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  • Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

    Form does not follow function
    Form is simultaneous to function

  • #2
    Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

    Turn them all up - I guess that wasn't helpful.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

      "Gain" controls are active circuits, meaning they are small-signal amplifier circuits (Usually pre-amplifier) that can boost or cut the level of the processed signal.

      These are typical of most knobs that are labeled "Volume", "Gain", "Output Level".

      "Attenuators" are typically a passive, non-powered circuit like an adjustable resister or potentiometer that can only decrease the input or output level. Not as common as active gain control.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

        first question is why isnt' your order as follows;

        1) source(cd player)

        2) preamp (zpre2)

        3)crossover(dbx)

        4a)high to 2 channel amp for sats


        4b)low to sub



        !!!!!!!I ask because what are you doing with the eq. this is a very important question!!!!






        next anything that goes from - and ends at 0 is only an attenuator.

        IF it goes from 0 to + it is a gain control with the ability to start at the level coming in and only making it stronger.

        If it goes from - to 0 to + it has both the ability to increase the incoming signal be neutral or increase the incoming signal .

        0 does not mean no volume it means unity gain or 1 watt in 1 watt out or 10 watts in 10 watts out.

        The definitions are not that important.


        I am going back to the position in your sound chain. what are you doing with the eq? in the spot you have it you will affect all the sound before it reaches the preamp or the crossover. if you pull it out of the chain and listen to your sound what is missing that makes you want to use eq.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

          Originally posted by philiparcario View Post
          first question is why isnt' your order as follows;

          1) source(cd player)

          2) preamp (zpre2)

          3)crossover(dbx)

          4a)high to 2 channel amp for sats


          4b)low to sub



          !!!!!!!I ask because what are you doing with the eq. this is a very important question!!!!






          next anything that goes from - and ends at 0 is only an attenuator.

          IF it goes from 0 to + it is a gain control with the ability to start at the level coming in and only making it stronger.

          If it goes from - to 0 to + it has both the ability to increase the incoming signal be neutral or increase the incoming signal .

          0 does not mean no volume it means unity gain or 1 watt in 1 watt out or 10 watts in 10 watts out.

          The definitions are not that important.


          I am going back to the position in your sound chain. what are you doing with the eq? in the spot you have it you will affect all the sound before it reaches the preamp or the crossover. if you pull it out of the chain and listen to your sound what is missing that makes you want to use eq.
          The eq is before the preamp, so that I can run a digital connection directly from the cd player to the eq... this effectively turns the eq into a DAC... the improvement in sound quality from this alone was astonishing.

          Then I am using a measurement microphone in the listening postion to run the EQ's RTA... this also made a huge improvement.... so the RTA is listening to the speakers, and NOT the signal going into the EQ.

          I can't see why having the EQ at this point in the chain is anything less than ideal.
          Form does not follow function
          Form is simultaneous to function

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

            Originally posted by Phil_RC_1 View Post
            "Gain" controls are active circuits, meaning they are small-signal amplifier circuits (Usually pre-amplifier) that can boost or cut the level of the processed signal.

            These are typical of most knobs that are labeled "Volume", "Gain", "Output Level".

            "Attenuators" are typically a passive, non-powered circuit like an adjustable resister or potentiometer that can only decrease the input or output level. Not as common as active gain control.
            Thanks... I'm thinking that I don't have any actual "attenuators" in my system.
            Form does not follow function
            Form is simultaneous to function

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

              okay i see your reasoning. how do you set the eq if you don't set it fully flat?

              I ask because if you boost the highs ahead of the crossover the crossover would have to be adjusted on the low side or your sub end will have too much high in it.

              On the other end if you boost your lows with the eq the crossover would need its high side to be adjusted or you highs will have boosted bass.

              If I was using the eq without the dac part I would have put it after the crossover to help my highs/mids or to help my lows. it is a mute point since your dac is much better in the eq use it where you have it.

              try setting all the eq controls at 0 or unity/flat

              then in theory it only acts like a clean dac.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

                Originally posted by philiparcario View Post
                okay i see your reasoning. how do you set the eq if you don't set it fully flat?

                I ask because if you boost the highs ahead of the crossover the crossover would have to be adjusted on the low side or your sub end will have too much high in it.

                On the other end if you boost your lows with the eq the crossover would need its high side to be adjusted or you highs will have boosted bass.

                If I was using the eq without the dac part I would have put it after the crossover to help my highs/mids or to help my lows. it is a mute point since your dac is much better in the eq use it where you have it.

                try setting all the eq controls at 0 or unity/flat

                then in theory it only acts like a clean dac.
                I think get what you're saying...

                When I make adujstments to the crossover, I will then use the RTA, a microphone, and pink noise to re-measure the resulting output from the speakers... does this answer your concern?

                The "gain" on the EQ I have set to zero (it goes +/- 15 db)... I'll probably just leave this one alone.
                Form does not follow function
                Form is simultaneous to function

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

                  here is a passive pot


                  http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Scosc...ht_1491wt_1167


                  it never increases the signal attenuators. it is a lot better piece of gear then people think it is. it has a simple stereo pot inside. a lot of people knock stereo pots they don't track equally all of the time. so 1 signal is louder then the other. but if you have two of these. and use each one for just one channel you have independent volume controls that allow perfect matching for under 30 bucks. a lot lower in cost then a resistor based attenuator like this

                  http://www.goldpt.com/sa1.html

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

                    So the crossover gain controls go from -12 to plus six... I'm thinking I'll set the gain for the speakers at 0, then adjust the gain for the sub relative to the speakers... make sense?
                    Form does not follow function
                    Form is simultaneous to function

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Curt's Speaker Design Works

                      "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
                      - Aristotle

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

                        Lunch, as I am prone to do, I am going to give you another aspect of your situation that you may not have thought about along with my answer.

                        Phil_RC_1 gave the answer that I would have given as a "classical" answer to your question. The other aspect of this would be that some digital gear does its' output limiting by actually performing it in the digital domain and in essence throws bits away when doing so. This will severely limit the resolution of any piece of gear that does volume control in the digital domain this way. That piece of gear should always have the gain (volume, whatever) maxed to preserve fidelity and bandwidth.

                        A good way to think about distortion characteristics of gear is: analog gear has the highest distortion at very high output levels and digital gear (in the digital domain) at very low output levels.

                        I would assume that you are using the convertors in the Behringer and not the Yamaha connected with either a RCA terminated digital link or a Toslink. Make sure that you are using the 88.2kHz setting and not the 96kHz setting in the Behringer if you are digitally connected (are you using Foobar2000 or EAC to rip, BTW?).

                        Here is how I would set up your system: Hook everything up to your measurement system (or some O-scope freeware) and run all of the gains up starting at the Behringer analog outs (set at 0db or unity gain) and advance them until the distortion begins to rise. Back off the gain 3dB from distortion increase on each piece of gear to insure at least that much headroom with maximum input to each piece of gear. Pretty simple when you can see the distortion component. This will give you the best S/N in a general context.

                        The biggest downside to SQ with your current setup is the number of volume controls in the chain. Besides the questionable linearity of each pot, every VC will have at least one, and sometimes two, electrolytic caps in series with the pot to prevent DC from eroding the conductive layer on that pot. If you have any direct outs on the gear use them in order to bypass the control circuitry.

                        The Parasound preamp is a great piece of gear for the money. You can bump the performance up a couple of notches by replacing the NE5532 opamps with either OPA2134s or LM4562 opamps and the ROTM output coupling capacitors with either Black Gate or Nichicon Muse equivalents. I have modded 2 of these units for people and they sounded very, very good after these simple modifications.

                        Hope this wasn't TMI.

                        Dave
                        "A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument." - Hilmar von Campe

                        www.piaudiogroup.com

                        http://www.avguide.com/blog/tas-rmaf...w-technologies
                        http://positive-feedback.com/Issue47/ramblings.htm
                        http://positive-feedback.com/Issue47/uber_buss.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

                          Dear Mr. Money,

                          You are talking about what pro audio refers to as gain structure. Here are a few links that discuss the subject.

                          Also, understand that you may be using a combination of pro and consumer audio, which may complicate the set up procedure.

                          I found these links via a google search, hoping to find some material I found helpful in the past. You can do your own search on gain structure and explore til you are thoroughly enlightened (or confused).

                          Hope you will find them helpful.

                          http://www.rane.com/note135.html

                          http://www.sweetwater.com/expert-cen...-GainStructure

                          http://www.recordingreview.com/artic...ure/Page1.html

                          http://www.prosonicsolutions.com/art...0Structure.pdf

                          http://www.communitypro.com/files/li...BASIC_TECH.pdf


                          Marvin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

                            Originally posted by dbe View Post
                            Lunch, as I am prone to do, I am going to give you another aspect of your situation that you may not have thought about along with my answer.

                            Phil_RC_1 gave the answer that I would have given as a "classical" answer to your question. The other aspect of this would be that some digital gear does its' output limiting by actually performing it in the digital domain and in essence throws bits away when doing so. This will severely limit the resolution of any piece of gear that does volume control in the digital domain this way. That piece of gear should always have the gain (volume, whatever) maxed to preserve fidelity and bandwidth.

                            A good way to think about distortion characteristics of gear is: analog gear has the highest distortion at very high output levels and digital gear (in the digital domain) at very low output levels.

                            I would assume that you are using the convertors in the Behringer and not the Yamaha connected with either a RCA terminated digital link or a Toslink. Make sure that you are using the 88.2kHz setting and not the 96kHz setting in the Behringer if you are digitally connected (are you using Foobar2000 or EAC to rip, BTW?).

                            Here is how I would set up your system: Hook everything up to your measurement system (or some O-scope freeware) and run all of the gains up starting at the Behringer analog outs (set at 0db or unity gain) and advance them until the distortion begins to rise. Back off the gain 3dB from distortion increase on each piece of gear to insure at least that much headroom with maximum input to each piece of gear. Pretty simple when you can see the distortion component. This will give you the best S/N in a general context.

                            The biggest downside to SQ with your current setup is the number of volume controls in the chain. Besides the questionable linearity of each pot, every VC will have at least one, and sometimes two, electrolytic caps in series with the pot to prevent DC from eroding the conductive layer on that pot. If you have any direct outs on the gear use them in order to bypass the control circuitry.

                            The Parasound preamp is a great piece of gear for the money. You can bump the performance up a couple of notches by replacing the NE5532 opamps with either OPA2134s or LM4562 opamps and the ROTM output coupling capacitors with either Black Gate or Nichicon Muse equivalents. I have modded 2 of these units for people and they sounded very, very good after these simple modifications.

                            Hope this wasn't TMI.

                            Dave
                            Thanks dave... That is a lot to think about...

                            First things first... the cd player is connected directly to the eq with an optical audio cable... Radio Shack POS model... you're saying I should set the eq to 88.2khz instead of 96khz?
                            Form does not follow function
                            Form is simultaneous to function

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Gains, volume controls, etc... I still don't get it... please help

                              Originally posted by dbe View Post

                              Here is how I would set up your system: Hook everything up to your measurement system (or some O-scope freeware) and run all of the gains up starting at the Behringer analog outs (set at 0db or unity gain) and advance them until the distortion begins to rise. Back off the gain 3dB from distortion increase on each piece of gear to insure at least that much headroom with maximum input to each piece of gear. Pretty simple when you can see the distortion component. This will give you the best S/N in a general context.
                              Lunch,

                              Dave gave you an excellent one paragragh summary of what some of my links discuss at length. I saw his post after posting mine.

                              Marvin

                              Comment

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