Podcast 56: David Bales

David Bales, Manager of Product Planning for Pioneer's home A/V products, reveals details about four new Pioneer-brand A/V receivers, which were unveiled on Monday, March 7, in San Francisco. Among the new models' many features is tight integration with the Apple iPad and iPhone, including a super-cool interactive user's manual. He also discusses automatic room correction with Pioneer's MCACC, class-D vs. class-AB amplification, the evolution of user interfaces and iPod connectivity, and answers to chat-room questions.

Run Time: 55:51

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WazNeeni's picture

Interesting. I thought it was just based on db level. So, other than being what seems to be a standard(s) for manufactures, is there a performance benefit to the spec? I know that too high can cause distortion and that too low is just a bad quality signal that makes the entire system inefficient, but is there anything specific to how all these levels were set? I mean, is there a reason .316v is any better than .356 or .300? Or, were they simply trying to match "0" on the volume meter?

Thanks, Scott. I really appreciate it.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
Thanks so much for asking about my mom. The surgery on her knee went well, but recovery is very difficult for an 85-year-old.

"Line level" refers to a nominal signal level and impedance that is used to connect most audio devices and is not something that the user sets or matches with anything. In consumer audio devices, it is defined as 0.316 volts RMS, which corresponds to "0" on the volume meter and control, and it assumes a high impedance (typically 10kΩ: and above) at the inputs and outputs of these devices. When you turn down the volume, the actual voltage drops, but the impedance remains constant.

Practically speaking, the term "line level" is used to distinguish this type of audio connection from other types, such as mic level (used with microphones), instrument level (used with electric guitars), and speaker level (used with speakers), all of which have different nominal voltage levels and impedances. In consumer audio, mic and instrument levels are not often used, so all you need to know is that audio signals are passed from one device to another using line-level connections; the only place speaker level enters the picture is the connection between the power amp and the speakers.

WazNeeni's picture


You guys brought up "line level," which is something I've been wondering about for years. So...

1 - How is line level set for a device?
2 - How would I match line level using my volume (like on an iPod)?
3 - Is line level the same as the "somewhere between 6 and 8" level I learned about doing sound in college theatre (which I never fully understood)?
4 - Why is line level important?

BTW, I hope your mom is okay. I haven't heard anything since.

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