Glasshouse Ladder Stepped Attenuator, 47 steps (Mono, Built version)

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Glasshouse Ladder Stepped Attenuator, 47 steps (Mono, Built version)


We can now provide the ultimate mono ladder-stepped attenuator to complete the picture following the launch of the stereo 47-step ladder-stepped attenuator. With 47 steps, you will have serious control over your volume. We purchased the actual switches with the ladder in mind after several customers asked for it. Set with the challenge we got building once the switches arrived.

So with 92 resistors in total to fit across 2 PCBs with each pair of boards connected up, there is a solder joint count of 188. As the PCBs are put through holes, it is impossible to rectify a mistake, so a board rebuild is required with each incorrectly soldered resistor. Even with my experience, I still manage to make mistakes. For this reason, we are only offering this stepped attenuator as built and tested. Build time is 4 hours, so definitely not for the faint-hearted. The actual switch is dismantled to give access to the PCBs; we do use the Cardas contact cleaner throughout the build to ensure no dirt or dust infects the contacts.

We have gone for the Takman 0.25W resistors; the larger 0.5W makes the build almost impossible. So we have the carbon film and the metal films on offer. What is the difference? In my opinion, the carbons offer a very natural sound, easy to listen to, are not warm but not clinical and are a good blend of the two characteristics. The metals offer a more crisp detailed sound.

If you compare the shunt version of this switch, you will notice the much higher price of the ladder, mainly because of the construction, more resistors required and doubling the layer number of the switch too, plus more build time. Is it worth the extra expense? In my mind, yes, it is. There is something effortless about a ladder switch in its sound; this has to do with the constant impedance across the full sweep of the volume control. It is subtle, but it is essential at the level of equipment this step is destined for.

Impedance options: 10K, 20K, 50K, 100K and 250K.

The step is made up of the following parts:

  • Elma 2 Pole 47 Way Switch
  • 92 x 0.5W Takman Resistors (carbon film or metal film)
  • 20cm of HGC 0.5mm diameter pure silver wire (earth ring x 1)
  • 8cm of HGC 1mm diameter sheathed pure silver wire (signal input/signal output)
  • Built using 2m of Mundorf 3.8% silver/gold solder
  • Build time 2 hours - cost £60 (included in price)

BODY: width 50mm, depth 50mm, height 43mm
BUSH: diameter 10mm, height 10mm
SHAFT: diameter 6mm, height 15mm

The Elma SERB4 A47 can be used in conjunction with the Remote Control module, the Remote Audio PLUS with LIN Motor. For more information on this please click HERE


We cannot supply the Takman Carbon 0.25W 100K version.

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