Attenuators - to CDP or between pre-amp & power amp?


New member
Aug 10, 2019
Visit site

Recently been upgrading my system to the following: -

Monitor Audio rx6 speakers

NAD 356bee amp (with copperline alpha mains lead)

Marantz cd6004 CDP (with Russ Andrews Powerkord Standard)

Chord Cobra plus 0.5m interconnect

Chord Rumour 2 speaker cable

I am very pleased with the setup, however I need to tame the stupidly over-reactive volume on my NAD amp! Low level listening is difficult and at very low volumes, there is a slight volume bias to the left channel, which clears up with more volume. However for reference, 9pm on the amp is pretty loud!! My previous and trusty NAD C340 amp seemingly had a better volume control!

Therefore I have just ordered some 'Goldenjacks' attenuators on Ebay (-6dB to start with, I know -6dB is low) to hopefully help with the volume issue.

I have also just bought some s/h Russ Andrews 'timbre' jumper leads on ebay to replace the pre-power jumpers on the back of my Nad amp.

I will of course do some experimenting, but would I be better with the attenuators between CDP and amp or connected between the pre and power section of my integrated amp? I only have the CDP connected to my amp (I regularly use an ipod which is connected digitally to the CDP).

I've heard they are usually better between the pre and power amp, rather than the CDP?

Anyone have any experience please?

Thanks very much,



New member
Jun 20, 2008
Visit site
Hi. Although I have no experience of pre- power combos Rothwell's recommendation here is to connect them to the power amp.

My thoughts are that 6db will not be enough attenuation if your volume control is as wild as you suggest, although hopefully it may be enough to address your channel imbalance issues (obviously that will be shown when you receive them).
If the erratic volume problem is on the amp as you say you would be better off placing the attenuators where sizzers suggests. You do not really want to attenuate the signal from the CDP.However, that doesn't stop you experimenting. Try it both ways and see if there is a difference.


New member
Jan 15, 2009
Visit site
I would have thought that the greatest effect would be had by placing them on the CDP output, as that is fixed (probably around 2V). The output from the pre with the volume control down is likely to be much lower so the attenuation will have less overall effect.

When you've done you're testing I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the "inky black noise floor" apparently obtained when connected between pre & power...

Edit - Having engaged my brain then the overall effect on volume control should be the same regardless of where they're placed!


New member
Oct 8, 2010
Visit site
I've put Rothwell attenuators (-10dB) on my power amps (rather than pre) and they have worked very well.

Rothwell consider that the placement (on pre or on power) does have differing effects on sound. Check their website for the full explanation.

As I have headphones coming out of the pre, the attenuators do not affect this volume which was always lower volume, which is convenient.


We sell the Rothwell attenuators, they really do work well.


Latest posts