I am looking into getting a Placette myself and after a phone conversation with Guy(from Placette) it seems obvious the Placette is the unit to get, the Vishay components used inside are the BEST. Even though it may seem expensive for merely a volume control, to have a very fine adjustment that imparts no sonic signature to the sound is really quite valueable. The only reason mine hasn't been ordered yet is I need a balanced RVC and that makes it $1800 and I still need another interconnect :( which brings it to a little below $3k- I think it will be worth it though(its been a long winter and the money tree will not be in bloom again till spring).
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The sound level from the Creek OBH-10 and Placette RVC should be about the same, since neither has any gain. They both act as attenuators of the signal from your source. I think you will appreciate the sound quality of the Placette as major improvement in your system. You can get an in-home trial if you buy a new Placette, so there isn't any risk.
I was going to get the RVC, but a Passive became available locally. Let me know if you want more details.
I like how transparent my Placette RVC sounds. It's cleaner than my old pre-amp, and more than loud enough near the max setting with my solid-state gear. At the max setting, my Placette RVC's resistance is around 0.2 or 0.3 ohms, so almost all of the signal could get through.
I haven't tried the Creek.
Tireguy, I have never found a component that does not put some sort of sonic signature on a signal. Theoretically, the Placette may not do this; however, in reality, I am willing to bet that different power cords on the Placette will make it sound different. This is a sonic signature. Unless the Placette sounds the same with any power cord... I would say that the Placette has a sonic signature that varies with AC cord.
Anyone tried different power cords on the Placette?
You might want to look into a transformer based remote volume control. Bent Audio imports the Stevens & Billington TX102 transformer and sells it as a kit or assembled unit, configured with your choice of inputs and outputs. They are very reasonably priced and supposedly have the advantage in transparency over non-transformer passives. Do a search here or in audio asylum on tx102 for more info. Also on bentaudio.com there are links to some forums that have some interested threads on these devices. I am picking mine up next week and it will take the place of no preamp, as presently I am going directly into the volume pot on my Berning amplifier. Others have concluded it is superior to the Berning pot, and it will be interesting to see if it holds true for me as well.
I would think the Placette has to be substantially better than the Creek, because of its superior volume control (attenuator). The attenuator is the main reason for sonic degradation in passives and in all preamps. I had the McCormack TLC-1, which is a very good unit and considerably more expensive than the Creek and presumably better sounding than the Creek. But, when I replaced the McCorm. with a Reference Line Preeminence One, with a stepped attenuator, the improvement was UNBELIEVABLE. Some have written that the Reference Line is about the same as the Placette. Ergo, Placette is better than Creek.
There are no active circuits in the signal path of the Placette Passive or Remote Volume Control, only in the Active linestage.
There is a separate transformer for the remote control and LED lights on the RVC and Passive, and also source switching on the Passive. There would be no point to replace the power cord for the low voltage transformer since it has no effect on the sound and there is no IEC connection provided.
The Active linestage has a removeable cord and chassis mounted IEC to power the discrete Class A output amplifiers. There is also a headphone jack from these amps and is the main reason I have thought about the trade-up program.
You should verify this by contacting Guy Hammell at Placette or reading the Q&A on the site:
I have both a Creek OBH-12 and a Placette RVC. Creek was my pre-amp for over a year, so I was fairly familiar with it. The Placette is substantially more transparent than the Creek. It was a five minute audition to decide and keep the Placette. Probably the best bang for buck I've gotten out of my system.