DIY passive line level attenuator pad

Have you got a line level from your components that is too high for your preamp input?

I have buffers in my input interconnects to expand the soundstage presentation, add tube character, and open up the dynamic range by impedance matching (Jolida Foz SS-X, iFi iTube, and Burson Cable+ Pro, respectively). The added gain makes the signal too hot for my Sachém Pure preamplifier, meaning I’ve had to run the volume control down at 09 o’clock for normal volume level. I decided to attentuate the signal so that I could run the preamp at more like 12-13.

Could this be any easier or cheaper? I found simple explanation and instructions at http://www.uneeda-audio.com/pads/

See also http://www.martin-doppelbauer.de/audio/fieldrecorder/pad/index.html

Six 1% metal film resistors, some phono sockets, and a wee bit of soldering, and I now have a simple resistor T network symmetrical attenuator pad mounted in an off-cut piece of wood. It’s connected in the line from my components switch output to the input of my preamp. I chose a -20 dB attenuation. That proved to work a treat.

I could have used a dual-gang potentiometer (expensive for audiophile grade!) for variable attenuation, but that wasn’t necessary. Thus the total cost was $5 approx. Way cheaper than Rothwell attenuators! And more fun.

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