My Denon PMA-600NE is "too loud too quickly" with ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 speakers. Turning the master volume knob just ~20 degrees from zero position already takes it to a very high volume. I would like to adjust the relationship between the knob position and the actual volume in order to utilize a greater range of the knob. Right away, I see the following ways to achieve that:

  1. Attenuate the speaker signal, i.e. splice in a typical L-shaped voltage divider into the speaker wires.

  2. Open the amplifier and splice in a resistor (or resistors) right at the volume knob, thus reducing the input signal level at the amplifier-proper.

The cons of the first approach, as I see them, include "generating more heat than sound" and changing the character of the speaker impedance. AFAIK, for folks with vacuum tube amps this approach might carry some valuable benefits, but they are probably unlikely to apply to the above Denon.

The cons of the second approach are that I have to open and modify the device itself and that I run the risk of reducing the S/N ratio.

I would appreciate any thoughts that would help me decide which approach to use. Is there a third approach maybe?

Note that this is an integrated amplifier with a built-in digital input circuit, which adds optical inputs and Bluetooth input. Ideally, I would like to have all inputs covered by the above adjustment, meaning that I have to work somewhere at a common point

  • Sorry but this question is not on topic here because we do not handle consumer audio and Hi-Fi systems on this site. (lower input = lower output) Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 4:42
  • I'd be tempted to ask this on electronics.stackexchange.com where they can go into better detail, but I'd be inclined to change the main volume pot for one with a different taper - see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potentiometer for a general description of how taper can be varied to suit your needs.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 27, 2019 at 8:44


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