Speaker balance control

After 50 plus years and regardless of the amount of time, effort and money spent, I have finally ended up with the best sounding system I've ever been able to achieve. This combo of components was a matter of luck more than informed design but, be that as it may, I'm very happy with it and not likely to change anything at this point. The setup consists of Shanling S100 CD, Peachtree Nova as a preamp, Peachtree 220 amp and Martin Logan Odyssey speakers that I've had since new in 2003.

However, there is no balance control capability in the preamp and I'm battling with an issue of uneven volume between the two speakers. I realize that the speakers I have are very dependent on placement, rake and toe in, which I'm assuming may be related to the curvilinear transducers and the nature of dipole speakers in general. I've spent a lot of effort experimenting with this aspect of adjustment.

That being the case I still have been unable to achieve a volume balance between the two. I've switched the speakers left to right and right to left and have done the same with interconnects from the CD player and even switched speaker cables with no change; the sound balance perception remains significantly in favor of the right speaker.

What convinced me that the problem was not in the sound stream of the system occurred when I stood at my seating position with my back to the speakers and heard the sound still predominantly from the right. Others that I've had listen from my chair say the sound level seems balanced so it boils down to a deficit in my perception.

I'm getting up in years and have experienced some hearing loss, mostly diminishing above 5000Hz, and was fitted with hearing aids just to try solving this problem. This helps but I just can't get used to the unnatural listening associated with their use and haven't used them for any purpose for over a year.

Ok, I'm finally going to get to the point of this thread. Without a balance controller on my preamp, is there a way of attenuating the right side speaker volume to accommodate my hearing issue? I've even thought of installing a variable resistance device either as a line level controller between the CD player and the preamp or in the speaker wires themselves.

Otherwise, I can close my eyes and pretend that center stage is on the right side of my room.
1. Move your chair off center toward the opposite side you of the image shift. Or...

2. Move the speaker the image has shifted toward back a bit, further away from you. Or...

3. Add a bit of series resistance to the interconnect going to your amp, on the side that the image has shifted toward.
That definitely sounds like a room issue. Is the layout of the room the same by each speaker? For example, the right speaker may be near a corner and the left speaker is by a part of the room that opens up into a hallway. If that's the case, the image/balance will sound off because the sound is not being reflected the same for both speakers.
Take it from someone who has lived with your exact problem for 10 years and who has tried EVERYTHING and nearly driven myself mad in the process. There is no better solution than a variable balance control or a preamp with independent variable (not stepped) attenuators. In-line attenuation does not offer the EXACT control one needs for hearing loss, and moving off center results in phase/timing problems. You gotta get a balance controlled pre.
Time for the $99 solution. What is that? A Chase Technologies RC1 pre amp with remote control. It has balance control and much more. These show up on eBay from time to time. Worth the try. I know the unit might not be audiophile quality, but hey, try it and be the judge. If you don't like it, back on eBay it goes, maybe at a profit.

Lastly, your hearing aids. I have been a wearer for many years. Please go back to the audiologist that fitted them and explain your problem. Most will work out the problem. I have volume controls on my units and they are digital programed to exactly fit my hearing loss, which of course is different in each ear. I have a three programs in the aids, one of which is set up for music. A joy to have.
I've already addressed some of those issues to no avail. My listening position was nearer the right speaker to begin with and 6 months ago, I moved to a position in the center about 15' from them. The listening room is actually my living room with several acoustically unfortunate compromises but the wall on the right (loud) side is 18' of curtain with a solid wall on the left. One would think that the right side sound, then, would be the most damped with this layout.

The front wall is about 15' wide with the speakers equidistant from both the side and the front walls. The depth of the speaker cabinets dictate their placement with the panels positioned a little over three feet away from the front wall with a bit over 3' from the side walls with about a 15-20 degree toe in.

Also, I believe that my standing with my back to the speakers with the louder side now from the left sidewall and with other observers hearing a centered sound source, it has to be an issue of my hearing deficit.

So..Bojack and Buconero, what you suggest makes sense; a different preamp incorporating a balance control such as the Rogue Audio Sphinx that I traded for my current setup, is the best bet. However, even though there are probably preamps that could match the character of the Nova, I'm afraid to switch now that I have the best sound that I've ever achieved using this combo of pre and power amps with these speakers.

Given this, attenuation of the line level signal seems like the next best approach, so my next challenge is to find a high quality device to try it. I don't think I'll find my answer at Radio Shack so, if anyone has any specific suggestions, I would appreciate hearing them.

Buconero, I appreciate what your saying and that should be the answer but I, along with 2 different audiologists, tried for over 2 months to get it right ending up with my buying the latest, greatest high tech aids. My programs are set up to address the more pronounced and directional high frequency loss in my left ear, so my music program is designed to do the same. We were able to achieve acceptable balance but other issues ended up being the problem for me. I never really accepted that the end result sounded as realistic or as accurate as when unaided, but the biggest problem is that I can't wear them for more than an hour before the right ear canal begins itching and if I continue to wear them, it turns into an earache that lasts for a day or two. The manufacturer was even brought into it and they sent several different tips to try with no success.

It's not necessarily the quality of the in-line attenuator, it's the fact that it is a set db level w/no control. The chance that your hearing loss matches precisely with the standard db levels (1, 2, 3, 6, etc.) would be a near miracle. I can tell a .25db change on a center vocal, so even 1 db is way off when it comes to achieving a dead-center image. If you go the in-line device route, I think you'll quickly see what I mean.
I had a Peachtree Nova as a preamp for a few years and really enjoyed it. I also had at that time a dspeaker antimode 2.0 dac/preamp. When using these two together I found absolutely zero loss of resolution.

Aside from digital room correction It has basic tone controls, 16 band parametric eq, basic tone controls and balance adjustment.

The nice thing about the dspeaker is the digital output allowing you to use the dac in your Nova. They pop up used from time to time and might be worth investigating.

Best of luck.
Try an in line attenuator. Parts express sells Harrison Labs that come in 3,6 and 12 db level of attenuation. You can give them a try and if they don't do the job you can always return them for a full refund. They come in pairs so you can double them up since you only need one channel.
It sounds like a hearing issue - this happens to me/my system too. Better hearing aids might be the answer. They vary tremendously, and only the top-of-the-line models do anything much above 4Khz. They really aren't designed for music listening at all. Mine have 4 switchable, programmable eq curves, 2 of which are useful for music. Unfortunately, they cost c. $3K each.
My gosh it is so easy, if you don't want to move things as I suggested (and you will hear NO phase effects as suggested by others) then just use an inline attenuator. Attack problems with the simplest solutions first.
Thanks again, Kiddman. I agree that attenuation does seem the best approach. What remains, then, is choosing the right way to achieve it. The Dspeaker, although kind of expensive, sounds like a good potential solution and, if it actually does everything that's claimed, it could help with my room acoustics as well. I'll start looking for a used one used through the several audio sites on line and will report back with the results.
Correction; before I start seriously planning to purchase the Dspeaker, I need to do more research. I had already reviewed this unit and thought that compensation covered all frequencies but that doesn't seem to be the case. Although it measures all frequencies to 20kHz, it does not adjust above around 160Hz. I could be wrong but because the most directional of frequencies are in the higher ranges, it seems that working in the sub 200Hz range would do little to balance my perception of where sound is coming from. So, I'm still looking.
That is incorrect Broadstone. The Dual Core's DSP works up to about 500Hz, and that cutoff point is adjustable. Above the DSP frequencies you would do a manual adjustment of EQ to dial in the sound. And the balance controls work for the entire frequency band. This little device has done wonders for my room and sound. I have a balance issue much like yours (which I expect to be due to the room, and which you could determine with an SPL meter. And the Dual Core balance control fixes it no problem. It is also fabulous for those who can't have much room treatment. A killer device.
Roscoeiii, yours is a welcome response. It sounded like the Dual Core was going to be my fix but detailed information on its operation is sparse. If I understand it correctly, then, adjustment IS possible in the upper frequencies with this device but it is accomplished manually using info measured by the unit. If this is the case, I'll be very willing to do with it whatever is needed. I'll start looking for one again.
Roscoeiii is correct and I echo his sentiments about the dual core. Broadstone if your patient you can find these for around $650 which is about what I paid for mine.