I'm having a hard time finding a simple volume / pre-amp knob for the INPUT side that looks like it would be of decent quality and hold up long term to feed into an A-300. Most decent ones seem discontinued ie the Control freak is gone as is the NHT PVC PC. There is the TC Electronics Level pilot, but that also requires stepping down from XLRs to RCAs.
This made me think about using a volume control out the OUTPUT side on the amplifier. There are a group of seemingly good quality resistor based single knob options available and I've used some on multi-zone installations previously.
It feels wrong to do, but perhaps it's the right way to go functionally?
Does anyone here have any thoughts or experience on which way is preferable?
Still interested on the output question in general.
The problem with output volume control is that the power amp runs at full power all the time. Generating heat, wasting power and wearing out faster, particularly the power supply. Output volume controls work by diverting/absorbing some of the power, leaving the rest to power the speaker. Commonly the diversion is into resistors which convert the watts into heat, lots of heat, which needs to be vented, usually via heat sinks, lots of large heat sinks and often fans to circulate the air. The reason why they have upper power controlling limits. They also present a different (to the speaker) load to the amplifier which can affect its sonic performance.
Overall in my view a pretty bad option, best avoided.
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Fair enough- Yeah lots of pre-amp options, but for this application I need simplicity with no extra button or knobs to be messed with and I didn't have to time to build them by hand since I need more than a few.
Thanks Gary- That sounds along the lines of what I was thinking, but just needed a little push.