Use of pre-amp out jacks to connect a CD recorder - doable or damageable?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by cdash99, May 17, 2019.

  1. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I've got a Rotel RA-1570 amp on loan, and noted that it doesn't have any Tape output jacks, but does have pre-out jacks.

    Since I use a CD recorder for needle drops, I was curious if the pre-out jacks may be used for the same purpose. This is a try before I buy situation, so I don't want to damage either the amp or my other gear.

    According to the instructions, adjusting the amp's volume or other controls within playback will affect the signal going out, which IS a difference between this and a traditional tape output. That's a manageable difference to me, however.

    Has anyone done this, successfully or unsuccessfully? If the equipment is in no danger of being damaged, are there any other considerations I should be mindful of, besides the effect of volume and tone controls?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
  2. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Tape output level is fixed regardless of volume knob, pre out isn't. I don't see why you'll have any problem except that you are unlikely to get sound through the speakers when using the pre outputs (depends on the amp).
    cdash99 likes this.
  3. 56GoldTop

    56GoldTop Unapologetic Music Ho

    From the manual:

    NOTE: Changes to the settings of the Volume, Balance or Tone controls affect the signal from the Preamp Outputs.

    Generally accepted best practice says to go directly from an external phono pre to the input of your CD recorder in this case. The pre out is intended for input into other amplification.
    The FRiNgE and cdash99 like this.
  4. cdash99

    cdash99 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks for the info. From a convenience standpoint I suppose this means I should only make this connection when dubbing a number of albums at one time rather than the occasional one-off.
  5. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    You can connect your pre-out to a CD recorder, but be careful to keep the volume control at a lower level. As this isn't the best method to record because of higher noise levels and that the output is hotter, it will suffice for lack of a better setup. To set your level, first set the Recorder REC level at about 10 0'clock. (for safety.. on the low side to proceed from here) Set your pre-amp to zero.. (all the way down) play the source and gradually increase the pre volume control until the REC meters read at about -10 dB. You're good to go on the pre-amp output.. then simply adjust the REC level on the CD recorder as desired. The REC control should be at about 12 O'clock to 1 O'clock with the VU at nominal -6dB to -3dB, and peaks at -1dB (suggest to not peak at 0 dB as I have experienced overs... even though the "over" lamp does not illuminate)

    Your best setup would be a phono pre-out to your recorder as suggested by @56GoldTop
    macster and cdash99 like this.

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