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  1. #1
    The Bargain Hunter
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    CD player direct to power amp ?

    Yet another newbie question.I have a Nakamichi CD changer with an output level control on the remote,could this be connected directly to the inputs of a power amp(with gain controls)??? I have read posts stating that an audio signal is degraded slightly with each circuit it passes through and I can't think of a more direct path than that .I can't learn more about this hobby without asking the questions even if they may seem silly,so be nice or I'll sic my cat on you

  2. #2
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Yeah that should work, I was at a dealer the other day, he had an accuphase cd player connected direct to an accuphase power amp. I asked him where the pre was and he told me there was none, that he was adjusting the output level via the cdplayer. However I'm wondering if you get better gain with a pre.

  3. #3
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    That would defintely work. I think the results of sound would depend on the quality of the CD player. I have an old Denon with variable out and I ran it into an Adcom 5400 power amp. I preferred the CD going through the preamp first. It took some of the harshness out of the sound. Like I said though, this was an old Denon, a better, or newer, player may have better results. But the connection will work.

  4. #4
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    Hi Scott; I have defintely heard of this being done. What is important here is that the CD player has a variable output controlled by a remote which you have. I would turn the gain controls on the power amp to full. Yes, you do not have a pre-amp as your "middleman" for this method. Some purists think this is a great way to listen to your cd player.

    The question here I believe has to do with impedance matching. The impedance from the output of the player I believe is quite different than the impedance from the player going thru a pre-amp. That might explain Mr. Peabody's better sound thru his pre-amp.

    One learns alot by building a Dynaco amplifier kit. When you plug a CD player into a Cd imput or aux input of a pre-amp or for that matter, any int. amp or receiver, that signal travels to what is called a flat amplifier which is connected to the tone ampliers in many but not all cases. The signal is then sent to the power amplifier.

  5. #5
    The Bargain Hunter
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    Thanks for the input

    Just wanted to know it wasn't going to do any harm,as always I'll let my ears decide what they like best.I'll bet I could also put an EQ inthe the mix just for **its and giggles.

  6. #6
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    Hi Scott; An equalizer might work great. You can certainly try it. I do not know if equalizers have a flat amplifier, but they must have tone amplifiers for the frequencies that give you control over.

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    Ooooooooo.... did he say EQ?

    Unless you have a very expensive EQ, they aren't much good for anything accept playing with and introducing noise into the signal path. If you wondered about a preamp, an EQ is a definite step back. Most consumer EQ's were a gimmick fad and didn't really do much. They do cut and boost certain frequencies but merely as a more elaborate tone control. In order to do it correctly it should be used in conjunction with an analyzer. Another thing is all recordings vary so you may be fiddling with that thing on every song.

    Ah, have fun.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Rock&Roll Ninja's Avatar
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    As long as the CD player's volume doesn't effect the headphone output exclusively you're OK.

  9. #9
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelsci
    The question here I believe has to do with impedance matching. The impedance from the output of the player I believe is quite different than the impedance from the player going thru a pre-amp. That might explain Mr. Peabody's better sound thru his pre-amp.
    Right on track. Another variable is cable capacitance. With lower output to input impedance ratios of passive arrangements, cable quality has a potential impact on high frequency roll off.

    rw

  10. #10
    The Bargain Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    Ooooooooo.... did he say EQ?

    Unless you have a very expensive EQ, they aren't much good for anything accept playing with and introducing noise into the signal path. If you wondered about a preamp, an EQ is a definite step back. Most consumer EQ's were a gimmick fad and didn't really do much. They do cut and boost certain frequencies but merely as a more elaborate tone control. In order to do it correctly it should be used in conjunction with an analyzer. Another thing is all recordings vary so you may be fiddling with that thing on every song.

    Ah, have fun.
    I thought about what I had said in my post and realized that yes it would most likely be a step backward as well as defeating the original purpose of bypassing a pre.It was just a thought,I havn't used an EQ in a while,my very modest system sounds good enough to me that I don't use any tone controls at all unless you would consider the loudness button a tone control,My pre has a built in EQ (HK citation 17) and no bass/treble,but I bypass the EQ,the maggies have great mids and highs and I use a sub for the lower bass.Yes Mr.Peabody ,I did say EQ,Just go easy on the new guy,I'm here to learn,I left the AK forum after getting off to a bad start ,I hope I won't feel the need to do that here as well

  11. #11
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    Hi Scott; I remeber those HK pre-amps. A friend of mine had it in his system some 26 years ago with an HK power amp. That equalizer system IS your tone control for your system. I have always favored a good loudness control for low volume listening. If I was using a system like yours, my equalizer would be flat(0) and my loudness control set to ON. Those Citation systems had a great reputation and if I recall, my friends unit played very well.

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    No offense meant, just a bit of sarcastic humor, although I do stand behind my opinion on EQ's. I hope you do stick around but if you think my comments were tough.... I wonder. I'm the nice guy

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    Scott W, Mr.Peabody was just straight to the point on EQ. I agree, if only to listen the sound/music as it was recorded you don't tamper it with any equalization.

    CD player with volume control can be plugged directly to the PA, but better yet if you passed it thru a decent preamp. With the first set up, tendency is you would push the player to higher gain to attain your listening level, a constant dual job of your unit. Passing thru a preamp, the gain of your cd player will just be fixed at certain level and the preamp does the horsejobs which is what it is built for. Nonetheless, audition for your self.

  14. #14
    The Bargain Hunter
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    No offense taken

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    No offense meant, just a bit of sarcastic humor, although I do stand behind my opinion on EQ's. I hope you do stick around but if you think my comments were tough.... I wonder. I'm the nice guy
    I'm just one of the new guys here and I'm sure I'll ask questions(and make comments) that some will find amusing,I don't use an eq in my system now,it doesn't need one but when I was using an Onkyo receiver and some small Cerwin Vega's I did,I'm just starting across the bridge to seperate pre and power amps and have questions to ask.I still think there is lower cost gear that sounds fantastic,I have an old Realistic STA 2300 receiver that drives a pair of Klipsch kg4s as well as my pre/power set up but that's just my opinion,and being bargan hunter that I am,I picked up that receiver and speakers for a whopping total of $125.I'll not likely ever be able to afford a 10-20K system so I'm just having fun experimenting with what I have and hope not to damage anything.More silly questions/comments to come

  15. #15
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundpurist
    CD player with volume control can be plugged directly to the PA, but better yet if you passed it thru a decent preamp.
    That has not been the case with two of my systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by soundpurist
    With the first set up, tendency is you would push the player to higher gain to attain your listening level, a constant dual job of your unit. Passing thru a preamp, the gain of your cd player will just be fixed at certain level ...
    That's not how most CD players work. The output level is fixed, not "pushed". When you run one through a preamp, you are simply attenuating the level of the preamp, not the source. In one system, the CDP's output is 4 volts driving amps that need 1.4 V for full output. I have a nice Audio Research preamp, but found higher resolution and greater stage width (better separation) using high quality stepped attenuators instead of an imperfect gain stage just to attenuate the signal.

    rw

  16. #16
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    ScottW; the more you experiment, the more you learn. Some of those Realistic receivers made years ago sounded pretty darn good too.

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    My first receiver was a Realistic sta-78. Nothing special but I wish I had it back just because it was my first. The entire receiver was walnut wood grain with a black face. This is when everything was silver. A large lighted tuner dial and separate signal meter. It rocked a off brand 12" 3-way at a power rating of 22 wpc.

    Vintage gear is a good way to play for cheap and sometimes you stumble onto some good stuff. I picked up my Sansui AU-9500 for $20.00 and didn't realize what I was getting. My first clue was when I hooked it up. That amazing presentation led me to do some checking. It was top of the line in 70 to 72 and still sought after by those who know it.

  18. #18
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    Getting back to the original topic

    So I gave it a try,Plugged the Nakamichi directly to a Yamaha M-70 and used a pair of Klipsch kg4s,I started out with the CD players level control at minimum (-20db) and the amp at half gain (about -7db) ,sure am glad I started at these levels because it was just about my normal listening level and had I started at full gain I might have driven the speakers too hard,Sounds very similar to my maggie smg's without a sub,great sound but lacking some of the lower bass that I like,so next I'll try a couple other power amps I have to see if there is much of a difference.Thanks for the input everyone

  19. #19
    The Bargain Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelsci
    ScottW; the more you experiment, the more you learn. Some of those Realistic receivers made years ago sounded pretty darn good too.
    In my opinion this is the best sounding receiver I have ever owned or heard (but my experiences are limited),I've seached for info on it on the web and about the only info I've found is that in was made in the early to mid 80s and is rated at 120 wpc,I had this for years using it to drive a small pair of Infinity's as rears in a 2 channel system,it's only in the last year or so that I tried it with bigger/better speakers and had to laugh at myself for not trying it sooner,it would have been much much better than the Technics I was using to drive the fronts,oh well live and learn,guess thats why I'm experimenting so much these days

  20. #20
    Up & Coming Bottlehead jt1stcav's Avatar
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    Glad you liked the outcome, Scott.

    Don't know whether it was right or wrong, but a few years ago I connected an AMC CD8b 24-bit/96kHz disc player directly to my old McIntosh MC250 stereo power amp (with no preamp, and only the amp's gain controls to handle volume and balance). Played thru a pair of vintage Klipsch Cornwalls (and no subwoofer), I had a basic, simple layout that sounded quite pleasing to my ears. Highs were clear, mids were full, and bass was low enough to get the point across (with two 15" woofers, I wasn't missing too much low end except for the lowest bottom octave on my pipe organ recordings).

    This setup served me well until I could afford to purchase my first vacuum tube system. If I had never went the tube route, I could have very easily lived with this arrangement, it sounded that good IMHO!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails CD player direct to power amp ?-p2141401_01a.jpg  
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  21. #21
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jt1stcav
    This setup served me well until I could afford to purchase my first vacuum tube system. If I had never went the tube route, I could have very easily lived with this arrangement, it sounded that good IMHO!
    Your amplification chain with the MC275 was already tubes!

    edit: Duh, correction. The 250 looks like a tube 275.
    Last edited by E-Stat; 01-22-2008 at 04:22 PM.

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