Passive pre-amp in a cable?

I am wondering if the following works: Can I just take a pair of interconnects, cut em, and insert a stereo pot to create a passive pre-amp equivalent?

If so, do I wire it up as follows?

| Ground | Signal
| |
| ___/_ |
| -/---
| /
| +--------+
| |
| Ground | Signal

Any help appreciated as to hookups, and the correct value for the pot? I'll be using a CD player which has a discrete output stage that put puts about 2V swing, in to a small tube amp.
I suppose your drawing would work, but the pot should be mounted in a chassis so it's sheilded. A 100K pot would be a little high for a passive preamp. 20K or so, would be more appropiate so it has a "low" output impedance. If you can physically mount the pot on your amp chassis, it should replace the input load resistor, in which case you could use a 100K.
Contact Rodger Modjeski at He provided me with a volume control/passive pre-amp that has made the sound of my Cambridge d500se and Music Reference RM-10 amp clearer, cleaner and more musical. Big improvement in image as well, the speakers have disappeared. I don't find any loss of attack, dynamics or bass but a few classical discs, Reference Recordings, need to have the pot turned up all the way. Eliminating the active pre-amp is the way to go.
Your proposed device will work just fine. I agree that 20k to 25K would be the right value. Also remember the pot should be a logrithmic taper and high quality to prevent noise. Good luck.
The conventional wisdom on the value, I believe, is 1/10th of the imput impedance of your power amp (which you don't state). However, I've used 10K ohm passives with Pass Aleph 3 power amps, input impedance 23K ohms, and had no trouble. A bigger factor is the quality of your CD player output stage. I'd be inclined to try passive operation befor cutting up any interconnects. Get two pairs of RCA jacks and four resistors, a good brand being Holco. (The Parts Connection can supply all these items, as can many others.)
Build a simple fixed attentuation network: if you want to know how to choose resistor values for various attenuations, contact me and I'll say more. This experiment will tell you whether your CD player is up to being used with a passive preamp, and if so, whether you like the sound. I very much do myself, and will never own an active preamp again (except for a phono preamp for the tiny signal from a cartridge).
Tom nice-the Nobel pot I have says 100k ohm on it and the amp has 100k ohm input impedance. Should I expect better performance going to a lower impedance pot? It really does sound great and I hate to fool with success.
Kitch, I'm afraid you need a genuine expert on this, which I'm definitely not. I'm not surprised by your great sound since my 10K ohms passive sounds great with 23K ohms input impedance of my Pass Aleph 3's, that ratio being far from 1:10. I'd leave it alone until you feel the itch to upgrade (assuming you do feel such itches), then replace the pot by a ladder stepped attenuator and go for 10K ohms when choosing resistors for it. Or you could get four RCA jacks and four resistors, two each at 4K ohms and 6K ohms, say, and solder together a test rig (you could use the resistors two ways, either 4K as Rs and 6K as Rg or the other way around) and see if it sounds better. Of course taking the pot out of the circuit will help the sound, ruining the test somewhat, but a qualitative difference might still show up.