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Russound ALT-126R Stereo volume control with impedance matching

Item # 543ALT126R

Russound puts control of your in-wall and in-ceiling speakers at your fingertips.

Russound puts control of your in-wall and in-ceiling speakers at your fingertips.

California customers:
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10 questions - 23 answers

Item # 543ALT126R

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About the Russound ALT-126R

Dave Bar

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.

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
  • MFR # 6100-536281

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

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More details on the Russound ALT-126R

Stacey B.
The Russound ALT-126R replaces these items:

Product Research


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.

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Customer Q&A

10 questions already asked

I have 15 year old AltX volume controls, is this the replacement for them?
robert  Apr 07, 2022
2 answers
Since you did not specify what you presently have it is difficult to answer whether these are direct replacements or not. However the speaker adjustment plates are pretty standardize so there's a very good likelihood that this will be an excellent replacement for what you have.
leonard  Apr 10, 2022
I believe it is. I looked up the Altx control and it is made by Russound. I could not locate any specs for the Altx. You can still find these on the secondary market.
michael  Apr 07, 2022
Is only one speaker wire (2 strand) required between a receiver and the volume control in order to power two speakers? Or does it require a pair of 2-strand wires (or one 4-strand wire) for the input? Thanks.
bradley  Sep 21, 2021
5 answers
For a stereo connection (one channel for each of a pair of speakers) you would need two pairs (four total conductors), one pair per channel. If you mean that you want to connect more than one speaker to each channel, you may be able to chain more than one speaker per channel, but your receiver would need to be rated to drive into the lower impedance (resistances connected in parallel result in a lower overall resistance than the individual resistances). In my application, I have two channels, left and right, and some circuits have two speakers per channel. They are 8-ohm speakers, so for two connected in parallel, the impedance is R = ( 1 / (1/R1 + 1/R2) ) = 1 / (1/8 + 1/8) = 1/ (2/8) = 1/ (1/4 ) = 4 ohm per channel. My receiver can drive a 4-ohm load, so it's OK.
david  Sep 24, 2021
You'll need 4 strands of wire (left positive, left negative, right positive, right negative) for this volume control. One way to think about it is to first envision the speakers connected normally to your amplifier/receiver. The volume control sits between the amp and speakers with 4 wires (strands) coming in from the amp, and 4 wires (strands) leaving the the volume control going to the speakers. In my setup I used one four-strand cable from the amp to the volume control, and two, two-strand cables going from the control to the individual speakers.
ken  Sep 22, 2021
It has input for 4 wires, two wires for the left channel and 2 wires for the right. The output has the same. (4 connectors, 2 for left speaker and 2 for right speaker). There is a selector switch to set the impedance based on the load.
robert  Sep 21, 2021
I used one 4 strand between switch and amp.
jacob  Sep 21, 2021
One pair of wires per channel. If you have two speakers and are coming off of a stereo source, each channel requires a pair of wires. Make sure when wiring, that the Stereo Input is on the input of the volume control, and the speakers are on the output side. And finally, there is an impedance setting on the volume control. Study the chart in the instructions to select the correct setting.
greg  Sep 21, 2021
Where is this made?
scott  May 27, 2021
1 answer
We found that the country of origin is China when we performed our research on this volume control
jason  Jun 09, 2021 (Staff)
Will two of these work with Sonos AMP wired up to two pairs of speakers? Is the volume control wattage sufficient for the Sonos AMP (250w)?
tracy  Aug 08, 2019
1 answer
No those would not be able to handle the power from the Sonos Amp. You could use this Niles distribution block and controls that have much higher power handling:
casey  Aug 20, 2019 (Staff)
I moved into a house with these controls in almond. Is there somewhere to get replacement decora plates and knobs in white?
sean  Mar 23, 2019
1 answer
Try to find the box that the control was shipped in. The extra plates and knobs may be in there.
r. h.  Mar 24, 2019
I have 2 pair of 8-ohm speakers. One pair is connected to an ALT-126R and the other pair is connected to a different ALT-126R volume controller. What is the correct impedance setting in this situation? Is it 1x, or 4x? I have it set on 4x but it takes more master volume at the amp to get the volume up than if set at 1x.
michael  Aug 10, 2018
3 answers
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
Can you wire 2 pairs of speakers to the Russound ALT-126R volume control? If yes, how is it done?
stephanie  Dec 24, 2017
2 answers
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)
Can you disable the impedance matching? I would be connecting a 4-ohm capable amplifier and each volume control would "power" a pair of 8 ohm speakers. So, I want to wire the speakers in parallel and I DO want the impedance to drop down to 4 ohms. I don't see a "1x" option mentioned.
ethan  Sep 08, 2016
3 answers
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:
david  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
Home is pre-wired from 2nd floor media room (planned location for Audio amp) to single gang box at rear door. Pre- wiring then runs from single gang box to outdoor locations. I think this unit will work however does it fit well in a single gang box?
harry  Sep 01, 2016
4 answers
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  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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