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Old 21st November 2012, 07:54 PM   #5551
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Originally Posted by bavmike View Post
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?
That was the whole point of my "full amplitude is full amplitude" statement. A digital format has a very clearly defined maximum amplitude and dynamic range. You know that there will never be anything louder than "from 0 to 65535" (or "from -32768 to 32767") in the case of 16-bit recordings. As long as you make sure that signal won't exceed 2V on the input to the nc400, you know you won't get clipping, whatever happens.

If you have recordings that don't use the full dynamic range, and you are not happy with their level, then you should amplify it in the digital domain.

The idea is to map the dynamic range of your digital media one-to-one to the dynamic range of your amp and speakers, so that with a maximum amplitude digital signal, you are still below clipping in your amp and speaker.
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Old 21st November 2012, 08:00 PM   #5552
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Originally Posted by Julf View Post
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.
Is replaygain compatible with all formats and bit rates with no detrimental effects on sound quality what so ever? I know Jriver has something similar built in but I've never tried it fearing it wasn't a feature for critical high end music listening.

I guess I'm confused but as you turn the volume knob up on a DAC with a volume control, or a preamp, which decreases the attenuation, wouldn't you be increasing the voltage and gain at the same time? Then once you can hear with your ears that your at your system's comfortable maximum just back it off a notch. At that point you can assume the ncores are at their clipping point and receiving a true 2v from the recording. But in order to achieve this with lower level recordings a higher output DAC or preamp would be required, or something like replaygain will need to be used in the software? To me it seems like either method would achieve the same goal.

Last edited by bavmike; 21st November 2012 at 08:04 PM.
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Old 21st November 2012, 08:17 PM   #5553
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Originally Posted by bavmike View Post
Is replaygain compatible with all formats and bit rates with no detrimental effects on sound quality what so ever? I know Jriver has something similar built in but I've never tried it fearing it wasn't a feature for critical high end music listening.
Depends on the implementation, and your DAC. It is compatible with all the popular formats, but requires pre-scanning the music to determine the loudness level. ReplayGain just calculates a gain correction factor - essentially the volume knob setting to make each track or album conform to a reference loudness level. The "turning of the knob" can happen in Jriver, or in your DAC, and can be analog or digital depending on your DAC.

As to the effects on sound quality, the only one who can decide that is you - I would suggest you do some critical blind listening to see if you hear a difference, but matching the volume exactly (to make a listening comparison meaningful) is a bit tricky when the volume adjustment is the very thing you are testing...

Quote:
I guess I'm confused but as you turn the volume knob up on a DAC with a volume control, or a preamp, which decreases the attenuation, wouldn't you be increasing the voltage and gain at the same time?
You would be increasing the gain, and thus also the amplitude, but the absolute value of the amplitude (in volts) depends on your signal.

Quote:
Then once you can hear with your ears that your at your system's comfortable maximum just back it off a notch. At that point you can assume the ncores are at their clipping point and receiving a true 2v from the recording. But in order to achieve this with lower level recordings a higher output DAC or preamp would be required, or something like replaygain will need to be used in the software?
Yes. Most of us accept that quieter recordings play quieter. If you want to be able to play quieter recordings as loud as the really loud ones, you either need to do gain adjustment in the software or DAC, or accept the risk that a sudden loud passage can drive your amp into clipping and in worst case blow out your tweeter.

This is diyAudio after all, so everyone is free to do what they want with their gear, but I just prefer it to be an informed decision.
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Old 21st November 2012, 08:32 PM   #5554
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Originally Posted by Julf View Post
Depends on the implementation, and your DAC. It is compatible with all the popular formats, but requires pre-scanning the music to determine the loudness level. ReplayGain just calculates a gain correction factor - essentially the volume knob setting to make each track or album conform to a reference loudness level. The "turning of the knob" can happen in Jriver, or in your DAC, and can be analog or digital depending on your DAC.

As to the effects on sound quality, the only one who can decide that is you - I would suggest you do some critical blind listening to see if you hear a difference, but matching the volume exactly (to make a listening comparison meaningful) is a bit tricky when the volume adjustment is the very thing you are testing...



You would be increasing the gain, and thus also the amplitude, but the absolute value of the amplitude (in volts) depends on your signal.



Yes. Most of us accept that quieter recordings play quieter. If you want to be able to play quieter recordings as loud as the really loud ones, you either need to do gain adjustment in the software or DAC, or accept the risk that a sudden loud passage can drive your amp into clipping and in worst case blow out your tweeter.

This is diyAudio after all, so everyone is free to do what they want with their gear, but I just prefer it to be an informed decision.
This is the method I've been using for years. I guess I've blown a few tweeters but alcohol was probably the biggest contributing factor to that. I now realize my DAC does output enough voltage to drive my amps to maximum, but only if the recording is mastered using all of the available dynamic range. So I need to either do things the safe way and boost the output digitally, or the old fashion more risky method of cranking the volume up on a higher voltage preamp or DAC. Hopefully this clarifies some questions for other readers as well. Thanks for the info.
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Old 21st November 2012, 08:36 PM   #5555
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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Originally Posted by bavmike View Post
I guess I've blown a few tweeters but alcohol was probably the biggest contributing factor to that.
Been there, done that!

Worst one was a party (long ago) where we kept blowing the protection fuse, so I "repaired" it with tinfoil to allow us to play louder...
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Old 21st November 2012, 08:46 PM   #5556
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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Been there, done that!

Worst one was a party (long ago) where we kept blowing the protection fuse, so I "repaired" it with tinfoil to allow us to play louder...
I've made that repair before to my dads set of klipschorns when I was a teenager! I think the foil is still in them come to think about it.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 06:45 AM   #5557
Julf is offline Julf  Europe
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I've made that repair before to my dads set of klipschorns when I was a teenager! I think the foil is still in them come to think about it.
With your dads knowledge, or without?

If we were real audiophiles, I guess we should start arguing about the sonic properties of different kinds of tinfoil...
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Old 22nd November 2012, 06:51 AM   #5558
bavmike is offline bavmike  Canada
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With your dads knowledge, or without?

If we were real audiophiles, I guess we should start arguing about the sonic properties of different kinds of tinfoil...
Oh no he would of killed me if he knew! Ya I can imagine that the tinfoil degraded the sound slightly, but at the time we were out of fuses and maximum SPL's were the primary objective.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 10:58 AM   #5559
Henkjan is offline Henkjan  Netherlands
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thanks for the clarification guys! (wow: 1 small question, and 3 pages in 1 day )
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Old 22nd November 2012, 01:29 PM   #5560
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Ya I can imagine that the tinfoil degraded the sound slightly
As far as the contacts are not degraded, i think the contrary: As the impedance of the tinfoil is lower than the fuse's one, it is more linear with temperature.
But i wonder: klipschorns are pretty efficient, don't they ? I wonder the volume to blow a fuse.
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