Streaming+ power amp. or Integrated amp.?

120848885

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I am currently using fiio R7 as streamer, it has preamp inside, and have a lineout option, I want to upgrade my amp. should I go with an integrated amp. or go for a power amp. ?

Now my amp. is a power amp. with a volume control. When I use the lineout from R7, the volume goes to 40-50% will be loud enough. If I turn R7 to preamp mode, I have to turn the power amp. volume to almost 100%, and 80% percent on the R7 the sound still not loud enough. my current amp. is labeled as 120W per channel at 8 Ω.

I am afraid if I go with a power amp. without a volume control, the sound won't be loud enough as my current situation.
 

Gray

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Never known a power amp have a volume control.

What is your “power” amp?

Is the line out fixed or variable?
When he says his amp is a power amp, I'm pretty sure he means that the power amp section of his integrated amp has a volume control....which of course, it does.

And also, from what he says, the Fiio can be switched between fixed and variable out 👍
 

Gray

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I have to turn the power amp. volume to almost 100%
Were assuming that you've actually, currently got an integrated amp.

What happens when you turn it fully up?
Is the variable output of the Fiio usable in that case?

I ask because, you can think of an actual power amp as the equivalent of your current amp with it's volume control at 100%.
 

twinkletoes

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I am currently using fiio R7 as streamer, it has preamp inside, and have a lineout option, I want to upgrade my amp. should I go with an integrated amp. or go for a power amp. ?

Now my amp. is a power amp. with a volume control. When I use the lineout from R7, the volume goes to 40-50% will be loud enough. If I turn R7 to preamp mode, I have to turn the power amp. volume to almost 100%, and 80% percent on the R7 the sound still not loud enough. my current amp. is labeled as 120W per channel at 8 Ω.

I am afraid if I go with a power amp. without a volume control, the sound won't be loud enough as my current situation.

Are you able to share a couple of photos of your setup so we can better understand whats going on and then give you some advice as to why it might be not as loud as you like it to be . As it stands your post is just little confusing.

Its probably something very small and silly, like the volume in Spotify not being fixed at 100% been there done that stretched my head for a hours.
 
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I’ve only looked quickly at the Fiio R7 but it does seem to have a high gain output for headphones. In that mode its output is higher than as a regular preamp, hence your findings.

The power amp with volume is possibly one of the popular Chinese chip amps, like my Fosi Audio v3. They are quite low gain and need maximum volume on them to work as a power amp.

Exactly what are the other components?
 
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My2Cents

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Impossible to tell what is going on based on the explanation and lack of detailed info.
The R7 only has a headphone amp. built in.
The line outs are best suited for use with powered 'active' speakers, but they could also be sent to the line inputs of an integrated amp. I guess this is what you are currently doing (using some existing passive speakers connected to a stereo integrated amp.)?

How are you streaming the music to the R7? Are you using some streaming app. from a phone via AirPlay or something? Like twinkletoes already stated... make sure the app. volume is set correctly!

If you go the power amp. route, some power amps have a gain control, and so you must become familiar with the concept of 'gain staging' to get the levels set correctly along the chain... in this case you would dealing with three different gain level controls (source, pre-amp. and power amp gain).
These must be set carefully to achieve control of the overall volume without introducing distortion or lowering the quality of the final output.
Even professional live sound engineers can screw this up sometimes!

If you purchase an integrated amp. with optical and/or coax inputs you could run an optical or coax from the R7 to the amp (even most budget integrated amps these days have these inputs).
 
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120848885

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When he says his amp is a power amp, I'm pretty sure he means that the power amp section of his integrated amp has a volume control....which of course, it does.

And also, from what he says, the Fiio can be switched between fixed and variable out 👍
My amp. is this Chinese copy version, it said it is 100% copied Burmester 933, but apparently the original one didn't have a volume control. So I assume this manufacture turn one of the original fixed resistor to a variable resistor to make it able to adjust the volume?
 

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120848885

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Impossible to tell what is going on based on the explanation and lack of detailed info.
The R7 only has a headphone amp. built in.
The line outs are best suited for use with powered 'active' speakers, but they could also be sent to the line inputs of an integrated amp. I guess this is what you are currently doing (using some existing passive speakers connected to a stereo integrated amp.)?

How are you streaming the music to the R7? Are you using some streaming app. from a phone via AirPlay or something? Like twinkletoes already stated... make sure the app. volume is set correctly!

If you go the power amp. route, some power amps have a gain control, and so you must become familiar with the concept of 'gain staging' to get the levels set correctly along the chain... in this case you would dealing with three different gain level controls (source, pre-amp. and power amp gain).
These must be set carefully to achieve control of the overall volume without introducing distortion or lowering the quality of the final output.
Even professional live sound engineers can screw this up sometimes!

If you purchase an integrated amp. with optical and/or coax inputs you could run an optical or coax from the R7 to the amp (even most budget integrated amps these days have these inputs).
What I got confused is that the line out seems have a lot higher output level than preamp. mode, higher than gain mode, it seems the preamp. mode lower the output level to make the volume controllable? that seems doesn't make sense.
 
My amp. is this Chinese copy version, it said it is 100% copied Burmester 933, but apparently the original one didn't have a volume control. So I assume this manufacture turn one of the original fixed resistor to a variable resistor to make it able to adjust the volume?
The Burmeister was indeed a stereo power amplifier but as soon as you add a volume control, to me, it becomes an issue......
I have no idea why you would need a volume control on a power amp, that's the job of the preamp.
 

Roog

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I loved the NAD M33 when I gave it a listen, it has all of the features I require, looks good to my eye, well made case, it is just one box, it has a good user interface, it has Parametric EQ and Dirac which I find useful and it has a powerful amplifier stage. but having been caught out with a fully integrated unit before, a Naim SuperUniti which is not able support newer streaming platforms that I now use, I am not at all keen to 'put all my egg sin one basket' as it were.

I might still go down this route because the disadvantage of having the fast evolving streaming bit ( and therefore most likely to become obsolete) built in to the amp might still be out weighed by the rest of the package.
 

landco

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If you buy an integrated amplifier with a streamer, you will not have problems matching different equipment with each other, as in your case (analog inputs and outputs)
 

120848885

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Guys, Problem solved. I finally got contact with brand engineer and he explained to me that in R7 Lineout mode could be seen as the preamp in highest gain. He didn't explain more, but I guess the so called "preamp mode" isn't a real preamp after source line out, it is more like a negative gain from lineout, or a internal mechanism to raise the signal to standard lineout level.

Thank you all for your reply.
 

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