Basically, the source component should have a low output impedance and the amp should have a high input impedance (100K ohm or >). The source also needs to have a high enough output voltage to drive the amp (input sensitivity).
You should try running direct to the amp if the impedance matching and voltage can be satisfied, it does offer a nice transparent presentation. But, you may also find that the overall dynamics and "flesh" are missing.
Also, keep the IC short and of low capacitance.
I just did a quick browse of the SA8260 manual and don't see any mention of a volume control, only for the headphones.
im curious as to why you want to run a cdp direct into an amp? every time ive tried doing that the music sounded weak & was lacking authority,even hollow sounding.
im not knockin your plans im just puzzled as to what benifit can be had not using a preamp.
The closest you could come is with a passive unit. Don't try it otherwise as you're likely going to blow some speakers.
Warnerwh - could you elaborate more on blowing speakers when using a passive pre? In the past, I've used a passive (Placette RVC) without incident.
The 8260 doesn't have volume control. I was planning on buying an in-line attenuator. Also, here was my thinking on the situation: I have about $1,400 to spend on amplification. I thought that since I don't need to switch sources (I'm single sourced) or want balance or tone control...every dollar I spend on a preamp would be a dollar less to spend on my amp. However, now it sounds like if I do commit my entire budget on an amp the overall sound would be compromised. True?
from what ive heard in my rigs running passive preamps & running amps with gain controls direct to a cd player i didnt care for it at all,i read alot of stuff where guys really liked listening that way so i tried it a few times with very poor results,maybee my rigs were mismatched,who knows but the result was dull & lifeless music that reminded me of a AM stereo radio station.
running a rig this way for the sake of a shorter signal path opens up other problem areas like having your system perfectly matched & leads to more cash being spent on cables,speaker wires & other tweaks trying to get it right.
you still cant go wrong spending your entire budget on an amplifier,if you dont care for the sound you can always add a preamp when cash flow allows,just remember when your looking for your new amp to pick an amp that has gain controls & you can use them as your volume control with no chance of damage to any equipment.
i am not a big fan of passive.... it does offer a clean listening window, however there has always been a midbass and bass suckout (foundation of music).
if you have $1400 to spend for pre / amp. would suggest the following:
muse 160 II or pse studio v mono blocks (muse is a little easier going while the pse is very dynamic. both were $3000 amps when introduced and are still very, very good. it took a pair of classe cam mono 350 to displace the pse studio v's in my system. pse v monos go for $450-$550 and the muse 160 ii goes for $650 - $750
preamp - bat vk3...incredible build quality and sound for the money..can add phono, remote, cap upgrade later if you wish..goes for $750-$850.. the only drawback to this unit is finding nos 6922's...
if you want solid state then a ar ls-12. it was their last solid state piece and in very uderrated (very long break in period- 6 months).. it is totally neutral and transparent...you dont realize it till you actually compare it to a passive unit..goes for $800-$900... add the cap for 6db upgrade if you are running single ended source ($65)...
audible illusions L1 - magical with the pse v mono blocks..great combo..used 6922 tube but less of them..really musical unit that has a little coloration in the nicest way... works well with the pse v monos and the 8260 (i have personally used the L1,8260, and pse v's- awesome combo)
hope that helps,
What I meant is that if he hooks up the Marantz directly to the amp without a passive at minimum it's likely he'll blow his speakers. The Marantz has no volume control I'm aware of and I have one. Standard output of cd players is about 2 volts or more than the maximum required by many amps to put out full power. He should at least get a passive as that's the closest thing to no preamp but personally I'd just get a real preamp. I've not tried any passives but would not want to lose any dynamics that I've read people talk about using passives.
Mikesinger, thank you for your recommendations, I'm looking into their availability.
To those of you whose experience was poor, running source direct: As rule of thumb, I understand, output impedance from the source should be below 300 Ohms, input impedance on the amp should be >50k Ohms and capacitance of the interconnects should be below 100pF/ft. Violating any of these measurements would cause high frequency roll off and mush bass. By any chance can anyone validate this by confirming that their components did NOT adhere to this rule of thumb???
You mentioned a 'midbass/bass suckout' when running a CDP directly to an amp. I assume this phenomena occurs even with players that have a variable output. You've obviously experienced this first hand. I wouldn't make sense to me that such a problem could be written off to a system mismatch.
So what causes this to happen. Naturally, if this occurs as a rule, people would avoid this arrangment. Could you offer any insight into why this happens?
I would strongly recommend buying a good used Integrated Amplifier. You could easily buy a high-powered Integrated right here on Audiogon (or ebay) for around $1,500-, including models from Krell, Musical Fidelity, Classe, Plinius and others. Some of these models put out such excellent sound that it would take big, big money to better them with seperates. This is where you need to be with your budget and even quite a bit beyond in my opinion.
I agree with lars22. Your situation is begging for an integrated amp and there
are plenty of good ones to be had for under $1500 used. I don't think you
can do better in seperates (remember, with seperates you will need another
set of interconnects as well) at this price point. Go integrated.
Sorry, I just noticed that this thread was over one year old. Decision is
probably made huh?
Amplifiers can have a wide range of input impedance, ranging from a couple of k ohms to more than 100k ohms. A basic rule of thumb (for passives), is, that the upstream component's output impedance should be less than the input impedance of the component you are driving. If not, not only are you going to introduce higher frequency roll-off, you also may raise the distortion due to increased noise. The latter is probably the most cause for the flat/dry/lifeless result from improper impedance matching. The so-called micro dynamics suffer and you hear that (or not depending on how you perceive the problem).
Unless you like a binary approach to volume control (off or full on) connecting any source directly to an amplifer (assuming this amp has no gain control or whatever in the front end) will result in the amplfier applying its rated gain (typically 25 -30-ish dB) into whatever load. Not a really useful setup.
The 2.2 volts you refer to is the specified RMS output of your CD player.
Try a McCormack TLC-1 in buffered mode. These can be had for about 300-400, and are high performance line level controls. One of the few truly audiophile grade components out there at affordable prices.
For $1400 you could get a Creek 5350se Integrated amp which always gets superiors reviews from Magazines and online.
Audio Adviser would let you return it if you did not like the sound.
Actually, I bought a Cary 300SEI. The integrated was, for me at this time, the right way to go.
Oh, I don't even have that Marantz anymore! That was TWO CD players ago.