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Why is my music so distorted through an amp?

735 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 8, 2013 10:13 AM by Stephen Spark RSS
DaveSeddon1973 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 8, 2013 5:34 AM

I am trying to run my Ipad Mini through my NAD amp but the music is badly distorted - far too bassy even with the bass turned down on the amp and the EQ set to reduce bass. I am having the same issue with my Ipod Touch using with the headphone jack or 30 pin connector.


Admittedly it's quite an old amp, but the same album plays fine on the CD linked through the same piece of kit.

  • Stephen Spark Level 4 Level 4 (2,380 points)

    Sounds to me like you are connecting your iPad to the receiver's Phono Input rather than an Aux or even a Tape or CD input. Use an Aux, Tape or CD input not a Phono input which only works with turntables. Phonos or turntables require additional amplification and equalization so many receivers have a dedicated Phono input which has a pre-amp built in for this additional signal processing.

  • Johnathan Burger Level 6 Level 6 (14,455 points)

    Ipad already has an amp.

    If you are using the headphone jack out of the ipad-you are using an amped signal and amping it again.

    Try using audio out of the lightning connector, it bypasses the internal amp.

  • Stephen Spark Level 4 Level 4 (2,380 points)

    Still should be able to get a reasonably useable signal out of the headphone jack with out having to make major EQ adjustments. A phono pre-amp, which is built into the phono input of most receivers, will increase the audio levels even more since the turntable uses even lower signal levels than other sources which explains the distortion. The signal from turntables also has no low end so a phono pre-amp will also boost the bass levels quite a bit which explains the high bass levels which will also be distorted even more.


    I agree it is best to use the Line level output of the dock connector, but you should still be able to get a useable signal out of the headphone jack by setting the volume level to approximately 80%.

  • makethisstuffwork Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2013 9:54 AM (in response to Stephen Spark)

    I would think you would need to go lower than 80%. Perhaps if you set the iPad volume to around 20-25% it would correct the distortion?

  • Stephen Spark Level 4 Level 4 (2,380 points)

    20-25% would be too low. If you turned the volume level down too low on the iPad you will have to compensate by turning up the amps volume even more. This will introduce a "hiss" into the audio coming out of the speakers, normal internal noise from the receivers amp I beleive. The main idea here is to have the iPad's volume at a level where it is equivalent to the other sources. If you set your iPad to a low level then have to turn up the amp to 80-90% to hear it at a reasonable level you can damage your speakers if you accidentally switch to a different input which would come out at much higher volume levels.


    When using your headphone jack as an output set your volume level of your device so you are still using your receivers volume at the normal listening ranges you use for other sources.


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