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Large dynamic range recording is not useful nor necessary

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No matter what's the capability of microphones or format that can capture large dynamic range in the end the dynamic range is limited to how much you reproduce via speakers. The lowest level that you usually hear above your room noise level is around 45dB . For a 16 bit CD, the possible dynamic range is about 96dB. This will be 141dB at your listening spot. Let's calculate how much power you need to produce this level.

 

With K2 S9900 speakers at 3 meter distance you will need 450000Watt.

 

With Harbeth 40.2, you need 2.2million Watt!.

 

At best, a 60 to 70dB dynamic range is the most common numbers you see irrespective of the speakers sensitivity and amplifier's power. This is within most well designed amplifiers to produce 1000 plus watts momentarily without clipping.

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3 minutes ago, cjf said:

Hrrrrmmm, I see a puff of smoke involved in your Avatar. Perhaps this post is the result of too much "magic green stuff"?

 

Your math appears to be a bit hazy/fuzzy!

 

😂

 

Feel free to correct them. 

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As a reasonable compromise I see 90dB sensitivity speakers being adequate for most listening situations. If one goes through the maths this means that a peak SPL close to 110dB is possible near the speakers, with a typical power rating for an amplifier, assuming the latter can work competently at the point of clipping! This covers everything but silly listening levels - so well within the range of normal gear.

 

And this is borne out in reality, for me at least, :). Gear with those capabilities is what I play with, and they do the job - to my ears. The one area that sometimes is a problem is that recordings are mastered at too low a level, and the chain hasn't sufficient gain to provide satisfying sound levels.

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From a Robert Stuart paper.  The CD noise floor is that of 16 bit with dither. 

 

1894068728_DynamicrangeofCDandourhearingthreshold.thumb.png.68383044370688a5c9fa493ffa09637e.png

Not shown is a noise floor in a typical home listening room.  While it may be 45 db (many are 10 db quieter at least late at night) most of that is low frequencies which we don't hear so well anyway.  Where we do hear well in the 3-5 khz range most homes will have a noise level over that band of less than 15 db.  Plus we can hear into noise about 15 db.  

 

https://tams.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/lehre/2000ws/vorlesung/audioverarbeitung/high-quality-audio-coding.pdf

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15 minutes ago, esldude said:

From a Robert Stuart paper.  The CD noise floor is that of 16 bit with dither. 

 

1894068728_DynamicrangeofCDandourhearingthreshold.thumb.png.68383044370688a5c9fa493ffa09637e.png

Not shown is a noise floor in a typical home listening room.  While it may be 45 db (many are 10 db quieter at least late at night) most of that is low frequencies which we don't hear so well anyway.  Where we do hear well in the 3-5 khz range most homes will have a noise level over that band of less than 15 db.  Plus we can hear into noise about 15 db.  

 

https://tams.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/lehre/2000ws/vorlesung/audioverarbeitung/high-quality-audio-coding.pdf

 

Yes but what's the use? Human hearing dynamic range is about 140dB but that is only relevant when you have one isolated signal at both extreme.  However, the ear's mechanism also acts as a compressor to limit the dynamic range as the loudness level increases. This is the protection mechanism so that the useful dynamic range is dependant on the wideband noise that reaches our ears. In normal listening condition the range decreases as the level gets louder.  

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5 minutes ago, STC said:

 

Yes but what's the use? Human hearing dynamic range is about 140dB but that is only relevant when you have one isolated signal at both extreme.  However, the ear's mechanism also acts as a compressor to limit the dynamic range as the loudness level increases. This is the protection mechanism so that the useful dynamic range is dependant on the wideband noise that reaches our ears. In normal listening condition the range decreases as the level gets louder.  

If you can have a playback system that tracks loudness levels as they vary fine.  But you'll need more than 70 db dynamic range to listen to an orchestra playing loudly, and to listen to the quieter parts of some chamber music. 

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9 minutes ago, esldude said:

If you can have a playback system that tracks loudness levels as they vary fine.  But you'll need more than 70 db dynamic range to listen to an orchestra playing loudly, and to listen to the quieter parts of some chamber music. 

 

The dynamic range in a concert hall is said to be round 80dB but that doesn't mean it is practical in a normal play. You may hear a solo cello playing softly at about 40 or 30db in the beginning but as the full orchestra joins in the soft cello (if she is still playing) will no longer be audible. And let's say the music continues with an average 85dB loudness and the next second the soloist plays the low 30dB level, you are unlikely to hear them unless there is sufficient time given for the ears to reset. This can easily demonstrated by editing a classical piece by inserting the softest passage in between the loudest passage.

 

If you go to a live performance in a club, you would often witness the mc's voice will sound loud and clear in the beginning but after the loud music playback you will find the mc's voice is much softer. 

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7 hours ago, STC said:

No matter what's the capability of microphones or format that can capture large dynamic range in the end the dynamic range is limited to how much you reproduce via speakers. The lowest level that you usually hear above your room noise level is around 45dB . For a 16 bit CD, the possible dynamic range is about 96dB. This will be 141dB at your listening spot. Let's calculate how much power you need to produce this level.

 

With K2 S9900 speakers at 3 meter distance you will need 450000Watt.

 

With Harbeth 40.2, you need 2.2million Watt!.

 

At best, a 60 to 70dB dynamic range is the most common numbers you see irrespective of the speakers sensitivity and amplifier's power. This is within most well designed amplifiers to produce 1000 plus watts momentarily without clipping.

 

Just because all that capability is there doesn't mean it needs to be used at all times.

 

Besides, the amount of dynamic range depends strongly on what genre, style of music we're talking about.

 

At the other end, the loudness race is an example of massive under-utilization of digital's potential.  ALL--LOUD-ALL-THE-TIME USE-ALL-THE-BITS is a fallacy, and hasn't helped anything out in the charts, or sales. 

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6 hours ago, STC said:

@The Computer Audiophile just had to click three sets of images to verify that I am not a robot. For a moment, I thought it was verifying whether I am an idiot :) !

Next time that happens send me a screenshot so I can look further into the specific firewall rules that was triggered. 

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