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Old 05-03-2012, 12:33 PM
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Blackdog Blackdog is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 318

Plus, we're not talking about good analog or even digital source...we're talking about an MP3 player...playing...compressed mp3 files. Okay, maybe someone has their microSD packed with FLAC, but that's probably not most of us.

If you're playing mp3 files into an average to decent set of headphones or earbuds, you're probably fine if you accept what the whole package is. If you try an take the output of an mp3 player, playing mp3 files, into a high-end audio system, the fact that you're using an mp3 player and mp3 files is going to be WAY more of a detriment to sound quality than any issues of overdriving the audio system's preamp with a signal higher than line voltage.

I am no audiophile or engineer. My understanding of this stuff cursory and comes from years of messing with sound systems, stereos and players, but my understanding is that "line-out" is simply a 0.7 volt reference..."capped" as it were. You still need to amplify a tiny little signal to get it up to line level. there's nothing inherently "clean" about line-level. It's just that you're not going to overdrive most audio front ends/preamps, with the standardized line out level.

You can take some very non-clean signal, like a dirty overdriven tube amp with all sorts of distortion, put a DI box on the speaker output (right from the power amp!) and get the signal down to 0.7v line level. It's line level, but it ain't pretty.

Feel free to cut my head off...I may be a bit off-base on that. And if so, would be open to hearing why. It get's difficult to talk about this stuff in any detail if you don't have some decent engineering background. The whole impedance-matching thing, for example, I have never had a firm grasp on. I know you need to use a matching transformer when you take a Low-z mic (like a Shure 58/57 or other dynamic mic) and go into a high-Z input (like a guitar amp)...but that's about it.

So much stuff to still little brain cells left.
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