Can someone explain....

yg17

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
2,480
St. Louis, MO
This has always puzzled me.....why is it on some stereo receivers, turning the volume up lowers the dB level displayed? Like, very quiet on my receiver is 70 dB where pretty loud is 30 dB. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Just a random question.....
 

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
17,243
1,139
If you look closely, you'll see that they're negative numbers. They're just in relation to some reference level, which is like a direct connection to the amp. Attenuating the signal makes it quieter and sends the "volume" into "negative" territory.
 

Zwhaler

macrumors demi-god
Jun 10, 2006
6,746
1,023
I know doesn't that bother you? I seriously can't see the reasoning behind it. And whats with the whole -80db is silent, but 0db is loud as hell? I can't stand that. Someone please answer :)

Edit: cowboy answered my ? but i typed this b4 he posted :D
 

yg17

macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
14,910
2,480
St. Louis, MO
WildCowboy said:
If you look closely, you'll see that they're negative numbers. They're just in relation to some reference level, which is like a direct connection to the amp. Attenuating the signal makes it quieter and sends the "volume" into "negative" territory.

Oh, lol, never noticed the negative sign. Still doesn't make much sense to me, but now I know that it's actually -30 dB which is louder than -70 :D
 

spicyapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
1,725
0
Sometimes I wonder why the volume knobs aren't labeled from 0-11 with 11 being the loudest. :)

These minus dB numbers do make the receivers look sophisticated, because I can't figure it out too.
 

balamw

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,368
974
New England
It can get really confusing when you talk about attenuation in dB, since that is typically quoted as a positive number in dB, since you are expected to be subtracting that from your reference level. The greater the number then smaller the signal that gets through. However, the same number can be quoted as gain and would then be negative.

B