Volume question

MH_HiFi

Member
May 5, 2020
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Hi there

I bought a second hand Cambridge Audio Azure 350a amplifier recently, and am using it with pair of Celestion F1 speakers.

The sound quality is fine but it's not as loud as my previous amp, an older A500. On the A500, over 1/2 volume would be loud, and you'd feel it was starting to push the speakers, but this one is much quieter / softer. I'm finding I'm listening at 3/4 volume for it to be at the level I (sometimes) want.

Is this normal of is something perhaps amiss with it?

Cheers
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
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If both speakers are driven to the same volume level by the new amp, it's highly unlikely to be a fault - more likely the old amp was more powerful and therefore better able to drive the speakers to higher volumes.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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What's normal, as has been said, is for the more powerful amp to sound louder.
Not normal (as far as I'm concerned anyway) is the necessity for a 3 'o clock volume control position.
(Not saying nobody does it, am saying it's not the norm).
 
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12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
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What's normal, as has been said, is for the more powerful amp to sound louder.
Not normal (as far as I'm concerned anyway) is the necessity for a 3 'o clock volume control position.
(Not saying nobody does it, am saying it's not the norm).
On occasion it's good for the soul, though!
 
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chris661

Well-known member
Oct 30, 2019
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This is the subject of gain, not power.

For example, you might have an amp that's ear-splitting loud at 9 o'clock, but if you go a smidge past that it's into clipping. Not a useful amplifier!

Loud sells, and if one amp is doing the job at 9 o'clock and the other needs to be turned to 12 o'clock, then people think the 9 o'clock amp is better. It isn't. It might have the same or less power than the other amp, but because it has more electrical gain, it needs a lower position on the volume control to achieve the same power output.

Your new amp doesn't have as much gain as your old amp - it's that simple.

I have some very large amplifiers here, one of which has about as much gain as a typical HiFi amp, despite being a 5KW monster. As a result, you have to put fairly large signals in there in order to unleash all the power. An iPod, for instance, doesn't have enough voltage swing to drive the amp to clipping, even with the amp's volume (gain) controls wide open.
Connect that amplifier to a decent mixing desk, though, and the +22dBU (10V RMS) levels will happily run that amp all the way up to the red lights.

Chris
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
662
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This is the subject of gain, not power.

For example, you might have an amp that's ear-splitting loud at 9 o'clock, but if you go a smidge past that it's into clipping. Not a useful amplifier!

Loud sells, and if one amp is doing the job at 9 o'clock and the other needs to be turned to 12 o'clock, then people think the 9 o'clock amp is better. It isn't. It might have the same or less power than the other amp, but because it has more electrical gain, it needs a lower position on the volume control to achieve the same power output.

Your new amp doesn't have as much gain as your old amp - it's that simple.

I have some very large amplifiers here, one of which has about as much gain as a typical HiFi amp, despite being a 5KW monster. As a result, you have to put fairly large signals in there in order to unleash all the power. An iPod, for instance, doesn't have enough voltage swing to drive the amp to clipping, even with the amp's volume (gain) controls wide open.
Connect that amplifier to a decent mixing desk, though, and the +22dBU (10V RMS) levels will happily run that amp all the way up to the red lights.

Chris
All true Chris, but I would bet that your pot won't be three quarters open at normal listening level.
 
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MH_HiFi

Member
May 5, 2020
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Thank you all for the replies.

The gain thing makes sense of it for me - I've also had the speakers connected to lower wattage amps and they've been much louder at, say, 12 O'Clock.

Like Chris says I was just surprised to be turning it up past 12pm for what I'd consider a 'normal' listening level (occasionally!) - loud but not ridiculously so and not causing any distortion. Maybe the amp just has less gain.

I had sort expected one of you to come back and say "your [insert component part here] is knackered" or something!

Cheers
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
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Read the manual for both and see what the input sensitivity is on them. My guess would be that the "louder" amp has a lower input sensitivity.
 

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