Distinct Beat 122 S. Oakland St., Gastonia NC Phn: 980.285.8888

What is a decibel (dB)?
dec·i·bel - noun - 1. A unit used to measure the intensity of a sound or the power level of an electrical signal by comparing it with a given level on a logarithmic scale. 2. (in general use) A degree of loudness.

To a car audio nut, the decibel is a unit of measure on the spl circuit to determine how loud their vehicle performed in competition. Each organization will measure the vehicle based on power class/set of design rules, and determine the loudest output level. The level of output measured (in decibels) will determine the ranking in that specific class for the competitor. Decibel measurements are also used to determine the loudness of equiupment in service, vehicle traffic, safety companies to determine health standards, etc. There are many uses for the decibel measurement. In our realm, the decibel is chased by many to create the loudest vehicle, just just like a gear head chases engine horsepower. Below is a scale to help in comparing a loudness via the decibel.

** Food for thought:
In 2009, the NPSL World Record Holder, Alan Dante, hit a 181.9 with his system! Compare that number below.

Environmental Noise

Weakest sound heard 0dB
Whisper Quiet Library 30dB
Normal conversation (3-5') 60-70dB
Telephone dial tone 80dB
City Traffic (inside car) 85dB
Train whistle at 500', Truck Traffic 90dB
Subway train at 200' 95dB
Level at which sustained exposure may result in hearing loss 90 - 95dB
Power mower at 3' 107dB
Snowmobile, Motorcycle 100dB
Power saw at 3' 110dB
Sandblasting, Loud Rock Concert 115dB
Pain begins 125dB
Pneumatic riveter at 4' 125dB
Short term exposure can cause permanent damage - Loudest recommended exposure WITH hearing protection 140dB
Jet engine at 100', Gun Blast 140dB
Death of hearing tissue 180dB
Loudest sound possible 194dB


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