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Gain Setting for Amp for Forte IV


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I have paired a NAD C298 stereo amp with my Forte IV speakers. The amp has an option for the gain -- either fixed or variable.

 

The Forte IV's recommends a 100 watt amp . The NAD C298 runs 185 watts per channel into 8 ohms.

 

Questions: Should I run fixed gain? (The gain is 28.6 db.) Or should I run a variable with a lower gain? If the latter, what should the gain be set at/how should I select the gain?

 

I ask these questions because my prior speakers were powered Elac NAVIS, which had a gain option (low or high), and I always preferred the low setting. My fear is that if I set the gain TOO low I might risk clipping. But I also worry that 185 watts with a 28.5 db gain might be OVERPOWERING the speakers (and, at a minimum, introducing distortion).

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

Edited by Ron Ribaudo
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4 hours ago, Ron Ribaudo said:

I have paired a NAD C298 stereo amp with my Forte IV speakers. The amp has an option for the gain -- either fixed or variable.

 

The Forte IV's recommends a 100 watt amp . The NAD C298 runs 185 watts per channel into 8 ohms.

 

Questions: Should I run fixed gain? (The gain is 28.6 db.) Or should I run a variable with a lower gain? If the latter, what should the gain be set at/how should I select the gain?

 

I ask these questions because my prior speakers were powered Elac NAVIS, which had a gain option (low or high), and I always preferred the low setting. My fear is that if I set the gain TOO low I might risk clipping. But I also worry that 185 watts with a 28.5 db gain might be OVERPOWERING the speakers (and, at a minimum, introducing distortion).

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks

 

The variable gain (ie: Input Level Control) might be your best option as it relates to the optimum S/N of your system and would probably allow you to optimize your Pre-amp’s Volume control range for typical listening levels you prefer.

 

miketn

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On 10/10/2021 at 4:28 PM, Ron Ribaudo said:

I have paired a NAD C298 stereo amp with my Forte IV speakers. The amp has an option for the gain -- either fixed or variable.

 

The Forte IV's recommends a 100 watt amp . The NAD C298 runs 185 watts per channel into 8 ohms.

 

Definitely set the gain for 40-50%

The speakers are sensitive, so most of your listening will be below 2 watts

this will also allow finer adjustments on your pre amp volume control.

 

On a personal note, I wish all amps had output meters on the front, preferably analog needles.

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