What to do if amp doesn’t have volume controls


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I have got a sonos connect and a Anthem MCA-5 amp buy the amp does seem to have anywhere on it to adjust volume (it is old and heavy) and there is no screen for showing volume.

Do I still use variable on the connect or in this case would I use fixed?

I tried it one variable but don’t seem to hear anything but I’m worried if I put the connect to fixed that it will blow my speakers or do something else wrong...

16 replies

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wellnessprovider81 wrote:

I have got a sonos connect and a Anthem MCA-5 amp buy the amp does seem to have anywhere on it to adjust volume (it is old and heavy) and there is no screen for showing volume.

Do I still use variable on the connect or in this case would I use fixed?

I tried it one variable but don’t seem to hear anything but I’m worried if I put the connect to fixed that it will blow my speakers or do something else wrong...

If it matters I have the connect using the analog out (red and white) into a single trigger in slot on the anthem

Userlevel 6
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The Trigger Input is not a sound signal input. Instead, it's used to switch the amp on and off. Perhaps you need to consult the amp's manual and familiarise yourself with its purpose and operation?
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pwt wrote:

The Trigger Input is not a sound signal input. Instead, it's used to switch the amp on and off. Perhaps you need to consult the amp's manual and familiarise yourself with its purpose and operation?



Thanks for he response. On the Anthem MCA-5 there is only 5 single ended RCA Inputs that correspond with L, L surround, centre, R surround and R. Also there is balanced XLR inputs which look to be big circles. There are no other inputs just where the speakers connect and the line input

What cords from the connect unit would go into these to make sound?
CONNECT is a stereo device, so the analog output RCA cables would go to the L and R inputs on your device.
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Does it matter which colour goes into the left and the right? I have the red and white in the connect and I put the white in the left and the red in right?
According to wikipedia, red is right, white is left. But try it and see. If you find your speakers seem to be backwards, it's pretty easy to switch those connections.
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Thanks again for the help guys.
One last question: because the amp doesn’t have volume control of any kind-does that mean I should select variable or fixed on the connect?
Anything I can do to make sure I don’t blow the speaker??
If your amp doesn't have a volume control, then I'd select variable, so that you can actually control the volume.

That being said, I'd never, ever suggest using variable when sending to a device that does have a volume control. Too much opportunity for "fighting" signal strengths.


Start off with as low a signal as possible when testing. No more than 10%. See how your amp responds, then you can crank it up. If you start with 100%, you could potentially blow your speakers.
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Thanks again-maybe I’ll put the volume limit on the connect just in case when I select variable...
The key is to start small, and work your way up. None of us have any idea what speakers you have connected to that amp, and what ratings they have, and how they match up with that amp.
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Good advice-they are brand new monitor audio gold 200s rated 88 I think.
The amp is anthem MCA-5...

What would you suggest?
Userlevel 7
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Airgetlam wrote:

I'd never, ever suggest using variable when sending to a device that does have a volume control. Too much opportunity for "fighting" signal strengths.



I have one of my Zone Players set up this way and Bruce's advice is good, it can be very frustrating juggling two volume controls and you can get BLASTED if you have the receiver volume high for another source and the Sonos volume high because you had the receiver volume low the last time you used Sonos and forget to readjust both.
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In addition to the question about those speakers and amp, would you guys let me know how I would listen to a centre channel speaker (alone) with a connect. I want to break it in since it is new.

With the rca wire/amp set up I have now (red going in red and white into left) what would I change with the plug ins?

There is a rca input for centre channel on the amp but what wire do I put into it?
There is no center channel. You're sending a stereo signal to your amp, it has Left and Right only. The CONNECT only deals with stereo, it doesn't have the capability to accept or interpret an 5.1 signal.
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Well the amp has 5 channels. Couldn’t I send one of the two red or white wires ONLY into the amps centre channel input for the RCA?
Userlevel 7
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You can plug the RCA cables into any amp input you want, the Connect and amp don't care.

Might see if the amp offers a stereo to multi-channel option, some do.

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