Rothwell Attenuators

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Phono Groove, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. Phono Groove

    Phono Groove Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    I am thinking of purchasing -15db Rothwell attenuators to lower the gain from my Rega Brio-R and my Oppo bdp-105. Although my oppo has a variable volume control i’ve been reading mixed suggestions about the variable volume setting. Some say to leave it at 100 fixed setting. Would rothwell attenuators be benificial if plugged into the oppo’s analog outputs? Would there be any negative effect on the sound or just the illusion of compromising sound due to lower volume?
     
  2. Davey

    Davey like smoke from a lithium dream

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Rothwell attenuators (or any attenuator) have negative effects when inserted between components in an audio chain, it's unavoidable since it forms a filter, and also adds components in the signal path. The digital volume control in the Saber D/A convertor in the Oppo is operating at 32-bits resolution so should have almost no negative impact on the sound quality. Try it, if you don't hear any negative impact then you are good, though it is very hard to evaluate sound quality differences when changing volume unless compensated elsewhere. If serious, you would use a DMM and test signal to assure the overall volume was set the same in both test cases, then you could go back and forth with the Oppo volume without the perceived overall volume change clouding your perception.
     
    Mike-48 and patient_ot like this.
  3. Soundsense

    Soundsense Forum Resident

    Location:
    Colorado USA
    ....it's in the ear of the beholder. I love attenuators. No issues with sound.
     
    Jim N., brockgaw and Davey like this.
  4. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Tried attenuators before and didn't like them. I would avoid them unless you absolutely have to use them.

    To be clear, are you trying to lower the output of the Oppo to match another source that goes into the Brio?
     
  5. mkane

    mkane Musics a Passion

    Location:
    Cloverdale,CA
    I have a pair of these for balanced connections if thats what you need. NIB, you just pay shipping.
     
  6. Phono Groove

    Phono Groove Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec
    I’m trying to lower the output of the oppo ( using the oppo as my cd player and as a usb dac! )
     
  7. Phono Groove

    Phono Groove Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Montreal, Quebec

    Thank you but if I were to use them it would be unbalanced , I appreciate the offer :)
     
  8. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    If the Oppo has a digital volume control like the other guy said I would just use that. It is likely to be much better than any attenuator.
     
    Kyhl, Kristofa and Phono Groove like this.
  9. DigMyGroove

    DigMyGroove Forum Resident

    I recently bought the -10db Rothwell attenuators. In my tube system it completely killed the “tube sound”, it still sounded like a very good solid state system, but obviously not what I wanted to have happen.

    I next tried them in my solid state bedroom system where I needed to tame the CD volume. There it did it’s job and I didn’t notice any I’ll effects on the sonics.

    So the bottom line is with tubes, NO, with solid state, YES.
     
    ellingtonic likes this.
  10. bruce2

    bruce2 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut, USA
    I tried them between my CD player and amp when I had the Rega Brio 3, and I felt they had a negative effect on the sound quality.
     
  11. Archimago

    Archimago Forum Resident

    Yes, the Oppo has volume controls and for something like -15dB, it'd likely be more transparent to do it digitally.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  12. Kristofa

    Kristofa Car Scratch Melt Repeat

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    I agree about using the Oppo’s variable volume to reduce by -15db. I tried both balanced and unbalanced attenuators to reduce gain into my integrated, and the variable volume option on the Oppo had the least negative impact on the sound quality.
     
    patient_ot likes this.
  13. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geebung, Australia
    I use a -10dB set of Rothwells and I don't find any loss off audio quality using them on the line in of my Vincent hybrid amp. If anything the sound is more nuanced, less congested, more room to breathe as I move around the volume control. You may have to experiment a little, I found -15dB was over-doing it.
     
  14. Mike-48

    Mike-48 A shadow of my former self

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Depending on the other components in your system, the filter formed by attenuators can affect overall frequency response. When I tried inline attenuators, I lost a few dB of bass response (this was measured, not subjective).
     
    Kyhl and Encore like this.
  15. Echo

    Echo Forum Resident

    Do those Rothwell attentuators fits all brands of interconnects? (I'm using Cardas)

    By the way: for me these attentuators willl have also another goal: extrapolating the length of the cable a bit, so I don't have to purchase longer interconnects after rechanging my audio system :laugh:
     
  16. Kristofa

    Kristofa Car Scratch Melt Repeat

    Location:
    Eugene, Oregon
    My Rothwells have fit every pair of RCA interconnects I have tried.
     
    Echo likes this.

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