Finding just the right spot

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Most preamplifiers have a zone on their level controls where they sound best; typically higher on their dials.

Finding that perfect spot on the dial isn’t too hard, but getting there can be because much depends on the loudness levels of the source and the sensitivity of the speakers.

Most sources don’t have level trim controls to help match their gains to the rest of the system.

If you have a DAC, like our DirectStream, then it is an easy task to set the gain to match the sweet spot on your preamplifier. For example, depending on the system I am using, I like to set the DirectStream at around 80 on its level control. This places most tracks in the upper 40s and 50s on the BHK preamplifier, and the softest tracks bumping into the high 70s.

It’s tempting to think preamps sound the same at any level setting, but it isn’t true. Not for most preamps, anyway.

Finding just the right spot on the preamp level dial can bring hours more enjoyment to your system.