Stepped Attenuator Tactile Feel
Oct 8, 2009 at 12:30 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 20

les_garten

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I have an Audio-GD C-2C that a member has requested I replace the Vol Control on it. It has a Chinese made stpped attenuator. I don't have any stepped attenuators, but this one feels pretty rough to me. It takes much more effort to turn the "notches" than I expected. The switching mechanically just feels rough and cheap. Also the channels kinda "shift" around as the steps are switched. It's also possible to kinda be half switched and be between steps with the sound doing strange things. Here's a pic of the attenuator:
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VOL2.jpg

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So finally, here's my question: "Do all the stepped attenuators feel this way?"

I understand you get what you pay for. I look at the Goldpoints and the DACTs and they look like they would switch smooth and effortlessly. This thing feels like crap to me.
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 12:45 AM Post #2 of 20

WilCox

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Put a big knob on a DACT and it turns smooth and effortlessly with no dropouts or strange volume jumps. While the detents are very tactile and provide good feedback of the change in steps, they are not rough by any means. I haven't yet tried the Goldpoints (thought I intend to shortly), but I understand that they are similar in that they use the Elma switch mechanism.
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 12:45 AM Post #3 of 20

n_maher

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No, those are cheap for a reason.

I have a 4ch DACT and it is fantastic feeling, better than the Elma based stepper that I had previously and miles better than the $25 Ebay specials. If you want a screaming deal on a DACT have a peak at HeadAmp's DIY parts selection.
wink.gif
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 12:52 AM Post #4 of 20

les_garten

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Thanx Guys! That's what I thought. This one has a 50mm knob on it. If it worked perfectly, it would have to go to me just for the tactile experience. Total junk. You get what you pay for! Justins's attenuators will be on my shopping list most likely.

Man oh man! Wish the Polish 48 steppers had panned out.
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 1:33 AM Post #5 of 20

Steve Eddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by les_garten /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So finally, here's my question: "Do all the stepped attenuators feel this way?"


No.

Quote:

I understand you get what you pay for. I look at the Goldpoints and the DACTs and they look like they would switch smooth and effortlessly. This thing feels like crap to me.


The Goldpoints and the DACTs use Elma switches. The stock Elma switches do have a stiff feel to them, but Elma can also supply what they call the "soft detent spring" which gives them a VERY nice feel. The Goldpoints and the DACTs use the soft detent spring.

se

nodualxlr.gif
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 1:36 AM Post #6 of 20

Steve Eddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by n_maher /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have a 4ch DACT and it is fantastic feeling, better than the Elma based stepper that I had previously...


They must have been using the stock Elma switches.

The Goldpoint by the way is just as smooth as the DACT.

se

nodualxlr.gif
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 2:02 AM Post #7 of 20

les_garten

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Koyaan I. Sqatsi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
No.



The Goldpoints and the DACTs use Elma switches. The stock Elma switches do have a stiff feel to them, but Elma can also supply what they call the "soft detent spring" which gives them a VERY nice feel. The Goldpoints and the DACTs use the soft detent spring.

se

nodualxlr.gif



Thanx!
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 2:07 AM Post #8 of 20

Punnisher

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I have noble 31 step potentiometers in two of my amps. They both work flawlessly. Smooth, even volume and no half steps. They are inexpensive too.

Could use more steps though. Also you may be willing to go for something more high-end.
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 2:14 AM Post #9 of 20

Steve Eddy

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Punnisher /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have noble 31 step potentiometers in two of my amps. They both work flawlessly. Smooth, even volume and no half steps. They are inexpensive too.


The Nobles are just regular potentiometers though, i.e. they have a continuous resistive track on them. They're not a switched attenuator.

They are nice pots though.

se

nodualxlr.gif
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 11:52 AM Post #10 of 20

n_maher

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Koyaan I. Sqatsi /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The Goldpoints and the DACTs use Elma switches. The stock Elma switches do have a stiff feel to them, but Elma can also supply what they call the "soft detent spring" which gives them a VERY nice feel. The Goldpoints and the DACTs use the soft detent spring.


Thanks Steve, that's pretty cool info to know. And yes, the Elma based stepper than I had before was built on a switch I got from Michael Percy so it probably had the stiff spring in it. It was still nice, and way better than those blue switch steppers, but the DACT I'm using currently is my favorite.
 
Oct 8, 2009 at 4:02 PM Post #11 of 20

ericj

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Punnisher /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I have noble 31 step potentiometers in two of my amps. They both work flawlessly. Smooth, even volume and no half steps. They are inexpensive too.

Could use more steps though. Also you may be willing to go for something more high-end.



That's just a pot that has a spring loaded mechanism in it that gives the feel of 31 steps.
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 3:28 AM Post #12 of 20

Punnisher

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ericj /img/forum/go_quote.gif
That's just a pot that has a spring loaded mechanism in it that gives the feel of 31 steps.


Interesting.

Thankfully there's no channel imbalance like there is on most budget pots.
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 3:35 AM Post #13 of 20

les_garten

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Punnisher /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Interesting.

Thankfully there's no channel imbalance like there is on most budget pots.



Back in the day, a lot of gear used Noble POTs as a Feature advertisement.
 
Oct 9, 2009 at 11:46 AM Post #15 of 20

WilCox

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Quote:

Originally Posted by IPodPJ /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What do you guys think would yield the best sound quality in a balanced Beta22 -- a single 4 channel DACT or dual 2 channel DACT stepped attenuators?


Both would treat your music equally well, but using dual 2-channel DACTs would allow you to compensate for poorly balanced recordings or sources, at the expense of convenience (having to adjust two volume controls).
 

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