Optimal volume control range/position

Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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What is considered to be an optimal operating range of the preamp volume control In terms of the best frequency response, distortion, noise?
b/w 10-12 o’clock on the dial?
and what happens from the electrical point of view when it below 9 or above 12?
 

tsaett

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May 20, 2014
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That is entirely impossible to answer in general. It depends on the type of VC, the implementation and of course the preamp model itself. Some use abstract numeric steps, some 1db steps, some 0.1db steps, etc. Dial range in one model is not equal to another.
A good example is the good old Conrad Johnson ACT2, it cuts off frequency response below unity gain (76 on the "dial") but that raises to above 100k above 76. Of course e.g. a TVC would act entirely different electrically speaking and so would a traditional pot.
 
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Maril555

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Jun 27, 2014
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Thank you,
I understand. But lets assume we are talking averages.
Does preamp operate optimally when VC is 40-60% open, vs. 30% or 70%.
BTW, the preamp in question is Shindo Giscours, which is a rather “old Time classic design” if that tells anything
 

treitz3

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I still don't think this question can be answered. It depends on the source and even then? It depends on the album. The optimal operating range would simply be when all of the electronics/components within are at their own individual optimal operating temperature. After that? As mentioned before, I don't think this question can be answered.

Tom
 

tsaett

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May 20, 2014
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I still don't think this question can be answered. It depends on the source and even then? It depends on the album. The optimal operating range would simply be when all of the electronics/components within are at their own individual optimal operating temperature. After that? As mentioned before, I don't think this question can be answered.

Tom
Additionally with certain models you need to take the input impedance of the poweramp into account. Some preamps have varying Z-out with different volume settings, meaning the driving capability varies too. And then comes gain matching and so on, too many variables that lead to no averaged recommendation being sensible.
 

djsina2

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May 31, 2019
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Are you using a Shindo amp with it? Shindo amps have attenuators so you can tune where your pre volume lands in the sweet spot. I think with Shindo you’re shooting for 11 to 1 o’clock?
 

Maril555

Well-Known Member
Jun 27, 2014
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No,
I'm using Lamm ML-2
I'm aware of Shindo amplifiers attenuators.
Which brings me to the following question- how exactly those attenuators work? Do they change an input sensitivity?, or by any other means- like an L-pad?
 

Mikem53

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Oct 1, 2020
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According to Pass, on their documentation, the closer the VC is to unity gain, the more of the original signal you are getting. I am at about 70% volume for normal listening levels in the low 70db range.
 

jfrech

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Sep 3, 2012
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No,
I'm using Lamm ML-2
I'm aware of Shindo amplifiers attenuators.
Which brings me to the following question- how exactly those attenuators work? Do they change an input sensitivity?, or by any other means- like an L-pad?
I agree with the above posters. It depends and is specific the VC used and the preamp. I believe your Lamm is using stepped resistor attenuators, so in each volume control position, it's just a different resistor and your volume control sweet spot is likely any choice you want.
 

Maril555

Well-Known Member
Jun 27, 2014
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I think there is a little bit of misunderstanding here.
My Lamm power amps don’t have input attenuators, and my Shindo Giscours preamp has standard volume pot.
My question was about amplifiers that do have attenuators, like all Shindo power amps for example.
I’m wondering how those work?
 

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