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Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage (Read 1617 times)
P K
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Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
10/24/13 at 17:02:01
 
What happens if the volume control is at max.  Should the Mini Torii sound better?

Any issues of Background Noise or hum?

Peter
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #1 - 10/24/13 at 21:58:25
 
The Mini Torii clips with the volume just past the half way point when paired with a typical DAC with the standard 2 volts of output.  It is an active stage with gain.  The reason this was done is so that you can use things with a non-standard output, like an iPod or smart phone, both with about 1 volt of output.  In that case, the volume would be set much higher to generate the same output.
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P K
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #2 - 10/24/13 at 23:09:48
 
In my set up there is a digital volume control before the Mini Torii.

I can set the volume on the Mini Torii at any level and then adjust the volume on the other device.

What would the optimum setting on the Mini Torii volume control, (i) half way up or (ii) all the way up?

If the volume control is all the way up would that setting eliminate the volume control from the signal path?

I assume the 12au7 is a preamp tube, I was going to try a Raytheon Long Black Plate 6414 (equal to a 12at7 ?) inplace of the 12au7.

Any comments on the Raytheon  BlackPlate 6414.

Thanks,

Peter
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seikosha
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #3 - 10/25/13 at 12:11:51
 
I think you'd probably want the digital volume turned all the way up and then adjust the MT volume accordingly.  I was under the impression that digital volume controls drop bits as you lower the volume and as a result, the signal quality dropped as the volume was lowered.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #4 - 10/25/13 at 12:59:36
 
Quote:
I think you'd probably want the digital volume turned all the way up and then adjust the MT volume accordingly.  I was under the impression that digital volume controls drop bits as you lower the volume and as a result, the signal quality dropped as the volume was lowered.


I don't think that's right - bits shouldn't have anything to do with volume - it should simply be output voltage on the analog output that's being changed. The *apparent* detail could change with the volume, but that's a human ear thing, not an electronics design thing.

I would dial the Mini Torii up as high as that particular volume would go with that particular source at 100% without (objectionable) distortion, and leave Torii as "set"- volume is then controlled by the source.  

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« Last Edit: 10/25/13 at 13:03:41 by Lonely Raven »  
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Lon
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #5 - 10/25/13 at 13:38:44
 
That you lose some "bits" of information should be true if it's truly a digital volume control, but depending on the bit depth of the source data and DAC (16, 24, 32, etc.) keeping it above 70 percent or so should not result in any loss of "bits."

In your shoes I'd play around with the digital output between 70 and 100 and the MT gain and see how it all responds to the "riding the gain" scenario Steve outlines so well in the ZStage page and manual.
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« Last Edit: 10/25/13 at 13:40:37 by Lon »  

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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #6 - 10/25/13 at 14:35:17
 

Lon, do you know of any articles that explains the digital volume and losing bits? I've heard this said before, but I want to see where in the digital domain they are doing this. It doesn't make sense to me to lower the bits to adjust the volume.
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #7 - 10/25/13 at 14:38:02
 

Steve mentions riding the gain in this PDF (quick Google search)

http://www.decware.com/newsite/ZSTAGEMANUAL.pdf

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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #8 - 10/25/13 at 14:59:14
 
I don't have any specific articles etc. and you could do a search as well as i and find it. But I have a digital volume in the preamp section of my PS Audio DAC Mk II and on their forums there is a lot of discussion about this and the owner and engineers post on there and say that as the DAC is 32 bit for that unit volume above 50% for Redbook, and above 65% for 24 bit material would have no loss of data or sound quality.

I've seen this elsewhere about digital volume controls. The truth is out there. Wink
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #9 - 10/25/13 at 15:10:45
 

Sounds like I need to research this  for my new Oppo then...
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P K
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #10 - 10/25/13 at 15:58:19
 
I have a PS Audio DAC running at 80% to 100% into a Behringer DCX 2496 Digital Crossover (highly modified)  feeding a Mini Torri amp to the Tweeters on the original Emerald Physics CS2 speakers.

The Behringer provides a digital volume control (set at 0.0 db to 2.0 db).

If the the mini Torii volume controls are set to the max, the following  happens:

Resolution dramatically increases with little increase in harshness or being too bright. Specific instruments and the actual sound of a voice really come out, like I am hearing additional information.

The drawback is a little background noise (not any hum), like a whoosh (the noise of tubes at max output?).  This sound disappears  if the Mini Torii volume is set below the maximum setting.

It seems to be worth the tradeoff.

Peter
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #11 - 10/26/13 at 03:11:22
 
Quote:
PK said,
I have a PS Audio DAC running at 80% to 100%


Interesting that you mentioned that ... I've read Paul McGowan from PS Audio mention on a few occasions about digital volume controls.  If I recall he says they are getting better and better, but still not 100% in comparison.  This leads me to believe that we are almost splitting hairs ...  could it be one day that we can use remotes on our analog equipment with little degradation?

Yes, I am lazy Grin
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P K
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #12 - 10/27/13 at 21:13:27
 
Correction to my previous post.

The background noise, or whoosh, only occurs with m JLTI phono preamp with a low output Grado Statement Reference1 phono cartridge.

My 17 year old son can hear a little hum in the right speaker.

My 57 year old ears, down 40 to 60 db at 8000 hz, can not hear the hum.

It is a cruel world that once you can afford a killer stereo system, you can not hear it.

Peter
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P K
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #13 - 11/18/13 at 02:03:05
 
At the suggestion of Paul McGowan of PS Audio,

I recently purchased a Aesthetix Calypso Standard tube preamp (used) and then upgraded the tubes (TELEFUNKEN 6922 (expensive) AND GOLD LION 12AX7 (Just like Paul's).

I now think I have found the sound I was missing. The Telefunken (from Upscale Audio) makes a good preamp a great preamp. I also have been using a Holland/Hammond branded 12ax7 with good results. My only comment is I would still like a warmer sound, I may have to try some Mullard's 12ax7 next (or any other tube suggestions for a warmer sound?)

I can now listen to CD's and not miss playing vinyl (using a PWT and PWD)

Further the Calypso remote and quick volume changes along with display are terrific (the best I have ever used).

I have not like the interface on other high end preamps (with remotes) such as Ayre, Linn, Modwright, Parasound JC-2, Placette, etc.

I agree with Paul, the Aesthetix Calypso Standard tube preamp is much better than the PWD as a preamp (I have set the volume on the PWD to 100% to bypass the preamp section in the PWD).

Peter
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Lon
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Re: Mini Torii Is it Active Or Passive - Preamp Stage
Reply #14 - 11/18/13 at 03:07:27
 
That's what I do with my CSP2+, set the PWD Mk 2 to 100 percent and I love the sound. I use the CSP2+ to control the volume, no remote for that, but that doesn't bother me. I'm getting killer sound.
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