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Low Volume Listening?
#21
(13-Feb-2019, 00:22)awkaplan Wrote:
(12-Feb-2019, 23:36)Soniclife Wrote: David has given great advice in this thread, I'll just add one thing I've not seen mentioned. An alternative to turning up the volume is sitting closer to the speakers, this might not be possible, and many speakers need some breathing room to sound right, but it's worth a try.

The night time DSP to boost bass and encourage a low playback level might work, or go the other way and roll of the bass to keep the volume up and lower bass transmission.

Yes, I can't thank David enough.  Sitting closer is a good idea, but would be problematic with my arrangement.  I'm having maintenance come inspect the various jacks near the speakers to see if more insulation is called for, and I'm considering some form of isolation. 

I think one of the culprits of the complaints may be the dynamic range (I think the right term)—perhaps there's a way in Roon to trigger a DSP that keeps loudness spikes under control along with rolling off the bass.  One quality of the Devialet that I've noticed is that it's much more likely to let the quiet stay quiet and the loud get loud as compared to other kit I've owned.  I'll keep some form of remote very near whenever it's running.

I don't know that Roon's DSP can help you, or that what you're thinking of trying will help.

Burt first, while as far as I know Roon has no way of reducing dynamic range, your mention of that reminded me that the Devialet actually has a control which works with dynamic range. This is Intelligent Cinema Mode (ICM). The explanation for this setting says in part:  "This mode optimizes the dynamics of the incoming audio content, allowing you to enjoy your favourite films without having to make any compromise on experience or power.". You can find it listed in the settings for particular inputs.

When it comes to dynamic range, however, I don't see much help for you. Dynamic range is a measure of how much difference in volume there is between the loudest and softest sounds in a piece of music. Roon gives a figure for the album as a whole. A dynamic range of 14 in Roon means, if I understand it correctly and I'm probably oversimplifying here, is that the difference between the loudest level in 95% of the music and the softest level in 5% of the music, will be 14 dB. 14 dB is a pretty large dynamic range for a lot of the music I listen to, which is largely jazz, and in comparison a lot of pop music seems to have a dynamic range of 8 dB or less. I've seen records with a range of only 5 dB.

The bottom line is this:

- if you have music with a high dynamic range, at whatever level you play it at the loudest passages will be very loud and the softest passages will be very soft relative to each other. Most of the music is unlikely to be very loud, or very soft, but when the loud passages come along you will know it, and when the soft passages come along you may be struggling to hear the music. There are wide variations in loudness during music with a high dynamic range.

- if you have music with a low dynamic range, basically the soft passages aren't going to be all that much softer than the loud passages. There's very little variation in loudness during music with a low dynamic range.

Controls like Devialet's ICM are often used to solve problems with neighbours, or people in your own home  who are trying to sleep while you're playing music. ICM reduces the dynamic range on the basis that it's easier to turn the volume down in order to avoid disturbing other people because the soft passages become a bit louder so you don't have to struggle to hear them when you turn the volume down, and the loud passages are softer so they're less likely to disturb other people. I think this kind of control was implemented in movie soundtracks for DVDs/Blu-rays and the soundtracks contain extra data, separate to the music, which tell the AVR how to reduce the dynamic range if the control is activated. The problem with music is that music recordings don't contain that extra data and the mastering of music recordings isn't standardised while there are standards for some elements of the mastering process. That means the results of these controls with music can be variable. Another issue is that a lot of music relies on dynamic range for part of its effect. The 1812 Overture would be very unsatisfying if you played it with a small orchestra, reduced the dynamic range, and replaced the cannons with popguns. 

You can try ICM. Make a new config file and activate the ICM option for each input you use. Then in the section of the configurator for settings for your remote assign the middle button to ICM On/Off instead of Mute or whatever you're currently using. Load the configuration and try it.

You may still find yourself wanting a bass boost at low levels.
Antipodes DS, Devilalet Expert 140 Pro CI, Focal Sopra 2, PS Audio P12, AQ Vodka ethernet, Kimber Select speaker cables, Shunyata Alpha NR and Delta EF power cables power cables, Grand Prix Audio Monaco rack, RealTRAPS acoustic treatment.

Brisbane, Qld, Australia
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#22
I don't think the DSP in roon can be made to compress, I could be wrong.

ICM with music sounds odd to me, but worth a quick try.

You could try compressing an album in audacity, or similar, as a trial, to see if you are onto something. The problem with compression is that's it's likely to make the bass louder all the time, but if you play it back much quieter it could work out.

I don't think easy solutions to this problem exist, other than headphones, or moving. Good luck.
Roon, Rega P9 + Dynavector XX2Mk2 > 440 Pro > Sonus Faber Guarneri Evolution
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#23
(13-Feb-2019, 10:09)David A Wrote:
(13-Feb-2019, 00:22)awkaplan Wrote:
(12-Feb-2019, 23:36)Soniclife Wrote: David has given great advice in this thread, I'll just add one thing I've not seen mentioned. An alternative to turning up the volume is sitting closer to the speakers, this might not be possible, and many speakers need some breathing room to sound right, but it's worth a try.

The night time DSP to boost bass and encourage a low playback level might work, or go the other way and roll of the bass to keep the volume up and lower bass transmission.

Yes, I can't thank David enough.  Sitting closer is a good idea, but would be problematic with my arrangement.  I'm having maintenance come inspect the various jacks near the speakers to see if more insulation is called for, and I'm considering some form of isolation. 

I think one of the culprits of the complaints may be the dynamic range (I think the right term)—perhaps there's a way in Roon to trigger a DSP that keeps loudness spikes under control along with rolling off the bass.  One quality of the Devialet that I've noticed is that it's much more likely to let the quiet stay quiet and the loud get loud as compared to other kit I've owned.  I'll keep some form of remote very near whenever it's running.

I don't know that Roon's DSP can help you, or that what you're thinking of trying will help.

Burt first, while as far as I know Roon has no way of reducing dynamic range, your mention of that reminded me that the Devialet actually has a control which works with dynamic range. This is Intelligent Cinema Mode (ICM). The explanation for this setting says in part:  "This mode optimizes the dynamics of the incoming audio content, allowing you to enjoy your favourite films without having to make any compromise on experience or power.". You can find it listed in the settings for particular inputs.

When it comes to dynamic range, however, I don't see much help for you. Dynamic range is a measure of how much difference in volume there is between the loudest and softest sounds in a piece of music. Roon gives a figure for the album as a whole. A dynamic range of 14 in Roon means, if I understand it correctly and I'm probably oversimplifying here, is that the difference between the loudest level in 95% of the music and the softest level in 5% of the music, will be 14 dB. 14 dB is a pretty large dynamic range for a lot of the music I listen to, which is largely jazz, and in comparison a lot of pop music seems to have a dynamic range of 8 dB or less. I've seen records with a range of only 5 dB.

The bottom line is this:

- if you have music with a high dynamic range, at whatever level you play it at the loudest passages will be very loud and the softest passages will be very soft relative to each other. Most of the music is unlikely to be very loud, or very soft, but when the loud passages come along you will know it, and when the soft passages come along you may be struggling to hear the music. There are wide variations in loudness during music with a high dynamic range.

- if you have music with a low dynamic range, basically the soft passages aren't going to be all that much softer than the loud passages. There's very little variation in loudness during music with a low dynamic range.

Controls like Devialet's ICM are often used to solve problems with neighbours, or people in your own home  who are trying to sleep while you're playing music. ICM reduces the dynamic range on the basis that it's easier to turn the volume down in order to avoid disturbing other people because the soft passages become a bit louder so you don't have to struggle to hear them when you turn the volume down, and the loud passages are softer so they're less likely to disturb other people. I think this kind of control was implemented in movie soundtracks for DVDs/Blu-rays and the soundtracks contain extra data, separate to the music, which tell the AVR how to reduce the dynamic range if the control is activated. The problem with music is that music recordings don't contain that extra data and the mastering of music recordings isn't standardised while there are standards for some elements of the mastering process. That means the results of these controls with music can be variable. Another issue is that a lot of music relies on dynamic range for part of its effect. The 1812 Overture would be very unsatisfying if you played it with a small orchestra, reduced the dynamic range, and replaced the cannons with popguns. 

You can try ICM. Make a new config file and activate the ICM option for each input you use. Then in the section of the configurator for settings for your remote assign the middle button to ICM On/Off instead of Mute or whatever you're currently using. Load the configuration and try it.

You may still find yourself wanting a bass boost at low levels.

There is no need for a new configuration, unless you want to configure a dedicated remote button for ICM. The ICM setting in the Configurator doesn’t activate ICM per input, rather it turns it on by default when the input is selected.  It is possible to turn ICM on and off for the input in use by cycling through the tone control screens with the remote.
Project Eperience X Pack with Ortofon Rondo Red MC, Oppo BDP 105D, 2 x Sonos Connect, QNAP HS251+ NAS with 2 X 6TB Western Digital Red, Mac 5K 32GB running Lifetime Roon, iPad Pro 12.9" for remote control.  Etalon Ethernet Isolator, Devialet 440 Pro CI, Sonus faber Olympica ll, Auralic Taurus Mkll headphone amp.Denon AH-D5000, Sennheiser HD600 and HD800 with Cardas cable,  Van Den Hul The First Ultimate and Crystal interconnects, Furutech power cables, GSP Audio Spatia speaker cable.
South Coast England
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#24
(13-Feb-2019, 13:52)Axel Wrote: There is no need for a new configuration, unless you want to configure a dedicated remote button for ICM. The ICM setting in the Configurator doesn’t activate ICM per input, rather it turns it on by default when the input is selected.  It is possible to turn ICM on and off for the input in use by cycling through the tone control screens with the remote.

I didn't realise that. Thanks for the info.
Antipodes DS, Devilalet Expert 140 Pro CI, Focal Sopra 2, PS Audio P12, AQ Vodka ethernet, Kimber Select speaker cables, Shunyata Alpha NR and Delta EF power cables power cables, Grand Prix Audio Monaco rack, RealTRAPS acoustic treatment.

Brisbane, Qld, Australia
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#25
(13-Feb-2019, 10:31)Soniclife Wrote: I don't think the DSP in roon can be made to compress, I could be wrong.

ICM with music sounds odd to me, but worth a quick try.

You could try compressing an album in audacity, or similar, as a trial, to see if you are onto something.  The problem with compression is that's it's likely to make the bass louder all the time, but if you play it back much quieter it could work out.

I don't think easy solutions to this problem exist, other than headphones, or moving. Good luck.

I checked the Roon DSP settings and there are no options for modifying dynamic range that I could find.

Dynamic compression with music is going to change the way things sound because dynamic contrast is important in a lot of music and dynamic compression reduces that.

I agree there are no easy solutions. There are solutions but they can be complex and costly, that's if you're even allowed to do them, and unfortunately part of the problem when it comes to disturbing neighbours is the sensitivity of the neighbour. What will disturb one neighbour may not disturb a different neighbour and what will solve the problem with one neighbour may not solve it with another. You can spend a lot of time, effort, and money and discover that whatever you do you simply cannot satisfy a particular neighbour because they simply demand no sound transmission at all from your setup. Headphones or moving may be the only legal solutions. You could also try throwing your neighbour to their death from their balcony, provided they have a balcony, but you'll really find your own musical enjoyment reduced even more while you're in prison.

Addition: There's a big difference between dynamic compression when mixing music and dynamic compression when playing the recording. Music is recorded using different channels for the singer or soloist and for the backing musicians. The recording engineer can compress the channels for the backing musicians and still make sure that there's enough difference in the level of those people in the final mix to provide a volume contrast between them and the singer or soloist. When you compress the mixed result, you reduce that difference between the singer/soloist and the backing because you're compressing everything and that makes a big difference to the way the music sounds.
Antipodes DS, Devilalet Expert 140 Pro CI, Focal Sopra 2, PS Audio P12, AQ Vodka ethernet, Kimber Select speaker cables, Shunyata Alpha NR and Delta EF power cables power cables, Grand Prix Audio Monaco rack, RealTRAPS acoustic treatment.

Brisbane, Qld, Australia
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#26
Klipsch Cornwalls 3 with Devialet is Amazing. Low level volume provides full depth and liveliness, with deep and wonderful botton fundament. High power amps is neccessary, even for these so called easy driven loudspeakers, cause they need good power and ampeer ,especially in the 15incher . But anyway, low levels through these is a joy, cause they loose nothing
‘Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”
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#27
All I can say is that the D3s are not remotely interested until at least -20db. After that, clarity, spacial openness etc just gets better and better. I have taken them up to perhaps -9db and the sound just gets bigger and bigger, not noisier, until you are overwhelmed in sound and unless you are like me with no niearby neighbours, you’ll find the police soon knocking on your door.
Devialet 250 Pro, Chord Signature Reference speaker cables, B&W 803 D3 speakers

Roon lifetime licence, Tidal. 
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#28
Funny enough, the dealer I bought my Expert Pro from had a sizeable display of Cornwalls.  Only demoed with Focals.

I have some new speaker cable on loan, and the first set I’m trying actually seem to tighten the bass up.  Synergistic UEF 1—was supposed to try the UEF 2 but was sent the wrong set.  UEF 2 coming Tuesday.  I’m liking their approach to biwiring as well.  We’ll see if the UEF 2 share characteristics with the UEF 1, thus making lower-volume listening more satisfying.
 
Also, I’m convinced the new firmware cleaned SAM up a bit.  I’m a 100% SAM guy and noticed a reduction in minor flabbiness that I would sometimes experience when the speakers were really being pushed to their limits.  Even before the cable change, that minor flabbiness was gone and the soundstage was definitely more holographic at lower volumes.  I also added a Roon NUC that I built shortly after the update and seems to resolve well at lower volumes, but I'm still adjusting to the sound.  I suspect I need a better cable between the NUC and the modem/router.  While part of me preferred the sound of my laptop streaming Roon as the core, the NUC seems to be breaking in, and it’s taken a ton of stress off my WiFi 5ghz radio.  Zero dropouts.

In sum, the system is much more listenable at lower volumes now.  Or at least somewhat so.
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