The Best Choice for Active Speakers
More and more audiophiles find that the behavior of normal multimedia speakers cannot meet their demands, and then they choose professional active monitor speakers. However, this kind of speakers usually doesn't have a volume controller, which means a pre-amplifier is needed.
Active monitor speakers are mostly placed on the desk and used for near field listening. So they need to consider the area required for Hi-Fi pre-amplifiers (normally very big). What'more, different pre-amplifiers may differ in their timbres and this is the most bothersome issue.
As an audiophile brand, Nobsound decided to solve this problem and designed this product. Its small size won't take much place and its clean silver color suits for various usage scenarios. There is no amplifying circuit in the device and won't change the timbre, while the amplifier in the active speaker is enough to drive it. With this product, you can enjoy the most original timbre and quality of the speakers and won't be trapped in the selection of pre-amplifiers.
- Dimension: 148 x 48 x 80 (mm)
- Weight: 0.6 (Kg)
- Impedance: 50KΩ
- Input: RCA / XLR (selection switch)
- Output: RCA / XLR (selection switch)
1 * pre-amplifier
7.4 x 5.39 x 3.58 inches
Item model number
it states in its description it uses the high quality ALPS 27 potentiometer (blue one) , and actually one of the reasons why I decided to order it, and why it is more expensive, however upon receive my product, I noticed its volume control does not feels like an alps 27 at all, so I decided to check it, and yes my unit comes with the much cheaper ALPS 09 (green one). Completely ripoff!
This piece did exactly what I wanted it to do. I needed a volume control, without all the extras that a pre-amp has and was economical as well. The ability to bring RCA's in from a dac and output XLR's to an amp was an extra added bonus for me. I feel fortunate that such a piece was available.
I'm using this unit in a full-sized audio system (Denon DVD-3800, B&K ST-202 amplifier, Quad 11L speakers). The Nobsound compares very favorably with my custom-built passive preamp. It doesn't add any sonic signature of its own. It just faithfully transmits the signal without coloration or degradation. I use an I-Pad on the other input (via an XLR adapter cable), and the voltage output of the I-Pad is sufficient with the passive Nobsound. With it's low price, the Nobsound passive would be at home in a modest desktop system. But, make no mistake, it's no toy. It can make multi-thousand dollar equipment sound really good. If you don't need active gain boost and you like the sound of your electronics, then the Nobsound may be the ticket. If you want to cover up sonic flaws or manipulate the sound, then this may not be for you.
I have had no issues with this preamp in terms of it's function and sound quality. The buttons to change input and output work well and the volume knob is actually the best feeling knob in my entire audio setup. I use it to split the signal coming from a dac between a pair of studio monitors using XLR and a headphone amp using the RCA outputs.
The only reason I give this preamp 4 instead of 5 stars is due to how it was physically designed. It is so narrow from front to back that if you plug in a few XLR and RCA cables it will throw the whole unit off balance and cause the preamp to kind of teeter on it hind feet. This could have been avoided by making the preamp just a little bit beefier or square shaped.
So everyone is clear, this is a volume controller and nothing more. It does not plug in, their is no active circuit. I have it between my DAC and my power AMP to control the volume coming out my Television Toslink Digital out, into a Parasound ZDAC, then this controller, then Parasound ZAMP to passive speakers. Does not change the sound to my ears in any way, no coloration. For 50 something, well worth it to have the ability to adjust volume from digital out.
This is a very nice passive preamp for the price. Solid construction, nice large volume knob, and smooth as silk turning of the knob! The chassis, while very solid, is also pretty small and light. This isn't really a criticism: It's exactly as you'd expect it to be. However, with really stiff RCA cables, like the Monster ones I'm using, the preamp can get pulled around by the weight of the cables and isn't super solid on a flat surface. I fixed that by putting some mounting putty under the feet, which keep it solidly in place.
Overall, I'm very impressed and satisfied with this product. Highly recommended.
Remember this is just a volume knob that can switch from RCA to XLR on inputs and outputs. That is it. All and everythign it does... I'm using it to control volume and switch between the Pre-amp in my Cambridge DAC (XLR in) and the Pre-amp on my turntable (RCA in) before going to my Crown XLS 1502 Amp (XLR out). There is no noticeable noise or anything added at high volume, to my ears anyways, which can't hear most mid-range anymore but are extremely tuned to very quiet high and low frequency according to my hearing tests at work. Volume knob is super smooth, but sturdy. Switching between XLR an RCA is tactile and firm, and should last as long as you don't sit and play with it. The box is small, but dense. The quality should honestly be good enough for most "audiophiles" even.
The preamp was delivered on time, I have been using it to control the volume of two monoblock Nuforce HA-200 headphone amplifiers and it just works. More than that, the volume control is of a pretty good quality, way above what I would expect for that price.
Everything else in this category costs a lot more and I am not sure why. If you need a balanced preamp that should be on your list.
Great price and perfect for my application. I wanted to switch between my subs and headphone amp from the XLR connectors on my DAC/preamp. This little unit does the trick perfectly. I can't hear any sonic degradation, even through my Hafler HA15 headphone amp and Grado GH4 headphones.
It also gave me one level controller for my dual subs, which are in opposite corners of the room. Nicely built unit and well thought out.
I needed an all passive volume knob with XLR in and out, and this fits the bill perfectly. Doesn't seem to color the sound noticeably, and works just fine.
I'm running a standalone USB DAC to a Marantz 5 channel Power amp. Since the power amp has no volume control, this fit the bill. This item is definitely a niche product for a very uncommon setup. Make sure this is what you need!
Don't bother buying this. It takes away so. Much sound out of ur amp and makes it sound horrible. Buy a topping dx3 pro or a D50 and be happy. I can't give it a zero star for sound.
Fantastic product at a very reasonable price. I am going to order a second one.
Opened up the unit and it is an alps pot but it looks like an alps 09. The size is too small to be a 27. It still works fine but an 09 is a cheaper pot.
J'aie écoute en mode balancer très transparent belle image très satisfait.
This unit does what I need it to do. Works great.
I liked having a remote volume for my powered sub. Works perfectly.