Gain and Rothwell attenuators

I have a Rega planet 2000, Cary slp-50a, and linn LK-85 amp. When I first got the cary I couldn't turn the volume up past the 8 o'clock position! That was about as loud as I could stand. I put in some Rothwell attenuators (-10db) and now I'm at about 10 o'clock with the same result. Problem is is that the Rothwell attenuators dramatically alter the sound. Right now they are between the cd player and pre-amp. I tried them between the pre and power amp and the music sounded strangled. When I take them off completely things open up but seem uneven and I start getting different L/R signal strength through the speakers at lower volumes, with some cds becoming unplayable because of this. I haven't seen much written about attenuation or any other way to solve this problem. Are there other, more neutral ways to achieve this or has anyone come across another posting on this issue? Thanks and happy holidays.
Why not contact Cary and see if there is some way that they can lower the gain of your preamp ? This is a VERY common problem when folks try to run tubed preamps with SS power amps. Having Cary take care of the problem directly at the gain stage should preserve the sonics of the system a lot better than introducing a "band aid" into the system and give you a more usable range of the volume control. Sean
Thanks Sean. Sometimes it takes another to point out the obvious. Now maybe Cary can do the same.
I'm not sure putting the attenuator between the CDP and pre will make much of a difference in terms of overall gain for an active pre. Also, when placed between the pre and power amp, you need to plug the male end of the attenuator to the power amp in order to get maximum voltage (i.e. gain) drop. If plugged the other way around, you'll see very little drop.

As for sound quality of the Rothwell, I'm not surprised that you found the sound altered. I used a 12db attenuator from PartsExpress and found that it reduced the noise level which is a good thing. But, it also took a lot of air out and the overall sound approaches that of SS type.
I have the same problem. I eventually switched to a Njoe Tjoeb cdp. Add a couple solder joints and you can change the output voltage down from ~2.5 volts to ~1.25 or~0.7 volts. Worked well. You could also find a cdp with an analog volume control like the new Cary 308T and just turn it down a bit.

I experimented with a couple passive attenuators and I just didn't like their sound. Good luck. Let us know what Cary says about modifying the gain on your preamp.

How long have you had the Rothwell's in the system in playing time? They take some time to break in.