I am a little confused, can this system accommodate multiple inputs?
It's a one input unit. So the source would plug into it and then it plugs into your amp(s). This unit is controled via remote control but it's attenuated via fiber optic cable.
Manual is here: http://bentaudio.com/DLFILES/MICROTAP-R1.pdfFrom the Micro Tap Manual:
An Introduction to the MicroTAP Modular Passive Pre-amp
The MicroTAP Modular pre-amplifier is designed to offer features never before available in a passive
pre-amplifier. It is important to note however that NONE of these features adds complexity to the signal path.
Throughout the design of the MicroTAP pre-amp system we focused on maintaining a pure and direct signal
path between your source and your amplifier. Keeping the signal path clean and simple allows us to use only the
finest parts throughout.
This document is intended to describe the hook-up of a basic MicroTAP system – a single source / two
channel stereo system. For more complex system configurations (multi-input and multichannel) please refer to
the TAP Modular Pre-amp Manual.
At the heart of the MicroTAP Modular Passive is the Bent Unit – an attenuator module.
All traditional resistor passive pre-amps struggle with driving downstream cables – keeping the pre-amp
to amp interconnect as short as possible is critical. The shorter this cable is the better the sonic and measured
performance are. Our goal was to solve this problem entirely by placing the attenuator right at each amplifier
input. This can be done with traditional level controls and can work very well – the classic EVS Ultimate
Attenuators are an excellent implementation of this and would be a good option for a one source budget system
where remote control is not needed. The only problem with this placement was that it was not all that
convenient to adjust levels and remote control was not possible. The MicroTAP / Bent Unit system combines the
'correct' placement of the attenuators in an easy to use full function system.
The MicroTAP resistor pre-amp is made up of a MicroTAP system controller and then a pair of
separate attenuator modules. Each Attenuator is located at an amplifier input. This results in a remarkable
volume control device with a very clean short signal path including the following features:
– Very small 1db step size from -60 dB up to +0dB (unity gain)
– 100% passive signal path
– Full remote control of volume, mute, and right/left balance
– Each channel has level trim ability
This document will cover using Bent Units in typical two channel stereo systems. That is by far the
most common setup. Note however that you can include as many Bent Units in your system as you'd like to –
there is no limit. A six channel system for surround sound can be easily constructed using a MicroTAP system
controller and then 6 Bent Units (or 3 Stereo Bent Units). Please see the TAP Modular Pre-amp document for
information on more complex systems.
A few notes about System Connection
Every MicroTAP system includes a System Controller. This is the user interface of the system -
receiving commands (like volume up, mute, etc) and then displaying the current status of the pre-amp. The
System Controller is the 'front panel' of the pre-amp. Since it is entirely separate from your audio system
connections it can be located anywhere in the listening room.
Every MicroTAP system also has 2 Bent Units. This is where the action is. The audio signal path is all
in this box – separate from the MicroTAP System Controller. This separation is made to allow the attenuator
circuits to be placed right at the amplifier inputs. This keeps that all important attenuator to amp cable length
The MicroTAP system controller connects to the Bent Units via fiber optic cables. We use easy to
obtain standard Toslink cables for this connection. This breaks all electrical connections between the System
Controller and the Bent Units.
The fiber optic cable is NOT used as a digital audio cable! Plastic fiber cables are among the worst
options for a digital connection. The MicroTAP uses this cable to send a data packet to the Bent Unit – telling it
what volume to go to, etc. The audio signal is not connected to this cable in any way – in fact the fiber optic
cable can be unplugged while the system is playing music and the music will continue on playing just fine. The
audio signal path is 100% analog and 100% passive.