Passive Volume Control for DACs/Sources

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by Madaboutaudio, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. rlow

    rlow A happy woofer

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    I was reading some guy’s forum post on another site the other day, and wasn’t sure whether his opinion could be trusted, so I checked his profile and noticed a link to a gallery of his system. First pic was a fairly nice, neat organized looking home system - Primaluna integrated, generic nice looking tower speakers, etc.

    Next pic was the back of his system, including crazy thick white garden hose speaker cables, complete with speaker cable risers. I threw up in my mouth a bit. The rest of the cabling looked similar. The guy has probably spent as much on what is connecting his system, as what’s actually making the sound.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
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  2. bilboda

    bilboda Almost "Made"

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    Picked up a nice dual mono Khozmo Akustic from beemerphile in the fs forum.
    Clear Step from the SYS and my chifi passives.

    JBL LS3xx have 10kohm impedance though and I thought I could do better so I did.

    Took a chance on a 90's line stage with 3db gain sold as the Harmonic Recovery System Model 2 by SCE.
    Made at time when the internet was still young, there wasn't a lot of info but what there was , was pretty good.
    Very nice build, so I bought it, opened it up very clean, looks like new and installed it .
    100kohm input, 300 ohm output, IIRC, it sits between the Akustik and the JBL's and their 9 ft cables

    And it sounds great, across the board clearer, drum hits and mishits are more apparent, notes last longer, cleaner base.
    Likely a lot to do with better matching. Easier than building a Pass diy B1, I think any passive pre amps would benefit.

    System

    [​IMG]

    from the web
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. MrTeaRex

    MrTeaRex His head's not fat, he's my brother!

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  4. wormcycle

    wormcycle Friend

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    My Goldpoint SA1X arrived two days ago to replace BHA-1 as a preamp to Bryston 4B SST.
    I have never been satisfied with Bryston BHA-1 as a preamp. It is a good HA, very good with HEKv2, but the preamp output was just too high, I could only use like 15% of the pot, could not get the center stereo image exactly right. And harsh treble on the top of it.

    I tried Palmer Monicon and Big Knob in the same setup with Bryston stack: BDP-2, BDA-2 and 4BSST
    Big Knob is good, input and output switching is flawless but I still heard some noise in my speakers (Totem Hawks 6 Ohm) that was not present with BHA-1, and I was still not satisfied with the center image and instrument separation.

    In my new setup a custom four feet XLR Y Mogami cable (Take Fife Audio) connects BDA-2 balanced out to BHA-1 and SA1X.
    Plying Nora Jones, Little Room track the vocals were coming right from the center, and instrument separation was better than with BHA-1.
    So far I spent maybe 6-7 hours listening and treble is still prominent but not harsh, improved microdynamics is very noticeable.

    I really like the results. The Y cable on the DAC input does not seem to make any audible difference.

    Still Big Knob works great as an audio input selector next to my TV, and Monicon is more than enough to control LSR305.
    But with the Bryston stack SA1X is clearly better.

    Thanks to @atomicbob for SA1X and SA2X measurements, combined with this thread it was very interesting reading.
     

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