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Potentiometer upgrade to a Glasshouse stepped attenuator

A how-to guide on upgrading from an Alps blue potentiometer to a Glasshouse Stepped Attenuator, made with an Elma 2 pole, 24 way switch, 0.5w PRP shunt resistors and 1w Takman metal film series / load resistors.

Upgrading your amplifier’s potentiometer to a stepped attenuator is going to make the single biggest difference in performance. An improvement in channel matching and detailing is just the start. We measured the Alps that we took out of this amplifier (which is probably 15 years old) and at lower volumes the channel matching was quite poor and it was also a bit noisy when making small adjustments to the volume; it was therefore in need of change.

First listening tests revealed a remarkable difference in presentation. The music moved right back; there was more separation – faster, more detailed. The result is still a little too ‘edgy’ for my taste but this should settle after a few more hours; alternatively the load resistor could be changed for the Amtrans AMRG carbon film – as these have a beautifully natural tone.

For more information on The Glasshouse range of stepped attenuators, please click HERE