I have an Onkyo TX-NR3010 and an Emotiva XPA-200 for Zone 2. I used the external amp so I can synchronize the audio between the main zone and second zone. The Emotiva puts out 150 watts per channel is is driving 2x Polk Audio 265-LS which can handle up to 200 Watts.
Every transformer based Volume controller that I've used burns out in a few months. Even ones that advertise 300Watt power handling.
Where the in-wall volume controller is, I have 4 wires and also a CAT-5.
What are my options? I'm trying to evaluate if I can use a passive volume controller in between the AMP and Receiver. Does this actually work and reduce the power output of the amp?
If that works, is there a passive volume controller that has an in-wall remote?
A passive volume control (also known as an L-pad) is basically a high-powered variable resistor inserted between the amplifier and speaker. Technically it doesn’t reduce the power from the amp, but reduces the power that reaches the speaker (I know, I know – a difference without a distinction ). The excess is dissipated as heat. They typically have power ratings as well, so they can also be burned out.
It appears you were paying attention to the power-rating specs on your transformer controls – that’s good. Don’t know much about these devices myself, but Home Theater Direct sells a couple that are rated for 75 watts RMS and 300 watts program. That should be sufficient for a secondary zone application.
I expect the problem may be that you’re running two pairs of speakers at the other end, which is demanding twice as much power from the amp as would be needed with only a single pair. That could be what’s burning out your volume controls.
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
"A nice mid-fi system," according to an audiophile acquaintance.