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thebes

Measuring Output From A Preamp

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How do I do this?  I have a Anthem PRE1 that's weak in one channel, so I wanted to measure the output on both channels.  Can I do this at idle or does a signal have to be going through it? Do I hook/touch the positive lead of my meter to the inner part of the female rca and the negative lead to the bulk of the rca body? Or do I hook/touch the positive lead to the inner part of the rca and the negative to ground?

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You have to have a signal going through the preamp outputs to have something to measure.

 

The catch is, what level you get depends on the level the source is putting out.

 

And yes; you can measure it with a typical voltmeter.

 

For instance, put a CD in a CD player and connect a pair of RCA cables to the output. You connect a cable because it's easy to reach with a voltmeter lead.

 

If you're lucky, your voltmeter has a Max Hold setting. Play one song on a CD and clip your voltmeter leads to the center pin and the shield of either red or white channel. Set the voltmeter for AC volts, play a song, and observe the number at the end of the song. Doesn't matter which voltmeter lead connects to which terminal of the RCA cable; you're measuring AC volts so polarity is irrelevant.

 

Now take that exact same RCA cable, red or white but not both cables, and connect it to your CD input on your preamp. Play the same song and measure the output at the preamp output jack.

 

Then take that exact same RCA cable, red or white, and connect it to the other channel on the CD input, and measure at the preamp output. You want to use the same channel because CD's play in stereo, and there could be a left/right difference between the information on the disc.

 

Make sense?

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Perfect. Just what I needed to know. I think I'll actually pull a signal tone off the web and burn that to a cd and use that for the measurement. That would probably work better because neither of my meters has a "Max Hold" setting.

 

Cool!

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