ALPS RK50 - Is this the best volume pot in the world? - diyAudio
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Old 25th October 2004, 08:31 PM   #1
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Default ALPS RK50 - Is this the best volume pot in the world?

Hi,

I am looking for a stereo volume potentiometer thas is better or as good as stepping attenuators,
and I stumbled over this volume potentiomer from ALPS.

It costs around 1200 USD (in Italy) incl VAT!!!

I am seriously interested in this potentiometer for my next preamplifier design.

Has anyone listened or tried this potentiometer?



Click the image to open in full size.


Regards,
Sigurd Ruschkowski
SWEDEN
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Old 25th October 2004, 08:46 PM   #2
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Think you can buy a pretty good perhaps even better stepped for this kind of money
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Old 25th October 2004, 08:52 PM   #3
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From a quick search it seems like those pots are popular in Italy mostly. For 1200USD one might expect better matching than +/-1 dB


Quote:
RK50 Series. Metal Shaft High Quality 50mm Potentiometer
Suitable for high-end audio applications. Dual or Quad resistive elements. New low-distortion carbon resistive element. Solid brass machined case. Gold plated multiple-contact brushes. Tracking within ±1dB at between -100 and 0dB. Threaded bushing available. Linear and audio tapers available.

Motor-Driven Potentiometers
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Old 26th October 2004, 06:44 AM   #4
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Italians have the best of taste. Yhis pot just looks wonderful. If it sounds as good as it looks it is worth the money.

A stepped stereo pot can be bought for around 150 USD here in Sweden and or Germany or Denmark. Assembled. SMD or ordinary resistors.
What I do not like about stepped pots is all the connections that a stepped pot has.
See this drawing:

Click the image to open in full size.

To compare this with a normal pot:

Click the image to open in full size.


Sigurd
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Old 26th October 2004, 07:52 AM   #5
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Hi Sigurd,

here it is a bit cheaper (~920 US$ including taxes), but you' ll have to wait 14 weeks...

BTW, I' m not connected to this supplier at all, I do not know anything about their reliability, etc.

Cheers,

Bruno
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Old 26th October 2004, 08:08 AM   #6
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Audiokit is a solid-reputation seller, no doubt about it.

Anyway I wouldn't spend so much money for a pot!

Cheers

Andrea
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Old 26th October 2004, 08:27 AM   #7
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Andrea - yes, it is indeed very expensive. My idea is that it is better to spend money on a pot
instead of spending money on things like superexpensive mains cables, special feet absorbers, demagnitizers for CDs, and such things that are not in the signal path of the audio signal.

I have talked to a sales representative today, and I am not at all happy with their way of handling my questions. Rather unpolie and rude in my oppinion.
OK, we are talking 50 pots and not 100 000 pots but still I do not feel good about the way they handle my ideas.
Almost makes me loose interest in this pot....


Sigurd
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Old 26th October 2004, 08:27 AM   #8
OliverD is offline OliverD  Germany
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The Alps RK 50 was used in the Accuphase C-290V preamplifier as I recall. This amplifier has a very good reputation although it was criticized for not providing an RC for volume control.

Somewhere I read that the supply of the pot became unreliable and that Accuphase decided to buy the remaining stock from their supplier for future support of that model. The production of the C-290V was stopped thereafter. Don't know whether that's a myth or not. Anyway, they are not using pots any longer in their preamps.

Edit: Peter, 1dB matching at -100dB is excellent.
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Old 26th October 2004, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by OliverD
Peter, 1dB matching at -100dB is excellent.
But surely it's not excellent at 0dB which is still according to specs.

Paying that amount of money for a pot is a big waste of money, almost like paying $500 for a knob

http://www.referenceaudiomods.com/Me...roduct_Count=2
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Old 26th October 2004, 04:31 PM   #10
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Peter - if this pot sounds better than a 150 USD stepped pot it is worth every dollar.

If you buy a 2000 USD line-in preamp one wants the best pot there is. At least I do.

The comparison to a 500 USD knob is not that good I think, as the know is not in the signal path of the music - the pot is.


Sigurd
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