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DVD player for CD playback - audio levels.

Discussion in 'audio' started by springer, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. springer

    springer pfm Member

    Picked up a Rotel RA-312 amp at the weekend; destined for son #2 at Uni for him to plug a Chromecast into. After a good clean and a bit of fettling, I've decided I rather like this bit of vintage kit, so I'm keeping it for the second system and sending him my Denon all-in-one thing instead. The Rotel only musters 18w, so it needed a bit of cranking to get it to sing when playing from a Sony discman or my phone. However, when I dug out an old Samsung DVD player from the den to use as a CD player, it was so loud I could barely get the dial past 1. Can the DVD player's audio output be adjusted, or are the RCA outputs line-level?
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  2. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    I have never had issues with the audio out from DVD players and I have used a few but you may want to try line attenuaters into older amps. It certainly helped with an A&R A60 I was using for a while. I am sure someone here will have some going spare.
     
  3. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 I bet you can’t wheelie a unicycle!

    Have you used the same input for both the personal CD player and the DVD player? Some headphone outputs are a bit rubbish at driving amplifier inputs, they’re expecting to see a much lower impedance, the low output level is nothing to do with the amplifiers power rating.

    As for the DVD player, it may be that the output voltage is just too high, but I had an RA 311 when I was very young, that was fine with every CD player I tried. You haven’t inadvertently plugged into the phono stage have you? That would make a right racket!
    Also, the tuner inputs on old amps can be more sensitive, try the tape or auxiliary inputs instead.
     
    TheDecameron likes this.
  4. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Most DVD players have very simple audio outputs using 4558s and don't even manage 2V. I am not aware of any DVD player trying the audiophile CD player trick of ultra high level outputs
     
  5. springer

    springer pfm Member

    Everything went through AUX inputs. I’ll unhitch my CD player from the main system tonight to double check.
     
  6. springer

    springer pfm Member

    Tried the main CD player - same results. 1 is listenable, 2 is teenage party levels So what are these attenuators, then?
     
  7. Michael J

    Michael J pfm Member

    Typically they are two resistors in series to ground with the output tapped off from between them, stuffed inside an RCA plug. If the ratio is 10:1, e.g. 10k followed by 1k, then the reduction in signal at the junction is 20dB. A ratio of about 3:1, say 10k followed by 3k, the reduction will be about 10dB.

    Also known as voltage dividers.
     
  8. springer

    springer pfm Member

    Most of that went over my ageing head, but thank you anyway :) In Luddite terms, then, what would I need to bring the volume levels down to a ‘normal’ range?
     
  9. TonyScarlett

    TonyScarlett pfm Member

    Just Google Rothwell attenuators, they plug into the RCA sockets on your amp then you plug the RCA lead into the attenuator. They cost £40, you can buy 10dB, 15dB or 20dB versions, sounds like you might need the 20dB but someone more knowledgeable than me will probably be along shortly to correct me. I use 10dB attenuators in my CD input so I don't get big jumps in volume when I switch from Vinyl to CD, also gives easier fine control of volume at lower listening levels.
     
  10. Michael J

    Michael J pfm Member

    -10dB will allow a useful expansion of usable volume control range, it will pull 2V CD level down to around the more usual old school 775mV line level quite nicely.
     
  11. springer

    springer pfm Member

    Thanks everyone, will head down this route...
     
  12. davidsrsb

    davidsrsb pfm Member

    Non-intuitively, the higher attenuation values work better as it is easier to get a high load impedance to the source and a low impedance driving the destination at the same time.
    In this case where "2" is already disco level the 20dB is probably your best bet.
     
  13. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Buying another cheap disk player might cost no more than buying attenuators, and you'd have two disk players..
     
  14. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Buying another cheap disk player might cost no more than buying attenuators, and you'd have two disk players..
     
  15. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    My experience of this issue is that it has more to do with the inputs on older amplifiers than the output from DVD players. Attenuators help a lot and I think I used 20db ones with my A60.

    http://www.rothwellaudioproducts.co.uk/html/attenuators.html
     
  16. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    Yes, but it often depends on which input you choose. The inputs on older amplifiers are often not the same. Don't get me wrong, I use Rothwells into the Rotel amp in my shed but it's to get the volume knob to work at very low volume. But if I was the OP I'd be trying all the inputs and trying different players before buying Rothwells. Although yes, Rothwells will do the trick.
     
  17. Snufkin

    Snufkin pfm Member

    Point taken and I would agree but some amps have few inputs and so are limited in this day of multiple inputs.
     
  18. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    My pre, a Meridian 101, only has three and only one is a clean line-level. Which is a problem now that I am using an outboard phono preamp. I'm going to bypass the buffer stage in the tuner input.

    He did say he used the Auxiliary input for all the players though, which I would've expected to be fine.
     
  19. springer

    springer pfm Member

    Aux and tuner inputs produced the same result, with both my current Marantz CD deck and a 12-year old Samsung DVD player. Volume level 1 is wife-friendly, level 2 is 'in the house alone and having a good wig-out', 3 and beyond is 'next to the stacks at a Motorhead gig'. Trying some -10db Rothwells for starters as that's what was available from a mate.
     
  20. Mr Pig

    Mr Pig ^'- -'^

    They'll help but from what you describe I don't think they'll be enough.
     

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