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Fixed/Variable Audio Outputs on Amps

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by syan25, Dec 9, 2010.
  1. Syan25
    Anyone care to explain the difference between fixed and variable audio outputs on amplifiers...
  2. nick_charles Contributor


     Fixed means that the output voltage does not vary with the volume control setting, variable means it varies with the volume control setting. Word roots are your friends [​IMG]
  3. Syan25
    Thanks - and in terms of audio quality - what - if any - is the difference?
  4. xnor
    Depends on the circuitry and overall setup.
    For example, if the volume control is crap there could be channel imbalance problems.
    Or the fixed output level could be low, so you have to amplify the signal (and noise) additionally in a later stage.
  5. Syan25
    Actually - this is the output options on my MCD 301 SACD player. I am merely wondering which I output I ought (fixed or variable) to use to connect to my headphone amp...
    the other will be used to connect to my intergrated amp...
  6. xnor
    Sr-71 specs mention a max. input (sensitivity) of 4 Vpp, which is about 1.4 V.
    The unbalanced fixed output of the MCD 301 is specified at 2 V.
  7. Syan25
    Ah... I should have said - the headphone amp I am going to connect the MCD301 to is the HR-2 Ray Samuels amp which I will buy in January. I just want to know what would be my best output choice for future reference
    My intergrated amp is the MA 6600.
    I would not try connecting the SR-71A to the MCD 301.
  8. xnor
    A shame there are no specs for the HR-2 (like gain) ...
    Just try it out, either option should work fine. But looks like (not even this is specified!? he gotta be kidding..) the amp was designed for 2 V unbalanced RCA input, so I'd use that.
  9. Syan25
    Cheers! I appreciate your help!

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