SOLVED - NVA P50 II. , very low volume

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K90tour2
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SOLVED - NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by K90tour2 »

Just taken my newly arrived P50 out of quarantine.
Connected it up to my 2A3 power amp and CD (direct inout) and phone stage.

Hardly any volume on either of them, even at maximum. Turn it down four steps and there is no audible output.

Does anyone know a reason for this?

Anyway, it's back in its box now.

Thanks
Richard

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Re: NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by K90tour2 »

Should add that it has the stepped attenuator upgrade.

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Re: NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by Lindsayt »

I have a 45 based SET amplifier with a nominal max power output of 2 watts. Which is about half of the max output of your 2A3 - assuming it's a SET and not push pull.

Along with low maximum output comes relatively low gain with my 45 based SET. With some sources, even with my most efficient speakers there's not enough gain to get party type volumes - not even with the source plugged straight into the (lack of) power amp.

The volume that you get will also depend on the sensitivity / efficiency of your speakers.

So, if you have a source with relatively low output, plus medium to low efficiency speakers, plus a large room, plus you want to listen at generous volumes, there may not be enough gain in your 2A3 to go as loud as you'd like.

It'd probably be a huge shame to not use the 2A3 - as there's every chance it has a wonderful midrange and treble.

So we're looking at either a source with higher output, an active pre-amp or more efficient speakers. Chances are you already have efficient speakers if you have a 2A3?
So that leaves the source or the pre-amp.

I like stepped attenuator passive pre-amps a lot - when the rest of the system suits.

What source(s) are you using?
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karatestu (Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:25 pm)

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savvypaul
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Re: NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by savvypaul »

50% of full volume is at about 3 o'clock on a stepped attenuator, but what you report is certainly not normal.

Is the 2A3 input stage compatible with passive preamps? Have you used it with any other passive preamps?

When did you buy the P50? Have you used it with any other power amps?

How are you connecting the P50 to the power amp?
Amplification - NVA P90SA / A70s & A60
Analogue - BTE Designs Lenco L59 / Garrard 401 / Ortofon TA-210 / Jelco 750L / Audio Technica ATP 12T / Ortofon SPU / Denon 103 / NVA Phono 2
Digital - Sonore MicroRendu / RME DAC-2
Speakers - NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3

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Re: NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by K90tour2 »

Thanks very much for your input.
Maybe a brief background would help.
The 2A3 amp was originally partnered with a Music First Classic V2. Into which a CD player and phono stage would be fitted.
I would normally play both sources at -30dB, or about a third of the way around.

Then I replaced the CD player with an AMR DP777 DAC which has its own volume control. The phonostage into this sounded better than the Music First and so I sold the Music First. Again volume would be at -30dB.
And lastly I bought a Meridian 808.3, which also has a pre amp output.
The Meridian into the power amp sounded better than using it with its own preamp bypassed and going fixed output into the AMR DP777.
Which is why I needed a passive with a direct input. So I could use the passive to control the phono stage but use the Merdian's variable output into the the power amp without unplugging cables all the time.
The strange thing is that even using the Merdian into the direct inputs of the NVA, it is still very quiet and stodgy. So it is not going directly without being held back.

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Re: NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by savvypaul »

If your digital source is set to -30db then you are drastically reducing the signal to the P50. Set it to 0db and report back.
Amplification - NVA P90SA / A70s & A60
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Digital - Sonore MicroRendu / RME DAC-2
Speakers - NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3

“The one who would whistle to, Throbbing Gristle through, harsh times in Umberstone Covert”

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Re: NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by K90tour2 »

The aim is to be attenuating via the Merdian into the direct input of the NVA. And using the phono into the aux input of the NVA.
If I'm to be controlling the volume of the Merdian with the NVA, I may as well keep it plugged in to the AMR preamp.
Hope that makes sense.

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Re: NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by savvypaul »

You can still fine adjust the volume from the dac, you just need to get it nearer to 0db. I do the same with my RME dac.
Amplification - NVA P90SA / A70s & A60
Analogue - BTE Designs Lenco L59 / Garrard 401 / Ortofon TA-210 / Jelco 750L / Audio Technica ATP 12T / Ortofon SPU / Denon 103 / NVA Phono 2
Digital - Sonore MicroRendu / RME DAC-2
Speakers - NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3

“The one who would whistle to, Throbbing Gristle through, harsh times in Umberstone Covert”

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Re: NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by Fretless »

K90tour2 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:47 pm
The aim is to be attenuating via the Merdian into the direct input of the NVA. And using the phono into the aux input of the NVA.
If I'm to be controlling the volume of the Merdian with the NVA, I may as well keep it plugged in to the AMR preamp.
Hope that makes sense.
Won't there be a problem with one input on 'Direct' and another one via the switchable 'AUX' ?
Better to have both switchable - or am I missing something?
NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2 - BMU
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Re: NVA P50 II. , very low volume

Unread post by savvypaul »

Fretless wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 9:00 pm
K90tour2 wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:47 pm
The aim is to be attenuating via the Merdian into the direct input of the NVA. And using the phono into the aux input of the NVA.
If I'm to be controlling the volume of the Merdian with the NVA, I may as well keep it plugged in to the AMR preamp.
Hope that makes sense.
Won't there be a problem with one input on 'Direct' and another one via the switchable 'AUX' ?
Better to have both switchable - or am I missing something?
Yes. If you use direct then it should be the only input used.
Amplification - NVA P90SA / A70s & A60
Analogue - BTE Designs Lenco L59 / Garrard 401 / Ortofon TA-210 / Jelco 750L / Audio Technica ATP 12T / Ortofon SPU / Denon 103 / NVA Phono 2
Digital - Sonore MicroRendu / RME DAC-2
Speakers - NVA Cube 1 / Klipsch Heresy 3

“The one who would whistle to, Throbbing Gristle through, harsh times in Umberstone Covert”

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