Question

Amplifier Pre-Amp Out to Line In on SONOS Connect


I am updating my amp and the new amp I am looking at does not have a fixed level rca line out (before volume control) only a pre amp rca out which means when I turn the amp up the output from the pre amp rca out increases. I like to connect my amp to my SONOS Connect using it's rca line in so that anything I play on my amp eg record deck or tv or physical cd can be streamed to my Play 3 in my kitchen. Is it ok to connect my pre-amp out on my amplifier to my line in on my SONOS Connect? If it is ok what happens when I turn my 70 watt Naim amp volume control up!!

3 replies

Is it ok to connect my pre-amp out on my amplifier to my line in on my SONOS Connect?
Yes, but you may need to adjust the Line-In Source Level.

If it is ok what happens when I turn my 70 watt Naim amp volume control up!!
The 70W is the power amp rating. It's nothing to do with the line-level signal on the pre out.
Is it ok to connect my pre-amp out on my amplifier to my line in on my SONOS Connect?
Yes, but you may need to adjust the Line-In Source Level.

If it is ok what happens when I turn my 70 watt Naim amp volume control up!!
The 70W is the power amp rating. It's nothing to do with the line-level signal on the pre out.


Thanks ratty. Am right in thinking the line-level signal from the pre-out will increase as I increase the amp volume? I am being told by my local hifi shop that if the volume on my amp is high I may damage the SONOS system but they aren't sure. If the line-level from the pre-amp does vary I'm not sure what effect that would have on the SONOS line-in source level. Say for example I was listening to my hifi at a loud volume when it was turned off and then I decided to play a cd and stream it to my Play 3 would I overload the Play 3?
Am right in thinking the line-level signal from the pre-out will increase as I increase the amp volume?
Yes. Presumably the power-amps are just that, without any kind of control. In fact you said "when I turn the amp up the output from the pre amp rca out increases".

I am being told by my local hifi shop that if the volume on my amp is high I may damage the SONOS system but they aren't sure.
It won't, but setting the Line-In Source Level too high (i.e. too much gain) could result in distortion. See https://sonos.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/391. Start off with the Level at 1. If it's too quiet increase it.

If the line-level from the pre-amp does vary I'm not sure what effect that would have on the SONOS line-in source level. Say for example I was listening to my hifi at a loud volume when it was turned off and then I decided to play a cd and stream it to my Play 3 would I overload the Play 3?
Duelling volume controls is something you'll just have to figure out I'm afraid. Subject to the Line-In Source Level being set right you'll not overload the PLAY:3. Sonos units protect themselves.

Anyway, why would you continue to use your CD player? Rip your CDs to music files, have Sonos index them, then all you need do is browse/search and play using the Sonos controller app. To play through the Naim kit simply connect the CONNECT (get it?!) to an input on the pre-amp. Most of us with CD collections long ago put the CD player in the loft or eBayed it.

And if you think you have a great CD player, sorry but a secure CD ripper such as dBpoweramp or EAC will always be better at getting the data off the disc. Such software makes multiple reads of the CD to ensure it's getting consistent data, then verifies what it's read against online checksums of each track to make sure it has a perfect copy. None of this real-time error correction compromise that a CD player has to make. It's possible that your CD player has a better DAC than the CONNECT but whether you'll tell the difference is questionable.

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