Active monitors, input sensitivity and upstream pro gear

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by GoodEnoughGear, Nov 5, 2018.

  1. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,956
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    The 18 to 24 dBu outputs of the pro DACs being evaluated recently got me to re-look at my own Genelecs and other active monitors input sensitivity.

    My 8030s get to full output at -6dBu...but they have an input sensitivity adjustment capability of 80dB so technically there's no issue running something that hot into them. Though for my uses to minimize digital attenuation on the Soekris (4V RMS/ 14 dBu) I run them at about -64dB and that's generally loud enough for the small room they're in.

    I took a look at ATC and (for example) the SCM50ASL has an adjustable range from 2.2dBu to 8.2dBu for full output, and they are known to be less sensitive monitors. With these of course you absolutely need to pad down the input significantly from 24 or 18 dBu to not blow the things up, let alone bring output down to manageable levels even in midfield.

    My question is why do these sources run so hot? Is this for headroom for long runs and voltage drop, or is it headroom for the other intermediate gear like compressors, EQ and so on? Or something else?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  2. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,705
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Running hot lines makes them even less susceptible to noise. It's smart gain structuring.
     
  3. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,962
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northwest France
    What sort of equipment uses the full output though?

    Seems like high output pro DACs would work well with something like a First Watt F4, which is a power buffer.
     
  4. GoodEnoughGear

    GoodEnoughGear Evil Dr. Shultz‎

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,956
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Because the noise level stays constant s/n ratio is improved?
     
    Hrodulf likes this.
  5. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Non Voting Friend

    Slaytanic Cliff Clavin
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,081
    Dislikes Received:
    103
    Trophy Points:
    113
    why would you buy something good to run it through first watt lol?
     
  6. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,705
    Dislikes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Studio monitors can be run really loud, if your drummer wants to hear it like it was. As for outboard analog gear, hot signal gets you better snr.

    Also, leave it to Psalm to bring some class-a burn, lol.
     
    taisserroots, Psalmanazar and Cspirou like this.
  7. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    4,962
    Dislikes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northwest France
    I don't disagree with the low SNR, but it seems like throwing away gain with a potentiometer or resistors and then re-amplifying would add noise. Something I thought studios would want to avoid.
     
    Elmer Danilovich likes this.
  8. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

    Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,701
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Correction: the drummer is half deaf, he turns it up just so he can hear it at all.


    The gain happens either way (not counting the less-common instance of variable gain in the amp). Better to start with too much signal and trim down, rather than not enough.
     
    Thad E Ginathom likes this.
  9. DrForBin

    DrForBin Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    398
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The Great NorthWet
    hello,

    "We were going on a gig, when the singer locked their keys in the car. It took us three hours to get the drummer out."
     
    Psalmanazar, DanHowardArt and murray like this.

Share This Page