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Old 27th November 2012, 11:36 PM   #1
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Default best balanced volume control solution ?

Hello all,

Some of you can maybe help me to choose the best sounding solution to my balanced volume control problem?

I have a nice DAC board with balanced XLR outputs and I just bough a pair of professional studio monitors with balanced XLR inputs. That sounds good but I have no output volume control. I would like to add a volume control system at the output of my DAC board (see project.jpg)

- Target : choose the volume ctrl solution that will have the less impact on the sound quality (be the most transparent as possible)

- Constraints : since I live in a flat I usually listen to my music at low volume so I want to keep the best possible performance when volume is low

After searching on the web, here are some potential solutions :
Please help me to choose the best sounding one.

Solution 1: Passive resistance network (see solution1.jpg)
I found this recommended resistance networtk to control the volume using a simple potentiometer, but I am not very confident in its ability to drive correctly the amplifier input load at low levels.

Solution 2: passive resistance network + THAT 1606 balanced line driver (see solution2.jpg)
The THAT 1606 balanced line driver adds an additional stage in the signal path but it is a dedicated balanced driver that should drive correctly the amplifier input load even at low level.

Solution 3: back to unbalanced (see solution3.jpg)
Is it really a good a solution to go back unbalanced??? I am not confident in it.

Solution 4
: digital volume control before DA conversion : doesn't look a good solution since I will not use the full dynamic range of the DAC.

Any other good sounding solutions are welcome
Attached Images
File Type: jpg project.jpg (24.9 KB, 378 views)
File Type: jpg DAC IV bal output.jpg (27.3 KB, 373 views)
File Type: png solution1.png (5.8 KB, 375 views)
File Type: jpg solution2.jpg (32.2 KB, 374 views)
File Type: jpg solution3.jpg (42.9 KB, 373 views)

Last edited by cocojazzsta; 28th November 2012 at 01:14 AM.
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Old 28th November 2012, 12:22 AM   #2
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Does your DAC have enough output to drive the speakers to full volume? How about way more than full volume?

If you haven't tried the above, first re-record something at a minus 40 or 60 dB level so you don't blow them up.
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Old 28th November 2012, 01:00 AM   #3
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Hello,

Yes the DAC ouput can drive the monitor to full power.
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Old 28th November 2012, 11:40 PM   #4
JKoch is offline JKoch  Poland
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Hi

From many months I search good sounding solution of digital potentiometer too. Now I work on optocouplers but I still afraid about influence into sound quality. I consider to implement the THAT2180 (voltage controlled amplifier) or TPL8002-25. Maybe the last IC would be sufficient? I do not know. I checked them. Does anybody use the TPL8002-25 as a digital audio potentiometer and what result obtained?
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Old 29th November 2012, 03:23 AM   #5
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
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I like solution 1...KISS principle

log taper good quality pot

put it in a shielded box...metal can
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Old 29th November 2012, 11:31 PM   #6
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Thank you for your answers,

I am asking myself if I can use solution 1 in front of a B1 buffer or a DCB1 buffer?
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