Whole house speaker volume switch wiring question - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-16-2013, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Howdy folks, attempting to repair or replace volume switches for individual rooms.
I have 7 rooms each with two speakers and their own volume knob.

These are 1973 switches, they have 6 wires to each volume knob with NO MARKINGS whatsoever, except for an 8 ohm stamp.

Anyone have a good guess which wire is what? (I'm assuming a left, right, common ground 'in', and a matching 'out' set.)
Or, is there a standard practice to figure it out without blowing up speakers or amps?

Planning on replacing some switches with the bottom picture- will just jumper the grounds.





replacing with this, hopefully
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-16-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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A clue! A couple clues actually.

This is for a room that only has one speaker

So we have two wires on the #1 terminal

Also notice you can see "1 2 3" on some terminals (not covered in solder)

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post #3 of 12 Old 03-21-2013, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone recognize or know anything about these volume switches?

There's the whole 'balanced' switches, which I'm not quite sure if the mono price one is or not. I would assume the old ones are not.
Wonder if there's a problem mixing the two types.
Any info would be great.
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post #4 of 12 Old 03-21-2013, 01:27 PM
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What do the other ends of the wires look like, at the amp?

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #5 of 12 Old 03-21-2013, 02:27 PM
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The wire in the first 2 pictures you posted is solid core phone wire (completely inappropriate for speaker wiring). You should really consider rewiring with at least 16 ga. stranded speaker wire.

Are you planning to replace any speakers, Amps?

What type of amplification and speakers do you have now?

Proper wiring for the type of VC's you want to use would be (8) wires. 2 pairs from the amp and 1 pair going to each speaker.

More info on what you have and want to accomplish would be helpful.

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post #6 of 12 Old 03-22-2013, 09:15 AM
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It's damn near impossible to replace those volume controls with new current models.

I ran into these a few years ago and we had a hell of a time trying to get the new speakers we replaced to work with the existing wiring which was 3 wire and not the phone wire it looks like they used in your home.
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post #7 of 12 Old 03-22-2013, 01:36 PM
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fyi, it's a potentiometer.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-22-2013, 01:46 PM
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Crown has the 1-VCAP and the 4-VCAP if you are looking at replacing the units you have in your home.

I wouldn't replace then with the newer volume controls as the wattage would be very high for the phone wire to handle.
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-25-2013, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.
Not replacing any wiring, this is a two story house and realigning planets would be easier than rewiring it.
Goals are to replace bad pots and keep it as is- one broke, and one was not fixed with deoxidation spray.
This is genuine 1973.
Now, for entertainment, I've attached where all the speakers come together. There are 13 speakers coming into this. This is either genius, or the work of a madman. Or both.

I do not question what is going on here. I'm just going to 'go with it'. Trying to figure this mess out would be a waste of time (currently.) It works, so, I'm going to keep it patched up and not worry about it.

I'm running the house speakers on a zone 2 of an onkyo. This is just for gentle music throughout the house- quality/volume is not really an issue. (speakers are 1973 too!)

If these old volume switches are a thing of the past, I'll just patch up what I have and redo it one day when I'm really bored. Crown's VCAP switches look pretty specific for their system, I think- I need to take out one of my volume switches and run an ohm meter on it to see what's happening.
Kind of worried about taking one out- that might throw off the load to the amp!

Thanks guys- if you have bumped into one of these switches, give me a shout!


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post #10 of 12 Old 03-25-2013, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ifor View Post

fyi, it's a potentiometer.

Is it? Could be a variable L pad or a variac.
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post #11 of 12 Old 03-25-2013, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
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BOOM SHAKALAKA!

SAM64 is on it, I think. I did a VERY un scientific search for those items SAM suggested- which I've never even heard of. And I'm kind of a nerd.

doing a google image search on the L pad came up with some characters I might have seen before....

Then, on to ebay. check this guy out- exact same minus the orange color.


Ordering an L pad.

Next question, what the hell is a variable L pad? smile.gif
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post #12 of 12 Old 03-26-2013, 03:59 AM
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An L Pad presents a constant impedance to the amplifier output. In your case it looks like two variable wire wound resistors on a common shaft. as one goes up, the other goes down.
Radio shack used to sell them for inwall volume controls, often with a fake wood grain finish. wink.gif
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