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What value potentiometer for headphone volume control?

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tom0826

New Member
Hi. I recently built a volume control box for listening to headphones while working on the computer. I just like having a knob of some sort to quickly turn down the music when needed.

The trouble I'm having is that I get no adjustment until the last 30 percent of the potentiometer knob. There is no sound until after two thirds rotation of the knob.

I used a Radio Shack Stereo Volume Control Potentiometer. 100K dual-ganged with audio taper (271-1732C) connected to 1/8 inch stereo headphone connectors.

I'm assuming that the problems is with using a 100K ohm pot, but not sure what resistance value I would need. Could you guys lend a hand and recommend a resistance value?

Thanks.
Tom
 

sam_h

New Member
Hi, Idon't know about headphone, but most speakers are around 6-8 ? which means that may need a 6-8 ? or some resistors in parrallel with the pot you already have. Alternatively you could use a digital volume control.
 

nettron1000

New Member
I think you might have the pots wired backwards and yes you could replace them with a lower value, say 50K?

Sam i think you meant 4 to 8 Ohm and yeah they seem to be the most common.
 

tom0826

New Member
Thanks, guys. I will try the 50K or 10K. I'm leaning toward the 10K since I feel like it's so far off.

I've ran into a lot of digital volume control stuff on the web. It will surely be my next project. I'm ordering both the DS1669 from Dallas Semiconductor and the LM1036 from National Semiconductor so I can play with the two two types and compare.

Thanks for you help!
Tom
 

mada17

New Member
Found your thread and 10K does the trick

I found this while seeking out the solution to the very same problem..the resistance of course IS the problem..for a headphone level signal I found that a audio tapered 10Kohm pot worked beautifully...100Kohm is too much an will only only allow the signal to pass in the last part of the turn because you are trying to pass about 3 Volts or so through 100K ohms of resistance!! Just wanted to share in the Eureka moment.
 

crutschow

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Headphones for solid state amps have a typical impedance somewhere between 75 to 150 ohms. If you want a pot to control the volume between the output of the amp and the headphones, then a pot value of 1k ohm or 500 ohms should work best.
 
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