Home Bottlehead Forum

Welcome! Need support, you got it. Or share you ideas and experiences.

Re: Sweetest Whispers Questions

>> Why is the Sweetest Whispers 15K when the Foreplay II used 100K pots?

The Sweetest Whispers was designed to meet three requirements: 1) high enough impedance in a Foreplay to properly load a Seduction, 2) reduce the Foreplay gain by 10dB, and 3) a low enough impedance to work by itself as a passive preamp. It is normally configured as a shunt atenuator, with 33k to 48k input resistance, the minimum load for a Seduction. The shunt mode also provides the 10dB sensitivity reduction. It can be configured as a normal potentiometer at 15k, which is about the highest practical impedance for a passive preamp. (Actually, Doc B ran his system for several months with the passive version, and it worked pretty well with a Seduction.)

>> Would a "100K" Sweetest Whispers allow me to keep the volume turned down low or is that what the input padding resistors are for?

That's what the padding resistors are for. Some systems need much less gain than others, and a shunt mode control is ideally suited to that application - by changing the series padding resistors, you can get an attenuation range of 10dB to 28dB, and an even wider range with custom resistor selection.

>> Does the audio signal go through all the resistors when turned all the way up?

Yes, it does.

>> Isn't it considered "bad" to have resistors in series from an audio perspective?

Some people think so. But then, capacitors are considered to be "bad". Steel leads on any component are considered "bad". Tubes are said to be "bad, except by those who insist transistors are "bad". Copper is "bad", unless you think silver is "bad". There are very few amlifiers that have no capacitors, no steel leads, no tubes, no transistors, no copper, and no silver.

Let's put things in perspective:

1) Ordinary potentiometers (usually conductive plastic) are usually considered the lowest quality, but are still good enough for a majority of high end audio gear. Cost around $10 and up.

2) Many (including myself) think that carbon potentiometers, although the cheapest, sound a little better than conductive plastic. Cost around $4 and up.

3) Almost everyone thinks that a switched attenuator with metal film resistors sounds better than any pot. Cost around $100 and up, except Whispers which has fewer steps to keep the cost down.

4) Many repeat the claim that a full ladder is even better. Cost $200 and up, because it takes twice as many resistors and switch contacts.

5) Most agree that any of the above controls in a shunt mode configuration sounds better than in a potentiometer connection.

Those costs are of course just approximate, so don't beat me up if you've found something at a different price! But you get the idea - Sweetest Whispers is not the best attenuator available, it's just the best sounding option for less than $100. If you have several hundred dollars to spend on an attenuator, there are better ones out there. But if you have several hundred dollars to spend on improving your preamp, there are probably many other things (caps for instance) that will cost less and make a much bigger difference.

This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors:
  The Cable Cooker  

Follow Ups Full Thread
Follow Ups
  • Re: Sweetest Whispers Questions - Paul Joppa 13:51:31 01/05/06 (0)

You can not post to an archived thread.