Rothwell RCA In-Line Attenuators
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Rothwell RCA In-Line Attenuators

  (15 Reviews)
£40.83 Exc. VAT |  


Rothwell RCA In-Line Attenuators

  • Supplied in Pairs.

Here's the solution to a problem from which far too many audiophiles suffer - too much gain in the system. The symptoms are easy enough to spot - the volume is plenty loud enough with the volume control set to the 9 o'clock position, too loud with the volume control at 10 o'clock, and fine control at low levels is impossible.

The Rothwell In-Line Attenuators are the answer. These audiophile devices simply plug into any input sockets and reduce signal levels by 10dB. They can be used with integrated amps or pre/power amps, and are compatible with equipment over the entire price spectrum, from budget to extreme high end.

When used with integrated amps (simply plug them into any input sockets, then plug the source component into the atenuators) the volume control will be two or three "hours" further round its range than it was before, giving better conrol at low levels and operating well away from the end stops. When used with pre/power amps, there is an added benefit. 

This may seem like nothing more than a minor irritation, but in truth the performance of the system is being compromised. Although potentiometers work reasonably well over most of their operating range, they are notoriously problematic at extreme settings. The most obvious problem is channel imbalance - one channel will fade out (or fade in) quicker than the other, causing the stereo image to shift to one side - but on a more subtle level, the music may sound veiled and indistinct with the volume control turned down to the point where it is nearly off. Some people have tried to cure the problem by fitting a more expensive volume control only to find that it doesn't do much good. That's because the volume control isn't really the problem.

Its the excess gain in the system which is the real problem. That in turn forces you always to use the volume control over a very limited portion of its travel. What's needed is a way to reduce overall system gain without compromising sound quality and without major modifications to the equipment itself.

Please note, the "For Source" option above is different to the standard option.  The For Source attenuators have the input on the male end of the attenuator and the output on the female end and are intended to the used on the output sockets of CD players and pre-amps (as opposed to the input sockets of pre-amps and power amps, which is where the standard attenuators are used).  This means the direction of the signal flow is opposite to our standard in-line attenuators and allows them to be used with equipment where space behind is restricted or the use of DIN connectors would make it otherwise impossible.  Usually, though not always, this means Naim equipment.

Average Rating (15 Reviews):  
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Marriage of the old and the new
08 January 2022  | 

The output from my new Bluesound streamer was far too high for my venerable Quad preamp, leaving me with a volume scheme of "off/too loud/damaging". Added a pair of these and the range available from the volume control is now "quiet/soft/normal/loud/really loud" as designed. Very pleased with my purchase 😊

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

One of the best tweaks ever!
15 October 2020  | 

Bought a new system. The gain was too much with certain cd's. Also some additional noise was perceivable from a source.

Fast forward a couple of months and I remembered I had some XLR Rothwells - 15db laying about purchased last year. I also own several RCA versions just in case. My system is balanced throughout with a true balanced differential amplifier, dac as well.

I inserted the Rothwells at the outputs fromy dac , expecting some mild improvements, but:

I can listen to cd's at low listening level, this makes my girlfriend extremely happy

No more noise from my source
Inky black blackhole background where sound comes from
Better imaging
Dynamics are preservered

Wow, amazing product!

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Brilliant upgrade
14 April 2020  | 

Connected between dac (arcam irdac) and integrated amp (marantz pm7200).
Enables use of volume control between 10 and 2 o'clock, rather than 8 to 10, with audible improvement as it's now operating in the middle of the range as it should. deliterious effect on SQ either. Used 10dB attenuator .
Also appears to have lowered overall noise floor!
Very worthwhile upgrade for mimimal cost.

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This review has not been appraised.

26 October 2019  | 

I bought the -10db standard version to be used at the output of my passive preamp. Received the items in good condition within 2 weeks of order. I had a question and Gary Penska was very helpful to help obtain a reply. Thanks for the excellent service.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Just the job
31 July 2019  | 

It's made adjusting the volume on my Marantz amplifier so much easier and "gradual". Well worth the money.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Rothwell -15dB RCA In-Line Attenuators
03 May 2019  | 

These work as expected in CD input of my QUAD 34 preamp, giving me wider use of 34's volume control.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

In-line attenuator does 5 star job
14 March 2019  | 

Product well built.Quick and easy to fit. Does the intended job.My CD player fixed output signal far exceeds the amplifier line input spec. With the attenuator fitted the volume control now sits around 12 o'clock for a comfortable listening level. The sound quality is not impaired. In fact, the sound is cleaner.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Does what it says it does
15 January 2019  | 

I personally got exactly what I was looking for. My old 70s amp coupled with a CD player was already too loud at 7 o'clock. Got the -15 db version and I can now listen comfortably between 7 and 12 o'clock.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

perfect performance, Fast shipping
14 November 2018  | 

These have solved my excessive gain problem beautifully. I purchased the -15 db version, and am exchanging to -20 db for a little more attenuation. There is no perceptible loss or undesirable coloration of sound characteristics, rather sound is improved as I am able to get into the sweet spot of amplifier now. Soundstage significantly expanded, and the harsh "pops" of percussion that were present before have disappeared. My system: Cambridge CXC CD transport>Schiit bifrost multibit DAC>Bottlehead Crack w/speedball>Senn. 800s or Beyerdynamic T1 gen. 2, depending on genre. The -15 db version allows 2-2.5 clock hours additional volume on this system, hoping for a proportional improvement with a step up to -20db version. I Recommend!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

Highly recommended upgrade
17 May 2017  | 

Be patient, it rewards you.

After a break-in period, the impact is so big / great, that I wilI compare the impact with, getting a brand new high quality 2 RCA interconnects cable.

The only thing I miss, is a marker for the red / black line and a arrow for in-line attenuator or source attenuator.

At this price, "I feel it´s fair to do marking youself", because a alternative and competitive brand, cost you three times more.

I wish, that I had come across the Rothwell attenuators earlier.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful.

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