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Is the desire to "turn it up" a sure sign of musical enjoyment?


crenca
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So I am exploring some new artists this morning (tidal) while I am integrating my new REL sub and it occurred to me that when I like an artist/track I reflexively want to turn the volume up a bit. Is this left over from an adolescence filled with smoke-on-the-water classic rock, or is it more natural?

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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It depends. Being satisfied with normal volumes usually means you are happy with your system. If you feel the need to increase volume, it can mean you're trying to compensate for something missing.

 

Too true. The reason I am integrating a sub into my "computer speaker" setup is because I replaced my Elac B6's with Legacy's Studio HD's. The Legacy's drop off like a rock below 80db, so I found myself turning it up at first trying to make up for the lost frequency range.

 

However, I am referring more generally - when satisfied with system do you find yourself wanting to turn it up on artists/tracks you particularly like?

Hey MQA, if it is not all $voodoo$, show us the math!

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Good question. I find there are many tracks where the sound stage seems to expand at a certain volume, which is often on the loud side. I have taken this to be because some subtle auditory cues which were below my hearing threshold become audible. I have also found that tracks of music I don't particularly enjoy (like most hip-hop) can be irritating at this volume. So, I find the obverse - I want to turn the volume down for artists/tracks I don't particularly like.

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.

- Einstein

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It depends. Being satisfied with normal volumes usually means you are happy with your system. If you feel the need to increase volume, it can mean you're trying to compensate for something missing.

 

I very much agree.

 

I am a devotee of classical music played in hi rez Multichannel. I find that I am happy normally playing it at lower volumes than I did in my stereo days. My wife still thinks it is too loud, but that is a different story. The point is, it is still not soft and soothing by any means, but the volume level is definitely lower.

 

Comparing notes with a number of friends, I hear the same sentiment. We all played it louder in stereo than we do now in Mch. I believe it confirms your point. We feel there is something elusive missing in stereo, possibly also in RBCD resolution, that hi rez Mch provides. So, we are not subliminally seeking "more" by cranking up the volume, as many stereo centric audiophiles do as I have noticed quite frequently. The immersion, spatial detail, etc. are all there at lower volumes with no sense of loss of dynamics, but with improved "concert hall realism". I do not think turning up the volume really works, but it is an unconscious tendency that audiophiles just do to try, not always successfully, to get more involvement with and enjoyment of their music.

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In my experience, a good system will play very loud without sounding tiring or stressing to the ear but will also have the ability to maintain clarity or the same level of detail when you turn it down (though in fact this last quality is far more important because it's directly related with resolution) .

 

Systems that will only sound good when pushed hard are rubbish, no matter the price tag or the amount of magazine raving...

 

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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