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Beolab Volume control without amp

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paddycochrane
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paddycochrane posted on Sun, Mar 29 2020 11:03 PM

Hi All,

Need your advice on a very small but a little frustrating issue.

I have a wonderful pair of Beolab 5000’s connected to my Amazon Echo Input (now discontinued).

The Amazon Input gives me access to Spotify and Amazon Music in a very small and discreet package

It’s not a permanent setup but there is something very cool about having voice control on a pair of 20+ year old B&O’s and with practically no wires or external amps/preamps.

Anyway, I’m having one issue. The volume/gain is too loud! Even when I turn down all the volume settings available in the Amazon Input and also in the iPhone iOS, it’s still loud for quiet evening listening.

Since I’m not using any amp I don’t have any control over the volume of the beolabs.

Does anyone know of a clever way to have some control over the beolabs volume in this current setup configuration?

Cheers!

p.

 

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Hyponx
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Hyponx replied on Mon, Mar 30 2020 12:19 AM

Perhaps a simple volume potentiometer could be used to adjust the overall volume output from the echo down a bit.

Like this one, its passive so no additional power input would be required. https://www.schiit.com/products/sys.

I'm sure some googling may yield some other similar products.

 

Good luck!

Jaffrey2230
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You could connect the Beolabs to a Core (which is what I have). I can control the volume using my phone or voice or the B&O app. Prior to the Core I tried an Apple AirPort Express and Bluesound Node and both worked equally well. I just preferred the DAC in the Core over the others. With a Core you can also use an Essence remote if you like.

B&O products I use by zones in my home: 

Platform: Apple Home with Google Wi-fi (mesh), 100% streaming audio (Sirius XM, Apple Music, YouTube Music); TV/Office: Beolab 8002 (Red) + Beolab 2 [Sony 65A1E OLED TV, Apple TV 4K];  Living: Beoplay A9 (MK2), Bedroom: Beolab 6000 (Red) + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core [LG UST Projector, Apple TV 4K]; Beoplay M5 Dining: Apple HomePod; Portable: Beosound 1, Beoplay P6, BeoPlay H9 (3rd Gen). 

 

Bill Briscoe
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I've used the Schiit passive preamp that was mentioned as an example of a solution. The problem with passive preamps is that they can also become a high frequency filter.  I did notice a minor impact on the higher frequencies at certain volume levels with the Schiit. Definitely not a deal breaker, but I would recommend an active preamp solution or the core for the Beolabs, as they're great speakers.

Hyponx
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Hyponx replied on Mon, Mar 30 2020 5:13 AM

Very interesting to hear Bill, thanks for the first hand advice!

I know that some of Schiit's other products have seen mixed reviews.

Audio Science has taken to doing some relatively scientific reviews and as it so happens they did review the Sys (quite favorably) https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/review-and-measurements-of-schiit-sys-passive-pre-amp-switcher.2335/. Frequency response error looked good across range of volume settings.

But I did notice that Schiit warns against long cable runs for this unit on their website!

Cheers.

TWG
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TWG replied on Mon, Mar 30 2020 7:47 AM

The simplest way to achieve it:

 

Fostex PC-1 black
https://www.thomann.de/gb/fostex_pc_1_black.htm

Fostex PC-1 white
https://www.thomann.de/gb/fostex_pc1_volume_control_white.htm

 

Geoff Martin
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https://www.amazon.com/Koss-155954-VC20-Volume-Control/dp/B00001P4XH

also does the trick. I have a bunch of these as a "swiss army knife" solution for lots of problems like this. I originally bought one to use on airplanes with a VERY sensitive pair of in-ear earbuds that I owned about 20 years ago. I then got a second to put between my AirPort Express and a pair of BeoLab 3's back when the AirPort first hit the market...

Cheers
-g

Geoff Martin
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Note that I'm assuming that this would go in front of the amplifier...

Cheers

-g 

Millemissen
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paddycochrane:

Hi All,

Need your advice on a very small but a little frustrating issue.

I have a wonderful pair of Beolab 5000’s connected to my Amazon Echo Input (now discontinued).

The Amazon Input gives me access to Spotify and Amazon Music in a very small and discreet package

It’s not a permanent setup but there is something very cool about having voice control on a pair of 20+ year old B&O’s and with practically no wires or external amps/preamps.

Anyway, I’m having one issue. The volume/gain is too loud! Even when I turn down all the volume settings available in the Amazon Input and also in the iPhone iOS, it’s still loud for quiet evening listening.

Since I’m not using any amp I don’t have any control over the volume of the beolabs.

Does anyone know of a clever way to have some control over the beolabs volume in this current setup configuration?

Cheers!

p.

 

Whilst the small device that Geoff suggested might be a good solution, when you use a pair of headphones, there might be a better option for you.

Since you are using an Alexa device, the Echo Link could do the job.

It is made for being paired to an existing voice controlled Alexa device and for receiving the audio from the Alexa device - it basicly is a preamp.

(Note! You can also connect an external device to that - vinyl or cd player - if you need that).

https://www.amazon.com/Echo-Link-Stream-stereo-system/dp/B0798DVZCY

 

Alternatively you could get a B&O Playmaker (should be cheap as a second hand device) and hook it up to the analog input there.

That is what I personally would prefer!

The analog input has auto sense (means, it activates the device when a sound signal is present) and you can control the volume with a Beo4.

It has PL outputs for your BL5000’s (however you will need a RJ45 to DIN adapter).

Note: if you don’t need the AP/DLNA part of the Playmaker just don’t connect it to the network.

 

By the way, why do you write ‘Amazon Echo Input (now discontinued)?

I see it listed on the Amazon site.

 

MM

 

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

Sibbi
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Sibbi replied on Mon, Mar 30 2020 5:37 PM

On a related note. Is it possible to connect a beolab or a transmitter 1 directly to a Sonos port og bluesound note?

 

Jaffrey2230
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Yes, I used to have a Bluesound Node 2i connected to a REL subwoofer and a pair of beloab 6000s. I then switched the REL Sub with a Beolab 11 and switched out the Node 2i with a Beosound Core. I now use the AirPlay 2 device remote or B&O App to control the volume.

B&O products I use by zones in my home: 

Platform: Apple Home with Google Wi-fi (mesh), 100% streaming audio (Sirius XM, Apple Music, YouTube Music); TV/Office: Beolab 8002 (Red) + Beolab 2 [Sony 65A1E OLED TV, Apple TV 4K];  Living: Beoplay A9 (MK2), Bedroom: Beolab 6000 (Red) + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core [LG UST Projector, Apple TV 4K]; Beoplay M5 Dining: Apple HomePod; Portable: Beosound 1, Beoplay P6, BeoPlay H9 (3rd Gen). 

 

Jaffrey2230
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<Duplicate> sorry.

B&O products I use by zones in my home: 

Platform: Apple Home with Google Wi-fi (mesh), 100% streaming audio (Sirius XM, Apple Music, YouTube Music); TV/Office: Beolab 8002 (Red) + Beolab 2 [Sony 65A1E OLED TV, Apple TV 4K];  Living: Beoplay A9 (MK2), Bedroom: Beolab 6000 (Red) + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core [LG UST Projector, Apple TV 4K]; Beoplay M5 Dining: Apple HomePod; Portable: Beosound 1, Beoplay P6, BeoPlay H9 (3rd Gen). 

 

paddycochrane
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Hi All,

I just wanted to thank everyone for the great tips offered! I'm fairly new to this group (and to B&O), but each time i have an issue, I always find lots of people willing to offer great advice and their experience. Much appreciated!

Got a lots of research to do now :)

Will probably end up going for the smallest most discrete option as I'm trying maintain the lowest amount of visual impact.

Thanks again!!

Cheers,

P.

paddycochrane
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Hi Jaffery,

I just had a look at the Beosound Core, looks like an interesting product that certainly would solve my particular issue, however my specific constraints are size and of course budget. Over the last year or so my BeoLab Speaker addiction has gotten the best of me, so I now have speakers in just about every room :)

The reason why I was attracted originally to the chrome cast Audio, and more recently the Amazon Echo (inputs, dots, flex) is because they provide multi-room/ multi speaker streaming at a low size and price.

Another limitation was an inability to run any new wiring, these small dongles avoid any need any for wiring - in most cases I'm using one dongle for each speaker and linking them in the app to run as a stereo pair.

When it works it's great however, you cant expect a £30 dongle that needs to interface with a number of music streaming services to be completely flawless. It's sadly not.

Another obvious shortfall is the quality of the on board DAC, the chrome cast audio is the best sounding, the echo dot (gen 1) is also ok, however the newer Echo input is a little weak.

Cheers,

P.

 

paddycochrane
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Hi Millemissen,

Thanks for the suggestions,  I have a look at the link however didn't feel that it was for me. Also I think they are over charging for it. An Echo Dot connected to an amp, achieves more or less the same thing at 10% of the cost. Obviously there are benefits to the Link that the Echo series dont have.

As for the Echo Input, I'm UK based and they dont appear on amazon.co.uk. Now they are back in stock in the US, they might end up coming available in the UK again soon. As it happens, because of your post, i checked amazon and noticed that they are running a great sale on Echo Dots and Flex's. Even cheaper than the Inputs! So thanks for the nudge :)

Cheers,

P.

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