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Attenuator between pre- and power amplifier?, Moved from General Audio
AudioKitten
post Apr 11 2012, 06:19
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My receiver sounds beautiful but has far too much gain for my relatively efficient speakers. This causes me to listen to all of my music within the first 10-15% of the volume pot (20% if I'm blasting it). Because my potentiometer has rather apparent channel balance problems below 5% that don't fully go away until 10% or so I'm considering some way of lowering the amplifier's gain.

My question is this: Is there any real pitfalls to adding an attenuator between the preamp out and poweramp input in my receiver? I'm thinking anywhere -15dB up to -20dB fixed. My other options are to perform surgery and maybe replace a resistor or two or possibly replace the pot for one that has better tracking. Replacing the pot was my first plan but the replacement pots for my amplifier cost 70 bucks a piece and there's no guarantee the replacement will track appreciably better. My understanding is that at <5% pretty much all pots have tracking problems.

So... should I go ahead and add a fixed level attenuator between my pre- and power- stages or should I refrain and what are the problems that I should be looking out for?

Thanks!
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pdq
post Apr 11 2012, 20:00
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That sounds like the pots have one or more taps, which is commonly used to achieve non-linear gain with rotation. Given your description of the imbalance at low volumes, I suspect there is either a bad component or a bad connection related to this function. Without a schematic I am only guessing, but if you can find and fix this problem then you probably won't need the attenuator.

By any chance does your amplifier have what is known as a "loudness switch"?

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Posts in this topic
- AudioKitten   Attenuator between pre- and power amplifier?   Apr 11 2012, 06:19
- - woody_woodward   Friend, if you can solve your problem with a coupl...   Apr 11 2012, 08:14
|- - AudioKitten   QUOTE (woody_woodward @ Apr 11 2012, 00:1...   Apr 11 2012, 09:56
|- - stephan_g   QUOTE (woody_woodward @ Apr 11 2012, 08:1...   Apr 11 2012, 17:21
- - Glenn Gundlach   Well an attenuator is certainly an inexpensive exp...   Apr 11 2012, 08:35
|- - AudioKitten   I don't quite understand. I was under the impr...   Apr 11 2012, 09:46
|- - soulsearchingsun   QUOTE (AudioKitten @ Apr 11 2012, 09:46) ...   Apr 11 2012, 13:35
|- - Glenn Gundlach   QUOTE (AudioKitten @ Apr 11 2012, 00:46) ...   Apr 11 2012, 20:56
- - DVDdoug   Parts Express has these attenuators in 1, 3, and 6...   Apr 11 2012, 19:24
|- - AudioKitten   QUOTE (DVDdoug @ Apr 11 2012, 11:24) Part...   Apr 11 2012, 20:08
- - pdq   If you don't mind minor modification to your a...   Apr 11 2012, 19:35
|- - AudioKitten   Volume control dependent input impedance seems lik...   Apr 11 2012, 19:49
- - pdq   That sounds like the pots have one or more taps, w...   Apr 11 2012, 20:00
|- - AudioKitten   QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 11 2012, 12:00) That sou...   Apr 11 2012, 20:11
- - pdq   Are the channels balanced at low volume with/witho...   Apr 11 2012, 20:36
|- - AudioKitten   QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 11 2012, 12:36) Are the ...   Apr 11 2012, 21:07
- - pdq   Well, the simplest fix would be if one switch cont...   Apr 11 2012, 21:19
- - AudioKitten   QUOTE (pdq @ Apr 11 2012, 13:19) Well, th...   Apr 11 2012, 21:28


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