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Transparent DAW Monitoring Volume control
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Arksun
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#1
8th April 2008
Old 8th April 2008
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Transparent DAW Monitoring Volume control

Hello,

I'm looking for suggestions for, well, basically just a volume knob to go between my soundcard and monitors.

Not after frills (talkback, mono, multiple outs etc), whats paramount is that its as transparent as possible, as if I was plugging the monitors directly to the soundcards output.

Preferably not too expensive.

The reason why I'm not keen on going direct from soundcard is because last night I actually fried my monitors doing just that :( , my soundcard went bezerk and sent a massive DC offset style signal to my Dynaudios. It was soo intense my left ear still hurts like crazy 24 hours later.

Off to the repair shop tomorrow, really dont want to repeat it in future, but at the same time don't want to degrade the soundpath too much by putting in the safety net of a volume control in between (I read some reports on Mackie's Big Knob that it coloured the sound a little too much).

Suggestions please
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8th April 2008
Old 8th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arksun View Post
Hello,

I'm looking for suggestions for, well, basically just a volume knob to go between my soundcard and monitors.

Not after frills (talkback, mono, multiple outs etc), whats paramount is that its as transparent as possible, as if I was plugging the monitors directly to the soundcards output.

Preferably not too expensive.

The reason why I'm not keen on going direct from soundcard is because last night I actually fried my monitors doing just that :( , my soundcard went bezerk and sent a massive DC offset style signal to my Dynaudios. It was soo intense my left ear still hurts like crazy 24 hours later.

Off to the repair shop tomorrow, really dont want to repeat it in future, but at the same time don't want to degrade the soundpath too much by putting in the safety net of a volume control in between (I read some reports on Mackie's Big Knob that it coloured the sound a little too much).

Suggestions please

SM Pro audio do some cheap passive volume controllers that do not change the sound
#3
8th April 2008
Old 8th April 2008
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Coleman Audio M3PH MK2 thumbsup

Coleman Products feature the least amount of electronics in the signal path.
The Passive M3PH MK2 would be the direction I would point you in,

Check em out here,
Welcome to colemanaudio.com
#4
8th April 2008
Old 8th April 2008
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NHT - Now Hear This ®


I have a few and they are excellent....nothing more than a quality volume pot....VERY reasonable price...
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8th April 2008
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I just replaced my big knob with a ( passive ) SM M-patch2, definitely cleaner sounding, plus it has reasonable switching / i/o capabilities
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8th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duckoff View Post
I just replaced my big knob with a ( passive ) SM M-patch2, definitely cleaner sounding, plus it has reasonable switching / i/o capabilities

This looks very interesting indeed!. Very cheap too, seems to have some good reviews on its transparency.

Hmm actually so does that NHT PVC Pro too, nothing but a potentiometer based volume knob, perfect.

I wonder which one would sound better...
#7
8th April 2008
Old 8th April 2008
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SPL Volume 2.

It's the good shit, lollipop.

War
Arksun
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8th April 2008
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Hmmm, having a very hard time finding anyone selling either the SM Pro M-Patch 2 or NHT PVC Pro in the UK. Does anyone know any stores in the UK that sells either?

*goes to check out the SPL....*
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8th April 2008
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the SPL products are fantastic....FANTASTIC.....but expensive...

you could always build this yourself....buy a good stepped attenuator (vishay is very nice)...buy some connectors (neutrik combo plugs are great, but hard to work with)....buy a pre punched box for the parts to go in and throw in a little solder, a little audio cable....put it all in the blender on "liquefy" and you will have the cleanest most silent volume control on earth....
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8th April 2008
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Quote:
SM Pro M-Patch 2
i think i got mine from millenium ( music / audio ? )

the real bad-boys of volume control are transformer based models - they're not widely available yet but are supposedly awesome & remove the impedance issues that other passive methods create

i think on a budget a passive attenuator is always gonna sound better
Arksun
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8th April 2008
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SM Pro seems like the way to go, Thomann in Germany have it in stock and the delivery cost to UK is very reasonable.

So now its just a question of cable impedance, Most of the cables I have are balanced Van Damme microphone type ones, wonder if they'll be suitable.
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8th April 2008
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what is the concern about impedance??
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9th April 2008
Old 9th April 2008
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I have a Goldpoint SA2X - http://www.goldpt.com/ - Expensive but works great. I've had it for about 3 years in my dusty L.A. studio (Los Angeles is a very dusty town) and absolutely no scratchy-ness.
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9th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoizyNinja View Post
I have a Goldpoint SA2X - http://www.goldpt.com/ - Expensive but works great. I've had it for about 3 years in my dusty L.A. studio (Los Angeles is a very dusty town) and absolutely no scratchy-ness.


WOW....I didn't start this thread, but I have to say thanks for this info...I will try one of these ASAP....very similar to the quality standards of the stepped attenuator in the SSL console "mains" volume pot (which is now discontinued and or horribly expensive)....THANK YOU
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SPL Volume 2 is about as pure as it gets. I would call the mid $400's expensive though. If this was an 'audiophile' instead of a 'pro' piece it probably would be triple for the same damn thing.
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9th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred View Post
SPL Volume 2 is about as pure as it gets. I would call the mid $400's expensive though. If this was an 'audiophile' instead of a 'pro' piece it probably would be triple for the same damn thing.


it would probably be more than triple....but then again it would be made of solid gold and hover on your desk using rare earth magnets....


on the other hand audiophiles are suckers for constant upgrading so I usually go in and buy their EXCELLENT gear when they get tired of it for pennies on the dollar....I pay less for my fancy cables than most retail customers do for a decent "studio" cable....
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9th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari-M. View Post
it would probably be more than triple....but then again it would be made of solid gold and hover on your desk using rare earth magnets....

The solid gold rare magnet version is 200x's more.


















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9th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari-M. View Post
it would probably be more than triple....but then again it would be made of solid gold and hover on your desk using rare earth magnets....


on the other hand audiophiles are suckers for constant upgrading so I usually go in and buy their EXCELLENT gear when they get tired of it for pennies on the dollar....I pay less for my fancy cables than most retail customers do for a decent "studio" cable....
Where do you find this used audiophile stuff?
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9th April 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoizyNinja View Post
Where do you find this used audiophile stuff?
a good friend of mine owns the local "BIG DEAL" hi-fi shop...(and no he's not the friend that told me to stay away from GS)....I bought a used set of Mark Levinson monoblocks from him (they were $30,000 new) for $2500....thats around the price of a new bryston 4b (give or take)....WOW (I am not so crazy after all)
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9th April 2008
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Quote:
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The solid gold rare magnet version is 200x's more.
I bought one of those from a guy who claimed it gave him liver disease. Funny thing is he was drunk when I went to pick it up....
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