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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My setup is an HTPC with analog jacks of the soundcard connected directly to stereo amplifiers (parasound hca-1200, 200wpc) and speakers with about 87 db sensitivity. I was playing them plenty loud with my auzentech x-fi prelude soundcard and gain knobs on the amps at about 4 o'clock, but lately I had to move that soundcard to another computer so I bought the Asus Xonar d2 for the HTPC. To my surprise the output level has decreased significantly and I will have to turn the level knobs higher up possibly close to the max to achieve same output. Will that be overdriving the amp, or is decrease in source signal compensating for the higher gain? I really don't wanna risk damaging my speakers.
 

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Having to turn up your gain controls means the signal level driving the amplifier is lower than it was before. Think of gain as just another kind of volume control.


One drawback of feeding an amplifier with too low of a signal is that you might not be able to drive the amplifier to full power.


But you won't hurt the amp in any way. What's potentially bad for amps is to attempt to draw excessive current which causes more heat. That's why amps generally have protection circuits to shut off the amp if things like short circuits or excess heat are detected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So by feeding it a lower signal and raising the gain knobs, I won't be pushing/stressing the amp and the speakers any harder than in the first place?
 

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Yes
 
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