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Old 29th March 2011, 11:57 AM  
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Kona, Hawaii
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Default What is Gain Structure?

Gain structure (AKA Gain Staging) is a concept that gets talked about a lot in pro audio, but most home audio folks have never heard of it. Understanding gain structure can help you get the cleanest signal possible out of your system and avoid some nasty things. Things like noise and clipping,...

Last edited by Variac; 2nd April 2011 at 12:34 AM.
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5th July 2011
OCP71
diyAudio Member
Thanks MM- That cleared up a thing-or-three!
Now I am wondering . . .
I sometimes read that 'philes felt the need to wind the wick up a bit more to get the fullness of sound they expected. Do you think that may be anything to do with overloaded/badly mis-matched sections of the signal train?
It's just one of many things I'm trying to get clear - is it something to do with mis-matching ELECTRICALLY or perhaps just the wrong driver/cabinet for the amplifier type?
11th August 2011
jmasigasig
diyAudio Member
Can anyone define for me "Reversed listening mode". This is a feature of the ACOUSTIC RESEARCH SP15 but I cannot find any manual.
24th August 2011
Amrad
diyAudio Member
What's happened to the two graphs? They are not being displayed.

Regards,

Dave.
24th August 2011
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Pano
diyAudio Moderator
I don't know Dave. I've reported it, but it's not fixed yet.
24th August 2011
Amrad
diyAudio Member
Quote:
I don't know Dave. I've reported it, but it's not fixed yet
OK. Thanks.

Regards,

Dave.
12th October 2011
udailey
diyAudio Member
Pano,
So do you support power buffers driving speakers? This way we can easily tailor our pre, if it can handle the voltage, to be the only gain stage. Since the pre would likely have only mA output then a stepped attenuator could do the job between the pre and buffer. I think Nelson had a power buffer didnt he? Will have to search around. Could swear I remember seeing one.
Uriah
purchase LDRs anytime Also try my Resistor Replacers or LDR based Input Selector Email me. diyldr@gmail.com
12th October 2011
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Pano
diyAudio Moderator
Strange you should ask that, I was just looking at the symmetrical B1 buffer thread. But that not a power buffer, just a line stage.

I have not really used an amp that was a "power buffer" or has unity voltage gain with more output current. With modern sources and speakers in the 92dB/watt range or higher, it might be all that most people need. With horns in a domestic setting we are usually running them at a lower voltage than the output of the CD player or DAC.

For efficient speakers in a normal size domestic listening room I find that the amp volume control is often turned down far enough that the power amp is, in effect, just a power buffer.
14th December 2011
T101
diyAudio Member
Wow this is great article! Thank you!
Now I understand what I am doing by using both the output level control of my CDX993, the volume control of the C85 and the attenuators of the MX-1000. Everybody has always told me to seek pure signal path only a single attenuator and etc... But I have found that there is an audible difference and that is why I did it that way.
The same applies for my first encounter with the difference of the sound from only altering signal levels. The system was a Pioneer SACD player, Behringer VMX-100 and a Pioneer receiver. Adjusting the Gain on the Behringer and then the output volume gives audible results in dynamics and clarity.

Thank You again!
14th December 2011
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Pano
diyAudio Moderator
You are very welcome! The proper signal level in each step along the way can make a big difference to final sound quality.
14th December 2011
T101
diyAudio Member
Initially I did it after I read the equipment manuals and saw that maximum output level of the player was higher than the input sensitivity of the amplifier. That made me thinking. I got the Behringer only to serve as a preamp. The most improvement was achieved when I reduced the gain amount, don't know how much, but significantly below the middle for most music material. Also the reduced main out volume served very well.

The results are both clarity and dynamics, although I never knew what is the science behind this and the purpose of the additional preamp was solely to counter possible clipping in the amplifier input.

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