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Hi Fi volume not loud enough

mylesc

New member
Jul 24, 2013
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Hi,I would appreciate some advice. I am no expert, but over the last few months i have bought the following second hand , but find full volume is ok but not loud, half volume is barely audible.NAD 5120 TurntableCambridge A5 AmplifierMission bookshelf speakers (25-75 w/ch)I have changed the pre amp a few times because i thought this could be the problem, but does not make it any louder. Latest pre amp is a NAD PP2Is it because the separates are not compatible, or are the amp or speakers not powerful enough ? Any thoughts greatly appreciatedthanksMyles
 

MakkaPakka

New member
May 25, 2013
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Something is broken. You need to test bit by bit to work out what it is - start with speakers.

Unless your a Saudi Prince your setup should easily fill your room.
 

mylesc

New member
Jul 24, 2013
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Thanks for that. Stupid reply by me, but assume unless i know someone with working speakers/ amp etc and i can test out through a process of elimination , then there is no other way of checking which part may be broken.
 

MakkaPakka

New member
May 25, 2013
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If you were electrically minded you could try a multi-meter at the end of the speaker cables which might tell you something.

You didn't indicate if you have any other sources - a TT cartridge at the end of its life can sound very feint. All you'd need is a 3.5mm to two phono lead and you could try your mp3 player/phone/computer into the amp to compare.
 

mylesc

New member
Jul 24, 2013
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the cartridge is audio technica, and i recently replaced the stylus with an equivalent (cheaper!), although noise level was an issue before this.
 

mylesc

New member
Jul 24, 2013
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re phono stage, is this not what the pre amp is for ? excuse my ignorance, my knowledge on this is very limited.
 

The_Lhc

New member
Oct 16, 2008
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I don't know, do any of the pre-amps you've used have phono stages in them? It's not a given.
 

Chipbutty

New member
Jul 24, 2013
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NAD PP21 is a phono stage, so should be fine. Does sound like something is at fault though, the Cambridge Amp has approx 60 watt output, so shouldn't need it on full to get reasonable volume. What model are the Mission speakers? Can you describe how you've got it wired up etc? Ideally you could do with trying another source - even plug the TV into it if you can and have nothing else. Also, if you're using a phono stage it won't matter which input you plug it into on the amp (just not the phono input on the Cambridge if it has one) so I'd try a few inputs such as CD, aux, tuner etc to see if the issue lies with the input you are using.

Good luck!
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
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Could be the phono stage or your wiring. Try another source, do you have a computer?
 

mylesc

New member
Jul 24, 2013
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Hi, thanks for the advice so far. This morning I have tried plugging the phono stage (pre amp) into both the cd and tuner inputs and changing to the appropriate setting on the front of the amp (didn't realise you could do this!), and it all works but at the same sound level as through the aux socket .Does this eliminate the amp as the problem?

I have checked my Mission bookshelf speakers and there is no model number, just 25-75 w/ch and 8 ohms. Noticed quite a few of these for sale on ebay etc, quite cheap! just got these connected + to + (red) and - to - (black) with the speaker connections on the amp.

Any other thoughts ?
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
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How many binding posts do you have on the speakers, is it 2 or 4 on each one?
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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You need to try playing something else through the amp to either clear or convict the amp/phono pre-amp/turntable as the culprit. You surely must have *something* else you can plug in to the amp? It's not rocket-science, just a methodical process of elimination.
 

BigH

New member
Dec 29, 2012
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Plugging the phono into another selector on the amp won't do any good. Assuming you have the speakers wired up correctly, it could be the phono stage on your amp is faulty. You can buy phono amps for around £50 or the Rega one is about £80, maybe worth a punt.

Do you not a lcd tv or computer?
 

mylesc

New member
Jul 24, 2013
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Hi BigH, yes have an LCD TV , no computer just a laptop. Are you suggesting connecting up the TV to the amp ? if so what should be connected to what?

thanks

Myles
 

sogophonio11

New member
Jun 23, 2011
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The A5 was not fitted with a magnetic cartridge EQ stage as standard. Purchaser would have to buy the optional internal phono stage as an extra.

Theres a big difference in turntable cartridges as well. Moving coil or moving magnet. The later may output sufficient voltage to drive the phono stage. But MC cartridges output far lower voltage, so a moving coil would require an EQ/Gain stage for definate. Or you would hear nothing!

Hope this helps you?

Cheers
 

mylesc

New member
Jul 24, 2013
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thanks Sogophonio11,

my turntable cartridge is MM and the NADPP2 pre amp is switched to MM so can i assume that it does not matter that my A5 does not have the optional internal phono stage ?
 

Crocodile

New member
Jan 15, 2009
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You can use a cheap 3.5mm to phono cable to connect the laptop or your mobile's headphone socket to the amp to test. Something like this:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/3-5mm-Phono-Stereo-Audio-Cable/dp/B000Q6LSVS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1375031265&sr=8-2&keywords=3.5mm+phono

Or spend a bit more if it's something you may want to continue with. Just remember to turn that volume down to zero before connecting!

Just a left-field thought in case you bought the pre-amp used, I assume it came with the PSU? Although if you've tried several it's unlikely to be that.
 

sogophonio11

New member
Jun 23, 2011
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As far as i am aware, you still need the internal phono stage in the A5 mate It will do the equalising and create the correct response curve etc. Best advice, give cambridge audio a quick call!

Cheers
 

Blackdawn

Well-known member
May 7, 2010
86
1
18,540
I would never put my amp on full volume as it will probably damage the speakers or the amp due to clipping. Its possible/probable they are already damaged.

From what I understand, at around 10-11 o clock position most amps are producing most of their power. If you turn the vol up right past 12 o clock you will probably start getting clipping.

Have you checked that each driver is working on the speakers? Take the grills off and check each in turn. Are you only getting music from the tweeter and not main woofers?

Try the headphone output for volume to see if it is loud enough. Maybe your volume control is not working properly. Is there a lot of static noise when you move the vol. control? You could always try your speakers on a friends amp you know that works or a spare one?

Double check the speaker cable again and interconnects for tight fit. Make sure your not shorting out the cables between + and -.

Can you get a second opinion from a hifi user or friend you know.

I would forget about testing for the moment with the turntable as you'll have at least another amp etc to eliminate. Best to stick to sources for testing that you know work. e.g. TV, radio, MP3 or computer.
 

Crocodile

New member
Jan 15, 2009
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sogophonio11 said:
As far as i am aware, you still need the internal phono stage in the A5 mate It will do the equalising and create the correct response curve etc.
No, the NAD pre-amp should be doing that job.
 

Chipbutty

New member
Jul 24, 2013
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Myles,

Re the question on connecting your TV, have a look for a stereo phono (rca) output,should be a L and R. Take a phono lead and plug into a line level input, ie anything but the phono input on the Cambridge. You should get the TV output and you can then gauge the volume.

I notice you've tried different inputs (aux, tuner etc) and the problem remains. This doesn't necessarily mean the amp is okay, but it does mean the problem isn't limited to one input.

I'd assumed you had a MM cartridge as you'd swapped the stylus (which you can't do with a moving Coil) so guessed that wasn't a problem. If you'd switched to MC input on the NAD with an MM you'd have too much volume (but not in a good way)!

At this stage you can only try another source - like the TV. Please don't rush out and buy a new phono stage as some have recommended as this could be a waste of money until you've confirmed where the issue lies.

If you're unsure about connecting the TV what about a DVD player? That should have a L and R out.

Good luck.
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
690
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Re-wording my post from page one which you either ignored or missed, find something else to plug into your amp such as your computer, or your TV, iPod or whatever. You must have something knocking around you can plug in and try. Even just a mobile phone. And if that works, well it's not the amp/speakers so that's them ruled out. Like any other fault-finding mission, it's always just a process of elimination til you identify the bit that's 'broken'. It really is that simple! Good luck.
 

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