Common myths

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I am afraid to turn the volume control all the way up!

One of the common myths I see amongst Audiophiles is the idea that the higher you turn a volume control the more stress you're putting on the device. Keeping the volume control at a conservative or comfortable setting is easier on the equipment and the sound produced is less strained. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Volume controls are intrusive. They don't make volume, they restrict volume. They are always holding back the level, not increasing it. The few exceptions to this would include our older Gain Cell products where the opposite was true. But that's extremely rare. The vast majority of level controls are restrictive in nature and less is definitely more.

Stepped attenuators as well as simple potentiometer based controls are resistive elements in series with the signal path. They stand in the way of the music and restrict how much gets through. So do not think of them as the gas pedal of a car. Rather, they are more like the brakes on the car.

Cars always do better if you're not riding the brakes and stereo systems are no different.

BTW, have you noticed how, with the rise of personal video cameras (cell phones) in everyone's pocket, the reported sightings of flying saucers have almost disappeared? As soon as most of us gained the ability to video record reality, the popular myths we couldn't argue with before get fewer and fewer.

What's your favorite Audiophile myth?

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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