Its nothing to worry about.
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"Does the whole "made in England" vs "Taiwan" thing have anything to do with it perhaps?"
No, it has nothing to do with that. If you look at the specs on both amps, you'll find that they're some are different, like input sensitivity.
Think of it this way. Your source has a small power amp inside to get the signal to the preamp. Its just like a regular power amp, but much weaker. When you change components, the small amp in the source is usually more powerful, or less powerful. Its that difference of power output that causes the overall volume to change. Its just like switching to a different pair of speakers. More efficient speakers will keep the volume knob at a lower setting, while less efficient speakers will force you to raise the volume in order for it to be the same as the efficient pair. Its perfectly normal.
A5.5 input sensitivity is 330mV
A3.2 input sensitivity is 300mV
So just for the sake of understanding, the 30mV difference between the two is causing the change? That seems awfully marginal to account for the LACK of volume output the a5.5 has versus the a3.2
Side note: interesting to note how much lower the distortion is on the a3.2 versus the newer a5.5!
"So just for the sake of understanding, the 30mV difference between the two is causing the change? That seems awfully marginal to account for the LACK of volume output the a5.5 has versus the a3.2"
That's not the only thing, but yes,the difference can account for a volume change. You can have the same thing happen with sources. For example, 2 CD players who's line stage amps put out different amounts of power will have a direct effect on where your volume knob is positioned to get the same volume level of output.
"Side note: interesting to note how much lower the distortion is on the a3.2 versus the newer a5.5!"
The older MF gear, made in the UK, sounds quite a bit different than the new stuff made overseas.
The only thing that was changed in my system was the integrated amplifiers between the two mentioned, which is why I just find it very interesting how such small variations can produce quite a difference.
With all that said and comparing new MF to old MF stuff, it comes as no surprise that the made in England gear that is made today, is only on the extreme high end side... I think I'm going to stay with the older less powerful a3.2 integrated now! Cheers Zd542!