The c541 does not have a variable output which means some form of attenuation is required before feeding the signal to your amp. If you do go direct into a power amp with the NAD, put your fingers in your ears as you hit the play button.
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Let's review. I believe that the manuals you have been reading may not have been as explicit/clearly-worded as would be ideal.
A receiver actually contains three different components, all in one box:
(1) a tuner (=source) (just like the CD player is a source)
(2) a preamp
(3) a power amp.
An integrated amplifier usually contains two different components:
(1) a preamp
(2) a power amp.
[let's not worry about no-gain control amps]
A power amp is, well, a power amp.
In this context, using the term "amp" is so ambiguous as to make it utterly useless.
We need to know a couple of things to make helpful posts/responses.
Are you running:
(1) CD player--to--receiver--to--loudspeakers; OR
(2) CD player--to--receiver used as preamp--to power amp--to loudspeakers?
I have no idea whether the Pioneer has "pre-amp out" jacks, so I have no idea whether (2) is possible or not.
I'm sure Timrhu is correct that the NAD does not have a variable output. So somewhere else in the chain there has to be a volume control, on the receiver used as a receiver or on the receiver used as a preamp. If you do also own a separate power amp, if you connect the CD player directly to it, prepare to buy a whole new system tomorrow.
I'm still not sure what you're really trying to achieve. More "transparency"? More "impact"? More....?
I and others on other threads have already remarked that the PSB speakers probably deserve a better pre/power combo or integrated amp than you're currently (no pun intended) driving them with.
Hope this helps/clarifies...
Yes , you can use your CDP to amp directly.
However, since your CDP doesn't have the volume control - the attenuator with volume control MUST be used.
Here is the link to one:
Well u guys are all right. i hooked up the cdp to the amp and then to the speakers. It was super loud, not any loder than ive played the system before but loud enough. I dont have a volume control on the amp. So i basically hooked everything back up normally. This is how i have it.
Cdp hooked to cd input on reciever, preout on the reciever(pioneer) to the amp and then the speakers. lmk what u think. kevin
I am running it like the number 2 that you described. Thanx for the replies i am very much a newbie at hi fi stuff. I am using the pionner elite as basically a pre amp. I use the preamp outputs of the reciever to the amp then the speakers. the cdp is hooked to the cd in on the reciever. I had no volume control when i had the cdp to the amp. Didnt sound that good anyway. Should i get a good pre amp and bypass the pionner reciever. Im thinking that would be a better way to go. Is my reciever holding back my soundstage? Its a pionner elite vsx39 tx reciever. Probably good in its day but its pretty old now. lmk thanx alot for the replies im learning everyday. Kevin
OK, so improved soundstaging is your primary goal.
I would think that a majority would agree that loudspeakers, loudspeaker location, the room, and the acoustic interface of loudspeaker and room are the first factors to be considered. The PSBs ought to perform OK. We know nothing about the room, etc.
There may be more disagreement over whether the pre-amp or power amp is the next most important ingredient. Assuming that the power amp is OK, the receiver used as pre-amp may be holding you back, but without a good deal of experimentation and swopping components in and out, etc. that may be hard to determine.
If it is the case, then you are looking at the gamut of pre-amps out there, from the simple attenuators in that link that was sent, to "passive" pre-amps, to solid-state and tube and hybrid pre-amps.
I leave it to others to make specific suggestions for relatively inexpensive pre-amps that are soundstaging champs. Undoubtedly there will be a number of favorites.