I have not had a volume control or source selector for quite a while now. Just play at one volume - I chose a resistor value (604R or thereabouts) which was neither too loud with loud recordings or too quiet with quiet recordings. Switch sources by turning off and swapping cables round. I could live with this arrangement but for family use I will have to include vol control and source selector.
Well, I chose the switches and resistors I was going to use a while back (hifi collective). I can work out the minimum and maximum resistor values I need for the volume needed. I can then build in a control for the maximum volume that will be achievable - no party style volumes which will cause clipping or overheating and burnt out drivers. I like the idea of having mono switches to act as a balance control (like P90?) but could the idea be taken even further?
I am ultimately going for 6 nva based monobloc amps, two for the isobaric bass 12 inchers, two for the 5" mids and two for the tweeters. I got to thinking that why couldn't I give each power amp its own volume control. That would be the ultimate in fine tuning levels between the drivers and channels, maybe I could even get rid of the padding resistors on the tweeters
Then I thought of the practicalities of it and turning 6 knobs just to turn the volume up and down . Then I had the brain wave of having two stepped attenuators with nobs (right & left channels) and then running the other four switches on sprockets and chains driven from the main ones. This makes it impossible to change volume between say mid and tweeter UNLESS the changes needed are built into the attenuator via differing resistor values. So the tweeter attenuators could have different values of resistor that account for the increased level brought about by removing the padding resistor.
It all turned out a bit complicated don't you think ?
Or you just build the attenuators on switches with more gangs.Then I had the brain wave of having two stepped attenuators with nobs (right & left channels) and then running the other four switches on sprockets and chains driven from the main ones
For example http://solidgreen.co.jp/products/pdf/SEIDEN.pdf
So I could have a 23 step with 4 gangs on each channel (left & right). I would wire bass, mid & tweeter amps to separate gangs and the fourth one would be unused.
This is only worth doing if I can play around with resistor values so that bass, mid and tweeter may have different attenuation according to the differing levels that are needed. So if I was to get rid of the padding resistor on the tweeters I could put a higher range of resistors in for that gang. With it being logarithmic that makes it harder but not impossible.
Then there is the possibility of my system moving rooms or component changes which means I have to redo all the resistor values again. Plus with good quality switches and resistors this is getting a bit expensive and very complicated.
More thinking to do. Not sure it is worth all the hassle.