Author Topic: Consistently low record levels w. PP3  (Read 4870 times)

Abquid

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Consistently low record levels w. PP3
« on: December 08, 2009, 10:06:59 pm »
I've been recording from an AR turntable with a Shure VN5MR MM cartridge, using an NAD PP3 for my preamp. Whether I go through USB or Line In, my record levels are consistently low-almost never reaching halfway up the scales, let alone reaching clipping levels. (I've double checked to make sure the back switch is set to MM). It doesn't matter what type of music I play.  I even ran my old tape deck through the line in and still only register low levels. Is this a problem with the PP3? Has anyone else experienced this? The music doesn't sound bad, but I know that it must be losing a lot of info if it's only registering such a low range. I don't want to find a way to boost it with software gain since this won't help the source material at all...

Paul Sanders (AlpineSoft)

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Re: Consistently low record levels w. PP3
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009, 11:39:28 pm »
According to Mr Google, VN5MR refers to the stylus rather than the cartridge.  If you can identify the cartridge model it should be possible to find the specs online somewhere and compare them with those of the PP-3:

http://nadelectronics.com/products/hifi-amplifiers/PP-3-Digital-Phono-Preamplifier/specs

Having said which, there's probably not much that can be done.  It looks like NAD have set the gain somewhat on the conservative side.  As you say, boosting the level after recording (which you can do with the Preamp slider in VinylStudio's Graphic Equaliser window - under 'Filters') doesn't really gain you anything.  What it means in practise is that you have lost some of your 16 bits of dynamic range.  Whether it's audible is another matter.  I would make a CD and compare it with the vinyl original on the same equipment.

Are you recording on XP or Vista?  Vista offers a level slider, but it's entirely a software affair so it does nothing useful.  XP just passes the digitised audio straight through, which is how it should be done.  The actual digitising is done inside the PP-3 of course.

Sorry I can't be of more help.