Audio Volume knob issue....


New member
Username: Pichoni

Post Number: 3
Registered: Jan-11
Hi, I bought a vintage Realistic receiver few days back. To increase or decrease the volume, the volume control has to move in opposite direction which is weird. I mean for raising the sound it has to move in opposite direction, anti clockwise and for reducing the volume it has to move in clockwise direction. Just opposite to the normal directions.
Does anyone know what could be the reason or do I need to switch the wires at the volume terminals.
Thanks in advance.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18231
Registered: May-04

A "vintage" receiver will have a simple potentiometer for a volume control. This device works by way of increasing or decreasing resistance as the control knob is moved.

Digital "pots" can operate any way they want but normally adhere to the conventions of clockwise is more and anti-clockwise is less.

There's no solution in reversing leads. A pot has three leads coming from it or, in the case of a stereo control, six.

One lead is input, another is output (connected to what's termed the "wiper" for its action) and the third is ground.

If you connect your signal input lead to the ground lead, you'll likely do damage to the receiver.

Connecting the output cable to the input side should get you ... not much or, in fact, quite a bit. The input cable will then be on the output side of the circuit and there's a good chance the system will be running at full output power when you first power up the receiver since you have essentially by passed the vc.

I'm unaware of any such potentiometer as you have described. It could be a one off type of thing for Realistic or it could be a defective pot that has simply started to show its age.

IMO you can either live with what you have or replace the pot entirely for a new device with lower noise and better control.

Not ragging on you but, why'd you buy a Realistic receiver? There is literally no support for their old products since Realistic was simply a brand name which retailed products built by any number of anonymous manufacturers over the course of about forty years.

If you have any real problems with this unit, there's a good chance you'll end up being SOL. Even when Realistic products were under warranty, most often they were not repaired, simply replaced.


New member
Username: Pichoni

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jan-11
I thank you Jan for such a detailed reply. I love vintage stuff that is why I just picked it up for $10 and will check if the potentiometer can be replaced simply.

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 18232
Registered: May-04

Even at $10, IMO there's stuff to avoid. Realistic was pretty much stuff to avoid even when it was new. My first receiver was a Realistic. Once taught me all I needed to know.

I'm too old to consider most of the crap out there "vintage". If you want the look of old stuff sitting on your shelf, that's one thing. But, honestly, the run of the mill low to mid-fi equipment from the mass market of the late '60's through to today is nothing to get even moderately excited about.

Don't buy into these guys who tell you how great their Pioneer SX737's are. Mid-fi was just that for a reason. It didn't reproduce good sounding music. Most of the "vintage" speakers can easily be outdone at minimal cost today thanks to computer aided design and manufacturing. Most all of it is un-serviceable and, when it can be fixed, it's by scavenging old parts from another piece of junk.

Save your money and, if you really want some decent vintage gear, by some of the classic components from the last fifty years of audio. Buy a vintage Rega or Thorens turntable instead of a Pioneer or Marantz. Buy a Rogers speaker instead of a Kenwood. Look for a Nakamichi tape deck or a Revox. Get stuff that's worth having. Like buying a vintage car, buy stuff people thought well of when it was new, not just stuff that was cheap.

Or buy a small modern tube amp and some high efficiency loudspeakers from a modern company. You'll get the look and you'll have much, much better music reproduction and reliability;

Just my $0.02.


New member
Username: Pichoni

Post Number: 5
Registered: Jan-11
Thanks for the wonderful talk, Jan. Also, am checking the link you sent, very informative. If I have to make up my mind for selection for some decent priced Tube amp, will contact you here for advice. Take care.

Gold Member
Username: Magfan


Post Number: 3357
Registered: Oct-07
I HAD a Pioneer SX-727 receiver and can 2nd Jan's thoughts.
It sure looked cool, though.
Best part? It had pre/main jumpers. To keep the animals from destroying my gear when I'd go for a weekend, I'd just pocket the jumpers. I'd get complaints about 'It don't work' and find the vol control ALL the way up.
If they'd gotten it to work like THAT? BOOM goes the speaker.
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