FAQ

About Bel Canto
What does Bel Canto mean?
The words ‘Bel Canto’ are Italian and literally translate to ‘beautiful singing.’ We thought this name appropriately conveyed our passion for music!
Where is Bel Canto located?
Since its inception in 1990, Bel Canto has been located in the state of Minnesota in the Midwestern United States. Since 2007, Bel Canto has been located in the culturally vibrant North Loop of Minneapolis, MN.
Where are your products manufactured?
All Bel Canto products are assembled, tested, and boxed by a small team of real, live workers at their factory in Minneapolis, MN USA.
General Product Questions
Why doesn't my remote work / Why does only the volume work?
Depending on which unit you are controlling, you will need to press either the “PRE,” “DAC,” or “CD” button on the remote in order for the remote to work. Please refer to your User Guide. The volume control will punch through to any Bel Canto unit with variable output regardless of what mode the remote is in. If only the volume works, that means you’ll need to push “PRE,” “DAC,” or “CD” to enter the correct mode for your unit.

Why did Bel Canto design the e.One line in a compact chassis?
The compact chassis reflects the advanced technology that Bel Canto uses in its equipment. We put great performance and features into the e.One designs. Performance benefits arise from the use of strong, massive steel construction that provide non-resonant mechanical advantages and impart a very neutral and musical sound that could only be achieved at much greater cost in a larger chassis.
DAC Questions
Why doesn't my remote work / Why does only the volume work?
Depending on which unit you are controlling, you will need to press either the “PRE,” “DAC,” or “CD” button on the remote in order for the remote to work. Please refer to your User Guide. The volume control will punch through to any Bel Canto unit with variable output regardless of what mode the remote is in. If only the volume works, that means you’ll need to push “PRE,” “DAC,” or “CD” to enter the correct mode for your unit.
Why did you design the DACs with Volume Control?
Great improvement in clarity and dynamics result from removing unneeded analog processing stages. These improvements are realized through the advanced feature set designed into all of Bel Canto DAC products and DAC based integrated products such as the C5i and C7R. Performing signal switching and volume control in the 24 bit digital domain removes layers of signal loss and coloration from the playback path. Full benefit from the low noise/ high dynamic range design of our DAC products is realized when using them direct into the amplifier.
Can the Bel Canto DAC s be used to switch between multiple digital sources that are simultaneously connected to the DAC?
Yes. Our DACs can switch between multiple active digital and analog (DAC2.7 and DAC3.7) sources.
Will a DAC process my cable TV box audio?
The cable box needs to send a standard PCM data stream. The Dolby data stream is encoded and needs the decoding that a surround receiver provides to play back correctly. You would need to see if the cable box has a menu setting for transmitting PCM data not Dolby data. Many DVD players have this setting and modern Cable boxes may have this option.
Are there advantages to hooking up the DAC to a preamp or can the DAC directly drive my amps?
Bel Canto DACs direct are generally better than a DAC through a preamp.
I have the DAC connected directly into my amps and it seems that the volume is set very high at 80+ -- is this normal?
Yes, this may well be normal. If you are using the Balanced the output level is 6dB higher than the RCA outputs. The volume control is designed to run on the high side as opposed to analog volume controls. This insures maximum dynamic range from the system. It is just fine to run the volume control well into the 90 range. Note that at 90 there is still 10dB of volume control left which is more than twice as loud!
Can both the XLR and RCA outputs of the DAC be used at the same time?
Yes. For example, you could connect the XLR outputs to the amplifier inputs and the RCA outputs to the line level inputs of your subwoofer. This works well, just note that the RCA outputs on the DAC are 6 dB lower than the XLR. Your subwoofer level control can compensate for this difference.
Amplifier Questions
What are the advantages of analog switching amplifiers?
The advantages are numerous, beginning with efficiency, allowing very high power delivery using minimal output circuitry. Our modern switching architectures achieve noise and distortion levels that go beyond most traditional audio amplifiers and offer a transparent view back to the source while maintaining iron grip on the loudspeaker.
What size spade connection fits the WBT binding posts?
1/4 inch to 1/2 inch spades should work fine.
What is the best way to bi-amp my speakers with 4 mono amplifiers? / How can I wire the inputs to an eOne amp for biamping?
Because the RCA and XLR inputs are electrically in parallel you can use short jumpers from one amp to the other and drive a single amp with the a cable from the source. For example, if using an XLR cable from the source to the amp you could keep both amps set to XLR and use a short RCA cable from one amp to the other. This works very well. Alternatively if there is an RCA cable from the source to amps then use a short XLR jumper between each amp and set them to RCA input.

This keeps the system with 1 long interconnect from the source and a very short jumper between the bi-amp pair of amps.

Assuming that you are using the Balanced XLR interconnect from the Preamp to the Amp you can use a very short RCA link from the driven channel to the other channel on the same Amp chassis. Keep both inputs set to XLR. The RCA-RCA connection then functions as a pass-through link since the +/- of the XLR is connected directly to the +/gnd of the RCA jack on each channel. Just be sure to leave BOTH XLR/RCA buttons the amp must be set to XLR. We have done this and it works well.

Can I use e.One amplifiers with my tube preamp?
Yes. However, we have occasionally seen problems with tube preamps that have marginal HF stability. This can cause oscillation and noise intermodulating into the audio band. This is most likely a problem with tube preamps that have high gain and are built using hand wiring versus a PC board. Excessive wiring inductance can cause the preamp to be unstable at RF frequencies. The preamp needs to be able to drive 100Kohm loads which should not be a problem in general.
Is it possible to use the e.One amps with electrostatic loudspeakers?
Yes. We have used them with numerous types of electrostatic loudspeakers. Maximum purely capacitive load is around 0.3 uF. If there is some series inductance or resistance in the load then there will be no problem.
Would there be any sonic advantage in going with an interconnect to pre-amp with RCA to XLR vs RCA to RCA?
If the Preamp is RCA out then just use the RCA in on the amp. The signal path is identical for either RCA or XLR inputs on the amplifiers.
Can I power my e.One amplifier with an Un-interruptible power supply?
Approach this option with care as the amplifiers draw dynamic current from the supply. I would recommend using the largest supply that you can get, with high transient current capability, and try the supply before committing to purchase. The amplifiers often sound best straight from the wall or through a passive power device. Power dissipation is low on the amps at idle, around 10W each, and transient current draw can be high, many power regeneration devices will limit peak current draw and this will cause softening of dynamics and clarity.
Can both the XLR and RCA inputs on the e.One amps be connected to a source at the same time?
No. These are electrically in parallel and would short the two source outputs together. You will either need to run through a passive switch box or run, for example, the front channels of your surround processor through inputs on your main preamp. These inputs should be set to unity gain and when the processor is selected the volume will be controlled from it.
Sources/Computer Audio
Why doesn't my remote work / Why does only the volume work?
Depending on which unit you are controlling, you will need to press either the “PRE,” “DAC,” or “CD” button on the remote in order for the remote to work. Please refer to your User Guide. The volume control will punch through to any Bel Canto unit with variable output regardless of what mode the remote is in. If only the volume works, that means you’ll need to push “PRE,” “DAC,” or “CD” to enter the correct mode for your unit.
Are you going to have a transport only version of the CD2?
The CD2 is first and foremost a CD transport. We have no plans to produce a version of the CD2 without the analog section. If you need a lower cost transport, we recommend the CD3t.
How do I ensure the best audio playback from my computer?
The best sound quality from the computer comes from using one of our Asynchronous USB links: mLink, uLink or REFLink. These ensure the lowest possible noise on the digital signal that feeds your DAC. You will also want to use either JRiver on the PC or Audirvana, Pure Music or Amarra on the Mac for best sound quality.
How do I use the new Asynchronous Links with my computer?
For a MAC based system using Audirvana, Pure Music or Amarra you will want to select the Bel Canto uLink as your playback default. You may also need to insure that this option is selected within the Midi Audio window and insure that volume is set to maximum in the Midi application.

A PC based system with JRiver will require downloading the Windows Driver, following the installation instructions bundled in the .ZIP file, and then choosing the Bel Canto uLink as default in the Sound application and/or within JRiver.

Do any the USB Links up-sample? What is the best playback setting for my CD files, 24/44.1?
Our USB Links do NOT do any up-sampling but the new Asynchronous mLink, uLink and REFLink all re-clock the digital outputs with low and ultra-low phase-noise clocks. This brings an organic quality to digital audio playback that is critical to hearing the most from all of your digital music files. Leave the up-sampling to your DAC.
Are you going to put the new 24/192 links internal on the e.One line and what are the advantages having external units?
We plan to keep this function external as there are several advantages to leaving the USB interface in a separate box, including better isolation from computer-born noise and the critical audio components, the ability to keep the computer physically isolated from the audio system. Our comprehensive range of Asynchronous USB Links ensure that the best system solution is available at reasonable cost.
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