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Volume Control on Stereo Receiver
Old 03-07-2018, 08:53 AM   #1
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Volume Control on Stereo Receiver

The old receiver died so I bought a new Sony STR DH130 stereo receiver.
Went thru the manual that came w/ it several times and then noticed a warning about damaging the speakers if volume control was not set right. Only then realized that the volume control knob does not seem to have a physical stop that I could tell like the old ones where one rev perhaps got you from min to max. The knob on this one just keeps turning. Any one familiar with this?
Is this the way all are these days w/o a physical stop.

Chatted w/ Sony support and I never got the idea he understood what I was talking about. Would hate to damage the speakers on initial turn on because the volume control was set too high. Are they electronically controlled these days so no physical stops used?
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Old 03-07-2018, 09:09 AM   #2
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Most likely the display shows the volume level. Before connecting the speakers, turn it on and see what the volume is set at, and adjust accordingly. If it's not clear where you are at, is there a remote with more traditional up and down volume settings? That's my guess anyway. Not an expert.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:05 AM   #3
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Check and see if there is a default setting for when you turn it on.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:19 AM   #4
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Check and see if there is a default setting for when you turn it on.
Thatís what I would do. Turn the volume up or down, then turn it off, wait a while, then turn it back on to see if it starts at the previously level or at a standard preset level.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:20 AM   #5
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That type of volume knob responds only to rotation rather than absolute position. That's a common design when a remote is present since it permits the remote to control volume without a servo physically turning the volume knob on the unit by a corresponding amount.
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Old 03-07-2018, 02:25 PM   #6
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What GrayHare said. It won't start-up in blasting volume.
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:43 PM   #7
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and..........thanks to your knowledge and encouragement I'm back in business. My last stop was another Sony number suggested by the chat guy who seemingly didn't know what I was talking about. After 15min of hold long distance, I gave up and put my fate in your hands...........and it worked. The CD part anyway. Still got to figure out the radio part.

Yes all electronic control display panel, no markings or stops on front panel itself. I guess that's why the dinosaurs disappeared..........didn't keep up w/ the times.

Seems like these guys should hire me to help w/ their manuals. I could write the hand holding part for geezers so they are encouraged to just follow the instructions and not be worry warts. I could also write the instructions for the AM antenna holder.......the antenna and the holder seemed like that they should be 2 pieces that fit together but they came as one pc so I tried to separate them by flexing the pcs back and forth. Good thing they make them strong........before I could separate them I tried folding them so the prongs could fit in the slot. It worked fortunately before the pcs broke apart but it would have been more obvious if they had said something.

Anyway happy ending so thanks again to all.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:10 PM   #8
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Agree with others. Receiver volume controls sense motion only on units built over the last 15 years. This allows remote control. The only amplifier I have with a volume control with a stop is my trusty old Carver from the late 80's. It still sounds good and better than my newer Harmon/Kardon, Onkyo, and JVC receiver/amplifiers.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:31 PM   #9
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Made me go check my 1980's Sony rack system. Volume has stops and is also servo controlled by remote, turns on at the same volume as when shut off, I guess I subconsciously lower the volume before shutting it down because I found it at the low stop.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GrayHare View Post
That type of volume knob responds only to rotation rather than absolute position. That's a common design when a remote is present since it permits the remote to control volume without a servo physically turning the volume knob on the unit by a corresponding amount.
Yes.

While old volume controls used a potentiometer with a wiper ("pot") behind the shaft, new electronics use a chip with a variable attenuation circuit, which has no moving parts. The knob for manual control rotates an optical encoding disc, which counts the revolution in either direction of rotation to increment or decrement the sound volume. The amount of rotation is sent to the chip to increase/decrease the attenuation.

It is like the volume control on your laptop, except that instead of two keys to increase/decrease volume, the knob rotation is sensed for the same purpose. Indeed, some receivers have no knob, but two buttons for up/down volume control just like with a laptop or a modern TV.

As other posters have noted, because the control up/down is incremental or relative and not absolute, the initial level at turn-on would be set by the internal processor at zero or some low level, in order to be safe.

PS. One of my receivers is circa 1990. Its volume control is old-fashioned with a pot. Yet, it also has a remote control. The remote control receiving circuit drives a small motor that turns the knob left/right, just like a human hand would. This kind of design is more expensive and prone to mechanical failures, compared to the new design of today.
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:10 AM   #11
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Interesting thread. I recently bought a new receiver and wondered “how do they do that.” I could almost see the pot underneath the knob but it was obvious there couldn’t be one.
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Old 03-09-2018, 12:39 PM   #12
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Yes.

While old volume controls used a potentiometer with a wiper ("pot") behind the shaft, new electronics use a chip with a variable attenuation circuit, which has no moving parts. The knob for manual control rotates an optical encoding disc, which counts the revolution in either direction of rotation to increment or decrement the sound volume. The amount of rotation is sent to the chip to increase/decrease the attenuation.

It is like the volume control on your laptop, except that instead of two keys to increase/decrease volume, the knob rotation is sensed for the same purpose. Indeed, some receivers have no knob, but two buttons for up/down volume control just like with a laptop or a modern TV.

As other posters have noted, because the control up/down is incremental or relative and not absolute, the initial level at turn-on would be set by the internal processor at zero or some low level, in order to be safe.

PS. One of my receivers is circa 1990. Its volume control is old-fashioned with a pot. Yet, it also has a remote control. The remote control receiving circuit drives a small motor that turns the knob left/right, just like a human hand would. This kind of design is more expensive and prone to mechanical failures, compared to the new design of today.
But the old ones sound better! says he whose stereo system uses vacuum tubes and there is no remote at all and and I have to get up from my easy chair every 25 minutes or so to go turn the record over
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:23 PM   #13
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But the old ones sound better! says he whose stereo system uses vacuum tubes and there is no remote at all and and I have to get up from my easy chair every 25 minutes or so to go turn the record over
Audiophiles certainly think so. My daughterís boyfriend builds high end amps and receivers using tubes from The Czech Republic. They go for a fortune.
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Old 03-09-2018, 01:55 PM   #14
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If one does not want modern electronics in his receiver, he can still use the approach of using a remotely controlled motor to turn the volume knob.

No electronic attenuator chip there, just the traditional pot that is rotated by a motor instead of a human hand. I wonder if a tube receiver manufacturer has done this.
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:06 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post

Chatted w/ Sony support and I never got the idea he understood what I was talking about.


volume controls have been like this for years, even car audio



like others said, tun it on without plugging in the speakers and set the volume
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:43 PM   #16
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Audiophiles certainly think so. My daughterís boyfriend builds high end amps and receivers using tubes from The Czech Republic. They go for a fortune.
My Carver amp from the 80's through Energy speakers and Onkyo CD player sounds great. But it's solid state. If you really want to test your system, play a Sheffield lab CD.
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