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View Full Version : Rothwell atenuator's - a quick fix?



The Vinyl Adventure
25-12-2009, 22:39
Firstly, happy xmas everyone, if you are all like me, no doubt you are currently experiencing advanced mobid obesity, an are slightly tipsy... Happy days!

Anyway, I'm wondering if these might be a tempory fix just purly to give me more control over the volume at lower levels
anyone got any experience of them?

http://www.rothwellaudioproducts.co.uk/html/attenuators.html

DSJR
25-12-2009, 23:04
They're fine for the short term and not too expensive. But I'd try to get the gain reduced rather than padding down what's there in the long term, while checking the output impedance isn't too high. Again, specially configured "L" pad attenuators would probably be ok as long as they matched the circuit properly. the Rothwell is a generalist attenuator so *may* not be perfect for the solution you need...

If the valves are in the audio output stage, it may be possible to source some lower gain alternatives. there are others better qualified on here who could help I'm sure...

Primalsea
25-12-2009, 23:13
I dont know if its correct for me to say this but have a look at these:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/14db-HIFI-Attenuators-Reduce-Harshness-Fatigue_W0QQitemZ300379877484QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH _DefaultDomain_3?hash=item45f009306c

These are the ones I make and sell.

They are good at what they do but they are not a universal fix. If you use a valve pre or integrated or passive pre amp you can end up with problems. They work best with solid state amps where you tend to have an active input stage.

The Vinyl Adventure
25-12-2009, 23:18
It would def be a temporary fix as I said, I'm sure there is a better solution, but this just seems a good idea to tide me over?

The Vinyl Adventure
25-12-2009, 23:25
I dont know if its correct for me to say this but have a look at these:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/14db-HIFI-Attenuators-Reduce-Harshness-Fatigue_W0QQitemZ300379877484QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH _DefaultDomain_3?hash=item45f009306c

These are the ones I make and sell.

They are good at what they do but they are not a universal fix. If you use a valve pre or integrated or passive pre amp you can end up with problems. They work best with solid state amps where you tend to have an active input stage.

cheeper too!
Can I buy some then? Shall I do it through eBay?
Fir 15 I don't mind if there is a better solution just round the corner, as much as anything else it will show hannah that this dac is not a bad idea :)

Primalsea
26-12-2009, 07:39
Hi, Hamish.

I have PM'ed you as I am not sure what the policy is in regards to sales on here.

Paul.

Nigel
26-12-2009, 08:59
I thought they were crap when I tried them in my headphone based system. They simply softened & smeared the sound.

Jonboy
26-12-2009, 10:06
L Pads are available from here Hamish, this is what i used on my stats for the tweeter control
https://www.wilmslow-audio.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=727&osCsid=ec07870efcc7f1c4a1684908ea9acf59

The Grand Wazoo
26-12-2009, 11:00
With pads, it's important to keep a subsequent interconnect short, so if you're using the Rothwell type built into an connector, you should have them on the far end of your interconnect - ie at the pre-amp end - otherwise, you'll likely find severe treble roll-off, which is probably what Nigel exprienced above. I used to use pads between my ARC SP8 & Radford STA15

Spectral Morn
26-12-2009, 11:05
Shaun (Haselsh1) gave me a set of RCA ones which I found helpful to sort a problem I had. However I must be honest and say I have not as of yet done any A/B comparisons to see if there is a loss in quality. I use mine on a very high output tape out on my Bat pre...it prevents overload on the tape deck switching unit I have. This feeds a Revox R to R and a Nakamichi CR5e. Though its less of an issue now as I am running 4m long cables to these so the extra gain on the output is needed now.



Regards D S D L

Jonboy
26-12-2009, 14:02
With pads, it's important to keep a subsequent interconnect short, so if you're using the Rothwell type built into an connector, you should have them on the far end of your interconnect - ie at the pre-amp end - otherwise, you'll likely find severe treble roll-off, which is probably what Nigel exprienced above. I used to use pads between my ARC SP8 & Radford STA15


I'm glad someone knows how to use the pads in this way as i've only used them on speakers, how do you find the Radford Chris, i have always had a hankering for one

The Grand Wazoo
26-12-2009, 15:30
Love it, love it, love it!!!!
It's in need of a little work at the moment, plus it looks like a bag of old spanners, but when it's playing, it's just sublime. One of the few truly great vintage amps.

Jonboy
26-12-2009, 16:36
Love it, love it, love it!!!!
It's in need of a little work at the moment, plus it looks like a bag of old spanners, but when it's playing, it's just sublime. One of the few truly great vintage amps.


Thats what i've heard Chris, if it needs componant work you can drop it into mine when your next down and i can get my man to sort it out for you if you like, he has done one recently but i missed the chance to have a listen, i have also been tempted by the SP8 pre but they don't come up that often, my man is getting me a Audionote Zero pre for me to try they can be tweaked a bit and they are cheap

Ali Tait
26-12-2009, 17:29
I have a Zero dac which I've tweaked a little.Very nice.

Jonboy
26-12-2009, 20:18
I have heard that the Zero range cost to much to make and sell at a profit at the price point it was aimed at but sounded very good as a system,(i very nearly bought one)the mono blocks suffered from over heating becuase of the size of the case work, this can be helped with a pc type fan being fitted to help extract some of the hot air.

I have listened to their OTO intergrated SE a very nice sounding amp only out putting 9 watts but matched with Tannoys it sounds amazing.

I do like their stuff but not their prices:stalks:

DSJR
26-12-2009, 20:23
I'm glad someone knows how to use the pads in this way as i've only used them on speakers, how do you find the Radford Chris, i have always had a hankering for one

I found the STA25 sounded very like a new Naim CB160 :ner:


....Mind you, it had leaky caps after eleven years and was used with the SC2(?) preamp......

I wonder what it would have sounded like re-capped and with a modern valvey preamp?

Primalsea
26-12-2009, 20:52
The thing is with attenuators is that they are passive and you have to consider the output impedance of the source and the input impedance of the receiving equipment as well as cable capacitiance.

The problem with most valve amps is that the volume control is effectively a passive pre amp before the amplifing circuitry. This means that the input impedance tends to change with volume setting. Sticking another passive attenuator infront of a passive attenuator can lead to problems such as that mentioned above.

Its horses for courses as usual.