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What volume should pre out be set ?
This thread has 5 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Saturday January 6, 2018 at 14:46
Regular Member
February 2017
What volume should a pre out source such a media server be set at prior to going into an amp ?
Post 2 made on Saturday January 6, 2018 at 14:57
King of typos
Loyal Member
June 2002
I may not be a CI. But I had an AVR that allowed me to set the volume on each input. I liked that feature as it allowed me to at least somewhat keep the main amplified volume the same throughout all of the inputs. So I wouldn’t switch inputs and have to change the volume, up or down, for the new input.

So I would adjust this device’s output to match another connect source. But that’s me.

Post 3 made on Saturday January 6, 2018 at 15:03
Loyal Member
June 2005
Amp? How are you attenuating the volume?
Post 4 made on Saturday January 6, 2018 at 15:27
InVision Systems
Long Time Member
March 2010
We always run pink noise through each input, adjust the trim, and then run the final source through the input and adjust again. You can use a simple SPL Meter or even an app to get you close.
Elevate Technologies
Nashville, TN
Post 5 made on Saturday January 6, 2018 at 17:28
Ernie Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
December 2001
InVision's method can be closely approximated by a person with a few year's experience.

The idea is twofold:
*to get all the input levels to be "the same," whatever that might be, so that you don't have to adjust the main volume when switching from one input to another
*to keep all adjustments within a range such that they don't distort. (This falls under the misnomer "gain structure" in PA and commercial usage, where you may have several stages, each with its own volume, and you need to be sure all volumes are up loud enough to conceal their noise floor but never so loud as to cause themselves or any following stages to distort.) (That's a misnomer because we never adjust the gain of any amplifier. Instead, we adjust the level of the signal going from one non-adjustable gain stage to another. But that's what we call it.)

If you have a component with an AM/FM tuner in it, that's your reference, since you probably can't adjust it, or, as I've been disappointed to find on a Yamaha Aventage receiver, even at its lowest setting it's louder than any other input trimmed all the way up.

Anyway, If you can get the CD input close to the tuner input, adjust a BD or DVD player to play at the same level with the same CD in it. Verify with a BD or DVD that this still works. Note that the system in surround will probably sound louder than the levels in stereo, so this entire exercise might be fruitless anyway.

Go to your different streaming sources and adjust them as well as you can.

Along the way, decide NEVER to use your phone as a source, especially for music downloaded from the internet, as that programming varies wildly in its level.

edit: notice what can happen along the way. It took some bravery to admit this: [Link:]
A good answer is easier with a clear question giving the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
Post 6 made on Sunday January 7, 2018 at 10:11
Super Member
May 2003
Matching source levels results in a friendlier system to operate.

One should also consider that noise floor of a source (which could be a Tuner, CD, or the preamp to power amp connection) tends to be constant. In this context a low source level routed to a high gain follow-on stage will result in higher background noise levels than the reverse scheme. In a traditional preamp the Phono input will have the highest noise floor followed by the tone control section. Generally, it pays to run the highest practical level into the tone control section -- resulting in the lowest overall noise floor.

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