i have used my Placette with a few different preamps, also with the Audio Aero Capitole II. as long as the interconnect from the RVC to the amps is kept short the Placette seems to be transparent.
specifically, with the Audio Aero i found that if i used the had the volume control at 'full gain' (unity gain) and attenuated with the Placette RVC, the sound was more transparent, quicker, and less tubey.....more how i prefer it. to me this was exposing the volume control in the AA as limiting performance.
i also tried this with the Lamm L2 but in that case there was no difference whether the Placette was there or not. i either had the L2 'wide open' or the Placette 'wide open'.
i have also used it with the volume control in the Tenor intergrated OTL amps (75Wi). again, i could not hear a difference whether the RVC was there or not.
if you are trying this the volume control in the active gain stage must be 'wide open' and the Placette needs to have an interconnect to the amps 1 meter or less.
Listen to Mikelavigne he knows this well! my experiences with the placette active were amazing! Guy builds an incredible product.
Thanks for the info! I was talking to a pre-amp manufacturer who said to install the RVC between the CD and pre-amp and not btw the pre and power amp. I see you did it btw pre and power amp and am wondering if it makes a difference. By the way, I will be able to use 1/2 meter of interconnect.
I have an Audio Research SP8 preamp and run it to a Placette Passive with a 1/2 meter Coincident I/C. I A/B compared it to not having the Placette in the signal path, and my ears could not discern a difference.
I chose to put the Placette b/t the SP8 and the amp because I also run a turntable into the SP8 and did not want to have the phono signal going into the placette before it gets to the phono stage in the SP8. I also have a Wadia 861 going directly into the Placette without going through the SP8 at all.
Bottom line is that I believe the Placette, when used with appropriate I/Cs, is virtually transparent.
In an experiment to prove its transparency, Placette actually recommends you placing the unit between your preamp and amps to see if you hear a difference in sound. Then you take out your preamp and then insert it back in between the Placette and amps to see if you now hear a difference. I don't know why you want to put another preamp in your signal chain but I probably would place it after your active preamp and have the Placette attenuate the volume.
Anyways, Like Mike said, as long as the cables connecting the Placette to the amps is short, then you won't have any problems. With a short interconnect from Placette to amps and a long interconnect from source to Placette, your system should sound as it should. But have it the other way around and use a short interconnect from source to Placette and a long interconnect from the Placette to the amps, and you'll suffer the loss of dynamics that is associated with passive preamps.
So judging from the results of my cable experiments described above, it was simply logical and really a requirement for me to place them close to the amps. Lengths from source to the Placette doesn't really matter so much and really minimizes inconveniences as you don't have to worry about keeping your sources close to the Placette.
I'm confident that placing the Placette in between the your active preamp and amps wouldn't do much to the sound, ie. the Placette will be transparent. What I am wondering is whether placing the Placette in between the source and active pre would improve the sound compared to the sound you get without the Placette. I am interested in hearing the results from your own experiments.
i assume that your reason to have the Placette RVC between the source and active pre would be to add the remote feature. otherwise, there will be no benefit (it may not hurt but can't help the performance).
in my experience i can't hear the Placette RVC in or out when properly used.....OTOH it doesn't 'help'....it just 'is'.
i am not saying that the Placette doesn't have a sound.....just that so far i've not heard it in pretty resolving systems.
to answer your question; i never tried it between a source and an active pre.....it just never occured to me to try it. the closest i got was when i used it wih the Tenor OTL integrated's.....which was what caused me to go the Placette RVC way in the first place.
I had an interesting experience taking the Placette out of my system and inserting into another system, between a CDP with volume control and a power amp. Interestingly, no matter how much gain (up to 4 v) we fed the Placette from the CDP, we could barely get any level out of the speakers. Upon further review we found a couple of differences between my system and the other system - the other power amp had a less friendly input impedance, and the speakers were far less efficient (though very good!) than mine. I guess my experiment confirms what was said above, and in some other A'Gon threads - passives are extremely sensitive to downstream cables and components.
If the Placette is placed between source and the active preamp, wouldn't the active preamp be responsible for volume control in this scenario? I understand that having the Placette placed after the active preamp can make the active preamp function as a sort of switchbox.
I really am interested in knowing why you're thinking of this configuration TomRyan.
Sdatch, what poweramp was this? In this other system that did not work well, did the system go from a previously single ended connection to balanced connection or vice versa?
Howie, the power amp was a Classe Omega Reference, and yes it went from a previously balanced connection to single ended. I forgot to mention that bit in my original post. I am still a little surprised that the performance of the Placette would differ that significantly in another system.
Howie - I had tried a number of tube and SS pre-amps over the years (from $2,500.00 to $8,500.00) and found the Placette most musically satisfying in my system. However, the Joule-Electra was recommened by a few people and I bought one sight/sound unseen/unheard. I'd done this before and was always able to sell for a small loss if not happy; however, the Joule is staying - it's superb. I do miss the Placette's excellent remote volume control and was curious if anyone used it as such and not as the line stage.
Sdatch, were the cables between the amps and the Placette short? I'm no expert on impedances and input sensitivity etc, but I do believe in system matching and synergy. Guy told me that "the most important thing to look for in the amp (other than how it sounds) is simply can it be driven to full output with less than 1.5 volts or so at the input". I'm not sure how the Classe or the source fits in but I don't believe it is outside of what is considered the normal range although if I'm not mistaken, it might have slightly too little input sensitivity and requiring more volts to achieve full output.
In my system, where I have abalanced linestage, I am using a single ended source, so I'm only getting half the signal. On some recordings, one might want more gain. In addition, I previously had Bryston amps, which had an gain selector. Flipping the switch to the correct gain for single ended source was essential for enough gain to be had. I thought the problem might be something like what I experienced but it's obviously not the case.
Howie, the cables were short - 1.5 m Cardas Neutral Reference, actually the ones from my system. At the time we wondered if the difference in speaker sensitivity (94 db in my system, 88 db in his) wasn't somehow involved, in that could the amp's actual input impedance in his system be lower than nominal? Even as we approached unity gain, the system never got that loud.
you need a relatively high input impedence on your amps (mine are 40k) and your amps need to have adaquate gain. speakers sensitivity does enter into the equation as your amp gain x speaker sensitivity gets you SPL.
interconnects should be 1 meter or less.....although this is just another varible along with the others above. the output impedence and output voltage of your sources also is part of the equation.
as you can see.....use of a passive can be highly system dependent. i switched to the balanced version of the RVC to get additional gain for my low output cartridge and phono stage.
WHEN all is right passive does bring you closer to the music....there is less in the way.