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McIntosh MC30 Advice Wanted

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by pantoramasan, May 18, 2017.

  1. pantoramasan

    pantoramasan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    356
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Is it common practice among McIntosh MC30 owners/users to max out (turn the dial fully clockwise) the volume control pot and use the Pre amp for volume control?
     
  2. c_dk

    c_dk Super Member

    Messages:
    4,989
    Location:
    West Michigan
    I have no idea what the common practice is, I do know what the engineers planed on and what we tried to teach our clients.

    Preamp volume controls are not perfect, the taper for each channel will often be different.

    The designers try to have a range, say from 9:00 to 1:00 where the two channels track closely. The designers expect therefore the owner will set the amp gain controls to keep the preamp volume control to stay as much as possible in that zone.
     
  3. pantoramasan

    pantoramasan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    356
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Thanks for that info. Very helpful. That's what I wanted to know.
     
  4. gmfgmfgmf1

    gmfgmfgmf1 Member

    Messages:
    75
    My tech says all the way up gives cleanest signal .... of course you need to balance left and right output

    Full up works for my 4 MC-30s
     
  5. pantoramasan

    pantoramasan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    356
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Interesting...Which Pre Amp do you use with them?
     
  6. 62caddy

    62caddy AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,497
    Location:
    NEPA
    Full on may result in higher noise floor especially if the speakers are high sensitivity.

    The method I use is to first set the gains at minimum and the preamplifier volume at maximum. Then play a source and begin increasing the gains until the music is slightly louder than the loudest you would ever listen and you're done. The system is calibrated for the lowest noise floor with the widest usable range of the volume control and optimal compensation when loudness circuit is used.

    Simply setting the gains full on so the high output is reached at a very low volume range where L-R tracking of the volume control is least accurate can result in uneven balance and less precise control of volume settings overall in addition to throwing off the loudness curve.

    Being the MC30 was designed to be used with tube preamplifiers that existed at the time, its inputs are of high sensitivity to begin with. Maximum gain would only be needed with preamplifiers of very low output. There is probably not a single SS preamplifier that falls into this category. It is practically inconceivable that full on gains with an early tube McIntosh amplifier would be necessary with any post-1980 SS preamplifier.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
    John James, ajauwen and pantoramasan like this.
  7. gmfgmfgmf1

    gmfgmfgmf1 Member

    Messages:
    75
    I have 4 MC-30s - use a C-20 and a MX-110

    Have to say I was previously at 9 O'Clock setting

    No real difference to me - full or 9
     

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