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Russound ALT-126R

Stereo volume control with impedance matching

17 Reviews | 4 questions - 12 answers

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Overview

Our take on the Russound ALT-126R

Russound puts control of your in-wall and in-ceiling speakers at your fingertips. The ALT-126R in-wall volume control offers easy operation as well as built-in impedance-matching circuitry that makes it easier to outfit several rooms with speakers. The handy front-mounted selector switch saves you time whenever a system configuration needs to be changed, like when you add more speakers.

Convenient volume control

Russound puts control of your in-wall and in-ceiling speakers at your fingertips. The ALT-126R in-wall volume control offers easy operation as well as built-in impedance-matching circuitry that makes it easier to outfit several rooms with speakers. The handy front-mounted selector switch saves you time whenever a system configuration needs to be changed, like when you add more speakers.

Safely connect multiple pairs of speakers

You can use up to eight of these impedance-matching stereo volume controls to safely drive up to eight pairs of speakers with a typical receiver or amplifier. You won't even need any additional speaker selector or protection device. For connecting up to eight volume controls neatly and conveniently, use Russound's EZB-8 modular expansion unit.

Product Highlights:

  • connect up to 8 pairs of speakers to a single 8-ohm-rated stereo amplifier (requires 1 volume control per speaker pair)
  • power handling: 42 watts RMS per channel (126 watts peak)
  • adjustable impedance magnification (1x, 2x, 4x, and 8x) with easy-to-use, front-mounted selection switch
    • 4-ohm amp: up to 16 pairs of 8-ohm speakers or 8 pairs of 4-ohm speakers
    • 8-ohm amp: up to 8 pairs of 8-ohm speakers or 4 pairs of 4-ohm speakers
  • pop-free 12-step control, 48dB maximum attenuation
  • meets applicable UL® and CSA® standards for a safe, worry-free installation
  • removable high-grade screw-down terminal connectors accommodate up to 12-gauge wire
  • installs in your wall with a standard single-gang electrical box (not included)
  • includes two colors of Decora® style wall plates and knobs: white and light almond
  • 2-3/4"W x 4-1/2"H x 3-7/16"D
  • warranty: lifetime
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • ALTx-2 in-wall volume control
  • White wall plate
  • Almond wall plate
  • White volume knob
  • Almond volume knob
  • 2 Speaker screw terminals
  • 2 Volume control installation screws (M3 x 20mm)
  • 2 White painted wall plate screws (M3 x 10mm)
  • 2 Almond painted wall plate screws (M3 x 10mm)
  • Installation Manual

Perfect, it took care of my sound issue, don't waste your money at cheap volume controls.

Mike, Waxhaw NC

Reviews

Russound ALT-126R Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(17 Reviews)

Russound ALT-126R

Crutchfield customer from Peoria, AZ on 7/19/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Replaced three existing wall-mounted volume controls with ALT-126R's and they all worked excellent. They were a little larger (internally) then the units they replaced so installation was a little tricky on one unit but all-in-all a great product. The volume range is good and allowed me to set my zone 2 volume at the a/v receiver to maximum and simply adjust the in-wall speakers volume from the ALT-126R's.

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Russound ALT-126R

Crutchfield customer from Carefree, AZ on 5/30/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Solid product. Excellent customer service!

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Russound ALT-126R

Crutchfield customer from Lithia, FL on 3/18/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Outstanding quality and performance

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Russound ALT-126R

Crutchfield customer from Jim Thorpe, PA on 12/26/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Built very well. I have installed many in the past in combination with the EZB-8 Block. I highly recommend.

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BEST VOLUME CONTROLS ANYWHERE

Dan from Shreveport, LA on 8/7/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

AWSOME! Purchased three ALT-126R volume controls to upgrade my home audio system from Crutchfield. The quality was excellent and I especially liked the feel of variable control defined by a "click". They work well with my new Russound 16 channel amp. I had purchased the Russound volume controls 15 years ago and they continue to operate flawlessly. I am considering replacing these with new ones because of the "click" and the old switch plate has faded.

Pros: Price and Quality

Cons: None

Russound ALT-126R

Mike from Waxhaw NC on 7/19/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Perfect, it took care of my sound issue, don't waste your money at cheap volume controls.

Pros: Works perfectly

Cons: None

Russound ALT-126R

Crutchfield customer from Scottsdale, AZ on 3/10/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The ALT-126 is a really solid Volume Control. I used several along with an EZB-8 Block Connector for a recent multi-room installation using a xZone4 Streaming Amp. Make sure to set impedance settings properly when using multiple speakers in a zone.

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Nice product

Beau from Winchester, Virginia on 7/16/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've owned one of these knobs for about 10 years with no problems, and i just installed 4 more in a house I am building. It is a solid and reliable product.

Pros: Reliable, good quality and convenient for visitors to control volume

Cons: None

Russound ALT-126R

kal from Mount Pleasant, SC on 5/22/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

bought this control to replace one that I purchased from Monoprice that keep shorting out. This one is definitely built much better and to a high quality level. Works great and was very easy to install.

Pros: easy to install. Accepts 14 gauge speaker wires

Cons: none.

Great Product

Steve from Louisville, KY on 5/20/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The product worked as described and was easy to install. The removable speaker connection made the process a breeze.

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Great Sound Controls

Clifton from Gilbert, AZ on 4/30/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to install and look great.

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Quality product

C.E. from Ashburn, VA on 4/1/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy install and product works well. It's a solid component and looks good in the wall. I like that they give you two colors (white and cream) to match décor.

Pros: Clear installation. Quality.

Cons: None.

Russound

Mark H from Madison, WI on 2/7/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Ordered 2 addition volume controls for an existing whole house Russound system we purchased from Crutchfield 3 years prior. Part #'s had changed in that time, but the tech help got back to immediately and gave me all the necessary info, he even told me how to meter the speakers and system to verify the correct 'ohm-age'. Very professional process!

Pros: Work as they should, and they are the correct ones! Order arrived quickly, safely packaged

Cons: none

Works fine

W Ledford from Georgia on 12/13/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These volume controls made installing 3 sets of speakers for my Zone 2 a snap.

Pros: Installs in a snap

Cons: A little tricky to get 3 sets of 16 gauge conductors tied down to the output

Multi-room audio

Southsound from Washington on 12/13/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Put three sets of speakers on remote channel of vintage Onkyo tx-906 amp. Does the job of handling load

Pros: Works as designed

Cons: None

Easy to install

Matt from Wisconsin on 9/26/2015

Easy to install as long as you tighten the screws on the input and output blocks.

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Russound ALT-126R Amplifer

TJW from Oxford, MI on 5/11/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Amplifier for Russound sound system. Worked well and powered the 6 speakers that are controlled by this amplifier.

Pros: Has a lot of power for the size and cost. Nice cover plate.

Cons: Large for a single conduit box. Had to make sure the wires were short.

Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

In-Wall Volume Control: The Russound ALT-126R is an in-wall volume control that fits into a standard single-gang junction box. It comes with wall plates and volume knobs in white and almond.

Ultra-Match Technology: The ALT-126R's Ultra-Match technology allows you to easily match the load of multiple speakers to the amplifier impedance without the need for a speaker selector or other impedance-matching equipment. It provides impedance matching for up to 16 pairs of speakers per system.

Note: To access the the impedance switch, remove knob and front plate. The front plate is attached to the frame with 4 tabs, use caution to push the tabs out of the frame.

Performance: This in-wall volume control is designed to handle up to 42 watts RMS and 126-watts peak power. The built-in precision autoformers produce high-fidelity sound with excellent frequency response (20Hz - 20kHz, +1.0/-0.5 dB at rated power). It provides maximum power transfer from the amplifier to the speakers without heat buildup.

Volume Knob: The ALT-126R has a simple clean design with a simple knob and standard wall plate. The knob has 11 steps of volume, plus an off position. The volume control provides a total of 48 dB attenuation.

Connections: The volume control has two 4-pole screw terminal blocks, one for the input from the amplifier, and one for the output to a pair of speakers. The terminals allow you to connect up to 12-gauge speaker wire. The terminals can be unplugged from the volume control for easier wiring.

Speaker Wire Recommendations: For most applications, stranded 16-gauge speaker wire is recommended. For runs of over 100', 14-gauge is recommended, while 12-gauge is recommended for runs of up to 200'.

Amplifier Power Ratings: The amplifier should provide a minimum of 20 watts per channel RMS for each pair of speakers connected.

Speaker Impedance: The ALT-126R is designed for speakers with impedances of 4, 6, or 8 ohms.

EZB Connecting Blocks: When connecting multiple pairs of speakers to the system, you will need a Russound EZB-8 (sold separately) connecting block. The EZB-8 can connect up to 8 volume controls to the amplifier's output.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

I read the reviews and decided to go with what seems like a well built volume control. [ JOHN  Jun 28, 2018 ]
Selected by design studio member Dallas. [ Michael  Apr 21, 2018 ]
Great reviews and reasonable price [ Raymond  Mar 26, 2018 ]
choice [ Pascal Mensah  Feb 12, 2018 ]
Replace a same unit that failed after 12 yrs. [ Barry  Feb 12, 2018 ]
Price point [ Jose  Feb 08, 2018 ]
Needed replacement volume controls. Price was the least ridiculous for a volume control with decent reviews. [ David  Nov 27, 2017 ]
Crutchfield did a whole home audio plan for me, and the Russound AKT-126R was part of that recommend solution. [ Michael  Nov 02, 2017 ]
value item for new whole house system [ william  Oct 25, 2017 ]
It matches a volume control I purchased earlier. I have another volume control that has unclear connections and rather than risk connecting incorrectly, I purchased this to replace it. [ Barry  Oct 08, 2017 ]
Dallas, my advisor recommended it. [ Brett  Oct 04, 2017 ]
Good reviews and good price... [ Scott  Jul 15, 2017 ]
Have used in the past, solid product, works well. [ James  Feb 09, 2017 ]
After speaking with my designer it was cost vs. performance. Looks like a good choice for indoors. Bought a different item for my patio area (weather resistant). [ Scott  Dec 28, 2016 ]
Did not order enough last time [ Mark  Dec 11, 2016 ]
Recommended by Dallas [ Chesley  Nov 29, 2016 ]
They were inexpensive, stereo, came in multiple face plates [ Kevin  Oct 22, 2016 ]
Convenience. Everyone seems to regret NOT installing a wall controller when they had the opportunity before insulation and drywall goes up. [ Michael  Aug 24, 2016 ]
Good value [ DOUG  Aug 18, 2016 ]
Provided needed constant impedance load to my home audio amplifier regardless of speakers on or off in various rooms. Good quality and price was reasonable [ D  Aug 05, 2016 ]
Impedance matching [ James  Jul 09, 2016 ]
We needed a straight forward, dependable, standard amplifier to speaker volume control for a client install. This unit fits the bill and it's a good price. [ Joseph  May 31, 2016 ]
Easy to install [ Frederick  May 26, 2016 ]
I picked items based on recommendations of Dallas. Dallas' Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=47 [ Dennis  May 20, 2016 ]
Customer had existing equipment. i will use you in the furture [ Jim  May 10, 2016 ]
My old one crapped out... I've had it many years... [ John  Apr 02, 2016 ]
Price [ Juan  Apr 02, 2016 ]
This is an inexpensive control relative to other options, but does exactly what I need it to: local volume control downstream of a distribution block and adjustable impedance. [ Jeff  Mar 27, 2016 ]
I choose this volume control because you can control several speakers off of them. Home Depot and my local Best Buy only had volume controls that controlled 1 pair of speakers. [ MIKE  Feb 09, 2016 ]

4 questions already asked

Paste this Russound ALT-126R get the manual . take your time , write it down. Higher impedance less current pulled, higher volume control level. When connected to a lower impedance speaker load on your amp more current drawn. Lower volume control. If you can get an impedance meter. Get a fuse after all that . Call the manufacture . I did not use the unit on the install. Try 2x Be safe. [ Daniel  Aug 21, 2018 ]
Most amps are fine driving 4 ohms, which means you can set it at 1x. My experience with these volume controllers, however, was not good (in terms of the impedance matching). My Marantz amp kept getting hot and shutdown despite having the switches at 4x setting. I replaced the amp and had the same problems. Then I went to a inexpensive Monoprice speaker selector switch and the problems all went away. From years of experience I highly recommend the latter approach. [ Charlie  Aug 21, 2018 ]
So the answer is "it depends". First check your Amp specs - is it an 8 ohm or 4 ohm Amp. Check the Russound Site - ALT-126 Product Manual - there is a good chart in there that lays out the setting for various groupings of speakers. For an 8 Ohm Amp with 2 pairs - the setting is 2x. [ Jeff  Aug 20, 2018 ]
So the ALT-126 is designed for a single pair - however it can support two pairs as per Russound's documentation. You wire a single set of output wires to the ALT-126 from your amp, then wire both pairs from the ALT-126 to the speakers. You must set the proper X setting on the ALT-126 to match impedance requirements that are based on both your amp and speaker sets. [ Jeff  Aug 20, 2018 ]
No. Each volume control is made for connecting a single pair of speakers. [ Ryan  Jan 01, 2018 ]  Staff
Sorry to be a little late in responding, but I have been away from my computer for a few days. The short answer is "yes", there is a 1x option. Page 4 of the owner's manual includes a chart for a 4 ohm amp: the rows are labeled "0" to "4" ( number of 4 ohm speaker pairs) and the columns are labeled "0" to "8" (Number of 8-Ohm Speaker Pairs). The intersecting cells in the table indicate the appropriate setting for the combination. In your customer's case, he would enter the chart on the second row (1 4-ohm speaker pair) and the first column (0 8-ohm pairs) and fine the answer = 1x. [ KENNETH B  Sep 13, 2016 ]
The Russound ALT-126R offers 1x, 2x, 4x, and 8x adjustable impedance magnification. You can access the the impedance switch by removing the knob and front plate. I hope that helps! My bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=159 [ Larry  Sep 13, 2016 ]  Staff
I bought this as a direct replacement for one that had gone bad. I don't have the expertise to answer your question. [ William G.  Sep 12, 2016 ]
Yes, it will fit within a single gang box. [ Rex  Sep 02, 2016 ]
It does fit well in a single gang box. [ Kenneth  Sep 02, 2016 ]
Yes, it fits very well into a single gang box. [ LANDON M  Sep 02, 2016 ]
Yes, it fits well in a single box. I've also used them in a double and triple gang box [ william d.  Sep 02, 2016 ]
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