I have a setup where an amplifier with 2 channels drives four 8 ohms 80 watts speakers on each channel. The amplifier has a single volume knob which controls volume of both channels at once. What I would like to do is add a volume control for both channels seperately between amplifier and speaker. This as I understand is not the right way because the potentiometer required will have to handle 80 watts of power, and thats why a volume knob is used at the input of amplifier instead of output. Unfortunately i have to use the setup i described. I have looked into T-pad and L-pad attenuators/resistor divider. I would like to know whether I can get some good ones in Europe? I am presently living in Austria, and I really cannot find anyone who deals with it in Europe. Also does anyone have experience/suggestions with controlling volumes of 2 channels separately?

  • 1
    Why not attenuate before the amp? Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 5:23
  • This might be a better fit for Electrical Engineering. It doesn't fall within 'sound design'.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 9:11
  • i have to use the setup i described - why ? --- and also, what is the device before the amp (sending signal to the amp) ? Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 9:48
  • @Schizomorph, Like I mentioned, i have 1 channel input and 2 channels output. The volume control on the amp already attunates before the input. However if i change the volume control then both output channels are attenauted. I want seperate volume control for each output.
    – RAN
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 13:40
  • @EdwinvanMierlo: I have to use the setup i described because the amplifier is expensive and we cannot afford to buy a new one. There will be a phone or a computer sending a signal!
    – RAN
    Commented Aug 27, 2018 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


Answer partially based on comment:

@EdwinvanMierlo The amp is Yamaha A-S501

The specification of the Yamaha A-S501 can be found here

This amplifier is actually a "consumer classified" for the purpose of StackExchange, and is therefore "off topic".

However, as this is probably used in a proffessional manner, or used as sound reproduction as an installation amp, here an very simple way of controlling the channels seperately.

The amp, has a "balance" control on the front panel.

With this you can influence the "loudness" of the two channels:

  • If you want L louder than R, then turn to left
  • If you want R louder than L, then turn to right
  • If you want R silenced, then turn all the way left
  • If you want L silenced, then turn all the way right

Now, this is not like having two volume knobs, but it will allow you to do what you want right now, without any further investment.

As this is consumer equipment the inputs are RCA/unbalanced and if you like to put something between source and amp to control the volume, you need to search for mixing desks for DJ's. DJ equipment usually has consumer line level (RCA/unbalanced) inputs and outputs, and usually stereo, which is what you want.

But finding a DJ mixer, which has seperate volume controls for L/R will probably be at the higher end of the product ranges.

If you go to pro-audio mixers, they usually are mono channels, pro-audio line levels, balanced inputs/outputs, which means that you need even more equipment/cables to connect it all up properly.


I would use the "Balance control" of the amplifier.

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