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Old 2nd February 2021, 04:12 AM   #1
emdubya is offline emdubya  Canada
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Default Rotary encoder / volume control

This question pertains to the rotary encoder that is used as a volume control on the miniDSP 4x10 HD.

So far, I have used the outputs from the 4x10 to feed the multichannel inputs on an AVR. The AVR has a decent volume control which has provided that function for me.

I will soon replace the AVR with a multichannel power amplifier and will thus lose that volume control. The obvious thing to do is to use the volume control on the 4x10.

Here's my question: is it possible for the miniDSP's rotary encoder volume control to fail in such a way that unattenuated signals are passed to the power amp? I have little faith in the reliability of these multifunctional gadgets, and such a failure would obviously be disastrous for my speaker drivers.

If there is any possibility of this whatsoever, I will fit a multichannel volume control in the inputs to the power amp.

All opinions are invited, although I would like them to be endorsed by a miniDSP representative.

Thanks!
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Old 2nd February 2021, 07:27 PM   #2
Henkjan is offline Henkjan  Netherlands
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chance of failure of the rotary encoder would be much smaller than that of human error, but that is as helpfull as my technical input on the subject can go...

a safe approach could be: limit in the plugin the gain (of the inputs) of the 4x10 to such a level that with the master volume at 0dB it is at max what you can accept (but obviously less than what would cause damage)
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Old 2nd February 2021, 11:36 PM   #3
emdubya is offline emdubya  Canada
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Well, my first encoder failed within the first two years of ownership, although not in the way that I'm enquiring about.

Thanks for the gain suggestion, although there might be implications for reducing the SN ratio - I don't know. A better way might be to reduce the gain of my amplifier, but it seems like a crude solution and one that might not work with a different pair of speakers . . . but thanks for the thought.
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Old 6th February 2021, 04:51 PM   #4
emdubya is offline emdubya  Canada
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Does anyone at miniDSP monitor this forum?
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Old 7th February 2021, 12:19 PM   #5
Henkjan is offline Henkjan  Netherlands
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emdubya View Post
Does anyone at miniDSP monitor this forum?
don't think so. if you want to contact them directly, either post on the support forum on minidsp.com or use the support system on their site
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Old 7th February 2021, 03:38 PM   #6
emdubya is offline emdubya  Canada
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OK, thank you.
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Old 16th February 2021, 04:18 AM   #7
Davey is offline Davey  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emdubya View Post
Well, my first encoder failed within the first two years of ownership, although not in the way that I'm enquiring about.

Thanks for the gain suggestion, although there might be implications for reducing the SN ratio - I don't know. A better way might be to reduce the gain of my amplifier, but it seems like a crude solution and one that might not work with a different pair of speakers . . . but thanks for the thought.
Is your source digital or analog or both?

If just digital, and it has the facility, you could control volume in your source and disable the 4x10Hd volume control.

As mentioned, you could reduce gain in the miniDSP outputs.
Or, you might consider adding fixed pads between the miniDSP outputs and your power amp inputs. However, that will require you to raise the miniDSP volume setting an equivalent amount. It's unlikely, but you might run into some sort of clipping condition in the DSP......depending upon your EQ settings.

I actually think you're worried about something here that will never be an issue. But, there's no guarantees in any of this stuff.

Dave.
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Old 16th February 2021, 04:58 AM   #8
emdubya is offline emdubya  Canada
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It's mainly digital (Squeezebox). I'd like to run my turntable through this system as well, but that extra D-A conversion up front does not sound good so I've abandoned that idea.

So yes, I could use the volume control on the SB, but I'm trying to maintain maximum flexibility for the future.

I might reduce the gain somewhat - I'm keeping that as an option for now.

For the benefit of others who might find this thread, I have contacted miniDSP directly and was advised that the 4x10HD's attenuation is implemented in the DACs and that all the encoder does is to instruct them. Thus if the encoder were to fail, all that would happen is that the volume level would be frozen.

This makes a certain amount of sense, so I'm going to go ahead without using an additional multichannel volume control in the power amp. However, the tentative layout that I've been working on leaves room to add one at a later date if I wish. Not a bad design compromise at this stage.

Thanks to everyone for your interest.
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