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  #1  
Old 11-17-2010, 09:30 PM
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Rick H. Rick H. is offline
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Default Decibel readings backwards

I have a stereo that when i turn it up the decibel number goes down. These stereos aren't uncommon either i know several people that own stereos like this, but none of them can figure out why it is like this either. I tried looking it up online but couldn't find anything on why it is like this. I was wondering if anybody knows anything about these types of stereos and how to figure out the real decibel reading out of them.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:24 AM
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GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is offline
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Default Re: Decibel readings backwards

Are they decibel readings or V.U. Volume unit readings?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VU_meter
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:31 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Decibel readings backwards

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
Are they decibel readings or V.U. Volume unit readings?
I've got two stereos at home with the same volume set up. And you are correct Grunter...not a decibel reading, but a volume reading.

I've often wondered why my listening is done anywhere between -50 (late at night) through to -30 (when my 3 year old is running riot), too. Why not just make 0 = no sound and go up from there?

Alas.....I've never had cause to take either stereo "up to eleven" either. :-)
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:34 AM
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Default Re: Decibel readings backwards

A lot of electronic equipment use dBFS (Decibels in Full Scale).

When measuring in dBFS the largest possible value (loudest volume) is 0. All other values are negative. This means that when the volume is low on your stereo it shows a large negative number. When you turn up the volume, this number approaches zero. If you turn your stereo up until it reads 0, you will be achieving the loudest possible setting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBFS
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Decibel readings backwards

Yeah, i think my stereo might use the dBFS. There's no way to convert that into decibels though is there?
It probably depends on the stereo and everything, I got to get a decibel meter so i can see how loud I'm playing
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Decibel readings backwards

I was told once by an electrician/electrical engineer friend of mine that a stereo uses more electricity with the volume turned down because of resistance. So zero would be zero resistance and the lower volumes would be a show of resistance. Not totally positive on all of this but that's what I gathered from our conversation.
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Old 11-22-2010, 08:51 PM
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Default Re: Decibel readings backwards

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I was told once by an electrician/electrical engineer friend of mine that a stereo uses more electricity with the volume turned down because of resistance. So zero would be zero resistance and the lower volumes would be a show of resistance. Not totally positive on all of this but that's what I gathered from our conversation.
Right. Stereos are normally on "full blast" all the time. The volume control is an attenuator, it uses passive resistors to quiet it down (like a guitar's volume control).
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Old 11-26-2010, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: Decibel readings backwards

The other thing is, in recording 0dB is your highest point that you physically can't exceed. It's the point after which the top of the waveform is 'clipped' off, and your signal starts to distort. CD audio can't exceed 0dB at any point.

I think that's perhaps why it goes up to 0, Pocket. You can go infinitely lower than that but no higher.
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:30 AM
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Default Re: Decibel readings backwards

Totally true... think about playing syncopated rhythyms with the left on snare or even toms while keeping time with your right on hh or ride.
The point of those types of exercises the OP discussed is not necessarily to play lefthand lead fills but to develop your sense of independence between your hands. I think this is especially important with drumset because you need to be able to do all sorts of syncopated grooves with your left hand.
When discussing the concept of inconsistency between your hands, keep in mind that you SHOULD be able to make the sound consistent. If you are playing accent to grace note patterns both your left and right should be able to play the full range of dynamics acurately... Otherwise you'll be relying on your right hand for everything and you'll basically be sacrificing a lot of stuff you could be playing by "copping out" and compromizing to make it easy for your underdeveloped hand.
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