AVAILABLE ON CERTAIN MODELS ONLY.
|DACT volume control installed in Shaun Chan's SA-5000.
While developing the Aria Audio WV preamplifier I listened to every volume control on the market that met my criteria: it had to have an input impedance of 100K or greater for best sound, it had to track well at low levels, it had to feel good, and most important, it had to sound perfectly transparent. This control, manufactured by Danish Audio ConnecT is without a question the finest-sounding volume control I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. The similar Goldpoint doesn't even sound the same despite using the same core switch and using surface-mount resistors. Why? 99% of all surface-mount resistors sound very similar to each other, and none of that 99% sound like straight wire. There are a few exceptions, and DACT's Allan Isaksen has taken the time to find the ones that sound right.
This is a fine-feeling stepped control, providing 24-levels of attenuation (if you count the fully-on and fully-off positions as "levels") and perfect tracking. At first I wasn't sure if this would be enough levels for fine control of music loudness, but after using the control for a while, I found that provided all the levels I need.
We haven't done enough installs of this control to know whether it fits into all Counterpoint preamps. For a fact we know it will fit into the SA1000, SA2000, SA3000 and SA5000, as well as the earlier preamps: SA-3/3. and the SA-5/5.1 -- we don't yet know about the SA-7 or 7.1 until someone requests it. We would need to you to volunteer to be the first. It will not fit into an SA-9, though it will fit into an SA-9jr.
for DACT Volume Control: $440
NEW - The Bent Audio remote control system for DACT Volume Control.
Here's what I used to say about that on my Frequently-Asked Questions page:
Can you put remote control volume in my Counterpoint preamp?
A: Can you spell "obesity"? C'mon, how lazy
do we have to be? Burn a couple calories, get out of the La-Z-Boy and
turn the knob. Seriously, remote control volume is a serious slide down
the slippery slope toward features-over-sonics, style over substance.
Nothing sounds as good as an analog electromechanical volume control
like what your preamp has in it now. Remotely-controlled volume control
solutions fall into three types:
A. Motorized analog electromechanical volume
control. Take a high-quality attenuator (volume control) and drive it
with a motor. Problem with this is that I have not been able to find a
quality attenuator with a motor attached. Attaching a motor and gearbox
to an existing attenuator is not a trivial matter. The motorized pots
on the market are junk, designed for A-V receivers and the like.
you'd want in your Counterpoint preamp. I did design the SA-11's remote
volume balance system -- which uses stepper motors to drive $250
attenuators. But that would never fit in any of the other existing
B. Volume control integrated circuits. You
spent all this money on tube electronics, you like how tubes sound.
Presumably you have auditioned transistor gear and don't like how it
sounds. Why in the world would you want a transistorized volume control
in your signal path?
C. Relays and resistors. Complicated.
There is not one-size-fits-all design that could fit in the existing
preamps. So I'd need to design several versions. Estimated R&D
+ manufacturing in the $7,500 neighborhood. You want how many?
And there is the question of the remote itself. An
all-in-one solution consisting of a remote controller, and receiving
and decoding electronics, is not available in a form that could be
dropped into the preamps. I am perfectly capable of designing this
stuff, and have done so before. But for the two or three requests I
receive a year it is simply not cost-effective. Besides, how would we
solve the problem of there being no good-sounding remotely-controllable
attenuator (A, B and C, above)?
It's having to design features like these, which come before sound quality,
me off designing for retail sales when I was with Counterpoint.
Now all that's changed. Why? Because John Chapman at Bent Audio has designed a stepper motor drive kit that fits on the back of the DACT attenuator. It's a miniature version of what I did in the SA-11: a quality stepped attenuator with a stepper motor. In the SA-11 the attenuators were large custom-made TKD broadcast attenuators and the steppers were larger, but the idea is the same. Here's John's page: http://www.bentaudio.com/parts/dact.html.
Note that this can only be added to the DACT attenuator, above.
||Closeup of the stepper motor drive on the rear of a DACT attenuator on an SA-1000 . Note that the motor is too large to permit leaving the volume control in its original position. For the SA-1000 a new hole is drilled through the front panel above the mute/operate switch to receive the new attenuator and motor (SA-1000 courtesy Hans Christian Hæhre).
||Motor drive electronics mounted behind front panel.
||On SA-1000, IR receiver is mounted into old volume control hole on front panel.
||On SA-3000, IR receiver is mounted above the volume control hole on front panel. Volume knob has to be moved upward about 1/4'' (6mm) so the stepper motor on the rear of the attenuator will clear the circuit board. See SA-3000 upgrade page for inside shot.
Mounting details for each Counterpoint model will vary. Contact me and we can discuss how to best accomodate the motor in your chassis.
to add Bent Audio Remote Kit to DACT Volume Control: $330 or more, depending on how much modification is required and how much other work we're doing on your preamp. (Note: we've determined that the motor, which fits on the back of the volume control, cannot be installed in SA-5000's -- there simply isn't any room.)