I could be off target but The Sonus Farber probably needs a whole lot more power..Its possible theres just not enough power there to light them up...........
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i have the same issue. i have a cambridge 840a v2, 840c and dynaudio c1's. i have to turn the volume to half way to get moderate sound. beyond that it starts getting loud and at 2 o'clock is fairly loud. i spoke with matthew at audiopluss services and he said this is the way the cambridge is designed. so as long as you get plenty of volume when you turn past half way i think it's ok.
The issue you are seeing has to do with the gain, not the power. Every amp has different amount of gain. The position of the volume knob has profound effect on the psycho acoustics. Many people "think" the amp sound inferior when they see the volume turned up higher. Your speaker might very well need more powerful amps, but you should give it more time before making a hurried decision.
This is response from a Cambridge dealer: This is typical. 0dB is the maximum gain of the amp.This sort of control uses what is called linear taper. Older style control used an audio taper. With an audio taper, you get about 80% of the control's usefulness in the first half of the control's rotation. With linear taper, it is actually linear. i.e. -50 is about equal to a conventional control turned up about 1/8 of a rotation. It takes getting used to, but the benefit is incredibly precise channel matching at any volume setting.
Thanks Jack for your explaination.
This is probably a good thing if you think it sounds good when turned up to the desired listening level as it will give you much greater ability to control the volume at lower levels. Cheap volume pots often have problems with channel matching at lower volumes. The 840e has a fairly sophisticated system for attenuating volume.
Curious, how does the Cambridge pair sound to you in general?