CD player output voltage - what us it in practical terms?

wizons

Wammer
Wammer
Apr 19, 2009
1,783
22
0
Bucks
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
If a CD player has a balanced output rated at 4volts, does that figure relate to its maximum output, which is likely to be realised for brief periods during transients? Or does the figure refer to an average output? The reason I ask relates to attempts to match CD output to preamp input sensitivity.

 

wizons

Wammer
Wammer
Apr 19, 2009
1,783
22
0
Bucks
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
It refers to the maximum.
So, should a 4V balanced output be OK for a typical preamplifier input? From your answer I assume 'yes'. The more I learn about hifi the more it seems to me that basic engineering features such as this are behind good sound.

 

cjr

Wammer
Wammer
Aug 8, 2005
8,561
45
0
UK
If it has a balanced 4.0V input yes no problem. Some canny manufacturers ... (Arcam and others) sussed out that raising a normal CD RCA unbalanced signal from 2.0V to 2.5V would give their players a "special" quality during side by side demos against a 2.0V variant .... namely loudness.

 

Pussycat

Wammer
Wammer
Sep 9, 2008
1,716
25
78
Norwich
AKA
Mike
I went from a Meridian with 2.4 V out (loud enough !) to a valved Lector at 3.3V, and although the sound is both beguiling and dynamic, I do wish I could tame the output (into my Naim 552) a little. I tried ECC 83s briefly and in error instead of its ECC 81s and much preferred the s.q. with a seemingly lower output.

If my experience is anything to go by (?) a 4 V output into a normal pre. input is not going to give you much leeway on the volume control. Interesting what CJR says above, which holds water in my opinion. The more output a CDP has, the more 'shouty' it's likely to be; initially dynamic and impressive but ultimately dissatisfying, esp. in a s/s machine. Some heavily modulated CDs I have don't often get played ! Just a thought if it's relevant.

 

Tune

Wammer
Wammer
Dec 25, 2006
6,212
1,212
0
Maidenhead, , United
AKA
Michael
There are two pro variants of "Line Level". -10db and +4db

A warning that when connecting the balanced line level out from pro gear into an unbalanced input on domestic equipment, you may well overload the input stage and cause clipping on transients. It's worth checking with your manufacturer.

 

roob

Wammer
Wammer
Feb 22, 2009
912
5
0
stoke-on-trent, ,
AKA
andrew
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
2v used to be the standard but it varies wildly now, there is a Meridian player that outputs 4.6v and there is the Theta DS Pro Basic that outputs a whopping 7.2v!

 
V

Voice_Coil

Guest
If a CD player has a balanced output rated at 4volts, does that figure relate to its maximum output, which is likely to be realised for brief periods during transients? Or does the figure refer to an average output? The reason I ask relates to attempts to match CD output to preamp input sensitivity.
What about the output of the pre..... ?

If its like mine you will get away with a slightly higher than average voltage on the cd transport.

 

wizons

Wammer
Wammer
Apr 19, 2009
1,783
22
0
Bucks
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
I've just checked my preamp's specs and they state its input is rated at +-30Vp-p (balanced; unbalanced is half that). What exactly does this refer to? I assume it refers to the amp's ability to handle transients from a source up to 30V. If this is so, does it imply it will be able to handle a 4V CD source without overloading?

 

wizons

Wammer
Wammer
Apr 19, 2009
1,783
22
0
Bucks
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
What about the output of the pre..... ? If its like mine you will get away with a slightly higher than average voltage on the cd transport.
My power amps and pre are Electrocompaniets. EC are a bit cheeky in that their amps work best if partnered with other EC amps. Why? Because the balanced input sensitivity of the AW180s is very high (1V for a balanced input), so you can't use the Aw180 properly with the majority of preamps, which are intended to be used with power amps that have much lower input sensitivity. The EC4.8 output gain is very low and matches the AW180 well. I tried a number of other preamps with them and the gain was badly mismatched.

EC's digital equipment seems to have a variety of output voltages, which implies the 4.8 will work well with a higher output, but I doubt they've thought this through. In the weird world of hifi it seems to me that thinking through essential issues such as gain matching is rare as hens' teeth.

 

wizons

Wammer
Wammer
Apr 19, 2009
1,783
22
0
Bucks
AKA
Paul
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
2v used to be the standard but it varies wildly now, there is a Meridian player that outputs 4.6v and there is the Theta DS Pro Basic that outputs a whopping 7.2v!
7.2V is bonkers. The only possible reason for that is to fool people into thinking loud is good.

- - - Updated - - -

I had the opposite effect with my icon audio 845 mono's & la4 pre, I could barely move the volume knob Beyond 8 oclock which was ridiculous the amps were 1v for max output & could'nt find out specs of the pre.

I bought the same manufacturer products assuming they would match perfectly (silly me eh!) it was ridiculous

I spent a small fortune on attenuators,buffers, & other stuff to get it right. I even discussed it with David Shaw

Himself the designer & owner of IA, He did'nt explain why I had this issue other than he designed his products

to be the best they could be as stand alone units and not to work together. The best he could suggest was to

Try a passive.

I was offered a visit to the company to try some tweaking & to try a passive but in the end I felt a bit let down

& not a little frustrated so moved the lot on for an Esoteric C-03 pre and amp which works perfectly.

I think when it costs over 8k that having the same brand together working perfectly in harmony should be a given

anyway the whole lot has gone & thats their loss imho.
A depressing tale. Manufacturers really should take care to ensure their own kit matches. You did the right thing in not trying a passive with the 845s: I tried a pair of IA 845s a while ago and a TVC passive I have sounded really awful through them.

 

SergeAuckland

Certified Measurist
Wammer
May 6, 2008
18,747
1,922
0
Bury St Edmunds, UK
AKA
Serge
HiFi Trade?
  1. No
7.2V is bonkers. The only possible reason for that is to fool people into thinking loud is good.
Not necessarily bonkers, but may be trying to work at pro levels. Peak levels are up to around 9 volts on pro gear are quite common, the EBU specifies that 0dBFS = +18dBu, which allows some 10dB headroom on operating levels, US manufacturers generally work to +20 dBu (7.8v) , +22 or even +24dBu so i seems about right.

S
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
109,322
Messages
2,318,123
Members
69,456
Latest member
zlatan