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  1. All audio systems are limited by inherent noise at low levels and by overload distortion at high levels. The usable region between these two extremes is the dynamic range of the system. Expressed in dB.
  2. The range between the loudest and the softest sounds that are in a piece of music, or that can be reproduced by a piece of audio equipment without distortion (a ratio expressed in decibels). In speech, the range rarely exceeds 40 dB; in music, is greatest in orchestral works, where the range may be as much as 75 dB. Source: http://www.owenscorning.com/around/sound/glossary.asp

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