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Remote control volume & input selector board for DIY use.


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Hi Guys,

this is a bit different to my usual products but I thought it might be a useful bit of kit for DIY amp builders.

I put a lot of work into the Konverter volume control system which was based on the Muses 72320 high quality electronic volume control chip & was very pleased with the results.

https://www.njr.com/MUSES/series/MUSES72320.html

The Muses chip gives you very transparent level control & is used in the high end Pass Labs preamp.

I’m thinking of building a stand alone version of this which will be in the form of a small pcb which could be installed in a DIY amp build to give you high quality remote volume control & muting.

I will also include on the board relay input switching. Volume & input selection will be displayed on the included 2.4” Oled display. So basically you install the pcb & IR receiver in your amplifier chassis & then supply it with 9-0-9 volts AC using a small transformer. Cost should be quite reasonable 

Well what do you think?

 

 

Edited by Gieseler Audio
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I like the sound of it Clay. My mind immediately goes to it being the heart of a passive preamp (which wouldnt then be entirely passive, but hey...)

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OK over the next couple of days I will try & work out a rough costing.

Mick - they rate the Muses as better sounding than a Goldpoint Antenuator so yes I would think it should work well 

as the heart of a passive.

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Could you do a modular extendable approach allowing eg 2/4/6/8 channels with discrete channel remote volume control for each?

 

That would fill a niche for DIY active speaker designs.

 

The volume control will need master volume / Left-right balance/individual channel adjustment/mute.

 

There's a challenge for you.

 

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@Nada    That was exactly the question that came to me on reading this last night.

 

My application would be for between an Oppo 205 and power amps - of any choice down the track. I don't think balance control would be needed, but looking at other multi-channel preamps, like Parasound's P7, there's still the problem of no adjustment between channels.

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Alps pots are very well built & I have used them before but the Muses is a serious step up in transparency.

I do like the Alps but find they veil the sound a bit especially in a good high rez system (like yours Brian)

The Muses chip is more like  a really good steped antenuator & with a hundred steps you have very fine control.

It would possibly to daisy chain the chips so you have 2/4/6/8 chanel’s but obviously it will bump the price up quite a bit.

Currently my firmware does level, muting & input swiching so good to go now. Balance control would be doable but I would need to get the programmer back to rework the code a bit.  That could be added later as it is only code & no hardware change needed.

I thought initially I would just do a basic two channel version with volume, input selection & muting & all info displayed on the OLED screen. Trying to keep the price down & make it simple. Once you guys have had a listen & if impressed I can look at more elaborate versions.

There are a couple of Muses systems available off shore but I thought it would be good to have a local version.

http://www.academyaudio.com/volume-control

http://akizukidenshi.com/catalog/g/gK-06469/

Edited by Gieseler Audio
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Alps pots are very well built & I have used them before but the Muses is a serious step up in transparency.
I do like the Alps but find they veil the sound a bit especially in a good high rez system (like yours Brian)
The Muses chip is more like  a really good steped antenuator & with a hundred steps you have very fine control.
It would possibly to daisy chain the chips so you have 2/4/6/8 chanel’s but obviously it will bump the price up quite a bit.
Currently my firmware does level, muting & input swiching so good to go now. Balance control would be doable but I would need to get the programmer back to rework the code a bit.  That could be added later as it is only code & no hardware change needed.
I thought initially I would just do a basic two channel version with volume, input selection & muting & all info displayed on the OLED screen. Trying to keep the price down & make it simple. Once you guys have had a listen & if impressed I can look at more elaborate versions.
There are a couple of Muses systems available off shore but I thought it would be good to have a local version.
http://www.academyaudio.com/volume-control
http://akizukidenshi.com/catalog/g/gK-06469/

could you do it with no LED display
some pot to adjust volume on the muses chip - as a kind of drop in replacement to my current attenuator?
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Anyone going into volume attenuation must give Clay’s  use of the Muses 72320 some serious thought if you’re thinking of step attenators or Alps pots....

 

Let me say it’s a fantastic idea that he’s taking it up to give you either a DIY drop in or a Preamp.    Any volume control chip are digitally controlled and require programming microprocessing coding, but this will control the attenuation in the analogue domain just like a as if you’re adj a standard mechanical pot.  The beauty of this chip is that it’s slightly different to the run of the mill and it’s the reason why Nelson Pass uses it on his top of the line Preamp.  Unlike typical mechanical pots or step attenuators that require a mechanical contact,  these chips such as the Muses 72320, BB PGA 2310 or the CS3310 are contactless,  they are precision trimmed to the point where it’s less than 0.25- 0.5 DB in accuracy between channels throughout the attenuation range for life!  You won’t get that on any mega buck mechanical attenuator!   No mechanical contacts means no wear and tear.  These chips will also have better stability and accuracy than a photo diode using the intensity of light to attenuate...

i run a Preamp with a BB PGA 2310. And I’ve heard it in a number of preamps.  As far as I’m concern don’t consider a Preamp unless it has one of these chips!  It’s a must have in today’s environment of hifi.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 25/06/2018 at 10:10 PM, misternavi said:


could you do it with no LED display
some pot to adjust volume on the muses chip - as a kind of drop in replacement to my current attenuator?

Clay,

 

Any further progress.  This simplified version may be an appropriated replacement for my TKD 2508 Pot.

 

I am starting to miss remote vol and mute on my DIY Pre.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Clay

I know it has only been a week, but I would be interested in getting two of these. Your initial proposal would be perfect. I look forward to seeing what you offer.

Cheers

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Thanks for the input. I will try & get started tomorrow on it. 

I’ve been flat chat on some exciting new products that are now almost finished so 

that should free up some time to get back on this.

Hopefully it will all come together & be on the new website in a few weeks.

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3 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

Thanks for the input. I will try & get started tomorrow on it. 

I’ve been flat chat on some exciting new products that are now almost finished so 

that should free up some time to get back on this.

Hopefully it will all come together & be on the new website in a few weeks.

Any tidbits on what's cooking?

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A new entry level DAC (under $700) but still using Jensen output transformers.

A brand new PSU design with 4A output rating & preset voltage between 5v to 16v.

Gross DAC with lower output impedance.

Femto clock Amanero board upgrade option.

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A new entry level DAC (under $700) but still using Jensen output transformers.
A brand new PSU design with 4A output rating & preset voltage between 5v to 16v.
Gross DAC with lower output impedance.
Femto clock Amanero board upgrade option.


So pretty quiet then !!
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3 hours ago, Gieseler Audio said:

A new entry level DAC (under $700) but still using Jensen output transformers.

A brand new PSU design with 4A output rating & preset voltage between 5v to 16v.

Gross DAC with lower output impedance.

Femto clock Amanero board upgrade option.

Would be very interested in the Femto Amanero board.

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  • 9 months later...

This remote attenuator thread has passed me by 

First time I have seen it 

 

Im also interested to convert from manual volume to remote - for my  Nakamichi CA5 II preamp because I’m getting old and lazy to get up to change the volume 

 

 

 

 

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OK so I’m thinking two version options.

 

1. Basic volume control only version which would have line in/line out & be a simple

replacement for the volume control in an amplifier.

 

2. Volume control plus input selection. 

This would be a larger board with say three or four pairs of RCA sockets & would suit a full DIY amplifier build.

 

Both versions would require an AC input of 12+12v or +- 20 to 30v DC sourced from within the amplifier.

The AC 12+12v option is best as it would be totally independent & with better filtering.

Just use a small transformer from say Jaycar.

https://www.jaycar.com.au/24v-3-6va-150ma-centre-tapped-type-2854-transformer/p/MM2018

 

The unit would be supplied with my usual 2.8” OLED display & remote control. These are the same components 

that are used in the Gross/Fein DAC’s.

 

Control is totally via the remote with no physical pot/knob.

 

Cost;

The Muses chip is $36 + Muses buffer, OLED display, pcb, micro & remote are the major cost components so there is about a $100 for those.

Then build time, shipping packaging & most important my  IP for the code which makes the whole thing work smoothly.

A rough ball park figure would be in the $300 to $400 range to make it a viable product for me.

Still interested???

Bear in mind this is a high quality design & anyone wanting a cheap basic unit there are tons of options from China via EBay.

Edited by Gieseler Audio
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I'm interested in this, but perhaps from a slightly different angle. I have no DIY skills, so that's me out (as far as inserting it into an amp). But I do want a switching box. I have one, but it's designed for video plus audio, and I'm not convinced it doesn't degrade the signal. I havent been able to find a better one that has a remote, which is required. And a passive one won't excel in my setup. Basically I like a switching box to compare preamps, without having to change cords etc. So multiple inputs with a remote that switches inputs (and does volume) as a standalone self-contained unit would attract me. (Even more attractive to more people if it could also output to multiple power amps.)

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Yes I could certainly offer it as a fully built up self contained unit.

It would only bump the price up slightly  -  just case & PSU being the extra cost.

I would probably use the Klein case as I am set up for that already.

OK sounds like I need to get serious about this.

Maybe a self contained demo unit first that I could send out  then everyone could get a feel for

the  sound quality control etc.

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 months later...
On 24/04/2019 at 8:23 AM, Gieseler Audio said:

OK so I’m thinking two version options.

 

1. Basic volume control only version which would have line in/line out & be a simple

replacement for the volume control in an amplifier.

 

2. Volume control plus input selection. 

This would be a larger board with say three or four pairs of RCA sockets & would suit a full DIY amplifier build.

 

Both versions would require an AC input of 12+12v or +- 20 to 30v DC sourced from within the amplifier.

The AC 12+12v option is best as it would be totally independent & with better filtering.

Just use a small transformer from say Jaycar.

https://www.jaycar.com.au/24v-3-6va-150ma-centre-tapped-type-2854-transformer/p/MM2018

 

The unit would be supplied with my usual 2.8” OLED display & remote control. These are the same components 

that are used in the Gross/Fein DAC’s.

 

Control is totally via the remote with no physical pot/knob.

 

Cost;

The Muses chip is $36 + Muses buffer, OLED display, pcb, micro & remote are the major cost components so there is about a $100 for those.

Then build time, shipping packaging & most important my  IP for the code which makes the whole thing work smoothly.

A rough ball park figure would be in the $300 to $400 range to make it a viable product for me.

Still interested???

Bear in mind this is a high quality design & anyone wanting a cheap basic unit there are tons of options from China via EBay.

Is this still in the pipeline?....would be interested in a 8in/8out version, no input switching required....would just sit above a multi channel amp.

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