Which Should Control Volume Pre-amp or Amp? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-14-2020, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Which Should Control Volume Pre-amp or Amp?

Hello. With my 2 channel setup, i.e. DAC/Pre-amp feeding a separate 2 channel amp, I have the option to let either device control the volume:


- set the amp on ht-bypass mode and let the DAC/pre-amp control volume?
- turn off volume control of DAC/pre-am and disable ht-bypass mode on amp and control volume with amp?


Is their potential for more distortion or background noise with one way or the other? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 7 Old 02-14-2020, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tklein2 View Post
Hello. With my 2 channel setup, i.e. DAC/Pre-amp feeding a separate 2 channel amp, I have the option to let either device control the volume:


- set the amp on ht-bypass mode and let the DAC/pre-amp control volume?
- turn off volume control of DAC/pre-am and disable ht-bypass mode on amp and control volume with amp?


Is their potential for more distortion or background noise with one way or the other? Thanks in advance!
Generally the pre amp.
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Geoff A. J., California
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-16-2020, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by tklein2 View Post
Is their potential for more distortion or background noise with one way or the other? Thanks in advance!
When you have a chain of devices with level controls you want to set each one so it is blasting as loudly as possible, while playing the loudest music you have, yet not so loud such that it distorts either itself nor the input stage of the next device in the chain. You can do this by ear or ideally while looking at an oscilloscope to see when the test tone's wave form starts to clip [the rounded tops of the sine wave look like they have been clipped off with scissors, hence the name "clipping distortion"].

Once done you typically use the last stereo volume control in the chain to make actual changes in daily use, usually on the preamp or receiver.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-16-2020, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tklein2 View Post
Hello. With my 2 channel setup, i.e. DAC/Pre-amp feeding a separate 2 channel amp, I have the option to let either device control the volume:


- set the amp on ht-bypass mode and let the DAC/pre-amp control volume?
- turn off volume control of DAC/pre-am and disable ht-bypass mode on amp and control volume with amp?


Is their potential for more distortion or background noise with one way or the other? Thanks in advance!
Is this an amp, or an integrated amp?
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-16-2020, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Is this an amp, or an integrated amp?
The Cambridge Azure 851A is an integrated amp
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post #6 of 7 Old 02-17-2020, 01:59 AM
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It kind of depends. Ideally, as already mentioned, you set the source output the highest voltage you can without distortion, (for the best signal to noise ratio potential) or you set the voltage so that the amp can be turned to max volume, without exceeding desired maximum output power. However, the volume control of each unit comes into play. For instance, if one has a potentiometer, and the other a digital volume control, you would want to minimize wear on the knob and let it handle things digitally. On the flip side, some digital control is non-linear, or may have other noticeable defects in sound quality. Without knowing the equipment, I'll leave the decision up to you, the one who knows what it is.

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post #7 of 7 Old 02-17-2020, 05:46 AM
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Ok as someone that’s used the HTBP a lot over the years.... the point of using it is so that when playing 2-ch sources (CD player, turntable or music streamer) you get the advantage of the sonic benefits of the 2-ch integrated amp. The integrated amp should control the volume for those sources when those sources are in use. The AVR should take over preamp/volume control when you engage the HTBP mode of the IA, thus leaving the IA an a Power Amp, for the benefits of the improved amplifier section of the IA over the AVR. The AVR usually controls all the HDMI switching for more surround sound sources (cable tv, gaming console & blu-ray player).
Otherwise if you’re using the AVR for all sources, then there’s no point having an IA, the preamps being wasted. In this case you’d be better just owning a power amp. No need for HTBP setup.

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