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Our columnist breaks down the science behind the dB unit specific to digital systems, and divulges a perennial question about comparative amp loudness.

Hello, and welcome to another Dojo. Last month, I focused on the history and development of the VU meter, and then defined some of the more confusing terms regarding decibels (dB, dBu, dBA, and dBSPL), as well as various ways to measure loudness and amplitude. I also asked: “Is a 100-watt amp twice as loud as a 50-watt amp?”—the answer shall be revealed presently. But first, I’m going to focus on a relative newcomer to the scene: dBFS. Tighten up your belts, the Dojo is now open.

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