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MDAC First Listen (part 00111001)

Discussion in 'audio' started by ti33er, Sep 12, 2017.

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  1. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    Life is not easy for Paris thesedays in the lab, first the hissing SMT Machine and now the Subwoofers !!!!
    timola likes this.
  2. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    I'm designing the output level attenuation section for the MDAC2 DD2A. What level do you normally listen to music - not background music levels, but "serious listening" levels?

    Listening levels with Speakers and Headphones would be interesting.

    Eg. normally I listen at about -20dB to say -10dB for very Loud... (with Speakers, I don't use headphones).
  3. uwe061

    uwe061 pfm Member

    Between -15 and -10 with my PMC and -25 with the hifiman headphones
    JohnW likes this.
  4. JemHayward

    JemHayward pfm Member

    Because my ADC/vinyl system is much quieter than my RPi streamer, I use a B Putzeys balanced volume control (AKA 'The Knob') so my MDAC is usually set at -10dB, and then attenuated, so, I suppose -10dB is the loudest it ever goes, but my power amp is specifically designed to be low gain... new power amp (temporary amp number 2 whilst waiting for VFETs) is a Radford STA25, which is higher gain, so the MDAC is currently set at -17dB.

    Not sure if that helps at all!
    JohnW likes this.
  5. timola

    timola pfm Member

    Well, on my MDAC with certain tracks I've put it upto +3db (rarely though) and while this is loud, I wish I had another 3db on some rare occasions. Most well produced tracks I play upto -5dB and that's usually as much as my speakers and ears can handle. On some movies I have it up at -8dB to really get carried away (Top Gun, etc). I do get carried away sometimes and just turn it up as loud as it will go before before something in my system is likely to fail. I try and get to and beyond a heavy rock concert level when I'm in the mood. I have Linn LK280 amplifiers into active Linn Isobariks and sit about 6-8 feet away. So can we have the upper level of the MDAC2 similar to the original MDAC please. I almost never go lower that -28 dB. I've never used the headphone socket.

    Hope I'm not an outlier?...:D
  6. Rune

    Rune pfm Member

    I only used the MDAC as a preamp with my ncores for a very short period, because -20 was to loud for normal listening. Definitely remember never wanting to try +3.
    Maybe someone else with ncores can confirm/correct my memory?
  7. JohanH

    JohanH pfm Member


  8. ti33er

    ti33er pfm Member

    NCore is a lot more sensitive compared to my McLaren Amplifiers...sounds almost double as loud at same volume level on the Pre
  9. mattgbell

    mattgbell Help the elderly and unwell!

    Is there a problem with the MDAC's gain? If not, I'd vote for retaining it, rather than changing based on a few (probably unrepresentative) replies here.
  10. timola

    timola pfm Member

    I'd vote with you...:D
    mattgbell likes this.
  11. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Ncores 26db gain, tags are 23db
  12. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    The current MDAC uses Digital Attenuation, the MDAC2 DD2A uses "lossless" Analogue domain attenuation where I have the opportunity to optimise the performance over the most "critical" usage range.

    I now have a fairly good idea of this "range" (which is pretty much the same as I use).
  13. Stunsworth

    Stunsworth pfm Member

    I used an MDAC directly with a pair of Meridian M2 speakers. Normal range is around -20 to around -12 depending on the source and how loud I want it to be.
    JohnW likes this.
  14. Timcat

    Timcat pfm Member

    Same for me, but if the attenuation in the MDAC2 is in the analogue domain, that would be fine would it not?
  15. Rune

    Rune pfm Member

    Yes, it will be fine. The problem with digital attenuation is that you get a loss in SQ. It is not only the MDAC that has this problem my Hugo has this as well.

    If I have understood it correctly it will be like having a transformer based preamp build in. Which means that I can sell my expensive MFA baby ref passive preamp without losing any SQ :cool:

    And it will make the box count obsessed crowd happy as well. ;)
    JohnW, timola and ti33er like this.
  16. Asphaltradler

    Asphaltradler pfm Member

    Depends heavily on the program/label. With modern Pop -26db is already too loud, but good classical productions without compression - which I hear 95% of the time - I play normally at -18 to -12db, very seldom up to -6db or so. BIS, old Denon, MDG, LSO, Sony, Challenge, Harmonia mundi (and my own recordings with a pair of condensor mics and no compression, naturally)... Most bigger companies (DG, Decca, also Linn) are strongly compressed, so around -6db less => -24 to -18db. Older only slightly compressed pop records of the 70s to mid-80s, sometimes even 90s (Pink Floyd, Yes, King Crimson; The Roches; Rickie Lee Jones! e.g.) are in that same range.

    nCore => KEF R700.
    JohnW likes this.
  17. Timcat

    Timcat pfm Member

    I thought so. When it began to deteriorate with electrolytic cap failure, I replaced my MDAC with a Mytek DAC that has the choice of digital or analogue attenuation. The analogue is superior and allows me to avoid using a separate preamp. I still have the MDAC in a cupboard as a donor for MDAC2.
    JohnW likes this.
  18. gints

    gints pfm Member

    If there is analog volume control, will it be possible to have extra analog input?
  19. JohnW

    JohnW pfm member

    The DD2A level control is an embedded part of the DAC Array circuit its not suitable for an external Analogue input - its not a Analogue Pre-amplifier following the DAC stage but integral part of the DAC Array for the simplest most direct signal path.
    Rune and ti33er like this.
  20. Rune

    Rune pfm Member

    Will AV bypass be possible?
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