Asus Xonar Essence One uses a ribbon cable to connect the stage before the final buffer output to potentiometer then brings back the attenuated signal back to the buffer output stage.
This is no where a best approach, as the signal will pass through cheap ribbon cable back and forth. Some audiophile will prefer an extension rod and put the potentiometer on the back, near the signal point which to be adjusted, instead of bring out and back the signal itself with cable. Well, there are dozens way to Rome, right? 😉
The potentiometer itself (Alps B10K) is a balance type (4-Gang). I don’t really need that balance type as I will not use the balance output. So I did some tracing to get the connection between the LPF opamp to the final buffer stage. So here we go!
Remember that the layout below is seen from the top, not from the bottom. And I do hope I’ve done the tracing correctly 😉 Do at your own risk and double check before you proceed to modify that part.
“I” means Input, “O” means Output, and “G” means Ground.
One thing that you might notice is the Input and Output layout are all crossed. I1 is side by side with O2 instead of I2 and vice versa.
The real physical layout from the above schematic.
The Alps B10K 4-Gang potentiometer. Not the best, but it’s gonna be hard and a little bit expensive to change with another 4-gang potentiometer or stepped attenuator.