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TOPIC: Proper gain structure

Proper gain structure 2 weeks 6 days ago #43703

  • Lazylex
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Hi all,

I could use some assistance in proper gain staging.

Currently utilizing a PC at 100% volume out to MiniDSP SHD in Balanced (4v out) to a Crown XLS 1502 (1.4v input sensitivity - 30.88dB gain with gain controls on the unit).

If I'm understanding this correctly, 4vrms should result in clipping from the amplifier if I were to turn the gains to max on the amp, and keep the signal high, however, I disconnected my speakers and when I max gains on the amp and send my signal through, it never even lights up the -20 and -10, let alone the clip on the amp's meters.

I must be misunderstanding the 4v output of the balanced connection from the SHD and the input sensitivity value.

Any recommendations on proper staging? Thanks!
Last Edit: 2 weeks 6 days ago by Lazylex.
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Proper gain structure 2 weeks 6 days ago #43715

  • day7a1
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Are you saying that you have your PC volume(s) all turned up all the way, the SHD turned up all the way, and the amp gain turned up all the way, and you're still getting -30dB max output on the amp?

How loud is it at that point?
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Proper gain structure 2 weeks 6 days ago #43716

  • Lazylex
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Yup that is correct!

I did unplug my speakers because I didn't want to damage them while messing around with the gains. I was trying to find the point where I could identify where the clipping would begin at the amplifier level and then dial it down before honing in the volume.
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Proper gain structure 2 weeks 6 days ago #43722

  • john.reekie
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You're playing music? You'd really need to use a test tone for this. You would want to use a slot with no DL filter loaded.
I am not miniDSP support.

"You must ask the right questions." - Dr. Alfred Lanning's hologram.
-> Have you read the User Manual??
-> Have you drawn and posted a diagram?
-> Have you posted a screenshot?
-> Have you posted your config file?
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Proper gain structure 2 weeks 6 days ago #43723

  • day7a1
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So, in theory you would want your noisiest component to be the one with the least gain applied. So like john.reekie said, run the correct test tones through the system to set levels.

However, in practice, depending on your usage, it may just be easier to keep the Crown at 10 and just, you know, not turn the music up so loud that you can hear distortion.

I usually only turned my commercial amps down if I wasn't going to be there (i.e. rental), but that was pure analog where you could go over 0dB. Unless your amps overpower your speakers, you're unlikely to do any damage by the time you get up and turn it down, especially over music. Most home amps don't even have a gain control.

Though, with that amp, unless you're running stage monitors or a PA system, that's a metric-f-ton of wattage.

I'm quite curious about your application.
Last Edit: 2 weeks 6 days ago by day7a1. Reason: typo
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Proper gain structure 2 weeks 5 days ago #43747

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Ok perfect will do! - I'm using the 1502 for some extra head room. I switched from a couple expensive monoblocks and hear no difference whatsoever (kinda figured that was the case since there's no distortion occuring) and saved quite a bit of money by reselling them.

Thanks for the insight
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