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Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls? (Read 8080 times)
Doug
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Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
05/09/19 at 19:39:49
 
Has anyone heard of a CSP3 with smooth action controls for line out?  If not, is it even possible?
Doug
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
First Watt J2 or Cary 300SEI
driving Voxativs—no crossover
LFD NCSE driving 15” Woofers
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #1 - 05/10/19 at 00:22:44
 
Are you referring to the "stepped" controls that come on the CSP3 stock?  I'm not sure what advantage there would be to a smooth control since these aren't really stepped attenuators.  Although they have steps, they can be set in between the detents to fine tune the balance.  

Not sure if this is what you meant.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
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Doug
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #2 - 05/10/19 at 14:43:06
 
Oh, I didn’t realize that the voltage output was changed in between steps.  That might work for me.....I‘ll try it this evening.  The reason for my question is that when I am using my LFD amp (that doesn’t have a volume control for each channel like my Torii Jr has) there is no way to control balance.  I have intentionally avoided dual volume controls for decades, but having had them on my Torii Jr for the past year and a half, I find that I can’t live without them.  Badly balanced recordings can be easily adjusted, and imbalances caused by tube issues can also be adjusted.  I’m wondering if there is even room for some type of smooth action line out controls on a 25th CSP3.  
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
First Watt J2 or Cary 300SEI
driving Voxativs—no crossover
LFD NCSE driving 15” Woofers
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #3 - 05/10/19 at 15:56:36
 
The detent attenuators likely could be changed for smooth but these work well for me since they are easy to put to the same level and then tweaked between the detents as required.  I often have a slight channel imbalance (seems to come and go) that requires up to a full click on one side or the other.  Half and quarter clicks aren't a problem.  One thing I did do though was put small knobs with index lines on the posts so it's easy to turn the knobs and see where I am on each.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Doug
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #4 - 05/14/19 at 01:40:44
 
Archie, I have experienced the coming and going channel imbalance phenomenon for years, and I’ve always thought it was my faulty hearing, or my warped mind, or my less than perfect system, or possibly all three.  It’s really good to know I’m not alone in this perplexing issue!

Thanks for the additional information on the CSP3’s output flexibility.  I’ll contact Steve some time this week to check on having smooth line out controls installed.
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
First Watt J2 or Cary 300SEI
driving Voxativs—no crossover
LFD NCSE driving 15” Woofers
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Pat McSween
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #5 - 05/15/19 at 16:51:44
 
Hi, just lurking here. What size is the shaft on the op pots?
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #6 - 05/16/19 at 00:37:22
 
I think they are 1/4" diameter.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
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Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Tripwr1964
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #7 - 06/01/19 at 12:54:44
 
i like the steps then i know where i am at by the number of clicks.

for my amp i am 2 clicks back from 100%.

inputs are always 100% unless using headphones
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Doug
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #8 - 06/04/19 at 04:02:24
 
When driving my Torii Jr with the CSP3-25 I very much like the stepped output controls, as the Jr has a smooth volume control for each channel.  It’s when driving my solid state LFD NCSE amp that I would like see smooth action output controls on the CSP3-25.  I talked with Steve a few days ago and told him I can’t live without dual volume controls now that I have had them on my Torii Jr the past 18 months.  Steve just laughed and told me that many people feel the same once they have used a piece of equipment with dual smooth action volume controls.  He also told me that he would be happy to change out the stepped output controls for infintely adjustable controls!
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
First Watt J2 or Cary 300SEI
driving Voxativs—no crossover
LFD NCSE driving 15” Woofers
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Geno
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #9 - 04/30/20 at 01:29:45
 
Hi Adam. I think the slip over knobs were a good idea. I just got my CSP3, and as far as I can tell, the only way to reference is to count clicks. I sure would like a reference point. And with my arthritis, something easier to grip would be good. Do you remember where you got the knobs, or did you make them?
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #10 - 04/30/20 at 02:27:43
 
I don't remember.  They came from one of those parts sites that sell everything.  They are black metal with index lines on them.  I got smaller (shorter) ones for the 4 balance pots and a taller one for the master volume.  They are small in diameter so they don't interfere with the tubes.
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0128041410.jpg

ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
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DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Geno
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #11 - 04/30/20 at 03:06:18
 
Nice!  I’ve been on one site looking for some. I was figuring black myself. Yeah, looks like no larger than 3/4” diameter to avoid the tubes.

This thing sounds fantastic already, by the way. And that’s without even experimenting with settings yet.

Thanks,

Geno
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(2)SE84UFO(Balanced Monoblocs) OR Sansui AU-222
Crown sub amp
Cambridge Audio CXN(ModWright) • ZBIT
SL-1210MK5(KAB Mods) Soundsmith Aida MKll cart • Darlington Labs MP-7
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #12 - 04/30/20 at 03:41:57
 
I think mine are more like 1/2" D.  I keep the output (closest to front) at 100% and the input around 7 or 8.  Steve recommended turning the amp volume to 100% and using the CSP3 master volume to control volume but I prefer to keep the CSP3 at about 3/4 and use the ZMA volume.

I've never completely understood what these knobs do!

Oh, I just found the knob invoice.  They came from Digi-Key Corp.  .50" diameter and .250" shaft.

And this might be of interest:  (Steve posted this a year or so ago)


SP3 INPUT VOLTAGE CHART w/ 5U4 and 6N1P-EB

Note:  Outputs set to full, Volume set to full.  Input pots set to zero and charted through their range.

2V INPUT SIGNAL, 528Hz

Position =  Volts
0 = 0V
1 = 156mV
2 = 492mV
3 = 1.53V
4 = 2.8V
5 = 4.0V
6 = 5.1V
7 = 12.22V
8 = 25.0 V
9 = 32.0 V
10 = 32.0V

1V INPUT SIGNAL, 528Hz

Position = Volts
0 = 0V
1 = 60mV
2 = 200mV
3 = 552mV
4 = 1.05V
5 = 1.5V
6 = 1.9V
7 = 4.8V
8 = 7.7V
9 = 10.12V
10 = 10.12V

The max input voltage with the input control set all the way up is 3.38V.  At that point slight clipping is seen at the full 35V output.  If you trim the master volume down and the output control down, the distortion will become inaudible but it will still be there, just at 15 times lower level.  That means you can shove 10 volts into it but it will always sound better set to 3.38 or less.

Keep in mind these figures are with the CSP3 connected to my test gear which is 178KOhms so the output voltage will vary somewhat into different loads.  Also keep in mind the 120V at the outlet and the tubes you use will effect these results making them go up or down.

Steve
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Geno
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #13 - 04/30/20 at 04:13:34
 
Man! This is good info to have for sure. That sheds a little light on what’s happening as adjustments are made.  I’m used to adjusting the volume at my amp too, and will probably keep it that way.

Thanks for the knob info. I’ll see about getting some ordered. Looks like 1/2” D will be much better.

Best,

Geno
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(2)SE84UFO(Balanced Monoblocs) OR Sansui AU-222
Crown sub amp
Cambridge Audio CXN(ModWright) • ZBIT
SL-1210MK5(KAB Mods) Soundsmith Aida MKll cart • Darlington Labs MP-7
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #14 - 05/05/20 at 16:57:09
 
All of this discussion got me looking at my CSP3 settings and the chart last night.  My new settings have the inputs at 7 (were 8), outputs still at 10 and the master volume now at full (was 3/4).  That gives me a usable range on my ZMA volume of about 1/2.  By Steve's chart I'm only at about 5 volts out of the CSP3.  My goal is to get the maximum out of the CSP3 and to squeeze it back down with my ZMA.  The 1 volt input from my ZP3/ZMC1 limits me quite a bit.

The CSP3 master volume is a bit of an unknown to me.  I assume that it goes from 0 to the maximum for a given input and output knob settings.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Geno
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Without music, life
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #15 - 05/06/20 at 00:46:09
 
After a lot of experimenting, and reading a post from Lon about how he has his pre settings (his DAC is similar to mine) the first thing I tried was to set the DAC volume to 95%. Then, I set my amp volume to 95% also. This results in the main volume on my CSP3 ending up at 12 (60%) with the rear knobs at 6, and the front knobs at 8.  And when I switch to phono, the only difference is turning the pre master volume down to about 10 (50%).

I realize that, by the numbers, this limits the impact of the CSP3, but to my ears, this is much better than cranking the CSP3 way up, and controlling the volume with the amp - by far.

I will add that I never listen over 85db, so more volume would probably impact these settings.

I’m definitely not a “numbers” guy. I trust my ears to tell me what sounds more natural.
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(2)SE84UFO(Balanced Monoblocs) OR Sansui AU-222
Crown sub amp
Cambridge Audio CXN(ModWright) • ZBIT
SL-1210MK5(KAB Mods) Soundsmith Aida MKll cart • Darlington Labs MP-7
Otari MX5050-Bll2 R2R
ZLC Power Cond.
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #16 - 05/06/20 at 00:57:45
 
I would have thought your DAC would put more voltage into your CSP3 than  your phono but you seem to be indicating the opposite.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Geno
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #17 - 05/06/20 at 01:09:00
 
You’re right. I don’t have a logical answer.
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Crown sub amp
Cambridge Audio CXN(ModWright) • ZBIT
SL-1210MK5(KAB Mods) Soundsmith Aida MKll cart • Darlington Labs MP-7
Otari MX5050-Bll2 R2R
ZLC Power Cond.
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Michal71
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #18 - 10/30/21 at 23:45:05
 
Hi everyone, I would like use a CSP3 as a pre amp and connect it to a Benchmark HPA4 amplifier.  I contacted Benchmark and they told me that the max output voltage going from the pre amp should be no more than 9.5V per channel.  According to the CSP3 spec I would be able to adjust the output level between 0-30V per channel. I was trying to measure the CSP3 output Voltage using a multimeter with 1kHz test tone with a Chord 2qute DAC (3.3V output) connected to the preamp.  With the input and output level controls set to max (10) and the master volume control set to max the output was slightly above 13 V. When lowering volume down one notch it was 8.5V.  So, I was not able to go anywhere close to 30V.  I mean, I can set the CSP3 input and output level controls to max, and the volume knob just 1 notch below max, so its output is about 8.5V per channel but I'm not sure if my measurements are correct.  I just want to be on the safe side. Am I doing something wrong?  Thanks for the input.
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #19 - 10/31/21 at 00:00:46
 
Steve's Chart, using a 528Hz signal and a 2V input reached 32V out of the CSP3.  With a 1 V input it went up to 10V out.

Here's the chart again if you haven't seen it.


CSP3 INPUT VOLTAGE CHART w/ 5U4 and 6N1P-EB

Note:  Outputs set to full, Volume set to full.  Input pots set to zero and charted through their range.

2V INPUT SIGNAL, 528Hz

Position =  Volts
0 = 0V
1 = 156mV
2 = 492mV
3 = 1.53V
4 = 2.8V
5 = 4.0V
6 = 5.1V
7 = 12.22V
8 = 25.0 V
9 = 32.0 V
10 = 32.0V

1V INPUT SIGNAL, 528Hz

Position = Volts
0 = 0V
1 = 60mV
2 = 200mV
3 = 552mV
4 = 1.05V
5 = 1.5V
6 = 1.9V
7 = 4.8V
8 = 7.7V
9 = 10.12V
10 = 10.12V

The max input voltage with the input control set all the way up is 3.38V.  At that point slight clipping is seen at the full 35V output.  If you trim the master volume down and the output control down, the distortion will become inaudible but it will still be there, just at 15 times lower level.  That means you can shove 10 volts into it but it will always sound better set to 3.38 or less.

Keep in mind these figures are with the CSP3 connected to my test gear which is 178KOhms so the output voltage will vary somewhat into different loads.  Also keep in mind the 120V at the outlet and the tubes you use will effect these results making them go up or down.

Steve
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Michal71
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #20 - 10/31/21 at 00:39:45
 
Yes, I saw this chart but I'm still confused. I understand that in this case it depends mostly on the signal frequency.  The voltage output is lower when playing higher frequency signal (1kHz voltage< 528Hz voltage), right?  How can I find out what CSP3 outputs settings in my particular setup should I use when playing music to not make the HPA4 inputs too hot?  I'm going to use this setup (CSP3+HPA4) mostly for headphones.  So, I should just set up the CSP3 outputs based on what I hear (normal listening volume)?
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #21 - 10/31/21 at 01:06:08
 
I would question the max input to that amplifier.  What happens if you exceed the "limit?"  Does it harm the amp or does it hamper the performance somehow?  I certainly have a limit going into my ZROCK2 or ZMA but it's more functional than catastrophic.  If I get distortion or just not enough usable volume pot then I dial back my CSP3.

How cool would it be if Steve incorporated a voltage-out meter on the CSP3?
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Lin
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #22 - 10/31/21 at 01:47:21
 
If you set the HPA4's volume control at the halfway point and adjust the CSP to make this your loudest listening level you will be fine.

WRT your measurements, do we know if what you played was at 0dB level or could it be a matter of you measuring peak vs peak to peak?
IDK shrugs shoulders and scratches head

I try not to worry about voltages, usually something tells me there is a problem before bad things happen.



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Michal71
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #23 - 10/31/21 at 02:26:09
 
Archie, you're right.  Probably I need to stop overthinking Smiley  The HPA 4 has a built-in over-voltage protection, anyway.  And yes, the CSP3 with a voltage-out meters would be even greater. Smiley
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Michal71
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #24 - 10/31/21 at 02:38:23
 
Lin, yes the signal was 1kHz at 0db.  If I set the HPA4 volume control at the halfway point and the CSP3 inputs/outputs, and volume control to max I can barely hear anything when playing music.  I need to go much higher on the HPA4.  But yes, nothing happened when I was  briefly listening to music with everything set to max on the CSP3.
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Lin
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #25 - 10/31/21 at 03:31:02
 
Where do you have to put the HPA4 volume for decent output?

You probably already know this, when set to 0 it is at unity gain (in v = out v), it provides up to +15 dB gain and -127.5 dB attenuation.
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Michal71
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #26 - 10/31/21 at 15:47:53
 
I would say -35db-40db with the CSP3 volume knob sets one notch below the max and with ZMF Atticus or Verite Closed Headphones (both are 300 ohm) and with analog input boosted by10db.  l know I still have a lot of headroom but I was just afraid of using too much CSP3 output voltage when feeding the HPA4.  When using the HPA4 alone as a headphone amp my listening level is -20db-15db, so probably  when using a CSP3 as a preamp and turning the CSP3 volume just half way I would have the same -35db-40db level.  
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Lin
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #27 - 10/31/21 at 19:06:02
 
One more question, do you use the CSP3 with an other amp and speakers?
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Michal71
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #28 - 10/31/21 at 19:41:05
 
For the last 5-6 years, I've been using the CSP3 only in my headphone setup.  I do have a speaker system: Oppo BDP 105-->Emotiva XPA-5-->Dahlquist DQ 20 as the front and Dahlquist DQ 12 as the surround speakers.  I'm sure the CSP3 would be a great addition between the Oppo and the Emotiva and could also feed the center speaker or subwoofer as well. Maybe one day... Smiley
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Lin
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #29 - 10/31/21 at 23:02:24
 
The good news is you can use the CSP3 with whatever settings work best in the HP system. Smiley
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piezoman
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #30 - 11/01/21 at 19:55:30
 
fwiw, i got these for my csp3:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07WNLX4H8?psc=1&ref=ppx_pop_mob_b_asin_title...

i never understood since joining this forum why Steve doesn't install knobs on the posts. i found the naked posts as clumsy, annoying, and not very practical.

brad
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Tony
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #31 - 11/09/21 at 00:37:30
 
Brad,

I took your advice and received knobs from link you provided.  Thanks.
Question:  The screw in the knob is a small hexagon type, what size wrench size did you use to tighten that screw?  Must have been smaller than 1 mm.
Or, if you used something else, what was it?
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SE84UFO25 | Ic0n4 Passive Preamp | ZBIT | Cambr. CXNv2 | Denafrips Pontus II | Denafrips Gaia | Decware I/Cs | Decware Pwr Cbls | ZWIRE Speaker Cbls | Omega SAHOM & KEF KC62 | Furman Cond l GIK Room Trmt
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HockessinKid
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #32 - 11/09/21 at 13:18:01
 
Pman,

Thanks for the tip on those narrow black knobs for the CSP3 metal pot posts. It can be annoying making adjustments and counting clicks for sure.

Also for folks interested in dressing up their Decware amp or preamp, Etsy has some sellers that offer a variety of quality, handmade guitar knobs. I picked up a set of Brazilian Rosewood knobs with an indicator dot for my ZMA. They look really nice, easily fit the posts, and tighten down with a small torx set screw.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Audio Technica AT-OC9XML cart + Modwright PH 9.0XT phono OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 > CSP3-25th Ann. preamp > ZMA-25th Ann. amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Caintuck Audio Lii15 Magnum speakers > Snake River Audio & ZenWave cables
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piezoman
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #33 - 11/10/21 at 01:06:06
 
Hey Tony,

The size of the allen wrench escapes me at the moment, but it was one of the smallest on the set.

HK: Thanks for the kind words!

I found these knobs as a great complement on the CSP3.  Very functional, good tactile sense, and the right diameter to allow room so fingers dont get burned. And inexpensive!
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JBzen
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #34 - 11/12/21 at 14:43:28
 
Nice knobs for sure. Just installed 5 of them on my CSP2+. Set screw turned out to use a 1.5mm hex driver. Smallest one on a metric set.
John
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AMC CD8b>XO3>Cambridge CXN2>ZDAC>ZBOX>braided silver/occ> Zrock2>CSP2+>SE84 milflex copper 25th>9AWG silver/copper braid>lii Crystal 10 in Huijgen cabinets. Ortofon 2M Black>JVC QL-F4/Otari MX5050B2>ZP3. Isolation. AC filtering. Room treatment.
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DancingSea
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #35 - 01/06/22 at 04:30:21
 
Aloha,

My new CSP3 ought to ship within 5 weeks.  I'm now revisiting this vexing and confusing line out control topic so I'm prepared on day one.  I'm going to order some of Brad's knobs from Amazon.

Looking at Archie's chart, my eyes glaze over.  The CSP3 will be going into a Marantz Model 30 integrated used in either integrated mode, or in power amp mode (I'll try both).

Is there some spec on the Marantz that I must be mindful of in order to not overcook the CSP3 line out voltage?  I rather not blow up the Marantz on the CSP3's first day!

Here is the Model 30 manual.  Insight welcomed and appreciated.

https://manuals.marantz.com/model30/EU/EN/DNTXSYnslltjoe.php
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #36 - 01/06/22 at 06:17:04
 
Others will know more but it looks like the amp takes 1 volt to reach full power.  The CSP3 will push that and more so you'll essentially be throttling the inputted voltage with the amp volume control -- riding the gain.  The more you turn up the CSP3, the less you'll turn up the amp.

When I used an integrated amp with my CSP3 I bypassed the amp's built in pre.  If it's like my NAD then you'll plug the CSP3 into the back at the amp connection instead of having the pre and amp connected with jumper bars or cables.  I suppose if you plug the CSP3 into the Marantz's pre you'll just be stacking pre amps.  I don't have any experience with this but I would think it would not be the thing to do for optimal sound.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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DancingSea
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #37 - 01/06/22 at 06:22:23
 
Thanks Archie. The Model 30 has a menu setting to make it power amp only mode.  It disengages the preamp section.

Is there any concern for damaging the amp by not having the CSP3 line out setting properly?
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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #38 - 01/06/22 at 06:28:48
 
Wow, that's convenient.  I was amazed and confused by the phono cart specs.  I can't imagine a 80mV MM and a 8mV MC cart.  That's more than 10Xs normal carts.

You can over drive the amp in that it will easily clip if you turn up the volume knob much.  If you're use to having it fairly high up, you won't with the CSP3.  But you still have control.  I always start with the volume off on my ZMA and turn it up based on the volume I want and not the knob position.  If you leave it turned up and then turn up the CSP3 output you might immediately clip but the CSP3 won't burn out anything on its own.
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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DancingSea
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #39 - 01/06/22 at 17:51:04
 
Thanks Archie.  

I really don't need the CSP3.  I've been on the list for the ZR2 for nearly a year.  When I saw how the list has grown to well over 1000, and that given I'm at 47 now with the ability to add new devices to my current waitlist position, it caused me to think "if I'm ever going to be interested in another Decware piece, now is the time to do it less it be a 2+ year wait."

Have a long held curiosity about the solid state power amp/ tube preamp combo.  And here we are, an audition on the horizon.

I have the Decware ZBox in between my DAC and integrated.  Enjoy what the lone 12AU7 brings.  I have the knob set to high.

My theory is that the CSP3 will increase the tube effect from 1 to 4.  Sort of taking the ZBox's effect to another level of tube mystery and magic.  So I don't exactly think of the CSP3 as a preamp, but as a multi tube ZBox.  In that light I'm not adverse to running the CSP3 directly into the integrated for the sole reason to keep the Marant's balance knob!  Oh how I love me a smooth turning Japanese engineered knob!
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Doug
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #40 - 01/07/22 at 03:05:34
 
I have used my CSP3-25th mods+ with a very high end SS Integrated and currently with my Cary 300B integrated.  I can’t imagine using either integrated amp without the CSP3.  By the way, there is no way to bypass the preamp on either of my integrated amps, so the CSP3 must be connected directly to a pair of line level inputs on the integrateds.  I was actually preparing to sell my CSP3 just prior to receiving the Cary 300SEI….after all, why in the world would you want a full blown tube preamp to drive a full blown tube preamp?  I am so thankful that the CSP3 was not put up for sale!

After receiving the Cary 300SEI and running it stand alone mode for several days, I then skeptically, and with a good deal of trepidation, hooked up the CSP3 to the Cary integrated.  I slowly turned up all five volume controls and was dumbfounded by what I was hearing.  The CSP3/300SEI combo were producing the most beautiful music imaginable.  If I live another 10, 20, 30 or more years, I highly doubt that this pairing will ever leave my main system.  

I suppose that the biggest surprises is that no matter where I set the 5 volume controls (4 on the CSP3 and 1 on the 300SEI) I never detect any distortion at all.  A normal setting on the CSP3 is to have the output controls at the 2:00 to 3:00 position (7 or 8 clicks out of 10 on these pots), with the main volume controls at approximately 2 to 3 o’clock. I then turn up the volume on the Cary to the desired volume, which sometime goes as high as 1 or 2 o’clock.  And it’s worth repeating; I never sense that the Cary integrated is being over driven, and the very thought of not having the CSP3 in front of my Cary integrated causes momentary anxiety.   

I’m pretty sure that Steve is now routinely supplying the black knobs on the CSP3 output controls as shown on these photos of my unusually modded CSP3.

[img][/img]
https://ibb.co/5K7w726
https://ibb.co/qCW4jSr
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
First Watt J2 or Cary 300SEI
driving Voxativs—no crossover
LFD NCSE driving 15” Woofers
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Doug
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #41 - 01/07/22 at 03:10:40
 
And…..the CSP3 is way more than another tube effect, as you are about to experience for yourself!  
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
First Watt J2 or Cary 300SEI
driving Voxativs—no crossover
LFD NCSE driving 15” Woofers
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DancingSea
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #42 - 01/07/22 at 03:43:16
 
Thanks Doug for the encouraging feedback.  I shall use your exact volume recipe to get started.  I'm extremely excited to try both the CSP3 and ZR2 that are coming next month, nearly a year after ordering.

The other route I could go is set the Marantz SACD 30n to variable output instead of fixed.  Run that into the ZR2, and on to the CSP3.  Then run that into the Marantz Model 30 set in power amp mode.  I really need to have remote control volume one way or the other, and the DAC can be set to have it control the volume.  Either way there will be 2 preamps.  Thus why not go the route that has the sexy balance knob??

Do I understand correctly that the current CSP3's ship with knobs for the line out controls?  Or should I order Brad's knobs off amazon?  I'll need to have a clear visual representation of what each knob is set to, or I'll get infinitely confused.

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Archie
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #43 - 01/07/22 at 05:48:25
 
That doesn't look like any CSP3 that I've seen with no master control, front inputs and no headphone jacks.  Is it a special custom job?
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ZLC
Technics 1200G TT w/ Ortofon Jubilee MC cart
ZMC1
ZP3 (25th A Mods)
ZR2 (25th A Mods)
CSP3 (25th A mods)
ZMA (25th A mods)
Homemade Big Betsy Speakers (F15s)
Silver Cabling
DIY Isolation platforms under amps & TT.
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Lon
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #44 - 01/07/22 at 08:30:57
 
That's an interesting custom/hybrid CSP3/CSP3 25th! Looks great.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SEWE300B,CSP3-25mod,Taboo MkIV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls;Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Ori,Oppo PM1
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DancingSea
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #45 - 01/07/22 at 17:27:17
 
They’ve yet to pull the parts for my order, but it should happen soon.  I have the base model CSP3 with a cherry base.

What are some alternative options that I could ask for that might improve the usability?

For instance, I have no need for headphone jacks, what else could go there?
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Doug
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #46 - 01/07/22 at 18:43:14
 
I ordered my CSP3 in May of 2018.  It was one of the very first CSP3 units built with 25th A Mods.  Six or eight months ago I contacted Steve to see if he could modify it by removing the two input pots, removing the headphone jacks, adding two smooth action volume pots, adding front inputs, and adding small black knobs to the output controls.  He said it could be done, so I sent it in for the mod.  

When it arrived back in Lees Summit, I was surprised to see that there was no selector switch for the three pairs of input jacks.  It turns out that Steve wired my newly installed front jacks directly to the two main volume pots.  So apparently this custom mod has a more direct and shorter signal path than even the full blown CSP325 with this elimination of a bit of wiring and the selector switch.  I swear it sounds significantly more open and resolving with all those extra parts and pieces removed, but I’ll likely never get to do a direct comparison with an original CSP3 with 25th A mods.  Anyway, it’s a pretty cool custom mod, and I couldn’t be happier with it’s performance.

DancingSea, I say check with Steve on the little black knobs.
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
Denafrips Pontus II
ZROCK2 25th Mods
CSP3 25th & Custom Mods
PAP Quintets with Voxativ 1.6
First Watt J2 or Cary 300SEI
driving Voxativs—no crossover
LFD NCSE driving 15” Woofers
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Lon
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #47 - 01/07/22 at 19:17:44
 
I used to say I never had a reason to have headphone jacks, but the CSP and the Taboo made me hear headphones in a whole new way, and now with life with my wife headphones allow me to have opportunities to listen to music that I would not otherwise and they are welcome.

But if you really don't need headphone playback and won't in the future see if Steve can install dual volume controls in those spaces as he did for Doug. It's a great way to have a balance control--I have that on my Taboo and it's often used.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SEWE300B,CSP3-25mod,Taboo MkIV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls;Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Ori,Oppo PM1
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Lon
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #48 - 01/07/22 at 19:20:22
 
And if you can afford it and haven't done so add the 25th Anniversary Mods. They transform a component in all kinds of good ways.
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HR-1,ZTPRE,ZBIT,ZROCK2,SEWE300B,CSP3-25mod,Taboo MkIV;Rega RP3 all GrooveTracer mods;PSAudio:PST+DSD,P15,NPC,PowerBases,AC-12 pwr cbls,Reference spkrcbls;Mapleshade SamsonV3;VooDoo:Cremona+Amati interconnects, IsoPods; headphones:Sennheiser HD800S,ZMF Ori,Oppo PM1
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DancingSea
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Re: Infinitely Adjustable Line Out Controls?
Reply #49 - 01/07/22 at 20:30:06
 
Thanks, I shall call on Monday about the dual volume knobs. I’ve never listened to headphones, nor owned a pair.

I’m just dipping my toe in the tube waters to see if I like it.  If I fall head over heels, can see about mods then.  And the CSP3 and ZR2 in the same order has eaten up the budget.
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