External Volume Control

Alright, right now I'm building my friend a 3 channel gainclone but its a bit interesting.

I'm building it to be used as a power amp with no volume control and only a single input, but I would like to give him the option to use it with a volume control with some distance without going the remote control route. Also, I'm going to make it if he doesn't connect this external volume control it will bypass all of the volume control circuitry.

This seems all well and good, but I don't want to send the audio signal over the semi-long wire for a remote volume control...so I figured two ways to do this....

1- Remote box with a rotary encoder sending signals to a digital pot inside the amp

2 - Remote box with a mechanical pot that varies a regulated voltage and inside the amp the volume in changed by a voltage driven circuit.

What are your opinions of this idea and these implimentations? Note that I do not have access to a microcontroller burner or any low level programming experience.