Who's using attenuators between source and (pre) amplifier?

Where the use of the volume knob is very sensitive it is possible to get a better range. Normal it’s loud at 09:00 but with an attenuator in the signal line it’s louder sound wil be at 12:00. So you have an better range to control the volume.

Who is already using an attenuator?

Which one do you use ? (what Db -6 of -10 or -15 or -18) Or do you advice? (brand)

Will this turndown the quality of the signal (and the sound)??

In the past I used Rothwells. They worked well. Don’t use them now as my Atom volume is normally around 12:00

1 Like

I have tried a couple of makes, including Rothwell. I found they worked, but stripped all life from the music.

Not for me as above.

I just bought some attenuating RCA to din cables from flashback sales as the volume control on the 202 seems to need to be past 8 o’clock before the channels are balanced without them.

Don’t know if they take anything away from the music as they’re necessary for me.

Cables seem very well made.


I really think passive attenuators have a high risk of compromising performance as they will likely change output/input impedance relationship that has been optimised between NAC and NAP for optimum performance…

I must be fortunate as on my 552 I have the rotation to 10 o’clock for normal music replay and that is more than adequate for minor volume tweaks if required…


I’ve long had issues with balance - blaming ears, recording mix etc etc but your comment is right I think. I can’t get above 7 o’clock on my 252 and it’s just not enough to breathe enough life into the left speaker and I really don’t want to go down the attenuation route. Different speakers I guess.

1 Like

I don’t know about the rest of the range but with the Star you can adjust the input sensitivity through the input settings to balance things out. Also set a max volume level so you don’t blow your cones out accidentally!!!

It’s for NDX -> SN3

Not for pre to power

Ahh I read your title to mean betweenNAC and Amplifier, ok should be less of an issue, but the output / input impedance relationships are still being changed, so you might find the sound dulled etc. But best trial and error.

I don’t have attenuated source to amplifier, but do have between Supernait (1) buffered tape output to a Nait-2 in another room. The Supernait sources are NDX & NAT-05 & it was glaringly obvious the source voltage was too high for the Nait-2 as background dinner party music level was at the very first notch position on the volume control.
I looked around at what was available on the market, there is nothing at all that I could find in a 5-pin DIN config, & the one (I sent back) made by a cable vendor installed inside the DIN plug was horrible.
I made my own; it has to be an L-Pad to set & keep the correct out/input impedance & designed this to give 16dB attenuation. I selected a quality resister brand & because the L-Pad assembly was not going inside the DIN plug & was not size restricted, I chose larger 0.250w items.
The normal listening position moved from a notch off null around 7 o’clock to between 9 & 10 o’clock.

1 Like

One of my kids forced round the volume and balance knobs on my 552. I found that they needed to be gently forced the other way to get them back to what I believe the normal position’s should be. That was a nice treat to come home from work and find. Sound seems fine and balance is central. @Richard.Dane is this built into the design or should I be sending this unit back to Naim when everything reopens? I had a 552 previously and the volume was set much higher for a certain point ie 8 o’clock. I suspect when putting them together the start points are not always equal. Mine is a bit louder now but I could always turn it a bit more towards the max volume to get it a bit lower and a bit more range between 8-9 o’clock…

Anyway if the design is built around a ‘soft’ end point then you could tease it in the direction you want.

IIRC the knob assembly has a lock nut that fit’s around the shaft and tightens it onto the shaft of the balance and volume pots respectively. It can be forced to slip though. However, it should be possible to re-align them without too much difficulty, although if you’re at all worried you might want to ask your dealer to sort it out for you.

1 Like

Thanks @Richard.Dane. That sounds like what it felt like. Didn’t need too much force to get them back to a sensible position. I suspect the balance is not micro set in the factory anyway as you can use the balance knob to suit your preferences. Sounds fine to me as it is. If anything changes I will give my dealer a shout. The beauty of the forum is you can ask questions when dealers are not open and often get a wealth of real world answers which build your own knowledge.

1 Like

I found a second hand Chord Hugo to be a very effective attenuator, maybe a bit more expensive than you were anticipating, but it’s adjustable, and also gives a nice sound quality uplift to the NDX.

1 Like

It is very evident that many amplification systems have too much gain for the high outputs of digital sources, often making the volume control have a very limited control range. I don’t understand why manufacturers of modern preamps don’t provide negative gain on digital source inputs, or alternatively rethink the whole thing?..

1 Like

Me too on this…

1 Like

When you places some attentiators, does the amp have to work to hard? (Can it me damaged?)

No, or at least not if they have a correctly designed L-Pad

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.