Gain on preamps and why are some so high? ... - Page 5
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  1. #41
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    Re: Gain on preamps and why are some so high? ...

    No Problem, This is a hobby I don't really share with anyone in my life...so I'm not very good at describing what I hear...but I can hear it! Been doing this since high school. Never realized how hard it is to describe until you asked me to try. I tried some forums years ago but when 'all out war' broke out when discussing cable, fuse and tweak sounds...I stopped posting...
    Fate ain’t just who’s cookin smells good but which way the wind blows...

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    ...endless tubes, cables and tweaks...

  2. #42
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    Re: Gain on preamps and why are some so high? ...

    Coworkers and not-audio friends jut do not understand. I feel like I need to hide in the shadows and can't talk about my gear. They just don't get it and the first thing they ask is how much? What? You're crazy, etc..

    You are definitely among friends here. Thanks for giving us a chance.



    Quote Originally Posted by Arnoldhasmail View Post
    No Problem, This is a hobby I don't really share with anyone in my life...so I'm not very good at describing what I hear...but I can hear it! Been doing this since high school. Never realized how hard it is to describe until you asked me to try. I tried some forums years ago but when 'all out war' broke out when discussing cable, fuse and tweak sounds...I stopped posting...
    Joe

    McIntosh MCLK12, McIntosh MC303, Job INTegrated, Triode Corporation TRX-M845 Monoblocks, Accuphase A-36, Cary 300B SE, JBL 4367, Falcon LS3/5a, Sonus Faber Stradivari, Revel Ultima Studio 2, JBL 4312D, Klipsch Palladium P17-b, Klipsch RP-160M, Klipsch RB-75, KEF LS50, ModWright Ultimate Sony XA-5400ES, ASL Wave monos, Kimber RCA and XLR cable, VPI Classic 3, VPI SDS, Lyra Kleos, Burmester 948, Metric Halo LIO-8, Lumin U1. PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge II, Linear Tube Audio MZ2 - MicroZOTL2.0 Preamplifier.

  3. #43
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    Re: Gain on preamps and why are some so high? ...

    This is a topic I've always found interesting. Like many, I feel that there's just too much gain baked in to today's systems. But, also like many, I'm not sure I always follow the math of how gain works.

    Using my own system for reference (because I have the values at hand):
    My amp (ATI 542NC, 500wpc NCore Class D) claims an input sensitivity for full output of 2V, with a voltage gain of 28dB.
    Preamp (W4S STP-SE Stage 2) has max gain of 6dB and max voltage output of 9V, but operates as a passive preamp in the lower 2/3 of the volume range, below setting "63"; "64" and above is active.
    DAC (PS Audio Directstream Jr) has max output voltage of 2.85V at 1khz as measured by Stereophile (ok, that was the big DS, not the Junior, but I bet they're close).

    So if I run the DAC at 100% volume (typical for many, I think, though I rarely do...), and the pre at setting 62 (i.e. unity gain), my amp will be seeing 2.85V, which is beyond the voltage needed for its rated 500W. The only unknown here is what the signal level of the source file is that's driving the DAC (typically my Aurender N100H). Does this appear reasonable from a math standpoint?

    And more to the point, is it reasonable that I can get enough signal to get rated power out of my amp without any preamp gain at all? That seems wrong to me - what's even the point of preamp gain then?

    One more question that's operationally related instead of theoretical: I typically listen at what are probably considered moderate to lower volumes. Fortunately, my Focals have proven to be fairly adept at being dynamic and involving when not being pushed to ear bleeding levels. But does it matter how I set the gain on my components? If I leave the DAC at 100%, the preamp is at ~15 for a comfortable level (remember, unity is 63, max active is something like 84). Would it be better to dial back the gain on the DAC to ~75%, which allows the preamp to run at setting ~30? Or even more attenuation on the DAC to bring the pre into unity or slightly active gain?
    Jeff

    My System
    Streamer/Server: Aurender N100H; Disc Player: Oppo UDP-205; DAC: PS Audio Directstream Jr; Preamp: Wyred 4 Sound STP-SE Stage 2; Power Amp: ATI AT542NC; Speakers: Focal Sopra No. 3; Cables: Cullen Cable, Wireworld, Kimber; Power: Ansuz Mainz8 X-TC, PS Audio Dectet, Furutech outlets

  4. #44
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    Re: Gain on preamps and why are some so high? ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Devg View Post
    With too much gain, its very difficult to set the volume precisely - a slight turn can lead to more than 6db increase in volume. Also some preamps has some sort of sweet spot for their volume control at normal listening level - with too much gain in the system, the sweet spot could easily be missed.
    What you are describing is bad design in a pre amp.

    A pre amp should sound the same at any position on the volume control. Volume steps of 6db - that is plain crazy. Maximum steps should be1db, preferably lower. This gives you precision in getting the right volume.

    Cheers
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  5. #45
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    Re: Gain on preamps and why are some so high? ...

    yes. my phonostage has 73 for high and 79 dB for low mc's.

    even with a 0.2 mV mc it's a lot. concerning 80 dB is about 10.000x times amplification.

    my integrated is pretty loud at only 9 o'clock volume.

    i guess it's a design thing. -10 dB would be better.
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  6. #46
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    Re: Gain on preamps and why are some so high? ...

    Jeff

    On the DSJ just go into the output level settings menu and engage the Attenuator controls as that will lower the gain of the output stage and give you more flexibility with the volume control though you are fine where you are. Leave the volume of the DSJ at 100.
    Main - JVC QL-Y7/Denon Dl-301 Mk II, Vista Audio Phono 2, Marantz HD-CD1, Lumin D1 w/Sbooster, PS Audio DirectStream DAC w/Bridge II, BHK Preamp and 250 amp, Nola KO's, (2) Rythmik F12SE, Cables- Triode Wire Labs, Blue Circle PLC FX-2 with BC-62 PC, PI Audio Uberbuss

    Family Room - Oppo UDP-203, Auralic Aries, W4S Recovery with iPower, Nuprime DAC-10, Nuprime ST-10, Spatial Audio Triode Master, (2) Rythmik F-12G, Wireworld SC & IC's, Cullen Cable PC's, SurgeX SA-1810

 

 
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