Best way to set gain


My new system consist of Accuphase; A-70 x2, C-2850, DP-720, DG-58, with ASLC-15 x4, and AHDL-15 x2 front end. With Martin Logan; Renaissance ESL 15A, Sony; HAP-Z1ES and Torus RM 75Bal. My question to members is what is the best way to set the gains on the amp and preamp. Which is to say should one set one high the other low such that at mid volume setting is at the level I would normally listen to. Or should one just choose settings that do not over drive the amp when at max volume. In which case should one just select gain settings the same on both units that will not overdrive amp. Opinions welcome.  
rascerman
Hi Rascerman,

Their are so many issues to consider for each individual room and environments , ideally the volume on your preamp for normal listening levels should be around 9am, so adjust your gains to accomplish this,

Accuphase states the preamp should be at 18db and your amp at full gain.

On my Accuphase C 3800 my gain is set at 18db and my Accuphase A 65 is set at -6 Db. At low volume levels I turn the compensator to 1 and sometime 2.

I doubt you will ever over drive the amp, my speaker are 88db/4 ohm and I have had the meter reading over 200 watts several times and no issues. Accuphase Class A amps our underrated MONSTER.

Thank you for your response. I would have thought that setting the volume at noon or middle would be ideal. Being that my equipment is new and the type of volume control should I consider that the pre-amp's individual amps would take much longer to break-in if you will. Meaning should I perhaps run the volume control higher and gains even lower for the short term and dial it down as it breaks in. Would this not allow the circuits to be more fully utilized( AAVA). Which is to say yes to both units at the lowest gain and use more volume for break-in or am I missing something, just as long as I don't over drive it as a whole. For that matter should one crank it leave the room an listen next door at the neighbors to help get things cooking or is it better to gently break your equipment in. Your thoughts welcome.   
IMO, A preamp will always sound better when used at the upper range ( past 12 o'clock) on the volume control.
Yes would have thought more swing if you will, less constrained, more dynamic. Your thoughts on best way to break-in new system. Loud and hard or slow and easy. Still liked what tecknik had to say and I thank you yogiboy for your post.
Makes no difference.As long as you have a signal flowing!
Thanks yogiboy guess the neighbors will be seeing and hearing less of me, how sad for them, and they will be hearing more of their Harmon & Cardboard LOL.
The Accuphase well take 600 hours to break in, its a slow painful journey but between 500 & 600 is when you start to say WOW. I used CasCade burn in about 250 of those hours and let it run 24/7 mostly and then started turning off the preamp a half dozen times to let the caps expand which helped. Accuphase recommends the pre at 18 db & amp at full gain so its up to you on which gains sounds good and the knob at which position to accomplish this. The AVAA is very good and its not a digital so having it at noon to hear more swing so to speak would make no difference.
Check out AA they have a whole section of Accuphase devotees where you can learn more about your Accuphase components.

Thanks tecknik this is about the same time as I have heard for the ESL 15As. Little confused by stating "turn off to let caps expand", seams to me turning off they would contract. Unless you meant to let them cycle, meaning expand and contract several times. As for the Accuphase fallowing this is the primary reason for my selection. I had the chance to make an all in one purchase thanks to the unexpected guests that came calling well I was away a year back. I will miss my Ref. Marantz and CLX's, but sure to be happier in months to come.

 As all was special order did not have chance to pre hear. Had trouble to get Distributer to bring in Acc. cables as not available hear, as all had to come from Japan direct so they made exception. In fact my retailer became Acc. dealer to get me what I wanted. Have you had the cables in your Acc. system, or what are you using.

 I went with Audioquest Redwoods for speakers. I just figured all in one house was a good starting point. This plus some German reviews with same cables. Only thing I did not go with the  Acc. PS-1220, but got the RM-75Bal at RM-45Bal price, had to wire for #6 AWG. Major over kill (this unit belongs in triple Cima-Plex theater) but sure not to be lacking on the current side of things, lots of balls.

As for swing I was more or less referring to not using compensator as one would at lower volumes. Giving a broader full range swing in bottom end. But I guess this has more to do with the human ear as a pose to signal. As such will still add some compensation for a while to help loosen up the woofers sooner. At this time still on the fence as to if I will prefer the bottom end over my previous CLX, Descent I set-up. At any rate thanks again for your writings.

Yes, I was meaning cycling of the caps expanding and contracting just trying to cut it short. I noticed when I did this with my C 3800 it improved a bit in timber. Congratulations on your all in one purchase I had to do one at a time.

Im using Crystal Cable Magnum Opus cables thru out, they are pure 6n silver and sound fabulous.

I do like the AQ stuff very much and use there AQ Diamond & Vodka Ethernet cables in my optical fiber ethernet set up. I prefer isolated ethernet over usb for the fuller midrange and clarity.

I do not use any conditioner and run my analog & digital equipment on their own isolated transformer, meaning analog & digital have there own separate isolated transformer 220v here in Vietnam ( Expat ) with 5 meter grounding rods for each with 10 g wire. Pretty quite damn quite while maintain great dynamics in the system.

I do the same during break in with the compositor just to help break it in if that actually matter but it made sense to me so I did it, couldn't have hurt it any thats for sure. Very useful and works great for low level listenings or when running your system thru the night to speed up break in without disturbing the family.

Your welcome , check out AudioAficnado web site to learn more there are ton of guys over there running full Ref Accuphase gear that really know their stuff.

I just re read your original post and do I understand correctly you have 2 A 70,s ? if so why not just buy the A200,s ?

Either way if one or the other is correct WOW should sound awesome.


Hi again tecknik;

That's a good question on the A-70s, I spent a lot of time sole searching on that decision. At first I was going to get the P-7300 x2 and the Martin Logan Neoliths, which I then would have only being able to get the C-2850, DP-720 and nothing else. This I would have done to play with Hort./Vert. bi-amping plus bridged. At the time of ordering I decided if I went for the Neoliths I likely would have ended up building an addition to my house to put them in. Being that I am getting a little long on the tooth and retirement is only a hand full of years away I did not want to go though having to come out of pocket for everything else later. Note if you had not gathered by my posting this was an insurance claim which had a whole bunch of Kaliedescape equipment in it valued at about $45k Canadian. Which I was going to add to the CLX's and subs to turn into the Neoliths.

Instead I went for a whole replacement purchase with little else to do down the road. Mind you shortly after ordering the owner of the empty lot next door gave me an offer I could not refuse, which gave me the chance to turn my car-port into new sound room. If this had happened before ordering I would have stuck with the first plan. As for not going with the A-200s I wished to keep future options open. I went with Accuphase because this is a final long term purchase and what better choice than these guys. I will be in the ground and the Acc. will keep on going.

Maybe you are not knowing of TorusPower, these are for the most part isolation transformers. At first I was going to get 2 of them as you did but when the order was place I would have had to wait 2 months to get them. But they had a RM-75Bal sitting on shelf which they gave to me for around $8k and they retail for near $12k. Being an Electronic Eng. and Industrial Electrician rewiring was not an issue. I too may end up going to an isolated grid but will wait and see if I feel this is required. At this time I will due a Wenner soil-resistivity test to decide how best to proceed. At my panel at present I am testing in the 20-25 ohm range which is a little high. One would like to be in the 5 ohm range ideally.

I have heard good things about your cables. The top Acc. are close, as I said they do not sale or can get them hear. But because I am a bit of the Accuphase Poster Child hear in Canada for the 2017th year and threating to do sale elsewhere they brought them in for me. It is a little too early to tell but may likely feel they are good enough. Always good to hear of what others are doing. I just do not have the chance to sample as everything is special order. Which is why I post to get a feeling or pulse if you will. Again thanks for your time.  

Hey tecknick

Went AA and now I feel like I belong to a club over there thanks for the info. Still I find things hear to be more down to earth and a little less lofty if you will. Any rate thanks for the writings. 

I agree with your assessment, I have emailed the owner several times and received one response and that was it still alot of good info to be gained. Computer Audiophile is another one.


Hi tecknik

I will check them out, never heard of them before. What a sheltered life I must be leading. I will get on page, thanks again for response.

Tecknik forgot to ask if you had a Wenner soil-resistivity test done when you installed your isolated  ground grid. No big deal if you are dead quite at present, but something to consider if noise creeps in later on. Just saying.