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Do you use loudness?

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Stereomensch
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Stereomensch posted on Thu, Apr 2 2020 9:13 PM

Hello :)

I know many purists hate it, but I usually use loudness with my redline 7000 speakers.

I have experienced that some audiophile speakers with big and expensive chassis really don't need loudness, they always sound great.

But B&Os passive speakers need loudness if used with low volume.Otherwise they sound boring and lifeless.

With loudness their sound is rich and perfect. If I use my speakers with high volume, I don't need loudness, with high volume the speakers sound great.

What do you think about this topic?

Is it ok to use loudness?

Do you use this feature?

I'm reallly curious about your opinions. :)

 

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Stereomensch
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some additional informations:

 

Jeff
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Jeff replied on Thu, Apr 2 2020 10:44 PM

If I recall your RL's are pretty far away from the back wall, which could make them sound thin. I always thought they were voiced to sit fairly close to the rear boundary. Personally, I use loudness when listening to music at low volume, which is what it's designed for, the Fletcher-Munsen curve of the freq response of the ear as volume level decreases. I have found, with my BS9000 and both the BL8000 and BL9s I have, the B&O loudness curve works well. It doesn't stomp on things, it's not a heavy handed approach.

I have a McIntosh C32 preamp that has an approach used more often in the past and on more expensive gear, a loudness knob. You set a normal volume, loud enough to not need the loudness compensation. Then you control the volume with the loudness knob. As you turn the volume down it adds more and more compensation, it's not an all or nothing approach, and works really well.

Jeff

I'm afraid I'm recovering from the BeoVirus. Sad

Kasse
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Kasse replied on Fri, Apr 3 2020 12:29 AM

Yes, I do have Loudness enabled on both systems (Beosystem 7000 with Beolab 8000 in my office and Beocenter 9500 with Bose Acoustimass 5 Series II in the garage). It sounds too "thin" without it, to my taste at least.

BeoPlay A9 Mk. II "Special Edition" - "Smoked Oak" 

Beosound Stage "Contrast Collection" - Anthracite

Beoplay M5 - Black

Beomaster 7000 + Beocord 7000 + Beogram 7000 MMC1/2 + Beogram CD7000 + Beolink 7000 + Beolab 8000

Beocenter 9500 + Beolink 1000

AUX Expander "Custom Mod" (built-in Bluetooth streaming)

Lennart25
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Hallo Stereomensch,

 

I had/have Beolab 9 with a Beosound 9000 and it really depended on the music I was listening to. Orchestral Symphonies sounded not that great with loudness on. Bass from organs or contrabass in Jazz pieces we´re too present. Yet almost any pop song or modern electronic music with a heavy bassline sounded much better, subjectively, with loudness on. The treble part of the loudness was annoying with a specific saxophone piece, but otherwise neutral to the listening experience; Definitly different but neither better nor worse. During the transition to Beolab 5, going in for a listening session today, i got my Beolab 6000 from the attic and in my opinion they are utterly disgusting with the loudness activated. The Bass is "screaming" and all over the place. I never touched the loudness function again with the 6000s. I recall that my Pentas were great with loudness on but as you said, with higher volume you didn´t really need it.

I have also had Beolab Penta 2 (i removed the amps on the bottom) hooked up to a yamah amplifier with a similar loudness knob to the one Jeff meantioned. You could very easily set the perfect amount of loudness for the listening level. Hard to use with a mixed genre taste but great for listening to one single album.

I would VERY much like to know what specific impact the loudness function on B&O products (different Beosounds) has at different levels, frequencies etc. Maybe with TVs (they seem to know what loudspeaker you hook up to it or atleast you can set it) it even has different impacts on different speakers.

Will ask the vendor today.

Geoff Martin
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Lennart25:

I would VERY much like to know what specific impact the loudness function on B&O products (different Beosounds) has at different levels, frequencies etc. Maybe with TVs (they seem to know what loudspeaker you hook up to it or atleast you can set it) it even has different impacts on different speakers.

Will ask the vendor today.

The effects of the Loudness filters in all BeoVision televisions released since (and including) BeoPlay V1 are detailed in the Technical Sound Guide. They're also adjustable.

I've also done some analysis of the BeoMaster 8000 loudness function. Those results are detailed on this page if you're interested.

Cheers
-geoff

Geoff Martin
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Lennart25:

I would VERY much like to know what specific impact the loudness function on B&O products (different Beosounds) has at different levels, frequencies etc. Maybe with TVs (they seem to know what loudspeaker you hook up to it or atleast you can set it) it even has different impacts on different speakers.

Will ask the vendor today.

The effects of the Loudness filters in all BeoVision televisions released since (and including) BeoPlay V1 are detailed in the Technical Sound Guide. They're also adjustable.

I've also done some analysis of the BeoMaster 8000 loudness function. Those results are detailed on this page if you're interested.

Cheers
-geoff

Geoff Martin
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Oh - and to answer the original question in the thread. I almost always use loudness when it's available. I have one piece of gear that does not have it (a USB Headphone DAC) but, usually, when I use that, I have made my own loudness function that I put in the signal flow on my computer between the player and the audio output.

My reason is that you can't argue with equal loudness curves (aka Fletcher and Munson) - so if you want to hear the same spectral balance independent of the volume setting, you need a well-designed loudness function.

Of course, if you want to only hear the vocals / midrange when you turn down the volume, than that's your choice. :-)

Cheers
-g 

chickenceo
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While we are at this topic. Can someone explain a newbie question...

1) Loudness is suppose to bring up base at low volume level. What is the difference between turn on loudness vs bringing the subwoofer up 1 or 2 db higher?

2) What is the difference between adjusting the subwoofer db vs adjusting the bass level?

Thanks!

BL8000, BL10, BL4000, BL2, BL3 (Sold), Beocentre 2 (Sold), Beosystem 3, LG C8

Geoff Martin
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chickenceo:

While we are at this topic. Can someone explain a newbie question...

1) Loudness is suppose to bring up base at low volume level. What is the difference between turn on loudness vs bringing the subwoofer up 1 or 2 db higher?

2) What is the difference between adjusting the subwoofer db vs adjusting the bass level?

Thanks!

 

1a. If we assume that your subwoofer is part of a bass-managed system, which would mean that it's producing the bass from some frequency (typically around 120 Hz or so) and down - and no other loudspeakers in the configuration is working in the low end, then turning up your subwoofer by 1 or 2 dB will increase the level of the frequency range that it covers (let's say, 120 Hz and down) at  all settings of the volume control. So, you'll have more bass, no matter what the playback level.

1b. If we assume that your subwoofer is dedicated to only playing the LFE channel from a multichannel signal, then the effect will only be applied to the LFE channel - still at all volume levels.

1 - generally: A modern "loudness" function increases the bass (and, in sometimes the treble) by a different amount depending on the setting of the volume control. The more you turn down the volume, the more the bass and treble are increased in level to compensate for the fact that your hearing system's "frequency response" changes with levels. The quieter the signal, the less able you are to hear low and high frequencies... If you want to hear the same spectral balance of your music regardless of the volume setting, your system will have to do something to compensate for the changes in you.

Also, the typical Loudness function will increase the levels by a lot more than 1 or 2 dB. A current BeoVision television in its factory default setting will push up the bass by 12 dB and the treble by 9 dB - although you can customize these values to suit your tastes.

 

 

2. The answer to this depends very much on the specific behaviour of your particular system. However, generally speaking, a "bass" control has a wider bandwidth than a subwoofer, and it will add bass to all audio channels (if you aren't bass managing, this means that you'll get more bass in all speakers...) (Remember: I said GENERALLY SPEAKING - so please don't send me angry messages about a specific subwoofer and a specific bass controller compare to each other. You'll ruin the perfectly nice cup of tea that I'm drinking right now...)

 

For more information that might help - I wrote an article explaining loudness functions in general on this page. This also shows some example response curves from the BeoVision televisions (the current ones have the same behaviour as the ones listed there...)

Cheers

-geoff

chickenceo
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Thank Geoff for your through explanation.

So the loudness on my BS3 is like a "intelligent" boost. Something I have to try.

Currently I adjusted all my speakers to around 64db and the subwoofer at around 68-70db, I have already dialled the subwoofer level to the lowest and the BL2 is already set to "corner", and that is the lowest db I can get from the subwoofer. To compensate, I have tried to move the BL2 away from the wall as far as possible. Having said that, I am not getting booming so I am happy.

I am still confused with the "Bass" control....I guess I have to try and see the difference for myself.

Thank you very much!

Geoff Martin:

 

chickenceo:

While we are at this topic. Can someone explain a newbie question...

1) Loudness is suppose to bring up base at low volume level. What is the difference between turn on loudness vs bringing the subwoofer up 1 or 2 db higher?

2) What is the difference between adjusting the subwoofer db vs adjusting the bass level?

Thanks!

 

1a. If we assume that your subwoofer is part of a bass-managed system, which would mean that it's producing the bass from some frequency (typically around 120 Hz or so) and down - and no other loudspeakers in the configuration is working in the low end, then turning up your subwoofer by 1 or 2 dB will increase the level of the frequency range that it covers (let's say, 120 Hz and down) at  all settings of the volume control. So, you'll have more bass, no matter what the playback level.

1b. If we assume that your subwoofer is dedicated to only playing the LFE channel from a multichannel signal, then the effect will only be applied to the LFE channel - still at all volume levels.

1 - generally: A modern "loudness" function increases the bass (and, in sometimes the treble) by a different amount depending on the setting of the volume control. The more you turn down the volume, the more the bass and treble are increased in level to compensate for the fact that your hearing system's "frequency response" changes with levels. The quieter the signal, the less able you are to hear low and high frequencies... If you want to hear the same spectral balance of your music regardless of the volume setting, your system will have to do something to compensate for the changes in you.

Also, the typical Loudness function will increase the levels by a lot more than 1 or 2 dB. A current BeoVision television in its factory default setting will push up the bass by 12 dB and the treble by 9 dB - although you can customize these values to suit your tastes.

 

 

2. The answer to this depends very much on the specific behaviour of your particular system. However, generally speaking, a "bass" control has a wider bandwidth than a subwoofer, and it will add bass to all audio channels (if you aren't bass managing, this means that you'll get more bass in all speakers...) (Remember: I said GENERALLY SPEAKING - so please don't send me angry messages about a specific subwoofer and a specific bass controller compare to each other. You'll ruin the perfectly nice cup of tea that I'm drinking right now...)

 

For more information that might help - I wrote an article explaining loudness functions in general on this page. This also shows some example response curves from the BeoVision televisions (the current ones have the same behaviour as the ones listed there...)

Cheers

-geoff

 

BL8000, BL10, BL4000, BL2, BL3 (Sold), Beocentre 2 (Sold), Beosystem 3, LG C8

seethroughyou
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I always use loudness function and unlike perhaps other loudness buttons on an integrated amplifier, B&O’s loudness function is more intelligent and adapts to the volume so you don’t get a crude increase in bass all the way up to higher volumes.

.

 

 

Present: BL90, Moment, Core, BL6000, CD7000, 7000, Essence Remote.

Past: BL1, BL2, BL8000, BS9000, BL5, BC2, BS5, BV5, BV4-50, Beosystem 3, BL3, DVD1, Beoremote 4.

.

DMacri
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DMacri replied on Sat, Apr 4 2020 12:52 PM
seethroughyou:

I always use loudness function and unlike perhaps other loudness buttons on an integrated amplifier, B&O’s loudness function is more intelligent and adapts to the volume so you don’t get a crude increase in bass all the way up to higher volumes.

I have the same experience. B&O’s implementation of loudness works better than others I’ve tried. To work well with passive speakers, the loudness curve would have to match the amplifier output and the speaker sensitivity. Staying in brand makes a lot of sense here if you assume the products are designed as a whole.

The gain of Beolab active speakers being known by the designers should make loudness easier to apply, plus now you have ABL to help.

I assume the BeoSystem 3 being able to know which Beolab speakers are in which position allows more precise application of loudness. I have loudness active on all my B&O.

Dom

2x BeoSystem 3, BeoSystem 5000, BeoSystem 6500, 2x BeoMaster 7000, 2 pair of BeoLab Penta mk2, AV 7000, Beolab 4000, BeoSound 4000, Playmaker, BeoLab 2500, S-45, S-45.2, RL-140, CX-50, C-75, 3x CX-100, 3x MCL2 link rooms, 3x Beolab 2000, M3, P2, Earset, A8 earphones, A3, 2x 4001 relay, H3, H3 ANC, H6, 2014 Audi S5 with B&O sound, and ambio 

John
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John replied on Sat, Apr 4 2020 1:57 PM

That's an good question. I think it's room/taste dependent. 

In the store I always use loudness, it's a big showroom with hard floors and loudness really does what it's supposed to do, perfect. 

I now have Beosound Stage in the living room (waaaaaaay smaller than the store) and I find the loudness far too much for me. The bass is mightily impressive at low volume but draws far too much attention to itself so I have turned loudness off and it sounds really good. 

Same with my M5 in the kitchen, in the store loudness is great but at home it makes it all a bit muddy at low volume. 

Saint Beogrowler
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I almost alway use the loudness function. The Beomaster 8000 is especially amazing at all volume levels. Right now I’m using my Beomaster 6000 everyday and for the courtesy of my neighbors who are Safe At Home, the volume remains low throughout the day but the loudness function is on. I’m running a set of M70s.
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