Linn Forums

Current time: 2018-07-21, 14:04 Hello There, Guest! (LoginRegister)

Linn Forums / Linn Music Systems & Hi-fi Separates / Network Music Players & Music Streamers v / Minimum Optimal Volume

Post Reply 
Minimum Optimal Volume
2017-09-06, 14:50
Post: #1
Minimum Optimal Volume
I have found over time, and with much tinkering with SO and sub integration, that no matter what I do my system sounds best above a certain minimum volume (depending on the loudness of the recording). I don't suppose this would come as a surprise to anyone.

However, for most things the level seems to be >55. Under that and a lot of music can sometimes feel lacking, which also isn't really surprising, but 55 is sometimes just a tad too loud when I'd prefer it at 50.

I was wondering if there's anything that can be done to make it sound as good as it does at >55, but at a lower volume (like 50)? Or is it purely down to the DVC and/or sensitivity of the speakers and/or sub integration? I tried manually upping the gain on the sub when listening at lower levels but it doesn't do much until it breaks the whole sound.

I imagine it's just the way it is, but you never know until you ask....

♫ ♫ Akurate EDSM | AEBox10 [on Custom Design iRAPs] | M6100+2100 | Majik 140 [on alu stands] | REL T5
♫ ♫ Rega RP1, [QNAP HS-251+, Jitterbug, MinimServer, Asset], Kazoo

AV: Marantz NR1506 | B&W 620(C), M1(S), REL T5 (LFE) | Fronts powered by Linn
Net: NetGear DGN2200 | GS108 | AQ Forest x3

Hello to Jason Isaacs
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
2017-09-06, 16:28
Post: #2
RE: Minimum Optimal Volume
buy yourself a pair of 4200 or 4100 amps, a bunch of interconnects and some inline attenuators to connect to your Exaktbox-I. Seems awfully expensive though Big Grin

ADs/2 -> Klimax Exaktbox/1 -> Silvers -> 2xKCT/D -> K200 -> Ninka
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
2017-09-06, 17:26
Post: #3
RE: Minimum Optimal Volume
I agree. Somewhere around 55 something happens. Since I play on an ADSM feeding an A2200 I can use the Output Attenuation setting (12 dB). So the output volume at 55 is accepted by the rest of the family. I suppose the Output Attenuation does not make sense in an Exakt system. If this is a question about the DVC or something else I can not tell. It might as well be the ear's frequency response that nicely falls in place at that volume. Easily tested by setting the Output Attenuation to 0 dB and play at lower volume... when I think about it.

/HansBertil
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
2017-09-06, 18:16
Post: #4
RE: Minimum Optimal Volume
(2017-09-06 17:26)HansBertil Wrote:  I suppose the Output Attenuation does not make sense in an Exakt system.

Rather than not making sense, it's just not there. The attenuation happens in the analogue domain, and in an Exakt system would have to be in or downstream of the Exaktbox or Exakt module, and would have to be applied to all the channels in use - not really a feasible proposition, I guess.

(2017-09-06 17:26)HansBertil Wrote:  If this is a question about the DVC or something else I can not tell. It might as well be the ear's frequency response that nicely falls in place at that volume. Easily tested by setting the Output Attenuation to 0 dB and play at lower volume... when I think about it.

Yes. The exam question is: does whatever the change is occur at a particular volume setting, or does it occur at a particular perceived loudness level, irrespective of the volume setting? If it is the latter, the problem will not be the result of quantisation effects in the DVC.

David

Main system: [LP12* > Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10/1 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks.
*LP12: 1987 fluted plinth; Cirkus; Lingo 4; Trampolin; Kore; Basik Plus arm; K5 cartridge, Paratrace stylus.

Second system: Kiko.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
2017-09-06, 18:27 (This post was last modified: 2017-09-06 18:28 by Tin.)
Post: #5
RE: Minimum Optimal Volume
The change has to do with the accuracy of the digital volume control. With lower volume levels some information gets discarded, bits, in the literary digital sinse, are thrown away.
With Katalyst the volume control uses a higher accuracy, say 32 instead of 24 bit, although those numbers are probably incorrect, so this problem doesn't exist anymore and the digital volume control is faultless at all levels.

Luckily most Exakt owners are senior enough to warrant the neccesity of high volume levels anyway. Wink
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
2017-09-06, 20:24 (This post was last modified: 2017-09-06 20:25 by Briain.)
Post: #6
RE: Minimum Optimal Volume
(2017-09-06 14:50)timster Wrote:  I have found over time, and with much tinkering with SO and sub integration, that no matter what I do my system sounds best above a certain minimum volume (depending on the loudness of the recording). I don't suppose this would come as a surprise to anyone.

However, for most things the level seems to be >55. Under that and a lot of music can sometimes feel lacking, which also isn't really surprising, but 55 is sometimes just a tad too loud when I'd prefer it at 50.

I was wondering if there's anything that can be done to make it sound as good as it does at >55, but at a lower volume (like 50)? Or is it purely down to the DVC and/or sensitivity of the speakers and/or sub integration? I tried manually upping the gain on the sub when listening at lower levels but it doesn't do much until it breaks the whole sound.

I imagine it's just the way it is, but you never know until you ask....

Hi

Coincidentally, I just posted my thoughts on that on another thread:

https://forums.linn.co.uk/bb/showthread.php?tid=37574&pid=449353#pid449353


I have just 'tweaked' my home-brew attenuator such that typical DVC settings (KDS/0 feeding a 2250) land between the upper 60's to lower 70's and it sounds pretty good, Without that, the KDS DVC was typically set in the 40s to 50s range and it sounded pretty dreadful (lifeless as a faulty Sonos). I haven't heard the Katalyst variant on the DVC, but from what has been said (repeated in my post at that link) it's likely a lot better than the pre-Katalyst DVC.

Bri Smile

KDS/1 (music) + ADSM/3 (AV) -> KK/1 -> 350A + miniDSP time & phase aligned 345 rear sub
ADSM (@ Linn for /3) -> 2250/D -> 212 and Sizmik sub (bedroom)
Sneaky DS -> Roomamp -> 104C (awaiting installation in kitchen; home-brew 'floor sub' yet to be designed)
MDSI -> Shahinian Arc (installed at my mum's house)
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
2017-09-06, 21:44 (This post was last modified: 2017-09-06 22:05 by BB1.)
Post: #7
RE: Minimum Optimal Volume
IIRC, I've seen an official reply from Linn, that the Katalyst variant of the DVC is lossless for volume levels equal or higher than 39. For pre-Katalyst devices the required volume level is most likely higher.

Despite that, our ears have a different frequency sensitivity depending on the SPL.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loudness

If the best sounding minimum volume only depends on the loudness of the recording, I'd rule out any drawbacks caused by the DVC. Let’s face it, our ears are highly non-linear.

AEDSM > KEB/1 x 2 > Linn Silvers > A4200/1 x 2 > K200 > MISOs
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
2017-09-06, 22:30
Post: #8
RE: Minimum Optimal Volume
(2017-09-06 21:44)BB1 Wrote:  IIRC, I've seen an official reply from Linn, that the Katalyst variant of the DVC is lossless for volume levels equal or higher than 39. For pre-Katalyst devices the required volume level is most likely higher.

I remember the figure as 38, but that's a distinction without a difference. More significantly, I'm not sure that Katalyst was the only watershed for change; Linn have been refining the sequence of upsampling and downsampling associated with all the DSP (including DVC) that goes on in a DS or Exaktbox for some time. In the famous white paper comparing the KDSM/1 with the KK, Keith Robertson boldly asserted that the DVC was just arithmetic.

(2017-09-06 21:44)BB1 Wrote:  If the best sounding minimum volume only depends on the loudness of the recording, I'd rule out any drawbacks caused by the DVC. Let’s face it, our ears are highly non-linear.

I agree.

David

Main system: [LP12* > Lejonklou Gaio >][Roksan Kandy Mk III >] KEDSM > Akurate Exaktbox 10/1 > Linn Silvers> A4200 x 2 and A2200 > K600 > Akubariks.
*LP12: 1987 fluted plinth; Cirkus; Lingo 4; Trampolin; Kore; Basik Plus arm; K5 cartridge, Paratrace stylus.

Second system: Kiko.
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
2017-09-06, 22:31 (This post was last modified: 2017-09-07 08:42 by Briain.)
Post: #9
RE: Minimum Optimal Volume
(2017-09-06 21:44)BB1 Wrote:  Let’s face it, our ears are highly non-linear.

Are you implying that I might have asymmetric ears (though now that I ponder it, you might well be correct; somebody fetch me a mirror). Tongue Big Grin

*PS Please do excuse my somewhat 'far side' sense of humour Smile

All the best,
Asymmetrouslugs McBri

KDS/1 (music) + ADSM/3 (AV) -> KK/1 -> 350A + miniDSP time & phase aligned 345 rear sub
ADSM (@ Linn for /3) -> 2250/D -> 212 and Sizmik sub (bedroom)
Sneaky DS -> Roomamp -> 104C (awaiting installation in kitchen; home-brew 'floor sub' yet to be designed)
MDSI -> Shahinian Arc (installed at my mum's house)
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
2017-09-06, 23:36
Post: #10
RE: Minimum Optimal Volume
yeah. I've always found at lower volume speaker (in)efficiency comes into play. Hence the valve'y + super high efficiency speaker followers. Even with SO and any amount of power family friendly volume means less "music". Old gear commonly used a loudness button for low volume listening, I think to boost bass/ treble. Can't see why a low volume digital loudness filter equivalent isn't possible. Pretty sure spotify and jriver do something like this natively to make their stream of music sound better, and collect clients. At higher volumes (65-70+ on my system) things come to life. I think reality is if you want to listen to lifelike music it needs to be played at a similar volume to at its creation i.e loud.

PC (as NAS, Linn Server, Kazoo) - MS Surface control - KDS3(Kat) - MF8500s - Focal 1028be
2nd bedroom as before + range extender - ADSM/1 - headphones, considering kat in due course
Find all posts by this user
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)