DACT - CT2 - 24 Position Stepped Attenuators
I am very fortunate having chance to try out the DACT CT2 Stepped 24-position attenuators.
CT2 is a mix of Danish and Swiss, moving parts from Elma- Swiss while electronic parts from Denmark.
The touch feeling and movement is top notch, the device is more as module base and can be taken apart easily whenever needed.
Except the main shaft, each sound channel is an individual Deck with tiny SMT resistors on it. In other word, if you have got a two channel one and needs to expand into 4 channels, you can do it easily by sending it to DACT for installing extra Channels /Decks - upgrade path is always available.
Another reason why I love CT2 so much is the small size, almost the same size as most of the volume switch available in the market; therefore, a direct switch over/replacement is easy and can be done in minutes.
According to DACT specification, the overall distortion and variance from CT2 is totally ignorable, this makes very good sense; cause a decent attenuator should be sounding pure as distill water and transparent while signal passing through it.
The CT2 is not only competent but doing an excellent job, Absolutely Neutral Sounding.
Below is my Conclusion/Suggestion after installing the CT2 in my Matisse Reference Preamp and listen to it for 3 weeks plus my unexpected findings.
Conclusions on Sonic Performance
In terms of price performance, the DACT CT2 is a very well built, small size, quality sounding stepped audio attenuator.
Once installed, you will find your amplifier sounds at least 20% better (in terms of dynamic and clarity) than before. Please do not forget 20% is a huge improvement.
You will find your amplifier got a MUCH quieter background than before (the very little sze-sze-sze sound gone completely); I cannot tell what makes this happen but this is something actually happening. I trust that is because of the very high quality SMT resistors.
Because of that, you can easily dig out a lot more details that you have missed before.
With the improved sound clarity and quieter background. You should got a much better focus on the Body of Instruments, Body of the Singers plus A far more realistic and reachable sound stage, the width, the depth, the positioning.
For years I have seen lots of DIY guys trying to tailor making his/her dream sounded attenuator by Soldering their own volume pot with varies favor brand of resistors like Holco, Dale.. etc. My feeling is; it could be a waste of time and money. More importantly, if you are that serious with your volume switch you better get a DACT CT2 so as to make life easier with better sonic improvement.
Lastly, I will suggest people, before you try to replace/trade-in your old aged amplifier for a better sounding one. Give it a last try by replacing the volume switch with DACT CT2 first, I am sure you will have a big big surprise and you will definitely apologies to the poor old amplifier that has been serving you for years.
See this interesting story that follows...
My Unexpected Findings,
This is what has exactly happened to me. I have got a 15 years old Creek amplifier in my reading room which plays piano music every day. Recently the volume switch got kinds of poor contact due to old ages.
Yesterday I open it up trying to fix the problem with contact cleaner, unfortunately, it still not good.
Without any detail thoughts I replace it with the CT2 cause it is the only spare volume switch with me, after replacement, I play the same old CDs I used to listen everyday.
After 10 minutes listening, I ask myself. Oh my God, how come this 15 years old amplifier sounds so much better after the volume switch was replaced.
So as to come up my earlier Conclusion and Suggestions,
I have compared 4 attenuators; DACT CT2, the standard one inside Matisse Reference, Alps blues beauty and the last one from Audio Note.
I must say I was deeply impressed by the result and the Sonic Performance of the DACT CT2 and I am sure you will have the same findings once you have the CT2 installed in your own amplifier.
Enjoy and Regards