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Old 14th May 2002, 10:59 AM   #1
Vivek is offline Vivek  India
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Default Pots

What kind of potentiometers are the best for audio use?
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Old 14th May 2002, 11:51 AM   #2
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Hello Vivek,

non at all would be the best . Since this can be a bit problematic you could use some kind of stepped device using resistors. I tried both series and ladder konfigurations and both were a lot better than my standard alps pot. The first I build had 1dB steps wich turned out to be much too fine. Now I use one with 3dB steps wich is allright and gives a usefull attenuation range. I never tried the solid state devices or relais arreys but these could give similar results.

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Old 14th May 2002, 05:17 PM   #3
Vivek is offline Vivek  India
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Hi William,
Thanks for the reply.
I know what you mean. Pots do introduce distortion, but we do not have too many other alternatives, do we?
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Old 14th May 2002, 05:29 PM   #4
Claus is offline Claus  Denmark
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If you want a real potentiometer. Penny and Giles are probely the best and the most expensive. Used in many pro audio applications.

Penny & Giles

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Old 14th May 2002, 05:34 PM   #5
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Smile pots

I use a home made stepped attenuator, it is more transparent than any pot (expensive or inexpensive) it has 2db steps and
covers a 24 db range, (never required more attenuation),
The trick is to initially build it with fairly inexpensive metal film resistors, then when you've had it for some time you will probably have just a few positions that you regularly use, identify the resistor values at these settings and buy some high quality vishay or whatever is flavour of the month and use them to replace the resistors at your preferred settings.
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Old 15th May 2002, 08:42 AM   #6
Vivek is offline Vivek  India
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Hi Jules,
Can you suggest any links for the DIY stepped attenuators? Thanks in advance.
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Old 17th May 2002, 04:29 PM   #7
ergo is offline ergo  Estonia
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Old 17th May 2002, 08:45 PM   #8
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Location: Mountain View, California USA
stepped attenuator and rotary switch links:


companies that make audio pots include:

Vishay Spectrol
Penny and Giles

DIYers typically use Alps or Panasonic for availability reasons. Alps is perhaps the most commonly used high end pot for audio in the world. Noble is very popular with high end equipment makers but is hard to obtain in small quantities. The previously mentioned Penny and Giles is a British company that caters primarily to the pro audio and mixer market. It is rare to see their products elsewhere.

pot shunting links: (I dislike shunting but..)

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Old 18th May 2002, 01:43 AM   #9
paulb is offline paulb  Canada
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Default Alps supplier for DIY?

Know of a North American supplier for Alps that charges reasonable prices and doesn't have huge minimum purchases?
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Old 18th May 2002, 02:45 AM   #10
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Try me. There is Chinese store in my area with good prices for Alps. CAD$20 for blue. Used to have Black Beauty at those prices but its out of stock now.
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