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Home / Product Category / Whole House Audio / Volume Controls / In-Wall Volume Controls / VKR120 Decora Resistor Base Stereo Audiophile Transformerless Volume Control

VKR120 Decora Resistor Base Stereo Audiophile Transformerless Volume Control

Product code: OSD-VKR-120

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Features & Specifications

Resister-based volume controls like our VKR120 are often used with multi-channel amplifiers and impedance-matching speaker selectors. This is not an impedance matching volume control and features optimized sound quality with minimal low end roll off due to high permeability steel utilization. The VKR series of transformerless volume controls offers the widest frequency response of any volume control on the market today with virtually no high or low end roll off resulting in audiophile sound quality. Other features include two ounce double-sided G10 glass epoxy PCBs, a non-shorting design utilizing a "make before break" switch which prevents the amplifier from ever seeing a dead short and 12-14 gauge solderless speaker terminals with easy top termination. Every volume control includes a color coded knob and mounting screws.

Specifications

Other Product Info

There are two types of volume controller - Impedance matching and Non-impedance matching. If you connect your speaker parallel to the receiver or connect the speakers into an impedance protection speaker selector, use impedance matching volume controller. If you connect just one pair of speaker directly to the receiver or your speakers are connected directly into an impedance matching speaker selector, use regular volume controller.

When OSD entered the volume control arena, they choose to make the best sounding volume control with the widest frequency response and the best all around value on the market. The VKR series transformerless volume controls are the net result. They offer the widest frequency response of any volume control on the market today with virtually no high or low end roll off resulting in audiophile sound quality. This is a statement that no other manufacture can claim with their autoformer volume controls.

This Audiophile quality volume control is best to use with speaker selector or multi-zone amp. It is not impedance matching volume control. It features optimized sound quality with minimal low end roll off due to high permeability steel utilization. The VKR120 controls feature impedance matching capabilities and removable connectors.

All of the OSD volume controls feature two ounce double-sided G10 glass epoxy PCB’s, a non-shorting design utilizing a "make before break" switch which prevents the amplifier from ever seeing a dead short and 12-14 gauge solderless speaker terminals with easy top termination. Every volume control includes a color coded knob, Decora(r) metal/plastic insert and mounting screws. All Phoenix Gold volume controls will install as follows in single gang boxes from 18 to 14 cubic inch, except VKR120 with not fit a 14 box; double-gang in all 32 cubic inch or larger boxes; and triple-gang in all 42 cubic inch or larger boxes.

OWNER'S MANUAL

 Product Information

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

16 Questions & 16 Answers
Steve
from Seattle Area asked:
July 5, 2019
Would the VKR120 work well with Sonos "Connect Amp" or "Amp" products? My current in wall impedance volume controller has very poor what i would call "volume ramp up". In wall controller at 100%, within the volume control on the Sonos controller at 50% the volume is still very low.
1 Answer
Hi Steve:


If you are connecting directly from either the SONOS Connect AMP or the new SONOS AMP, you will not need Impedance matching volume controls. The SONOS Connect AMP can handle two pair of 8-ohm speakers (4-ohm load, each with a VKR120 connected inline). The SONOS AMP claims it can connect three pairs of 8-ohm speakers in parallel (2.6-ohm, each pair with a VKR120 inline). You know these are passive devices that attenuate the sound level from the Source. You are no adding any gain, just turning the sound down (counterclockwise). The VKR features a "Break Before Make" design. They disconnect between clicks, and unlike the Impedance Matching Transformer type Volume Controls, it disconnects when the rotary knob is turned all the way counterclockwise until the last click. The Resistor based Volume Controls do have a Broader Frequency Response with no high, or low end roll off. A good choice.


TL/5597

Submitted by: Tim Leahy on July 7, 2019

Todd
from San Antonio, Texas asked:
June 28, 2019
Would the VKR120 (non impedance matching) be the correct volume control to use with the Bose SoundTouch SA-5 amplifier?  The Bose SA-5 is a 2-channel stereo design that can handle up to four speakers, running two pairs of speakers in parallel.  The SA-5 amplifier doesn't have an A/B switch for splitting the sound output of the two pairs of stereo speakers, and my plan is to put a volume control on each pair to effectively create two zones (one pair of speakers for each zone).  Can I use two VKR120 volume controls to create an artificial A/B selector; one VKR120 between each pair of speakers and the SA-5 amplifier?  All speakers are 8-ohm; one pair Klipsch AW-650-SM and one pair Bose 251.  Thank you for any information and advice.
1 Answer
Hi Todd:


The VKR120 will work just fine for your application. The VKR120 do not have Impedance Matching protection but that is not an issue with your application. Plus the VKR120 when the knob is turned all the way counterclockwise turns the zone completely off. The VKR can each be mounted near each pair of speakers (or zone) it is controlling or both mounted by the amplifier. If you are mounting the volume controls by the amplifier there is another option that would work. It is the SSVC2 Dual Zone and Dual Source Speaker Selector. You could connect SPeaker A to source A and Speaker B to source B. Or connect speaker A output to Source A and play both Zones 1 and Zone 2 each with on/off switch and dedicated volume control for each. Then you can expand by adding another Amplifier and source to Source B input on the SSVC2. So you could play a different source for each zone.


Good Luck


TL/5588 

Submitted by: Tim Leahy on June 30, 2019

Vince
from Japan asked:
February 23, 2019
Dear Tim I came across the VKR120 (Audiophile Transformerless Volume Control) and would like to confirm few things: 1) in the specs, it says "Impedance: 8 ohms" ...I thought the impedance would be related to the speakers we connect to it. Could explain the meaning of this specification ? 2) Suppose that each channel of my amp (compatible with 4 to 8 ohms impedance) would drive two Yamaha VXC6W speaker (8 ohms impedance per speaker) connected in parallel ... so total impedance becomes 4 ohms per channel. If I connect a VKR120 to each of the speaker is it OK ? I guess in the worst case the impedance would be 4 ohms on each channel. I do not thing that I need an impedance matching VC in this kind of setup. Do you agree ? 3) "Fit in single gang box, depth 2.5". I do not know what is the size of a single gang gox in America. Could you tell me the ideal size of the box in which the VKR120 would enter ? Just in case, is it the same size for SVC205 ? Other points related to my previous questions: - could you confirm if XMP100 can convert stereo to mono signal or it would be better to use the preamp? - I'm planning to buy this for my home in Japan. Is it compatible with 100V 50Hz (even if it is written 110V 60Hz in your specs) ? I suppose that preamp must be OK but not sure about XMP100.... I would like to finalize my decision and order soon. If you could come back to me soon it would be appreciated. Thank you for you support, Vincent
1 Answer
HI Vince: 1) The XMP100 is not multi Voltage, so it will not work for you in Japan. The XDMP300 is multi-voltage and will plug in directly using an adaptor plug. 2) The XMP300 will play true Full range mono when you set the switch to mono. You are limited to the two positive output connections from Speaker A. It is critical to maintaining an 8-ohm load. It will most likely go into protection mode with anything less than 8 ohms. 3) The VKR120 are resistor based Volume Controls that have a wider Frequency Response with little to no high or low-end roll-off. It is a break before make design and has no Impedance Matching Protection. It will work with whatever speaker or speakers it connected with but in your case with four each 8-ohm speakers in parallel this is not for you. The SVC205 with Impedance Matching is your best bet with a 4X setting for each which should cover the worse case where you have all four speakers playing at the same time. The SVC205 does feature a front panel on/off switch where it disconnects from the system. Note, turning the sound down to in-audible levels is not turning the Volume control off. It will continue diverting the signal to the internal transformer. 4) You will not need the Pre-One for your system. Good luck TL/5425
Submitted by: Tim Leahy on February 27, 2019

trevor
from london ontario asked:
August 19, 2018
Hello, I'm building an addition on my house and I'm planning on wiring in ceiling speakers. I have an Anthem mrx 510 and a bunch of audio source amp110's will send zone two of the receiver to the audio source amps and from the amps to the volume controls. Since each speaker will run on its own channel I should use this as opposed to impedance matching? Thank You
1 Answer
Hi Trevor: Good choice, best sounding volume control for your application. You mentioned a bunch of AudioSource AMP110, are we talking 2, 3 or 4 or more? Typically you would connect the Receiver preamp to the Line 2 input of the first AMP110 and then join the second AMP110 from the line 2 output of the first. The line 2 output is a straight pass thru from Line 2 input only; it will not pass thru the signal from Input #1. You might also want to check if there is a loss of signal when you compare the output of AMP#1 vs. AMP#2. Depending on how many AMPs you connect you might want to consider using Y adaptors instead. tim@osdaudio.com Good luck TL/5169
Submitted by: Tim Leahy on August 22, 2018

Brad
from Hanover , PA asked:
April 25, 2018
I have Yamaha 803 , 1 pair Polk mc80 and a pair of Def Tech 6500. I want to drive all 4 speakers in an A+B configuration creating a 4 ohm load on the receiver. My intent is to have 2 separate volume controllers to adjust the volume of of each pair independently. My question is, is this the right controller for that application?
1 Answer
Hi Brad: The VKR120 is the ideal choice for your application. It gives you the best sound quality without the impedance matching you do not need. Wiring your speakers to A and B and playing both at the same time would produce a 4 ohm load. The Polk Audio is 8 ohm, the Definitive Tech says 4-8 ohm nominal. I assume it will work in your application. The VKR120 are resistor based that feature Break before make connection so there is a disconnect between clicks so there is no short between resistors. Plus when the knob is turned fully counterclockwise it is fully disconnected or off not just in-audible like the Impedance matching auto former based Volume Controls. Add to that it has broader Frequency Response with no high or low end roll off. Good question... TL/4935
Submitted by: Tim Leahy on April 27, 2018

Joaquim
from Valencia, Spain asked:
April 19, 2018
Can I use four VKR120 along with a impedance matching switch? As it seems a very good solution for an audiophile user to distribute music among 4 zones, the user manual warnings not to use resistor-based control volumes with a speaker selector box.
1 Answer
Hi Joaquim: You can use something like our DSM4 4 zone passive speaker selector with dual source selection. You would need to enable the Protection switch internally if you used the VKR-120 volume controls since they have no impedance matching capability. The problem is that you decrease the power handling per channel from 140 watts down to 70 watts. The good news is like the VKR-120 which features resistors in the signal path the same as the internal protection which are resistors as well. The Resistor based volume controls pass a broader Frequency Response with no high or low roll off. Plus the VKR120 will disconnect completely when the volume knob is turned all the way counterclockwise until the last click. The Auto former Impedance matching volume controls do a better job of controlling the Impedance Matching because it is variable based upon the setting you need. With the internal protection it is on or off no matter how many speakers are playing. I hope that helps. TL/4917
Submitted by: Tim Leahy on April 19, 2018

Eric
from Maryland asked:
April 7, 2018
Does this come in any color other than White?
1 Answer
Hi Eric: There are three optional colors all coming in the same box. White, Almond and Bone. The 3 color matched outer plate, Decora insert and Knob are all available in the kit. We also have Black and Brown replacement kits as well. TL/4892
Submitted by: Tim Leahy on April 17, 2018

Chris
from Dallas, TX asked:
March 14, 2017
I bought this item and the instructions for connections do not match the labeling on the unit. I've been doing A/V for 40 years, I should be perfectly capable of connecting this thing. The instructions say connect the L + & - from the receiver to the "connectors labeled OutputL (+,-) and Right (+,-). Straightforward enough. However, the unit has two banks of four connectors - as expected - neither is marked 'L' or 'R'. There isn't an L or an R on the unit anywhere. The four connectors on each bank are labeled 'In', [down arrow], [down arrow], 'Out'. This is not any standard nomenclature I've ever run across before. Any suggestions?
1 Answer
Hi Chris: Sorry for the confusion. We have had this question come up before, that is why I created the connection diagram found as an image on the OSD web site page for the VKR-120, https://www.outdoorspeakerdepot.com/vrautrvoco.html. It is the fifth of five diagrams featured on the page that can be enlarged by double clicking on it. Please let us know if this helps. TL/4252
Submitted by: Customer Service - Q&A on March 15, 2017

Ken
from New York asked:
March 31, 2017
Can the VKR120 be used to split the output of a stereo to 2 pairs of speakers? Planning to take the output of one channel of a stereo and connect to two VKR120 volume controllers. The output of the each VKR120 would then connect to pair of speakers. The VKR120 would then provide separate volume control of each pair of speakers.
1 Answer
Hi Ken: Not sure what you are trying to accomplish but pretty sure the VKR 120 are not the solution. These Resister based volume controls have no impedance matching capabilities at all. Arguably they sound better than the Auto former style Impedance matching ones but are limited in application. Typically the VKR 120 is used to drive a single pair of speakers from a two channel amplifier with nothing connected in parallel to it. TL/4280
Submitted by: Customer Service - Q&A on March 31, 2017

KK
from Cleveland, Ohio asked:
December 6, 2016
Hi, I have a complicated setup. Bought 4 Klipsch R-1650-C speakers, 2 for 1st floor and 2 for 2nd floor. 1st floor Volume Control Setup: Has 4 speaker wires (1st & 2nd floors) and each wire has 1 Red and 1 Black wire. Also has a separate wire which goes from Volume control to Receiver with Red, Black, White and Freen wires inside this. 2nd floor Volume Control Setup: Has 2 speaker wires (2nd floor) and each wire has 1 Red and 1 Black wire. Also has 2 separate wires to connect to volume control and receiver with each wire having 1 Red and 1 Black wire. Which volume control units should I buy to get the maximum usage?
1 Answer
Hi KK: I would recommend our SSVC4 4 zone speaker selector box as your best option to connect all four pairs of speakers. I am assuming each pair are in a different room, two upstairs and two downstairs. And you do not already have volume controls in each room in line from the wall you show in your picture to the room, then to each pair of speakers. Typically you will connect the receiver to the volume control or in this case source A of the SSVC4 speaker selector with the four conductor cable (Red; R+, Black; R-, White; L+ and Green; L-) Then the two conductor Red and Black connects to the the left and right speakers in each room from either the Volume Controls or Speaker Selector's corresponding zone outputs (either zones 1, 2, 3 or 4). Your wires should already be labeled for each speaker. If not you can use a 9 volt battery to send a signal to each (you will need to have someone in each room to verify). The SSVC4 is ideal for your application since each pair of speakers would have a dedicated Impedance matching Volume control connected to it. It also features a second source input so you can add a second source switchable per zone (each zone has both an A/B and On/Off switch). Your other option is going with our SVC300 Impedance matching Volume Controls, one for upstairs (grey wires) and a second for downstairs (yellow wires). In this case you would tie the two right speakers wires (both reds together and both blacks together) and then both Left speakers as well. A single 2 conductor cable would then connect from the right conductors to the Right input of the SVC300. Do the same with the left conductors to the Left inputs on the SVC300. Do the same with your second volume control and your four two conductor cables from downstairs. You will have to split your four conductors black jacketed cable so you can run four conductors to each SVC300 inputs. You may notice the SSVC4 option does not need to any splicing or splitting of your existing wiring. If you need anymore info, please contact me at tim@osdaudio.com. I could furnish you a diagram if need be but checkout the SSVC4. Good luck TL/4141
Submitted by: Customer Service - Q&A on December 6, 2016

Chris
from Milwaukee, wi asked:
May 11, 2016
The box in my wall that I need this to mount in is a regular electrical box - 2.5" deep. It looks like this should work. Has anyone installed this in a 2.5" deep box?
1 Answer
Hi Chris: I have been selling this Resistor based Volume Control design for over 20 years, no problem. You will notice the removable input/output connectors are 90 degrees from the front plate and not directly out the back. Making it easier to fit in Standard single gang J box. TL/
Submitted by: Customer Service - Q&A on May 13, 2016

Ben
from NY asked:
August 30, 2015
I have several sets of your speakers: 1 Ceiling Speaker with Dual OSD-ICE840TT Voice Coils OSD Audio ICE840TT 1 CeilingSpeakersWeatherResistantICE600WRS 1 CeilingSpeakerTrimless PairOSD AudioACE590Color white 2 Outdoor Speakers Patio OSD Audio AP520 I want to use the decor to adjust the volume on these speakers. Is this the product that I am looking for? The 2 outdoor speakers may be in parallel at the source, with separate gang boxes outside. Would this also work?
1 Answer
You can use this if you have one for each speaker pair and one for the ICE840TT alone. Otherwise you would want to use something like the SVC300.
Submitted by: Customer Service - Q&A on September 11, 2015

Jon Luetgers
from Minneapolis, MN asked:
August 11, 2014
I have an 8 ohm Denon AVR-1913 stereo. I purchased 6 ohm deck speakers (Yamaha NS-AW150BL 2-Way Outdoor Speakers (Pair, Black) ) for Zone 2 on my stereo. The impedances do not match (my mistake). Can I buy the VKR120 Decora Volume Control and use with the pre-mentioned stereo and speakers? Thanks in advance for your help!
1 Answer
Hi Jon, The VKR120 is a non-impedance matching volume control, so it will do nothing but send the power through from your amp to your speakers. That should be fine.
Submitted by: Customer Service - Q&A on August 13, 2014

Davis
from Dallas asked:
December 23, 2012
Does the lowest setting on the VKR120 completely turn off the speakers vs a transformer type VC simply making the sound inaudible.
1 Answer
Hi Davis: The VKR120 is a Resistor based non impedance matching volume control. These are a make before break design, so there is no connection between clicks and it does completely disengage when turned all the way counterclockwise. Depending on the setting of the master volume the control may become inaudible before the last click. But is not completely off until totally turned to the last click. The Impedance Matching Transformer style volume controls do not turn off at all except the SVC205 which has an actual on off switch on the plate below the rotary knob. Note the Resistor based volume controls in theory tend to sound better. There have no high or low end roll off meaning they have a broader Frequency Response. TL - 1486
Submitted by: Customer Service - Q&A on December 23, 2012

Jax
from manhattan asked:
September 9, 2012
If I have the DSM4 with the Impedance protection enabled , should I get this VKR120 resistor based VC or should I still just get the SVC300 and set the jumper to 1x? What is better for my setup thanks.
1 Answer
Hi Jax, Setting the SVC300 at 1/2X would not be using the impedance matching. If you are running the protection on the DSM4, then you don't need impedance matching on the volume control. For an ideal setup, it's best to keep an even setup with the zones/volume controls so 4 zones equals 4 volume controls. The question is: what is the power handling of your amp and speakers. The SVC300 can handle up to 300 Watts; the VKR120 can handle up to 150 Watts. Hope that helps! CL/MA 1285
Submitted by: Customer Service - Q&A on September 14, 2012

Marie-Josée Lavigne
from Montréal, Canada asked:
October 2, 2011
Can I branch two ICE640TT stereo speakers in this? if not which volume control I should buy if I have 2 stereo speakers to put in one volume control unit...tkx
1 Answer
Yes - you can use one volume control for two pair of speakers or in your case two single stereo speakers. Please connect your speaker in "parallel" not in serial.
Submitted by: Customer Service - Q&A on October 3, 2011

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