A beginner question about amp's pre outs - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-14-2012, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Is volume out of a pre out (assuming the AVR does not have pre out volume control) always at a fix level regardless of the source's volume?

What I mean is: if I have an AVR that does not adjust volume on pre outs, but I connect from a computer or MP3 player to one of its audio input, is the volume on my computer/MP3 player going to have any influence on the volume on the pre out?

I am looking at driving a pair of those active speakers that do not have remote volume (it's a knob on the back of the speakers; ignore the incorrect description, I checked with Monoprice). Do I need to step up to an AVR that can control volume on the pre-outs or would adjusting volume in iTunes work well enough? I somehow expect that the volume is normalized and that I'll need to step up...
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-14-2012, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

Is volume out of a pre out (assuming the AVR does not have pre out volume control) always at a fix level regardless of the source's volume?

What I mean is: if I have an AVR that does not adjust volume on pre outs, but I connect from a computer or MP3 player to one of its audio input, is the volume on my computer/MP3 player going to have any influence on the volume on the pre out?

I am looking at driving a pair of those active speakers that do not have remote volume (it's a knob on the back of the speakers; ignore the incorrect description, I checked with Monoprice). Do I need to step up to an AVR that can control volume on the pre-outs or would adjusting volume in iTunes work well enough? I somehow expect that the volume is normalized and that I'll need to step up...

Pre outs are variable level really. Affected by the volume control (I edited this after explaining it backwards) They could be contrasted by something like a CD player with no output level control, which would be fixed level.

Fixed level is a kind of a misnomer of course, because the signal is totally variable

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-14-2012, 04:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Pre outs are variable level really. Affected by the volume control (I edited this after explaining it backwards)

When you mean affected by the volume control, you mean the volume control of the input? In my case, I am looking at two receivers (Denon 2112 and 2312) and it seems that only one of them will do volume control of the pre out on output:

- Denon 2112: "• Adjust the volume on the connected amplifier."

- Denon 2312: No such mention, and later in the manual: "Volume Level (Set the volume output level): Variable : Volume adjustment is enabled by main unit and remote control"

The speakers I am looking at have a dial for bass, treble and volume. But I don't want to have to turn the dial every time I want to change volume outdoors.

So I am wondering, if I connect a Mac audio jack to a Denon 2112, and set the speaker's volumes at the max I want to hear, what is going to happen?

1. When playing iTunes, I can use the iTunes volume to impact the speaker's volumes (with the Denon in the middle), OR
2. The Denon somehow normalize my Mac's signal and always output it at the same volume out?

It seems that it might be the #2, meaning I'd have to get the 2312 or different speakers whose volume can be remotely controlled.

Am I making sense? (Sorry for the long post.)
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-14-2012, 04:50 PM
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A pre out that was not controlled by the receiver's volume control seems useless to me. I mean, what the heck would be it's purpose?

You could email Denon if unsure.

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-14-2012, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

Is volume out of a pre out (assuming the AVR does not have pre out volume control) always at a fix level regardless of the source's volume?...

No.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

What I mean is: if I have an AVR that does not adjust volume on pre outs, but I connect from a computer or MP3 player to one of its audio input, is the volume on my computer/MP3 player going to have any influence on the volume on the pre out?...

Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

I am looking at driving a pair of those active speakers that do not have remote volume (it's a knob on the back of the speakers; ignore the incorrect description, I checked with Monoprice). Do I need to step up to an AVR that can control volume on the pre-outs or would adjusting volume in iTunes work well enough? I somehow expect that the volume is normalized and that I'll need to step up...

You would want to get an amplifier that offers FRONT pre-outs (for the left and right channels.)
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-14-2012, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

When you mean affected by the volume control, you mean the volume control of the input? In my case, I am looking at two receivers (Denon 2112 and 2312) and it seems that only one of them will do volume control of the pre out on output:

- Denon 2112: " Adjust the volume on the connected amplifier."

- Denon 2312: No such mention, and later in the manual: "Volume Level (Set the volume output level): Variable : Volume adjustment is enabled by main unit and remote control"

The speakers I am looking at have a dial for bass, treble and volume. But I don't want to have to turn the dial every time I want to change volume outdoors.

So I am wondering, if I connect a Mac audio jack to a Denon 2112, and set the speaker's volumes at the max I want to hear, what is going to happen?

1. When playing iTunes, I can use the iTunes volume to impact the speaker's volumes (with the Denon in the middle), OR
2. The Denon somehow normalize my Mac's signal and always output it at the same volume out?

It seems that it might be the #2, meaning I'd have to get the 2312 or different speakers whose volume can be remotely controlled.

Am I making sense? (Sorry for the long post.)

According to the pictures of the back panels of those receivers neither has front pre-outs, so aren't a good choice for you. Look for a receiver that has something labeled "pre-out" and "front."

B.
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-14-2012, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

According to the pictures of the back panels of those receivers neither has front pre-outs, so aren't a good choice for you. Look for a receiver that has something labeled "pre-out" and "front."

B.

They however both document being able to play the same content in main zone and zone2 through those pre-outs. I think they didn't label them "front" because they only have 2 channels for pre-out (and not pre-outs for every channel), therefore they'd certainly be considered "front" in that second zone. Right?
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-14-2012, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

They however both document being able to play the same content in main zone and zone2 through those pre-outs. I think they didn't label them "front" because they only have 2 channels for pre-out (and not pre-outs for every channel), therefore they'd certainly be considered "front" in that second zone. Right?

The issue is in the way they are controlled. If all you want to do is use the setup in stereo then it would work, albeit in a very clunky way. First of all, if the signal is sent via HDMI then it most likely won't product sound out of the Zone2 out at all. If the signal is sent digital to the receiver then unless there is D/A to the Zone2 then it won't work either.

The big problem is if you are using it in a surround configuration. In that case you won't be able to properly raise and lower all of the channels together with the main volume control.

Seriously, if you are wanting to move forward, then you should get a unit with standard preouts. I'm sure there are other models from other manufacturers that will have the outputs you need in the same price range. This will be best the option.

B.
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-15-2012, 10:27 AM - Thread Starter
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I do not know that anybody allows
HDMI to go out to pre outs. Wouldn't that be against the content producers mandate to not allow conversion to analog? This being said, it's got to be possible for devices that allow an external amp... So I guess I do not know...

My plan is to connect my Mac through HDMI for main zone as well as to an analog output that will be the analog source for zone2. I do not need your surround setup (which if I understand the problem you mention, meant having a set of surround speakers split between two zones): my main zone will be 7.1 and my zone2 will be stereo.

I only need stereo. And from what I've read, I also want Audyssey MultiEQ XT and ruled Onkyos out (recent issues an customer service). So I am not sure if I can get full pre outs at this price range ($450 to $600). Do you have any recommendations in mind?
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post #10 of 14 Old 02-15-2012, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

I do not know that anybody allows
HDMI to go out to pre outs. Wouldn't that be against the content producers mandate to not allow conversion to analog? This being said, it's got to be possible for devices that allow an external amp... So I guess I do not know...

My plan is to connect my Mac through HDMI for main zone as well as to an analog output that will be the analog source for zone2. I do not need your surround setup (which if I understand the problem you mention, meant having a set of surround speakers split between two zones): my main zone will be 7.1 and my zone2 will be stereo.

I only need stereo. And from what I've read, I also want Audyssey MultiEQ XT and ruled Onkyos out (recent issues an customer service). So I am not sure if I can get full pre outs at this price range ($450 to $600). Do you have any recommendations in mind?

I think you lost me...The speakers you are trying to hook up are not going to be a part of the main zone? If not, then most of this discussion is not relevant. If they are then the any room correction won't work through the zone out and the surround issue I mentioned will be a problem.

If you are stuck on XT then I'm not sure...perhaps a slightly older used model?

B.
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-15-2012, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

Pre outs are variable level really. Affected by the volume control (I edited this after explaining it backwards) They could be contrasted by something like a CD player with no output level control, which would be fixed level.

Fixed level is a kind of a misnomer of course, because the signal is totally variable

Change the word "level" to "gain" and the misnomer goes away.

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post #12 of 14 Old 02-15-2012, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Crash View Post

I do not know that anybody allows
HDMI to go out to pre outs. Wouldn't that be against the content producers mandate to not allow conversion to analog?

That is only for video.
Quote:


This being said, it's got to be possible for devices that allow an external amp... So I guess I do not know...

Real line level or preamp outputs are variable gain and, for the main zone, carry all input sources, digital and analog. Extra zone outputs are not so well endowed.

Quote:


My plan is to connect my Mac through HDMI for main zone as well as to an analog output

No, input.
Quote:


that will be the analog source for zone2.


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post #13 of 14 Old 02-15-2012, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Change the word "level" to "gain" and the misnomer goes away.

Good point

"But this one goes up to 11"
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post #14 of 14 Old 02-15-2012, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B View Post

I think you lost me...The speakers you are trying to hook up are not going to be a part of the main zone? If not, then most of this discussion is not relevant. If they are then the any room correction won't work through the zone out and the surround issue I mentioned will be a problem.

If you are stuck on XT then I'm not sure...perhaps a slightly older used model?

B.

You know, I have to apologize. I was talking about zone2 only but it was so obvious to me that I seem to have forgotten to mention it. Now your comments make more sense to me now...

I am not stuck on XT I guess. I am now researching YPAO and seeing if the Yamaha receivers are more versatile for what I want to do.
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