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# Volume Calibration on DS

#1

How do I convert units of volume on the DS to DB?

When I go from, say, 75 to 70 how much lower is this in DB?

#2

It would be .5 db steps per each numeric value.

#3

Keep in mind this is a dB decrease in voltage. The change in loudness depends on your system.

#4
Elk said Keep in mind this is a dB decrease in voltage. The change in loudness depends on your system.
I'm not sure this is quite right, Elk.

It’s all about multiplication: the amp multiplies the input voltage by a fixed value, and the speakers convert voltage swings to cone movement and air movement in a fixed ratio. In both cases we use the term sensitivity. Double the voltage, double the air movement.

Decibels are a relative thing, working logarithmically. A 0.5 dB change in input level (volts), passing through the fixed multiplier of a power amp, produces a 0.5 dB change in amp output (volts). That scales through the fixed sensitivity speakers to become a 0.5 dB change in sound pressure levels.

Different amps multiply the input by different amounts (aka “gain”) and different speakers vary wildly in sensitivity, so different systems produce different sound output levels from the same input level (such as a DS DAC set to 100 on screen). But turning down the DS by 1 dB reduces the output by 1dB in every system.

Turning the DS down by 20, each step being 0.5 dB, reduces the volume by 10 dB, which in physical terms means it’s half as loud.

#5

Except they are different scales.

Doubling power is +3dB
Doubling voltage level is +6 dB
Doubling loudness is +10 dB (which requires 10x more power from the amplifier)

Two nice sources: One and Two

#6

Thanks for the responses.

One more question: what’s the purpose of the L and R adjustments on the DS? Why would you want one to be different from the other?

#7

I use the balance control.

My space is terribly asymmetrical.

#8

Exactly. It’s not often used but when you need it, it’s awfully handy to have.

#9

Very much so. There are plenty of times where I think the room and setup is entirely symmetrical, but something is not. All it takes is a different wall treatment, piece of art, etc. Shifting the image by a single number or two can lock things into place. And the control is transparent in operation.

Even if you think you have the image nailed, I suggest playing with the balance making minute changes. Even if you end up leaving the control centered it is quite fascinating to hear the differences.

#10

#11

So what is Vincent smoking?

#12

Probably something that Dr Oz said would help regrow that missing ear.

#13

IDK but he still needed a balance control…