Audio Research SP-8 with CD


Hi everyone,

I just bought an Audio Research SP-8 from a member here on Audiogon. This preamp is amazing! I found that the combination of my PS Audio GCPH with the linestage is the way to go with the LP. It offers more focus and more impact than the SP-8 phono stage. The problem is when I play CD. In that case, I have to much gain. I use a Cambridge 840C as CD player and I can't even pass 9 o'clock on the SP-8 gain setting.

I know that SP-8 was made in the years the CD came by and at that time, Audio Research doesn't made a CD input on the SP-8. So line stage gain is high at 26 dB. I think that they start putting a CD input with the LS1 and this one has
a more realistic gain of 11 dB.

In the case you are using your SP-8 with CD, what do you folk do to have the ability to play around on the gain control?

Thanks,

Sébastien
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A cop out solution. Put some fixed 10db attenuators in either of two places; 1)between the CD output and an AUX imput, or on a set of cables in the tape loop. The latter can be inserted anytime with any source by flipping the tape switch, and probably has the least negative effect on the sound, but it does take another set of IC's. The former becomes fixed - you want to be careful that it doesn't electrically screw up the CD signal by not matching the input's spec's.

BTW, I think the tape out is buffered - this might just help smooth out the digital source if that is a problem.

Thats all I know. Oh, if you are not anal, then place the resistors between the amp and pre-amp at the amps inputs. It affects all of your sources but that will not be a problem with that pre-amp, and the best part is that it will lower the pre-amps noise level to inaudibility (or should anyway).

I've used Rothwell's successfully in my ARC SP10.
Hi Newbee,

Thanks for your suggestion. I'll try this soon. I think that I will try these:

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=266-244

Have a good day,

Sébastien
Newbee, regarding what you said :

"...if you are not anal, then place the resistors between the amp and pre-amp at the amps inputs. It affects all of your sources but that will not be a problem with that pre-amp, and the best part is that it will lower the pre-amps noise level to inaudibility (or should anyway)..."

That's what I'd like to do. It seems a good way to go in my case.

Sébastien
I said that anticipating some folks posting about how placing the attenuators between the amp and preamp would cause a (serious?)degradation in the signal. While possible I suppose depending of the other stuff in the chain it was not my experience and was where I used them.

I'm not familar with the attenuators you are going to use but hell it is just an encased resistor, how much damage can that do? :-) I'm sure you will hear though.

BTW, nice pre-amp! I always wished I had bought one to use as an alternative to mine. Didn't have the bucks then. :-(
"BTW, nice pre-amp! I always wished I had bought one to use as an alternative to mine..."

Yes Newbee, the SP-8 is amazing. Actually, I have very good results combining the linestage with my PS Audio GCPH.
It offers an exceptionnal soundtage, great focus on players or vocalists, excellent tonal accuracy, cymbals and drums like I never heard them before, etc.

Someone who has many ARC preamp already said that the SP-8 is like a SP-10 in a one box unit.

Sébastien