Preamp is 3 db louder on one channel . Normal ?

zeiter

Standard Member
Any idea what could cause one channel to be louder than the other on the preamp? My pre is few months old, and after trying all cables, switching speaker cables, amp cables, sources, etc... etc... I sorted it to the preamp. Measured on my SPL, left channel is 3db louder than right. I can adjust with the balance, but asking if 3 db difference is normal or not? I know it's audible.
 

Alan Mac

Active Member
Any idea what could cause one channel to be louder than the other on the preamp? My pre is few months old, and after trying all cables, switching speaker cables, amp cables, sources, etc... etc... I sorted it to the preamp. Measured on my SPL, left channel is 3db louder than right. I can adjust with the balance, but asking if 3 db difference is normal or not? I know it's audible.

A 3 dB difference in gain between left and right channels of a pre-amplifier is certainly not normal. I would expect the gains to be within 0.1 dB of each other.

If you really have established beyond doubt that the pre-amplifier is the cause of the 3 dB imbalance, then I would suspect that at least one of its channels is faulty.

(If you are using in-line attenuators there is the possibility that one of them might be fitted the wrong way round)


Alan
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I'm inclined to agree with Alan Mac. There could technically be an imbalance between left and right channels, but practically, with the Balance control set to neutral, that imbalance shouldn't be audible.

Try turning the balance control all the way to the left then right to make sure the knob is actually centered on the shaft. I might have slipped.

But I think it would be best to have the pre-amp checked out as soon as possible, as it seems one channel is faulty.

What brand is the Pre-amp, and can you give us a run down of all your other related equipment and any unusual connections you might have? Such as in-line attenuators as Alan mentioned. That might tell us something.

But to your core question, NO, with the Balance control set to neutral, the left and right channels should be audibly balanced.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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zeiter

Standard Member
Thanks Alan & Steve. No attenuators at all. Preamp is Bryston, so is Amp & Cd player. Balance has a click in center. I treied different speaker cables, different interconnects, flipped them right and left . Tried my Tuner, my turntable ( which initially I suspected cartridge alignment , or phono stage as I use the vinyl more than Cd ). But when every source had the same issue, I figured either Amp or preamp. I even switched speakers, as maybe corner location favored one over the other. Whenever i flip the IC right & left between preamp & amp, then I get the opposite channel sounding louder. Then i used my SPL, with balanced turned all the way to each side and got about3 db difference. So I use the balance control at 1 or 1:30 o'clock position to compensate.
 

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