::Edited: REMOVED RANT::
Thanks, R.G. :mrgreen:! Say, would "instrument level" be more accurate?
rags, here you go; I'm not sure if this helps, but it'll get you started. Sorry if there's dupe info, I finished composing after R.G. posted:http://lp2cd.com/audio_terms/l/level.htmlLevel: Intensity of a continuous tone used for test purposes (measured in decibels by comparison with the standard reference level, or zero level, of 0775 volt rms, which is equivalent to a power of 1 milliwatt in a resistance of 600 ohms); colloquially, intensity of program output or of noise.
Also the definition of dBm for voltage.http://lp2cd.com/audio_terms/l/line_600.htmlLine, 600 OHM: A transmission line with a characteristic impedance of 600 ohms.
This was, in the past, the STANDARD for transmission lines, especially for telephone signals. All outputs and inputs had to be 600 OHM. You still see it today; Pete Cornish designs his DIs to 600 OHM floating (switchable ground lift) outputs.http://lp2cd.com/audio_terms/l/line_level.htmlLine level: A signal whose level is at or about, +4 dBm.
AKA "Professional" gear. "Consumer" or "Prosumer" gear typically puts out a signal of -10 dBm. You'll see this on mixers, recorders, and other studio gear (there'll be a level control or "pad" switch).http://lp2cd.com/audio_terms/d/decibel.htmlDecibel: A unit of level equal to ten times the logarithm of the ratio of two powers. Depending on the reference level used, the decibel symbol will be immediately followed by a letter, as: dBA - An "A" weighted decibel level. dBB - A "B" weighted decibel level. DBC - A "C" weighted decibel level. dBm - A decibel level in which Pb represents one milliwatt of power dissipated in a 600 ohm line. Pa must a also be measured in a 600 ohm line. DBV A decibel voltage level, in which the reference, Vb, is 1.0 volt. A reference of 0.775 volts is also frequently used.
The decibel was devised by EEs during the early days of telephone in order to a) easily facilitate the calculation of gains between amplifiers and b) minimize inaccuracy due to significant figures.