CD out to pre in. Pre out to amp in.
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Not sure that I understand the question. When the BAT is connected between the CD player and the Shindo, you would have to turn up the volume controls on BOTH the BAT and the Shindo to hear anything. Is that what you are saying happens? You would initially set the controls on the Shindo such that the BAT's volume control would be used in a desirable part of its range (i.e., not too close to its minimum position), and such that the two channels are balanced, and leave the Shindo's controls in that position all the time.
Also, what are you using to adapt between the BAT's xlr outputs and the Shindo's rca inputs?
Not familiar with the operations of this existing preamp, but I would want to check for HT bypass setting or unity gain settings, that neither are activated.
I have a spare amp with a gain control for each channel. On the rare occassion that I use this amp in my system, I just set both gain pots to 100% and control the volume from my preamp. In other words, as mentioned above, you do need to have these gain setting controls on the amp turned up for the preamp to play through that amp to your speakers. You cannot set the gain to zero on the amp and expect the preamp to produce music through this amp to your speakers.
Also, if you bought the BAT preamp used, have you re-set it to factory settings? Have you opened it and made sure the tubes are installed?