Volume knob? Never heard of him...
One of the things that happens though is that if people like the John Mayer album and crank it until it "feels right" to jam out to then whe they put your disc in they have to crank it even more to get the same "feeling". SO now you're wide open on your vol knob and either your amp or your speakers now can't handle the signal because you're wide open.... so then there is distortion in the playback system and you never get the same feeling. That's one of the challenges for us mastering guys. SO usually we're trying to find a happy medium.

Jody --- yea, the mastering guys have some culpability. The best advice I can give since pushing levels is the norm, if you are outside the norm, let the ME know so they know what your values are. Most ME's will love you and want to work with you because we're then allowed to do our job better. The hypercompression only messes up what we usually want to do with a project.

John - thanks for the kind words

biskitboy - can't argue too much on your point. Most people don't care or can hear the difference. I still think they're effected though. How many people can listen to an entire disc anymore. Most people can't taken the beating.... Try listening to u2's "atomic bomb". Most people, even people who don't care or know, won't do it. They'll say they don't like the songs or something but I think a part of it is that it's not pleasing to listen to.

Paul Elliott
Head Mastering Engineer
The Soundlab @ Disc Makers