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 Post subject: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:04 pm
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Location: scarborough, ON, CA
:? :? Finally got my Mcintosh c52 pre amp, I love it. It's paired with a mc 452 power amp. A few questions. I have to turn the knob up from in between 60 and 79 for quite a few songs to get the songs to play at a loud level. Is this normal? When you have yours cranked are you often in the 59 to 79 range depending on source material? The knobs on the 452 are hitting their max point and sometimes I get the red clipping light warning. I'm using the dynaudio excite 44 floor standing speakers, with 88/89db sensitivity. And yes, I have to use that volume on all sources. cd player, media streamer, etc.. I don't listen to vinyl. Im using Silver Streak (Pair) Kimber Kable length 2.0 meter non balanced interconnects between pre and power amp.

I'd like to ask the owners of this fine pre-power-amp combo if your using balanced or unbalanced interconnects between pre amp and power amp. I know the c 52 is not balanced. I'm pretty sure the mc 452 it completely balanced. Which is the best way to go? A huge thank you to anyone who can help me out here. Thank you Friends.


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:33 am 
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sheavy wrote:
:? :? Finally got my Mcintosh c52 pre amp, I love it. It's paired with a mc 452 power amp. A few questions. I have to turn the knob up from in between 60 and 79 for quite a few songs to get the songs to play at a loud level. Is this normal? When you have yours cranked are you often in the 59 to 79 range depending on source material? The knobs on the 452 are hitting their max point and sometimes I get the red clipping light warning. I'm using the dynaudio excite 44 floor standing speakers, with 88/89db sensitivity. And yes, I have to use that volume on all sources. cd player, media streamer, etc.. I don't listen to vinyl. Im using Silver Streak (Pair) Kimber Kable length 2.0 meter non balanced interconnects between pre and power amp.

I'd like to ask the owners of this fine pre-power-amp combo if your using balanced or unbalanced interconnects between pre amp and power amp. I know the c 52 is not balanced. I'm pretty sure the mc 452 it completely balanced. Which is the best way to go? A huge thank you to anyone who can help me out here. Thank you Friends.


Congrats on your new gear!
To be filed under the "there are no silly questions section but I have to ask" is the EQ in the flat or turned down position? I believe turned down that would cut it's output by 12 db.

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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:06 pm
Posts: 1258
Location: hawkesbury, ON, CA
depending on the source and recording being used. you might have to push volume louder on some source or recording to get there. if using balance connection, you should gain 3 to 6 d/b on the volume control.
if your clip indicators go on, that mean you are at your maximum.
if you read dancing meters discussion, you will see that many don t believe in meters and clip indicators. but see you are the living proof that it is USEFULL and I am sure you are very happy to have them.
if the 452 is not enough, you might have to go with a pair of mc 1201 :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:18 am 
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Posts: 328
Location: Southern, ON, CA
I would think everyone's definition of 'loud' differs. To be clipping that amp with 89db speakers means you are really pushing the volume. It could be poor source material for sure, or source components,however, you should grab a decibal metre app for your phone. This is a good indicator of how 'loud' the music is actually playing and you can measure it. That way, you know what to expect from your equipment and can't necessarily blame it so to speak. I mean if your playing a poor recording at 100db, and you want it louder, you would be asking a lot from the amp.


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:29 am 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
OP, I'm guessing you have a large room?

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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:30 am 
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Obvious question are you using the 4ohm taps. T
I would go to your favourite local guitar store and pick up two balanced mic cables, they don’t have to be very long grab Mogami quad if they have it. I have a mc combo and use balanced. The preamp and your amp allows you to select between balanced and unbalanced check that. Both pieces offer balance output input my thought has always been to use balanced if possible. Fwiw, T p.s I hate auto correct on Mac.
Long winded, lastly check that your trim settings are at 0


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:11 am 
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Location: GTA, ON, CA
Your issue is with the source material, not your equipment.

Your amplifier requires an input voltage of 2.1v to produce full power. Most digital sources produce 2v of output. If you couple the digital output with your pre-amp's 15db of gain, you have more than enough gain to drive your amp to full power. Going balanced will not solve your problem. Yes you will get more preamp gain but your amplifier's input sensitivity also doubles, therefore, it's net sum gain.


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:04 pm
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Location: scarborough, ON, CA
Wow, I want to thank everyone for the great info. I'm going to check and test out all things you mentioned here now. I'll be back later. Thanks again.


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:38 pm 
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Location: Kelowna, BC, CA
Did you find out what the issue was?...

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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:17 am 
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Location: Ontario, ON, CA
I have a Rogue Cronus Magnum rated at 90 wpc, and a Cary SLI80 signature rated at both 40wpc and 80wpc depending on the ultralinear or triode mode setting.
The Rogue has to be cranked up almost all the way to get the loud volume that I enjoy, but the Cary barely needs turning in either mode and it cranks out the sound.
Both were hooked up exactly the same way with the same components and the music quality is very similar.
All I can say is that they are obviously different inside and although fine pieces of equipment they perform differently.
I hate to mention this because I've beaten it to death BUT the extra gain from an equalizer solved the volume issue on the Rogue.


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:04 pm
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Location: scarborough, ON, CA
Sorry for the delay in response, blood sugar levels where out of whack. Ok. so eq is in the flat position and turned off. All trimming settings across all sources at 0. Medium sized non dedicated listening room. I am indeed using the 4 ohm taps. Amp is properly set to unbalanced. Im using Silver Streak (Pair) Kimber Kable length 2.0 meter non balanced interconnects between pre and power amp.

I'm runnig 11 feet of cable to each speaker, could that be a reason for my percieved "not loud enough" to be near clipping opinion ?

I'm going to copy and paste something from the pre amps manual.
"Equalizer Controls"
The C52 Equalizer has eight Frequency Controls
which will raise or lower by 12dB, the amplitude of
the band of frequencies centered at the frequency
marked above the controls. The center frequencies
of these controls are at 25Hz, 50Hz, 100Hz, 200Hz,
400Hz, 1,000Hz, 2,500Hz and 10,000Hz. Both Left
and Right Channels are affected. At the center detent
or flat position of the controls, the tone circuit components are removed from the signal path"

I'll be honest, I have no clue as to how messing around with those knobs would change the sound. If I were to turn the equalizer on and turn each of these 8 knobs half way down, would I be gaing 6 db of loudness?

Thanks to anyone who can help me out with this. Have a good week guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:03 pm 
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Location: Ontario, ON, CA
I have my eq sliders at positions where I like certain frequencies turned up a bit, where I don't want adjustment I leave them in the center position. So there is some gain from the sliders, but I also have gain knobs that increases all the frequencies equally across the range and this is where the volume compensation comes in. There are led's on the eq that tell me to back off on the gain knobs if the system is clipping. And then of course each album, cd, tape etc is recorded at different volumes so i adjust the gain knobs accordingly while leaving the sliders alone.
So to summarize I'm using my eq as a volume control and as a frequency enhancer where the sound is lacking. I'm quite aware that an eq's primary purpose is to compensate for a room's deficiencies and maybe that's what my adjustments are doing, but my ears tell me what's pleasing and that's how I use it.
You have to experiment with your eq frequency controls to arrive at the sound you're striving for. I have to add that my eq is a 30 band per channel unit which gives me greater control over one with less adjustment but it also involves more fiddling to get it right.

And my daughter suffers from the same problem (type 1) so I know where you're coming from.


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:00 am 
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The recordings are adjusted sot the dynamic aspects are all in sync with one another.

EQ's are great for live music re-reinforcement or for subtle room correction (the same overall aim as live music's use of them).

when you extensively use an EQ in a reproduction system in places like a home, you skew the dynamic to micro dynamic balance, on a recording where that was optimized at the 'making' stage, where everything was adjusted so it would dynamically match up to the rest of the recorded aspects.

When you do that (eq at home), you mess with the way the ear perceives loudness. This is especially true with a narrow bandwidth eq like a 33 or 30 band eq, where the adjustment bands are very small.

It is strongly suggested you correct your system or room elsewhere, in some other way that does not involved eq adjustments.... and lose the EQ.

As a system of compensation and adjustment... the EQ, if found to be tweaked with every song or album.... it is suggested that something else is going desperately wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:41 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2007 2:01 pm
Posts: 1229
Location: Calgary, AB, CA
sheavy wrote:
:? :? Finally got my Mcintosh c52 pre amp, I love it. It's paired with a mc 452 power amp. A few questions. I have to turn the knob up from in between 60 and 79 for quite a few songs to get the songs to play at a loud level. Is this normal? When you have yours cranked are you often in the 59 to 79 range depending on source material? The knobs on the 452 are hitting their max point and sometimes I get the red clipping light warning. I'm using the dynaudio excite 44 floor standing speakers, with 88/89db sensitivity. And yes, I have to use that volume on all sources. cd player, media streamer, etc.. I don't listen to vinyl. Im using Silver Streak (Pair) Kimber Kable length 2.0 meter non balanced interconnects between pre and power amp.

I'd like to ask the owners of this fine pre-power-amp combo if your using balanced or unbalanced interconnects between pre amp and power amp. I know the c 52 is not balanced. I'm pretty sure the mc 452 it completely balanced. Which is the best way to go? A huge thank you to anyone who can help me out here. Thank you Friends.


Don't fret as in reality, the C-52 preamp does have a maximum of 214 individual 0.5dB volume steps. So cranking up the volume between 60-79 steps you're not even close to its halfway mark of the volume steps which is at 107 unless the preamp's VU meter is at 0dB which is the maximum gain of the preamp. Just, relax and enjoy the music.

My preamp has a maximum of 151 individual 0.5dB volume steps and I usually listen to between 30-40 volume steps, however, if I want to crank it up I usually listen to a 50-60 steps range. The C-52 does have a balanced output and you should take advantage of that. My preamp does have the balanced, single-ended as well as the Current Signal Transmission output. I'm using the Current Signal Transmission output cable connecting to my power amp.


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 Post subject: Re: Crank it up?
PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:57 pm
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Location: Ontario, ON, CA
Teo Audio wrote:
The recordings are adjusted sot the dynamic aspects are all in sync with one another.

EQ's are great for live music re-reinforcement or for subtle room correction (the same overall aim as live music's use of them).

when you extensively use an EQ in a reproduction system in places like a home, you skew the dynamic to micro dynamic balance, on a recording where that was optimized at the 'making' stage, where everything was adjusted so it would dynamically match up to the rest of the recorded aspects.

When you do that (eq at home), you mess with the way the ear perceives loudness. This is especially true with a narrow bandwidth eq like a 33 or 30 band eq, where the adjustment bands are very small.

It is strongly suggested you correct your system or room elsewhere, in some other way that does not involved eq adjustments.... and lose the EQ.

As a system of compensation and adjustment... the EQ, if found to be tweaked with every song or album.... it is suggested that something else is going desperately wrong.



I don't adjust the equalizer to every song or CD for that matter as most recordings are fine, so nothing is desperately wrong in my system. And if you remember, many home systems sold during the eighties came with multi band eq's. It was a common thing, they were even available in the 70's and had nothing to do with live music. They were a part of your home system, but they went out of favor, I'm guessing in the 90's to 2000's as tastes changed. Consider my systems a combo of current and vintage thinking. Either way I like what I hear.


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