For all you audiophiles, you might already know that the ultimate pre-amp is no preamp.
However, you still need to adjust the levels between your source
and your amps. This is exactly what a passive pre-amp is all about.
The best passive pre-amps are build with high quality variable
attenuators. I've professionally built one out of the best quality
"Gold point" audio-taper "Mini-V Quad" attenuator, for fully
balanced two channel operation. Uses ".1%" thin film resistors for precise
level matching. Ref: http://www.goldpt.com/compare.html
Pro quality XLR (Balanced) "Neutrik" connectors.
In-line design, so no need for extra patch cables. Short cable length (4ft), for minimal loss.
Housed in a high quality (and nice looking) black aluminum case.
"Gold point" black aluminum knurled knob.
Works great! I used it between my fully balanced Logitech/Squeezebox
Transporter and Bryston mono block amps ($7K+ system). Amps and transporter
are gone, so this needs to go to a new home as well. Works perfectly,
with just the right amount of attenuation and steps between volume levels.
Compare mine to the "SA1X" model (with *identical* innards), for $442 (except
with mine you don't need two extra sets of patch cables - save
money and less chance to degrade the signal).
BONUS: I'll even throw in a pair of in-line XLR connectors (by Endler)
and lots of resistors that I experimented with before building this box. You can
use them for a fixed attenuation application if you like.
Higher quality / more pictures available upon request.