Placette 100K volume control, problem solved

I'm now controlling my digital via a laptop, but it is a pain without remote volume when jumping from song to song since the volume varies so much from album to album. I wanted to add a remote volume control and having heard the Placette before it was at the top of my list. My system has plenty of gain so I really don't need an active stage. Up to this point I was using an Alps pot at the input of my DIY amp to control volume.

My problem was my phono stage has a high output impedance (about 3.5K) so the stock Placette wouldn't work with it's relatively low input impedance. They built a unit for me that has 100K input impedance and it is truly wonderful. A small price premium since the larger resistors are more expensive but well worth it.

The first thing I noticed was how much quieter the system is with no music playing. Then when it does start there is greater transparency and flow than with the Alps pot. I struggle a bit when trying to describe the sound of things, but suffice it to say that this RVC sounds like nothing. I've tried various pots, transformer controls which added noise, and the stock Placette which choked the life out of my phono stage due to it's low input impedance. This unit is perfect for my system.

Forget what you’ve heard about poor dynamics and the other knocks on passives. These things are true if the passive isn’t properly matched to your system, but I’ve got dynamics that will make you jump out of your seat. If you want to try a passive contact Placette. Great people to work with. Highly recommended.
Congrats on your discovery Herman! I completely agree with your acessment of the Placette. I started using one about a month ago and am absolutely amazed and delighted with the results. I liken it to opening a slightly dirty window - there is no longer anything at all in the way. Mine is hooked up to my Odyssey Stratos Dual-Mono playing through Silverline SR-17's. I've tried it on my SET system, but it didn't have as good a synergy with them for some reason. The Sonic Euphoria PLC did sound pretty darn good in that system, but I have to listen some more as I only had one short session with it. In that session I marginally preferred my tube preamp in that system, but the margin was not profound. The effects of the passive were similar with the SET, though there, the tube pre seemed to add just a bit of flesh to the bones that I liked. Again, have to try listening some more. Great solution, and I'd definitely recommend it highly as well. Do be careful in considering passive solutions as system synergy and setup is very critical. The Placette is an amazing value for the money.

Very interesting. I just picked up a Placette myself, but it doesn't seem to be completely happy with either of my sources and feeding into Nuforce amps. I will try some other amps. I once owned a Placette Active, which I wish I had never sold, so I know how this should sound. I am also going to be trying a TVC soon and see how that works out. I'm on a passive kick.
Drubin -
Please explain what you mean by "doesn't seen to be completely happy with either of my sources". I have been switching between a balanced PLC Sonic Euphoria and balanced Placette RVC and my NuForce Ref9s for over 6 months now to get a good feel for each passive's strengths and weaknesses. Both work extremely well in my system with no issues whatsoever. But I am only using a SACD player as the source. What sources are you using?
Drubin - I think both the output of the source, and the input of the amp need to be taken into consideration. I think Herman is far more qualified to speak on that stuff judging from some of his contributions here. Ultimately Guy at Placette would be your best resource. The Nuforce amps have a 47Kohm input. The Placette has a 2Kohm output as I recall. Conventionally that is less than you want for a ratio (I seem to recall a 5:1 minimum), but I think you'd need to factor in the output of your sources. On the system mine sounds best on the input on the amp is only 10Kohms. I believe my source is 3V on the output. The same source downstairs did not work nearly as well with the Placette. Down there my amps have a 300K input. Also, keep your IC's from passive to amp short. I don't know if that's any help in terms of giving any clues as to what may be happening, but I'd say give Guy a call.

I'm using a modfied Marantz CDP and a Dynavector P-75 phono stage, feeding Reference 9SE's, all single-ended. I just got the Placette (the 3-input model) two days ago and I am hearing a lot of what I remember about the Placette "non sound", but I am also noticing bass that, while wonderfully clean, is too light; a very flat soundstage (and very two-dimensional images in general); and an overall character that tends toward thin and light. The active pre I have been using is a Rowland Concerto, which is fairly neutral itself, so this is not a case of having been used to an overly warm and full tube preamp.

A few months ago, when I was using Nuforce 8's, I briefly tried the Sonic Euphoria, just with my CD source. I wanted to love it, but it clearly was a mismatch as it sounded choked, rolled off, all wrong. I don't know why,
BTW - Guy has a trade-up program. If you wanted to trade up to the active version, and your passive is in mint condition, I believe he offers full retail credit towards a trade upwards. Double check to see if that offer is still valid, but I do think it is.

Are you IC's from passive to amp very long? That can cause problems. I have no problems at all like you describe in my SS system that I'm using it with. Bass is low and tight and soundstage is plenty wide, though not deep on my SS system compared to the SET. It really has no shortcomings at all that I can pick out. Top to bottom it sounds very balanced, and full. On my SET system I did have results similar to what you are describing. There the Sonic Euphoria sounded very good.

If you phone guy it may be helpful to have the output numbers for your two sources. It also may help on input here. Which Marantz CDP? I have no idea how a phono preamp might interface with the Placette, but I'd bet it would be very similar to the challenge Herman faced in having his modified.

I'm using my Placette RVC with Channel Islands D200s Driving Klipsch La Scalas. I ordered my D200 with the active pre configuration, becuase I was running an active at the time.

When I ordered my Placette, I asked Guy if I should send the D200s back to Dusty to raise the input impedence to re-configuring them to run with a passive. Guy insisted that with my set up that I keep the D200s set up for an active.

Guy was correct. This combination sounds amazingly good. I also run 15 feet (total) of DH Labs Air Matrix cables to the D200s and sub with no loss whatsover! I've experimented with shorter runs to confirm this.

Some things I've concluded are:

Guy has the answers concerning his pres. If you're trying to conclude anything to do with compatibility or set up and not consulting Guy, I'd say your making a huge mistake.

Also, Placette passives are so different than all other passive pres, that the usual passive shortcomings don't apply.

Finally, that system synergy and compatability mean quite a bit. IMHO, an optimally applied Placette passive, is as close to not adding or taking away ANYTHING from the signal fed it, as you can get.

I must retract my earlier comments about "not a good fit" with my system. To my chagrin, I discovered last night that I had made some connection errors with my subwoofer (sometime in the past few days). Once fixed, the sound changed enough that I have to start over with my assessment of the Placette.

In answer to an earlier remark, my interconnects are 1M or 2M max, so think I'm fine with respect to that issue.