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Kern IP-777 Line-out level low?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Funkateer, Nov 12, 2005.


  1. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I take the line out from my Kern IP-777 and run it into a channel of my RME Multiface when recording. I am having difficulty getting enough signal to my software. I have the Multiface inputs set at the default (+4), and am wondering if my experience is unusual. I absolutely cannot get enough signal by cranking both the input gain and line out to push the input into the red. Before I open up the Multiface and switch an input to -10, I'd like to know if low line-out levels are typical of the Kern.
     
  2. This low condition is true with SWR Interstellar Overdrive DI outputs.

    If you have access to a Mackie console, plug in your Kern and see what kind of level it generates on the LEDs. My SR24.4 VLZ Pro will show exactly what output is coming from a given source.

    To get around the problem, you need a device after the Kern that will boost the signal level. I bi-amp and use Rane crossovers and EQ boxes. Both are capable of greater than unity gain, so I have no problems boosting the signal high enough to fully drive my PLX power amps.

    Get an inexpensive 31-band Rane EQ (ME30B, etc) from eBay and use it to boost your Kern. And improve the EQ at the same time.
     
  3. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    That's pretty remarkable... I just had my Kern delivered, and after plugging it in, I was finding that I had to crank my preamp gain as well as the line out master to get usable volume. I'm using the Line Out, XLR output rather than the Main Out with the 1/4" cable output. All you other Kern users, have you found either or both of these outputs to have lower than normal levels? I'm using a QSC PLX 2402 as a power amp.

    First off, anyone else experienced similar issues with a Kern? Next, what's the recommended solution? I'd rather not stick anything else (like a 31-band EQ) into my signal chain. I've heard of people having mods to their PLX's performed to lower the necessary input voltage to fully drive the amp. Or maybe it's a mod that Les Plopa should make to the Kern? Or is mine just not working properly?

    (sorry if this is a thread hijack; I'm hoping that we both get the answers we want here)
     
  4. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    A well designed DI arguably should put out a mic level signal, not a line level one, at least according to some engineers. Take a look on the Jensen website for their take on DI levels. Running line level signals on a snake to mixer inputs can supposedly cause crosstalk, although I've rarely seen that happen in practice.

    There's nothing wrong with using your main output to record off of. Even if it's unbalanced, you may end up with a better noise floor than using a cheap mic preamp or other workaround. If using the -10 sensitivity on your Multiface gets you enough level from the line out, that's fine too.

    As far as driving the PLX, try the main output for sure. If it's balanced, use a TRS-XLR cable. If not, don't sweat it for a short cable run.

    EDIT: However, the specs for the Kern say it is cabable of outputting +20 dBu on the balanced DI output! :eyebrow: Someone else with direct experience will jump in soon, hopefully.
     
  5. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I use the unbalanced outs to my power amp. No apparent loss of power issue.
     
  6. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    nothing to add but that the kern rawks. :)
     
  7. Funkateer

    Funkateer

    Jul 5, 2002
    Los Gatos, CA
    I reconfigured my studio last night and inserted an Aphex 207 into the signal chain. The Aphex' DI is a lot hotter than the Kern, and I can get decent levels without maxing out everything. I also ran the line out from the Kern to the other channel of the Aphex. This is even hotter.

    I have workarounds, but I have to say that I view it as a defect in the design of the Kern that you need another box to add gain. I guess it was intended for the stage, not studio use.
     
  8. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I'm hoping to discover that for myself very soon. :)

    How did you have yours set up? What power amp were you running through? Also, do I need a speaker cable to connect the preamp to the power amp (assuming I'm using the main out with the 1/4", as opposed to the XLR out), or will an instrument cable do?
     
  9. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    For recording and for playing live I always used the unbalanced 1/4" out on my IP777. That pre-amp always had plenty of output for my purposes.
     
  10. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    Does using the unbalanced 1/4" main out require a speaker cable, or is an instrument cable fine?
     
  11. Joelc73

    Joelc73 Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2000
    New York
    You should be using a standard instrument cable into your amp.