually dynamically compress the signal, room loading characteristics ( yes, ALL rooms "acoustically overload" at some point ), the ability of the amp to load into and control the speaker system, etc... all add up to what we hear and experience. Like most things, it is a complex subject with a lot of variables involved. Sean

PS... One can run "straight pipes" on a Harley and have them sound "quieter" than a "race tuned" but muffled "rice rocket". Once again, this all has to do with acoustics, how we hear, the tuning of the exhaust system and the resonant frequency that the tuning occurs at.

Higher spl's or "louder pipes" don't necessarily make more power and in many cases, they actually make LESS power over a wider bandwidth. This has to do with the volumetric efficiency of the motor and the flow velocities involved.

As a case in point, my vintage Harley with straight pipes is measurably quieter ( and less annoying ) than my friends much newer "highly modified" Honda that has "racing mufflers". This happens for the same reason that i can hear "rice rockets" revving up to 10,000+ rpm's several miles away, whereas the noisy "blat" of a poorly tuned Harley only makes it a few blocks. This has to do with the volume of air displaced ( bore & stroke vs rpm's ) and the tuning frequency of the intake / exhaust system.

Much of this has to do with acoustics and the way that our ear / brain processes information. This is why the government chose to use higher frequencies for use in our "emergency sirens", not the less offensive but potentially equally "loud" low frequencies. It is for this same reason that many people prefer to listen to a "soft, warm & smooth" sounding system as compared to a "more forward" and / or "bright sounding" system.

Different strokes for different folks.
I don't know if I agree 100% w/ Bigjoe. There are guys who used to gun their bikes up and down our (deserted) quiet street at 2 in the AM when the nearby biker bar "The Bashful Bandit" closed. We (residents) cured that recently when the City of Tucson installed speed bumps deciding no doubt, it was cheaper than patrol cars being called all the time; now we can get some sleep!

As for audio, I honestly can't understand why anyone would want to play something at a volume in excess of what the source would produce in reality. (I realize this is a little more difficult to determine with rock performances, and you sort of have to decide where in the "stadium" you want to imagine yourself :~)

Nevertheless, I think dialing in the volume just right to obtain what you believe is the actual performance level, not too loud, not too soft, is an art, and requires some real listening skills.

I also want to say I think there is some merit to Sean and Alpha's comments RE: the quality of reproduction v. volume v. auditory damage, but only up to a point! I'm in my sixth decade, and I know I've lost my hi freq acuity, but I can still hear almost the whole Cardas sweep track if I turn the hi freq. portion way WAY up, ha Ha!

Which brings me, apropo of Alpha and Bigjoe's remarks, to share something I've read about, but never tried -- and which this thread has inspired me to do: apparently a certain amount of lost auditory acuity can be restored by wearing ear plugs for prolonged periods when hearing isn't important to you, ie not when driving and not when sleeping (don't want to miss that smoke alarm!) Supposedly, after doing this for even a few days, your hearing ability is very much improved. Which means that a part of the problem may have to do with overloaded neural circuits and not overloaded eardrums! Anyway, I'm going to try it, and report back.


I'd have your hearing checked. Being that you ride a Motorcycle, you may have sustained some damage over the years unless you've worn hearing protection. I can't stand loud music which is why I don't go to concerts of any type.
"I've always considered loud to be when I start having trouble hearing myself talk."

Yes... and it is times like this that i don't know what I'm talking about.
Nsgarth , from my experience anybody riding a bike home from a bar let alone at 2 am is a moron & will very soon be wraped around a tree & i do not feel sorry when that happens,only the biggest of fool's ride's a bike drunk,if that was happening down my street i would throw nail's in the street & flaten their stupid lookin micky thompson rear tire's.

Tab11os, not only do i ride a loud bike & listen to loud music but i work on very loud construction site's & i alway's thought i may have some type of hearing loss until last year when i had to take a hearing test to be a certified crane operator within the auto manufacturing plant's here in michigan,to my suprise my hearing is perfect,go figure,i hope it stay's that way too.

Joe -- good heavens! I didn't want to kill anyone, just get some sleep! And I didn't say the bikers were drunk, how the hell would I know?

No, the speed bumps definitely did the trick. They stopped all activity, not just one guy. Nobody died, and I didn't have to buy any nails!
Bigjoe, I also take a yearly hearing test(boiler shop), and score well, but apparently the generic test only rates the range from 4000 to 12000 hz or thereabouts. I'd have to see an audiologist for a full range test.
By the way- nice motorsickle! :)
with age i've come to a position somewhat in line with Nsgarch where he states that he cant see why one would
want to exceed the volume of the real deal. I now can't see why one would even want to attain those levels. When i was much younger i'd learn tunes for band practice by playing with my rig at about the same volumes i'd be playing the last set at the bar at. That was using a 60 wt ampeg with a 4x12. you couldn't even hear a person yelling in your ear. Why after that and another 20 yrs of bands i can still hear is beyond me.
I consider a peak of 95 dB at my listening position loud. I would never listen to the music that loud, but I would turn it up that loud to show the system off, and/or to test out components. I usually listen in the high 70s to mid 80s (dB). With a speaker that puts out good bass you should be able to do all the shaking you want without having to output ear damaging dB levels (or you could always go with a dedicated sub).

As far as shaking shelves and other stuff, that is just a good way to destroy your hearing...
When my ear wax melts! Just kidding. Listening to loud
music show not only be your concern. Hearing loss is also
attributed to where you live. City or rural desk job or
constuction worker and other factors in the day.
We have listen and watched movies for 20 yrs. at the 100 to
110 db with peaks exceeding 120db. I have a hearing test
every year and in this time a 2% loss in the 20 yrs.
A fun thing this summer as I was married. We had a party
afterwards and a pair of JBL 4676A-2 in the lawn. These
speakers where playing all day long at 136db and the
majority of the people sat in the seats and nobody complained the next day. We all could hear one another
whisper because we were screaming all day. What next a
V chip for speakers so they dont damage your ears