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Grace Design m920
Grace Design m920
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I connect m920 TRS balanced out to Vioelectric V181, how should I set the volume on both m920 and V181?Using pink noise and iPhone as sound meter, I did an experiment with 3 setting for the same loudness on my HD800s:
(1) m920 max at 99. and V181 at 25%
(2) V181 max 100% and m920 at 63.
(3) V181 at 50% and m920 at 82.
How do these 3 settings affect the sound quality? I am using setting (3) and enjoy using the remote control for m920 to adjust listening volume and I don't like the idea of setting my m920 or V181 volume at max. Appreciate some advice/comments. Thanks
Send Grace a email. I think it's 90 but i could be wrong.
Each attenuator in your signal chain will affect SNR depending on its setting. Also, there's the issue of matching attenuation levels between L&R channels. Typically a potentiomenter yields poor matching compared to the m920's digitally controlled attenuator. It may yield the best SNR if you can bypass one of the two attenuators that you have in series . If you can bypass the pot in the downstream device and just use the m920's attenuator then you also achieve optimal channel matching.
However, if you prefer to use the gain control in the downstream device, consider setting the m920 at a high level - but not above the attenuator's unity gain The attenuator in the m920 has a range of 96dB of attenuator and (from memory) I think 19dB gain above unit. While you may be hard-pressed to perceive any difference, we theorize that it's more optimal to avoid operating above unity.
If you want to set the m920's attenuator at unity gain, I think it's 95.5 (95. on the display and 0 offset). I can't remember for certain and I'm at home now but the easy way to check is: turn the headphone volume up until you hear the relay click (for high output gain). I'm pretty sure that's at 96 (with 0 offset). Unity is the 1/2dB step below the click. The same setting is attenuator unity for line outputs as well.
Just to avoid injecting any confusion - note that setting the attenuator at unity is not the same as unity from the analog inputs to the outputs. The spec sheet covers this.
Another option is to use the fxed-dac output mode. This requires moving jumper shunts inside the m920. This bypasses the attenuator and sends full-scale to the unbalaned outputs. This gives the highest SNR at the m920's output s but of course you have to perform attenuation somewhere - so that pushes the SNR adjustment to your downstream device.
Caleb, thanks for your advice.
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