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OLDER DECWARE GEAR SUPPORT >> CSP2+ >> About the volume knob
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Message started by Juan Antonio on 10/23/09 at 21:57:50

Title: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/23/09 at 21:57:50

Hi everybody. As you can see I'm new here and excuse my english a bit.

I received today my CSP2. I wanna ask if you hear first the sound from the right channel before the equal balance of both when the volume knob is almost all the way down. Just to know if this is normal.

Regards  ;)

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Rivieraranch on 10/23/09 at 23:54:34

Tone, are you using headphones? When the volume control is all the way down and you first turn it up one channel might come one before the other but they will equalize.

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/24/09 at 12:04:02

Thanks.

Yes, this is when I use headphones. The right channel come before the left does. So, as you say it seems to be normal, all right.

Another issue is that with the volume all the way down or if there's no music playing, I hear a noise level enough to be heard. It's very very low but as I say enough to be heard in a quiet room. It is almost inaudible. This is through headphones too. Is this normal?

I comment these things because when I first turn the CSP2 on, I didn't connect the output to the amp, and the source was connected to the CSP2's input and playing. So, the CSP2 received input signal with the volume at 1/4 without the output line connected. Is it possible to damage the transformer like this way?. I did the procedure like if the CSP2 were a typical headphone amp.

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Rivieraranch on 10/25/09 at 00:01:33

Tone:

I have 2 CSP2 units. If you have good tubes in there it should not make much of any noise at all. Sometimes a rectifier tube can exhibit noise, crackling or hum.  Also, a noisy input tube in front could induce hum as well. You should swap tubes, rectifiers, and change the tube in the front position with one of the drivers to note whether there is any difference.  

I doubt you could damage the transformers in the unit, unlike a regular tube amp that must be connected to speakers when you turn it on. This unit does not have to be connected to anything.    

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/25/09 at 14:29:52

"unlike a regular tube amp that must be connected to speakers when you turn it on. This unit does not have to be connected to anything"

No, that's not possible. That's what I thought the first time I turned it on, but as you must know, the output line has to be connected to another gear like an amp (on or off, doesn't matter) if you'd like to listen with headphones. If you don't do that, you'd only hear high frequencies without mids and lows.

This is what I told to Steve by email:

"a curious and scary moment when I first turn it on was that I hook up the input cables and the source only with the headphone output, not the line output. I only listenned high frequencies and the vocals an bass were gone from the track, very very bad sound. I was afraid. But then I realised that the CSP2 needs the output line to be connected to ground with an amp or something. ufffff...."

That's why I wondered if the CSP2 could have any possibility to be damaged in any way when you don't connect the output to anything with the volume control open. But not the transformers, it's an OTL (outputTransformerLess).

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/25/09 at 18:13:50

Wait, yes, it seems to have custom output transformers, the OTL is for the headphone output.

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Rivieraranch on 10/26/09 at 00:24:51

Tone:

It always helps to read the manual a few times. Maybe there is something you might be missing in the unit's operation and capabilities.

My home CSP2 unit does not have the outputs connected to the amp, the Mini Torii SEX, because I don't use it with the Torii. My CD player is connected to both the CSP2 and the Mini Torii.  When I want to listen through headphone I turn on the CSP2 and the CD player. When I want to listen through the speakers I turn on only the Mini Torii SEX and CSP2. I run the CSP2 with the CD input connected and nothing connected to he output and it is fine. Believe me if the output on the CSP2 had to have the output connected to something I would have had problems by now.

At my office I have a CSP2 connected t0 a CD player and a radio tuner. I do have the output on that connected to a TABOO amplifier. I do use that CSP2 with the outputs.

Both units work fine.    

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/26/09 at 00:55:09

What? My CSP2 needs his output line to be connected to ground to work correctly. If I don't do that, I only hear high frequencies through the headphone output. It seems to be different from yours. I'm gonna ask Steve. Anyway, my unit works fine, it sounds great.

PD: I read the manual several times before purchasing it. I read the entire website, even all the Steve's articles.  :)


Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/26/09 at 11:10:32

Another discover. To be more specific, the right RCA output and the mono RCA output are the responsible of the ground of my CSP2. I can use either, with one of them is enough. And of course, my amp (or whatever) must be connected to ground through the IEC power cord to the outlet. If I disconnect my amp from the electric outlet, the same effect occurs: Vocal and bass are gone from the track with headphones.

It's like if my CSP2 didn't connect to ground through the IEC power cord or something.

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Rivieraranch on 10/26/09 at 12:49:46

Tone,

If you cut the power to your source, then the music stops. Are you in U.S.?

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/26/09 at 17:28:48

Dude, my source doesn't matter. My CD Player (Cambridge Audio Azur 840C) is OK. All the time my player was playing music during the tests. I'm not stupid xD. And the tubes are ok.

"Are you in U.S.?" No, I'm spanish.

For now, I'm waiting for answers from Steve.

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Rivieraranch on 10/29/09 at 02:51:01

Tone:

No offense intended. Let us know how this problem works out.

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/29/09 at 17:45:09

"No offense intended".

I know, I know. Don't worry.

For now, the only thing I can do is wait for replies from Steve.

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/29/09 at 18:01:15

About the channel balance:

"When the volume control is all the way down and you first turn it up one channel might come one before the other but they will equalize."

Yes, that is the electrical noise I told you. When they equalize, the noise is reduced at a level almost inaudible. That seems to be normal in tube gear. But what I meant when I said that the right channel comes before the left does is when you have the volume control very low, almost all the way down, when it starts to sound. At that volume, I only hear the right channel. To hear the left, I have to raise the volume more.


Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Steve Deckert on 10/29/09 at 18:29:16

Hi Juan,

Sorry for the delay in jumping in here.  In the last 30 days I've had serious computer problems.  We use 5 just for Decware.  Anyway, I had to give up and buy a MAC.  So now I'm back on line and able to answer e-mails.

Your CSP2 is an OTL headphone amp and line stage.  Unlike an amplifier it has no output transformers.  It does not have to be hooked to anything while it's on.  No damage will result.

The problem you are having is indeed odd, however the CSP2 does not require being hooked up to an amplifier in order to work properly on the headphone output.

So I've pondered what could give these results and have come up with the following example:

The interconnects between the source and the CSP2 may have a bad ground in one or both of the cables.  If this were true, and the source is grounded to earth, then connecting an amplifier that is also grounded to earth to the outputs of the CSP2 would complete the ground circuit that is missing in the cables.

And it sounds like the ground is not completely missing from the cables, only compromised with perhaps a cracked solder joint explaining the strange results you get with the frequency balance.

-Steve

Title: Re: About the volume knob
Post by Juan Antonio on 10/30/09 at 01:55:04

Hi Steve,

It seems to be the CSP2 itself because I test it with alternative power cords and well known interconnects, and nothing change. The Xhadow Silver Interconnects are the current cables between the CD player and the CSP2, but they are fine, I tested them apart.

The CD player is grounded to earth. I also test the CSP2 with an alternative source, in this case a DAC. This DAC is not grounded, but doesn't matter, the same effects occur.

I have a little more information if it could be useful for you (I'm not good at explaining these things in English :P):

When the CSP2 is under these effects, there's no noise at all, 100% clean and inaudible when the volume control is all the way down. When I connect the output on the fly, the typical electrical noise appears, but of course, the music sounds normal and good when I increase the volume.
Another point is that under these effects and when the volume control is almost all the way down, (in other words, it's when the music starts sounding) it sounds reasonably normal and good with the vocals and bass there. Also the balance is centered, the left and right channel are in the same level, not possible when the output is grounded (the left channel appears increasing more the volume). But of course, the little you increase the volume, the less the vocals and bass are present. It's like if the mids and bass had a very poor volume and the high frequency is the only thing that you can increase with the volume control.

PD: Steve, I recommend you a Mac. I've got one and the benefits are noticeable over PCs. But of course, having Windows installed too when necessary. ;)


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