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Passive preamp?

  1. oaklandrkg
    In exchange for receiving only a mild level of abuse from him during my childhood, I agreed I would post this for my dad [​IMG] ...

    The sensor inside his $2,000+ stereo receiver/amp that accepts the remote's signal has died. He is looking for a passive preamp to hook up to his existing receiver/amp so he can control the volume using a remote. He is looking for something that is not expensive, but also something that will not noticeably 'color' his very nice system. Any input or ideas would be appreciated, especially if you believe this is something that doesn't make sense or will work.

    My dad says:
    Any thought??
  2. Uncle Erik Contributor
    That's a toughie. I can't think of one. Passive preamps usually fall into the hairshirt audiophile category, the same one where adherents scorn the use of a remote. That's because you have to have a motor and a power supply inside to turn the attenuator - both big no-nos for the hairshirts.

    It would be possible to DIY or commission a passive preamp like that. The parts are available. I just don't know if anyone does that commercially.
  3. Zebra
    He may want to investigate the Placette products. Although expensive, they are highly regarded by many.
  4. oaklandrkg
    Thanks for the replies guys! When I saw that Uncle Erik replied, I told my dad that he's lucky to have one of the more knowledgeable and honest guys on here respond.

    Well, my dad is in a hard spot with this. The problem may not be with the sensor itself so it can't really be isolated until someone takes it apart and spends some time with it. Add that to the cost of shipping the amp/receiver (which is quite heavy) back and fourth, and it starts getting pretty expensive. It's hard enough for him to make the time to button his pants, so unfortunately a DIY, although a fantastic idea, is just not going to happen. He's talking to a few audio shops in the area, but nothings come out of it yet.

    Placette looks like is has some REALLY nice products, but their cheapest unit that
    will work is $1,000, way over what my dad want's to spend.

    I stumbled on this, a Firestone/Audiophile product:
    MASS Pre Amplifier - Pre Amp
    Although I wouldn't classify them as "hi-end," I've used the Fireye II, Fubar III & PSU and think that for the price, the company makes fantastic products. The Mass Preamp seems to address all of my dad's problems, short of the third input, but he could use a splitter for that. Plus, it's only $217, so that's a steal if it will work. The only hesitation that my dad and I have for the Mass Preamp would be to what degree it would color the sound. Any thoughts on that?

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