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Viewing topic "Cables to connect to an AV Amp"

   
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Posted on: December 21, 2016 @ 12:09 AM
jg666
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status: Pro

I have connected my MOXF6 to a Denon AV Amplifier but not sure if I have used the right sort of connectors.

The reason I’m wondering is because the sound I get via my headphones (which I use most of the time) seems to be much fuller than what I’m getting via the amp and my large floorstanding speakers.

At the moment I’ve connected using a the type of cable you would use to connect a CD player R&L;to the AV amp. Should I be using the longer type of plugs at the keyboard end (what I’d call instrument jack plugs) ?

The voices when I play them through the headphones sound fuller than when I play via the amp and speakers. Could it be that the headphones are better or is it worth trying other cables?

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Posted on: December 21, 2016 @ 03:41 AM
philwoodmusic
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Hi jg666,

The cable you should need to connect to a regular hifi amp would be 2 x RCA/phono (for the amp end) - 2 x 1/4 inch Mono Jacks (for the MOXF end)

It’s always worth buying good quality cables if you can, but unless you have an idea that they really are cheap and nasty, or even damaged, then it’s much more likely that you’re just used to how your headphones sound and you may be super aware of certain qualities about them.

Headphones are about the most unnatural way of listening to music because they eliminate interaction with your room and you’ll probably find that they ‘hype’ the sound of your board in pleasant ways and it’s just that you’ve become used to it.

How do CD’s or other music sources sound through your speakers?  The chances are they will sound good, but that’s why mixing and mastering engineers were paid a lot of money to make the music translate beautifully on anything.

You no doubt have tone controls on your amp, which you can use to recreate what you’re hearing on headphones and don’t forget that the MOXF has EQ that you can use to do the same, onboard.

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Posted on: December 21, 2016 @ 05:26 AM
5pinDIN
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jg666 - 21 December 2016 12:09 AM

[...] the sound I get via my headphones (which I use most of the time) seems to be much fuller than what I’m getting via the amp and my large floorstanding speakers. [...]

Could you define your use of the term “fuller” for us? Is there a particular range of frequencies that seems lacking?

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Posted on: December 21, 2016 @ 11:36 PM
jg666
Total Posts:  171
Joined  11-15-2015
status: Pro

Firstly thanks for the replies :-)

I’ll try and find a better description for what I mean over the next few days, it’s not easy so I will see if any friends can help out by listening.

My gut instinct says it could be the mid-range that’s better on the headphones but I can’t be certain yet. It sounds fuller, warmer, more body etc etc. Bass is handled really well on the floorstanding speakers obviously.

Maybe it is the speakers and amp that are causing part of the sound to be weaker?

The kit I’m using for this is
Denon 3805 A/V Amp (in stereo mode with no DSPs)
Castle Avon floorstanding speakers

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Posted on: December 22, 2016 @ 06:08 AM
5pinDIN
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Modern amps don’t tend to color sound to a significant degree, and since you’ve got yours in stereo mode with DSP off, that shouldn’t be much of a contributing factor (if any).

The same can’t be said for speakers. There isn’t one on the planet that’s completely neutral, especially when interaction with the room is taken into account - even pro near-field monitors don’t have perfect frequency response, although they can come close. I wasn’t familiar with the Castle Avon speakers, so I went looking online for some reviews. About the only comment I could find that might relate to your experience with them was that the high end might be somewhat excessive.

If you feel that the mid-range with speakers is a bit lacking, you might try reducing the top end a bit, either with EQ on the MOXF (which would, of course, also affect what you hear on headphones plugged into the MOXF) or the treble control on the amp.

Placement of the speakers in the room and their positioning relative to your playing position also will have an effect on what you hear. Bass tends to be increased when a speaker is placed near wall surfaces, especially so if room corners are used. Frequency response can be very dependent on room dimensions, with certain frequencies emphasized or diminished based on the ratio of length, width, and height of the room. Absorptive and reflective materials in the room also play a role. Etc.

You can try to get the speakers you’re currently using to work better with your MOXF by experimenting with some of the things I’ve mentioned, or perhaps consider getting some powered near-field monitors.

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Posted on: December 22, 2016 @ 11:41 AM
jg666
Total Posts:  171
Joined  11-15-2015
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Once again, thanks for the reply.

I’ve been down on my hands and knees with a torch and a magnifying glass looking at all the knobs on the AV Amp tonight. Because it’s a few years old, it’s all fiddly little knobs, small display and tiny text so very difficult to see what you’re doing ;-)

Anyway, long story short, I noticed that the Room Eq was set to Off for the input I am using for the keyboard. I changed this to ‘Normal’ and the sound suddenly leapt out at me :-) Everything now sounds more ‘forward’ if that is the correct word to describe it.

It sounds very close to what I’m hearing on the headphones now and I’m very happy.

Thanks to all concerned for your help.

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Posted on: December 22, 2016 @ 12:39 PM
5pinDIN
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You’re welcome - I’m glad you were able to find a setting on the amp that improved the sound.

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Posted on: December 22, 2016 @ 10:02 PM
jg666
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To be honest I’d totally forgotten about those settings on the Amp as I originally set it up for all other inputs in 2004 when I purchased it!

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Posted on: February 22, 2017 @ 12:19 AM
jg666
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Another rambling post by me ;-) If you want to avoid the waffle then there’s a question right at the end :-)

A few weeks ago I had my main room decorated and a new carpet so I had to move all my gear out. I was then using my MOXF6 upstairs through headphones.

When everything was back to normal again downstairs I set up my gear and moved the keyboard away from where the Denon AV amp is and so am using a small hifi stereo amp with some small Wharfedale speakers.

I then started noticing sound distortion. It was driving me insane.. It was even happening a bit through the headphones. I tried a lot of different cables, different inputs on the amp and then even got a cable to go from the headphone socket to L/R on the amp. The problem was still there.

This morning I moved the MOXF back to the Denon amp and at first I thought it was OK but then on harsher organ sounds if you held a few keys down together it came back again.

I was distraught!

It was then I remembered that I’d turned the volume up to 127 in Utility for use with the headphones upstairs. I turned this down to 97 and it seems fine on the Denon. I then moved it all back to the small hifi amp and there was still a bit of distortion on extreme harsh sounds so I turned it down to 77 and I think it’s all OK now.

Does this all make sense? Hopefully I don’t have a problem with my MOXF and it was to do with the volume.

What volume do people tend to have theirs set to?

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Posted on: February 22, 2017 @ 04:23 PM
5pinDIN
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The Volume setting in Utility mode (page 140 of the MOXF Reference Manual) is the MIDI Master Volume. The default setting is 127 (maximum). Under normal circumstances, with Preset Voices and factory Master EQ and Effect settings, there should be no audible distortion from the MOXF when set to 127. However, amplifier inputs can be overloaded if level is too high.

1) Are the Voices you’re hearing distortion with Preset ones, and are Master EQ and Effects unmodified from factory?
2) What is the maximum input level spec for the amp inputs you’re using?
3) Where are you setting the MOXF front panel Master Volume slider?
4) Does changing that slider position affect the distortion you hear?

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Posted on: February 23, 2017 @ 02:19 AM
jg666
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The Voices I’m hearing this distortion are on factory presets which as far as I know have not been altered at all.

I can’t find the manual for the current amplifier I’m using (an old Onkyo A-922) so I’ve attached a screenshot of what might be relevant information I found online.

I normally have the front panel volume slider set to maximum. This is because I mostly use headphones when playing and I find the volume isn’t loud enough unless I have the slider all the way up.

Changing the slider position does affect the amount of distortion I hear.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that the plugs on the amp end of the cable I’m using seem to have shorter prongs than the normal ones I use for connecting a CD player or Sonos player to the amp. They come out very easily (more easily on the Onkyo than the Denon).

This is a link to the cable that I’m using to connect to the amp:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stagg-6m-Phono-RCA-STC6PCM/dp/B004EBKV1Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1487845103&sr=1-1&keywords=Stagg+6m+2+x+Phono+/+RCA+-+2+x+1/4"+Jack+Twin+Cable+Lead+STC6PCM

One more thought… I wonder if I’d just be better off getting some powered speakers that are designed to be used with keyboards?

Image Attachments
Onkyo a-922 specs.jpg
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Posted on: February 23, 2017 @ 06:50 AM
5pinDIN
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Typical maximum output from CD players is about 2 volts RMS, so an amp’s CD input should be capable of handling the signal from the MOXF line outputs. The Master Volume slider should probably be positioned at less than fully up - about halfway or wherever distortion isn’t apparent from the speakers is more appropriate. Turn up the gain on the amp if you need more volume.

It might be that the headphones you’re using aren’t a good match to the MOXF. If you find it necessary to to increase the level when using headphones, increase the MOXF Volume slider position for that purpose, but bring it back down when using speakers. Alternatively, keep the MOXF slider in the same position, but connect headphones to the amp.

Although not common, it’s possible for there to be problems with the MOXF itself. If you still find that there’s distortion with the slider at halfway up, let us know.

I had previously suggested that you consider getting powered near-field monitors, so of course that’s an option.

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Posted on: February 23, 2017 @ 07:56 AM
jg666
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Joined  11-15-2015
status: Pro

Thanks. If I were to get some powered speakers I’d probably want to think about getting some sort of mixer as well so I can run my minilogue through it as well. I currently run the minilogue through the MOXF but it’s not perfect as the sound stops when you change voices on the MOXF.

I also have software synths on my iPad so it would be nice to be able to run all three together. What are the options for a reasonable home mixer ?

Re the onkyo amp. If I move the cable near to the amp end things get worse so I’m wondering if the cable ends are too loose in the sockets.

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Posted on: February 23, 2017 @ 08:31 AM
jg666
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Joined  11-15-2015
status: Pro

Discovery made!!

I’ve had the chance to mess around some more since the last post. The amp has a switch so that you can choose to put the sound through the tone/bass/balance controls if you so wish and it was set to that.

I changed the amp to ‘Direct’ mode and the problems have stopped. I think that dial must have got knocked round to the Tone setting when it was moved out of the room the other week.

It was weird because it sounded fine for a while even on the Tone setting. But then I realised that more sound was coming out of the right speaker than the left so I started messing with the speaker cables etc. I found it was the same when I put a Sonos Connect through the amp via another input so everything pointed to the amp.

Sorry about this but once I again I should have done some more investigation before messing you all around :(

I still might change to a mixer/powered speakers setup though.

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Posted on: February 23, 2017 @ 11:50 PM
jg666
Total Posts:  171
Joined  11-15-2015
status: Pro

Another update. Last night I turned the MOXF on, then turned the amp on and was met with loud buzzing/humming. It was exactly the same noise I used to get when I played bass guitar and if I removed the lead from the guitar end.

Fiddling with the cables at the amp and and re-seating them stopped the noise. I still think that the cables aren’t a very good fit for this amp!

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Posted on: February 24, 2017 @ 07:33 AM
5pinDIN
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The RCA plugs on the cables you’re using might be out of spec, or the jacks on the amp might be loose. Long ago I created a simple tool for testing whether an RCA jack is properly gripping a plug’s center pin - it’s an RCA plug with the grounding contacts (shell) removed, leaving only the pin. Inserting that into a jack easily reveals whether the pin is gripped tightly enough, since any misleading friction from the ground connection no longer exists.

However, the hum you described is more typically caused by the center pin making contact while the ground shell is not. I’ve found that happens when either the RCA plug’s shell is too tight (small in diameter) and the plug therefore isn’t inserted fully, or the shell is too loose (diameter too large) and therefore not making a reliable ground connection. Visual inspection should reveal which is the case. Usually a plug with tight shell can just be pushed on with somewhat more effort, and a loose shell can be reduced slightly in diameter with careful use of pliers.

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