Unable to listen to CD's at low volume

kelly

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This may sound like a dumb question but it is driving me crazy.

My stereo will not play cd's at low volume - I turn the sound down and
at a certain point, it goes to silence. The lowest volume I can play
cd's, is too loud to read or work to.

My system is a Technics SX-DA940 receiver, a 5-disc Technics CD
changer, and DCM speakers. All my connections are the "out of the
box" cables and wires - I am a music lover but not an audiophile.

As far as I know I've always had this problem. However oddly, my FM
tuner, TV or other components do have the full range of low volumes.
It's only when I am playing cd's that it goes from somewhat-loud to
silence with no in-between.

Anyone else ever had this problem?
 
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In article <414a4a51.138902850@news.comcast.giganews.com>,
terp2k@hotmail.com (Kelly) wrote:

> This may sound like a dumb question but it is driving me crazy.
>
> My stereo will not play cd's at low volume - I turn the sound down and
> at a certain point, it goes to silence. The lowest volume I can play
> cd's, is too loud to read or work to.
>
> My system is a Technics SX-DA940 receiver, a 5-disc Technics CD
> changer, and DCM speakers. All my connections are the "out of the
> box" cables and wires - I am a music lover but not an audiophile.
>
> As far as I know I've always had this problem. However oddly, my FM
> tuner, TV or other components do have the full range of low volumes.
> It's only when I am playing cd's that it goes from somewhat-loud to
> silence with no in-between.
>
> Anyone else ever had this problem?

Did you mistakenly plug the player into the "Phono" jacks? That's for a
very low level signal.
 
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On 9/16/2004 19:27, Kelly wrote:

> This may sound like a dumb question but it is driving me crazy.
>
> My stereo will not play cd's at low volume - I turn the sound down and
> at a certain point, it goes to silence. The lowest volume I can play
> cd's, is too loud to read or work to.
>
> My system is a Technics SX-DA940 receiver, a 5-disc Technics CD
> changer, and DCM speakers. All my connections are the "out of the
> box" cables and wires - I am a music lover but not an audiophile.
>
> As far as I know I've always had this problem. However oddly, my FM
> tuner, TV or other components do have the full range of low volumes.
> It's only when I am playing cd's that it goes from somewhat-loud to
> silence with no in-between.
>
> Anyone else ever had this problem?

Check to see if the CD player has an attenuator switch on it. If
so, try switching it on and see if that helps.
 
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On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 02:27:21 GMT, terp2k@hotmail.com (Kelly) wrote:

>This may sound like a dumb question but it is driving me crazy.
>
>My stereo will not play cd's at low volume - I turn the sound down and
>at a certain point, it goes to silence. The lowest volume I can play
>cd's, is too loud to read or work to.
>
>My system is a Technics SX-DA940 receiver, a 5-disc Technics CD
>changer, and DCM speakers. All my connections are the "out of the
>box" cables and wires - I am a music lover but not an audiophile.
>
>As far as I know I've always had this problem. However oddly, my FM
>tuner, TV or other components do have the full range of low volumes.
>It's only when I am playing cd's that it goes from somewhat-loud to
>silence with no in-between.


Swap the CD connection into the sockets you're using for another
external source that DOES respond well to low volume settings. Any
difference?
 
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On Fri, 17 Sep 2004 02:27:21 GMT, terp2k@hotmail.com (Kelly) wrote:

>This may sound like a dumb question but it is driving me crazy.
>
>My stereo will not play cd's at low volume - I turn the sound down and
>at a certain point, it goes to silence. The lowest volume I can play
>cd's, is too loud to read or work to.

As anothe poster suggeste, try to switch the tuner into the CD input
to see if there is a difference. You should also know that the maximum
output from a CD player tend to be louder than other sources. At
maximum output ("all digital bits on") you get 2 volts, wheras other
sources typically outputs 750 milivolts, some 7-8 dB lower. (or
whatever 20*log(2/0.75) turns out to!).

Does your amplfier has a mute switch? This often turns down the gain
by 10 or 20dB, and could be your solution.
>
>Anyone else ever had this problem?

Yes. I have cables with -10dB "gain" (what is the word?) for that.

Per.
 
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Yes. I have cables with -10dB "gain" (what is the word?) for that.



---------------------

That is called an in-line cable attenuator. It cuts down on the signal.

--James--
 
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"James Nipper" <jnipper@nospam.fdn.com> wrote in message
news:8pGdnToPA-qiF9bcRVn-rA@comcast.com...
> Yes. I have cables with -10dB "gain" (what is the word?) for that.
>
>
>
> ---------------------
>
> That is called an in-line cable attenuator. It cuts down on the signal.
>
> --James--

Also called a "pad"

Chad
 
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"Chad Wahls" <cwahls@uiuc.edu> wrote in message
news:cimmud$1b1$1@news.ks.uiuc.edu...
>
> "James Nipper" <jnipper@nospam.fdn.com> wrote in message
> news:8pGdnToPA-qiF9bcRVn-rA@comcast.com...
> > Yes. I have cables with -10dB "gain" (what is the word?) for that.
> >
> >
> >
> > ---------------------
> >
> > That is called an in-line cable attenuator. It cuts down on the
signal.
> >
> > --James--
>
> Also called a "pad"
>
> Chad
>
>

The issue is possibly not equipment but rather that you want to listen at
very low levels. The problem is that on some recordings the dynamic range is
quite wide. What you need is a way to compress the dynamic range into the
range of sound pressure you want to hear. The Technics receiver you
mentioned has this feature for DVD movies but alas not for CD. You could try
adding a compressor to the system. I suggest a Dbx 118 or 160. They allow
2:1 compression so that in effect the level of the loud passages is reduced
by 1/2 while the lower level passages are left unaltered. This will allow
you to set the volume high enough to hear more of the quiet passages, while
dynamically reducing the loud passages. This is of course a distortion of
the original recording, but may provide a pleasing solution to your
listening experience. At the same time you can reverse the setting and
expand the range also by the same factor in case you feel the need to damage
your speakers or hearing. These are obsolete products but trade on ebay at
pretty good prices.
Carl
 
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"CAndersen (Kimba)" <kimbawlionATaolDOTcom@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
news:p5d3l0lcdr9f0ej1hjgqqdm1bp6hgnio11@4ax.com...
> On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 21:18:17 GMT, "Carl Valle" <cwvalle@swbell.net> wrote:

....snip

> I really can't understand why such functionality isn't commonplace today.
> CDs really demand it, because the real world doesn't have nearly the
> dynamic range a CD does.

Not to pick nits, but I think you are wrong on this point. If you said that
the dynamic range of a CD can't normally be heard by most people (any
people?) in the real world, I would agree - especially if there is ANY
background noise.

In my house, music has to compete with air
> conditioners, fans, cats, neighbors, ice cream trucks, and so on. I have
> my dbx 118 in line all the time. And visitors usually remark on how good
> music sounds on my system.
>
> I'd think such a feature would be welcome by many, at the very least on
> portables and car audio.

I believe that some car audio systems automatically compress the sound as
ambient noise increases.

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"CAndersen (Kimba)" <kimbawlionATaolDOTcom@127.0.0.1> wrote in message
news:p5d3l0lcdr9f0ej1hjgqqdm1bp6hgnio11@4ax.com
> On Tue, 21 Sep 2004 21:18:17 GMT, "Carl Valle" <cwvalle@swbell.net>
> wrote:
>
>> The issue is possibly not equipment but rather that you want to
>> listen at very low levels. The problem is that on some recordings
>> the dynamic range is quite wide. What you need is a way to compress
>> the dynamic range into the range of sound pressure you want to hear.
>> The Technics receiver you mentioned has this feature for DVD movies
>> but alas not for CD. You could try adding a compressor to the
>> system. I suggest a Dbx 118 or 160. They allow 2:1 compression so
>> that in effect the level of the loud passages is reduced by 1/2
>> while the lower level passages are left unaltered.

Note that the DBX 118 is obsolete and out of production, as is the 160. The
current sequel to the 160 is called the 160SL nets for a paltry $3,200.
Hardly a practical recommendation!

> That's one of the settings. The other will boost low-level passages as
> well as lower loud ones. I find this latter option with a compression
> of about 1.5:1 produces a more satisfying sound than heavier
> compression of loud passages only.

Agreed that modest compression can be sonically effective, both improving
listenability when wide dynamic range is inconvenient, and yet producing a
pleasing result.


> I really can't understand why such functionality isn't commonplace today.

I think that the parts & development cost of doing a good job of compression
is still just a little too much to be a give-away. This is one of those
features that most people can't be easily sold on because it doesn't have
much gut-grabbing power. I've never seen it described so that it would be
widely perceived as being a spectacular feature. But when you need it, but
when it fits...

>CDs really demand it, because the real world doesn't have
> nearly the dynamic range a CD does.

I wouldn't say it that way, but I think I know what you mean. The real
world - being a live recording of a practical musical event, has maybe 55-65
dB worth of dynamic range. In a car, 65 dB dynamic range over a 65 dB noise
floor (a relatively quiet car at freeway speeds) is 130 dB. In a residence,
65 dB over a 35 dB (relatively quiet room in an urban home) is 100 dB.
Neither SPL is practical for anything but dedicated listening, which most
people don't have a lot of time for.

>In my house, music has to compete
> with air conditioners, fans, cats, neighbors, ice cream trucks, and
> so on. I have my dbx 118 in line all the time. And visitors usually
> remark on how good music sounds on my system.

The benefit would probably be that the music is loud enough so that sonic
detail is easier to hear in quiet passages, but the loud passages don't
blare.

> I'd think such a feature would be welcome by many, at the very least
> on portables and car audio.

Totally agreed. The cheapest stand-alone dynamics processor that I've used
with good results is Behringer's DSP 1424, which runs around $130. In
addition to standard dynamics processing (compression, limiting) it also has
some very-un-hi-fi features, but since it is a digital implementation, you
can turn them off and they are out of the signal path.
 
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On Wed, 29 Sep 2004 08:04:24 -0400, "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com>
wrote:

>Note that the DBX 118 is obsolete and out of production, as is the 160. The
>current sequel to the 160 is called the 160SL nets for a paltry $3,200.
>Hardly a practical recommendation!

The dbx 118 seems to be relatively easy to find on the used market.
I got mine some time back at a local shop for around $50; there's a couple
on eBay right now at low prices. I've not looked for a 160.
 
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