New Ribbons owner - Q about input levels


Received my Ribbons yesterday and have a question about input levels. I’m routing my Syntakt into the Ribbons and getting distortion at higher volumes, at levels that the Gen Loss MKII handled without issue. Is this expected? I’m assuming it just needs lower input levels than the Gen Loss but figured I’d ask in the off chance there’s something wrong.

Thanks for your time!

Hi @sszyszka I haven’t tried the Syntakt myself but I just checked the specs in the manual and it has extremely hot outputs (+15dBu balanced / +9dBu unbalanced). See below.


Compare that with any of the synths from Dave Smith / Sequential, which output -8dBu on the main outputs.

Typical pro audio equipment handles +4dBu. Ribbons handles +2dBu. This allows us to get a pretty low noise floor with instrument signals and minimal clipping with line level signals without having to add an extra switch or setting to flip between line level and instrument level.

CBA is a little light on their technical details these days but I once played around with a GLMKII and found it had +4dBu of headroom, just 2db (1.25x) higher than Ribbons, which isn’t a major difference.

Ha! Yeah, that explains it. Thanks for clarifying and the added perspective!