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Stepped Attenuator (Read 1847 times)
Don W
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Posts: 55
Stepped Attenuator
03/07/12 at 20:28:03
 
I have a CSP2+ on order and have been wondering if I should spring for the stepped attenuator. Does it make a difference in sound quality? Also, it seems that the CSP2+ has separate level controls for each channel in both input and output stages. I assume that the stepped attenuator option only applies to the main volumn control, not these individual level controls. It seems like this fact would kind of negate the value of the stepped attenuator in the first place, though I doubt that Decware would offer the option if it didn't have some benifit. Anyone know how this works?
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Decware: Taboo, CSP2+, Mini-Torii, MG944, ERR, Zen Styx, DSR-II interconnects, DHC-1 power cables. Other: Audeze LCD-3 w/ Q cables, EE Mini-Max DAC Plus, Audio-gd SA-1 DAC, Audio-gd DI-DSP USB to Coaxial converter. Homemade PC with JRiver Media Center.
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Stepped Attenuator
Reply #1 - 03/08/12 at 00:36:48
 
Mine (CSP2+) has stepped input and output pots. Forget the stepped volume control.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Lord Soth
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Re: Stepped Attenuator
Reply #2 - 05/05/12 at 14:00:47
 
I have a CSP2+ with the stepped attenuator option.

The thing about normal (i.e. non-stepped) pots is that there is a slight amount of L/R channel inbalance at low volumes. This is in theory anyway. I believe that the normal pots used in non-stepped CSP2s are very high quality, otherwise many folks would have complained about the channel imbalance in the forum ages ago.  ;)

Anyway, I believe there is a forum post buried somewhere whereby measurements were made and the audio distortion figures for the stepped attenuator were slightly better than the non-stepped version. Whether or not this is audible to human hearing is another matter though!  ;D
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Rivieraranch
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Re: Stepped Attenuator
Reply #3 - 05/05/12 at 23:46:21
 
I don't like stepped attenuators because I find them hard to use.
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DECWARE CSP2+, TABOO MK III; SE84CKC; HR1; TRAPEZIUM DESKTOP SPEAKERS; TECHNICS SL1200MK5 turntable; Ah! Njoe Tjoeb CD player; MARANTZ 2226B, 2216B receivers; SENNHEISER HD-580 headphones
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Lord Soth
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Posts: 237
Re: Stepped Attenuator
Reply #4 - 05/06/12 at 03:23:30
 
For most of my normal audio CDs, I use about 1/3 of the max volume of 20 clicks when listening to my set of cans.

I find that 7 clicks is sufficient for 99% of the music I listen to.

The CSP2+ is a very well designed audio piece of equipment. The audio dynamic range can capture the faintest of sounds (e.g. the faint paper rustling due to a Classical conductor turning the pages of a music score) to the loud blare of Classical thrumpets.

Because of its excellent design, the CSP2+ does not suffer from the usual "too loud" or "too soft" syndrome commonly associated with other audio equipment with stepped pots. What I mean is that for the usual run-of-the-mill other audio equipment with stepped attenuators, usually people complain that the sound requires a half click in between.

The Decware CSP2+ does not suffer from such a common syndrome.
So far, I can simply set the volume knob to 7 clicks and the music is just right for all situations. I never have to adjust it in between the entire duration of any music score.
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