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Old 16th October 2011, 04:21 PM   #1
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Default Tubelab SE, What Volume Pot/s?

Hi all, Did some searching around and came up a bit empty handed so I figured I'd ask the experts.

OK So I'm building a Tubelab SE, 300B and I want to have one of two scenarios for the volume pot/s.

1. A left/right balance control and a volume control.

2. Two volume controls (one for left, one for right).

I'm also open to installing a remote operated volume if it's feasible.

The reason why I want this is that I have a pretty dominant left ear and a little extra adjustment really helps me a lot.

I'm also looking for the best pots I can reasonably obtain.

Thanks,

Pete
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Old 16th October 2011, 05:17 PM   #2
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Default here's one solution....

John Broskie (Tube CAD Journal) sells some cost effective and very interesting stepped attenuators that also allow balance control....They are somewhat unconventional but you get a stepped attenuator and balance adjustment for cheap, all in one package.

Attenuators and Signal Selecters

http://glass-ware.stores.yahoo.net/netcjstat.html

If you are interested in stepped attenuators, search for goldpoint and dact. Then there are really pricey ones like Shallco. Michael Percy audio sells these, and maybe a few others.

Last edited by boywonder; 16th October 2011 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 16th October 2011, 05:40 PM   #3
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Those Broskie attenuators are interesting- thanks for the link, BoyWonder.
The most interesting aspect for me is why people would find these appealing or useful- do many people want coarse/fine volume controls, or three or four or more volume controls to control two channels of audio? Obviously I need some 'edumucation' here, as there must be a market for these products.
Give me one volume control (with perhaps an added balance) any day. It's a pity that nobody is making ganged L-R volume controls that have a friction clutch in 50k or 100k sizes for tube amps. Those controls which are on some 'vintage' SS amps are excellent.

I didn't see any balance controls among the Broskie offerings, BTW.

And, the Broskie devices are kits, which may not be a problem for most of us.
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Old 16th October 2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictoriaGuy View Post
T

I didn't see any balance controls among the Broskie offerings, BTW.

And, the Broskie devices are kits, which may not be a problem for most of us.
The Broskie boards/kits are volume controls & balance controls as a unit....albeit a bit unconventional........as a bonus, they are stepped attenuators as well (no pots).
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Old 16th October 2011, 11:44 PM   #5
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All a matter of definition, I guess.
For me, a balance control is a single knob marked L & R - not two/3/4/6 volume controls.
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Old 16th October 2011, 11:54 PM   #6
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I have used the Alps RK27 in one SSE and I have a Goldpoint in the other. The Goldpoint is very nice and the quality is top notch but I think my money could have been invested better else where.
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Old 17th October 2011, 02:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nic6paul View Post
I have used the Alps RK27 in one SSE and I have a Goldpoint in the other. The Goldpoint is very nice and the quality is top notch but I think my money could have been invested better else where.
The Goldpoints are a bit pricey.....There are also lots of budget stepped attenuators on Ebay from China/Hong Kong.......although the OP is looking for "the best pots he can reasonably obtain"
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Old 17th October 2011, 05:02 PM   #8
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Hi all...

Thanks for the replies.

Boy Wonder...
I've used the Broskie attenuators before in a Glassware preamp. They are very high quality and the kit is very nicely organized. I've thought about using one in this amp but they're a bit large for the enclosure that I'm considering.

VictoriaGuy...
IMO, The reason why Broskie went with a series - ladder configuration is that all stepped attenuators suffer from the same limitation. They just don't have enough steps. With his design you have a master volume with 6 steps and a left and right with 6 steps. So for each step of the master you have 6 in between steps of the left and right. In total you end up with 36 steps for both the left and right channels. In theory it offers a lot of adjustment but in practice it's somewhat of a PITA.

I'm thinking of going this route... ESP - A Better Volume Control I'm wondering if anyone has tried something like this.
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Old 17th October 2011, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictoriaGuy View Post
All a matter of definition, I guess.
For me, a balance control is a single knob marked L & R - not two/3/4/6 volume controls.
Agreed.

I'd like to have one balance knob and one volume knob.

So the Alps pots are the best value for standard carbon pots?
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Old 17th October 2011, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneLiterPeter View Post
IMO, The reason why Broskie went with a series - ladder configuration is that all stepped attenuators suffer from the same limitation. They just don't have enough steps. With his design you have a master volume with 6 steps and a left and right with 6 steps. So for each step of the master you have 6 in between steps of the left and right. In total you end up with 36 steps for both the left and right channels. In theory it offers a lot of adjustment but in practice it's somewhat of a PITA.
36 steps not enough?
24 steps with the good quality Elma switch is plenty enough when your socalled "gain structure" is right.
When you control volume between 8 and 10 o'clock with the pot (difference between soft and loud), yes you might be short of steps but in that case you should question gain structure of your set up.
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