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Author Topic: Is +3db twice as loud?  (Read 46900 times)

Mario Salazar

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Is +3db twice as loud?
« on: March 01, 2007, 04:15:04 pm »

Just heard this from EAW tech support when I asked why I would want to spend a bunch of money for just a +3db gain.  Is this true?  I thought it was +6db but I have learned so much on this site that I thought I knew so I thought I would ask.
Regards,
Mario
Continously being humbled on this site.
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Mac Kerr

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Re: Is +3db twice as loud?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2007, 04:23:46 pm »

No, +3dB is twice as much power. The smallest difference in level that most people easily perceive is 3dB. Double the apparent loudness is more like 10dB.

Mac
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dave stojan

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Re: Is +3db twice as loud?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2007, 04:37:00 pm »

Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 21:23

No, +3dB is twice as much power. The smallest difference in level that most people easily perceive is 3dB. Double the apparent loudness is more like 10dB.

Mac


I think by definition 1 db is the smallest difference for most people whereas 3db is quite noticeable. Double / half is generally accepted at 10db although it appears that it has much to do with the nature of the sound and the relative move compared with the absolute level, and I've read sources touting as little as 6db change can be described as twice/half the volume under the right circumstances.

I have a CD player remote that allows me to change the volume in +/- 1db steps and sure enough, the 1 db is hard to discern under much program material but 3db is very noticeable. Should we call it a day at 2db?  Shocked

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Mac Kerr

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Re: Is +3db twice as loud?
« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2007, 04:49:30 pm »

dave stojan wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 16:37

Mac Kerr wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 21:23

No, +3dB is twice as much power. The smallest difference in level that most people easily perceive is 3dB. Double the apparent loudness is more like 10dB.

Mac


I think by definition 1 db is the smallest difference for most people whereas 3db is quite noticeable. Double / half is generally accepted at 10db although it appears that it has much to do with the nature of the sound and the relative move compared with the absolute level, and I've read sources touting as little as 6db change can be described as twice/half the volume under the right circumstances.

I have a CD player remote that allows me to change the volume in +/- 1db steps and sure enough, the 1 db is hard to discern under much program material but 3db is very noticeable. Should we call it a day at 2db?  Shocked
I'm willing. I think that using soundmen who are trained to hear subtle differences in sound as the guide is unfair however. That is why I said "smallest difference in level that most people easily perceive". In any case, it's not double the apparent loudness.

Mac
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Ales Dravinec 'Alex'

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Re: Is +3db twice as loud?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2007, 05:02:56 pm »

Quote:

....Should we call it a day at 2db?  Shocked ....


Dave, that's a good one !  Laughing

Alex
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Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: Is +3db twice as loud?
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2007, 05:21:52 pm »

Quote:

...I think by definition 1 db is the smallest difference for most people...


Neither the decibel nor the Bel were standardized with reference to the just noticeable difference in human perception relative to sound level. The Bel came into being as a quantification of the reduction in audio level over a 1 mile (1.6 km) length of standard telephone cable. It was first called a Transmission Unit or TU.

Just by chance 1dB is roughly equal (depending on conditions) to the ability of listeners to detect a level difference. Trained subjects tested in a psychophysics lab with specific test sounds score better (lower) than 1dB.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_noticeable_difference

-Bink
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Mario Salazar

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Re: Is +3db twice as loud?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2007, 05:22:23 pm »

OK, I was sick of being ignorant so I spent the last 2 hours searching and I found my Yamaha book.  I am going to read this thing again and bring myself up to speed.  I used to know the information on this back and forth about 12 years ago, since then disinformation (like that I just got from EAW, (For shame))and time away from the business has dulled what used to be an acute understanding.  In case anybody else does a search on this here is what the handbook says:

Quoted fromthe Yamaha Sound Reinforcement Handbook "It turns out that a sound which is 3 dB higher than another is barely perceived to be louder; a sound which is 10 dB higher in level is perceived to be twice as loud."  

Accordingly, I don't think I will be paying much more to provide power that will only be perceived as very slightly louder.
Thanks for the responses guys!
It was, as always, greatly appreciated.
Best Regards,
Mario
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Mike Butler (media)

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Re: Is +3db twice as loud?
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2007, 06:39:36 pm »

In any case, there you have an object lesson in how quickly the slope steepens when striving to upgrade audio system performance.
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Tony "T" Tissot

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Re: Is +3db twice as loud?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2007, 06:42:46 pm »

Mike Butler (media) wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 15:39

In any case, there you have an object lesson in how quickly the slope steepens when striving to upgrade audio system performance.

Now we should talk about how slippery that slope is as well Razz
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Steve Devino

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Re: Is +3db twice as loud?
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2007, 06:52:08 pm »

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Thu, 01 March 2007 17:21

Quote:

...I think by definition 1 db is the smallest difference for most people...


Neither the decibel nor the Bel were standardized with reference to the just noticeable difference in human perception relative to sound level. The Bel came into being as a quantification of the reduction in audio level over a 1 mile (1.6 km) length of standard telephone cable. It was first called a Transmission Unit or TU.

Just by chance 1dB is roughly equal (depending on conditions) to the ability of listeners to detect a level difference. Trained subjects tested in a psychophysics lab with specific test sounds score better (lower) than 1dB.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decibel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Just_noticeable_difference

-Bink



These guys must be all my studio customers who comment that they think the mix needs .1 dB more 2k etc   Smile


Steve

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