Preamp to go with an Arcam Delta290 power - do i need active, or will passive be ok? - diyAudio
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Old 13th March 2011, 01:04 PM   #1
julian is offline julian  United Kingdom
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Default Preamp to go with an Arcam Delta290 power - do i need active, or will passive be ok?

I have a delta 290 integrated, but the input selector has failed. I could repair this section, but i would rather put the amp into power-amp only mode (there are jumpers inside to disable the pre-amp section) and couple it to a DIY pre-amp, with the eventual idea of replacing the rest of the amp with a couple of diy monoblocs also.

But...

Im unclear if i can use a passive pre-amp or if i would need an active amplification stage?

My input sources would be a commercial DAC (another arcam unit - also currently dead!) and my pass perl phono stage.

Thank you,
Julian
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Old 15th March 2011, 10:15 AM   #2
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Possible test is to use quietest of your sources (phono, perhaps) and quietest of recordings. Connect stereo potentiometer between the source outputs and power amp inputs. If it is loud enough, then you don't need preamp with gain.

Or it can be estimated from output level of source, gain of power section of integrated amp, sensitivity of your speakers and size of your room but I think that connecting pot is much simpler (you can also use CD player with vartiable output).

Quick method:
if you did not turn volume past 12 o'clock position when using your integrated, you possibly do not need active preamp.
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Old 15th March 2011, 04:42 PM   #3
julian is offline julian  United Kingdom
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Thanks for that - i will give what you suggest a try.

A while back, as a quick bodge, ive put the amp into power amp mode, and have the output from my RME Hammerfall (resonable computer sound card) direct into the power amp. But ive had to turn down all the inputs / output so much that there is very little tollerable range (right at the quiet end of the scale) and theres an irritating whine comming in from somewhere which i did not track down in the limited ammount of time i tried it.

I will try with another line level source, but, from your "12 o'clock" suggestion ill be fine - im generally wanting things quieter rather than louder.

Thanks again,
Julian
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