Preamp: is ATC CA2 a good match for ATC40A?

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nopiano

Well-known member
I dont think most people who only recommends the rme are realizing the issue I have.

the RME ADi-2 sounds good with SCM7 and SCM19. But 40A is a different kind of beast!

I can not explain it but its like it needs double what RME can give. It needs a wider soundstage.
I think I understand you, but you’re mixing subjective impressions (that only you understand) with technical points about ‘power’ which others correctly point out is more than adequately provided by a DAC with a 4 volt output.

Its highly unlikely anyone here has compared as you’re going to, so rather than hope for validation here, it’s probably better to decide for yourself with your dealer’s support. By all means let us know what you find though. Bon chance!
 
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CleanCopperz

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Feb 12, 2022
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RME is completely neutral in the sound! However it has a wide range of filters and parametric EQ if you want to favourably alter the signal. The balanced output is 4 volts - sorry, but that is VERY powerful.
I recommend the Croft as in my earlier posts but ONLY if you're using other sources as well as the RME.
RME>balanced outs >ATC actives. Simple is best
I actually cancelled it and listened to some of the feedback. It doesnt really make sense to have CA2 for only preamping the RME DAC.....And it is really a big preamp for my little room.
 

CleanCopperz

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Feb 12, 2022
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To update this thread. I had som more time with the ADi-2. Its actually getting better with the sound, even on the low volume, where Loudness function actually raised som of the lowend.

I am just wondering why the stock setting of the width(equals full stereo when set to 1) is set to lower number than 1.
1655805877528.png

I sat the filter on Slow instead of SD Sharp (or Sharp) the sound feels more relaxed to my ears.
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
To update this thread. I had som more time with the ADi-2. Its actually getting better with the sound, even on the low volume, where Loudness function actually raised som of the lowend.

I am just wondering why the stock setting of the width(equals full stereo when set to 1) is set to lower number than 1.
View attachment 3661

I sat the filter on Slow instead of SD Sharp (or Sharp) the sound feels more relaxed to my ears.
The loudness does boost bass at lower volumes; that’s its purpose. It’s not strictly accurate but if you like it that’s what matters.

No idea why it might be set to less than full stereo unless it’s because the headphone output is the priority, where some blend may be preferred.

The fun with multiple filter choices is never knowing which to choose. I find even two settings on my Marantz a choice I’d rather not have in a way!! If you prefer Slow that’s fine.
 

CleanCopperz

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Feb 12, 2022
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The loudness does boost bass at lower volumes; that’s its purpose. It’s not strictly accurate but if you like it that’s what matters.

No idea why it might be set to less than full stereo unless it’s because the headphone output is the priority, where some blend may be preferred.

The fun with multiple filter choices is never knowing which to choose. I find even two settings on my Marantz a choice I’d rather not have in a way!! If you prefer Slow that’s fine.
Without the Loudness function, specially the "Low Vol Ref" its very muted in the sound.

The reason I made this thread was actually also the sound on low volume. I was told another preamp could improve the low volume listening :)

Any recommendations?

Quote:Note: Loudness works best in Auto Ref Level mode due to the seamless dBr scale of the volume control. Without Auto Ref Level active, manually changing the Ref Level will change the volume without changing the VOLume value (dB). As Loudness is referenced to a 'Low Vol Ref' setting it then might no longer work as intended, and needs the Low Vol Ref value to be adjusted. "
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Any recommendations?
No, I was merely trying to reassure you about the functions you described. I’ve never had the pleasure of using a RME, though I always liked the look of them. Loudness functionality seems like it might work for you, but it’s impossible to know without hearing your setup and playing with the DAC.

Ultimately, it’s important to understand that recordings are mixed to sound good at realistic volumes. As we lower the volume for domestic reasons, the ear’s natural loss of sensitivity to low (and to a lesser extent, high) frequencies means the sound will lack body by comparison. Hence the invention of the loudness control.

Some people will claim that valves/tubes or other speaker designs sound better at low volumes, but it’s not something definitive in my experience.
 
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CleanCopperz

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@nopiano If you have the 40A can you please confirm if the selfnoise is noticable on the bass drivers?

I notice the self noise only on one of the speakers. I have to set my ears close to hear it, But it is totaly silent on the other speakers bass driver.

mid and tweeter is hearable when ears are close on both speakers.

I am just surprised they are so different.
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
@nopiano If you have the 40A can you please confirm if the selfnoise is noticable on the bass drivers?

I notice the self noise only on one of the speakers. I have to set my ears close to hear it, But it is totaly silent on the other speakers bass driver.

mid and tweeter is hearable when ears are close on both speakers.

I am just surprised they are so different.
I don’t own Actives unfortunately. My passives are not connected currently either, not that it’s relevant to your question.

Have you swapped the cables over, to eliminate your mains or the preamp?
 
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CleanCopperz

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Yes I tried different cables and different mains.

I guess it is in the “tolerance” of there testing.

My dealer did say it was normal. Maybe my ocd is just a little more maybe.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Yes I tried different cables and different mains.

I guess it is in the “tolerance” of there testing.

My dealer did say it was normal. Maybe my ocd is just a little more maybe.
I’d expect ‘something’ to be audible with ear to driver. There’s a vast gain/amplification on board, and cheaper active speakers often gave a hiss/roar at no input.

As long as it’s inaudible a metre or more away I’d not bother. How’s it sounding now?
 
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CleanCopperz

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Oh my god.

I switched filter from Slow to SD Sharp and heard a loud click sound!!!

Firmware: 50

didnt happen on early version. Hope I didnt fry anything!!!!


I’d expect ‘something’ to be audible with ear to driver. There’s a vast gain/amplification on board, and cheaper active speakers often gave a hiss/roar at no input.

As long as it’s inaudible a metre or moe away I’d not bother. How’s it sounding now?
I can not hear it 2meters away, when no sound.

They sound amazing. But that click noise was definitly not expected!
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Oh my god.

I switched filter from Slow to SD Sharp and heard a loud click sound!!!

Firmware: 50

didnt happen on early version. Hope I didnt fry anything!!!!

I can not hear it 2meters away, when no sound.

They sound amazing. But that click noise was definitly not expected!
One of the benefits of a studio heritage is robustness, and the extra protection from in-built amplifiers.
 

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