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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just installed an "interim" vinyl playing set up using my old Technics SL 5350 TT/Audio Technica AT 14 Sa cartridge connected to an old Nakamichi CA 7A preamp which has phono in with MC/MM, selectable capacitance, and gain (32, 30 or 24db). This feeds into an analog input of a Lexicon DC1 pre/pro to Bryston amps and a 5.1 ch B&W speaker system.


Using the tape out of the Nakimichi, I get about 15 db lower sound level compared to other sources (Meaning I have to pump up the Lex volume about 15 db higher to get the same volume)


Using the main outputs of the Nakamichi rather than the tape out, at about 50% volume I get much better volume although managing around the Lexicon automatice gain control is a little tricky.


Questions:

1. Is it ok to use the main out of the Nakamichi rather than the tape out?

2. Would the phono preamp built in the Nakamichi be as good as a stand alone phono preamp, in the say $200 price range?

3. Is it a problem to live with the lower sound levels, and just crank up the volume when listening to phono? (I remember from the old days the need to "Saturate" with sufficent input level)

4. Is it safe to use manual gain control on the Lexicon for Phono input?


Thanks for the help
 

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[QUOTE

Questions:

1. Is it ok to use the main out of the Nakamichi rather than the tape out?

2. Would the phono preamp built in the Nakamichi be as good as a stand alone phono preamp, in the say $200 price range?

3. Is it a problem to live with the lower sound levels, and just crank up the volume when listening to phono? (I remember from the old days the need to "Saturate" with sufficent input level)

4. Is it safe to use manual gain control on the Lexicon for Phono input?


Thanks for the help[/quote]


1. Yes but as you noticed you now have 2 volume controls and from a purist perspective you now have additional circuitry in the signal path


2. Probably IF it is all still in spec


3. Does it bother YOU?


4 ?
 

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There's nothing unusual about having to crank up the volume a little more for vinyl than for other sources. So I'd use the Tape Outs. But I don't think there's anything wrong with using the main outs, either. Just set the volume to a reasonable level on the Nak and leave it alone.


As for the quality of an outboard phono stage, some of them would be better, others probably not. You might find one with higher gain, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks very much to you both for the help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus /forum/post/18309498


There's nothing unusual about having to crank up the volume a little more for vinyl than for other sources. So I'd use the Tape Outs. But I don't think there's anything wrong with using the main outs, either. Just set the volume to a reasonable level on the Nak and leave it alone.


As for the quality of an outboard phono stage, some of them would be better, others probably not. You might find one with higher gain, though.
The Nak phono input has a toggle switch for gain selection, 24, 30 or 32 db. I can't tell any difference in sound levels, however. Would a dedicated phono preamp have much higher gain levels?
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrat /forum/post/18309442


[QUOTE

Questions:

1. Is it ok to use the main out of the Nakamichi rather than the tape out?

2. Would the phono preamp built in the Nakamichi be as good as a stand alone phono preamp, in the say $200 price range?

3. Is it a problem to live with the lower sound levels, and just crank up the volume when listening to phono? (I remember from the old days the need to "Saturate" with sufficent input level)

4. Is it safe to use manual gain control on the Lexicon for Phono input?


Thanks for the help

1. Yes but as you noticed you now have 2 volume controls and from a purist perspective you now have additional circuitry in the signal path I was concerned about that, but this is an interim set up. If I really like playing vinyl, I'll install a higher end more permanent solution. In the meantime, do you think I'd be able to notice any significant degradation?

2. Probably IF it is all still in spec


3. Does it bother YOU? Not much, only the risk of switching from the phono to a 15 or 20 db higher input and damaging speakers. I'm mostly concerned about whether sound quality suffers from the much lower input levels.

4 ?[/quote] The Lexicon has a choice of automatic gain or manual gain control.It's the auto gain on the Lex that knocks down the input levels. Using manual, I can get the tape out from the Nak up to reasonable levels (within 5-7 db of the others) when playing records although my sample size is small so far. My question is about whether it's safe to use manual gain. Is there a lot of variability in the peak input levels from record to record, and would I risk serious clipping?
 

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Yes you can get a dedicated phono pre with MUCH higher gain


1. Doubtful BUT possible


3. IF you can hear noise then low level listening might not be as nice..


4 yes BUT not to the same degree as volume differences in the digital domain


you can pick up a dedicated phono pre pretty cheap from $29 and the sky is the limit..I have used the Pro-Ject Phono box and it was decent
 
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