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CobberLobber's picture
Last seen: 1 year 4 months ago
Joined: May 20 2022 - 2:16pm
Can distortion from output voltage damage at low volume?

Just bought a new Auralic Altair DAC/streamer. When I plugged it in to my Yamaha S3200 amplifier, I heard some crackling coming through the speakers at low volume...(not even 1 watt).

I realised that the DAC was set to normal output which is 4.4volts. The max that the Amp wants to swallow through the XLR inputs without attenuation is about 2.8 volts. So that's why it was crackling. As I say the volume never went up very high, sub 1 watt. It was only distorting on some songs, so it took me a while to figure out what was going on. The system probably got played a minute or so with audible distortion.

I know clipping from an overdriven amplifier can cause damage, especially to tweeters. But it is possible to do damage from the clipping caused by an overloaded preamp input circuit?

I have since switched the attenuator switch on the back of the amp to -6db and everything seems fine...

Am I good?

MattJ's picture
Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Mar 22 2022 - 2:44pm
I would think so

If everything is good after you have lowered the levels, then I think we can assume that there doesn't seem to be any long term damage.

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