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Old 21st November 2012, 03:48 PM   #5541
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Originally Posted by Julf View Post
Would be interesting to measure how much it actually puts out. Do you have a 'scope?
No I don't
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Old 21st November 2012, 03:59 PM   #5542
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Originally Posted by Julf View Post
The content of the signal doesn't matter. A voltage is a voltage. But in any case, the way most modern popular music is compressed to death, it is close to playing full-level white noise anyway
When I listen to my 24 bit vinyl rips like for example Fleetwood Mac Rumors, or Supertramp Crime of the Century, it's not outputting the same levels as if I'm listening to something like Slayer Reign in Blood mastered with low quality 80's digital gear. Now with the Slayer yes I'm probably capable of driving the amps to clipping with this DAC. But since I listen to a wide verity of music recorded at different levels and not just Slayer, having the extra gain available to boost the levels to what I like to listen at sometimes is nice. Sure I can try to overdrive it in the software but to me it seems to degrade the quality. A simple solution to this problem is to have 4+ volts available on tap from your source to compensate. If you have a better way to accomplish this let me know.
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Old 21st November 2012, 04:59 PM   #5543
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Originally Posted by bavmike View Post
When I listen to my 24 bit vinyl rips like for example Fleetwood Mac Rumors, or Supertramp Crime of the Century, it's not outputting the same levels as if I'm listening to something like Slayer Reign in Blood mastered with low quality 80's digital gear. Now with the Slayer yes I'm probably capable of driving the amps to clipping with this DAC. But since I listen to a wide verity of music recorded at different levels and not just Slayer, having the extra gain available to boost the levels to what I like to listen at sometimes is nice.
Ah! OK, sure, if you have recorded your vinyl at levels much lower than the maximum you probably need extra gain to compensate. In effect you have lower gain (attenuation) earlier in the reproduction chain, so that the actual signal never gets up to even 2V, despite what the theoretical output spec of your DAC is assuming a full-volume signal.

For others, with a more conventional gain structure, it is best to have the gain set so that a 100% modulation at full volume doesn't exceed 2V. Definitely no *need* to exceed 2 V.
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Old 21st November 2012, 05:12 PM   #5544
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Originally Posted by Julf View Post
Ah! OK, sure, if you have recorded your vinyl at levels much lower than the maximum you probably need extra gain to compensate. In effect you have lower gain (attenuation) earlier in the reproduction chain, so that the actual signal never gets up to even 2V, despite what the theoretical output spec of your DAC is assuming a full-volume signal.

For others, with a more conventional gain structure, it is best to have the gain set so that a 100% modulation at full volume doesn't exceed 2V. Definitely no *need* to exceed 2 V.
I was just using those as a example. I also have several 24 bit DVD audio recordings as well as Flac 16 bit which are recorded at a low level as well. I have thousands of high quality albums in my collection. Studio recordings are not all recorded at the same level. I disagree that 2v output is enough to satisfy the average music listening crowd that likes high volume levels, unless they have very efficient speakers. Once again I will say the the 4.5v that the perfectwave put out was perfect for these amps. Your ears will let you know when the amps are being strained.
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Old 21st November 2012, 05:29 PM   #5545
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Originally Posted by bavmike View Post
Once again I will say the the 4.5v that the perfectwave put out was perfect for these amps.
You have no way of knowing if you are actually driving your amps with 4.5V or not if you don't measure it.

Once again I will say that 2 V is enough to drive the nCore to full specified output power (at 1% THD), anything beyond that is driving the amp into clipping.
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Old 21st November 2012, 05:47 PM   #5546
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Originally Posted by Julf View Post
You have no way of knowing if you are actually driving your amps with 4.5V or not if you don't measure it.

Once again I will say that 2 V is enough to drive the nCore to full specified output power (at 1% THD), anything beyond that is driving the amp into clipping.
Yes I agree for those whose musical preference is white noise, 2v should meet their needs. But then there is people who listen to real world recordings whose opinion may differ. You are not going to get a steady 2v output from a DAC or preamp that is rated for 2v when listening to music. It's going to be up and down and the peak output is going to be limited to the level the music was recorded at in the studio. That's all I have to add to this discussion. My real world testing with my ears has given me all the info I require on the subject.
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:00 PM   #5547
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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You are not going to get a steady 2v output from a DAC or preamp that is rated for 2v when listening to music.
No, and you wouldn't want the steady 1% THD resulting from a 2 V steady signal either. Well, actually, it wouldn't be steady, as the nC400 wouldn't be able to keep up with continuously providing the full rated power.

The nice thing about digital sources, unlike analog, is that you know, absolutely, what the peak level will be. Full amplitude is full amplitude. No way to go to 11. That full amplitude is very easy to verify and measure, and the gain structure can be adjusted based on that.

Quote:
It's going to be up and down and the peak output is going to be limited to the level the music was recorded at in the studio.
Indeed. A professionally recorded digital recording is usually normalized so that the highest peak is just below the maximum amplitude allowed by the digital coding. You want to adjust the gain structure so that that peak level doesn't make the amp clip. For the nCore that level is 2 V RMS.

Quote:
That's all I have to add to this discussion. My real world testing with my ears has given me all the info I require on the subject.
Fair enough - just wanted to clarify the issue to people who might be mislead by your statement saying "Just make sure your source has at least 4v of gain unless you only listen at lower levels" (and that shows confusion between gain and voltage - there is no such thing as "4V of gain").
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:23 PM   #5548
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Originally Posted by Julf View Post
No, and you wouldn't want the steady 1% THD resulting from a 2 V steady signal either. Well, actually, it wouldn't be steady, as the nC400 wouldn't be able to keep up with continuously providing the full rated power.

The nice thing about digital sources, unlike analog, is that you know, absolutely, what the peak level will be. Full amplitude is full amplitude. No way to go to 11. That full amplitude is very easy to verify and measure, and the gain structure can be adjusted based on that.



Indeed. A professionally recorded digital recording is usually normalized so that the highest peak is just below the maximum amplitude allowed by the digital coding. You want to adjust the gain structure so that that peak level doesn't make the amp clip. For the nCore that level is 2 V RMS.





Fair enough - just wanted to clarify the issue to people who might be mislead by your statement saying "Just make sure your source has at least 4v of gain unless you only listen at lower levels" (and that shows confusion between gain and voltage - there is no such thing as "4V of gain").

Let's say I measure the output and verify that it indeed measures 2v. And when I listen to one digital recording turned all the way up to maximum, then listen to another turned up to maximum, one is twice as loud as the other. If I want to listen to both of the recordings at the same level, how can I achieve this without having more voltage available? BTW I have 5 different copies of the same albums mastered at different studios and they all are recorded at different levels. I prefer the sound on some of the quietest ones but can't play them at the SPL levels I desire. Only answer I can think of is your SOL unless you have more voltage available.

What I meant is 4V of output

Sorry I don't have this multi quote figured out

Last edited by bavmike; 21st November 2012 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:31 PM   #5549
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Originally Posted by bavmike View Post
Let's say I measure the output and verify that it indeed measures 2v. And when I listen to one digital recording turned all the way up to maximum, then listen to another turned up to maximum, one is twice as loud as the other. If I want to listen to both of the recordings at the same level, how can I achieve this without having more voltage available? BTW I have 5 different copies of the same albums mastered at different studios and they all are recorded at different levels. I prefer the sound on some of the quietest ones but can't play them at the SPL levels I desire. Only answer I can think of is your SOL unless you have more voltage available.

What I meant is 4V of output

Sorry I don't have this multi quote figured out
And lets say the louder of the 2 is playing crystal clear with no distortion or clipping. Now if I had more voltage available and turned the quieter recording up to play at the same SPL levels as the louder one, The amp will be clipping like crazy and perhaps the overload protection will kick in?
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Old 21st November 2012, 06:32 PM   #5550
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Originally Posted by bavmike View Post
Only answer I can think of is your SOL unless you have more voltage available.
You don't need (or want) more *voltage*. You might want more *gain*. And that is best done at your source, or in the digital domain. You might want to look into ReplayGain.

Independent of what your gain is, you still want to make sure your absolute maximum amplitude (voltage) never exceeds 2V.
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