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Q: High gain? Low gain? Quality difference? - Page 2

post #16 of 17
Originally Posted by Rylo View Post

There's a difference between responding to a question with a question (which wasn't informative at all), and then what you just did, which is to explain why. As a complete noob myself, the rest of the thread explained a lot.


"Hmm... same circuit, a pair of resistors swapped out for another set of different value... question is about "sound quality"? confused.gif"


Sorry, but I know this individual well and he is as knowledgeable as anyone around here..  He was trying to be instructive.  Changing the gain with a set of different value resistors - by definition, has nothing to do with the "quality" of the sound.  Perhaps he should've elaborated, but as I said earlier, the point was well made, IMHO.


Want to change the "sound quality" of an amp?  Then suggest changing the sound-affecting components - capacitors in the signal path, opamps, buffers, transistors (in zero-feedback topologies), etc.  However, changing gain does nothing but change the relative position of the volume knob in relation to the output volume.


Yes, there are instances where the gain may be jacked up enough that it's easy to tell that there's some residual noise or hiss in the output.  However, that is never going to change the sound signature of the amp.


Maybe that explanation helps?

post #17 of 17

Different resistors -> changing feedback loop -> different gain -> different performance (though not by a human-significant amount, especially if not looking at a CMoy or something where you'd be adjusting the gain of the output stage), not just amplifying signal and noise by a different amount.


Sometimes perceived sound quality differences are attributed to more trivial things than this though.


Though really, I wouldn't really expect anything much other than the difference in volume (or noise if you're adjusting volume to compensate).



Anyway, as for things that practically matter, as explained earlier, use a lower gain if volume is loud enough. Avoiding a hypersensitive and possibly channel imbalanced range of a volume control is a good idea. If you never listen that quietly with whatever source output level and headphones you're using, yet you don't hear any noise from the amp, then it's probably all moot.

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