New sound systems and home theatres all seem to have a volume capacity that goes from minus 50, 60dB or so to + 15dB or so. What 's the reasoning behind this? Is the goal trying to operate in the positive dB? Better sound in the +dB?
dB is a logarithmic scale used to "measure" sound intensity. The standard reference, 1dB, is the quietest sound persons with normal hearing can detect.
The rule of thumb I learned was that for approximately 3dB change in volume, twice the power was needed, so, if a 50 watt amp put out 80 dB thru speaker "x", (measured with a sound meter)then 100watts would put out 83dB,200watts would put out 86 dB and so forth.
Most mixing boards have a 0dB line on the faders which indicates that the signal path is at an optimum value; signal below this line (-dB) will have more noise relative to the source, signal above this line may start to clip/distort.
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