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Old 17th March 2019
Lives for gear

{So, to sum up this 8 years worth of debate:

Noone knows what the heck +4db/-10db means.

And on that bombshell... }

Not at all.
MANY people know exactly what it means. Some people are away with the faeries but you do need to know the relevance of the two (and there are other) reference levels to the job you are doing.
Some gear produces it's 'best' performance at -10dBV signal level, and some at +4dBu.

+4dBu out of one piece of gear risks overloading (clipping) a -10dBV input.
-10dBV output of a piece of gear risks unnecessary noise (typically hiss) when going into a +4dBu input. If it is a unit that is calibrated for level, compressor , limiter etc, the threshold and other controls will not work at the scale points marked.

Matt S