Re: ADI-2 DAC: settings with power amp
Can someone please recommend how to ideally set input gain level of Benchmark amplifier AHB2 for (balanced) connection to ADI-2 DAC?
The AHB2 has three gain levels Low-Gain = 22 dBu (9.8 Vrms), Mid-Gain = 14.2 dBu (4 Vrms), High-Gain = 8.2 dBu (2 Vrms). Benchmark recommends to use the lowest gain level possible.
However, with the low-gain setting the max volume achieved with ADI-2 near 0 dbFS is a little bit low. With the AHB2 set to mid-gain volume is ample, but with auto ref on the 19 dBu output level of the ADI-2 exceeds the 14.2 dBu input level of the AHB2.
From what you say, I would put it at mid-gain. You will have headroom for the tracks who are recorded low: even if the volume pot of the ADI is set to 0 dB fs, the actual output will only be at 19 dBu when the tracks are recorded high and reach 0 dB fs.
I have old classic CD's or some music online whom levels never reach the 0 dB fs... You'll need headroom for those.