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Old 10th December 2010, 08:41 PM   #1
drjb is offline drjb  Canada
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Default Alps Blue Velvet Replacement

Hi, my tube pre uses a 100k Alps Blue Velvet volume control; I'd like to upgrade it, but don't know what would be considered as such. I want to retain that carbon comp sound, warm, smooth and liquid. The Khozmo stepped attenuator appears to be beautifully made, but the use of dale/vishay metal film resistors is somewhat counter intuitive, goes against the grain, to some extent (don't associate metal film with warm, smooth and liquid).

What would make a good upgrade?

thanks,

John
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Old 10th December 2010, 09:55 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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If your volume control is "sounding warm, smooth, and liquid," it's defective.

A stepped attenuator is far and away the most neutral and reliable path (assuming a good quality switch). If you want to stay in the potentiometer range, the Alps Black Beauty has always worked well for me. I've heard good things about the premium Penny & Giles pots, but no personal experience.
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Old 10th December 2010, 10:00 PM   #3
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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TKD floats my boat.
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Old 10th December 2010, 10:01 PM   #4
tomchr is offline tomchr  United States
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If you want to go the attenuator route, an Elma rotary switch and some good metal film resistors would be hard to beat.

In the electronic control department, the TI PGA2320 works real well.

The Alps pots are about the best you can get. Like SY, I've heard good things about P&G but have no personal experience.

~Tom
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Old 10th December 2010, 10:35 PM   #5
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tomchr is right - Elma's are excellent - used the Goldpoint Mini V for a long time till the Lightspeed attenuator came along ( you can do a search here if you want more info on this )
The Alps Black Beauty is a good step up from the ' Blue ' but is hard to find now.
Try E Bay and type ' stepped attenuator '
The Dale resistor loaded ones are very good and sound great - much cleaner than the Alps Blue - not too expensive either.

Andrew
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Old 10th December 2010, 11:53 PM   #6
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Just for reference, how do the chunky black Nobles compare to the Alps, TKD and stepped attenuator options? I've been getting my Nobles NOS from a seller that has a bunch of old Hafler parts.
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Old 11th December 2010, 12:10 AM   #7
drjb is offline drjb  Canada
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Thank you all for your responses. I see the Black Beauty is still available, but if I'm going to go to the trouble of changing the pot, I'd like to get what is currently thought to be the best or amongst the best; which is? lol

Here's the one that's locally avaiable:

http://www.partsconnexion.com/prod_p...mo_install.pdf

Chris Johnson tells me the Dale/Vishey metal film resistors are only shunt resistors, not in the signal path, only a craddock is. However, at 48 mm deep, it might not fit in my chassis. AndrewGM, is this the one you mean by "Dale resistor loaded ones?"

Dact and Goldpoint seem commonly available. Of all the choices, however, which is the best (a loaded question, sorry)? Is the Lightspeed attenuator only an attenuator because when I checked the site, it seems contained in a chassis???

Any and all help appreciated!

thanks,

John
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Old 11th December 2010, 05:10 AM   #8
Previously: Kuei Yang Wang
 
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by drjb View Post
Hi, my tube pre uses a 100k Alps Blue Velvet volume control; I'd like to upgrade it, but don't know what would be considered as such. I want to retain that carbon comp sound, warm, smooth and liquid.

....

What would make a good upgrade?
Alps Black, if you can find it.

Noble if you can find it.

Build your own attenuator using high quality switches.

If you want to take my own Guru's advise you do not daisychain loads of resistors, he commented once that resulting attenuators make "Hilarious dummy sound". Use a single series resistor and switch the shunt resistor per position.

I find most "electronic" pot's (especially the BB and CS ones) fall into the same "hilarious dummy sound" category.

There are some exceptions, the DS1666 from Dallas as used by ARC is not bad.

Right now I either use the DS1666, Noble or TVC...

Ciao T
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Old 11th December 2010, 05:41 AM   #9
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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but dosen't a TVC have all those coils diasy-chained in series?
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Old 11th December 2010, 08:07 AM   #10
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcx View Post
but dosen't a TVC have all those coils diasy-chained in series?
It does?

I though it had two coils that where only magnetically coupled to each other.

Just shows what I know about transformers I guess...

Ciao T
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