Check out Placette Audio, they make some outstanding units. There is more info on their web page.
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Ditto Lorne and Blackie, Placette passive with remote volume, outstanding piece. Lorne is telling no fib, the best NOT heard preamp active or passive, outstanding transparencey. Extended top to bottom, hard to believe its a passive. Only 1400 retail, a bargin for what it doesn't do to the signal. One user sold his Cat and now uses this little passive.
Give the Coda Technologies FET Control Buffer O4r a try, although it probably doesn't fit the definition of a "pure" passive. c-j, Rowland, and I believe Levinson, to name a few are using similar technology and circuit design to the 04r's for the signal attenuation. In my opinion it's the best sounding way to do it. Regardless, I couldn't be more satisfied. Most whom have great passive preamps have found that the resolution, transparency & speed are unrivaled. You're on the right path, so long as your front end is up to the task.
Do you remember that "Aunt Corey's Passive..." article that Greenberg wrote for Stereophile? Well, this preamp has way more than a little in common with that circuit. Ask Eddie at Coda about that. Here's the link: http://www.coda-continuum.com/product/index.html .
What does passive preamp mean -- do not do anything to the sound -- make it only quiet!
If the voltage is high enough to feed power amplifier than we're good with only one stage of amplification. So it comes to true that if we're buying Placette or any passive preamp, we pay the bucks for(well said by Mikec)not doing anything with the signal!
I do respect and honor Placette, I love it's sound, but my mentality isn't allow me to spend money for what I can do myself.
You can check out Audio Synthesis of UK "Passion Ultimate" remote passive. I have been using the ProPassion passive,i.e. single-input/single-otput but dual mono construction for the past 6 years and I can tell you that I am yet to come across a better, more accurate and very well build quality unit anywhere. The passive comes with all bulk-foil vishays (i mean each & every resistor) + WBT connectors and pure silver wiring. You can visit their website: www.audiosynthesis.co.uk and Dave Heaton is always a wonderful person to deal with. Most helpful and certainly highly recommended.
You can find these used in excellent condition for approx $700 or so. I have one (and I'm keeping it!) but passive mode is not suitable for my setup... sounds better in active mode for me but others have reported outstanding passive mode performance with this modest Stereophile Class A rated preamp. My setup:
Cary 306/200 24/192 CD Player
Adcom GFP-750 or Audio Research LS16 preamps
Conrad-Johnson Premier 11 a tube amp
Thiel CS 1.5 loud speakers.