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Old 27th March 2013, 01:34 AM   #1
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Default phono preamp gain settings for maximising S/N + dynamic range into DSP

Hi fellers

I have a turntable I've had for a while now, and a small amount of vinyl and I'd like to explore more. I've started down the slippery slope of discrete gear and so no longer have an integrated amp or any sort, except for an NAD I've been lent that has no phono stage. I'm putting together the parts for a PassDIY Pearl II.

My preamp will be a MiniDSP 2x8 and the system will be all active.

The DSP has a 2volts (or 0.9) RMS max input. I'd like to make the most of the S/N of the device, but would rather not have attenuators before it, although if I really must then I'll build some with fancy resistors.

My question to you all is: how much dynamic range should I allow for in the gain setting on the Pearl II?

I've looked around but still don't understand how to interpret the sensitivity ratings of cartridges; x mV @ 1kHz @5cm/s etc, but is this considered 0dB, or maybe -x dB relative to vinyl average levels? I'm going to allow for multiple gain settings to account for differences between MM and MC at least, and it wouldn't be hard to have even 5 gain settings available, but I still need to know what the peaks are going to be like.

Perhaps I'm going to have to build it, run with default and just measure and learn what the dynamic range needs are... and then live with attenuators.

thanks for your opinions

--dwf

ps: i'm sorry for the useless thread title. I tried to change it but alas, it cannot be done.

Last edited by derwhalfisch; 27th March 2013 at 02:11 AM.
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