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Stepped attenuators (resistor ladders) are FAR more precise than any type of smooth pot, including Alps. You don't get "infinite" volume settings with stepped attenuators, but that's actually part of the problem with smooth pots especially when used in their lower range. Channel to channel separation and level matching is near impossible up to a certain threshold. It's like a faucet with a single knob. Try to make the water trickle at a consistent warm temperature and rate ; Really can't be done. But open the valve up a bit to allow water to flow more freely and voila!, consistent temperature and rate. So, if you have ideal gain in your setup, a variable pot can work great...if you can "open up" the pot beyond the threshold where channel separation and volume balance can be trouble.Stepped resistors provide fixed resistance at each setting for both channels separately. This is much more controlled and precise (especially when high quality resistors are used). This is where these types of pots can get pricey. But, you don't have to deal with quite the variables that smooth pots have.
Well, OK - I won't get the OL Switcher then!
I have no audible imbalance with mine, at any level. It simply sounds better than my preamp (with the stepped attenuator).
Well, won't a passive with a stepped pot be better still?
Not necessarily. Control range is limited, depending on the gain structure of your system you might not have much range left at all. Also, the switches tend to get clicky, I've had a couple do that (one was a DACT).
I've been happy with my Adcom GFP 750 for many years, partly because it has a switchable active/passive switch. I always run on passive, but it is interesting to be able to switch back and forth to sample quickly the degradation the active mode incurs.Now I am intrigued by the gains possible with LDR type of preamp, so I googled it and came up with this kit device from Australia:https://stereocoffee.wixsite.com/ldrpreamp/the-ldr-kit-detailsI am impressed with the designer Chris Daly's apparent honesty, and the price seems reasonable at $240 Australian or $169 USD.Is this old news?
Maybe it curbs a little fatigue for him by smearing slightly?
ConclusionI considered not publishing these results as I generally avoid speaking negatively about my competitors. However, I have received quite a few questions about LDR based volume controls and rather than having to repeat myself, I would rather point people to this page so they can draw their own conclusions from the data.I approached the measurements of the Tortuga Audio LDR3 with an open mind. I did my absolute best to make the LDR3 shine and I was more than willing to have my skepticism of LDR based volume controls proven wrong. Fortunately measurements tell the truth and the measurements of the LDR3 are not impressive.
I am not trying to trash anything. There is nothing unusual about people choosing gear that offsets some attribute. People buy phase destroying stuff all day long for tens to hundreds of thousands, because they like it.You also have no idea what I have at home. And I couldn’t care less what you think about an amp you’ve probably never heard. For what it costs to build it is overly competitive - there are hundreds of them out there.
And you have never heard these new amps that Rex and I now own. There are also others here that owns better amps. But I am sure you believe yours are the best like all amp designers do.You said you would send me one of your amps to try long time ago, but never did.Back to the original thread of Nobound and the value it is.
I have no idea what amps you are using. And while I think my 7297 amp is great, it’s just a very well done chipamp (a unique chip). It’s still relatively small potatoes compared to our discrete stuff that costs a fortune, and still behind the next DIY amps. All of it is up for subjective review that will vary. The only thing weird here is that you decided to get personal. I had wanted to send you the demo but it just didn’t work out that way, and then it evolved some past being able to ship.
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