Yes, it is. I have had several and do not care for them.
26 responses Add your response
I suppose I am pre-disposed against dual volumes.
But, if I heard a compelling arguement for them or received a bunch of comments that the they sound much better and are not really much of a pain, I might consider dual controls. I prefer vinyl to cd and vinyl is kind of a pain in the ass but the sound is better so I think its worth the pain. But Im not so sure dual volumes are worth it.
Oh MY GOD, 2 volume controls?!
How will I ever be able to enjoy the music ever again, doubling the effort in turning up or down the volume is just going to far........I AM MAD AS HELL AND I AM NOT GONNA TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I almost walked away from music over 1 knob, with another thats just crazy talk.............:)
I've had several of each type, I choose equipment for the way it sounds and absolutely would not allow the type of volume control to limit my choices.
My Aesthetix Callisto was dual volume control and I used and enjoyed it for about ten years. Never gave a thought one way or the other that two knobs were turned up and down.
Now I have a preamp that has traditional (single) volume control and I have the best sound I've ever had but not because of the volume control.
A dual volume control should (in theory) be better, the two channels are more discrete and provide better signal to noise and separation at the critical point of controlling output voltage.
The Quicksilver full function preamp with it's stepped attenuators is a pleasure to use. Mike Sanders would not have chosen this design if he didn't think there is a benefit to it.
I found the Audible Illusions preamp without stepped attenuators very frustrating to balance. I gave up on it after one evening.
I prefer a single volume control and remote control. It's very difficult, in my opinion, to get the sound level correct when not at the listening position.
If you need a balance control something is wrong elsewhere in your system.
Another thing that some don't realize is the volume control has a large effect on the sound quality of the preamp. The more devices in line the less transparent the device is. This is the reason I am opposed to balance controls and tone controls. If they are out of the circuit when not in use, fine.
Needing a balance control does not always mean there is something wrong with the system. More likely than not it is a room problem that may be too difficult and expensive to cure. Very few audiophiles have the perfect room or even a decent room as is evident in system photos on this forum. In most cases the presence of a balance control is much less harmful than the room itself.
I wanted a no compromise volume control but also wanted all the conveniences of a remote so I had Blue Circle build a custom motorized 47 point dual mono Shallco attenuator for my preamp.
A balance control can be very useful in bringing better soundstage focus. To say that the need for a balance control indicates problems elsewhere in your room/system is just plain wrong. If a designer/manufacturer can't design/implement a reasonably transparent balance control, then they probably aren't competent to design/build an entire preamp.
Why is it wrong Onhwy61? What else can cause the soundstage to be off center if it's not the room or system? I suppose the recording could be off center. But they won't all be.
A balance control is another filter between you and the music. I suppose there are a few folks that have high quality resistor based or digital pots but you would be surprised how many use off the shelf Alps or other cheap products.
Since it is your system, you should listen how you want.
Rwwear, thank you for giving me permission to listen to my system how I want. I didn't know I needed your permission, but apparently you're in a giving mood, so I'll accept.
Yes, it's the recording that can use correction. Not all recordings, but it's not unusual. And yes it is as expensive to implement a good balance control as it is to do a good volume control.
Rwwear, you are absolutely correct when you say that a balance control is an additional filter between the music and the listener. To put that in perspective you should do the following thought experiment. Starting at the microphone in the recording studio and ending with your ears at the listening chair, count the number of switches and knobs in the recording/playback chain. Even in the most simplified chain you're going to have at least 20 such "filters". If that's the case, then why have a problem with filer #21, particularly if it does something positive?
You are correct but that's part of the recording. When I play it back I want it to be as close to what the engineer envisioned as possible.
I see people using hot shot power cords all the time knowing full well the AC is going through hundreds of feet of wire before it reaches the power cord and then through another hundreds of feet in the transformer before it reaches the amp.
Trelga, Excuse my ignorance, but why does dual volume controls have nothing to do with dual mono design? Presumably you could have a dual Mono amp, with a single volume control at the end of the signal path, but I am not sure how you could have dual volume controls, without a dual mono design. In which case, dual mono is a prerequisit, for dual volume controls. Perhaps there is a fault in my logic somewhere.
I have just aquired on Dem, an Emille K40L, integrated, which does have dual controls. I do'nt find it a bind at all to balance the 2 sides and it does allow for assymetry in the room, without adding a further step in the signal path, which a balance control represents.