In-line attenuation - necessary?

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
2
10,545
Hi folks,

Currently I’m using the combination of a Marantz CD63KI with a Pioneer A400, granted both far from stock but a lovely sounding setup.

The only issue, which is surprising given the popularity of this combination, is the volume control. The control on the amp goes up to 10, and the system is too loud to comfortably listen to before you get to 1.

I just wondered if there could be anything I’m possibly doing wrong to cause it, otherwise does anyone have any recommendations of inline attenuators to use? Or do they degrade the signal and I should just live with it?

Thanks!
 
Which sockets have you got the CP player plugged in to?
I had a similar combo many years ago and it wasn't that loud.
If you still find it necessary get a pair of Rothwell attenuators as they are the best around.
 
D

Deleted member 108165

Guest
That's what I was thinking. There is nothing especially high about the output of the CD player.
No but there might be something very low about the amp CD input, such as very low sensitivity.
 
D

Deleted member 108165

Guest
I would second Al's recommendation for the Rothwells as I've used them for years and they are completely transparent. I've tried other brands but Rothwell are the best they do not affect the signal.

Otherwise just live with it.
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
2
10,545
Thanks for the replies guys - the CD player definitely isn't plugged into the phono input as I've got my turntable plugged into that! I've tried it with the other inputs and it appears to be the same story, which you'd expect as they're all the same input sensitivity. I wonder if it's the speakers (Mordaunt-Short Pageant II)

I've had the kit about 10 years and just put up with it until now. All of the kit is modified to some degree but it was exactly the same before it was.

The CDP is plugged into CD and I have my DAC plugged into Line - the only other options are the tuner and tape inputs which I don't use

Thanks for the recommendation of the Rothwells - I'm not sure whether to expect an improvement in sound quality but the main thing is making the volume less annoyingly twitchy so they sound like they'll fit the bill :)
 
Just a few questions. Does the amp have same volume issues when you use the turntable?
Is whatever you play through the dac loud?
I very much doubt it's the speakers.
Also are both speakers loud? Just asked because, if I remember correctly, your volume control is split so you can adjust balance left and right.
If yes to all buy a couple of pairs of those Rothwell attenuators, the 10dB ones will do and Amazon have them, or one pair and swap them between whatever device you want to use. Not cheap but will cure your issues and you should have a great system
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
2
10,545
Just a few questions. Does the amp have same volume issues when you use the turntable?
Is whatever you play through the dac loud?
I very much doubt it's the speakers.
Also are both speakers loud? Just asked because, if I remember correctly, your volume control is split so you can adjust balance left and right.
If yes to all buy a couple of pairs of those Rothwell attenuators, the 10dB ones will do and Amazon have them, or one pair and swap them between whatever device you want to use. Not cheap but will cure your issues and you should have a great system
Fair enough - I do get the same results with the DAC, turntable and the other sources too so I assume it must be something to do with the amp then.

Yes to all the rest of your questions too - the balance is set bang in the middle so looks like a couple of sets of Rothwells it is. It sounds superb minus that minor annoyance so would be £40 or so well spent for me. Amazing what some cheap older gear can do with a few modifications. The other option I was considering was something like the Tisbury Audio passive preamp and bypassing the source selector in the amp which is thought to further improve detail.

Thanks for the replies!
 
D

Deleted member 108165

Guest
Thanks for the recommendation of the Rothwells - I'm not sure whether to expect an improvement in sound quality but the main thing is making the volume less annoyingly twitchy so they sound like they'll fit the bill :)
There will be no improvement in sound but there will definitely be an improvement regarding a larger usable sweep on the volume dial. Rothwell's aren't cheap but they are the best.
 

12th Monkey

Moderator
Aug 31, 2015
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I'm wondering about getting a pair - my volume excursions seldom get above half way. The minimum volume adjustment by remote is slightly too great (I often end up going from slightly too quiet to slightly too loud), and I am wondering whether reducing input level and using a greater sweep of volume might mitigate this to some extent.
 
D

Deleted member 188516

Guest
russ andrews has some interesting info on his site regarding his cd interconnects / attenuation.
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
2
10,545
Main thing I’m hoping to gain from them is greater control over the volume so hopefully yes should work with the remote too.

I’d go to RA if I fancied spending over £100 on a pair instead of the Rothwells at £38 :oops: I seem to have had some of their stuff fall into my lap which works fine but never had the pleasure of dealing with their customer service

They do have a nice chart for it though!
 
D

Deleted member 188516

Guest
go for the rothwells - they will perform the same i have no doubt.

the russ andrews attenuation chart will give you a guide to what level you need and, as stated, its free information !

would be interesting to see if you gain any of the sound quality performance increases russ andrews claims however with the use of attenuation...
 

britain4

Well-known member
Sep 25, 2013
40
2
10,545
I am sure they will allow you to use a greater range on your volume control without any detrimental effect.
I still have a pair stuffed away in a drawer somewhere that I had to use on a previous set-up.
That's the idea, it's a pure faff trying to adjust the volume on there at the moment so hopeful it will improve the experience.

may i ask what level of attenuation have you chose ?
I went with -15dB for mine - the RA chart comes out at -16dB. Currently listening at a comfortable level at just under 0.5 out of 10 on the dial so I hope it'll be enough!
 

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