I see Rothwell do 10, 15 and 20db attenuators - is there any downside between the three? I just tested sound from an iPad, certainly is noticeably quiet but even then it needed to stay below 15% on the dial.
The iPads are definitely around the 1V mark from the 3.5mm output at max volume.
So if you’re getting only 15% usage form the dial I’d go for the 15dB attenuators.
I have 10dB and 20dB ones and the 20s are quite a large reduction. I only use them in my active speakers that have a huge gain.
15dB should bring your cds output down to around 500mv, ( it’s close to that at least, it’s ages since I made a pair), which is much closer to what the amp needs.
The -20dB attenuators will reduce the output from the Onkyo to about 200mv. So even though this is still more than the optimal 150mv, it might well have an impact on the max volume should you ever wish to party.
Indeed, there shouldn't be any difference. All they're going to have inside is a pair of resistors to provide a voltage divider, a bit like this (I put them inside the RCA connector when I had the same problem)...
You'll always find people who claim the more expensive ones sounds better, no matter how they really sound. The resistors these things use cost literally pennies. And despite what some people claim, I've never heard any difference between any decently constructed RCA plugs, sockets or cables.
The only thing I might do is go for ones with a fixed attenuation rather than selectable, simply to avoid having a switch in there - switches can degrade and can make poor connections. Saying that, though, it would probably be unnecessary caution, and I doubt I'd hear any difference between them.
Again a big thank you for the help and knowledge shared by everyone, I’m happy to say I’m now with a satisfied result!
The turntable shared a similar issue, but not to the same extent, I’ve decided it doesn’t bother me enough for that one so I have left as is.
Boy am I glad I went for the -20 attenuators, it’s allowed me to put the volume up to around 20-25% which is plenty loud! The annoying problem has gone and I’m left with beautiful sound that’s easy to adjust!
This forum is excellent!
P.S. for people searching for amp suggestions like I did, I can definitely recommend the Rotel RA-04 to be paired with my KEFs.
In the unlikely scenario someone is looked at a CD changer, the Onkyo DX-C390 is absolutely top notch