Arcam A32 headphones and preamp - muting howto?


Standard Member

So here it is, my brand new Arcam FMJ A32 amplifier. I am now a proud owner of this awsome device.:D

But there is one thang that significantly nags me :(. Sometimes I want to listen to music via headphones only (I have little children, that sleep at night ...). Up to now I did not find a mode where the speakers are mute and the headphones work

Since I have small speakers (Vienna Accoustics Webern) attached to the amp I use a Subwoofer to improove sound. As a consequence deactivating the speaker groups vis SP1/SP2 still cause the woofer to work. :confused:

If I mute the amp, also the headphones are muted. In contrast to what the manual tells ...

Can anybody tell me what am I doing wrong? Is there a mode for the A32 to fully mute it (including preamp) but still listen to music via headphones.
This feature is crutial for me .... Or is my device broken?

Also a way to modify the headphones volume independently would be great. Is there a way to trigger the volume of the pre-amp out via the arcam?

Grateful for your advice.

Standard Member
Your device works properly.

In general, you can attach the subwoofer to the power amp in two ways (if the sub has both inputs):
1. Pre outs from the amp to the low level inputs to the subwoofer
2. Speaker outs from the amp to the high (speaker) level inputs to the subwoofer.

When you use mode 1, you cannot mute the sub with SP1/SP2. I think you use this mode.
But if you use mode 2, you can mute the sub. If the speakers are not biwired, you can use SP1 out form the amp for the speakers and SP2 out for the sub. In this mode you can separately switch on or off the speakers and the sub. If the speakers are biwired, you can chain the sub between the amp and the speaker. Attach a speaker cable form the amp (for example from SP1) to the high level inputs of the sub, and a speaker cable from the high level outputs of the sub to the speaker's bass terminals. The second cable runs directly from the SP2 terminals of the amp to the speaker' treble terminals.


Standard Member

Interesting options to mute the sub!

Nevertheless my concerns are towards the mute function, that can be called from the remote. In the case it is called, no output is generated in the headphones, though I read in the manual, that this should not be affected. Am I getting something wrong?


Standard Member

I read the manual, and really, it stated:
"Press to mute the speaker connections and preamp outputs. Both tape outputs and the headphone socket remain active."

I really surprised. I went to my A32, and checked it: the Mute button mutes the speaker, the preamp out and the headphone too. The manual is wrong.

But it is the natural behaviour of the amp, because the signal path is:
preamp inputs -> input selector -> tape out / volume control with mute -> preamp out -> poweramp in -> poweramp -> speaker outs (SP1/SP2) / headphones out. When you mute, the tape out remains active, because it is before the muting circuit. The poweramp drives the headphones out. If you mute the poweramp, you mute the headphones too.

If you want to mute the sub with the mute button, you must use the sub's speaker inputs, as I adviced.

Alternatively, switch off the sub manually, when you use the headphones (I use this method).

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