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Old 23rd January 2013, 10:08 PM   #651
6L6 is offline 6L6  United States
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"Stepped attenuator" and "least clik-clik" are two terms that don't usually apply to one thing.

A stepped attenuator is, by design, going to click at each detent because it has to. It is a switch, not a wiper, and has to find the detent without being in the middle of 2 contacts.

If you want the performance of a stepped attenuator with a smooth dial, you could try the 'joshua tree' from Twisted Pear Audio -- the dial itself is a rotary encoder that drives a relay bank. AMB audio also has something similar.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 10:40 PM   #652
rokoko is offline rokoko  United States
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Thanks for your feedback. I understand that a real potentiometer would be the best; just wanted to understand which one of Goldpoint, DACT, Valab is better in terms of smooth rotation, feeling and clicks (mechanical and sound clicks wise). Just a comparison between them.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 10:51 PM   #653
6L6 is offline 6L6  United States
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None of them will have a smooth rotation. They cannot be smooth, by design.
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Old 24th January 2013, 02:29 AM   #654
rokoko is offline rokoko  United States
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Thanks, I understood. Is anyone else has an experience comparing between those three, which ever is better-more smooth, only from those three?
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Old 24th January 2013, 04:27 AM   #655
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Default Attenuators

I have a Goldpoint in my daily use B1 and it is first rate.
There is no noise when adjusting level.
I have A/B compared it to an Audio Research sp14 and it excels.
I have a ladder type from the hifi collective in the UK that I have not used yet... it is going into a new B1 build but it will a month or so before I get to that.
In the meantime I can tell you from personal experience that you will not be disappointed with Goldpoint.
DB in MN
- 15f @ 11:30pm
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Old 24th January 2013, 07:21 PM   #656
rokoko is offline rokoko  United States
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bassnkeys, thanks for your detailed answer, this kind of information I was looking!
I will be ordering Goldpoint Mini V series.

I was trying to be proactive, was browsing avsforum.com forums and found more valuable info, thought would be interesting to DIY-elfers, provided by Wes from Tisbury Audio (UK):
Quote:
I've tried and tested most attenuators on the market, so I thought I could offer a bit of helpful insight.

All stepped attenuators will have a detended rotation as this is required to ensure the wiper settles correctly on each step. However some are smoother than others.

DACT & Goldpoint: These both use the same Elma switch, so both feel the same. The rotation is noticeably stepped, but switching between steps is smooth and effortless. These are both serial types (I'll cover different types and their impedances below).

Dale attenuators: These have a much stiffer rotation. They offer brilliant sound quality, channel matching and price, but the stiffness is a real downer. You can get them in serial, ladder or shunt configuration. I'd only ever recommend ladder for these.

Chinese SMD attenuators: These are available on eBay from gigawork and lasercollection for about $10.
I actually really like these. They have by far the smoothest rotation of all the attenuators. You can feel the steps, but they're very smooth.
They're serial surface mount resistor types, the same as DACT & Goldpt. They sound great and have good channel matching.
Because of the price, there have been concerns on other forums about build quality, but I've not personally had any problems. Plus they're so cheap you can just buy 2 or 3.

Seiden/Shallco: These use a spring loaded ball against a cog to step the rotation, so as you can imagine the rotation goes 'clunk, clunk'. They're very expensive, and the main advantage over DACT/Goldpt is that they can be made in any configuration and with any resistors.

(Wes from Tisbury Audio)

Last edited by rokoko; 24th January 2013 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 1st February 2013, 04:29 PM   #657
lausar is offline lausar  United States
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Default Gain

Just about complete with my B1 build. I have just one input and one output connect for now just to test it out while I'm waiting on some RCA jacks to arrive.

Fired here up and put on a Coltrane CD...sounds great but It's really loud on my PEC 25K linear pot at 10 o'clock. Is this normal? I thought I was going to gain some range.

My system:
Altec spaekers 96dB
Toshiba DVD/CD Player
Charkize2 T-amp
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Old 1st February 2013, 04:49 PM   #658
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Default Normal

The efficiency of your speakers will make the biggest difference in how much signal you'll need.
The good part is that you will probably never come close to needing all the drive from your source components showing that you are in the perfect position to use a buffer rather than another gain stage.
If you had 86db speakers you'd find yourself using a bunch more range on that pot.
I have some low efficiency (85db) speakers as my main system and using a 25k pot low listening levels are around 9 o'clock and serious listening levels show up between 12 o'clock and just past 2 o'clock depending on the recording.

Last edited by bassnkeys; 1st February 2013 at 04:57 PM. Reason: addition
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Old 1st February 2013, 05:33 PM   #659
lausar is offline lausar  United States
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Default Log Taper

Quote:
Originally Posted by bassnkeys View Post
The efficiency of your speakers will make the biggest difference in how much signal you'll need.
The good part is that you will probably never come close to needing all the drive from your source components showing that you are in the perfect position to use a buffer rather than another gain stage.
If you had 86db speakers you'd find yourself using a bunch more range on that pot.
I have some low efficiency (85db) speakers as my main system and using a 25k pot low listening levels are around 9 o'clock and serious listening levels show up between 12 o'clock and just past 2 o'clock depending on the recording.
Just switched in a Log Taper PEC 50K pot. Mo better! 6-2 o'clock range now with nice low-level range too.

I wonder what results Nelson got with his Lowther set-up. That's a high efficiency speaker.
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Old 2nd February 2013, 10:21 PM   #660
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Quote:
I've tried and tested most attenuators on the market, so I thought I could offer a bit of helpful insight.

All stepped attenuators will have a detended rotation as this is required to ensure the wiper settles correctly on each step. However some are smoother than others.

DACT & Goldpoint: These both use the same Elma switch, so both feel the same. The rotation is noticeably stepped, but switching between steps is smooth and effortless. These are both serial types (I'll cover different types and their impedances below).

Dale attenuators: These have a much stiffer rotation. They offer brilliant sound quality, channel matching and price, but the stiffness is a real downer. You can get them in serial, ladder or shunt configuration. I'd only ever recommend ladder for these.

Chinese SMD attenuators: These are available on eBay from gigawork and lasercollection for about $10.
I actually really like these. They have by far the smoothest rotation of all the attenuators. You can feel the steps, but they're very smooth.
They're serial surface mount resistor types, the same as DACT & Goldpt. They sound great and have good channel matching.
Because of the price, there have been concerns on other forums about build quality, but I've not personally had any problems. Plus they're so cheap you can just buy 2 or 3.

Seiden/Shallco: These use a spring loaded ball against a cog to step the rotation, so as you can imagine the rotation goes 'clunk, clunk'. They're very expensive, and the main advantage over DACT/Goldpt is that they can be made in any configuration and with any resistors.

(Wes from Tisbury Audio)
Elma also uses spring loaded ball against the teeth cog, it's just hidden in the front part of the body. Actually the spring might be exchange for softer one making operating easier/smoother. I even once removed it so you pretty much no longer can hear tthe position and it worked perfect with ladder type. The Elma wasn't loose without the ball/spring but still little tight not to move itself.

There is one more thing about the clicks and pops in the speakers while changing the volume. Even if it's make before brake switch it is never perfect but what is important is that ladder type is always much more prone to those clicks becouse unlike the series and shunt it brakes both connection while the series and shunt behave just like the wiper in the pot.
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